Chef Isaiah Allen


Hidden Gem Culinary Spot: Youssef 242, Hickory

Paris, Je t’aime

Ha Paris! Who has not dreamed of the romantic city? Waking up in a Paris, listening to the guy on the bank of the Seine river playing “La Vie en Rose” with the accordion, eating croissants from the Boulangerie of the corner!

Well, I was so excited to hear that Delta Airlines is finally bringing the Raleigh, Durham area, a direct flight to Paris in the spring 2016. No more connections to no end, to fly there. As a French/ American Citizen, I look forward to a long weekend in the Capital of fashion, the country of gourmet food, the history of such an old European country.

I imagine, leaving on Thursday night from RDU, arriving Friday morning in Paris, enjoying the day walking Montmartre, seeing the Eiffel towel, going on a tour in a “Peniche” (the French Seine River sightseeing boat), and finishing the evening eating in a local Bistro. Saturday, I would be waking up to the smell of the “Pain au chocolat “, and spending the day at the Louvre, or Versailles….. And Sunday come back home to RDU.

Of course, that would mean that Monday morning , I would be totally homesick for my croissant! I would take my car, and end up at the French Corner Bakery ….


Francis Ford Coppola Winery


We went to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, California. What a grandiose place it was.

Filled with movie memorabilia, the desk that was in the Godfather movie, the boats that were used in the Marie Antoinette movie. The Automobile was the original car from the movie Tucker. The car was actually placed on a turn table, it was really impressive.

The outdoor was wonderful. Between the pool, the bocce courts and the view, it was a wonderful time to take a tour of the propriety.

We did not try the wine there, we just walked the ground and the propriety.



Monastiraki, Μοναστηράκι, Athenes, Greece

Monastiraki is a  very pretty neighborhood located in the old district of Athens. From the square we can see the Acropolis.

First time I saw it was at night….I felt back in time I have to say. The people, the music, the fashion, and the view , incredible view of this ancient place called the Acropolis.

Flea market, shopping districts where you can found literally anything. It is a major touristy area, but very entertaining.

The name came from the monastery that is on the square.

Sarlat, Perigord

Sarlat, is the capital of the Perigord and it is located in the heart of a forest. It is a town on the Valley of the Dordogne river.

Sarlat is a very high architectural quality. It is a very medieval town and has a lot of very large, and little sunny squares, It is very lively on market days.
Since 1928, the cinema producers have found this authentic surroundings good for historical movies.

Sarlat is a very  charming medieval city with some Occitan overtones.

It was absolutely picturesque.



La France cet ete… France this summer

There are so many things I am grateful for. One of them is my trip during the summer back home.

I am leaving with the children on June 15, it will come fast with all the end of school activities. We are coming back on July the 23rd.

During our stay there, we will take one trip together with my parents and head to the South of France. It will be a wonderful photographic journey.

We will leave from Paris June 16 and visitéda, then we will take the time to do the little Villages around like Rocamadour:, then we will stop by We will visit le Gouffre de Padirac et les grottes de Lascaux where the prehistorics drawings are:

Of course Bergerac, is on the way back, it is one of my favorite wine…

This nice weather that we have right now makes me long for the aperitifs outside, the time to have meals outside, time to have friends over.

I will also take a trip to Paris by myself and enjoy photographing the city 23/06 au vendredi 28/06. After that it is friends and kids, and beach, and home:-)

Presqu’ile de la Caravelle, Martinique

The presqu’ile of la Caravelle in Martinique is located on the Atlantic side. It is beautiful with all the beaches and the natural mangrove swamps.

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Sainte Luce, Martinique

I went to Sainte Luce to visit this little town.

It was very small and very colorful.

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La Savane des Petrifications, Martinique

Située a l extremite de la presqu’île de Sainte-Anne, la Savane des pétrifications est une ballade incroyable.

C’est un endroit tres fantasmagorique, tres caillouteuse.

Le nom la savane des petricfications viens du nom des bois silicifiés dégagés par l’érosion.

Nous avons fait tout le tour de la balade. Par moment nous avons l’impression d’etre dans un paradis terrrestre a cause de ce sable blanc, les plamier, et cette mer d’un bleue! Puis soudain, nous nous croyons dans le Grand Canyon, puis au Nouveau Mexique, pui en Costa Rica!

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Located at the extremity of the peninsula of St. Anne, La Savane des pétrifications is an incredible walk.

We were gone for 4 hours, it was well worth it.

It is a place very beautiful and very stony.

The name of the Savane des petricfications is just the name of silicified wood generated by the erosion.

At times we have the impression of being in a paradise because of this white sand, palm trees, and this sea so deep blue!

Then suddenly, you can think that you are in the Grand Canyon and then in New Mexico, and then in Costa Rica!

Very diverse flore.