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Christine Ha

That’s a montage of my last Korea trip in 2012. I love to travel, but packing for a trip is one of its ugly necessities. When I was younger (and much less an avid traveler), packing for a trip was exciting. It meant I was about to go somewhere new or fun, and I enjoyed poring over which items to fold in to my suitcase or duffel bag. Unpacking, on the other hand, was less appealing—it was the mark that my vacation was over, and I’d soon be rejoining the

You know those “where are they now?” segments on celebrity news shows and articles? I sort of did one when I visited MasterChef U.S. Season 4 winner Luca Manfé’s food truck, The Lucky Fig. (Or maybe Luca’s fans saw my YouTube episode and were like, “Oh, so that’s what that Christine from season 3 is doing now—making YouTube videos and eating…”) Either way, neither guesses are far from the truth. Luca was born in Italy, moved to New York, and was living there when I first met him during season

Because summer is nearing, I’ve decided to blog a travel series. I’ve always loved to travel, and I’ve been fortunate to do it a lot more now ever since MasterChef fame. I fly close to, if not more than, 100K miles a year, so I would say I’m a pretty experienced traveler. It never fails to amuse me when TSA employees or flight attendants ask me, “Have you ever flown before?” simply because I’m vision impaired. C’mon, people! Do blind people not get around on planes like the rest of

First, my cookbook, Recipes from My Home Kitchen was published in the U.S., became a New York Times best-seller, and just this last December, it was published in Vietnamese by Tre Publishing House in Vietnam. You could already borrow my cookbook in Braille from the National Library Service, but now it’s available for purchase from the National Braille Press for just $23.99—the same cost as the cover price for the hardback. I was gifted the above copy from a woman involved with Sight Into Sound, a non-profit based in Houston

Dating back to 1913, Leo Burdock’s is the oldest fish ’n chips chain in Dublin. We stopped by one of the locations after our last night drinking in Dublin, because greasy fish ’n chips are what you crave after a night full of ”slainte! There was no line, the order and pickup were quick, the food was cheap, and we carried our goodies home wrapped up in butcher paper. Back at our airbnb, we spread open the paper on the dining table and went to town. The fish was fried

The Pig’s Ear is located at the top of a set of stairs. We stopped in for lunch because I’d wanted shepherd’s pie. The lunch menu is prix fixe, and you can choose between a two-course or a three-course option. I chose two, and I was satisfied afterwards, but I could have very well gone with the three-course selection. I was just excited to get my shepherd’s pie in Ireland. The lamb pie wasn’t gigantic, but its modest size still filled me up. Most importantly, it was pretty darn good.

Jameson is my favorite go-to whiskey. It’s smooth, sweet, and consistent. I like mine on a rock—that is, I like mine served with just one ice cube. It’s enough to mellow the whiskey out even more, but not enough to water it down. The hubs is a big Jameson fan, too. It was his call to stock the bar at our wedding with Jameson. My father gave him a bottle of 18-year-old Jameson for Christmas one year. We drank it lovingly. So of course, when in Dublin, we had to

I’ve already had Irish coffee first thing in the morning, the breakfast of champions, so why not continue the routine? When in Dublin… It’s a good idea to hit up the Guinness Storehouse early—we opted for mid-morning—as the place gets overrun by crowds after lunch. (Hours of operation are from 9:30 AM to 5 PM daily.) The Storehouse is built to resemble a pint glass, and after you pay an admission fee, you get a short tour (more like a brief introduction to Guinness and the founder, Arthur Guinness) and

Our last day of the UK and Ireland summer holiday was spent in none other than Dublin, where the crowds are boisterous and the alcohol flows freely. We have a pint of Guinness for breakfast and a Jameson tasting for “afternoon tea.” (Well, the boys tried the Jameson—as much as I love Jameson, my liver was in full protest mode by now.) As with all other countries, I had to check out the snack aisle at a convenience store. It’s interesting how there were a lot of what I’d consider

The Cliffs of Moher are how this trip was born. Even though I can’t see, I’ve heard (and remembered from photos past) how beautiful Ireland was, those emerald green cliffs jutting out over steel blue sea. At home, photos of our travels line the walls going up the staircase, and I wanted to add Ireland’s breathtaking views to the collection. And that’s how it all started. I said, “Let’s go to Ireland.” Then I said, “Well, John likes Scotch whiskey, so let’s hit up Scotland, too.” Then we said, “Well,

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