Tag Archives: Restaurants

The Honeymoon, Day 5

24 Aug

If you’ve missed any of the other honeymoon re-cap posts, you may find them here (day 1), here (day 2), here (day 3), & here (day 4)!

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For our last full day in Disney, we decided to take it easy & visit Downtown Disney for a little shopping. It was a nice way to end the vacation!

Display in front of the Lego store!Eventually, we stopped somewhere for lunch. I believe I got some sort of wrap (I can’t remember anymore), but I was really excited to try a cupcake from Babycakes NYC (they had a tiny bakery area set up in the place where we ate).

Babycakes NYC cupcakes are refined sugar-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, vegan cupcakes! While I’m not vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free, I’ve still heard of these cupcakes before & was excited to give them a try! I went with the red velvet:

Babycakes Red velvet

It was good, but I could sort of taste that this was a “healthified” cupcake. That didn’t stop me from eating every last bite though! 😉

After our walk around Downtown Disney, we ended up returning to our hotel & lounging around & napping! (Napping is the best, isn’t it?) I did not want to get up, but our dinner reservation at California Grill was calling our names!

California Grill is located on the 15th floor of the Contemporary Resort & has really awesome views of the Magic Kingdom. There was actually a storm rolling in the night of our reservation & we could actually watch it progress closer & closer as we were eating our dinner!

I went with the scallops for my entree:

ScallopsI ate every last scallop, but not too much of the vegetables underneath. They had absorbed a lot of oil & I just wasn’t feelin’ it!

For dessert, I ordered some sort of banana caramel deliciousness!

Dessert  Afterwards, Chris & I spent a few minutes on the observation deck, & snapped a few pictures of the Disney property below:

Magic Kingdom Space Mountain Disney

Ferry boat Cinderella's castle

The following morning, it was time to head back home to PA! We had a wonderful time & a great honeymoon!

Heading home   Lucky for me, as our plane was landing in Philly, I was able to snap a few pics of Citizens Bank Park (go Phils)! 🙂

Home sweet home!   Phillies!

Do you enjoy traveling? I enjoy getting away, but I’m always happy to come home again!

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The Honeymoon, Day 4

22 Aug

Before we get into the honeymoon, I have to wish my little pug, Stewie, a happy adoptive birthday! I picked him up from the shelter 2 years ago today & he’s been my little buddy ever since. 🙂

SAMSUNG            The “Birthday” Boy!

You can read more about Stewie’s story here!

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If you’ve missed any of the other Honeymoon re-cap posts, you may find them below:

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Chris & I decided to double-up on the fourth day of our honeymoon, visiting both Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios.

Animal Kingdom Hollywood Studios

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The first thing we did upon arriving at Animal Kingdom was the safari ride!

Harambe Wildlife Reserve We saw tons of different animals & lots of pictures were taken. (Chris & I are big animal people, so we loved this!)

Zebra Rhino Hippos

Giraffes   Up close!

Really close! Elephants Elephant

Next, we headed to a part of the park where you could actually pet & interact with different animals. They advertised this to be more than it was; it was actually just a petting zoo!

Notice anything unusual about this guys coat? 😉

Mickey ears!

Chris

Eventually, we headed to Hollywood Studios in search of lunch!

It was so hot this day. I told Chris that at one point, I felt like if I didn’t get in some AC I was just going to start freaking out! He’s so patient with me; he works outside in the heat & humidity daily so I know he was thinking “Oh please…” but he humored me & we headed to an indoor dining option ASAP. I didn’t take any pictures, because I’m pretty sure I just got a sandwich & fries & do you really need to see that again? 😉

We walked around Hollywood Studios for the rest of the afternoon & checked out some of the scenery & rides.

Hollywood Studios Hollywood Studios Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios Hollywood Studios After a lot of walking (& sweating!) we headed to our dinner reservation at Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano inside the park.

Of course, the meal started with bread (this time with some oil for dipping)!

Bread & oil For dinner, I chose a margherita pizza; it was delish!

Pizza I can’t remember exactly what this dessert was, but Chris & I both ordered it & I’m pretty sure I cleaned my plate; surprise, surprise.

Dessert Chris & I both really enjoyed this meal & the atmosphere of the restaurant. Most of the places we ate throughout the week were really loud (of course they were crowded) but this place was a little more quaint & “homey.”

Mama Melrose'sOnly one more re-cap to go!

What’s your favorite Italian meal?

The Honeymoon, Day 3

20 Aug

If you’ve missed any of my other Honeymoon re-caps you can find day 1 here, & day 2 here!

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For our second full day, we decided to head to Epcot.

Epcot Yes, I actually took this picture; I was pretty pleased with myself. 😉

The weather had improved since the previous day, & instead of getting rained on, we got hit with intense humidity. We both decided we’d take that over the constant rain though! 🙂

We spent our morning hitting up a few rides, & taking a walk around the World Showcase.

Looking in to the World Showcase Eventually, we worked up an appetite for lunch. I went with a turkey sandwich on some delicious, toasty, bread, which came with potato salad. I ate most of the sandwich & only a little of the salad. The salad was good, but very oily.

SAMSUNG            That little piece of heaven in the corner was some sort of s’mores dessert; it was awesome!

We spent the majority of our afternoon waiting in line for a relatively-new ride called Soarin’. From the Disney website

“Soarin’ is a multi-sensory attraction for big kids, teens and adults in Epcot theme park that simulates a peaceful hang-gliding flight over the Golden State of California.

Fasten your seat belt on the multi-passenger glider and be lifted 40 feet into the air….

Special cameras on airplanes and helicopters captured many of the shots and the glider moves the same way the aircraft did, so you really feel like you’re flying as you glide over such awe-inspiring vistas and landmarks as :

  • San Francisco
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Redwood Creek
  • Napa Valley
  • Monterey
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Camarillo
  • Anaza-Borrego Desert State Park
  • San Diego
  • Malibu
  • Los Angeles

Feel the wind in your hair. The air fills with the scent of orange groves, evergreens and the sea breeze. Your feet dangle free. Dip down so close to the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, you think your toes will get wet. Then return to the sky and continue on Soarin’ to a fantastic finale where fireworks burst into sensational colors around you.”

It was pretty cool, but it couldn’t have lasted more than 4 minutes & we waited for over an hour. Oh well, I guess that’s what we expected when we decided to go to Disney during the summer. 😉

Soon enough, dinner time rolled around & we headed to our reservation at the Coral Reef Restaurant. We were lucky enough to be seated right by the “tank” & we got to watch all sorts of aquatic life as we dined.

Turtle Shark Fish

For my entree, I ordered the lobster ravioli, which was pretty tasty!

Lobster ravioliDessert was a molten chocolate cake that came with raspberry sorbet.

Dessert  The waiter made sure to include special pieces of chocolate that said “Congratulations” on them! How fun!

Congratulations Another day was in the books, & it was time for us to head back to our hotel. Before turning in for the evening, we snapped a few pictures when we got back to the resort!

Port Orleans      Chris & I

What’s the best trip you’ve ever been on?

Family Dinner

31 Jul

Things for the wedding are really starting to come together. Only 6 days left to go, so please don’t mind me if my posts are short & “to the point” in the next few days! 😉

This afternoon, my family got together for a big family lunch/dinner. My uncle (mom’s brother) lives in Florida, but just made the drive up to PA for the wedding, so he treated us all to a fantastic meal at one of our family’s favorite places – Victor Emmanuel.

“Victor’s” is what I would describe as a “no frills” restaurant. It sort of seems like you’re eating in a cafeteria! However, what Victor’s lacks in atmosphere, they make up for in taste! The food is delicious & very reasonably priced! They serve all Italian food, & have specials each night of the week. Sunday’s special is homemade linguine, so that’s what I went with!

Before I got to the linguine, I enjoyed a slice of pizza. This pizza is by far my favorite (& I’m sort of a pizza connoisseur.)

My picture turned out really blurry, but I’m posting it anyway! 🙂

Best pizza!     Not long after the pizza, my linguine with meatballs (sauce on the side!) arrived!

Time to eat!         I almost always have leftovers when we go out to eat at Victor’s, but not today! I devoured the meatballs & finished almost all of the linguine (I gave Chris the tiny portion I couldn’t eat).

For dessert, we headed back to my aunt’s house, but you’ll have to come back tomorrow for more on that! I’ll give you a little sneak peek though…

Pound cake!       You definitely don’t want to miss this recipe tomorrow! 😉

For now, I’m off to enjoy what’s left of the weekend. My sister has dubbed the upcoming 5 days as “Wedding Week,” so I need to get my relaxation in while I can!

Sort of random question, but…

What are your recommendations for a good, affordable camera? I’m in the market for a new one!

I Can Eat

27 Jul

I’m going to share with you all a wonderful little place nestled in the fields of Lancaster County, PA — Shady Maple; more specifically, the “Smorgasbord.” Yes, I ate breakfast at a place with the word “smorgasbord” in the name, so you know you’re in for a treat! 🙂

You can read a little about Shady Maple by clicking the link above, but to sum up, it’s pretty much a giant all-you-can-eat buffet filled with some of the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted! I’ve only gone for their breakfast buffet, but they are open for lunch & dinner, too!

Shady Maple(source)

I went with my dad this morning, & it was just under $20 for the two of us to get our grub on!

My first stop is always the pancake grill! This place is not healthy; how do I know? Well the worker spraying the griddle with Crisco before plopping down the magical pancake batter was a dead giveaway! 😉

I went with a blueberry pancake & added some syrup & a tiny sprinkle of powdered sugar:

Blueberry pancakeNext, it was time to hit the real buffet (or I guess I should call it the “smorgasbord”).

Breakfast buffet(source)

Here’s what my second plate looked like:

Plate of yummy food!

Clockwise from top left… baked French toast, 2 slices of bacon, turkey sausage with cheese in the middle (ohmygoodness), baked oatmeal, & some sort of hash brown bake.

Proof that I can put away a serious amount of food in one sitting! 🙂

I also enjoyed a mug of coffee, & went back for a bowl of fruit to end my meal with something light:

Fresh fruit

After I came home (& digested for quite a while) I hit the gym. This blog is supposed to be about balance, right? So I had to balance out the ginormous breakfast I ate with some time on the elliptical… no biggie!

Do you have a place like Shady Maple where you live? I’ve haven’t been to many buffet-style restaurants where the food is good, but this place is the exception!

Home Stretch

24 Jul

We’re in the home stretch of wedding planning, so expect to see a lot of wedding stuff on here in the next 13 days! 🙂

This morning began as all other Sundays, with church. Afterwards I had a few (wedding) errands to run… Target & Hallmark!

Last night, my mom & I ate at Applebees, & I had some leftovers, so today for lunch I had the rest of my quesadilla burger – a burger with Mexi-ranch sauce with pico de gallo & shredded lettuce. Served in a pepper Jack & cheddar quesadilla. I also had a few leftover fries on the side. It was pretty tasty, even if it was a day old! 😉

Leftover lunch Burger Next on the agenda was the seating chart.

Ready to organize For some reason, I’ve been dreading this task most out of everything that goes into the wedding. It wasn’t too bad, but creating an Excel spreadsheet & double-checking everything before we send it off to our graphic designer, Kristin, was a bit tedious. I’ll let Stewie sum up how I felt when all was said & done:

Playing dead        Rub my belly! Finalizing everything took a good portion of our afternoon, so when dinner time rolled around, my parents decided to order out from a local place. I saw baked spaghetti on the menu & thought it sounded interesting. A lot of places around here give you bread & a salad when you order a meal, so it turned out to be a rather large dinner.

Lots of food! I ended up eating a very small portion of the spaghetti & the entire serving of garlic bread (it was good!) & now I have leftovers to enjoy for lunch tomorrow! 🙂

Leftovers Now it’s off to go over my “to do” list for the upcoming week & hopefully relaxing for a bit.

Hope everyone has a good start to the week! 🙂

What’s your favorite thing to order for take out?

Ready to Go!

21 Jul

After today, I feel completely ready to go for the big day! Of course there are still things to get done, but I had my second dress fitting, & the dress fit perfectly (with the exception of a tiny bit of additional hemming – I’m short!) & it made me so excited to wear it for a whole day, rather than just a quick half hour! I can’t wait to share it with everyone after the big day.

I took lots of pictures, so let’s get going with today’s recap, shall we? 🙂

We arrived in New York City around 1:00 & my appointment at Kleinfelds was at 2:00. I was with my sister, Corinne, & one of my bridesmaids, Sara. We decided to pick up a quick bite to eat at Telegraph Cafe in Chelsea. My mom, sister, & I actually ate there when I first said “yes to the dress” last year! I went with 1/2 a caprese sandwich – tomatoes, mozzarella, & avocado with an Italian dressing! It was a scorcher in NYC today, so I only went with a 1/2 sandwich since I didn’t know what I could handle in the heat. I also enjoyed an iced tea on the side. Oh! And I have to share that today was my first time trying avocado, & I really, really liked it!

Caprese      OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Next was the fitting, & I think I’ve summarized pretty well how that went! It made everything much more “real” to have my dress on & to have it fitting without clips holding it together! We took a few commemorative pictures outside of the store, as our final pick up will probably be our last visit there! (Until my big sis walks down the aisle at least! ;-))

Sara & I        Corinne & I

Next, we were on a mission – a very hot, sweat-dripping-down-your-face mission… cupcakes!!! My first Crumbs cupcake was had back in February when Chris & I went to New York to see American Idiot on Broadway. Why are these stores so inconspicuous?! I had difficulty finding the store both in February & today (different locations), but the hunt is so, so worth it! (I know both Tina & Gabriela can vouch for how amazing these cupcakes are!)

Cupcakes! We’ll get back to these later…

We had finally had enough of the heat, & caught the train that would take us back to Trenton, then we’d hit the road back to PA. Of course we had to end our day with a dinner stop, & where better than The Cheesecake Factory? I started with a piece of their yummy bread with some butter.

Bread & butter For my entree, I chose the 4 cheese pasta. I have no idea why I always seem to choose this there – it’s obviously something I could make at home – but of course it’s much more delicious when someone else makes it for me! Also, after our sweaty trek around the city all day, I was really craving carbs. And carbs I consumed!

Pasta bowl the size of my head! Sara & I Corinne

Of course, there were some leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Doggie bag Finally, it was time. Time to dig into one of those big cupcakes that had been staring me in the face all afternoon! I had bought 4; I still don’t know why, because I can’t imagine eating 4 of these very rich cupcakes in the next few days, but stranger things have happened…

I decided to go with the “Happy Birthday” cupcake — “vanilla cake mixed with rainbow sprinkles filled with vanilla butter cream mixed with rainbow sprinkles topped with vanilla cream cheese frosting edged with rainbow sprinkles and yellow rosette in the center.”

I cut myself half, because I certainly ate a very rich dinner! It was so, so, so good!

Cupcake Cupcake

Cupcake All gone!

And with that, I’ve got a perfectly-fitted wedding dress, a full tummy, & several reasons to hit the gym hard tomorrow morning! 😉

Enjoy your evening!

Is it H-O-T where you live?!

I can’t complain because I love summer & much prefer being hot to being cold!

Groundhog Day

17 Jul

Today felt a little like Groundhog Day; it was pretty much the same as last Sunday!

First up, breakfast (full of my usuals), church, then the errands began with Chris!

We made a quick stop at Bed, Bath, & Beyond before we decided to stop for lunch at Chipotle! I had only been once before, & if I’m remembering correctly I got one of their burrito bowls, so today I decided to go with a regular ‘ole chicken burrito!

This baby was about the size of my head!

Burrito! It was so good, but very filing. I ate about half, & saved the rest which I’m planning to incorporate into lunch tomorrow; I love leftovers! 🙂

Delicious!

I loved Chipotle even more after reading their “Food with Integrity” commitment on their webpage. Check it out here!

After our lunch, Chris & I headed to a local department store to pick up one last curtain rod we needed for the apartment, & Target for a desk & desk chair. (Yes, I’ve been to Target 3 times in the last 3 days… help me!)

As I was ironing curtains (at one point I looked at Chris & proclaimed “I hate this!”) & Chris was hanging curtain rods, I snacked on some salt water taffy that Chris’s aunt brought home from the shore.

Taffy! It was the perfect snack for such an awful “chore”! Needless to say, all of the curtains are finally hung. The last few things we need to do for the apartment include assembling the desk, & finally hanging our decorations.

Having the entire month of July to move in has been both a blessing & a curse. It’s nice to be able to take our time with everything, but I get to the point where I just want things to be done. Hopefully this week I’ll start moving some clothes in & it will finally start to feel like home! 🙂

Just like last Sunday, pizza was on the menu for dinner! (I could eat pizza for dinner every night & probably not get sick of it!) This week, we got a Sicilian pizza from a local place, Nepa’s Trattoria. This is seriously the best Sicilian pizza! See for yourself:

Yum! Now I’m off to enjoy the last few hours of the weekend. I’m hoping to start The Hunger Games & watch one of my favorite reality shows, Big Brother. It’s going to be a busy week, so I’ve got to get my relaxation in while I can! 😉

Do you have any “big events” this week?

I go for my 2nd (& hopefully last) dress fitting in NYC on Thursday!!! 😀

The Honeymoon

12 Jul

The Monday following our wedding, Chris & I are heading off to…

Cinderella's castle (source)

Disney World!

So before I get into the details, I guess I should preface this by saying Chris & I are not beach people, which most people find totally weird! Chris works outdoors, so sitting outside for hours is really the last thing he finds enjoyable in his free time, & I’m paler than pale, so baking away in the sun (or smothering myself with sunscreen every 20 minutes) isn’t my cup of tea either! I know we are definitely the minority, & I hope I didn’t lose any readers revealing this questionable character trait! 😉

We originally planned to go to Napa, but of course traveling from coast to coast & staying in California was not the most cost-effective option. We did look into a few tropical locales, but realized that just isn’t what we would enjoy.

Chris & I both haven’t been to Disney since our younger years. The last time I was there I was around 11 or 12! So we’re excited to go back again. And really, we are giant kids at heart & can’t wait for the fun!!!

We’ll be staying on the Disney property at the  Port Orleans Resort Riverside resort.

Port Orleans (source)

We decided to purchase the Disney Dining Plan. Even though I was a “kid” the last time I was there, I was still aware of the high cost of food in Disney & the dining plan seemed to make the most sense! We each get one quick-service meal, one snack, & one table-service meal per day, & we’ve already made reservations for all of our table-service meals.

Here’s where we’re headed:

  • Fulton’s Crab House, Downtown Disney

Fulton's Crab House(source)

From the Disney website

“Fulton’s Crab House at Downtown Disney Marketplace serves fresh seafood flown in daily from ports worldwide for your lunch and dinner. Set in an authentic riverboat replica docked right on the waterfront, this restaurant features over 50 fresh seafood selections, as well as a variety of non-seafood specialties.”

  • Tony’s Town Square, Magic Kingdom

Tony's Town Square(source)

From the Disney website

“Tony’s Town Square restaurant serves Italian cuisine that includes pizza, paninis, pastas, and salads, not to mention classic meat and fish dishes. Find all your favorite Italian meals here in this family-friendly restaurant with a wall of windows that provides a peerless view across Main Street U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom Theme Park.

Finish your feast with one of Tony’s Town Square desserts such as the tempting tiramisu, the crème brûlée or the spumoni.”

  • Coral Reef, Epcot

Coral Reef(source)

From the Disney website

“Dine on grilled mahi mahi, pan-seared flounder and other seafood favorites, as well as New York strip steak, grilled chicken and vegetable strudel. All the while, look out on the largest inland saltwater environment ever built— containing 85 different species of tropical fish.

Between the delicious food and the extraordinary view, the Coral Reef provides a fascinating and memorable dining experience.”

  • Mama Melrose, Hollywood Studios

Mama Melrose

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From the Disney website

“Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano in Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park is a casual and colorful restaurant that offers traditional Italian favorites, many baked in a wood-fired oven.

Mama Melrose’s tempting Italian cuisine includes savory thin crust flatbread pizzas, signature pasta dishes like Chicken alla Parmigiana and wood-grilled fish and steak selections. For a sweet finale, try Mama’s own dessert selections, featuring a flavored panna cotta or spaghetti and meatball cupcake!”

  • California Grill, Contemporary Resort

California Grill

(source)

From the Disney website

“California Grill is a Signature Dining restaurant that serves award-winning gourmet dinners and sweeping views atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Venture into this vibrant and charged atmosphere and watch the creation of culinary masterpieces in the on-stage kitchen.

Choose your view—the shimmering Seven Seas Lagoon, the enchanting Magic Kingdom theme park, the fireworks bursting over Cinderella Castle or, perhaps best of all, each other. Linger over the unforgettable vistas as you taste refined flavors influenced by the cultural melting pot of the American Pacific Coast.

The food is just as spectacular as the view. Inspired by classic cuisines from around the world, yet combined in inventive and delicious new ways, the California Grill’s menu reflects the very best of California Fusion cooking.

While the menu changes regularly to utilize the freshest produce, the superb attention to detail and quality stays the same. You’ll delight in such exquisite dishes as sushi, brick oven-baked flat breads, handmade Sonoma goat cheese ravioli, oak-fired filet of beef with Teriyaki barbeque sauce, oak-fired pork tenderloin and Valrhona chocolate cake; warm chocolate cake with molten center and house-made ice cream. California Grill is also a great choice for diners seeking tasty vegetarian options.”

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We tried to pick a variety of cuisines & atmospheres, & it seems like we’ve accomplished that goal! (I think my mouth actually started watering when compiling this post!) Only 27 more days ‘till the honeymoon! 😀

Questions!!!

1) Do you have any other recommendations for good food in Disney? (The above are only our dinner spots; of course we’ll be eating at many other places as well, so recommendations are much appreciated!)

2) Where did you go on your honeymoon OR where would you like to go someday?