Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

USA Food Tour: Tennessee

My girlfriend Cara is just as much of a travel fiend as me. Actually, I take that back. She is more of a travel fiend because she actually follows through with a lot more ideas than I do. So when she wanted to take a late Spring or early Summer adventure I was on board. At first we thought we would take a quick jaunt over to Europe and take on a new city. After a lot of discussion and back and forth, we settled on staying stateside and explore the much anticipated Nashville. So for a long weekend, myself, Cara, and two of her friends jetted off for a long weekend of exploration.  (more…)

Photo of the Week – Week 34

Towards the end of August I had to spend a few weeks in Florida for business. I figured this would be a good chance to spend a weekend with my friends Amanda and Ryan. However, Mother Nature had other plans for me. There was a threat of a major hurricane, turned tropical storm, turned sprinkle of rain which prevented me from traveling downstate. I was a pretty bummed I was unable to visit, especially since the weather turned out to be just fine.

I did however meet a lovely group of ladies who work for the same company as myself. Since we all ended up staying in the area during our mid weekend, we decided to head to Disney World! We just picked Magic Kingdom as we were only going to spend one day and we figured this was the best park for a day trip. It was a blast! I can’t wait to visit with my ladies again soon as they are all scattered across the country.

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USA Food Tour: Rhode Island


The twins and I decided it would be a nice idea to take our Mom away for her birthday. We toyed around with a few places and decided on Newport, Rhode Island. I had never been to this part of the state, so I was pretty excited to check another destination off of the ole’ bucket list. Not to mention I could cross Rhode Island off of my Food Tour list.

Friday night was pretty much spent driving. We all got a later started than planned and of course didn’t consider Friday night rush hour traffic. My mom and I arrived a few hours before the twins so we decided to just grab dinner and relax at the hotel. (more…)

USA Food Tour: Colorado

IMG_0672I was very excited to learn that Nick and I would have a great excuse to travel to Colorado again. We had a wonderful time on our last visit a few years ago. However, due to the weather and wild fires, we were unable to see all of the sights we had intended on seeing. Not to mention, I was able to cross one more state off of my USA Food Tour List. When we found out his cousin Jessica was to be married in mid-July, we quickly planned our trip. (more…)

Photo(s) of the Week – Week 28

As I have previously mentioned, our vacation this year was centered around Nick’s cousin’s wedding. The ceremony was held in Estes Park, which is a part of Rocky Mountain National Park. The name alone just paints a beautiful picture in your heard. It was a gorgeous ceremony with an amazing mountainous backdrop. Jessica and Tony’s theme was elegant, yet rustic so this venue was the perfect location for their big day.

The reception was just a few steps away in a 1920’s log cabin turned Steak House. The food was delicious! The interior was a perfect setting, needing very little decor to keep up with the theme. Everyone had a great time, especially since the DJ was none other than their Uncle Tom!


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Photo of the Week – Week 27

Nick and I decided to schedule our summer vacation around a family wedding. His cousin who lives in Colorado was to be married in July. We took this opportunity to explore as much of the state as we could fit in. The last time we were out there, there were huge wild fires that prevented us from seeing some of the sites. They were not to be missed this time! So we settled on a pretty decent itinerary, with just enough planned and just enough free time to have a great vacation.

Our first day was spent in the State Capital, Denver. We made our way to the Art Museum for a few hours before closing. From there we headed to the 16th Street Mall; a pedestrian outdoor “mall” loaded with shops and restaurants. Not to mention awesome people watching. We had a great first day with perfect weather, sights, and a lot of walking!

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USA Food Tour: Florida


When I decided to make a long weekend trip to visit Amanda and Ryan, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to cross Florida off of my USA Food Tour list. Key Lime Pie is the food of choice and I was more than happy to oblige by it. I started doing my research in and around the South Florida area to figure out where we should make a stop.

Once I had mentioned my plan to Amanda, she immediately came up with an even better idea. She suggested that we make a trip down to the Florida Keys and really sample the best of the best Key Lime Pie. I was beyond excited about this as the Keys have always been on my bucket list. We also decided that we could not just make one stop, because really how would we be able to choose? Instead we settled on several different locations. (more…)

Photo of the Week – Week 16

Since Amanda and Ryan moved to Florida four years ago, I’ve tried to make it down for a visit once a year. I’ve made it three out of those four years! Originally I was going to try and make it down for their organization’s golf tournament, however it was undetermined when that would be. Instead, we just picked a date that looked best in the spring in the midst of all of my wedding activities for a full fledge bonding weekend.

After filling Amanda in on my USA Food Tour plans, she came up with the most brilliant idea. Since we were in search of the best Key Lime Pie, what better than taking a little overnight trip to the Florida Keys? I was so excited to cross Florida off of my Food Tour list in the most appropriate fashion.

Being that Key West connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Gulf of Mexico, you really are in for a treat with the beautiful scenery; not to mention the killer sunsets. We made sure to make the sunset Saturday evening so we could watch from start to finish. And boy was it worth it. You have not seen a sunset until you’ve seen a west coast sunset. Needless to say, I chose one of my favorites for my photo of the week during my quick trip to South Florida.


Sunshine, Friends, and Food

This past week I was able to enjoy the sunny, warm weather on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Friends of ours were married last weekend on the beaches of Longboat Key. It was a beautiful wedding with their closest family and friends. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the wedding due to the fact I was in a wedding myself in New York. However, I joined everyone the day after and was still able to spend time with friends and the newly married couple.

The week consisted of about twenty or so of our friends and family relaxing on the beach, witnessing breathtaking west coast sunsets, and just enjoying the company of each other. It truly was a great vacation. So great that we all decided it should be an annual occurrence for the gang to get together and make a trip down to Florida.

Now of course there was lots of eating involved. That typically happens while on vacation. Diet and exercise go out the window. Why not? We were indeed on vacation! Anyways, I figured I would share with you a few of my favorite spots that we dined at.

1. Joe’s Eats & Sweets

    Bradenton Beach, FL

I had been here once before during a previous visit to Bradenton. As soon as we drove by the rainbow colored building and realized just how close it was to our condo, I made it a mandatory destination during the upcoming week. Joe’s is a delicious ice cream shoppe right off of Historic Bridge Street in Bradenron Beach. They make all of their ice cream on site, along with many other delicious confections (chocolate dipped Oreos and cheesecake to name a few). The first night I devoured a large chocolate dipped waffle cone full of chocolate peanut butter fudge swirl ice cream. The second visit I went with my old stand by of mint chocolate chip, also in a chocolate dipped waffle cone. Both of these treats were delectable. I highly suggest you pay this fun beach side shoppe a visit.

2. Sage Biscuit Cafe

     Bradenton, FL

We were lucky to have this little treasure within walking distance of the condo we stayed at. The immediate group that stayed with us found ourselves here on a daily basis for breakfast. It is a quaint little cafe tucked into a strip mall. They offer outside seating if you wish, inside seating is just as nice. The staff is super friendly and very accommodating. What put this place over the top was their delicious fare.  As a whole, we tried almost everything on the menu throughout the week and not once were we disappointed. Their trademark item is, as you would guess it, their sage biscuits. In one way or the other they can be incorporated into your meal. Whether as a base for a salmon eggs Benedict, a side to go with your Mediterranean egg skillet, or as part of the main event in the sage biscuits and gravy. Sage Biscuit Cafe is a must if you are staying in the Bradenton area. Just over the bridge on Cortez Road. You will not be sorry.

3. Bella’s Italian Cafe

    Tampa, FL

Towards the end of the week we drove two of our friends to the Tampa airport. We were more than whiling to taxi them to their destination, especially since we would be able to pay a visit to the restaurant we had been craving since we booked the trip.  On a previous trip to Tampa for another wedding weekend, Nick and I came across this little Italian eatery by just searching through Yelp. We left more than satisfied. Nick had chosen his old stand by of tortellini Alfredo. I however wanted to try something new. My attention was immediately drawn to the pear sachet dish. It is simply a little pasta pouch filled with cheese and pears. The sachets are then tossed in a saffron cream sauce and peas. It sounds so simple, but it is absolutely delicious. The sweet pears mixed with the rich saffron is unlike anything else.  Since our first visit, we had been dying to go back. We took this opportunity of being in the Tampa area to return to Bella’s and of course, all ordered the pear sachet dish.The staff here is also very friendly and the atmosphere is relaxing.  We sat on the outdoor patio during this visit which allowed us to people watch while waiting for our meal. If you are ever in Tampa, pay a visit to this restaurant and order the pear sachets. It will blow your mind.  You can also take a nice walk along the little streets to the shore afterwards to enjoy a beautiful bay side sunset.