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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Travel Plans for 2017

Wow, it is almost March. This year is just flying by. Sorry that I just dropped out of sight for awhile. I have been working and surviving the winter. I have been doing a lot of Uber driving in addition to my day job so there never felt like there was any time in the day to do blogging. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel with lots of fun events and travel coming in the near future. I have lots of great ideas for this blog!

Here are some of the exciting things in our future:

1. March: A Trip to Mexico City

Riley has his Spring Break this March and had to leave his dorm. We had decided that we would do a family vacation during that week. We also had a lot of stress of my Mom selling her house along with moving her out of her 6 bedroom house and moving her into my 3 bedroom condo.

We had tossed around many ideas for this week. We were looking for something that would be easy on the budget and warmer than Maine. We had looked at places that would be reasonable to drive to, cruises, flying to Chicago for the week, and a whole host of other ideas. I am still not sure what made me think of looking into Mexico but we checked out flights to Mexico City and were pleased with how affordable they were.

We have been doing lots of planning for this trip and I will have a post up soon about our travel plans. I am really looking forwarding to posting about our adventures in Mexico City!

2. April: Overnight at the Boston Science Museum

Gabrian and I will be doing an overnight at the Boston Science Museum with his Cub Scouts group. We will be taking the train to and from the museum and it sounds like a really fun event.

3. April: A Birthday Trip To Red Jacket Inn with our Good Friends Emmett & Tenney

Tenney planned a weekend getaway for Emmett's birthday in April. Gabrian and I our very honored that we were invited to share this experience with them. I have just started researching this resort and the inside water park. It is in North Conway so I will research the area just in case we want to leave the resort (although based on the reading I have done, we probably won't want to leave).

4. May: A Wedding in Denver, Colorado

My niece Chelsea is getting married this May! Gabrian and I will be heading out to Colorado for a week to celebrate. We will spend the first half of the trip in Denver and the second half will be in Boulder with my sister. I have been researching the trip but will really get into it when we get back to Mexico.

5. June/July: A Birthday trip TBD

Gabrian would like to go away for a weekend for his birthday. We haven't decided where we are going or when yet. We do know it will either be in June or July. So far a weekend in NYC is winning but have also considered Montreal or camping somewhere in New England. I will research a few options for Gabrian and let him pick his favorite.

6. August: An Overnight in Boston

Gabrian is going to an overnight camp in Colorado (Geneva Glen). He will be flying to Colorado and spending some time with my sister and then will spend 2 weeks at camp. When he flies back he will arrive at midnight. We will get a hotel room and spend a little time in Boston the next morning.

7. Fall: TBD

My friend Margo and I are hoping to get together this Fall. We worked together in Boston and she is such a wonderful person. We both left Boston around the same time. I left for Maine and she moved to Phoenix. We are not quite sure when or where we are going but we will get something planned. I am just so excited to see her.

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I have some other things planned for the blog. Here is what you have to look forward to:

1. I am bringing back "Dining Around the World". Gabrian picked a country out of the box on Friday and tonight we are going to experience the cuisine of that area. I am going to have this be a weekly post on Mondays (except for times we are away for travel). The post will be slightly different for the past because I would like to spend part of the post researching travel plans for the area. Stay tuned for tomorrow where you can see were "traveled" to today.

2. Plans have really firmed up for a big move for us at either the end of this year or the very beginning of 2018. I am pretty sure by this summer I can finally reveal where we are going. I will be posting all the details of how we will make this move happen.

3. Because I believe this will be the last year in Maine, I want to try and experience as much of Maine as possible. So expect lots of reviews of my local area. This will include restaurants, festivals, events, attractions, and much more!

I look forward to regularly posting again. I really missed writing here and reviewing!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Manny's Deli & Cafeteria Review ~ Midway Airport (Chicago) Terminals A & B

Last week we brought Riley to College. We flew into Chicago using the Midway Airport. We arrived at about 7 am and after a long night at the Boston Airport, we were more than ready for our breakfast. The smells coming from Manny's enticed us into the restaurant.
You went through the line cafeteria style. You placed your order at the grill and moved on down to the cashier. I wish they gave you a number because once you paid you just kind of hovered around hoping you didn't take someone else's order accidentally. Calling out numbers would have helped with that confusion.
After collecting your food, they had tables in a dining area that shared space with a bar (which was open early morning just in case you need it!). We were able to snag a couple of the tables.
I regret buying this coffee. There was nothing wrong with it but they only had sweet-n-low and I hate that stuff. I was a big baby about it and only took a sip of this coffee and it was a waste of money.
Gabrian went with an order of pancakes. It was $5.99 and just alright. They make them up ahead of time and put them on a heater. The other disappointment is that they don't offer any kid's options (at least on the breakfast side). I was hoping they would sell me one pancake but that was a no go. So for an airport breakfast it was alright.
I picked the Eggs & Hash. The eggs were made to order (I had over easy, I think the scrambled may have been made ahead). It was tasty but the hash was different. The meat had more of a ground meat texture to it. 

Side note, my Mom and Riley did eat at this breakfast. However, after being up most of the night while waiting for a flight they were not in the mood for me taking pictures of their food. For the record, Riley had an omelette and my Mom had grits. They both felt that the food was acceptable.
Overall, this was an acceptable meal at an airport. Next time we are at Midway Airport (Chicago) we potentially would go again if we had to (how is that for a ringing endorsement!).

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Somerset Tap House (Whole Foods Market) ~ Portland, Maine

Gabrian and I were running errands a couple of weekends ago trying to get finished for our trip to Illinois to take Riley to college (I still can't believe that it happened and he is there!). We started to get hungry and we were ready for lunch. Since we were already at Whole Foods Market, it seemed like the perfect time to try out Somerset Tap House


We were greeted by someone working at the bar and advised that we could take any empty table. We had quickly looked at the menu but once we had a chance to sit down, we were really able to see what was being offered.





While we didn't take advantage of it, I was pleased to see that they were offering the nearby Sushi on the menu. I could totally see myself coming with a friend (that's you Tenney), trying out some of the beers on tap and chowing down on Sushi.
I decided to try out a beer flight. You get to pick any four beers on their very extensive menu and each one is 4 oz. (16 oz total, in case you didn't want to do the math). I ended up walking up to the bar because it the menu was too much to take in that far away.

I loved on the menu that it would show the alcohol content and how far away the brewery was. You couldn't get much more local than these beers. They also had some interesting beer in can/bottle form. I will have to come back and try them out.


The restaurant had a really open and inviting feel to it. It was neat that we were actually inside the Whole Foods Market. You could see people shopping (a little bit, they did a good job of blocking the restaurant off from the market). It was funny to see people come into the restaurant with their shopping bags and even sometimes a cart.





My flight came out and it was fun to try out the different beers. I tried a Sour Flower (it was sour and not very enjoyable after the first couple of sips), Coffee Dunkel (definitely had a coffee flavor in the background), Burnside (my favorite of the 4, it had a distinct smoky flavor to it that I really enjoyed), and a Porter (which was a thick tasting heavy beer that finally got too much for me).

Gabrian went with the pizza of the day. It had pepperoni and various vegetables on it. I am assuming that the pizza comes from the pizza stand inside the market. It was $3.50 for the slice of pizza which for restaurant food is a bargain. Gabrian had no complaints and no problems finishing off this slice.


I went with the Pork Belly LT Sandwich (minus the tomato). I paid a $1 extra for the avocado. I also requested a side of their pickle aioli to try out (it was pretty good, as long as you like the taste of pickle juice...I totally love the stuff). The sandwich was just ok. It wasn't the sandwiches fault. I am discovering that pork belly is just not for me. It is too fatty and I don't really enjoy it. I need to stop ordering it every time I see it.

Overall, I enjoyed my experience at the Somerset Tap House (located inside the Whole Foods). While I wouldn't pick this sandwich again, they had plenty of other tasty options I would love to give a chance along with another flight of beer. If you would like to try them out for yourself, they are located at 2 Somerset St., Portland, ME.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Heidi's Brooklyn Deli Review ~ South Portland, Maine

"Born in Brooklyn, Raised in Maine" is the perfect way to describe Heidi's Brooklyn Deli. It was the perfect combination of Brooklyn deliciousness with Maine friendliness. 
I have been eyeing Heidi's for awhile now. They are located in a small strip mall near a market and a TJ Maxx which means I am there all the time. I was finally passing by them at the perfect time this past week and decided to try them out for lunch.

I wasn't sure what to expect but it was much more than I anticipated. I was thinking it was just going to be a regular sandwich shop but it was so much more!

They have a super huge menu board along the counter. As you line up to order they also have menus to peruse until it is your turn. The board was fun to look at but I ended up grabbing a menu so I could focus on a decision.






It was a pretty quick process once you placed your order. By the time you made it to the cash register, your food was just about meeting you at the end. After paying and receiving your food, there are plenty of seat options to enjoy your meal. Unfortunately, I had to head back to work so I brown bagged that deliciousness.
I am sure my co-workers think I am a total freak since I am constantly taking pictures of food I am about to eat (I post a lot of those pictures on my other blog, Megan Runs a Marathon) but this one took the cake since I photographed the entire meal.


For my sandwich, I picked the BLT with Avocado (minus the T because I hate tomatoes and I added an O because I love onions). I went with the italian hoagie (they toasted the bread and the toasted sesame seeds on top were to die for). One thing I should mention is that they make all their bread from scratch! A freshly made hoagie now has me dreaming about this sandwich. They put a butt load of bacon on this thing and a little dab of mayo. I don't know how else to say this but this thing was amazingly awesome.
For my side I went with the coleslaw. It was creamy and tangy which is exactly what I look for in a coleslaw. It was the perfect size portion for me and went fantastic with the sandwich.

I decided to end the meal with one of the their cannoli's. I absolutely love a cannoli with chocolate chips on the end of it (I am also partial to chocolate sprinkles). I was so full from the sandwich I didn't eat this until a couple of hours later. It was great for the mid-afternoon slump. The shell was crispy and the cannoli filling was creamy and decadent.

Overall, I loved this place (was I not obvious enough?). I think they are a great lunch place or perfect when you want dinner on the go. If you would like to try them out for yourself, they are located at 415 Philbrook Ave., South Portland, Maine.