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Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

We are down to hours before the end of 2015 and I am really looking forward to 2016. I feel like this past year treated my family really well and I have good feelings about the new year. The boys and I had a great Christmas this year (although just like every other year, I can't believe it is already over). Gabrian headed up to my Mom's house a few days before Christmas because Riley and I still needed to work.

On Christmas Eve, Riley and I started on our way to Dexter but we needed to stop in Freeport for some last minute shopping. It was fun being in all of the hustle and bustle while knowing that our shopping was done for the most part.

We stopped at McDonald's for a quick lunch (I had a coupon of course). We took it to go because we were running behind schedule.

Riley finished adjusting the stuff in our car. We were stuffed to the gills and it didn't get much better on our return trip home other than the fact that we needed to fit Gabrian in the car on the way back.

The boys got spiffy because we had some guests coming over for Christmas Eve dinner (I am half Polish and we really do it up for dinner). The boys tolerated a quick photo shoot for me before the people arrived.

My Mom pulled off an amazing dinner and I was beyond stuffed at the end of it. I managed to squeeze some room in for that delicious Red Velvet Cake.

Once the guests left, my Mom and I enjoyed some quiet in front of the glowing tree and the roaring fire (it was so hot....this Christmas was like a billion degrees but we couldn't not have a fire). It was so peaceful sitting in the family room before we headed to bed.

I actually woke up before Gabrian and finally my excitement got the best of me so I bothered him up until he woke up. He didn't seem to mind too much.

Present unwrapping occurred and a great time was had by all.

It wasn't long before the family room was trashed. We spent the rest of the day napping, eating, trying out our new toys, and watching Christmas movies. I was even able to go to my friend's house to visit with her and her family (and the adorable kittens).

The next day we had to head back home but we stopped at the New Balance Factory Store because Riley was in desperate need of new sneakers. He has a really wide foot (a 4E...they are like spatulas!) and it can be difficult to find shoes for him sometimes. We were able to find a great pair for only $50!
We finished off our road trip home with lunch at A1 Diner in Gardiner, Maine (it was delicious and you should check out my review on it!). It was a great Christmas Holiday this year! How about you? Did you enjoy the Holiday season?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A1 Diner Review ~ Gardiner, Maine

Guys, I thought I had totally stumbled upon one of the greatest diner finds in history. I was dying to come back and report about our awesome discovery. Apparently Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and the Food Network totally beat us to the punch. When I googled A1 Diner to write this post, I found evidence that I was the late to the game. Oh well, the boys and I are thrilled that we may have discovered our new favorite diner!
The boys and I were headed home after a fabulous Christmas at my Mom's house. We were starving by the time we found A1 Diner and we were praying that they were open (we passed by several restaurant options that were closed for the day). We were fascinated that the train car was attached to the building behind it and a little scared about the car being held up on really tall stilts.
The place was hopping when we arrived and we were happy to score some of the last seats at the counter. Gabrian was not sad at all to get some spinny seats. 

We had quite the task of picking our choices. There were so many great options! I definitely want to come back to try not only many other lunch items, but the whole breakfast menu! I am so happy with what I went with but while we were waiting for our food, I saw some things that I wished I had noticed before my order in (hello scallop BLT and soft shell crab po fact after writing this out, I think I need to make a trip back to them next weekend!).
My only complaint would be that they only had Pepsi products. I am a coke fan though I can make so with Pepsi when I have to. We enjoyed checking out the car/diner while we were waiting for our food (it seemed like it took forever but I think that was more because we were starving and the wait was definitely worth it).

We discovered that Frosty's Donut was right next to us and they closed at 2. So I had to make a quick run (because anytime you are near a Frosty's you need to take advantage of the situation). 

They were as delicious as they looked. They were enjoyed for dessert later that night. We also fit a trip to the bathroom during our wait (we were fascinated that you had to go outside the restaurant to get to it (and the scary walkway you had to pass over to get there).

After our bathroom and donut runs, it wasn't long before the food started to arrive.

Riley chose the South of the Border Burger $7.99). This is served with chili and pepper jack cheese. I am going to assume this was delicious because Riley managed to eat the entire thing while I was still putting the mayo onto my sandwich (I think this is a self defense mechanism of his so he doesn't have to share his food). I took the picture, looked away to get my burger ready, looked back and he was licking his plate...that might be a slight exaggeration. Riley said it was very tasty and his only small criticism was that the burger has a slight burnt crisp to it (don't bother listening to him and his criticisms, he is just a dumb teenager and I happen to love the burnt crisp to it).
Gabrian picked the hot dog ($1.99). As far as I can tell they did not offer a kid's menu but they did have a kid's size macaroni and cheese. Gabrian loved his hot dog and scarfed it down along with half of my burger (I need to take a page from Riley's not sharing book and learn to eat my food faster).

I picked the Bacon Cheeseburger ($7.99). I had been craving a burger and this really hit the spot. It was cooked to juicy perfection and served on a pretzel bun. It was the perfect ratio of burger/bacon to onions and pickles. I will find it difficult to try something else out on the menu since this was so good.

We also shared an order of the Onion Rings ($5.99). I hate to make such a bold statement but these might be my most favorite onion rings ever. They were cooked to true perfection. It has the perfect batter to onion ratio. And I loved that there were big rings and little tiny onion nuggets. These were pure heaven and I will dream about these until I can get to A1 Diner again.

Overall, we loved our dining experience at A1 Diner and we plan to have many future visits. If you would like to try them out for yourself, they are located at 3 Bridge Street, Gardiner, Maine.