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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Be Back Soon - Happy Easter 2016

Happy Easter Everyone! Hope you had a wonderful day and the Easter Bunny treated you well.

The boys and I have been battling an annoying cold for the last couple of weeks. It started with Gabrian where he ended up missing over a week of school. It never became super bad but he couldn't shake his fever and even developed a viral form of pink eye.

It has now been passed onto Riley and myself and we have just been generally miserable for two weeks now (I am sitting here with pink eye myself). We are slowly getting better and hope to be back to our normal selves soon.

I have several reviews to post along with trying to finally finish our trip to Chile (over a year ago). I also need to finish recapping our trip to NYC and letting you in to why we were in there in the first place.

Here is to a healthy start of April and hopefully some posts in my near future!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sushi Time Restaurant Review ~ 821 2nd Ave, New York, NY

When Gabrian, his Dad, and I were in NYC at the end of February we were looking forward to the dizzying array of restaurant options we would have. By the time we got out of our appointment we were hungry and it was pouring rain. We stopped caring about our choices, we just wanted to get into a restaurant that had seats available and was dry. To be honest, we went into the Chinese restaurant next door first but they had all of their table occupied. We ended up wandering into Sushi Time and boy were we happy that we ended up there!
We scored the last table available during their rush hour (we came towards the end so by the time we left  the dining room had opened up). I loved sitting near all the office workers and pretending I was there on my lunch hour too (I know, I am a pathetic tourist).

There we so many delicious options to choose from on the menu. Everything from Sushi (of course), Hibachi, Ramen Noodles, to Bento Boxes.
Gabrian and I both started with miso soup. Every time we get miso soup, I secretly hope he doesn't like it so I can eat his too. This secret plan never works out because unfortunately for me Gabrian loves that soup. This time was no exception and it was really good. It was salty and slightly briny with the tofu cut into the perfect bite size pieces.

Gabrian's Dad went with the Ramen Noodle Soup (and humored me with the multiple pictures I took of it). We are a family of instant Ramen Soup lovers (I am sure that is blasphemy to the real Ramen Noodle Soup) and this was like a super deluxe version of our favorite soup. It was full of all sorts of fun items in the soup.Tons of vegetables, meat, and an egg.

I went with the Bento Box with the shrimp teriyaki for my lunch. This was a fantastic option because it allowed me to try a little bit of everything. Along with the shrimp, I also had spring rolls, california roll, rice, and dumplings. I enjoyed everything in the box although I think the dumplings were my favorite.

Gabrian also went with a bento box but he picked the katsu chicken (the chicken is a favorite of his at a local restaurant to us). He did great with his box and polished off the california roll, dumplings, and the spring rolls. We were able to bring the leftovers home with us and make another meal out it for him.
Overall, we had a wonderful lunch at Sushi Time. The staff was kind, friendly, and patient with us. The food offered us many options and all of the ones we tried were delicious. If we find ourselves on 2nd Avenue at meal time again, we would definitely try them for another meal. If you would like to try them out for yourself, they are located at 821 2nd Ave, New York, NY.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Quality Inn Midtown West Convention Center Review ~ New York, NY

Gabrian and I along with his Dad had an unexpected trip to NYC a couple of weeks ago. We found out two days before we needed to be there which gave me a very short window of time to figure things out. Because we had a morning appointment we knew that we needed to head down there the night before.
I only had a few hours to debate our different options. We considered taking an overnight bus and leaving the same day so we didn't have to pay for a hotel (the thought of little sleep was not appealing to any of us). We also considered staying in Connecticut and taking the train into the city in the morning. When we found the Quality Inn on Expedia for the same price (it was $76 and with taxes came to $91) as most of the hotels in Stamford, CT we were sold. How awesome would it be to let Gabrian stay the night in the actual city? 

During my quick research for the hotel, I overwhelmingly came across a consensus. The rooms were small but clean and the staff was very friendly. I have to agree that the reviews were spot on. The rooms were small (who cares, we only need it for sleep) and they were clean (the important part). The staff was amazing. We arrived a little after midnight and the front desk clerk was so friendly and welcoming. He made us feel like he was so happy to see us and went above and beyond helping us a place to find a really late dinner. We felt that everyone we encountered for our stay from the housekeepers to the breakfast attendant to the front desk clerks were just happy people that liked their jobs. 

The other thing I picked up from the research was that the location was great. I completely agree. We took a taxi from Grand Central Station because we arrived so late in the night but we could have easily walked it. We passed by Times Square on our taxi ride and several other interesting sights. We were in walking distance to great restaurants and pretty much anything we needed.

Our room was small but had everything we needed. Some of the reviews I read mentioned that you would need to climb over the beds to get to the other side of the room. I would say that was accurate when someone was sitting at the desk you would have to crawl across the other bed (probably not my most graceful moments).

We were on the third floor and while some may say we didn't have a view I am sure my six-year old would disagree. We had construction outside of our room and he was entranced watching them work in the morning.

The only issue we came across (and we were pretty sure it was us), was that we could only get one tv station to work. It was fine for me because it was the news channel but Gabrian would have preferred some cartoons in the morning. If we had been there more than one night I probably would have stopped by the front desk to find out what we were doing wrong.

We arrived to breakfast just before they closed. The breakfast attendant was super helpful and was very gracious to us considering how close they were to closing. They had a great selection for a free breakfast. We had cereals, toast options, yogurt, eggs, sausage, and my favorite, the waffles. It was a great breakfast to get us started for our busy day.

Overall, we thought our stay was great at the Quality Inn and wouldn't hesitate to stay there again the next time we are in NYC. If you would like to try them out for yourself, they are located at 442 W 36th St., New York,  New York.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Ricetta's Brick Oven Ristorante Review ~ Falmouth, Maine

My friend Holly has been sing praises to Ricetta's for as long as I have known her. I don't know why it took me so long to make my way there because Holly always knows what she is talking about. Gabrian and I were running some errands in Falmouth when we decided we were starving. We happened to be passing Ricetta's and I knew it was time to try them out. 

It smelled delicious the second we walked in the doors. I knew right away that we were about to eat some good for lunch.

They had an extensive menu and I was debating about a couple of the options but after checking out the buffet, we were sold (this was no CiCi's pizza buffet, this was the real deal).

There was a pasta section, salad section, pizza section, and dessert section.There were so may wonderful pizza options that it was difficult to make final decisions. This buffet was perfect for me because I was having too difficult of a time picking out a pizza for us so this let me try them all (this may be a slight exaggeration).

This lunch was so delicious. Everything on the buffet was fresh and you would never guess that it was prepared for a buffet. 

Overall, we had a great lunch experience at Ricetta's and will definitely have another go at that buffet. If you would like to try them out for yourself, they are located at 240 US-1, Falmouth, Maine.