Posts Tagged With: Cookies

We Almost Missed Our Train to Philly

2/20/14
You probably don’t know this about me but I’m either early or late. I’m rarely ever on time. My mother knows this about me and thus usually forces me to be anywhere from 1-2 hrs early for planes and trains.

I woke up at 7:30am and our train wasn’t leaving until 10:30am. In my mind that left 2 hrs to get ready, 30 mins to travel there, and 30 mins to wait. Somehow that didn’t work out. It was 9:45 and I was struggling to find a bag I needed. I found it and we ran out of the house to the subway. My mother was pissed at me. I kept mumbling I told you not to book an early train. I don’t do mornings. We run down the subway stairs and catch the packed train waiting to leave the station. We got on much to the annoyance of the people standing already. We waited and waited and waited and waited. The train wasn’t leaving the station. My mother kept shooting me dirty looks while I prayed for the doors to close. In my head I was picturing a repeat of my MET fiasco where it took 2 hrs to get uptown. I kept looking at my phone for the time. What the hell was going on? We were going to miss our train and it would be all my fault. The train doors finally closed at 10:05. The train ride should take 20-30 mins. We were screwed. By some miracle we got to Penn Station at 10:17. We had made it! I didn’t majorly screw us up.

Our train was on time and we took seats in the quiet car. The lady behind me spent the entire ride sneezing and coughing on me. To quote Jimmy Fallon’s character Sara, “ew!” I used the train ride to text, respond to work emails, and plan a video my friends and I will be filming next week.

We arrived in Philly around noon. We got out of 30th st station and we could immediately tell something was wrong. A street was blocked off with caution tape. There were police, fireman, and a huge crowd. There were more sirens in the distance. I took a picture because my friends and co-workers tease that I bring horrible events to places I go (war, revolution, bombings, natural disasters, etc). I sent it them and really figured it was just a bad fender bender, but no one was hurt because their was no ambulance, sense of urgency, flames, etc. We boarded Septa and headed to our hotel. A large transvestite fell on me when the train lurched. I smiled at the thought how normal that was when my non city friends would have freaked. I’m just glad I wasn’t crushed. They were the size of a football player.

We got off the train and were very confused. The entrance for our hotel was gone. We remembered a side entrance that was rarely used and headed there. That entrance was now the main entrance while they undergo restaurant renovation. We checked in and were happily surprised to find out that our room was ready despite being 4 hrs early and we had been upgraded due to my mom’s birthday. Our room was located on the 32nd floor, who is considered one of the club floors. The club lounge was located on 31. We headed to the lounge first only to find out it is only open on weekday mornings until 10:30am. It had a beautiful view though. Lots of different chairs to sit in. We headed back down to our room which was the exact same room as last time just 10 flights up. The room had two double beds, flat screen tv, desk, mini bar, Keurig, and a bathroom with a tub. The view is lovely from the room and it is very quiet.

We were hungry so we headed to Reading Terminal Market. We picked up a mini King Cake, a brioche roll, garlic crostinis, and an M&M cookie. I ate the roll in 10 seconds. I also got a christmas rubber ducky to add to my collection. We headed to an expensive thrift store so my mother could buy herself something nice as a birthday present to herself. Every time we go to this store they are closed. We arrive and they are closed again. However, this time there is a worker on his cell and he refuses to open up. Great work ethic! That annoyed my mom so we decided to move on. We did a lot of shopping. We went to Dollar General, Buffalo Exchange, Payless, H&M, Claire’s, and the shops at Liberty Place. We got free tea at Liberty Place from Tazo. We were going to go to Federal Doughnuts to see what the hype was about, but it looked like it was going to pour. We started to walk back to the area outside Reading Terminal. We did more shopping! I went to Burlington Coat Factory and Five Below.

At 4:45pm we headed back to Reading Terminal for discounted cookies. The problem was their dough wasn’t delivered on time so they didn’t have many cookies. My mom got a bunch, but I just got two. We headed across the street to Maggiano’s for dinner. We were so surprised that the place was almost empty. It’s usually swamped so much so that you face a 2 hour wait if you don’t make a reservation in advance. They sat us in a booth. We knew what we wanted to eat right away. We ordered fried zucchini and two margherita flatbreads (1/2 price for happy hour). They brought us out hot rolls. My mom ate most of the zucchini and some of the flatbread. I downed my food. All of a sudden the waiter, Edward, came out with cookies, a strawberry, and two candles for my mom. So sweet and awesome. I had put in my Open Table reservation that it was my mom’s birthday, but I totally doubted anything would be done. She was so surprised. I ordered an apple crostada and went in search of the waiter to sneakily give my credit card to so I could pay for dinner, but I couldn’t find him. Meanwhile, the couple in the booth next to us were having a bad night. The guy sat in cherries and the girl spent the whole time crying into her menu, then a tissue, and then her alfredo. We asked them to pack up the cookies and the remaining pieces of flatbread. We got matches for future candle lighting.

We got back to the room and were shocked to see two cupcakes and a card by the TV for my mom. The hotel had signed the card. We put a candle in the cupcake and she quickly made a wish. We settled in to watch the Olympics. She ate her cupcakes and I noshed on the leftovers.

Advertisements
Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Philadelphia, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vacations in Aruba

Growing up I went to Aruba every May and eventually it switched to every summer. I used to consider it my second home. Back then Aruba wasn’t well known and tourists didn’t flock to it in droves. It wasn’t unusual to run into celebrities who would travel there to escape the crowds. I have met more basketball teams than I can count. I’ve also met several actors and comedians. I met Sinbad in the pool.

My family and I used to stay at the Playa Linda. Our room had one bedroom, a living room with a pull out couch (where I slept), a living room, full bathroom, dining table, and full kitchen. There were two pools. One for kids and one for adults. Nothing special. A staircase led down to the beach with huts. The lobby had a small game room, a small store for essentials, a bathing suit shop, a tourist shop, and a restaurant. Back then there was nothing really around. There was a 2×1 Dunkin Donuts across the street, which made us very happy. On the beach there was a large hut that would have free coffee and cookies at 2pm everyday. The cookies were plain tea biscuits, but I used to love them. There was also a bar by the pool. The place eventually started to feel run down so we moved down to the Hyatt.

The Hyatt is where I have most of my memories. We used to stay on the top floor of the hotel (9th floor). We knew all the staff and they all knew us. They watched me grow up. The top floor has a desk for the concierge, a room with a computer (later addition) library and TV, there’s several areas to set up food and drinks, and another room with seating. We used to eat breakfast here everyday. Cookies would be put out in the middle of the day and I always looked forward to them. At night appetizers and dessert would be put out. Some nights we would make dinner out of the appetizers. Taco night used to be one of our favorite nights. I used to run down the hall in my pj’s at all hours of the day and night for food. I couldn’t imagine doing that now. The hotel had a casino in the lobby. My last year in Aruba I was 18 so I could gamble. I had fun playing the slots and black jack. There were several small shops in the lobby including a TCBY, which I went to every night. There’s also a salon and gym off of the lobby. There’s two restaurants on the lower level. Ruinas del Mar was the fancy one. We used to go there for brunch and for one fancy meal every trip. We used to order grilled salmon for dinner. The other restaurant, the Palms, is more low key. We would order lunch from them. I would either get a grilled cheese w/fries or a tuna pita w/ chips. There’s a bar and a smoothie station on the lower level as well. There are two giant pools with another bar off of the lower pool. There’s also a hot tub and a water slide. I spent many hours on that slide. I’ve won several competitions on that slide. Some for speed and some for tricks. I could do flips and turns on the slide. Beyond the pools there’s the beach. Every afternoon there would be Bingo. We never missed Bingo. The prizes included free drinks (alcohol and smoothies), money, free equipment rentals, etc.

A typical day for us would go like this:

1) Dad woke up to run and play tennis. He would save our pool chairs
2) Breakfast
3) Gym
4) Change for the pool
5) Pool
6) Cookies
7) Lunch
8) Bingo
9) Pool or walk to the other hotels
10) Change/shower
11) Appetizers
12) Finish changing
13) Dinner out of the hotel
14) Dessert in the hotel
15) TCBY and hang out in the lobby, casino, or walk the beach

My mom and I aren’t pool, beach, or sun people. So we often walk to the other hotels just for something to do. We would just walk or shop. We spent a lot of time in the Holiday Inn and Allegro/Occidental, since they were the closest hotels. The furthest we would would be to the Wyndham to the left or the Marriott to the right.

Once a trip my mom and I would take the bus into town and spend the day in Oranjestad. We would spend the day shopping for items to bring home to friends and coworkers.

After I turned 18 we stopped going. I wanted to see the world and going to Aruba every year prevented that. Now everyone has caught onto Aruba. The place has changed in the last 8 years. I probably wouldn’t recognize it anymore. I hear there are so many new hotels, restaurants, and shops.

I’ll do individual posts for some of my favorite places in Aruba.

20140216-164407.jpg

Hotel Map Back in the Day

20140216-164411.jpg

Updated Hotel Map

20140216-164415.jpg

When I was 18 this was the Hotel Map

20140216-164641.jpg

Sinbad and I back in the day

20140216-164650.jpg

At the mini golf place in Aruba

20140216-165612.jpg

Hyatt Lower Pool-Jump Time!

20140216-165616.jpg

Playing bingo and being silly

20140216-165620.jpg

Some hotel in Aruba

18! I can gamble. Hyatt’s Casino. I won $20.50 that night.

Hyatt Beach

Hyatt Pool Area

Ocean View from Hyatt Room

Ocean View from Hyatt Room

20140217-160331.jpg

Waiting outside Ruinas del Mar

20140217-163221.jpg

Beverly! She worked at Palms

20140217-163226.jpg

Palms Restaurant

20140217-163230.jpg

Did I mention I absolutely hate suntan lotion?

20140217-163235.jpg

Aruba from our balcony

20140217-163247.jpg

Coloring in my room

20140217-163257.jpg

She was the house keeper. I loved her.

20140217-163302.jpg

Hanging in our spot

20140217-163253.jpg

On the 9th floor with Angie

20140217-163306.jpg

Bingo Time!

20140217-163338.jpg

Hanging out with the amazing women that worked on the 9th floor

Aruba 1990

9th Floor

One of many iguanas on the island

Joking around on the lower level of the pool

Marriott

Hanging with an iguana

Waterslide time!

Aruba from our balcony

Categories: Aruba, Caribbean, Family Vacation, Photos, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My NYC Food To Do List

The other day I wrote about the fact that I ignore my NYC to do list and instead focus on my to do lists for other parts of the country or the world. I want to hopefully change that. If you have eaten at any of these places please let me know about your experience. If you are a friend of mine and have been wanting to try one of these places please let me know. So here is my food to do list for NYC:

1) Max for their Gnocchi

2) The Harrison for their ice cream brownie sandwich and birthday cake

3) Bubby’s Pie Company for their mac n cheese

4) Atlantic Chip Shop for all their deep fried goodness

5) Brown for their mac n cheese

6) Panade Cafe for their cupcakes and cream puffs

7) Macbar for their mac n cheese

8) Shopsin’s for their ebelskivers, mac n cheese pancakes, s’mores french toast

9) Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop for their grilled cheese

10) Beauty and Essex for their doughnuts and grilled cheese dumplings

11) Little Muenster for their grilled cheese

12) Jane  for their vanilla bean french toast and gnocchi

13) Caffe Dante for their cannoli

14) Clinton St Baking Company for their brunch

15) Cucina Di Pesce for their pasta

16) Murray’s Cheese Bar for their grilled cheese

17) PDT for their speakeasy experience

18) Cake Man Raven for their red velvet cake

19) Veselka for their pierogi

20) Chat n Chew for their mac n cheese

21) The Green Table for their grilled cheese

22) Milk Truck for their grilled cheese

23) Melt Shop for their grilled cheese

24) Brooklyn Bowl for their chocolate chip bread pudding, cheese fries, and mac n cheese

25) Morris Grilled Cheese Truck for their grilled cheese

26) Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro for their grilled cheese and mac n cheese

27) Comfort Diner for their grilled cheese, sweet potato fries, french toast and mac n cheese balls

28) Schmackary’s for their cookies

29) Donna Bell’s Bakeshop

30) The Smith Restaurant for their gnocchi and smores in a jar

31) Gazala Place for their burekas

32) Papa Perrone’s Food Truck for their rice balls

33) Eatery for their mac n cheese

34) Bouchon Bakery for their grilled cheese

35) UVA Wine Bar and Restaurant for their gnocchi

36) RUB for their deep fried oreos

37) Laurentino’s Pasticceria

Categories: Food, NYC, To Do List, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eating and Shopping in Philly

8/16/13
My mom and I caught a 2:10pm Amtrak train to Philly. We picked the quiet car and chose a two seater with a window. However, we chose seats that faced the wrong direction. I hate that!! I get motion sick. This meant I couldn’t read. I tried to sleep, but couldn’t. I closed my eyes and listened to music.

We pulled into Philadelphia 30th st station around 3:45pm. We crossed the street and caught the train into the heart of Philly. We took the train to 13th st and walked the half a block to our hotel. We were going to try the Loews Hotel for the first time. Every time we come to Philly we either stay at the Hyatt at Penn’s Landing or the Hyatt Bellevue. The lobby was really elegant. We were checked in right away. The lady at the desk couldn’t have been nicer. They had free lemonade by check in. On our way to the elevator we noticed the giant vault door. We took the elevators to 22. We got upgraded to a deluxe double. We asked for a room away from the elevators and the ice machine and they actually listened to us. We had room 2212. Right away I noticed they left us gifts. There was a note welcoming us, a snow globe, and a mini LOVE sign. What a lovely touch! The room had a nice view of the bridge and the city. The decor was modern, but classy. The bathroom could easily fit two people at the same time. The shower was also roomy. They even gave us cotton balls and Q-Tips. They gave us two ropes made of silk and terry cloth. There was even a magnifying mirror. The windows seemed to be sound proof and the ceilings were pretty high. There was a coffee machine with coffee from Emeril. Everywhere I looked there were outlets. Finally a hotel that has a lot of outlets and in sensible places. The room had a flat screen tv with 63 channels. We dropped our stuff off and went out to shop.

We went to Burlington Coat Factory and Five Below. We then dashed to Reading Terminal Market to catch our favorite cookies on sale. We wound up getting 7 cookies and a marshmallow cup from the Pennsylvania General Store. My mom got a blueberry fritter from the Amish. We then went back to Burlington. We also did Claire’s and Pay Half.

We had 6pm reservations at Maggiano’s but I called and pushed it back to 6:15pm because we got stuck on line at Pay Half. The restaurant wasn’t too busy when we got there. We got the slowest waiter. We ordered a flatbread pizza, fried zucchini, and an apple crostada. I had the flatbread, which was yummy as usual. My mom had the fried zucchini. They usually give us 8 pieces of zucchini. We got about 5. I had one piece and it was good as usual. My mom had the bread and thought it was delicious. The apple crostada came and it was perfect. My mom had the ice cream that was on top. Dinner was great.

We went back to shopping. We hit K Mart and Walgreens. We then headed back to the hotel to drop our bags off. Since it was still light out and we wanted to walk off our dinner we decided to walk around the Rittenhouse Square area. We window shopped at several closed stores. We stopped in H&M and Insomnia Cookies. At 9pm everything shut down so we walked back to the hotel.

We came back to the room and ate our cookies. They never fail to disappoint. They are definitely the best cookies I’ve ever had. I had my chocolate dipped butterscotch cookie and my regular butterscotch cookie. My mom had her butterscotch cookie and her turtle cookie. We tried to watch TV, but the batteries in the clicker died. We called down and they sent a guy up with a new remote. We settled in and eventually went to bed.
20130817-003459.jpg20130817-003558.jpg20130817-003617.jpg20130817-003810.jpg20130817-003820.jpg20130817-003901.jpg20130817-003910.jpg20130817-003953.jpg20130817-004020.jpg20130817-004222.jpg20130817-004238.jpg20130817-004603.jpg20130817-201049.jpg20130817-201120.jpg20130817-201153.jpg20130817-203249.jpg20130817-203345.jpg20130817-203547.jpg20130817-203634.jpg20130817-203702.jpg20130817-203735.jpg20130817-204506.jpg20130817-204536.jpg20130817-204759.jpg20130817-204909.jpg20130817-204936.jpg20130817-205007.jpg20130817-205054.jpg20130817-205127.jpg

20130817-205211.jpg

20130817-205236.jpg

20130817-205410.jpg

20130919-000346.jpg

Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Philadelphia, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making Music in Seattle

6/12/13

After Pike Place Market we headed to the Westlake Center to catch the monorail. You have to walk through the “mall” to get to the monorail on the third floor. We passed a Claire’s and I bought some items.

We purchased our tickets to the monorail and waited about 10 minutes for it to come. The monorail took about 10 minutes to get to the Seattle Center. The monorail was packed, which surprised me.

We walked across the street from the Seattle Center to the Space Needle. There was a small line. The admission price was a bit pricey ($19 a person), but it was something we wanted to do. After getting our tickets we waited on another line. Then we got our picture taken against a green screen. We were given a ticket to download the picture. We waited on another line for an elevator. A video of our elevator ride is below:

We got lucky because it was a beautiful clear day. The view was amazing! We took tons of pictures. We watched the monorail for a bit. We also tried to find our hotel. We found a table inside and looked at the view for a while. Then we used the machines and scanned our picture ticket to pick our green screen image.

https://i0.wp.com/photos.spaceneedle.com/Current/2013/06/12/1426092-3757275-821-H.jpg

We waited on line to take the elevator down. Video is below:

We stopped at the gift shop so I could get a press a penny, but it wasn’t the normal 51 cents. We left and headed right next door to EMP.

I had bought my tickets online and was able to save a couple of dollars. The guy scanned my phone and we were all set. They had the Game of Thrones throne which we took a picture on. We went to the Fantasyland area first. They had costumes and props from Snow White and the Huntsman, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, The Wizard of Oz, The Princess Bride, etc. I was beyond excited to see the costumes and props from the Princess Bride since it is one of my favorite movies. I love Inigo Montoya. They had his costume and sword. There was also a dragon that if you pulled his tail he woke up. However, it wasn’t working so they closed it.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Percy Jackson

Wizard of Oz

Princess Bride

Chronicles of Narnia

Princess Bride

Harry Potter-Sirius Black

Princess Bride

Chronicles of Narnia

Then we headed to the horror film area. We saw props from Frankenstein, Blair Witch Project, the Shining, Thriller and many more.

Frankenstein

Blair Witch Project

Blair Witch Project

The Shining

The Mummy’s Curse

Thriller

After that we headed to the science fiction area. We saw stuff from Star Wars, Star Trek, MIB, Matrix, etc. You could even go in front of a green screen and put yourself on Mars.

Star Trek

Yoda

Star Wars

Superman

MIB

Me on Mars

Then we headed to the rooms on Jimi Hendrix. They had some of his clothes and guitars. There was also a room filled with guitars from the 1800’s on. It was interesting to see the evolution of the guitar. I knew my coworker Bob would love it. We found out that there was going to be an exhibit on women in music, but it wasn’t ready yet. I would have liked to have seen Gaga’s meat dress. See pictures at the bottom of the post.

We then headed to the third floor where you could play some instruments and record music. I messed around on a guitar for a bit. Next we headed to the gift shop. I wanted to buy some postcards but they didn’t have any. Instead I purchased a blue guitar mint case for Bob. I got a press a penny. We used the ladies room and headed to find our bus.

We got so lost! Google maps was surprisingly not very helpful. It didn’t help that the bus stop markers just say bus and don’t indicate the number or direction. Someone had to tell us. We got on a crowded smelly bus that made our NYC cross down buses feel fast. We were going to be late to our dinner reservation!!! We called Spinasse and explained.

We finally got off the bus and walked for what seemed like forever until we found the restaurant. They weren’t busy and were nice about us being late. They gave us a table by the bar. We ordered their famous Tajarin al burro e salvia aka fine hand cut egg pasta with butter and sage. We ordered a full portion ($22). They brought us crostini with anchovies and cream cheese. I didn’t eat it, but my mom tried it and didn’t like it. Our pasta came right away and it was clear that it wasn’t enough food for two people to share. However, it was so good! I could see why it is featured on a million food shows. The pasta is made by hand in the restaurant and you clearly tell. I could have had multiple bowls of it. We paid (almost $30 after tax and tip for a small bowl of pasta) and searched for the bus. Again we got lost, but eventually found it. Turns out we really didn’t need the bus. It was like 10 blocks from our hotel. The maps made it seem far away.

We went to the Regency Club for a second dinner. The selection was awful. 😦 I had some cheese and bread. I pulled out my prioshky from earlier and ate that with a bowl of whipped cream. I also ate like 4 cookies. I did enjoy reading about the Louvre in this book that they had.

After dinner we were bored so we wandered the neighborhood. We went to Ross where I got a pair of shoes and several pharmacies. We also went to Escala where Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey lives in the book.

My mom at Escala

Escala Lobby

Nirvana Section

MTV Moon Man

Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Seattle, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stuffing our Faces at Pike Place Market

6/12/13

My mom brought down food from the Regency Club for breakfast, which I ate while staring at our lovely view of the Space Needle. We had a big day ahead of us, but I was excited to explore Seattle.

Our first stop of the day was Pike Place Market. The market is packed and filled with amazing aromas. Everyone is happy to be eating, browsing, and buying. I immediately saw Piroshky Piroshky Bakery. I had read about them so I jumped on the long line. The line moved quickly and I ordered two that didn’t have nuts. I got a Moscow Roll and an Apple Cinnamon Roll.

Apple Cinnamon Roll

Moscow Roll

Almost right next to it was the original Starbucks. My mom is addicted to Starbucks so of course I needed to take a million pictures for her. She wound up buying a Starbucks t-shirt ($20) and a Starbucks card ($5).

Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks

We then crossed the street to look at all the vendors selling t-shirts, candles, magnets, cups, soap, jewelry, etc. I was debating about picking up a really cool looking magnet for my co-worker Bob, but I wanted to see if I liked anything else first. At the end of the arts and crafts part of the market is Rachel the pig and the famous Pike Place Fish Market. These guys sing and throw fish. See my videos below:

Pike Place Fish Market

Pike Place Fish Market

Rachel-The Pike Place Market Pig

We should have headed to the gum wall next, but I didn’t know it was right below us. Instead, we went to Pike Place Bakery where we picked up a cinnamon pretzel. Then we crossed the street and headed to the Crumpet Shop. I had read about this place as well, but they didn’t display the crumpets so we decided not to order any. Next, we headed to Three Girls Bakery. Another place I had read about. Everything looked so good! We decided on a Chocolate Krinkle Cookie.

Pike Place Bakery

Pike Place Bakery

Three Girls Bakery

Three Girls Bakery

Now it was time to find the gum wall. I decided not to tell my mom what we were looking for since I knew she would find it disgusting. Everyone said you could smell it before you see it. I didn’t smell it. I couldn’t believe how much gum there was! People spelled things out in their gum. It was gross and cool at the same time.

We headed back to the original Starbucks so my mom could get a coffee. We headed to the basement level of the market because my mom thought there were tables and chairs to eat. She was wrong. However, there were a lot of souvenir stores and strange antique shops. So we browsed for a bit.

We left the market and crossed the street where there was a souvenir store with a press a penny machine. I got two press a pennies. I also picked up a pill box and some postcards. Then we crossed the street to another Starbucks that had tables and chairs. My mom had some of her cinnamon pretzel and coffee. I wound up sharing my Moscow Roll with her. It was so good!!! We used the restroom and headed to our next stop.

Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Seattle, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boston for my Birthday

April 28 2013

Today is my birthday! So I decided I wanted to stay local and do a bunch of historical sites. I picked many of the sites on the Freedom Trail.

Our first stop was an army store where we bought my dad a Boston shirt. Then we took pictures outside the Old South Meeting House. We passed the location of the old Borders that has a soft spot in my heart because they revived my friend Kathleen and I years ago when we were beyond cold, tired, and hungry. We passed the 7-11 we frequented during my Boston trip with my college. We went into Potbelly Sandwiches looking for the chocolate brownie cookie a friend recommended to me, but they didn’t have it.

We continued on to the Old State House. I’ve always wanted to go inside. We caught a tour of the museum. The tour was informative and it was interesting to hear about the many uses of the building. We then caught the Boston Massacre tour. I learned a couple new things on the tour. I gave all the right answers to the tour guide’s questions so I couldn’t help but be proud of my memory. 🙂 My mom and I went into the gift shop. I bought some postcards. I really wanted to a join or die snake shirt, but didn’t feel like spending $16.

We left and then went to Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. I went looking for the restaurant my college friends and I ate at. However, it was no longer there. I wanted to go to get the name. We walked through the food area. My mom and I got some free samples. The Greek food looked so good but it was expensive. I really wanted some Mac n cheese from the mac n cheese vendor. There was an entire store for One Direction, which I thought was hilarious. So many of the girls were walking around with life size one direction cut outs. I took a picture in the center of the market to commemorate the stranger that came up to Kathleen and I and said beam me up Scotty. We stopped at the gift shop, but I didn’t buy anything. We left the gift shop and caught the bus to Bunker Hill.

I was really excited to finally do the Bunker Hill Monument (even though it’s really Breed’s Hill). I’ve done the real Bunker Hill before. We got off the bus and walked through a cute quiet neighborhood. The monument looks exactly like the Washington Monument. Unfortunately, the bottom is graffitied. We decided not to walk up. We crossed the street and went to the museum. The museum is two floors and the better part is on the 2nd floor. They have artifacts from the Battle of Bunker Hill and from the Boston Massacre. There’s a button in the back that tells you about the Battle of Bunker Hill. We used the restroom in the basement, bought a postcard, and left.

We decided we were going to walk to Paul Revere’s House. We were going to make sure that on our way we passed the Old North Church. As we crossed the bridge you could see the church sticking out. If the modern buildings weren’t around you easily could have seen lanterns hanging in the church on that famous night. On our way to the sites we passed a bakery that’s open 24/7 everything looked absolutely amazing, but we didn’t have a fridge in our hotel. So we bought cookies. I got chocolate rugelach and it was incredible. We walked down the street to the church. There was a gift shop across the street that was cheap so we got some things in there. We took pictures of the outside of the church. I didn’t pay to go in because I’ve done it before. We went to the official gift shop where I got a pillbox to add to my collection.

We took what was supposed to be a connecting alleyway to Paul Revere’s House. It wasn’t direct. We passed a printer’s press shop. I took a free postcard from there. We finally found Revere’s house. We paid and went right in since there’s no official tour. You only see 4 rooms: the kitchen, living room, and two bedrooms. You have to read the signs to feel like you are on a tour. It was just ok, but my mom liked it. The admission price was super cheap so it was worth seeing.

After that we headed back to the bakery we were at before. I got more rugelach but the woman gave me pieces without much chocolate and were very small. The bag wound up ripping outside of the bakery and they all fell all the floor. The bakery was nice enough to replace them free of charge. We walked down Hanover St. And saw all the famous bakeries with their lines out the door. We walked back to Quincy Market and I bought one oft bosses a pen. We continued on and walked to the Omni Parker Hotel.

The Omni Parker is beautiful and immediately transports you to another time. We went to Parker’s bar. We took a lovely table for two that faced Old City Hall. We ordered the plain pizza and shared it. It was enough for the two of us. It was pricey, but hey it was my birthday and it was good. However, the main reason we came here was for the famous Boston Cream Pie. It was small, but beautiful. It tasted great! The bathroom was huge!!!! 20 stalls. The floor with the bathroom felt haunted. Overall, it was a beautiful yummy historic birthday dinner.

I convince my mom to go with me to Make Way for Ducklings. I loved it when I was a little girl and wanted a picture there on my birthday. Someone had made hats for the ducks. They were so cute!!! We picked up some whoopie pies from 7-11 and went back to our hotel. I don’t want to leave!!!

Categories: Boston, Family Vacation, Food, History, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Modern Day Boston Tea Party

April 26 2013

My mom got me a 7-11 corn muffin to start my day in Boston. We checked out of the Courtyard Marriott and wheeled our suitcases through the streets of Boston to the Hyatt Regency. We had stayed here before so we knew what to expect. We were upgraded to a suite on the top floor because it was my birthday weekend and because we are members. The suite wasn’t ready yet so we had to leave our bags and start our day.

On our walk to the water we passed a bunch of food trunks. My mom stopped at the Cookie Monstah truck and got a red velvet cookie. She asked for one with a lot of chips and they gave her one without any. She asked for a different one. They gave her a different one, but it was burnt. 😦

We walked over to the water to do the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. I had read about the museum when they first opened and have been wanting to go ever since. The tickets are expensive, but they are worth it. I bought them online to save $5 total. We arrived right before the 1pm tour. Only one other couple was on our tour. There were several actors in costume that were there to guide us and help recreate the night of the Tea Party. They stayed in character the whole time and were quite funny. The tour starts with a town meeting and everyone gets a card with their identity and feather for their disguise. Then you go on the ship and dump the tea overboard. Afterwards, you explore the ship and can take pictures. After that we learned more about the night and boycott from holograms that looked real. We got to see one of the two remaining tea chests and hear from Sam Adams and King George III (think Hogwarts moving pictures). Then we watched a film about the battle of Lexington and Concord. The tour was about an hour and it was very well done. The tour ends at Abagail’s Tea Room. The tour guides saw me mouthing all the answers so they spoke to me after the tour about my love of history. The gift shop had a wide variety of items. I got several postcards, tea, and a t-shirt. They make you say haazah a lot, which is cute. I really wish I could take my students here.

We got a call from the hotel that our room was ready so we walked back to the hotel. We put our bags in the room and went back out. We stopped at the Old Granary Burying Ground where Samuel Adams, Franklin’s family, Paul Revere, John Hancock, and several others are buried. We took some pictures and left. We got on the train at Park St Station and got very lost inside the station. We eventually got on the right train to the Museum of Fine Arts.

We went to the MFA after 3pm so I could be free (I look like I’m under 18). We visited the Egyptian section first. I enjoyed explaining to my mom what everything was. She actually admired several pieces. The death and burial section also known as the Mummy Room is the best part of the exhibit. I also loved a rare statue of two women. One had her arm around the other. We saw the Greek and Roman statues. We also did a little bit of the Assyrian and Mesopotamian section. We looked at several of Monet’s paintings and saw the famous paintings of Sam Adams, John Hancock, the Washingtons, and Paul Revere. The special exhibit was on the Samurai warriors and we enjoyed that as well. However, we saw several similar artifacts in Les Invalides in Paris. The museum had many great items, but I still think the MET, Louvre, and National Archaeological Museum are better.

We debated about where to go for dinner. We finally settled on Max and Dylan’s. I got a turkey cranberry avocado sandwich with fries to go. My mom picked up a red velvet whoopie pie from 7-11. We took all out food back to the hotel. I had the sandwich and she ate my fries and pie. As we ate we watched a Law and Order SVU marathon. Overall, it was a great first day in Boston.

Courtyard Marriott Lobby

Masonic Temple

Park St Church

Categories: Boston, Family Vacation, Food, History, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading Terminal Market

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this place. This is food heaven!

I first saw Reading Terminal on Food Network. Bobby Flay was having a throwdown with Delilah. It was a mac n cheese throwdown and it took place at her stand in the market. I have had her mac n cheese and I can see why Bobby won. It’s just ok. It’s expensive for very little. Oprah says it’s the best mac, but I’ve had better. I found it a bit dry and it wasn’t hot enough for my taste. If it wasn’t so expensive I would get it once in a blue moon just to satisfy the urge.

There are several other places in the market that have mac n cheese. The Rib Stand sells a version that is coated in a nutmeg like substance that’s pretty good. Tootsie’s in the back has some in their buffet. The mac is also just ok. It tastes more like Kraft Mac.

I love the Amish bakery (Beiler’s Bakery) that’s along the far left wall when you enter. They have cakes, whoopie pies, cookies, breads, buns, etc. Everything is good and they often discount right before they close. Saturdays after 4pm everything is on sale. They also have a little candy store (Sweet as Fudge Candy Shoppe) where you can buy fudge. The fudge isn’t cheap, but it is good. It is worth getting if you can only go once. They also have a pretzel stand (Miller’s Twist) where you can see them make the pretzels. I have had several pretzels and they are all good. There are other pretzel places in the market that are also very good. Just make sure you don’t get a well done one/burnt one.

As for chocolates. When you first walk in and head to the far right there is a row of a chocolate and Italian pastry cases. The chocolate cases belong to Chocolate By Mueller and the pastry cases belong to Termini Brothers Bakery. Sometimes you can even see them dip the chocolates. They often have free samples and that’s what I usually go there for. I can’t afford the chocolates and pastries, but from the samples they are good.

The Greek place (Olympia Gyro) in the market is quite good. We’ve brought back spinach pie several times to my Greek grandparents. Again it is expensive, but try to have them pick out the biggest piece.

There is a New Orleans style place in the market (Beck’s Cajun Cafe). I got a king cake roll from them and it was fantastic. The roll was like $1.50. It was my first king cake so I don’t have a lot to compare it to, but my mom and both enjoyed. I’ve been wanting another since my last visit.

There is a bread stand (Market Bakery) that has bagels, rolls, baguettes, etc. The breads are great. I haven’t had a bad one yet. They sell out of the good stuff early in the day.

Many people buy their cookies from The Famous 4th Street Cookie Company. However, I find them absolutely awful. They are expensive, often burnt, and are just not worth it. Their location at the front of the market brings them a lot of business. My favorite cookie place is actually at the back of the market. It is the Pennsylvania General Store. The cookies are out of this world!!!!!!!!! My mouth is watering just thinking about them. There are about a dozen varieties. The cookies are filled with m & m’s, butterscotch chips, nuts, Reese’s pieces, chocolate chips, cinnamon, etc. Some are even dipped in chocolate! They are pricey, but they are worth every single penny!

Other places that are popular in the market are: DiNic’s (Home of the Travel Channel’s pick for Adam Richman’s best sandwich in America!) and Dutch Eating Place (for their pancakes).

Delilah’s Mac n Cheese

Tootsie’s Mac n Cheese

Delilah’s

The famous Reading Terminal pig

Pennsylvania General Store Butterscotch Cookie

Pennsylvania General Store M&M Cookie

King Cake

 

 20130817-203943.jpg20130817-204041.jpg20130817-204136.jpg20130817-204211.jpg

20130817-204304.jpg

20130817-204330.jpg

20130817-212227.jpg

20130919-000440.jpg

Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Philadelphia, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reliving JFK’s Assassination

June 17 2012

We went across the street from Union Station and had breakfast at Cindi’s. I had read so much about this place. I was so excited to go here. It seemed like it was going to be a copy of a great NYC diner. It wound up being far from it. It looked like a run down bagel joint. My mom and I each got a bagel. I had mine toasted with butter and my mom had hers toasted with jelly. They burnt her bagel even though she told them not to. They couldn’t even give her another of the same bagel flavor because they didn’t have any left. I got another bagel to go.

We then went to the Old Red Museum. If you go before 12pm on Sundays tickets are cheaper. I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this museum and really only bought tickets to see the inside of an interesting building. It turned out to be a great museum! It covers an entire floor and a piece of the 1st floor. It is broken down by time period and there is just so much to see. Each room has a video and there is even a room for children to engage in the exhibits. There are artifacts from JFK’s assassination, from the time of slavery, the time of segregation, from Dallas the TV show, and so much more. I loved looking at everything and took a ton of pictures. Definitely worth the visit!

After the Old Red Museum we visited the Grassy Knoll. My mom and I both had chills. How many times had we watched JFK get shot and Jackie climb on the back of that car. I had recently spent a two whole class periods with my students on this so the images were very vivid. It was unsettling to be there and to see the x’s on the ground that marked the shots. There were a lot of tourists taking pictures, the most I had seen since we arrived.

Next we moved inside to the Sixth Floor Museum. We paid the admission fee and picked up our audio tour which is included in the price. The museum consists of a lot of photos and signs. There are also a handful of videos. No pictures were allowed on the 6th floor. There really wasn’t a lot of artifacts to look at so I spent time reading signs. They have the corner where the shots were taken covered in plexi glass. The museum was packed, which I wasn’t too happy about. I felt like people were on me the whole time. You have the opportunity to go to the 7th floor, but no one really did. You have access to the windows right above the ones Oswald used. So you can have his view. Very freaky. You are allowed to take pictures on the 7th floor so I took pictures of his view. After that, we went to the gift shop in the museum which was very expensive. I just bought postcards and used their press a penny machines. We used the bathroom facilities and crossed the street to the 2nd 6th floor museum gift shop. We bought a cookie at the gift shop and ate it there. The gift shop had pretty much the same stuff as the other one at the same prices. Why have two?

It started to rain. We found a wild west store called the Wild Wild West Store. I bought a t-shirt for Paris and some more postcards. They had a lot of souvenirs, but they were all really expensive. So far everything in Dallas was expensive and I couldn’t figure out why. We then crossed the street and went to the JFK Memorial. We took some pictures and left. Since there is nowhere to eat by our hotel we went back to Hoffbrau’s. I ordered mashed potatoes and bread. I wasn’t too hungry. My mom and I were sad to leave Hoffbrau’s. The staff thought it was funny how addicted we were.

We went back to Wild Bill’s Western and used our 2nd Dallas belt buckle coupon and we got my dad a shirt. We found a cookie place called Tiff’s and picked up some cookies to take back to the hotel. We were bored and didn’t feel like going back to the hotel yet so we decided to walk to Pioneer Plaza. The walk was a bit scary since it was desolate, but we managed. There was another family at the plaza and we all took pictures with the cattle.

We walked back to the hotel and decided to use the free internet in the lobby. My mom left me to ask one of the ladies in the hotel how to connect to the internet when two guys started to harass me. I was alone with a lot of bags and it was clear they wanted to steal one. I freaked out and yelled for help. Eventually people came and helped me and threw the guys out of the hotel. The security in this hotel sucks. The neighborhood is bad, the tunnel is super creepy, and they allow strangers to bother guests. So never coming back here!

After that ordeal we went back to the room to pack.

Categories: Dallas, Family Vacation, Food, History, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.