Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Yankees Win! - New York City

What a night! I spent the evening with Scott and Erin Hadley and Kimber Crandall watching the Yankees kills the Rays.   Scott hooked us up with some amazing seats and yummy food.  The weather couldn't have been more spectacular and the Yankees even pulled out big win.  It's nights like these that make living in NYC seem like a dream.

PS - special thanks to Kimber for letting me copy the pic from her blog

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Crazy about key lime pie – Florida Keys

Below are our reviews of the key lime places the New York Times suggested when visiting the Florida Keys:

Cheeca Lodge
Rating: A
Comments:  filling was the perfect consistency but could have had a tad for lime, delicious buttery graham cracker crust but was little too thick, unsweetened cream was perfect, and the ripe strawberries and raspberry sauce topped everything off very nicely.

Porky’s Bayside Restaurant
Rating: B-
Comments:  filling wasn’t “eggy” enough and needed more lime, unsure if they used real whipped cream  (Note, they also offer a fried version but we opted for the “healthier” option)

Pepe’s CafĂ© and Steak House
Rating: A-
Comments: fluffy filling, tartness of filling was perfect, whip cream tasted great but was a little thin, crumbly graham cracker crust was tasty

*We ate dinner here and the food was excellent.  The blackened fish sandwich and corn on the cob were amazing!

Blond Giraffe
Rating: C-
Comments:  Gross, chalky, bland

Blond Giraffe (frozen key lime pie on a stick covered in chocolate)
Rating: C-
Comments:  Gross

Kermit’s Key West Lime Shoppe
Rating: C-
Comments:  weird flavor, not a good graham cracker crust

Kermit’s Key West Lime Shoppe (frozen key lime pie on a stick covered in chocolate)
Rating: B+
Comments:  good quality chocolate, filling was the perfect tartness

Season’s 54
Rating: B
Comments:  unique presentation, good texture, needs a tad more lime, needs to be served colder

Key Largo, Montego, baby why don’t we go…. – Florida Keys

I hadn’t had my fill of Florida yet, so I headed down to the Florida Keys with Sara Collins (aka Lizzy) and Jenn Wheeler for an amazing weekend in the sun.   We rented a mustang convertible and lets just say it’s a MUST when visiting the Keys!!! Lizzy and I arrived a day earlier than Jenn, so we headed to Miami to check it out.  We spent most of the day in Miami Beach.  We ate some sub-par Cuban food for lunch, went shopping, checked out the beach, went to a movie, and had sub-par pizza for dinner.   After picking up Jenn at the airport, we headed straight down to Key Largo, our home base for the next two nights.

The next morning we woke up with a mission.  Jenn had found a New York Times article talking about all of the amazing key lime pie places in the Florida Keys and so we took it upon ourselves to eat at as many places as our stomachs would allow us to.  The findings will come in a separate post.

We also took a tour of Ernest Hemmingway’s home and saw the famous six-toed cats that live there.  The cats have names like Howard Hughes and Elizabeth Taylor.   So crazy!  Then we went to the beach.  The water was delightful and so warm.  After the beach we headed over to the southern most point of the US.  It’s located about 90 miles from Cuba.  We were told we had to check out Mallory Square in the evening because it is packed with crazy people. Unfortunately, there was a biker convention in Key West that took all of the crazies in Mallory Square and spread them out all over the city.   Side note, one of our friends calls Key West “Key Weird”.  After visiting, we definitely agree.

The next day we spent the morning kayaking through the mangrove trees in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.  We really wanted to snorkel but we didn’t have 2.5 hours to spare.  We promise to go next time! 

We had an amazing trip and would highly suggest visiting the Florida Keys.  Just remember to rent a convertible and eat lots of key lime pie!!! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

The sunshine state - Sun City, Florida

I took a trip down to Florida to visit my Grandma and Grandpa Sparhawk.  They live in a very lovely retirement community packed full of swimming pools and golf courses.  I decided that as soon as I meet the age requirements to join the community I’m moving there.  I could get used to going to the pool two times a day and driving a golf cart to the grocery store and post office!

My grandparents were great hosts.  They made me some yummy meals and showed me some of their travel videos of Thailand (to prep me for my trip there next month) and told me all about the world cruise they went on about 10 years ago (I must have their travel genes).  I slept in every day and then we went to the pool every morning and most afternoons.  One evening they invited over some of their friends to have key lime pie (I’m kind of addicted) and I showed them pictures of my travels from earlier in the year.  We had a great visit and I was sad to leave them.  Don’t worry G&G, I’ll be back to visit soon!  Thanks for a great, relaxing vacation.

The place where stressed out New Yorkers go to unwind - Rhode Island

Many of you know about my obsession with Rhode Island.  I believe it’s the most underrated state in the US.  I simply can’t get enough and would love to live there some day.  Since I haven’t struck it rich yet, I’ll have to live with my annual Rhode Island vacation to Boulder Cottages.  A couple friends and I organized a trip with 33 of our “closest” friends to spend a weekend at Boulder Cottages ( in Charlestown, RI. 

The weekend was jammed packed with delicious food, tons of candy, trips to Walmart, trips to the beach, apple picking, campfires, Morp (dance party), kayaking, relaxing, and laughing.  It was a fun filled weekend that just flew by too fast.  On our way back into the city several cars stopped by Mystic, Connecticut.  Just our luck, there was a food festival going on.  Being the foodies that we all are, we couldn’t resist sampling a few of the local specialties. 

The ride back into the city was uneventful.  All we could talk about was how much fun we had and how we couldn’t wait to return.  Watch out Boulder Cottages, we’ll be back in 2011!

PS – Thanks to Eddie, the caretaker and my Uncle’s brother-in-law, for taking care of us and making our trip so enjoyable.