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48 Hours in Nashville

By birthdays, boat drinks, lifestyle, nashville, partying like a rock star, restaurants, the places you'll go, travel, winter 4 Comments

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My friends have sort of a love/hate relationship with my photography skills. They love the fact that I take all these wonderful photos when we’re together, but I’m pretty sure they all hate that it takes me four months to go through them, clean them up, edit them, share them and post them anywhere. Oops. =)

Back in January, we took a quick little weekend trip to Nashville to celebrate Tina’s 30th birthday. It was 48 hours of eating, drinking, singing, dancing, and exploring. It went a little something like this: We arrived, we checked in, we ate lunch, we drank whiskey, we had an amazing dinner, we bar hopped downtown. We woke up, we hit up the farmer’s market, we ate some kettle corn, we rented bicycles, we got lost (oops), we turned around, we rode through Printers Alley, we toured Ryman Auditorium, we bought some Hatch prints, we drank some a lot of margaritas, we went to Tootsie’s, things got a little fuzzy after that. We woke up again, we had an amazing breakfast, we checked out, we took a cab 16 miles out of the way to get ice cream (it was worth it), we peaced out.

Not the most descriptive travel post I’ve ever written, but I’m afraid people will stop posing for my photos if I keep procrastinating on this one. If I linked to anything above, I’m recommending you check it out. =)

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Dinner & Drinks: Caffe Napoli

By food, new york city, restaurants One Comment


Over the last few summers, my mom and I have made it a little tradition to spend a day roaming around NYC with no plan whatsoever. Highlights of our day trips in years past have included Central Park, the Met, endless hours of shopping, and even ducking into a little nail salon for spur-of-the-moment pedicures. What stood out this year was all of the delicious food we snacked on all day — especially our early dinner outdoors at Caffe Napoli in Little Italy. We split a bottle of Prosecco and a few plates (bruschetta, a pasta dish and chicken Francaise) to comprise the perfect three-course meal.






Let’s Do Lunch: Havana

By food, norfolk, restaurants One Comment


If you ever find yourself roaming the streets of downtown Norfolk, mouth watering, a little extra cash in your pocket, and in search of the perfect lunch, I think a mojito and a half order of bbq chicken nachos at Havana is one of the best choices you could make. The bronzed tuna wrap is pretty delicious, too. =)

It’s a little pricey, but so very authentic inside. I love the atmosphere, and I used to stop in for lunch at least once month when I worked downtown.

Nowadays, it’s more of a weekend splurge, or a quick stop for a bite of Cuban fare and a drink before a performance at Chrysler Hall or The Norva.

Havana is located at 255 Granby Street in Norfolk. They serve lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and dinner only on Saturday. Strangely, the restaurant has no website, but does have a rarely updated Facebook page.






Let’s Do Lunch: Surf Club Ocean Grille

By food, life's a beach, restaurants, virginia beach One Comment


Virginia Beach is full of so many amazing restaurants, but it’s easy to limit myself by eating at my favorites over and over again. Fortunately, my friend/favorite bartender Tara recently started working at the Surf Club Ocean Grille, so I had the perfect excuse to venture up to the North End to try something new. A storm rolling in kept us off our bikes, but parking was plentiful, and J, Vince and I enjoyed a delicious Saturday afternoon lunch at the bar.

The atmosphere was serene — the Surf Club engulfs visitors in sea-inspired hues and wavy textures with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean through wall-to-wall windows on the east-facing side of the restaurant. Even the bar is a smooth, sea foam green, reminiscent of tumbled sea glass washed up on the beach.

Lunch on a Saturday means indulging in at least one (if not two) drinks, so I chose to start off with a crisp glass of champagne garnished with an orange slice (a personal favorite). The lunch menu was far from fussy with just enough choices to leave me wanting to visit again before I even ordered. I’m glad I opted for the Roasted Lobster and Crab Chowder, which came out in a larger-than-life bowl, accompanied by oyster crackers and topped with a White Truffle Sea Foam. It was a light, creamy soup, chock full of crab and lobster meat, potatoes and corn — delicious right down to the last spoonful. J also enjoyed a bowl of the chowder, while Vince ordered a Grilled Turkey Panini on flatbread with a side of cucumber salad.

The Surf Club is the first place that’s ever offered me a taste of Tommy Bahama rum, so for my second drink, Tara concocted a White Sand Pina Colada topped with a Golden Sun floater — best frozen drink I’ve ever had. =) The Surf Club also has Peroni on tap — another rarity at the beach, for sure.

What was missing? In a place that gorgeous, I would have liked to have seen some signature cocktails and perhaps some more fitting music…especially if I was on vacation. But, overall, I can’t complain. It was a perfect weekend lunch — tasty food, friendly service and a sublime setting.

The Surf Club is located at the Wyndham on 57th and Atlantic in Virginia Beach. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The Surf Club also hosts a monthly wine tasting event on the third Thursday of every month (details here). For reservations, call 757-425-5699, and if you go to the bar, tell Tara I said hi. =)