Thursday, May 2, 2019

Happiness is: When family & friends come to visit

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I mentioned a few posts ago that this year we are going to attempt to push for people to visit us here in Pennsylvania versus me and Sean always traveling and being on the road. We’re off to a great start!

St. Patrick’s Day weekend Sean’s sister came to visit and it was actually the first time she visited us on her own; without Sean’s extended family. It was such a fun weekend and she is already asking for when she can come back. Veronica, you can come back anytime! Here are some pictures from that weekend.

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The weekend after my little sister and her family came to visit and I had another wonderful weekend with family! I truly love family time and I always feel so fulfilled and happy spending time with them. We didn’t have big plans at all. Actually when I think of it we had no plans at all. Ben (my sister’s husband) just wanted to get philly cheese steaks from Mateys because he says they have THE best philly cheese steaks he has ever had. I have to agree! Although I took no pictures they really are amazing … even better than the ones I’ve had in Philadelphia! Before reaching my house Friday night they stopped at Mateys and picked up sandwiches for us to have dinner at my house.

Saturday morning, we had brunch at Sibris Restaurant and our food was so delicious. I got this incredible Belgium waffle that I can't wait to have again. After brunch we ended up going to the outlets. I picked up a new pair of Converse because the ones I have right now are a bit worn out. After the outlets we drove to get pretzels at Aunt Anne's because my sister was craving them something fierce. They don't have them where she lives so she has to travel a good distance to get them. When she found out that we live by one she was ecstatic. The little things :).

In the evening, my sister and I could not decide what to have for dinner but Ben knew what he wanted, haha! We ended up having Mateys again for dinner Saturday night. See? That good!

Saturday night, my nephew and I watched the Emoji movie and another movie that I can’t recall right now. It was awesome to have one on one time with my nephew and when he left he hugged me tight, with actual tears rolling down his face (no exaggerating) and told me that I’m the best auntie ever. Guys, I tell you. This meant the world to me. Of course, I told him that he has two other great aunties too but I won’t lie and say that it didn't felt real good. If you can recall (from my early, early blogging days) when he was a toddler I use to watch him a lot and use to say to him that I can’t wait for him to tell me that I’m his best aunt ever. I, of course, was joking so I couldn’t believe when it actually happened, haha. Here are a couple of pictures from that weekend.

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And just two weekends ago, my girlfriend (Nawal) from college visited! If you can remember we visited her about two years ago in DC. She is the person who introduced me to Sean in college and was a bridesmaid in our wedding. We had such a relaxing weekend and I tell you, I appreciate it so, so much waking up in our home on the weekends!

Saturday afternoon, we took her around town to show her some of our favorite spots and then took her to Tapas of course. I mean, it is practically our favorite restaurant in town. She raved about the food and could not get over the spinach dip. I didn't take pictures but I'm sure on this blog you've seen that dish plenty of times.

After that we showed her around town some more and then Sean booked us to race cars. Ok, not exactly cars ... but to be honest, I'm not really sure what they are called, ha. We went to Lehigh Valley Grand Prix and I'm not going to lie I was super nervous. I always want to be careful about pretty much everything but I was reassured when I saw kids less than half my age partaking and enjoying themselves, haha. Although, I came in last (I knew I would) I had the absolute best time! It was so much fun and I would definitely do it again!

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Afterward we went back to my house to just chill, talk and indulge in the delicious cupcakes Nawal brought from Georgetown Cupcake. They are delicious; my favorite was definitely the Oreo cupcake!

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Then for dinner we took her to another one of our favorite restaurants in our town, Apollo Grill. And once again she raved about our meals. My goodness, I ordered garlic bread for our starter and it was sooo good. Honestly, everything we ordered was impeccable. I cannot wait to go back!

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Anyway, I'm so glad that our goal of having people visit us versus us always traveling is off to a great start! Of course, we'll visit friends and family this year but this break from road trips has been so necessary and needed.

I hope you're all having a great week so far and Happy Thursday! ♥

Thursday, April 25, 2019

South Beach: On a boat

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Saturday afternoon, we booked a cruise with South Beach Boat Party through the website eventbrite.com. We were picked up at our hotel on a party bus which was definitely a surprise as we were not expecting it at all. The driver took our music requests and played it loud while he drove us to the boat dock. It was so much fun!

We made one stop before reaching the boat dock to pick up a bachelorette party.

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To be honest, if you’re wanting an extravagant boat ride experience I would not recommend doing it with South Beach Boat Party. If you want that type of experience you’ll obviously have to pay more money. The package we chose provided food and drinks on board. Based on the pictures on the website you were definitely getting a bang for your buck. Let me just come out and say it, the food was awful. The burger that was “grilled” was such bad quality that the meat dissolved in your mouth like cotton candy. I couldn’t eat it. The wine came from wine boxes, which I don’t mind, but was so warm that everyone had to throw ice in their red cups of wine. All of that to say that although we had a great time (great company certainly helps!) I’m sure there are other companies that do a better job of this if you don’t mind spending a few more dollar signs.

For me, the views and company while on the boat is all I really needed.

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For our last night in South Beach we had dinner at Moreno’s Cuba.

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It was a really great trip and we're already talking about our next trip together! ♥
I hope you're all having a great week so far. Happy Thursday!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

South Beach: Vizcaya Museum and Gardens & Mango's Nightclub

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It’s pretty awesome to me that Sean and Eric have become such great friends. Such great friends in fact, that Eric asked Sean to be Cate’s godfather. Not going to lie, I was pretty shocked. I mean, they are two people that became friends just because their wives are best friends. I really, really love that our husbands get along the way that they do as it always makes for such a great time when we are all together.

Moving on, Friday during the day the guys went out and did their thing and Colleen and I headed to Vizcaya Museum and Gardens to do our thing. Because let's be honest, we're in Miami and it would have been pulling teeth to get our guys to willingly do this with us, ha.

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The museum we visited was once lived in by a very wealthy man (James Deering) who wanted the elaborate mansion to appear as though it was 500 years old, although it was built in the early 1900s. He had traveled to many places and also lived in Paris for quite some time which you could tell based on a lot of the architecture in the mansion. It was actually really interesting to hear how the home was built. An interesting piece of tidbit we received was that the IRS did not exist during this time so all this money this man had was all his. Basically the rich were rich, rich, rich ... and had no one looking into anything they did. It is so interesting (at least to me) to think about, when we see how the IRS rules everything around us today.

Also at the time he built this mansion, Miami was not what it is today. It was mosquito ridden and undesirable and certainly not the place where the wealthy were building their homes. It is believed that James Deering was secretly gay and wanted his privacy hence why he built in Miami.

Here are a ton of pictures because, well, you know how I do … no self control.

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After the museum we took an Uber to Collins Avenue and decided that we were craving Cuban food. So we asked around and was led several blocks away to Puerto Sagua Restaurant. If you’re looking for a fancier more touristy place (no pretensions, no frills) to eat while in Miami this is not the place for you. If you’re looking for some delicious, authentic Cuban food then you’re at the right place. We had Sean try some of Colleen’s leftover Cuban sandwich (not pictured) from here and he was blown away.

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Afterwards we met up with the guys at the beach to relax and then left to get ready for the night. We were celebrating the guys birthdays at Mango’s Nightclub where we had way too much fun!

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We booked a show and dinner and it was seriously a blast. All types of musical performances from Tina Turner, Michael Jackson to some carnival dancing. After that we club crawled and just danced the night away.

Truly one of the best nights that I’ve had in a while. ♥