Favorite Dining Experiences

I honestly can’t say what my favorite dinner in Aruba would be. They all rivaled on best entree/best ambiance/best service. (Mostly thanks to @the-enc-diaries with all her expert suggestions. Yemanja and Madame Janette’s were out of this world.)

Others worth noting: For my actual 30th birthday, we ate dinner at Passions on the Beach. Where the tables are directly in the sand and your view is the sunset and the ocean is 10 feet in front of you. I mean, you can’t beat that. 

And the last night we ate at Screaming Eagle - where you actually eat in a BED. Which, you must know, being how I love sleep the most, this was an absolute dream come true. It was also half price bottle of wine night, as if things could get any better. It was swanky, romantic and private, felt like we had table service somewhere in Miami.

Both of these places you take your shoes off. You just don’t get that in NJ. Why is that such a freeing feeling? Also, in that last photo, Jamie’s tan vs. my awkward left arm burn is really on display. 

Damn Good Gumbo in the French Quarter of New Orleans

Damn Good Gumbo in the French Quarter of New Orleans

External image

Never did I expect to have one of the best bowls of gumbo I’ve ever had in the middle of the French Quarter (technically Central Business District, but that’s not known worldwide like the French Quarter is).  I am normally very skeptical of eating gumbo from restaurants.  I’ve grown up eating gumbo made by my family so eating it from a restaurant has just never been my thing.  I’ve tried gumbo…

View On WordPress

Made with WordPress

I hate when we (the youth group, that is) all go to the same restaurant. If it’s fast food, it tends to sort of work, but some place like On The Border… We take up too much space to be worth it, and we never show up all at once, so our seating arrangement never works out; the middle schoolers get mixed in. Ugh.


The Penny Drop Cafe

AH HA—The sound of excitement; the moment of anticipation for what is to come. Finally, the Penny has Dropped. Equipped with the desire to bring a sense of “Brunswickness” to the “Chinatown of the East”, Steven Liu and Mary Lai sought a collaborative team of innovative graphic and interior designers to create a contemporary Asian dining experience. There was born The Penny Drop; a new perspective on food and coffee in Box Hill. Inspired by the site’s context, a name and conceptual vision was developed by the graphic design team for an experience not before seen in this area of Melbourne’s East. Pennies provide inspiration throughout; evident in brass menu finishes, the shapes of business cards and coasters, and use of circular elements. Bill folders are reinterpreted as leather wallets. The result is a comprehensive suite of collateral, including custom typeface, menus, coffee cups, stickers, hoarding and signage.

Design: pop-pac.com


Pizza lovers, rejoice! PizzeRizzo will open this fall in Muppets Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in the former Toy Story Pizza Planet location. Rizzo The Rat owns and operates the pizzeria, where guests can grab a pizza pie and a cold drink. Enjoy a casual Italian-American dining experience in a whole new way, through the eyes of the lovable, wisecracking Muppet.

Walt Disney Imagineering hid hints of Rizzo, his extended family and friends who have visited PizzeRizzo over the years throughout the two-story quick-service location. In addition to the expansive indoor and outdoor seating area, guests will be able to dine in a “cheesy” banquet room, or take five in a special booth designated just for Rizzo’s celebrity friends.

Imagine Sherlock arranging a vacation trip for your birthday

You were seated in Sherlock’s chair in 221B’s sitting room, reading Catcher in the Rye for the nth time. You were clutching the book thoughtfully, letting your eyes pass through the familiar words. But your momentum was broken when you heard movements in the kitchen.

“…Huh?” You raised an eyebrow when you saw Sherlock ridding the dining table of his experiments and tools. Even his trusty microscope, albeit briefly, was put away. What got your attention though was that he was doing it with the faintest smile, laced with sheer innocence.

You got up on your feet and walked towards the kitchen. “Sherlock, what’s going on?” You asked unintentionally mimicking his smile.

“I have a plan.” He smiled at you as he leaned close to give you a gentle kiss. “Sit, please.” He motioned to the chair before bending and disappearing for a second.

“Uh, what is that?” You slightly chuckled at what your boyfriend placed on the table.

“A globe. That’s fairly obvious.” He frowned a bit, lightly dusting the spherical map.

“Yeah, I get that but why is it here?” You asked.

“Well, your birthday is coming up and I want to take you somewhere. Just the two of us.” He avoided your eyes, trying to hide his blush.

“Sherlock, that’s very sweet of you but-”

“It’s either this or California.” He cut you off, staring at the ceiling.

“No. Not California.” You warned with a finger. “We went there with John and Mary last year on my birthday and I nearly had a heat stroke.”

“It’s your fault you were born in summer…” He murmured and you shot him a death glare. “Anyway, that’s why we’re doing this instead.” He patted the large globe.

“…Fine.” You sighed. “What do I do?”

“You close your eyes and hold your finger out like this,” He explained and you followed along. “Then I spin the globe. Wherever you touch first, that’s where we’re going. No arguments.”

“Got it. Let’s do this” You breathed before closing your eyes shut and holding you finger out. You hear the wobble of the globe on its stand as Sherlock spun it. “There.” You said, stopping the spinning globe.

“Oh…” His face fell when he saw where you pinpointed.

“What- Oh.” You both stared blankly at the center of the Bermuda Triangle.



“…Let’s just go to Cali.” You spoke.

“Yeah. Good call.”

Being in a polyamorous relationship with Derek and Penelope would include:

  • Sleepovers with Penelope as date nights.
  • Fine dining experiences with Derek.
  • Her constantly asking you two to check in while out in the field.
  • Always bunking with Derek.
  • …and Penelope asking to video in for some “group time.”
  • Shopping with Penelope for outfits strictly for Derek.
  • Derek always treating the two of you to an evening in at his house whenever you guys get back from a case.
  • Vacations together where you get to sleep in one big bed against one another.
  • You and Penelope secretly competing for Derek’s affections.
  • Derek slathering you both in attention.