Tag Archives: vacations

Top 12 of 2012

Remember local readers that Sunday I posted my giveaway for a $50 gift card to Mohegan Sun for their upcoming Restaurant Week (1/6-1/11). Entries close Wednesday night!

HAPPY 2013! Last night I went to J. Gilbert’s for dinner, came home, had a snack with my latest read, and passed out before 11pm. I woke up this morning at 7:30am bright eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to take on the new year. I knocked out a 42 minute home workout with the Tone It Up Beach Babe DVD, and here I am now, blogging at La Petite France which happens to be the same place I visited on New Years Day of 2012. Funny how that happens, huh?

Gettin’ my NYE on in Long Janes.

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Orlando – Day Three

Time for another Orlando recap – full day number three of the trip, Tuesday! The next day I awoke feeling a bit less stellar than I had the day before, much to my disappointment. I still went to the hotel gym and did an easy 1.5 miles on the elliptical, taking it slow with higher resistance, and then did abs and body-weight leg work. I wasn’t too satisfied but felt nauseous.

I ordered a Starbucks decaf iced Americano, with barely any milk again, and spent another day by the pool with my parents and grandparents, reading through many magazines. Don’t worry, I wore my sunscreen! I also hydrated like a mad woman and felt better the more I sat on my butt all day – funny how that happens 😉

For dinner that night, we went to one of the chain restaurants I enjoy, Longhorn Steakhouse. It’s my grandpa, George’s, favorite!

I pulled a classic Caitlin and ordered off the “Interesting Reds” section of the wine list. Our waitress was nice enough to let me sample their newest red, the Genesis Meritage of Columbia Valley, before I committed to ordering a full glass.

Yum-my! I was totally impressed by this blend and definitely followed up my sample with a glass! It also paired well with my meal.

I continued the seafood trend and ordered the LongHorn Salmon, a change from my usual Longhorn seafood choice, Grilled Fresh Rainbow Trout. I didn’t change my side choices though – my usual baked potato with salsa and asparagus.

The bourbon marinade was fantastic and the 7oz. portion of salmon was the perfect size, since I knew I’d be finishing George’s chop steak for him. The LongHorn “Chopper”, as my family affectionately calls it, is SO GOOD.

THE CHOPPER (it’s under there somewhere).

My dad’s also continued his dinner trend of seafood soup! And just like me, he was completely satisfied.

It was so great to be hanging out with him again – I missed him while he was away for a couple of weeks before our vacation, on travel for business in Singapore and Japan!

Have you ever been to a Longhorn Steakhouse?

Two Drunken Goats

No, this is not a “grab your attention” title. This is the name of the restaurant that serves as the subject of today’s post on my December Florida vaction! Yeah, I’m still not done talking about it.

Our first full day in Florida was a gorgeous beach day, so we took advantage.

I woke up at my usual early hour of 7:15am, and used my morning to head over to the hotel my parents were staying in (my siblings and I prefer my grandparents’ cozy, familiar apartment) to use the fitness center and get a workout in. It definitely wasn’t the most expansive of places, and most of the TVs on the cardio machines didn’t work, but I did find one functioning television/treadmill and cranked out a 5K, followed by some ab work on a mat. When I’m on vacation, I don’t have my usual enjoyable group fitness classes, so I tend to keep my workouts on the shorter side. This is fine by me, because after all, I am on vacation and would rather not force myself to do too much running, which I don’t really enjoy. Still, I can’t beat the accomplished feeling I get after a workout, and it makes lying on my butt reading magazines by the pool or beach that much more enjoyable and restful, so I try to do something each day.

I took a total break from my recent bookworm status on this entire trip and read the huge pile of magazines that had been accumulating in the backseat of my car since summer (pool season) ended. There’s something about lying out in the sun that makes me feel like nothing but a good fashion or healthy living magazine will do. I even read a few issues of a new-to-me mag, Nylon, which I really ended up enjoying. It was different from the other publications I usually read – very refreshing.

Everyone except my mom (and brother and grandpa, who stayed behind at the apartment – they’re not exactly beach bums) decided to go to the beach’s newest restaurant, Two Drunken Goats, for an al fresco lunch. What a cool place! It essentially lacked one of its four walls, and instead had a bar and an outdoor patio in its place.

The menu was very expansive and had plenty of options for eaters of every kind. I found myself pulled to the Salads section, because these did not look like your typical wimpy restaurant salads. I spotted some serious beasts!

The Specials were written on a chalkboard-on-wheels, which the waitresses rolled from table to table as needed. A cool idea that fit the theme of the restaurant, but I prefer to receive my specials on paper so that I don’t have to ask a waitress to “roll” them over before I can decide on what I want.

Two Drunken Goats also boasts an extensive selection of margaritas! This pineapple margarita was fresh and quite strong – definitely a good thing, because the pineapple’s sweetness wasn’t overpowering the tequila’s flavor. I also was impressed by the generously sized pineapple slice garnish.

My salad was, as I expected, a beast. I ordered a spinach salad with lump crabmeat, hardboiled egg, tomato, cucumbers, onion, green peppers, pepperoncini, scallions, and pineapple-mango vinaigrette on the side. It was wonderful! Took me forever to cut (I like my salads very chopped), but was well worth that self-induced wait. The dressing was perfect and so beachy, and the crab was an extremely satisfying protein choice, along with the egg.

My sister and dad both got quesadillas that looked exactly the same, so I only took one photo. Hannah’s contained grilled chicken and Dad’s had crab and shrimp. Both also had cheese and plenty of sautéed veggies.

Grannan just hung out with her usual glass of Chardonnay – and nibbled on some of the quesadillas! She didn’t get any of my food though – I finished every last bite.

Two Drunken Goats gets two not-drunken thumbs up from each of us! A fun place, perfect for dining on nice days, with something for everyone. On our way out, we had to stop and visit the gentleman who I can only assume is…the owner of the two drunken goats themselves?

Sup, man?

Have you ever been to a restaurant on the beach?

Comparison Traps and Tennessee Recap: Part Two

I wanted to get something out that’s bothering me today before I continue my recap of my Tennessee vacation. The issue of comparison traps was on my mind this morning after my trip to the gym. I got up a bit later than I’d have liked but still made it in time to catch the last 30 minutes of spin class. I worked hard and got in a great cardio workout. A couple of others came in late too, but when the class ended, they both stayed for the next class. I was all ready to go do some abs and be on my way, but it immediately bothered me that the other women were staying and I was not.

I started wondering if I was being lazy, if I should stay for the next class. I thought of all the others who were leaving when I was, but had been there the entire hour, not just 30 minutes.

Then I tried to tell myself – I did what I wanted. I sweated, I feel good, and now I can go about my day. And that’s what I did, and I’m proud of myself for that, but it’s STILL bothering me! I often get caught in a comparison trap, even though I know when it comes to working out, quality > quantity and I certainly had some quality time with that spin bike.

Does anyone else get suckered into comparison traps, and getting caught on quantity instead of quality when it comes to working out?

Enough of that – thanks for letting me vent, and now I’ll get onto my Tenneseee recap, which oddly enough starts with workout talk!

As I mentioned earlier, I did manage to get in a few workouts on this trip. Each morning I woke up and headed down to the hotel gym.

Classy mirror shot and morning eyes.

Conveniently enough, coffee was set up each morning by the elevator for those of us (aka my mom) that cannot work out without caffeine first. Luckily I can save my coffee as a post-workout reward! I prefer it that way.

The hotel gym was fairly nice and had a TV with an accessible remote – a must when I am doing cardio without a class to drive me! I had magazines just in case, but the TV was preferable for my elliptical/treadmill sessions.

I used that weights machine to do some stuff, but mostly stuck with body weight moves or the free weights.

Creepy dark corner with yoga mats and a stability ball! I did some abs over there and felt sketchy.

Our room was pretty nice too! We stayed at a Four Points Sheraton and used our Starwood rewards points to get a good deal. Not only was free coffee at the elevators and in the lobby each morning, but there was also a fresh basket of apples at the front desk 24/7!

We had a fridge, microwave, and sink in the “kitchen” area, so there was plenty of storage for snacks and (mostly) libations. My family has a Diet Coke addiction – my brother and I are the only ones that do not partake.

We had two of those TVs, one in the “living” room and one in the bed room! What was funny was if one was on, you could definitely hear it from the other room, so watching both TVs at once would prove to be difficult if we had run into that situation.

Something I liked about this place that may sound weird was the design they chose for the bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion (see above). I hate it when hotel toiletries are in those stiff bottles that are absolutely impossible to squeeze. I know, I know, first world problems. But does anyone else feel me on this?

The Four Points Sheraton does need to keep in mind though – ROOMS NEED TWO BARS OF SOAP! One for the hands and one for the bod, no? We could barely even get them to give us extra soap when we left a note and a tip for housekeeping. My Nana Connie has had the same problem there and always packs extra soap now when she stays there. Weird!

We took a nice walk around the campus on our second day (Saturday) and headed to the book store for some SHOPPING! I love Vol gear. For those of you who are confused, yes I went to UConn. Yes, I root for Tennessee. I was raised that way and it will never change! There’s nothing like SEC sports anyway (sorry Big East). And now I have not only my parents to support, but my sister the new Vol as well!

The bookstore had some pretty random stuff, but also some really cute purchases for me!

Immediately after I jokingly posed for this photo, someone legit exclaimed that they wanted to buy this?!

Unfortunately, my Nana Connie said this pasta isn't good at all.

I tried on a sparkly orange hat as a joke, but ended up realizing after we left the store that I really loved it, so we went back before the game to get it! I pretty much haven’t taken it off since.

Giving off a power-errand-runner vibe.

After cleaning out the book store, my mom and I walked to get a special treat for lunch that we can barely find in CT nowadays – QUIZNO’S!

The beloved Q! Spotted: the mom taking the pic.

I had two chains I aimed to visit on this trip – Quizno’s and Chik Fil A (that comes later). Quizno’s is my favorite sandwich chain of all time and its slightly higher prices (compared to Subway) are completely justified by the quality of its ingredients.

Any place with a pickle bar is a winner.

I knew there was plenty of food coming at the tailgating and game later that day, so I went with a small Veggie sub on wheat. It had lettuce, tomato, pickles, olives, banana peppers, sautéed onions and mushrooms, cucumbers, and guacamole. With a million pickles on the side, of course.

Beams of light shine on the holy Quizno's – behold!

What follows is my favorite food photo I’ve ever taken so far – hopefully that will happen more often once I get my new camera!

This sandwich was SO GOOD. Quizno’s never disappoints me!

Next up, I’ll recap the tailgating and the football game itself!

Do you typically drink your coffee before or after your workout (or both)? What’s your favorite sandwich chain? Who do you root for in college football?