The Original Buffalo Wing and Wellington Lock

Happy belated Queen Victoria’s Day, everyone!  I hope you enjoyed your day off.  In Canada, this long weekend is the unofficial start of the summer.  Yes, it’s still raining and still below 20 degrees most days, but luckily we had glimpses of the sun this weekend.

On Saturday, I had a great day of hanging out with my nephews and nieces.  I was babysitting them with one of my sisters as they went to Niagara for an anniversary trip.  I rarely spend time with the kiddies anymore on this level.  It was a great excuse to watch Aladdin and Boss Baby.  FYI, Boss Baby is cute and funny (as Pixar always does, they have little jokes that only adults would understand).

On Sunday, my boyfriend and I drove to Buffalo to see the Buffalo Bison’s.  Did you know that this team is the minor league team that supports the Blue Jays?  The game was close but the Bison’s managed to pull a win against the Pawtucket team.  It was raining by the eighth inning but we stuck it through.  Afterwards, because we ate Buffalo’s famous Reuben sandwich and huge ice cream sundae/parfait, we weren’t hungry.  We drove around the city.  I never knew how beautiful Buffalo was until we drove through La Fayette.  It was like we were in a movie set.

We stopped at the Albright Knox Art Gallery, only to find out that they were closing in half an hour.  The sculptures outside really made me intrigued of what was inside.  I’ll definitely go back.  Then we drove around the city a little bit more before we arrived at Anchor Bar.

Anchor Bar is where the Buffalo wing originated.  The wing was first served in 1964 and was created by Teressa Bellissimo.  The restaurant was covered in photos of signed celebrity portraits and the restaurants paraphernalia.  It even had a small gift shop.  It was clear this was a tourist spot because the food was only mediocre but the portions were huge.  I’d much rather go to St. Louis’ for some ‘hotter than hell’ wings.

On the way home, we drove through Niagara-On-the-Lake and stopped at the last Wellington Lock.  We were lucky enough to see a big ship coming through.  We even met some nice Zimbabwe tourists that were very intrigued by the whole mechanism.

Oh yeah, why don’t I have pictures to support my trip?  I left in a hurry and forgot my phone in my car.  Needless to say, my boyfriend was really happy I was disconnected for once.

The mini trip took a whole lot out of me, so on Monday I spent the day with my #GirlBoss book and some knitting.  Oh right, and some Kimmy Schmidt too.

What did you do this long weekend?

Friendships lost

Something that I’ve always had trouble with is coping with is lost friendships.  I always hold on way longer than the other person.  I recently had a fallout with a friend of mine.  It was clear that the effort that I was putting in was double or triple the amount of effort she makes with me.   I am a little embarrassed at what I had did to mark the end of our, what I thought was a, close relationship.

If I was with anyone else, other than my current boyfriend, I think I would crawl right back to that friendship.  Apologizing for making a big deal of something out of nothing.  But then the day came when my boyfriend said, “why are you entertaining this person, when she doesn’t do the same for you?”.

He was right.  Why should I spend my time on someone that clearly thought that brushing me off was easy even though I spent months trying to get everyone to come out?  From that day on, I vowed not to make an effort with her (not out of spite) but for my own mental health.  I looked at it this way, if she were a guy that I was interested in and he was ‘just not that into me’, why would I stay ogling?  I wouldn’t.  I’d move on.

Someone once said, as you get older, you find out who your real friends are.  I didn’t learn this until this year (can you believe it?), when I realized that those people that I always put effort into talking to, meeting and even buying gifts for, who seem to never return the favour aren’t worth my time because they aren’t my real friends.  Those people that always picked up when I called them or called me to go out for a walk; they are my real friends.  I have to stop making myself upset over people that don’t love me the way that I would love them.

This has proven to be extremely hard for me.  I understand, sometimes, as you grow up, having time becomes harder for people to manage seeing their friends.  Yes, sometimes people grow apart.  But if you blatantly blow me off for something you rather do, that’s not cool.

Something that I learned about myself is that I want everyone to like me.  Well, not anymore.  Not trying to be harsh (but probably slightly bitter), they can go fuck themselves.

Wow.  Sorry.  Rant over.

But I hope you learned something from this too.  As they say, don’t hold on to toxic relationships.  This applies to both love interests and friendships.

Planning for Christmas… yep.. Christmas.

Call my crazy, but I have already started planning for Christmas.  Nope, not Christmas in July (but it always has been a dream of mine to host a Christmas in July party).  Did you know that the amount of children in your life grows as you get older?  I mean, when my first few friends started having babies, I thought to myself “oh, wouldn’t it be cute if I made them these cute little knit booties?” Turns out, more and more of your friends will have babies … and your cousins will have babies, and you’ll feel like you’ll need to make it for everything.

Don’t get me wrong, if I didn’t enjoy doing it, I wouldn’t.  I think the best part of present part is the giving part.  Sorry, I’m not going to sugar coat it, I love giving things even if you don’t like receiving them.  It makes me feel good about myself.  Like I did something to help the world.  Now, hopefully, it put a smile on your face.

I’m starting early this year because last year I was laid off and had some time at home to knit for all hours in the day.  This year, I’m full time and have a boyfriend, so time is super sparing.  Plus, I’m hoping to make a sweater for someone this year, for the first time.  Let’s see if I will even have time for that.

So, anyone else planning for Christmas, or is it just me?

 

 

Niagara-On-The-Lake: Food, Winery and Escape game

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Think about this: Your besties, wine, and a pretty little hotel.  It was my bestie’s birthday this weekend and to surprise her, we took her to Niagara-on-the-Lake.  It was great!!  I made a reservation at the Prince of Wales hotel.  The restaurant was called Escabeche.  The food was great and the atmosphere was even better.  When we arrived, there was a wedding party taking pictures.  I am not sure how I ever missed this, but this area is extremely magical.  It’s like I walked into Star’s Hollow in Gilmore Girls.  The sun room was gorgeous and the view was delightful.  Even though it was raining outside, it felt like a beautiful day.

We then took her to Flat Rock Cellars for a winery tour.  They showed us where they made wine and gave us some samples to drink.  The tour guide was right, ‘Twisted’ their most popular wine was amazing.  I’d highly recommend it if you enjoy a sweeter white wine.  Though it stopped raining but was still cold outside, we took some time walking around the vineyard and took some pictures around the spring blossoms and the cellar door.  I was surprised that we weren’t allowed to go into the cellar, but according to them, it is dark and scary in there.

Our birthday surprise ended there, but little did we know we were going to have a night full of adventure.  We arrived at a Thai place beside a gas station.  The restaurant is called Kub Khao, located in Scarborough.  The owner of this restaurant was currently also opening a similar restaurant at downtown Toronto.  The portions were big and the cost was low.  I’d say that the value of the food here was probably better than the actual tastiness of it.  Don’t get me wrong, it was good.  But somehow I feel like I’ve had better somewhere else.

We ventured to Omescape in Scarborough, which was very close to the restaurant for the first ever Epic runner.  It is a maze and you and your friends are pitted against each other to be a victor.  It was exciting and got every one’s heart pumping.  I suck at these games, so I mostly lost quiet quickly.

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Note: Picture taken above is from yelp.com

It sounds like my bestie had as much fun as I did for her birthday party.  Until next year.

 

Toronto: FAT

If you’ve read my blog, you know that I have a bucket list.  Every year I try to cross off five things on my list.  One of the things I wanted to get off the list was to go to a fashion show.  Since Toronto recently shut down the fashion week here (though it may be coming back), my friend and I decided to go to the Fashion Art Toronto show during the second last weekend of April.

It was interesting.  I can’t say I understand art at all but it was cool to see two actresses putting beards on each other and doing some emotional dancing in front of a mirror.  The earlier portion of the fashion show really confused me because of the short film.  It was artsy and I’m pretty sure everyone was confused.  The first round of models came out and it was the most minimalistic designs I’ve ever seen.  My bestie and I just glanced at each other once in awhile.  Luckily, the more dramatic clothing came out in the next portion of the show.  It was really cool to see everything.  But some of the models seemed pretty amateurish.

We left right after the second portion because we were starving.  I think they’d make a killing if they sold food.  We went to Kingyo.  A Japanese restaurant famous for their pork belly and Udon.  I think for what it was worth, it was fairly regularly priced for a Japanese place.  I’d go there again.

Amazing experience, but don’t think I’ll be going to another fashion show any time soon.  But at least I checked it off my list.

Raptors 905 : Playoff game

It must be spring because I’ve come out of hibernation and actually am doing things around Toronto.  Through Travelzoo, I saw that there was a deal on going to see a Raptors 905 playoff game at the Hershey’s Center in Mississauga.

My first game that I saw was against the Maine Red Claws (what a hilarious name for a team).  It was my boyfriend’s first basketball game, ever.  He enjoyed it and I enjoyed it.  It was a bit of trek for us to get there but we made it after work.  It’s a great way to see quality basketball without paying the price for it.  Better yet, they won the Eastern Conference Champ title.

A few days ago, we decided to go to one of the final games.  They played against the Rio Grande Vipers.  I googled it.  They play home games in Texas.  We won (of course, no doubt at all).  To support the team, Derozan, Caroll and Noguiera showed up.  I thought that was very nice of them.  Though I love basketball very much, I honestly think the part where the mascot comes out and does dances and makes the crowd cheers is the best part.

Today they will play their final game.  It’s ‘do or die’.  When they win, they’ll be crowned Playoff Champs.

Good luck Raptors 905.  I believe in you. I’ll be streaming your game and I promise to come to more of them in the future.

Oh right, good luck to the Raptors.  I also believe in you.  Keep your head up and make sure you get those rebounds.  I hope they win the series against Milwaukee.

Florida: Universal Studios aka Harry Potter Mania!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I completely forgot that wrote this blog and didn’t post it.  This whole time I thought I had it up already!  THIS IS A GEM lol.

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A few weeks months ago I was just in Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.  My boyfriend was nice enough to go with me to this park for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Needless to say, he quite enjoyed how nerdy I became.

We took a morning stroll from Rosen Inn on International Drive and walked to Universal in the morning around 8.  We found out afterwards that if you bought the package of staying at Rosen Inn and the Universal tickets, you would get early entrance of an hour to the park.  Not having gotten the package, we woke up too early so we decided to take the 15 minute walk to the park.  You can also get a ticket for a complimentary shuttle to the park. But we were too good for this.

After a few minutes of cold finger struggles at the fingerprint scanning stations, we finally got in the park.  We started with Islands of Adventure. Our first ride?  Dr. Doom Fear Fall.  I hate dropping roller coasters but my boyfriend convinced me.  We also went on the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man but couldn’t ride the Hulk because it was too cold.  We had express passes, so we skip the lines and got on pretty quickly.  Carrying on, wasting no time, we went on Kong which was awesome so intense.  Headed through Jurassic Park, we bee lined to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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I’m pretty sure, I looked like a child in a candy store.  I pulled by boyfriend this way and that way, in and out of stores until we decided to stop at our first Harry Potter ride: Dragon Challenge.  We had to stand in line to put our belongings in a locker.  The lockers are governed by fingerprints. They’re sort of small for a regular adult size bag though.  When I finally got out of that mess, we had to go through metal detectors to make sure no loose change or things our pockets would all out.  It was higher security than the airport!  After choosing our dragon, the Chinese Fireball, the ride took us through tons of twists and loops with our feet dangling in the air.  This was probably my boyrfriend’s favourite ride.

I was at an ultimate high, strolling around Hogsmeade when we found the Owl post station.  We bought a pack of 10 post cards (all Harry Potter themed, of course).  I bought stamps outside because I knew they would be double price in the park, and wrote and sent our post cards straight from Hogsmeade.

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Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was next.  Like before, they had lockers for you to leave your things.  It was chaos because a lot of people forgot their locker number.  We couldn’t use express pass on this, so we stood in line for about 45 minutes.  It wasn’t so bad considering… As expected the ride was amazing.  I won’t spoil it, but a funny story did happen.  We were mid screaming when the lights turned on and someone over a speaker said, “Please stay seated.  Ride will resume soon.” I think this was the scariest part of the ride.  A few minutes later, the same voice came on the PA and said “Ride will resume now.” And the ride calibrated, shaking us left and right and then we were off again.

Surviving this ride, we decided to see what else was in Islands of Adventure before heading to Universal Studios.  We walked through The Lost Continent area but weren’t that interested in any of the rides.  We also walked into Seuss Landing, where we hopped on the kiddie ride: The high in the Sky Seuss Train Ride.  Let me tell you, what a ride!  So thrilling, so fast!  I’m kidding, it was cute though.  These two areas were really just picture taking area for us before we went to hop on the Hogwarts Express.

The train was a ride, in itself.  When we got to Universal studios, we walked out of King’s Cross station and took a picture of the Knight bus which was just outside of the station.  There was a long line to take a picture with Stan Shunpike, so we headed straight into Diagon Alley.

First things first, we went to eat at the Leaky Cauldron.  The wait was long and we were getting pretty hangry, but we were happy to drink up the yummy butter beer and have a seat when our time came.  We inhaled our lunch and rested a bit before we went to explore the alley.  The food was tasty but the butter beer was the best part.  The big white dragon, on top of Gringotts, spit fire once in a while but we missed it every time.  I popped into a store and picked up a Pygmy puff for a friend and a chocolate frog for myself, secretly hoping to have Dumbledore’s card inside (surprise, surprise I got Miss Ravenclaw).

When our food was digested, we rode our last ride in the magical world, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.  The things you saw as you lined up were just as great as the ride itself.    I planned on getting some butter beer ice cream but I was too full, sadly.

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Extremely excited to get away from Harry Potter (though he didn’t say it), my boyfriend was finally extremely happy to find Springfield: Home of the Simpsons.  We had a beer at Duff Brewery, checked if there were Bort license plates at the Kwik-E-Mart, posed with one of the Duff beers (Surly) and then hopped onto The Simpsons Ride. It was good and super cute.  We stayed away from Kang and Kodos’ Twirl n Hurl but we did walk through Moe’s Tavern.

While he visited the little boys’ room, I stopped by to say hello to Spongebob Squarepants and saw Gary instead.  We walked through Hollywood and went on the Transformers: The Ride-3D and the Revenge of the Mummy.  Both were solid rides.  We skipped San Francisco, nothing much we wanted to see there.  Then our final ride was the Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket.  It was thrilling and I played ‘I will survive’ and sang it at the top of my lungs the whole way through.  I believe it is the tallest roller coaster in the park.

We were both extremely tired, so we left.   We didn’t know at the time but we needed a ticket to actually get on this bus, But since we walked there we didn’t have one.  Luckily, the bus driver was nice and let us on anyway (it was the last run of the night).  Dinner was at Black Angus Steakhouse; it was super cheap and the steak and mashed potatoes really hit the spot.  I’d go back there again.

I can’t believe I checked Wizarding World of Harry Potter off my bucket list.  It was definitely worth the 600 dollars CAD (two tickets plus two express passes) because I had so much fun.  I wouldn’t have as much fun without my boyfriend either.  I hope he knows how much I appreciated his patience with me as I acted like a child.

#wortheverypenny

Hot Chocolate and Orange Juice

I had the great pleasure to be introduced to a group called Khaki Snack a few months ago when they first played at the Cloak and Dagger (College and Spadina area).  This group originated from Queen’s University, where a friend of mine had gone.  He brought me to the first show in a very long time and told me extensively how funny they were.

Two guys on guitars and one on tambourine, bongos or bass guitar.  While main singer Dave usually sang as back up singer Chris accompanied him, Derek would sing one or two songs here and there.

With songs like ‘Hot Chocolate and Orange Juice’ and ‘Three Types of Pimps’, who can say no to going to such a fun show?  While the first show we had gone to was busy when we arrived slightly late, we got prime seats at their next show at the same place.

I really appreciate the random things that they sang about, but their ability to keep straight faces while they about things like waffles and Tina Fey with apple juice completely amazes me.

What’s even better is that they have a small group that always comes out to watch them.  Who know all the words their songs and jam out with them.  The atmosphere was contagious and so fun.

Don’t miss out on their next show… whenever that may be.  You don’t want to miss out on their ode to the former Blue Jays teams and they even sing about serious things like the Iraqi war.

PS. At the second show, Chris plays a set after Khaki Snack finished.  The bassist did covers ranging from Tool to Rage Against the Machine to The Little Mermaid.   It was magical.

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Hoppy Belated Easter Everyone!

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Happy Belated Easter, everyone!  In a blink of an eye, it’s already mid April.  I have so much adventure coming up that I’m so excited to share with you.  But first things first, what did you do this Easter long weekend?  What else to do, but eat until you can’t fit into your pants?

Every Easter weekend, I host a brunch with my family.  After we stuff our faces, the kids have an chocolate egg hunt and then off.  When that’s done, I usually let them count their eggs before we settle down for some egg dying or painting.

IMG_20170415_121542The day before, I took some time out to premake some of the food.  I made these awesome poppy seed muffins that lemony delicious, sugar cookie egg baskets that I had over cooked and were kind of hard, and some little check cupcakes.  I also hardboiled eggs and put them in the fridge so I didn’t have to do it the next day.  But I also like the yolk super cooked….overcooked … Then I printed a cute banner for our kitchen and hung it up.  Here is the free printable for this super cute banner.  At the front door, I usually put Easter flowers but my boyfriend said he would bring them on Saturday, so I found some really cute eggs at the dollar store and hung them up on a ribbon.  Above it, I copied The House that Lars Built’s very pretty ‘Happy Easter’ banner.

On the day of, I woke up early and prepared the little English Muffin bunnies.  This recipe calls for Pillsbury French Bread in which Canada does not sell.  Needless to say, it was probably not the best idea to use the muffin canister instead.  Essentially the bunny tail didn’t stay on (I also burnt the second tray because I left it in there for too long).

I mixed up the eggs, swiss cheese and ham for the frittata and poured them into the muffin tins.  Note: butter or vegetable oil or oil spray the crap out of the pans!!! I cannot emphasize this point any clearer.  I spent about an hour afterwards scrubbing the egg off because I couldn’t bother the properly oil up the pan.

Running behind, luckily my boyfriend showed up so I assigned him to hide the eggs.  He had a ton of fun with that.  As I set the table and put the pretty Easter Lilies somewhere.  I put out the chopped up fruit and yogurt, the desserts and the drinks on the counter.  On the table, I loaded it with the muffins, hardboiled eggs, English muffin burnt- bunnies, taters wrapped in bacon (so easy and a family favourite), breakfast sausages, swiss cheese and ham frittatas, and pancakes.

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I saw the little bunny name tags on Pinterest but the site doesn’t exist anymore.  I just took the liberty and figured it out.  They’re really cute.

There was tons of food, but for some reason it still didn’t seem to be enough.  Troubles of a large and growing family.

IMG_20170418_172332Hope everyone had a very Hoppy Easter.

 

 

Florida : St. Petersburg and Lakeland

Happy Spring!!  Normally I enjoy winter but this time, it seemed to have dragged on longer than usual.  Though, Mother Nature hasn’t stopped yet with the cold weather.  I still have my winter jacket hanging out ready for the next 3 degree Celsius day.

Just as I had been talking about for months and months, I am finally back from my trip from Florida!  Let me tell you, it was amazing.  It was my first time travelling with my current boyfriend and I found out we fit even better together.  We had no arguments and we were both very happy coming home.

The weather was not the usual warm 30 degrees and sunshine when we arrived in Tampa on March 14th, but the sun was out so we kept our long sleeves shirts and jeans on.  This pretty much what we wore for the whole trip.

IMG_20170314_132714When we got off the plane, we had a little time before the car rental place could give us our car, so we visited old Chic-fil-a for a chicken burger, waffle fries and a corn syrup filled drink.  When we finally got the car, we headed straight to St. Pete’s beach.  We had a small lunch (or second lunch, if you must) at a bar called Crabby Bill’s.  I was very skeptical of the place, worried that it was dirty and not safe to eat at.  But when I got my food, I was very happy with my fried Conch Fritters.  My boyfriend had boneless wings for the first time, but they actually looked like chicken fingers.  Needless to say, get seafood at this place.

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Uneventfully, we began our drive to Bradenton and stopped by Target (a mandatory visit, according to my boyfriend) to browse.  I was once again reminded how sad I am about Target disappointing Canadian markets and having to close down here.  They had a lot of Disney stuff in this target including Harry Potter and Marvel things from Universal too.  We took this opportunity to see if we can find any souvenirs.  Note:  It is much cheaper to buy souvenirs from outside of Disneyland and Universal.

 

Before checking in to our hotel, we headed to the Premium outlets where my boyfriend bought shoes and also pried me away from Michael Kors and Coach.  The hotel we stayed at for the first night was a Best Western Plus.  Then we headed to dinner at the 3 Keys Brewery close to our hotel.  I had a watermelon brew.  It was tasty and made with fresh watermelon.  It, however, didn’t taste at all like watermelon.  I had coleslaw and a burger that was exquisite and my boyfriend had a waffle chicken sandwich.  It was really dark, but I really wanted to take a picture of it, he was unimpressed.  This little hipster joint had a trivia night, which boyfriend and I are super into (we are in one at home).  We quickly tried to join the game, but we were too late.  Either way, it was fun.

The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel and lazied around until it was take the trip out to Lakeland where we saw our first spring training baseball game played by the Detroit Tigers versus the Atlanta Braves.  We spent time walking around the new Publix field in Joker Stadium.  I really enjoyed the fact that they had payed tribute to the Tiger’s owner (Mike Ilitch).  They have a ‘Mr. I’ painted onto the field and on a flag below the American flag.  The new stadium is very nice but the highlight for me was the strawberry short cake ice cream that DQ sells at this place.  The weather was cold, but I didn’t care.  We also had some tasty chili dogs… but I got the mustard all over myself.

IMG_20170315_192649Detroit Tigers won.  To celebrate, we went to Giordanno’s for dinner.  I went to this place in Chicago too.  It is amazing and so worth it.  Don’t even think of ordering anything bigger than a medium between two people.  We had two slices left, which we left for breakfast the next day.  We checked into the Rosen Inn closest to Universal and tucked in for an exciting and tiring day at Universal.  More on Universal in my next post (there’s too much to talk about).

The last day, was similar to the second.  But the best part of it was going to Waffle House.  My first time at this breakfast place and I just stuffed my face.  I guess I was just so excited that I didn’t even remember to take a picture.  I ordered and my boyfriend looked at me incredulously and said, “you’re not going to finish all of that”.  I laughed in his face and took it as some sort of dare.  I’m not happy about it, but I actually didn’t finish it.  But I put up a good fight.  I order their eggs breakfast (two eggs, 2 sausages, 2 pieces of toast, and hash browns) and then got a side of waffles.  My boyfriend lives by the hash browns, with jalapenos.  I liked my breakfast better.

We waddled into Joker Stadium for another baseball game. It was St. Patty’s day so the team was wearing green.  This time, the place was packed as the Tigers were playing the New York Yankees.  There were in Yankees fans sitting in the stands.  Unfortunately, the Tigers lost.  My boyfriend was upset that they got no hits at all.  Me on the other hand, was very satisfied by the Breyer’s mint chocolate chip ice cream cone I got.  Look, travelling is not for experiences, it’s for eating.  Haha.  I’m only slightly kidding. :p

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The game was relatively short, so we had enough time to stop TJ Maxx (aka Winners of the South), Target once more, and Michaels.  We were trying to kill time, really.  But a girl can’t complain about shopping.  For dinner we went to Sonny’s BBQ.  It looked like they just renovated, but the food was as good as how the place looked.  They had 4 types of bbq sauce at the table for you to try.  I had ribs and wings.  It also came with two sides, in which I got Mac N Cheese and baked potato.  I think I may have gained 10 pounds on this trip but, a girls gotta live.  I’d highly recommend this place.

I was sad to be leaving because I really didn’t want to go back to work.  Nonetheless, after a 3 hour delay, we got home at 3 am and I was so happy to be in my own bed again.

Good luck to the Detroit Tigers for the new baseball season.