Throwback Thursday: Atlantis Bahamas

If you watch television you’ve probably seen the sun-soaked ads for the Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas. You know: white sand beaches, dolphins splashing and sharks swimming overhead? Ring a bell? In February, my sister and I cruised with Norwegian to celebrate her 30th birthday and opted for an Atlantis Self-Guided Tour and Beach Day excursion on our Nassau day to see if the resort really lives up to the publicized hype.

Our day started bright and early with a bus ride from the Norwegian Sky to the resort. We opted for what I’d call the ‘middle-tier’ tour: we had access to the resort grounds, including the aquariums, and the beach, but not the water slides. Our tour guide walked us through the resort and pointed out where to find things along the way.

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The beautiful weather really accented the beautiful grounds.

One interesting fact our guide shared is that the Atlantis has the one of the only casinos with natural light (aka windows) in the world. Most casino avoid natural light because when you can’t tell the passage of time people will spend more money. The Atlantis claims the windows don’t effect their profits!

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We started out back with the predator and string ray lagoons before following the stairs down to view the tanks.

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It’s amazing how close you felt to the marine life while looking down into the lagoons

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After we finished this loop we headed back inside to see the Dig and Ruins Lagoon tanks.

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This was the touch tank section- however, I preserve to observe from afar!

After enjoying all the wildlife we headed out to the beach. We settled on Atlantis Beach West where I felt like we were treated no different than a resort guest. Resort staff helped us pick out a spot, brought us lounge chairs and towels. Vendors were on the beach offering goods, drinks, etc. Fortunately I didn’t find them too pushy.

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In my book, it’s not vacation until you drink out of a carved-out fruit!

In my book the amenities we got to experience at the Atlantis lived up to the beautiful tv commercials. This got me thinking, and on our bus ride back to the ship I googled some info on actually staying at the resort. It seemed like the rooms and hotel experience had some mixed reviews. I would definitely got back and specifically stay at the Atlantis to find out for myself. Have you ever stayed at the Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas? What was your experience like?

Stay adventurous, friends!

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Roger’s Orchard in Southington, CT

Remember the busy weekend plans I wrote about in last week’s five things Friday Things Friday? Yeah- life had other plans. A cold side-lined me from most of the things I had on the agenda but I still made it out to pick some apples between Tylenol doses and cups of tea for a short adventure.

Roger’s Orchard first started planting in 1809. There second location, known as Sunnymount, opened in 1965 and is where we arrived on Saturday to rows and rows of apple trees ready to be picked.

Along with plenty of apple varieties for every palette to pick from Roger’s offers pumpkins so we grabbed a couple small ones for the garden.

With our apples and pumpkins safely packed into the car we headed into the country store. Inside you’ll find a large variety of fruits and vegetables for those of us less inclined to want to pick!

There were also pies, donuts, cider, and other homemade goods. I indulged in an apple donut and some homemade cider to round out the visit.

According to their website, Roger’s Orchard will have pick-your-own apples available until late October so you still have time to visit for yourself!

Stay adventurous, friends!

Five Things Friday

It’s officially a Five Things Friday (aka something I just made up on the spot!) I’ve been working a weird schedule the past week and a half so I missed Throwback Thursday- whoops! I’ve realized, after three weeks of blogging, that I thought I wanted to stick to a strict Monday/Thursday schedule but hey- that doesn’t always work, and that’s okay!

With that lesson learned, I bring you five things/thoughts/ideas that I want to share today:

  1. Since today marks the first day of a long weekend for me (perks of a three day work week) I started the morning off with homemade waffles. I have a Dash mini waffle maker from Kohl’s which is AWESOME because it’s size makes it so easy to clean. I modified a recipe that came in the box to add some chocolate protein powder and cut back some of the oil to make it a little healthier. 2018-09-21_08-40-07_314.jpeg
  2. One week (and a few days) and I’m off to Lake Placid and Lake George for a girl’s trip with my mom! I love the the Adirondacks and can’t wait to be back, especially when it will hopefully be peak fall foliage. Have you been? What are your favorite things to do? 
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    My bestie and I riding the lift to the top of the Olympic Ski Jumps in Lake Placid, NY on a previous visit!

     

  3. Set your alarm tonight if you’re a Halo Top Ice Cream fan! To celebrate the first day of fall Halo Top is giving away free pints of their pumpkin pie flavored ice cream. All you have to do is visit their website at midnight EST tonight and print a limited offer coupon which can be redeemed at any retailer that sells Halo Top. YUM!
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    The site to visit tonight is halotop.com/new

     

  4. Fall is finally upon us! In Connecticut this is the first week that we’ve gotten our first tastes of fall weather. This is also the first week that I had my first taste of pumpkin coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. I tried to hold out until fall really started but I came up just shy- how did you do? Starbucks certainly didn’t make it easy by bringing the PSL back in August!
  5. As I mentioned I have a three day weekend (sorry to keep bringing it up if you’re working today ha!) I’ve got all sorts of plans packed in: tickets to a comedy show, apple picking, a vineyard visit, a long run, and a cocktail party. I like keeping busy, but do you ever feel like you need a weekend from your weekend? Who can I ask about that?!

Stay adventurous, friends!

 

 

Rebel Dog Coffee Co. in Plainville, CT

Now that I’ve started to cover my love of wine it’s time to talk about my first love- coffee. As a nurse I work 12 hour shifts so I need A LOT of coffee to get me through the day. I wish I could say I was a dutiful home brewer but I love to spend my weekly allowance at the coffee shop (or the hospital cafeteria!)

I first heard of Rebel Dog Coffee Co. when I saw their giant billboard across from my dog groomer- targeted marketing perhaps? Fortunately Rebel Dog’s food and coffee selection is so great that it appeals to the dog people and non-dog people alike! Rebel Dog Coffee Co. can be found on route 10 with easy on and off access from I-84 and route 72.

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Aside from the standard menu options, one of the coolest things about Rebel Dog is that they sell cold brew coffee on tap and by growler. Growler coffee or tea is recommended for consumption within 7-10 days from purchase.

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I love the novelty of this idea! The barista mentioned that buying the empty growler and a gift card makes a great gift!

Rebel Dog Coffee Co. has a great seating area too with multiple tables, bar style seating along the window and comfy chairs. It’s always so popular in here that I’ve never been able to take a people-less picture to share. I love to sit in here and enjoy my coffee when I have time.

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Also pictured- a delicious house-made corn muffin

Wifi is free, of course, so I can work on my blog while I sip! As mentioned Rebel Dog appeals to the dog lovers too with an outdoor patio where I’ve seen many people sit with their dogs.

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You can see the fenced in patio behind my iced latte. One entrance (there are two) is under the red awning.

Rebel Dog is currently still serving their summer flavors. My personal favorite is the toasted marshmallow! Try it while you still can as the barista reports fall flavors are coming soon. They say they anticipate pumpkin spice with a couple more surprises up their sleeves!

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Have you been to Rebel Dog Coffee Co.? Or, do you have a favorite coffee place near you?

Stay Adventurous!

Throwback Thursday: Guinness Storehouse at St. Jame’s Gate

I imagine if you’ve ever been out drinking on St. Patrick’s Day in the US and tried to order a green beer you’ve heard at least one person quip that ‘real Irishmen drink black beer.’ In Dublin, Ireland this stands true at the Guinness Storehouse located in the heart of St. Jame’s Gate. No visit to Dublin feels complete with a good pour of Guinness so during my October 2017 visit to the city I took the bus out to the Storehouse to see it (and taste it) for myself.

Tickets to Guinness will run you about $28 (USD) though discounts are available if you pre-purchase online. IMG_4992.JPG

The seven floor Storehouse experience starts by showing you the growing, fermenting and brewing process.

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Barrels showing how Guinness was originally distributed

As we continued winding through the Guinness pint shaped building we came across a tasting room where you can learn the proper technique to drink a Guinness.

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As we learned in tasting class, you must wait to drink a Guinness after pouring until there is a clear separation between the black beer and the white, foam head. Additionally, you should take large gulps to get the full flavor.

Following our lesson we walked through a large exhibit on the history of Guinness advertising and were treated to some of their most famous slogans and campaigns.

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I can’t imagine a beer making ‘health claims’ like this today!

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Finally after all the stair climbing and escalator climbing we reached the pinnacle of the experience- Guinness’ Gravity Bar which sits at the very stop of the Storehouse and offers 360 degree views of Dublin. As luck would have it, we visited on a mostly cloudy day but the clouds parted just as we enjoyed our beers and the beautiful views.

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Views of the rest of the Guinness Brewery
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Views of Phoenix Park in the distance

Dublin has so many great attractions to enjoy but the Guinness Storehouse definitely tops my list! This is worth at least one visit and I’d even wager to say that I’d go for a second visit when I find myself in Dublin again.

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In the mean time, I’ll have to to enjoy a pint on my home soil!

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Stay adventurous!

Lost Acres Vineyard in Granby, CT

My first ‘real time’ adventure I’m going to share is my recent trip to Lost Acres Vineyard in Granby, CT. Don’t let my words fool you- I was far too busy sipping wine to actually write my post while I was there! I visited here Labor Day Weekend as part of a new journey to get out and enjoy the Connecticut Wine Trail.

Tucked on a wooded, winding road, Lost Acres gives a picturesque first impression. Tastings occur in a barn surrounded by beautiful floral landscaping and sprawling vineyard fields complete with horses in the distances.

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Ugh, why did I not take a picture of the actual barn?! At least I managed to grab one of this cool, locally sculpted horse that guards the door!

On this particular day they were open 12-5p and we arrived around 12:45 which worked out well because it was quiet and we were able to walk right up to the tasting bar. For $7 you can choose five wines to taste and you get to keep the glass.

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My reviews are always going to be a little bias towards white wines because that’s what I like best! Though my favorite wines here were the Wedge White and the Reisling, I did try their Silkey Red which was a semi-sweet wine which I enjoyed more than I thought I would.

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Of note, I didn’t see an option to buy wine by the glass. That was no problem for my mom and I (aka my wine-partner-in-crime) as the Reisling was so delicious we were an easy sell on a bottle. Bottle prices ran from $14.99 (Old Orchard Apple wine) to $29.99 (Ender’s Reserve- a white, dessert wine.)

We took our bottle outside to enjoy. There was ample seating on the shaded deck with plenty of patio tables on the sprawling lawn below.

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Off the deck were the most vibrant Zinnia bushes overlooking the grapes. I love Zinnia’s in early fall/late summer- the perfect transition flower for the weather!

I think I’d be hard pressed to call any vineyard ugly but Lost Acres really takes the cake for how beautiful their grounds were. I look forward to visiting again during their winter hours for the chance to sip my wine inside by their giant stone fireplace!

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Can’t wait to cozy up here!

Until then I’ll keep sipping my way around the state of Connecticut!

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Stay Adventurous!