Monday, May 26, 2008

Puerto Rico que Rico!

Eliot and I headed to the lovely Caribbean island of Puerto Rico to see my darling good friend Shelli marry. The day before we left I had the worst bout of food poisoning. Granted I had never had food poisoning before so I thought it was pretty awful. El was the perfect man. He held my hair back and rubbed my back, he was so sweet and patient. Luckily, I felt better before we left for PR, though, the flight was a little, well, rough. I spent some quality time in the tiny little bathroom hoping for good aim. Enough about my digestive system.

We arrived in Puerto Rico and picked up the rented car headed towards Fajardo which is located on the north eastern point of the island. The island has a national forest el Yunque that is located near there and towards the center. The island is small. One could easily drive the circumference in less than 10 hours. The only problem is the roads are not in the best shape and not well labeled. Therefore, getting to town was a cinch but finding our hotel was a little difficult. Our hotel, Fajardo Inn, was located on the top of a mountain with the view of the city and the Atlantic all around. It was clear that the Inn was newly opened. Some rooms were still being painted and decorated, the restaurants were brand new, and the smell was of new hotel (kind of like new car but different.)

The next day we woke up early and hung out by the marina for breakfast then spent the afternoon at the pool. We took a nap and headed to El Conquistador for the wedding. The resort was gorgeous. Shelli and Mike got married on the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean. It was spectacular. The ceremony was lovely. Intimate and warm. We had drinks in the labyrinth garden and then were escorted in for dinner and dancing. The wedding was amazing. Shelli and Mike are wonderful and there is nothing better than being able to see people you love in love and embarking in a lifetime together.

Dinner was a four-course meal. It was the first day I was really able to eat again which worked out perfectly. We danced. We drank. Eliot loves a wedding. He loves to dance and enjoys the happiness, so of course it made it even better. Towards the end of the evening, Shelli and Mike passed their bouquet to the couple they believed would be the next to marry. They were given the bouquet at a wedding a few weeks prior and wanted to pass along the tradition. They passed it on to Eliot and I.

The next day we slept. We were exhausted. We were lazy in bed until about noon. We checked out and headed into San Juan. We hung out in Old San Juan for a couple of hours, which gave us enough time to have lunch and check out a couple of galleries. The city is quaint and you can clearly see the Spanish influence on the architecture. Our flight was changed to leave a little earlier than we had thought so we returned the car and headed to the airport. All in all in a wonderful trip. Best Wishes Shelli and Mike!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Savannah's Cafe

This past week we celebrated the birth of Kim, glorious day! We went out to dinner to Savannah's downtown for most of us it was the first time that we had been there. This restaurant is the spin off of a beloved favorite off of Park Street called Safron's which was never a let down, so surely Savannah's would be great as well. It turns out that the high class southern food mofit that they are attempting fell fairly short of the high expectations that many of us had.

The appetizers were a bit unclear. We ordered stuffed mushrooms and what we got was one actual mushroom. For an appetizer, not ideal. We did enjoy the sweet potato chips with blue cheese dressing. Oh, and the juleps. This place is great for a drink. The juleps are southern, strong and the tastiest thing you will ever have, this very well may have been worth checking out the place.

Once our entrees arrived all of us were a bit "eh" about them. Rod got pork chops that were a bit dry. My chicken with stuffed goat cheese was way too dry, though the collard greens were soaked in delicious butter and herbs. Eliot's seafood jambalaya had rubbery scallops and mushy rice. The cost of the main meals in relation to the satisfaction of the food itself was a bit disappointing.

It would be fair to say that they were attentive and fantastic with Kim's surprise ice cream cake. They brought it out with candles and sang along with us, provided small plates and forks. The evening over all was a delight because we were hanging with our peeps which is always cool.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Vinoy Brunch

Eliot and I went to brunch Sunday morning with Cd and Fred at the Vinoy downtown St. Pete and it was surely a treat. The Vinoy is located near the water by Straub park. On this particular Sunday morning the day was already setting up to be be beautiful as the water glimmered and the parking was easy to find.

The brunch itself was spectacular. There were several stations with the sous chefs prepared to fulfill your every whim. A seafood stand with fresh mussels, shrimp, lobster and the best tasting crab were up for grabs, along with the raw bar there was several prepared choices ready for the picking as well. There was a tapas selection filled with olives, sausage, and some damn good crab cakes. A meat stand with a cutter slicing your hearts desire, a fruit and cheese area, a full service breakfast man making eggs Benedict on the spot and providing an plethora of other breakfast delights. The smoothie bar and dessert area were equally as decadent providing a fondue fountain, cakes, decorate your own cookie for the kids and the terribly delicious creme brulee. Without further gushing it is evident that it was a truly indulgent.

Mimosas, bottomless coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice surrounded us and of course one of the best parts of the whole thing is enjoying such a fun meal with such good friends. It was certainly the best way to start a Sunday morning.