Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bebo's BBQ chicken and ribs in Isla Verde Carolina Puerto Rico

I remembered about this place after a fellow FB friend posted a picture of her and her friends at this hole in the wall joint in Isla Verde Puerto Rico.  I'm still overwhelmed with completing all my posts from Nov vacation that the blog posts are slowly making its way to the live version. I wish we had free internet on the cruise!

Anyhow, after a night of trying our luck at the Ritz Carlton San Juan casino, my friends and I jumped into a rental car and followed Google Maps and headed towards Bebo's BBQ in the Carolina area for some late night grub.  When we arrived, there was a short line that seemed to take forever to move.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tapas & Flamenco Dancing in Old San Juan

After numerous unanswered emails and phone calls, I was finally able to get a hold of someone at Triana Tapas & Flamenco Restaurant.  I made a reservation for 9 for Saturday night and we were confirmed! I was happy and relieved.

The entourage cabbed it into Old San Juan for a dinner filled with tapas and flamenco dancing.

Of course it was too good to be true, once we arrived at the restaurant, they couldn't find our reservation and the restaurant was full to capacity.  The manager assured me that I must have made reservations at a different restaurant but I brought out my smartphone and showed him the phone # and details confirmed, "show starts at 8:30 PM and lasts approximately 1.5 hrs."  He quickly changed his tune and said they would try to get a table for our group.

The restaurant decor is pretty cool.  There were string lights and lanterns hanging in the lobby and a corner with flamenco costumes displayed.

Awesome Segway Tour in Old San Juan Puerto Rico

The highlight of my trip in the Caribbean had to be the Segway Tour of Puerto Rico.  At first, I was a bit sticker shock at the price close to $100.00 USD for the 2 hour "Fortifications" Tour that included lessons, entrance fees, and a segway for each person.  The tour would take us through the places listed below historical landmarks in the Old San Juan area of Puerto Rico.

I tricked my 50+ year old mom into doing the tour. She thought we were going to drive around in a van, little did she know, she would be driving a Segway of her own.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Rumbaba Sailboat charter in St. Thomas

After reading numerous reviews and going back and forth with many business owners, my friends and I chose Rumbaba for snorkeling adventure in St.Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.  The staff was quick to respond to my inquiries and seemed pretty laid back, they didn't even ask for a deposit.

We went with the half day 4 hr snorkeling tour that included unlimited Caribbean cocktails, a few places to snorkel as well as appetizers.  I was sold at UNLIMITED COCKTAILS.

Thanksgiving on Celebrity Cruise

Ever since the Mo and I went away last year for Thanksgiving, we love the idea of making it a tradition. Normally in the states, I'd wake up early to warm up the oven, decorate the house, cook the turkey and make sides.  We've hosted more Turkey Day festivities than we can can count on our fingers.  Sometimes, change is nice.  Waking up on a beach to breakfast already made and a drink upon request is a brilliant idea!

Thanksgiving 2013  Boracay, Philippines
This year, along with our moms, a few pals of ours ditched the cold weather for a Caribbean Cruise for Thanksgiving, We flew to

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Specialty Dinner at Normadie on Celebrity Summit

We bit the bullet and "splurged" the extra $45.00 per person on the Normadie "Exquisite fine dining" experience on the Celebrity summit.  The menu is described as French & Continental.

There was some confusion with the original reservations (on my part) but they were flexible to switch it around a few times for us.

Celebrity Cruise stop in Grenada

On Wednesday, our Celebrity Cruise docked in St. George's Grenada.  We took our time and enjoyed breakfast before getting off the Summit.  We walked up a steep hill to our first destination, Fort George, overlooking the bay.  It was a few bucks to get in and some effort but the view was worth it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Champagne Snorkeling & Titou Gorge with Bumpiing Tours in Dominica

We did the Roseau Valley Treasures (wet tour) with Bumpiing Tours.  They were quick to respond to email inquires and their itinerary and instructions with detailed and informative.  Dominica reminds me of Costa Rica with its lush greenery and beautiful views.

The first stop on the tour was snorkeling at the Champagne Reef among the warm bubbles.  The activity included snorkels gear (fins, masks, and life jackets).  Since we had a late start (our fault), supplies were limited but the found us snorkeling supplies from another vendor nearby.   Our group was small, consisting of only 10 people.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Grand Tour of St.Kitts

When we arrived in St.Kitts, it was raining cats and dogs. I kind of regretted organizing an island tour with Grey's Island Excursions, since the weather was not cooperating.  We met Thenford Grey at our meeting point at the Arrivals Hall at the end of the cruise ship pier and waited for our tour to start.

There were a few other groups that day and we were had a semi-private group lead by his brother (forgot his name?), who was a bit more straight forward, dry and had less charm.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

ATV with Gecko's Island Adventures

Our first port on the Celebrity Summit Caribbean 7 day cruise was St. Croix, the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Being the first full day, we wanted to take it easy in the morning and relax and check out the ship.  We booked a later tour/excursion for Fredericksted St.Croix after lunch.

After looking through all the choices and reading reviews on Trip Advisor, we went with the ATV Tour with Gecko's Island Adventures.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Qsine on Celebrity Summit

Awaken your inner foodie on a culinary journey

Celebrity Cruise Qsine Specialty Dining
I always look forward to specialty restaurants on cruises.  Sure, you can save money and just eat at the buffet or the Main Dining room but I was intrigued by what I've read about Qsine on the Celebrity Cruises.

The prix fixe dinner was set at $45.00 per person.  Since we made reservations for the first night of sailing, we were entitled to a 20% credit.  Sure, I took advantage of that deal.  (Later I found out that they frequently give 20% off throughout the cruise)

Isla Verde and Peruvian Cuisine at Ceviche House

We arrived in Puerto Rico before the break of dawn and checked into our condo to nap for a few hours before exploring Isla Verde.  It is MUCH cheaper to rent a condo in Pueto Rico than it is to get a hotel room.  The local tax is 9-11% for hotel rooms, the later percentage is for hotels with a casino. In addition to taxes, most hotels charges an additional 10-15% for resort fees.  A handful even charge mandatory 10% service fees.  No matter how great the deal was that I found on Hotwire or Travelzoo, the final price was more than what I wanted to pay.

I found our cute Oceanside condo via Airbnb.  The rental accommodated up to 4 people and featured a huge flat screen TV, WIFI, in unit washer/dryer and a patio overlooking the ocean.  I was completely sold when I saw the price was $90.00 a night and that included transfer to and from the airport. (Since we were staying there on both ends of our trip, it included transfers to and from our cruise pier as well.) 

View from our balcony 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Artisan Italian at the brand new Tuscan Kitchen in Burlington

Before Tuscan Kitchen opened, there wasn't much selection for Italian dining for business lunches in the Burlington area. L'Andana was only open for dinner, Macaroni Grill was more on the casual side so we were left with Papa Razzi's.  My office mates and I were stoked to hear about the highly anticipated Tuscan Kitchen opening in New England Executive Park.

We had people visiting from out of town and I picked the new venue to host our business dinner. Wendy, the Private Dining Manager was extremely helpful with helping us coordinate the event.  I liked that there were no room fees or minimum requirements although we did have to select from the pix fixe menu.

Our group started off the evening with the Salumi e Formaggi that stimulated everyone's taste buds. Each wood platter entailed perfectly cured prosciutto, sopresata, parmigiano cheese, creamy burrata and the truffle honey was the icing!  It was wonderful.

Tuscan Kitchen Salumi e Formaggi 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Brunch at the Stonehedge Inn & Spa

Being Fifi, my friend guilt-ed her finance into treating the ladies to a gourmet brunch at the Left Bank Restaurant at the Stonehedge Inn & Spa in Tyngsboro, MA.  We got there around 9:30 AM and there was only one other couple finishing up their meal.  We were seated in the enclosed patio area where there was ample windows and sunlight and we were able to enjoy the late fall foliage.

Stonehedge Inn & Spa
Image via Stonehedge Inn & Spa Website
The three of us couldn't decide on anything so we each got a breakfast entree to share "Family-Style", my favorite way of eating!