All of your Holiday Contests are in our base @Hartforddotcom

Hello Friends!  It’s the most wonderful, nutty, suite and spicy, bedazzled-with-reindeer-applique, time of the year!  So do yourself a solid and get out and enjoy some theater and cocktails and ugly sweater goodness.  And if you play your cards right – you can do so for FREE!

Hartford.com is hosting the annual (awesome) Ugly Sweater Christmas Stroll on December 13!  Enjoy Onyx cocktails at several Hartford hot spots, as well as a glorious Ugly Sweater.  Just post a picture of yourself in an ugly sweater on their Facebook or Twitter page to enter.  Here’s a glorious photoshop they did for me yesterday, as my sweater was too basic to really be considered ‘ugly’

yaaaas

THANKS LADIES

CONNetic Dance is bringing their Suite and Spicy, totally awesome, uber hipster, Nutcracker to the Wadsworth for the 5th year in a row.  And oh what fun – they are also giving a pair of tickets away!  Just post a picture of yourself with a Nutcracker to their Facebook page by the end of today (Thursday) with the hashtags: #spicynutcrackerselfie #conneticdance.  There will be a sweet (and spicy!  haha!  puns) afterparty on Friday night at Nixs also.  I’ll be attending… hope to see you all there!

nutcracker selfie contest

Good luck everyone!

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The Twelve Wines of Christmas, Courtesy of M & R Liquors

For the past ten years, M & R Liquors has celebrated the Holiday Season with a hand picked selection of 12 wines, chosen with festive celebrations in mind.  Ranging from deep red to bubbly, you’re guaranteed to find a wine to pair with your holiday party, dinner, or cocktail hour.  The ladies of M & R – Jessica and Patti – and I sat down to Burton’s take out (delicious!) and a sampling of all twelve last week, in order to get into the spirit of the season and bring you, dear reader, a recap of each and every delicious blend.

the ladies of m and r

Pictured left to right: Jessica Rounseville and Patti Paul of M & RPictured foreground: delicious salmon pasta from Burtons.

in my happy place

There are some things more festive than a holiday sweater and a wine tasting.  But I’m not sure what they are.  I’ll get back to you on that.

Without further ado, I bring you:

THE TWELVE WINES OF CHRISTMAS

charmersmagnol

“A Partridge in a Pear Tree:” Charmes D’Magnol Bordeaux Blanc 2012 ($14.99) Why start with a Bordeaux Blanc?  Well for starters, its high acid content makes it a wonderful wine to pair with appetizers.  French wines are almost always designed with a food pairing in mind.  This particular blend hails from Bordeaux: a region well noted for its excellent grapes. It also boasts an impressive 88 points, courtesy of the Wine Enthusiast.  Recommended food pairing: goat cheese and crostini.

maligny

“2 Turtle Doves:” Chateau Maligny 1st Cru Chablis Fourchaume 2011 ($34.99)  As with many wines on this list, the folks at M & R have selected some of their favorites which carry, quite frankly, obscure labels – you’re not going to see a whole lot of “Chardonnay” on the label here, for example – although there are 100% Chardonnay grapes in the wine! The concept is to challenge the palate with new and exciting  This particular light and creamy wine hails from the Chablis vineyards, on a small family owned and operated estate. The flavor would pair very well with pasta in cream sauce, lobster, or a nice light cheese plate and green grapes.

laperliere

“3 French Hens:” La Perliere Poilly Fuisse 2013 ($24.99) For those who might not know (I certainly did not – until the knowledgeable ladies of M & R clued me in) – “Pouilly Fuisse” refers to a white wine produced in four villages within the Mâconnais region of France.  This particular wine has 100% Chardonnay grapes, an excellent mouthfeel with mid crunchy characteristics, and a heavy load of spice and oak on the palate.  The spicy aspects in particular make this a great seasonal wine which will make you feel festive as you sip it.  Recommended food pairing: roast chicken or turkey.

limoux

“4 Calling Birds:” Limoux Terroir Les Garrigue – 4 Terroirs 2010 ($19.99) Another wine hailing from Burgundy, this particular blend has a higher acidity and less sugar content than ‘new world’ Chardonnays from Australia and California.  There is a high acid content with a beautiful color and clarity, and a smooth creamy mouthfeel in this wine.  The fruit characteristics would pair well with a seafood risotto.

perlieregevry

“5 Golden Rings:” La Perliere Gevrey Chamgertin 2010 ($43.99) Moving from whites to red, we venture into the marvelous world of Burgundy’s Cote de Nuits district.  This particular wine is very reasonable priced, hailing as it does from a region that is home to a whopping nine Grand Cru vineyards.  The pinot noir grape is harde to work with, and this particular wine is 100% Pinot Noir and executed brilliantly, with a nice smoky aroma and a smooth and full bodied finish with a bright hint of blackberry and oak.  It would pair brilliantly with a salmon dish, or a nice steak filet.

rubus

“6 Geese a Laying:” Rubus Barossa Shiraz 2012 ($18.99) Leaving France for a minute, we venture to Australia to sip one of my favorite wines on the list.  It’s a deep, dark, bold red with a rich fruit flavor and just a hint of spice.  Hailing from Australia’s top wine producing region, this wine garners a total of 90 points from Wine Spectator.  It’s a bold, smoky red which would fit nicely with a roast at Holiday dinner.

doubler

“7 Swans a Swimming:” Double R Ranch North Coast Red Blend 2011 ($18.99) As a member of the Wine and Spirits Guild Group, M & R Liquors has the opportunity to produce its own blends throght it’s “Double R” label – named for Roy Rounseville, one of the founders of the company.  This is a classic California “big red” – a blend of eight grapes expertly capturing a berry palate with a many spicy layered notes.  A very popular wine in store, the recommended pairing for this is roast turkey.

block478

“8 Maids a Milking:” Block 478 Napa Valley Cabernet 2012 ($19.99) Another big California red, this wine is new to M & R this year.  It’s a boutique blend with a great price point for its execution, with every grape coming from a small, intense 10 acre block to ensure a superb amount of attention to cultivation.  A very mature red with a liquorice and pepper palate, this wine is purely expressive of Napa Valley Cabernets.  Recommended pairing: flourless chocolate cake.

block627

“9 Ladies Dancing” Block 627 Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($28.99) Another block Napa Cabernet, this particular blend can retail for over $160 per bottle – so its another steal at the price point.  Its a dense and firm red with a nice crunchy palate and a crisp finish – a premium grape with a sophisticated taste and notes of cherry and chocolate.  Again, this red would pair well with chocolate, or a bold protein such as duck.

casarena

“10 Lords a Leaping” Casarena Reserve Malbec 2011 ($19.99) This is an intensely sophisticated and delightful Malbec, hailing from the Casarena Vineyards near Mendoza, Argentina.  It is suberbly balanced and has a wonderfully deep, buttery mouthfeel with just of acid finish and beautiful deep clarity.  Drinking this wine, it’s easy to see why Malbec is such a hugely popular and trending blend.  Enjoy this wine paired with an exquisite charcuterie board to bring out all the complex characteristics of the grapes.

papale

“11 Pipers Piping” Cuvee Papale Chateauneuf Du Pape 2010 ($39.99) Ah, a cuvee.  Known for its excellent, this one boasts a whopping 91 points from Wine Spectator.  The “chateauneuf” blend always has 13 different grapes in it, with one or two whites in the blend.  This is an excellently sophisticate wine with a notes of plum and graphite, and a nice subtle spice to finish its nose.  The grapes mesh perfectly into a buttery and concentrated red which will pair very well with a lamb dish.  Very highly recommended.

doublersparkling

“12 Drummers Drumming:” Double R Ranch Sparkling Brut ($24.99) we paired this Brut with dessert and enjoyed its bubbles and fresh palate, with hints of vanilla and brioche.  A traditional champagne blend from Sonoma, the grapes are crisp and selected in the traditional Methode Champenoise.  This would also be a terrific choice to toast in the new year!

Funk Night at the Half Door and Open Studios with BALLOONS

Last weekend was very Hartfordy in all the right ways.  I met up with Emily, Nick, and Jon on Friday night for a very pleasant and mellow evening of good cheese, friendship, and funky music at the Half Door in Hartford

go snarknado go

It’s a mini #snarknado.  All my pictures from this event are dark because my camera’s flash is terrible!  Time for a camera perhaps?

For $35, we were treated to two drink tickets – good for funky beers, naturally – as well as all the funky cheese and grilled cheese we could eat.  Which turned out to be (surprise) a considerable amount of cheese:

funky cheese

I’m not proud of the things I did to the cheese plate.  But they happened and we move on

I first sampled a saison beer:

beer and pork belly

Paired with delectable pork belly.  Such win

nick caito pork

Nick Caito delicately liberates mutliple pork belly pieces from the tray for our table

We also sampled beer flights, in which I unknowingly ordered sample sizes of beers far outside of my comfort range:

beer flight

The Blueberry Nightmare was aptly named, let’s just put it at that.  Pretty photo by Emily who is a better photographer than I am.

I have it on good authority from a leading area Beer Snob that sour, mashy, decarbonated beers are about to become the next trendy “thing.”  Which needs I really need to develop my palate, as I was unable to appreciate the more ‘exotic’ samples in the flight.  Well, it’s not like they didn’t warn us – funk night, funky music, funky beer, funky cheese.  Speaking of funky music, the band was amazing:

funk band

And you had better believe people were dancing

But the crowning pinnacle of Funk Night, for me, was the grilled cheese bar.  Because the gods are kind, we sat in a booth perfectly positioned for multiple trips to said bar to load up on tasty, fresh grilled cheese on sourdough bread:

grilled cheese station

Thank you, oh Grilled Cheese Master

Not surprisingly, I rolled myself home quite early, extraordinarily full of beer, cheese, and happiness.  Which was fortuitous as the next day I volunteered for Open Studio Hartford!  Open Studio is a quite wonderful annual event featuring hundreds of local artists exhibiting their wares across multiple venues in Hartford.  I was selected for balloon duty – a noble honor indeed.

balloooon duty

I’m not saying I’m a little kid.  I just really like balloons.  Who doesn’t?

This fun volunteer activity involved tethering balloons to various locales in Hartford so that passers by would know they were of the Open Studio tour.  I had adorable help on Pratt Street in the form of Kerri Provost and Penelope:

balloons on the street

Who was, naturally, also very into the balloons

We stopped by Hartford Prints and I discovered their new Dinner Party line, which means now I have to throw a dinner party as an excuse to buy all the things:

set the perfect table

Look at the pretty, pretty paper ware

And also previewed the super cool Dada exhibit, which will be the site of a Welcome to Bohemia party tomorrow night!  I’m pretty stoked for this party, as Dada/Surrealism is my favorite art movement, and I also wrote my thesis in part on Dada:

dada storefront

Nothing says “Liberal Arts Major” quite like writing a thesis on absurdity

So yes, that promises to be a cool party tomorrow night – not to mention my first ever Welcome to Bohemia event, which is pretty awesome. We finished balloon tying and did a quick, and too brief tour, of Artspace.  I would have loved to stay longer,, but 20 month olds operate on very strict timelines, if you know what I mean:

art space

But look at the cool art

So we did a brief tour before making our way to a favorite lunch spot: Tangiers.  I had most delicious falafel and Penelope demonstrated her artistic talent drawing with her bean soup (I think she even ate some of it)

p and kerri

P was more interested in Auntie Kerri’s cookies.  Smart girl.

So that was quite the fun and Hartfordy weekend, and this upcoming one promises to be more of the same – the Mouth tonight at the Mark Twain House, One Big Event on Saturday and then, of course, the Dada party.  Have a great weekend everyone – and if you’re lucky enough to live in a city with plenty of artsy happenings and parties, get out and go to one, because they’re wicked fun.

Artini, Halloween, and Some Cool Cats @RealArtWays … Oh My

I love Halloween.  It’s my second favorite holiday (because Christmas – and even that I go back and forth about).  And I love that this year I had the perfect excuse to dress up in a classy, fabulous way the night before for ARTini – the Greater Hartford Arts Council‘s signature martini fundraiser.  Not that there’s anything wrong, whatsoever with going out the night of in a cute little costume (I guess??) but for me, Halloween is all about Penelope and her trick or treating (more to follow on that).  So it truly was the best of both worlds that Carolyn, Emily, and I (plus friends) all congregated to drink cocktails and support the arts:

snarknado gang

“The gang” aka #snarknado

Photo courtesy of Alex Syphers for CTnow

The Greater Hartford Arts Council’s choice of venue for this year’s event was impeccable: the Gershon Fox Ballroom at Marquee Events is very art deco:

art deco interior

So sparkly

Also adding to the theme: a curated art show and Trashion Fashion models

trashion model

So cool

But the main focus of the event was, of course, the martini samples. A full list is as follows:

Capital Grille – The Stoli Doli

Cheesecake Factory – Strawberry Martini

City Steam – Maple Mudslide

Hooker Brewery – Beer & Stout

Hotel California Tequila – Pancha’s Last Stand

Max Downtown – The Mayflower

Onyx Moonshine – Thanksgiving in a Cup

Vito’s by the Park – Kettle Corn Pear and Salted Caramel

I only captured a few pictures of the drinks – as I was busy drinking them:

cheers ladies

So thanks again to Alex Sypher for this amazing picture of the Stoli Dolis.  If you haven’t tried this frothy pineapple delicacy – which is simply vodka marinated with pineapples – then get to the Capital Grille STAT.  It’s their signature cocktail.

A couple more highlights:

maple mudslide

Maple Mudslides from City Steam.  Only one of my very favorite cocktails – plus maple flavor.  Oh goodness.  And I must get these candles from the Hodgepodge

Hands down, my favorite cocktail of the evening was served up by Max Downtown:

mayflower

The Mayflower, served up by their Master Mixologist, Brian Mitchell.  In impeccable bar attire, naturally

Any night that ends with eating delicious Whitney Ave pizza of couple of flappers is a good night in my book:

late night pizza with flappers

Such win

I stayed the night at Carolyn’s so that we could get up bright and early the next day to attend the Metro Hartford Alliance Rising Stars breakfast:

hartford stage

 

At the iconic Hartford Stage Company, no less

And then of course, after work, it was onto the evening’s festivities and I would imagine the reason most of you are reading this: Penelope’s Halloween festivities!

bee and pumpkin

Is bumblebee.  Bzzzz bzzz bzz

Our next door neighbor has a little boy just a couple months older from P, so naturally they went out together in a wagon:

wagon rides

And naturally he was a crocodile

walking to the door

Cuteness level: 1000%

After the tiny trick or treating, a couple friends came over for dinner:

amanda and matt

Hello lovely friends!

We enjoyed a really nice bottle of pinot noir, which was a gift from one of our partners at the Courant (to each employee!) in honor of our 250th:

sparrow hawk pinot noir

yum

As well as a pitcher of delicious Onyx Moonshine and honeycrisp apple cider:
onyx and vogue

Hands down, one of the best fall libations you can make, and so simple too!  I mean, two ingredients simple

We had a full spread of food:

plate of food

On owl plates, naturally.  See, some people have to bust things like this out just for Halloween, but I use owl plates year round.  Perhaps THAT’S why I enjoy the holiday so much

table decor halloween

I also pretended to be Martha Stewart.  Badly.  Those are “pumpkin bags.”  Crafting is not really my “thing.” Ah well.

The rest of the weekend was equally lovely, topped off with a visit to the first ever cat installation over at Real Art Ways:

art installation cats raw

“Cats in Residence”

Penelope is a crazy cat lady in training – girl loves her some kitty cat.

with kitty

And the kitties were all very nice and gentle with her

As well as ‘cat art’ on the walls, all the cats in the installation are from the local cat rescue shelter CT Cat Connection and available for adoption.  The installation is in place through December, so you have plenty of time to go to Real Art Ways and bond with the kitties – perhaps take one home to a forever home?

kitty t

I wore my Big Bang Theory t shirt and made an elegant speech on Penelope’s behalf to her father as to why we should adopt a kitty.  I was overruled, alas.  By Penelope’s father.  At least we can visit the kitties often at the exhibit and with our many friends who have cats!

I hope everyone’s Halloween weekend was equally fantastic.  Now on to Thanksgiving, Christmas and the rest of the Holiday Season!  Fun times ahead!

 

Happy Halloween! Let’s drink #REDRUM @NIXSHartford

Happy Halloween friends!  As a huge Halloween and horror story fan, I recommend Nixs Hartford this holiday for all your festivity related needs (as long as they are alchohol and party related – that’s what they do best after all).

Rich Clemens has been featured here before, and is an amazing mixologist, came up with a #redrum cocktail which is both delicious and an amazing reference to The Shining –

brady twins

Cue creepy Brady Twins, hello ladies

It’s a delicious libation, and it involves hand carbonation:

ze carbonation process

Hey, thanks Anthony!

And then it’s served in a VERY crowd friendly glass bottle, oh yaaas

red rum oh yeah

Soo into it

The ingredients are as follows:

hallo my beauty

Pyrat Rum, Sloe Gin, Coconut Water, Amaretto, lime juice, pineapple juice

Oh yeah, and it’s only $6.  So there’s that.  Nixs has a whole slew of Halloween activities planned – a Pyrat (rum) party tonight, with $500 in prizes (for sexiest costume and best pirate costume).  Tomorrow, there will be a “Dia de los Muertos” party with an additional $500 in prizes (wow yourself)

And last, but certainly not least, Sunday will bring a “Day of the Drag,” hosted by the one and only Amanda Lepore and Maritat Bonita, music by International DJ Producer, Scotty Thompson, and an additonal $500 in prizes!

 

@marchofdimesct Signature Chefs Auction at the Riverview in Simsbury

Man oh man.  Black coffee and blogging at 6 am?  This is the LIFE.  In other news, I don’t recognize the productive morning person I am becoming.  But, faced with a super busy week (husband out of town traveling, our black tie 250th gala tonight, hair appointment at Blo for said gala during my lunch break) I am fitting things in where I can, as one does as a mommy, a blogger, and a working professional.  And that includes setting my alarm an hour and a half early in order to recap the amazing time Leeanne and I enjoyed at the Riverview in Simsbury last week, for the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Gala!  If you missed this one, there will be another in Fairfield on November 5th too – right around the corner.

a recipe for healthy babies

A recipe for healthy babies!  Awwww

Let’s back up for just a minute and look at what the March of Dimes accomplishes.  They are the premiere charity dedicated to eradicating, whenever possible, premature delivery (which leads, naturally to health complications for mamas and their babies) as well as for providing the best possible care for preemies?  What a good cause, is my point.  I was honored to get an email requesting I attend the event as a blogger, and I did receive a free ticket (plus a guest – ie/ the lovely Leeanne) from the charity.

selfies with leeanne ftw also rizuttos cocktail

A rare Leeanne selfie.  I’d like to thank Suzie Hunter for making this possible

The Signature Chef’s Auction takes place annually, with a bunch of big hearted chefs joining forces to offer gourmet bites of food and small samples of cocktails, while guests mingle and enjoy a silent and live auction:

mickey mouse

I didn’t bid, but if I had, it would have definitely been on this Disney experience package.  So fun.  P is excited to meet Mickey Mouse.  Someday (soon) it’s going to happen.

In addition to the silent auction, guests enjoyed a live bidding, which Leeanne and I unfortunately missed as we were both tired and didn’t stay for more than an hour or two, although we thoroughly enjoyed circling the gorgeous Riverview space during the time that we were present, and saying hello to a bunch of our friends who were there working the event:

plan b

Starting with Plan B burgers.  Quite simply the best.  I snatched a ‘to go’ second burger on the way out because I’m obsessed and they were quite kind about my greed, ha.  Also, mini is the perfect size/shape for a burger, in my opinion, and I love that Plan B will make any of their regular burgers with toppings into minis upon request in their restaurants!  OK, end burger rant.

Having started with beef, we moved onto seafood:

bobby vs

Seared tuna FTW

The above delicate bite was from Bobby V’s, an upscale sports bar and lounge located in Windsor Locks:

sweet set up and bobby vs

Kudos for the signature table settings too!  Very cool.

Next up, we sampled a delectable and complex serving of short rib stuffed in pepper from Barcelona:

barcelona peppers

So very pretty

Side note: Leeanne seriously has a photographic memory when it comes to dishes/ingredients.  I was having difficulty taking notes and balancing the plates (plus I was distracted/excited by all the wonderful food and cute baby photos) and she repeated all the ingredients to me, which was seriously nice and also seriously impressive!

march of dimes leeanne photo

And she took this nice picture of the back of my dress/necklace detail!  She is the best

In addition to the food stuffs, there were plenty of libations being poured.  Our friends at Onyx are always nice to see out and about:

linley

The lovely Linley pouring several options for the Onyx (my favorite was the cider/apple Onyx combo – so very good)

Another high note for drinks came form Rizutto’s, who were present with a lovely bite of braised lamb and parsnip/potato mash:
risottos plate

Yum.

Paired with it was a really delightful cocktail called “The Orchard.”  I didn’t snap a picture of it and the event, but I may or may not have ordered a full sized version of the same drink at lunch today:

the orchard

The Orchard – house infused apple vodka, Lillet, sage garnish

So yes, very very nice.  We also enjoyed burnt ends sliders from Bear’s Smokehouse:

bears with burnt ends

Thanks Jamie – delicious as always

What goes well with BBQ?  Beer, naturally.  And Hooker Beer was conveniently located next to Bears (nice placement)

hooker beer selection

I sampled the Munich Style – even tho Watermelon Ale is my favorite – it just seemed like a better seasonal choice (it was the right call, especially to pair with the burnt ends)

There were many more plates to try, but I was filling up fast, so I went straight to dessert and enjoyed a really, really, really, really good cookiewich from Taste by Spellbound:

taste by spellbound

Choose your cookie, choose your filling.  I did red velvet with maple frosting and regretted nothing

But let’s not lose sight of what the event was all about – a fundraiser to help babies!  There were plenty of adorable baby photos everywhere to make sure that was top of mind during the evening:

ze babies awww

Sooo cute

Thanks again to the March of Dimes for the invite.  I’ve been connecting more with the coordinators, and I’m looking forward to walking in their March for Babies Greater Hartford in 2015!

Our 4th wedding anniversary @Atlantisresort

Happy 4th anniversary to my husband, Michael.  On October 21st, 2010, we carved our names into a tree outside of a courthouse in Vegas:

October 21

Perfect for the type B bride who elopes and easily forgets dates!

Ascended the Stratosphere

stratosphere

So high in the air

And said “I do:”

our wedding

The dress is BCBG and I bought it online without trying it on.  It fit perfectly.  I get lucky sometimes (in love too!  I mean, obviously)

It’s more traditional to do something ‘big’ for five years, but then again, we’re not really traditional people.  So we decided to head off, without little Penelope, to Atlantis Resort a couple weeks ago to commemorate our wedding in a big way.

balcony view

Thanks for the free balcony upgrade, Atlantis!  And the amazing trip

As the view above demonstrates better than a thousand words, Paradise Island (Freeport, Bahamas) is an absolutely idyllic locale.  The island vibe is happy, serene, and as relaxing as listening to the palm trees on the beach.  We enjoyed every minute of our four day, three night stay, although I think that we both agreed that the family friendly nature of the resort meant that the next trip back would definitely be with Penelope present.  There are large, clean, kid friendly pools…

pool yaaas

Whoa.  Yeah.

…awesome water slides (terrific) super aquariums (sharks! wow), and a really cool looking kids’ club.  So yeah, there was some natural parental guilt when I pictured how much P would have enjoyed the pools, being the little water baby that she is:
P1010483

Seen here enjoying a pool with Daddy on Sanibel Island last Christmas in Florida.  Man, that kid was bald back in the day

But – sometimes it’s really nice to have one on one time with someone you love.  And if that one on one time happens in paradise?  Well, heck, might as well roll with it.  So I relaxed, and we thoroughly enjoyed our vacation.

lying down

From the beach/grottos (that’s me, manatee style)

To the casino:

w the sculpture

Note Mike’s yard long daiquiri please.  The man loves his daiquiris

To our off resort field trip to Senor Frogs:

baby mike and kat

Our first trip to Senor Frogs in 2009

four years later

And in 2014!  I think Mike wore those same board shorts in 2009.  Might be time for a new pair 😉

In addition to the pool, beach, casino, and bar excursions, I went on a food quest: to eat conch in every form I could find it.  I had reasonable success but I believe I could have done better and will try to raise the bar next trip:
johny rockets

Conch chowder at Johnny Rockets?  Love it

preparing the conch salad

Conch crudo prepared fresh on the sea (literally, in a boat) ceviche style with lime and tomato

mimosa brunch

Stewed conch in gravy for breakfast (pictured right on that very full brunch plate)

awesome grouper

Ok, this is a picture of grouper.  But there were conch fritters at the meal.  We just ate them all before I could take a picture – it happens – and the grouper was very, very good

In addition to the Conch Quest, I crossed an item off my foodie bucket list and went to Nobu for the first time.  Michael and i both loved it, and my favorite items were the lychee martini with elderflower and the salmon wrapped in pear, which is a flavor combination I still fantasize about:

photo 3

Really masterful pairing, both in flavors and texture

In addition to the pools, the beaches, the really cool water slides, and all the aforementioned eating, there was a nice little cluster of shops on the resort.  I believe in duty free whenever possible, and I was very happy to score a travel perfume for myself:

chanel

yaaaas

And a Barbie perfume set for P:

barbie perfume set

Which she absolutely loves because of course she does

And, of course, I wore as much Lilly Pulitzer as possible in a four day period:

photo 2

Dress from Silkworm!

lilly t

Also from Silkworm.  Come to think of it – most of my Lilly is from Silkworm.  Thanks for being a northern outpost for this awesome southern brand, Erica!

We stayed at the Royal Towers at the resort, which is the mid price range option, and very centrally located, which is nice, because as you can probably imagine, the resort itself is friggin’ enormous:

atlantis arches

And also, really gorgeous

When we return, I think it will be to the Royal Towers.  And it most likely is a question of if, not when, as the entire vacation was really lovely from start to finish, and all the family friendly elements of Atlantis will make it a great destination to return with P in the years to come.  So goodbye for now Atlantis:

rum cake yaaas

And goodbye rum cake, which definitely did not survive the plane ride home.  Because I ate it.

Until, we hope, very soon!  And thanks to all the lovely people we met on the island who helped us to celebrate our four year anniversary in such a wonderful way.  And to my husband, if you overcome your hatred of social media long enough to read this – I love you very much, and happy anniversary.