Let’s Meet at the Commons on 3rd St.
August 2, 2012

Before meeting our party , in the city, we made a pit stop at Barcade, in Jersey City, NJ (www.barcadejerseycity.com). The little gem celebrates vintage arcade games and american craft beer under ONE ROOF!  The beer menu changes frequently, so if you find something you like write it down.  There is a kitchen where you can order things to nosh on, while you drink or play games.  It is strictly small appetizers and sandwiches.  The bar & games are the best things there…wink wink.  Barcade is open Mon.-Thurs.(4pm-2am), Fri-Sat(12pm-3am), and Sun.(12pm-2am).  The bar has Happy Hour Mon.-Fri with bar and food specials.  This place is definitely for the “big kid” in every adult.  Sorry no children allowed…21 and over. If you can’t help throwing a quarter into a Mrs. Pac Man or Zelda machine when you see it…This is your place.

After throwing back 2 beers at Barcade, we rolled through the Holland Tunnel to a birthday gathering at West 3rd Common, in New York, NY (www.west3rdcommon.com). This place is perfect for intimate gatherings.  The red couches in the lounge area (in the front by the bar) line the windows of the restaurant.  Our party had enough room to lounge and walk around.  It was a semi-private set up.  There were platters of Chicken, Sliders, Chips, Sweet Potato Tots, and Mozzarella Sticks.  I sipped(and threw back) Lychee Martinis and Blue Moon beer.  Of course there was the birthday shot of Grey Goose Vodka(Whoa). Everyone expressed how pleased they were with the venue. Thanks for the invite Meka and Therm.

West 3rd Commons boasts about having the best happy hour.  For happy hour specials visit the website.  On Sunday nights the entire bar is “half off” from 8pm- close.  During brunch, noon-4pm, diners can savor unlimited Bloody Marys, Mimosas, or Screwdrivers.  West 3rd Commons is open at 12pm everyday (Sun at 11am).  The kitchen closes at 12am every night.  If you choose to venture over to.  West 3rd Commons, ENJOY!

…Until our next outing…Smooches!

Pack Your Bags! Let’s Go to D.R.! (Part 2)
June 8, 2012

When we didn’t soak up the sand at Lifestyles Holiday Vacation Resort (www.lhvcresorts.com) we ventured into Sosua, a small town in Puerto Plata. We had a driver that knew the town well and set us up on a beautiful part of the local beach. The food was amazing. We had shrimp(huge shrimp) and a whole fried fish. The fish was the size of a car dashboard(Really). I was sort of skeptical about eating a whole fish, but BOY it was definitely something I got over. There were all types of things to do on the beach from water sports to glass bottom boats. There are all types of things being sold; from food, hand-made crafts, and massages. Don’t get pressured into buying everything from everyone that walks up to up to you…you’ll go broke. I truly enjoyed the day off the resort.

After spending our days on the beach, we enjoyed the luxury of having a private pool. We had mini pool parties until we tired ourselves out. A short nap, shower, and cocktail and it was time for dinner. The resort had a number of restaurants, which we were given the privilege to eat in. Every night we had a three course meal. The 1st night the entire traveling party ate together at a restaurant. Unfortunately the name of the restaurant escapes me. It was very good and the wait staff was very accommodating to our party. Even when our dining party did not want to leave, the dining room remained open. The 2nd night there was a big show and bbq, on the beach, to welcome the returning guests. The food would’ve been better if it didn’t get cold before you got back to your table…But the champagne stayed cold! On Monday night, the people in our villa went to Jazz( Cajun fare). Thank God we had the print out of our dinner reservations because, they had us down for an earlier reservation. After their “boo boos” were corrected, we enjoyed our dinner. The lights were low and since the service was sooo spread out, our party started to doze. Was it the flowing cocktails?(IDK)…but dinner was great. Tuesday we had dinner at Azul (Seafood). The clean lines and ceiling to floor windows were beautiful. The highlight of dinner was the LAVA CAKE! (OMG) I could’ve had 4. Be sure to take pictures on the balcony.  The view of the mountains are memorable.  Wednesday night was the private BBQ at the villa. The pork, beef, shrimp, & lobster was on freakin’ point. Even though I was getting sick(yes…sick), I was still stuffing my face…Ha!

The Lifestyles Holiday Vacation Resort had everything from spas& gyms to night clubs& bars and watersports. I indulged in a massage one morning. It wasn’t as good as the many I’ve had. But the masseuse did get a kink out of my neck, that I woke up with. If you are interested in purchasing timeshare, they can help you with the process. But, if you are not interested, DO NOT get on the van when they tell you that you are going on a tour of the resort. They’ll drop you off right at the “big white building” (customer service ).

It is hard to get bored on the resort. I had the pleasure to enjoy this location two years in a row. I really find it hard to believe that this visit will be my last.

…Until our Next Outing…Smooches!

Pack Your Bags! Let’s Go to D.R.!(Part One)
May 18, 2012

I took my husband to D.R. for his birthday this past April.  The weather wasn’t as great as my first visit, but it was good enough for the 20 of us that went.  Our hostess (w/the mostest…Ha!) is an owner at the Lifestyles Vacation Resort in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.  She is a gold member(1 tier below the highest tier), so our service was IMPECABLE (Nuff Said).

So we were on our way to the resort in the limo that they send (our party was so big…the men rode in the van) and the people in our party don’t consume 2, 4, or 6 bottles of champagne…THEY DRANK 7!  Francesco, our driver was WELL prepared.  We took the long route through town with a view of the beach… I was too excited for the week ahead of me.

After we got to Lifestyles, a gated resort, we went through all of the check-in formalities. You are given your bands (gold), which serves as your temporary jewelry during your stay.  You can’t do ANYTHING without that band.  Believe me they check (color & all).  While we waited we started our vacation with drinks and food in the Sports Bar.  The chicken wings are so tasty when they are fresh.  Being at an all-inclusive resort, you only worry about tipping, which is rather reasonable.  The money over there is .36 to the U.S. dollar.

We finally got into our villa, which was a 3bdr, 3.5bth, full kitchen(stocked with alcohol, water, and fruit), living room, indoor dining room, outdoor dining room and personal pool and lounge area. I love the living quarters, but the lighting was horrible.  The television service isn’t the best either.  Thank God that I didn’t plan on watching much television.  If you are lucky you even get a DVD player.  Our transportation(golf cart) arrived as we got settled in.  Cars are NOT needed on this resort (if you have a villa). They’re very fun to drive, but try not to crash…and NO DUIs PLEASE…LOL.(I was so guilty) Every morning the maid(Maria) made breakfast for the people in our villa.  If you have any special requests, they will try their hardest to accommodate you.  The pool guy came to clean the pool everyday, while we were at the beach.  This was only the BEGINNING of the service that was given.

Everyday we, as gold members(I keep mentioning the color, because it matters) have a choice of 3 beaches: V.I.P. Beach(Miami like…), Harmony Beach (Very Zen like…), and Serenity Beach(must I say more…Peace & Quiet). De’ja View Beach is right next(literally) to Serenity Beach, but it’s only for Shareholders.  Not much different from Serenity Beach. You must have a gold band to get onto Serenity Beach.  I’ve seen a number of people escorted off of the beach with “colored” bands.  After you choose which beach you want to enjoy, you choose your bed , swing, or cabana, to lounge in for the day; it is on then you can enjoy the sun and sights on the beach.  You MUST get out early or you will wait hours for someone to leave.  The food & drinks leave me hard to find a complaint.  The wait staff was more than willing to serve, especially if your tipping is on point (acceptable).  We even had one waiter try to come over and take our original waiter’s patrons(so wrong). The water was very rocky and the view was amazing.  I laid on Serenity Beach 3 out of 4 days and read my book (Fifty Shades Freed) and listened to music…And drank tequilla, tequilla, and more tequilla…lol

…Until Pt. 2…Smooches!

Sit Back, Enjoy, & Think Like a Man
May 11, 2012

On a quiet weekday afternoon, I went to the Essex Green, AMC Theatre(www.amctheatres.com ), in West Orange, N.J. The hubby and I decided to see the “dine-in” matinée showing of “Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man”. The movie was very entertaining…My experience was good (not great).

If you don’t know how the dine-in theater works, I’ll briefly explain. The Cinema Suites, one of the two viewing styles in the dine-in theater experience, has a 21 and older requirement. You purchase your tickets and pick your seat(s) at the same time. If you wait too late, you’ll either (1) get horrible seating(up front) or (2) won’t get a seat at all. So you sit in these nice comfy recliners(Cinema Suites). There is a button that you push when you’re ready to order your drinks or food. Food prices are between $3- $15.  Towards the end of the movie the waitress brings out the bill. I enjoyed my visit.  But, I was a little irritated that my food was served on paper plates, instead of real plates.  According to a friend of mine that goes frequently, the food is usually served on real dishes. I’m confused. If I pay money for a movie like the people who get real dishes, I should get my dish…I’m just sayin’.

Anyway, I will attempt another visit in the near future.  But, I am NOT going to a matinee…Oh Yeah, the movie was great. I loved the cast and all…Well done.  The AMC Theaters also have a lounge (MacGuffins), where you can enjoy a quick happy hour. You can even rent out one of the theaters for a group viewing (Sweet).

…Until Our Next Outing…Smooches!

Cuttin’ up on the Barber’s Birthday
April 19, 2012

On a beautiful Saturday night in April, we celebrated the birthday of my husband’s barber(and close friend). It was a looonngg night…Ha!

 

The night started at Cafe Wha? (www.cafewha.com ) in the Village.   After getting by the doorman you walk down the stairwell to the main floor(don’t fall).   It appears to be a basement like “intimate” atmosphere. You are in CLOSE proximity to everyone.   But, you soon forget about your seating arrangement when the band begins.   Everyone was up and dancing in the isles.   I had to dance with everyone I walked by, just to get to the bathroom. The house band (who is available for private events) played that night with a special guest who turned the place upside down.   Little to say there was not any skimping on the talent.   We had finger foods, beer, and sangria. The food was tasty…nothing extravagant though.   The beer was bottled…you can’t mess that up.   BUT, the sangria (…or kool-aid) left a lot to be desired.   Little to say, I won’t get it again.   Cafe Wha? is open 7 days a week. There is no cover on Wednesday and Sunday.

After Cafe Wha? we went to the Brandy Library(www.brandylibrary.com ) in the Tribecca section of NY.   It is a laid back lounge setting, with low lights and bottles of spirits lining the wall like library books.   I managed to snap a couple of pictures before the host informed me of the “no picture-taking” rule(oops).   There is a wealth of spirit information in this establishment.   You can order flights of various spirits or you can attend one of the classes that are offered in their “Spirit School”.   I ordered a Bostonian, which was very appealing to the Gin drinker in me.   I did not eat, but the birthday boy had an appetizer that’s like duck in blanket.   I wasn’t too adventurous that evening (or morning) to try it…But he liked it…and others may too.   The Brandy Library is available to host, and coordinate, private events. This establishment is a MUST DO, especially for brandy and cognac drinkers. Sorry.  Cigar smokers have to puff outside.

As we left the Brandy Library, we searched for a little dive bar, that we fell in love with some time ago.   We couldn’t find it, but we stumbled upon Bubby’s Tribecca (www.bubbys.com ). Bubby’s is a restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.   Bubby’s serves American fare of which many of “the recipes are handed down for generations…or stolen” (their words ,not mine). We weren’t very hungry, but a little snack with another drink didn’t hurt anyone.   I had an espresso martini. It was ENERGIZING!   The bartender, Josh, made a masterpiece and topped it off with some espresso beans.   It’s one of the best that I’ve had.   My friend had a chocolate chip cookie, that I just couldn’t stop talking about.   It was so sweet and it was the perfect complement to my martini.   According to the birthday boy, the cake that he had held its own award.   Bubby’s has locations in Brooklyn(Dumbo section) and in Tribecca.   Bubby’s Tribecca is open 24 hrs a day(12am on Monday).   It is a nice little compliment to the area.

…Until our next outing…Smooches!

Playtime at the Bleu Violin…
February 18, 2012

Last Saturday we celebrated my close friend’s birthday at a number of places, but we spent most of the night at the Bleu Violin,NY,NY(www.bleuviolin.com ).

When we walked through the door of the South Harlem bar/lounge and it appeared that we got there somewhat early. There wasn’t anyone dancing (or even standing) on the floor. The decor reminded me of the former 40/40 Club.  All of the seating said “Reserved”, but the person in charge said that we could park our “traveling party” at one of the tables until the scheduled party comes. There was a mandatory coat check($3), but when it began to get crowded, it seemed as if it wasn’t so MANDATORY any longer.

But, Oh well…The d.j. took us on a musical ride through the years. It got really hot quick from dancing (I danced in my seat), despite the draft from the door opening and closing. There wasn’t any more Moscato, so my group sipped on Reisling and Patron Margaritas. The prices for each drink were reasonable for NY ($10).

The crowd was inviting.  But, it wasn’t a big dancing crowd that night. There were more people (guys) standing and looking at the merchandise(women) then there were dancing. By the time the place got crowded it was almost 2am.(time to leave).

I must say that I would return to the Blu Violin again. There were no problems of any kind, while we were there. It was a “Grown & Sexy” atmosphere and the music didn’t put you to sleep (or pursuaded you to start a fight…Ha!). When you want to enjoy a night in Harlem, stop by the Bleu Violin…But leave your coat in the car (lol).

…Until our next outing…Smooches!