Ever thought about visiting the zoo in Washington, DC? Well, since my brother lives there, this has been my third year in row visiting the DC area. Every year, we ride the Metro to visit the FREE tourist attractions around the city. I knew I wanted to go to the zoo this year because I was getting a little "burned out" visiting the museums. So, I thought a visit to the zoo would be something that the whole family would enjoy!
As you can see from the pictures, the animals were outside (not hiding!) and the kids enjoyed using the interactive learning boards that were scattered throughtout the zoo. Flamingos, panda bears, lions, tigers and gorillas just to name a few! A few interesting things we saw: A panda bear eating a pineapple, a gorilla who pounded the plexi-glass in front of my daughter's face, flamingos fighting with one another and an orangutan who put on a polo shirt!
A few key points to note when you visit: a map will cost you $2 and some places around the zoo can be a bit hilly. I would totally recommend this zoo to EVERYONE of all ages! SMAC Approved!
Don't you love the arcade prizes that kids win? I mean who knew we could have fun bowling and win VAMPIRE teeth? Spring Break fun at the Columbus Square Bowling Palace with my kids and our neighbor who is like my extra kid! We rolled up to the Palace and it was empty on a weekday, but they have tons of leagues that play evenings and weekends. We paid for 2 games and got our super sexy stinky bowling shoes :) and then picked out our bowling balls. I always pick the same color...PINK! Pink is my favorite color along with gray and black. I know, I know weird color choices. We chose to use bumpers for Little Joe, which my made my 10 year old daughter mad because she stinks at bowling. I figured at 10 years old, you are too old for bumpers. MEAN Mommy! No worries my "extra kid" was making sure to point out my score and all my bowling errors. I did however have ONE STRIKE! The Palace is always clean and there are tons of lanes. Staff is friendly and the do have a concession area to order food. After 2 games they kids spent some tokens in the arcade and Little Joe got some AWESOME vampire teeth. I mean he looks so creepy right?
Happy St. Patrick's Day at Easton! No GREEN BEER for breakfast, but we did hit up Flip Side Burger for a lunchtime beer and corn beef sandwich special. Flip Side had a great vibe and I loved the rustic design. Service was on the slow side in the kitchen, but our server was very entertaining bringing us some sample brews in cute little glasses! Rene' and I split the corn beef and jamming onion rings and Mona and Kelly split a burger and fries. Mona asked for the burger to medium well and it was a little under cooked and grossing her out! The fries were dill parmesan seasoned and were a bit bland really. Corn beef was a little dry but I didn't care! It was St Patty's Day! The onion rings and ice cold beer and atmosphere were the best thing! SMAC NEUTRAL http://www.flipsideburger.com/index.html
SHOPPING at EASTON! What a super weekend to walk around and window shop! The sun was shining and Easton was packed as it was like 80 degrees! Rene', Kelly and myself escaped Archiver's with only a few dirty looks from Mona about not staying focused on scrapbooking! TOO BAD MONA! We hit up a tons of places, Ann Taylor, Limited, Macy's, Nordtrom's, Brookstone, and what a great day to people watch too. YES, in addition to blogging I like to people watch! Another passion I have is SHOES. AHH, Nordstrom's got my money this time. What do you think of my shoes? SMAC Approved! http://www.eastontowncenter.com/
We were so full from lunch that we decided on drinks and appetizers at BAR LOUIE. Of course, I stuck with the St. Patrick's theme and had an ice cold Stella. We ordered Nachos (Rene's recommendation), BUT the best thing I ate was the soft pretzel sticks that Kelly ordered. Fresh and salty which made the beer tastier. The pretzels were served with nacho and honey mustard dipping sauces. Seriously you need to order the pretzels... jeez I'm hungry now....
When people say you have a "God given talent" they are referring to whomever created the menu at NORTHSTAR CAFE! I love me some Northstar and I have been there for lunch and dinner but I was ready for some BRUNCH on Sunday! I had high expectations and Northstar did not disappoint! All kinds of options and it was a cool morning perfect to sit outside at the tables on the brick patio. I ordered a ham and cheddar scone for the table. It was amazing and I really could of ate the whole thing and not shared! Mona got a Mushroom fritatta (left) and she said it was OK, but she was jealous of my SWEET POTATO TURKEY HASH. Mona is always jealous of my menu picks! If I had my way, I would have Sunday brunch at Northstar every week. SMAC Approved!
OVERALL, EASTON was a perfect springtime Getaway for me and my girls! We will be back next spring and I could see it being an annual trip, just 15 minutes from my front door.... who knew?
P.S. A special thanks to the ladies who send the cute gift to our hotel! How special!
It is our bi-annual scrapbooking weekend getaway. Our group goes away twice a year for our scrapbooking weekends. It is here were we get to eat, drink and scrapbook without any kids. (Do you remember what it is like to have an uninterrupted conversation?) This year we decided to head to Archiver's to scrapbook and stay at the Courtyard by Marriott-which is right next door!
A view of the store from the scrapbooking room!
We arrived at 10 am at Archiver's to start scrapbooking. We checked in at a table and we were given a nametag and a number. A number is assigned to you so when you want to purchase items, you take them to the register to scan and log your purchases. At the end of the day, you then pay for what you purchased. After that, we headed to the scrapbooking tables and laid out our supplies/books. Since we were going to be there for the weekend, Archiver's allowed us to keep our scrapbooking supplies over the weekend! That was very helpful because then we didn't have to haul our stuff back and forth from the hotel!) Then, we browsed around the store for a bit-not only does Archiver's offer scrapbooking supplies but also stamping items/tools/stickers as well!
The cost to scrapbook at Archiver's during the day is FREE-but from 3-11pm on Friday and Saturday it is $10 per day and you also get 20% off all of your purchases! Your name is also entered into a raffle prize too-one friend won a $16 Archiver's gift card! From time to time, the staff would come and check on to see how we were doing and if we had any questions. We did run into some snags with an employee-one friend said her name was spelled incorrectly on her name tag so she requested another one and she said that the employee sighed with disgust as she had to make a new one for her. On Sunday, I was ready to go through my stack of photos and was looking to purchase A LOT of scrapbooking paper. When I asked if I still could get 20% off my purchases I was told "No" because the 20% only applied to Friday and Saturday paid crops. When I explained to the employee (who was also a manager) that I did not realize that the deal was only for paid Friday/Saturday crops, she still would not give me the 20% off. I have to say that I was pretty disgusted at that point and realized that she obviously did not want my business.
Finally, the Wi-Fi connection-we had one friend who was not going to be scrapbooking. She decided that she was going to surf the internet at the store but had no Wi-Fi connection! She wound up having to go to Panera and then wound up shopping around Easton instead of hanging out with us. (Note to Easton Town Center: Check the Wi-Fi at Archiver's!)
Overall, we had a good time regardless of our issues! SMAC Approved to scrapbook and crop; SMAC Not Approved for customer service or Wi-Fi!
Setting up our supplies for scrapbooking in the scrapbooking room!
PIADA ITALIAN STREET FOOD!
Lunchtime! Rene suggested that we go to Piada Italian Street Food at Easton. So off we went! Since Valerie and I had not been there before, she started taking pictures of the restaurant/menu. It was then she was accosted by an employee who said that we cannot take pictures due to someone trying to steal the concept. Seriously?
Val then put her smartphone camera away and then we ordered. The menu/ordering is like this-you order a piada (a large thin crust dough, salad, or pasta bowl and then decide what grill item you want-chicken, steak, sausage, steak, etc. Then, the person behind the counter starts to make your order (think of Chipolte). The next person behind the counter then asks you what sauce or toppings you want-fresh veggies, feta cheese, white beans, etc. Sauces include hot and cold sauces, i.e. Parmesan alfredo or Red Pepper Pesto. You can also order a side-i.e. salad or piada stick.
Val and I decided to split a piada and a salad. In the piada, I ordered italian sausage, mushrooms, red onions and Diavolo (spicy red sauce). For the salad, artichokes, cucumbers, black olives, and peppadew peppers with balsamic dressing. The piada was just okay-the bread was delicious and warm but the toppings inside were cold so it did not make for the tastiest sandwich. The salad was better since the cold items blended well with the salad.
Rene also ordered the cannoli chips with the chocolate chip cream. This was really good! I still prefer a traditional cannoli with cream inside but by breaking down the shell, you can share it with friends!
Bed at Courtyard by Marriott!
COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT AND GIFT FROM EASTON MOM-E!
After lunch, it was time to check into the hotel! Before we checked in, we got a twitter message from Easton Mom-E letting us know that we had a gift waiting for us at the Courtyard my Marriott Hotel! Sweet!
Upon entering the spacious room, we then opened up our gift bags-items were from Bath and Body works, Easton coupons, pen, notepads and a business card wallet!
What a great way to start our Mom Weekend with friends!
My name is Donnie Austin, and I am the owner of House Wine in Worthington. I gave up an engineering career at Honda to pursue my true passion of wine. I first got into wine by enjoying it with friends at our weekly dinner parties and sampling the different bottles that people would bring to the party. I wanted to learn more about this amazing beverage...where it comes from, how it's made, how different grapes and differing philosophies about making wine can lead to such a wide range of flavors. I love discovering a great bottle of wine I didn't know about before, and I like it even more when I can turn around and share it with friends as well. I have traveled to Italy and around the U.S. (with France and Spain in late April) to get a sense of how people are making wines and how those wines get paired with food and then share my knowledge with whoever I can. A few years ago, I became a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and look forward to continuing to learn as much as I can about this fascinating beverage.
The name of our store comes from our belief that everyone can find a "House Wine" of their own, regardless of their level of wine knowledge or budget. We enjoy sharing various wines with you, whether you know exactly what you like or want to go down the adventurous path of trying something new. House Wine acts as both a wine shop and wine bar. You can shop for wine to enjoy at home and we offer interesting wines that are great values, competitive pricing and 10% case discounts. You can also taste and learn wines at our shop. We have 24 wines that you can self-serve by the ounce with our Enomatic wine dispensing machines. You can also share a bottle with our minimal corkage fee of $5. We host tastings at our shop every Thursday night, offer two wine clubs and host many customers for our weekday happy hour between 3pm and 7pm. And if you're every looking for a special bottle of wine, we're happy to order it for you if we don't currently stock. We strive to give you the best experience at House Wine.
Owner | General Manager | Certified Sommelier, CMS
644 High Street
Worthington, OH 43085
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