Oualichi Restaurant (St. Maartin) 

The last of my diner experiences from our honeymoon was at the Oualichi Restaurant in St. Maartin. Oualichi is located right on the boardwalk of St. Maartin.  The restaurant faces the beach and it’s completely open and airy.  Your choices for seating are to sit in the sun outdoors or in the shade facing the beach.

Cafe view (yes this is real life)

Cafe view (yes this is real life)

We stumbled upon Oualichi after we snorkeled and kayaked earlier in the day.  We were both hungry and the staff was very friendly and welcoming.  We decided it would be a fun place to dine.
Atmosphere: A 
It’s hard not to rank the atmosphere an A.  We were facing the beach, the weather was beautiful and the staff was extremely friendly.  Out of all of the diners and restaurants I’ve been too, this was one of the best atmospheres and views.
Coffee: —
For the first time I’m a very long time I did not order coffee.  It was pretty hot and I wasn’t in a coffee mood.  I was dehydrated and needed water.
Food: A
As with many restaurants in the Caribbean,  Oualichi  features a lot of seafood.  It also has a Caribbean flair.  I had eaten a fair amount all day but wanted to try the Carribean salad.  I’m so glad I did because it did not disappoint.
Carribean Salad
To say this was one of the best salads I’ve ever had would be an understatement.  The Carribean salad consisted of greens, corn, an entire avacado, pineapple, melon, grapefruit and a spicy like dressing.  There was nothing that I didn’t like about the dressing. There was nothing I didn’t care for about the salad. I ended up eating the entire thing pretty easily.
Cost: $$$
The salad and water (they only use bottled water) was 21 dollars.  It was completely worth it though.
Overall thoughts/would I come back? 
Oualichi Restaurant was truly one of my favorite restaurants to date and I wish I could come back every single day.  Sadly my budget and private jet does not allow that…
Atmosphere: A
Food: A
Price: 15-25
Overall rating: A
Questions for you: 
What is the best restaurant atmosphere you have been too? 
Have you ever eaten on the beach? 

Gladys Cafe (St. Thomas) 

While visiting to St. Thomas, we stumbled upon Gladys Cafe.  We decided to deboard and see which restaurants were open on the island.  While touring around the town we stumbled upon Gladys Cafe.  It had a dineresc feel so we thought why not try it?  We were actually very intrigued by the menu and were instantly hooked (and yes we ate in other “nondiner” restaurants too ;)

After we went back to the cruise and had internet we found out that Gladys Cafe was one of the most popular restaurants on the island of St. Thomas.  It’s always fun when you can stumble upon hidden gems like that!

Atmosphere: A 

The restaurant is tucked on a side street of St. Thomas.  You have to walk down an alleyway to physically get there!  I don’t know how we even randomly found our way there.  The building is long and narrow so there is plenty of room in the restaurant. There are three rooms with a bar in the middle.  Gladys cafe is decorated with multiple family photos and portraits.  It is very clear it’s a very family friendly restaurant.  It’s nice to actually see how family friendly themed it is.

 

Leaving the ship.

Leaving the ship.

It was also really interesting and unique to see the owner, Gladys, working and making drinks for customers.  The only other time I’ve seen the restaurant owner working was in Rochester!

Coffee: D 

The waiter forgot I wanted coffee and I did not receive it until halfway through eating my meal.  It was also $3 and for 6 ounces.  For me the coffee was not worth it and I would not order it again.

Food: A

Glady’s Cafe has a lot of local and tropical options.  They have a lot of seafood options as well as poultry and lamb.  There are so many unusual foods that I have never heard of.  I enjoyed browsing the menu and debating what to order.  I hadn’t had Mahi Mahi in a while so I made the decision to order that! Before Glady’s the last time I had Mahi Mahi was probably in 2012.

 

Grilled mahi mahi at Glady's Cafe (the photo does not do it justice)

Grilled mahi mahi at Glady’s Cafe (the photo does not do it justice)

I ordered the grilled Mahi Mahi salad.  The Mahi Mahi was some of the best fish I’ve had.  It wasn’t over cooked and tasted as if they had fished it out themselves.  It was one of my favorite seafood dishes to date.  Most of my food on vacation was so delicious and unique that I want to post about it.  The salad was a normal ceaser salad.  I originally ordered the dressing on the side but they forgot to put it on the side so I just ate the salad anyways.  ‘Honestly, the salad was good and I’m glad it worked out that way.

Price: $$$

For my coffee and Mahi Mahi salad, the price was $22.  For the amount of food and coffee I received it was expensive.  That being said, the food was high quality so it was worth it.  I probably wouldn’t order the coffee again.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 

Gladys cafe is great and I enjoyed the Mahi Mahi.  I would come back but wouldn’t order coffee again.  I found the food extremely delicious and would recommend it if you visit St. Thomas.  The only issue I had was the service was not great (the coffee and salad dressing was forgotten).  Everything worked its way out in the end though.

Cliff notes:

Atmosphere: A

Coffee: D 

Food: A

Price: $15-25 

Overall rating: B

Questions for you: 

Have you tried mahi mahi before? 

Have you ever been to St. Thomas? 

Cruise Ports

The recaps of the honeymoon have been so sporadic the last two weeks.  It shouldn’t really matter and I’ll get to them all eventually.  So many blog topics, so little time (I joke…).

To keep myself organized here is what I’ve Recapped so far:

Key West

The Cruise

The Cruise Food

The last chapter of the honeymoon posts is the actual ports and islands we visited.  We went to Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maartin.

Nassau is the easiest to recap because we only stayed in Nassau a few hours.  We spent the time shopping and just walking around the town.  We bought souvenirs but other than that didn’t go very far.  Honestly we enjoyed that a lot.

The Bahamas!

The Bahamas!

In St. Thomas we walked around even more.  I don’t think I have walked that much in a very long time.  We walked around the area and even walked to the other cruise ship port (about a mile away).  It was great to see the island and see what was going on by foot.  St. Thomas is also where we stopped at Glady’s Café (diner review this weekend).  By the end of the day I was so exhausted!  I have never fallen asleep that easily!

Grilled mahi mahi at Glady's Cafe (the photo does not do it justice)

Grilled mahi mahi at Glady’s Cafe (the photo does not do it justice)

At the final port we visited, St. Maartin, we decided to do an excursion.  We went kayaking and snorkeling.  I am not coordinated at all and we shared a kayak.

Does this filter make us look tan?

Does this filter make us look tan?

The group instructor said “we do not provide marriage counseling after the tour”.  HA!  We had a great time and saw a lot of fish and creatures.  The fish were not as bright as I imagined but it was awesome to take our underwater camera around and look at things.

Kayak ready

Kayak ready

I floated like a log while T dove down underneath to the bottom.  Honestly I still think that is the most swimming I’ve done in a couple of years and I had a life jacket.  It made me realize I still don’t miss swimming.

I will take selfies while T paddles the kayak

I will take selfies while T paddles the kayak

After snorkeling, we were starving.  I think swimming for 1 minute makes me hungrier than running for 100 minutes.  We stopped at a local café.  We toured around (by foot again) and looked at various shops and markets.  There is so much shopping on the Bahamas, it’s overwhelming.

Cafe view (yes this is real life)

Cafe view (yes this is real life)

I really enjoyed each of the ports we visited.  One major thing I like about cruises is the ability to see other areas for a little while and move on.  You get to travel and don’t have to plan a lot!

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to any of those islands?

Do you enjoy snorkeling?

Banana Cafe

In Key West, T and I went to a small café/diner feel called the Banana Café.  Since the Banana Cafe had a “tropical” diner vibe, I thought I would add this one to the collection of diner  reviews.  Plus it was one of the best restaurants that we went too while on our honeymoon.

Atmosphere: A

Unlike New Jersey, you can sit outdoors all year round at the Banana Café.  The restaurant is very open and located on the Main Street (Duval Street).  I really enjoyed being able to watch everyone walk by and getting fresh air.

The inside is very open with many different paintings and decorations.  I like the overall décor and beach theme a lot.  It is certainly different than New Jersey diners and restaurants.

Coffee: A

The coffee of Banana café was one of my favorite restaurant coffees to date (and that is saying a lot).  First the whipped cream was great, the coffee was good and the cups were really unique and interesting.  Clear cups are always fun to me.

Banana Cafe Coffee (1)

The sun and beach are overpowering the background

 

Food: A

Spoiler: The food was also some of the best restaurant food I’ve had.

The Banana has café has many different options.  Since it is located in Key West, most of the food is seafood related. They had many options from the catch of the day to the diner favorites such as omelets and pancakes. I decided to order the famous “La Mer” salad and it came with shrimp, scallops and smoked salmon.  It was one of the best salads I’ve had.  The salad had three different types of seafood as well as goat cheese, pineapple, apples and fresh greens.  As you can see they did not skimp out on goat cheese!  The presentation was also lovely.  The only thing I wish it had had was bread.

Banana Cafe Coffee (2)

Cost: $$

The salad and coffee was 20 dollars.  That is not the most expensive salad I’ve had but it was rather pricey.  The food was worth it though.

Would I go back/Overall Thoughts:

This is one of the best restaurants I’ve been too and I wish I could go back and every weekend.  I would recommend this to anyone vacationing to Key West.

Cliff notes:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Price: $15-20

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Key West?
Are clear coffee mugs acceptable? 

Vacation Food

Is today already Wednesday?

I have been working all week so I feel like the week is flying by.

Per blog culture I feel like anytime I talk about food it must be on Wednesday…I only participate in WIAW (What I ate Wednesday) once every few months because I almost always forget to take photos of my food on a daily basis.  The food I consume is also extremely boring and not photoworthy 95% of the time.  I’m a terrible cook and if something takes more than 10 minutes to make I don’t want too…

When I went on my honeymoon, everything was cooked and made for me so therefore it is more exciting!  Anyways, one thing we both enjoyed about the honeymoon was all the great food we didn’t have to make!  It was all perfect from the cookie nookie in key west to the several diners and restaurants we went too.  Everything on the cruise was perfect and I have no complaints about that either.

Instead of posting about how good the food was, I’ll just post some photos and caption them.  I think that is how you blog about food…This obviously isn’t everything I ate nor did I focus on taking photos.  These are the most interesting though and the photos I remembered to take!

I really enjoyed the never ending amount of seafood and dessert (as you can see).  I tried a lot of various fish (including dolphin…not the mammal dolphin but fish dolphin).  While out, we really tried to have as much as seafood as we could.  We knew it was fresh and local and there is nothing like fresh seafood!

I also had dessert every single night and have no regrets.

salad

Fish and salad in Key West

Lobster Prime Rib

Prime Rib and Lobster…so this is what the fancy and expensive 60 dollar meal life feels like ;)

Lobster Prime Rib 1

Another visual of the Prime Rib and Lobster…

Seafood Platter

Terrible lighting but clams, bass and scallops all in one

Duck

Duck and “fancy potatoes”..IE french fries

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate almond cake…it tasted a lot like a big piece of fudge but I don’t mind

Carribean Salad

Caribbean Salad

Bread Pudding

The best bread pudding ever

Can't forget the drinks!

Can’t forget the drinks!

Bad Ass Coffee

Not gas station but BadAss Coffee in St. Maartin…have to end LOLZ blog with coffee right?

Questions for you:

What is your favorite seafood?

What is the most expensive meal you have ever eaten?

I think prime rib and lobster might be it for me!

 

 

Key West

I guess I’ll do honeymoon posts before the Wedding…because that makes complete sense right? Since professional photos take time, I want to wait for those before posting about the wedding.

I won’t recap every single thing from the Honeymoon because that would be another 10 days of posts.  For our honeymoon we decided to take a short trip to Key West followed by a 7 day cruise.  Together we spent about 10 days away.  We really enjoyed seeing many different places and areas.

Before boarding our cruise we decided to head down to Key West.  I’ve been to Key West twice (once on another cruise and once for a swim team training trip).  T had never been before!

We landed at Fort Lauderdale and drove the (close to 4 hours) south to Key West.  It was a really enjoyable and pretty drive.

We didn’t have any big plans in Key West and just enjoyed that.  We walked around and enjoyed various aspects of the area (from the glass bottom boat to the “Better than Sex Dessert Bar”).  We are both very laid back so we felt no pressure to have everything planned to the minute.  That isn’t our style at all.

The first order of business was to buy these t-shirts.


game over key west

Some other activities we enjoyed:

Watching Dolphins and creatures from our glass bottom boat

dolphins in key west

We went to several restaurants including the Banana Café (diner review to come)

Our favorite restaurant was the famous dessert and drink bar “Better than Sex”.  It only serves dessert and drinks.  Since we both have a huge sweet tooth we had to go.  Plus how can you not go to a restaurant titled Better than Sex?

We decided to order the “Cookie Nookie”.  It was a cookie cake topped with chocolate and caramel sauce as well as whipped cream.  It was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had.

cookie nookie

I ordered a chocolate stout and T ordered the “Cream in my coffee”.  Both drinks were really good and came with a chocolate rim.  They melted chocolate and decorated the rim of the glass.

chocolate stout 1

 

Something we also enjoyed was the different areas to run.  When we first arrived to Florida, we were not used to the heat at all.  It was a struggle for us to get acclimated but once we did it made for great running.  I haven’t run in a sports bra in what seems like forever.  My favorite run was running to one of the local beaches and back, it was a beautiful view and a gorgeous run in general.  I am already wishing I was back.

running to beach

We also ran to the Southern Most Point of the US.  Whether you run there or not, it’s something you must visit while going to Key West.

southern most pointAs you can see, we had such a great time in Key West.  I really enjoy the area and it’s somewhere I really enjoy vacationing too.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Key West?

Have you ever been to a dessert bar?  

 

 

Things that Got me Through the Winter

Guess what my blogging friends?

These are the last few days of Winter!   Insert 20 dancing emoji woman here.

dancing emoji

Long story short, if you lived on the east coast this winter was rough.

Running outside was rough. 

Walking outside was rough. 

 

December and January weren’t too terrible.  Then in February it got very cold, very fast.  After I got back from Upstate NY it just kept getting colder and colder.  I honestly felt like I never left that area.  The days we received snow were the better days because it meant it was warmer and less windy…

Now that I’m done complaining about the weather I thought I would talk about some of things that got me through the winter this year!

None of these products were sponsored or afflicant links.  Here are some of the top things I think got my through the winter.

Northface Jacket

I bought this jacket is November.  I didn’t think it would become my best purchase of the season.  It’s warm and I have no regrets.  It was staple jacket and most people at work don’t remember a time I wasn’t wearing it.  (No really…).  I like to add photos of my jacket in action and on dates so here we go.

My jacket and Theresa.

My jacket and Theresa.

My jacket and Christine

My jacket and Christine

My jacket and DadLOLZ

My jacket and DadLOLZ

Basically if you have seen me in the last 3 months, it’s probably been in this jacket.

Injinji wool Socks

injinji wool socks

These babies are long and warm (TWSS).  They kept me feet warm but also came above my leggings so that my ankles didn’t get cold.  I wish I had more pairs but alas Injinji was sold out when I went online.  They are my favorite sock in the history of socks.

Space Heater:

Without my personal space heater, I would have some miserable days.  The personal space heater allows me to control the temperature around me without causing everyone else to live in a sauna.

 

Two Vacations in the winter:

As most people know, T was deployed during most of the winter.  It was a cold, miserable and lonely month.  Having two vacations with friends really helped propel me through the months of January and February.

The end of January, I went to Rochester and visted Laura, Heather and Brittany.  Hashtag Dream team (#DreamTeam),

How did this even happen?

How did this even happen?

Then obviously at the end of February I ran my Marathon in sunny Phoenix.

Party foul...my eyes are closed but everyone else looks nice so this photo won!

Party foul…my eyes are closed but everyone else looks nice so this photo won!

I think having things to look forward too really kept me balanced and ready to propel through the winter.

Questions for you:

How did you get through the winter this year?