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Category Archives: Travel

Ruby Tuesdays First Timer

I was away for a weekend and eating out is a necessity. When away I like to try different places to eat, or at least something different. I had never eaten at a Ruby Tuesdays before and there was one close to my hotel, so I decided to give them a try. I was glad that I did.

There was no wait when I arrived and was seated immediately, My server, Lauren, was right over to take my drink and appetizer order. I chose the Mixed Berry Iced Tea for my drink and the bowl of Broccoli Cheese Soup caught my eye. My beverage and app order in, I perused the rest of the menu for my main entrée choices.

My drink came fast, the tea was just the right amount of sweet and the berry flavor was present, My soup arrived not too long after. The cheese soup was maybe a tad salty for me, I use very little salt regularly, but not overbearing. The broccoli was abundant enough in the soup and had just the right amount of crunch and texture. A couple of packs of saltines accompanied the soup.

Next up, my main course. I chose the Top Sirloin & Crispy Shrimp. A 6oz sirloin with a crispy cooked jumbo shrimp. The order comes with two sides, I went for the basic French fries and the grilled zucchini. The meal came in a timely manner and was served with a smile. The steak was cooked to my desired doneness, medium rare. Nice and juicy in the middle and still hot, the steak had a nice fresh flavor, I could not taste any spices other than salt and pepper. The shrimp had a nice crispy coating and were deep fried. A side cup of cocktail sauce was served with the shrimp and had a nice tang to it. The grilled zucchini was a nice surprise, thin cut rounds lightly grilled with butter and a hint of garlic. The fries were your basic thin cut potatoes and were crispy on the outside with a nice soft center.

I opted not to have dessert at this time, as the meal made me quite full. The restaurant was nice and clean. The atmosphere was comfortable and I did not feel rushed in any way, even though the dinning area seemed to be filling quickly. For a first experience I have to say this was top notch, great atmosphere, friendly and courteous servers and great food for a fair price. Ruby Tuesdays will remain on radar for weekend trips.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2018 in Restaurant Review, Travel, Weekend Trips

 

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Comfort and Covered Bridges

Hampton Inn Concord/Bow New Hampshire

Spent a weekend at the Concord/Bow Hampton Inn for doing some sightseeing, specifically visiting some of the local covered bridges.

Upon arrival of the inn, I got a bit of an unexpected sight, the outside of the inn is in the process of being renovated. Crews all around the building were working on replacing the buildings outer coating. A post on the door of the inn explained that the entire inn is undergoing a complete renovation that will cover the next ten months.

Checking in was a simple process, I had already done the online check-in the night before, so all my stuff was ready, all I needed was to get my keycard and hear the orientation for the hotels amenities. A quick stop at the hot beverage station for a coffee and off to my room. The hot beverage station is a great thing, available 24 hours. With medium roast, dark roast and decaf coffee as well as hot water for tea and cocoa. A collection of hot beverage condiments to prepare your coffee your way rounded out the station.

My room, a King Bed with microwave room, was at a comfortable temperature upon entering. Besides the microwave, there was also a mini fridge, a single serving coffee maker, a television with a selection of local programing available and an iron and ironing board tucked neatly in the amour. The bathroom was sparkling clean with a selection of Neutrogena bath products for usage, a wall mounted hair dryer, as well as tub/shower, a selection of fresh towels rounded out the bathroom.

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While I am away on a weekend I keep in touch with my friends via Skype on a tablet. The tablet is also my main entertainment while in my room, so I rely on good Wi-Fi. Here the Wi-Fi was a bit spotty, while on my Skype call with my friends, the Wi-Fi cut out a few times causing my call to drop. It would reset after a minute or two, but still a bit annoying.

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Overnight was nice, the bed was comfortable, with nice fresh linen. The room seemed quite soundproof as I heard no outside noise and just a faint bit of sound from the hallways. The blackout blinds did a great job keeping out that night time lighting as well as the morning sun. The room had an alarm clock that seemed easy enough to set.

Morning comes with the complimentary breakfast buffet. A nice spread with plenty of choices. I had a couple of slices of toast, freshly toasted by me in the available toaster, as well as bowl of oatmeal, a couple of strips of bacon rounded out my breakfast choices. There were also home fries and scrambled eggs in the chafing dishes, a station to make your own waffles with plenty of topping options, a small selection of cold cereals, a selection of breads and pastries and to round it out a nice selection of fresh fruits. Coffee from the hot beverage bar rounded out my morning.

Out for my adventures of the day, returning to my room was as much a joy as my first entering the day before. Housekeeping had been by and had my bed made, freshened up my bathroom and replaced all that I had used the night before. The second nights sleep was as nice as the first, quiet and comfortable.

After breakfast the second morning, it was to check out and headed home. Check out is at noon here and gave me plenty of time for breakfast, a nice shower and getting packed before I had to hit the road. Check out was simple enough, stop by the front desk, turn in my key cards and get my receipt. Then on the road for my drive home.

The staff were friendly and helpful. I have already got a weekend for next year booked here. Thank you to the entire Bow/Concord Hampton Inn staff for making my weekend a comfortable one.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2018 in Hotel Review, Travel, Weekend Trips

 

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New Hampshire Covered Bridges

Woot woot, summer is here. July has arrived, and another weekend trip has come to pass. This time I was doing some, well, sightseeing. A Saturday of driving around to some of New Hampshire’s covered bridges.

My weekend started after work on Friday, and it turned out to be an early work day for me. This is a good thing when traveling during the summer months, it gets me out ahead of the heavier traffic, and this early day was no exception. The drive was nice, no traffic, a bright sunny, warm afternoon. Arriving at the Hampton Inn Bow/Concord gave me a bit of a surprise. The Inn is undergoing renovation, the outside was the current focus, residing and repairing of the outer walls was well under way.

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Check-in was quick and easy, as I had already done an online check-in the night before, I had my room picked out and all info had been entered, so all I needed to do was get my room key cards from the front desk. A quick rundown of the amenities from the desk clerk and I was off to my room, a King Bed room.

After a nice after work shower and a bit of relaxing with the music from Pandora playing, it was out to find me some place for dinner. After a bit of driving around I found the local retail district. A drive up and back to see what was available, I decided on a restaurant I have not tried as of yet, Ruby Tuesday.

Dinner was good, and the price was fair, Ruby Tuesday’s will be on my radar from now on. I had the Broccoli Cheese soup for a start, followed by the Sirloin and Shrimp with fries and the grilled zucchini. No wait time for seating and my server, Lauren, was very cheery and her service was spot on. The restaurant was not very busy, so not a lot of noise to contend with, making for a nice dinner.

Not much else for me to do in the area at night, so it was back to the hotel for a relaxing evening chatting with my friends. Wi-Fi in the hotel seemed a bit odd, kind of off and on. Had some fun conversation with my buds. Sleeping was good, comfortable bed and a quiet room for the overnight.

Morning and complimentary breakfast at the hotel, a bowl of oatmeal, a bagel and some scrambled eggs, to start my day. I knew I was going to be active for the day. The day was a bit overcast, but not really threatening rain, making my plans for the day going forward.

Headed out from the hotel towards my first planned bridge, Keniston Bridge in Andover. Easy to get to, the bridge is still in use.

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Next up, Cilleyville Covered Bridge, also in Andover and not too far from Keniston. Cilleyville bridge is closed to traffic, there is a small parking area for people to get out and walk across or enjoy a picnic at the table set up in the middle of the bridge.

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A bit of a ride to the next bridge, Waterloo, located in Werner. Warner is also an open bridge.

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Dalton Bridge was my next destination, the drive there had me driving by the New Hampshire Telephone Museum. I decided this would make a good, random, impulsive stop. I chose to visit my last planned bridge and come back after.

Dalton Bridge is also located in Warner and is an open bridge.

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The ride to the next bridge was a bit long and odd. My GPS brought me through the woods, over a very grassy road. Not sure why my GPS brought me through such an odd drive, but I did find it to be fun.

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The last bridge on my planned route was Railroad Bridge, located in Contoocook. Railroad Bridge is exactly what it sounds like, an old railroad bridge. Closed to all except for foot traffic. On one side stands the old Contoocook train station, I am not sure if there is any business located inside as it looked closed.

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Still early in the afternoon, I decided to go back to the New Hampshire Telephone Museum. I am glad I did, a very small looking building on the outside, loaded with plenty of telephone history. Great look at Mr. Graham Bell’s telephone history as well as some local telephone history. A great collection of telephones throughout history to peruse. I spent about two hours taking the self-guided tour and enjoying the experience.

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From the museum I headed to Applebee’s to get my self some dinner. Fish and chips was on my mind all day, so fish and chips was my dinner. I was feeling a bit tired, so I got my dinner to go and headed back to my hotel room for the evening.

Second nights sleep was a good as the first. Breakfast was light as I knew I had my drive home ahead of me. I had a bowl of oatmeal and some toast with a cup of coffee. Checking out was a simple procedure, turn my room key cards in and I was out the door and headed home. Sunday traffic was light and my drive home was uneventful.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2018 in Travel, Weekend Trips

 

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Delta Montreal Race Weekend

Had a recent weekend in Montreal for the Formula One races. I purchased a package from Octane Travel Solutions for the Formula One race. The hotel that we chose was the Delta Montreal.

Delta Montreal is located right inside the city of Montreal, there is very little parking around the hotel. Delta offers underground parking for its guests at a daily cost as well as valet parking with a bit more of a daily cost. I parked myself for the weekend, and as part of the package we got an unlimited use pass to the local transit. There is a couple of Metro stops with in walking distance of the hotel.

Our room was a two queen bed room with a balcony on the fifth floor. The wall mounted television had a good selection of local programing, giving us something to do during our down times. A coffee maker was included in the room as well as an iron and ironing board. The bathroom had a hair dryer and a collection of toiletries for guest usage.

My friend arrived a few hours before I had and did the check-in for us, all I had to do was check at the front desk for my room key, took less than a minute for me to get the key and off to the room I went. After a nice shower we headed out to find a good place for dinner. Checked with the concierge to get some ideas. We had a hankering for Italian, got directions and off we went. We did find the restaurant, unfortunately there was a really long wait time. We found this to be the case everywhere we checked. After a couple of hours of walking around and not finding any satisfaction we decided to head back to the hotel and see if their restaurant was still open. Luckily the hotels restaurant was still open and no wait time.

I ordered the pulled pork sandwich and my friend had the sirloin burger. Both orders came with fresh cut French fries. The pulled pork sandwich came on a pretzel roll, something I had never tried. I enjoyed the sandwich, the BBQ sauce on the pork was a bit sweet with just the right amount of tang for my tastes. My friend was enamored by the hamburger and said it may have been the best burger he has ever had. This set a trend for us for the entire weekend, we had dinner at the hotels restaurant each night. Saturday night I had the chicken club sandwich with came with an order of fries. Sunday was the steak and fries. Each meal was well worth the price.

The room was a 2 Queen bed room with a balcony. The room was comfortable for the two of us, I did not feel cramped. The bed was clean and comfortable. The room darkening blinds did a great job at keeping out the city lights and the morning sun as well. Unfortunately, the room was not very sound proof. We were on the fifth floor, and we got plenty of sound coming up from the streets below. We even heard the cars racing in the overnight.

I was aware of the hotel offering breakfast, I chose not to partake and rather slept in late. Housekeeping did a great job of tending our room while we were out enjoying our adventures each day, returning after the days fun we found the room cleaned, beds made up and any toiletries that we had used refilled. The only odd thing I noticed and was a bit surprised by, the glasses in the room had not been replaced and were found exactly where we had left them in the morning before leaving.

I found the staff of the hotel to be very friendly and helpful whenever I was looking for assistance. The common areas of the hotel were clean, and I found the whole atmosphere to be comfortable.

Checking out was a simple procedure, we went to the front desk, turned in our keys and we were on our prospective ways, I to the hotel garage and my car, my friend to a taxi and made way to the airport.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2018 in Hotel Review, Travel, Weekend Trips

 

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Montreal Formula One Weekend.

June, and another weekend trip has come and gone. This month had me doing a few different and out of my comfort zone types of things.

I took a trip to Montreal Canada for the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Formula One race. I stayed at the Delta Montreal, a Marriot property. I roomed with an internet friend, who is from Calgary Canada, my outside my comfort zone item, I have never roomed with anyone outside my family.

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Fridays work day ended early as we had a customer cancel for the week. I had five and a half hour drive ahead of me, barring any traffic issues. It was a nice, clear day, giving me a comfortable drive. The roads where mostly traffic free. I made a couple of stretching stops along the way. The first spot where I hit any kind of traffic or backup was at the border. It took me a little over forty five minutes to get through the border. Not a big deal, I had my passport ready, answered a few questions to the border guard and I was on my way through the last stint of my drive.

The biggest traffic I hit came just outside of Montreal, crossing the big bridge going into the city. Traffic was due to a lot of road construction going on the bridge and cost me a good half hour of just putting along.

Arriving at the Delta, I parked in the underground garage of the hotel, and there is where my car sat for the weekend. The package that we got included unlimited usage of the transit system. Along with the transit pass our package included a room with two beds, two sets of weekend tickets to the race, two copies of the race program, two lanyards, a calendar which I gave to my friend and few smaller items. I thought the whole package was a great deal.

My friend arrived before me, got us checked in and got the room comfortable. When I got there, it was about dinner time, a quick shower, a check with the concierge for a local restaurant, we decided on Italian, and out the door we went. In this early part of the evening the city was alive, crowds of people just streaming along everywhere. Because it was a race weekend in the city there were all sorts of events going on about the city. Unfortunately, because it was such a busy night, the restaurant we went to was way to busy, with a long wait time. After walking around for a little over an hour and finding the same thing everywhere, we decided to go back to the hotel and check the on premise restaurant, and if it was too busy we planned on ordering room service.

It was around 9:30 when we got back to the hotel. We found the restaurant still open and rather quiet, we were seated immediately. After ordering beverages and our dinner, I got a pulled pork sandwich and my friend ordered the burger. The order took a bit longer to arrive than we had expected. The pulled pork sandwich was alright, came with an order of fresh cut French fries. My friend said the burger was the best he had ever had, and is still talking about how good it was. This started a trend for the weekend for us, we ended up eating in the hotel restaurant for the entire weekend.

Saturday we spent the day walking around old Montreal, admiring the architecture, browsing souvenir shops and enjoying the local foods. I had not had eaten poutine before and had planned on trying some whilst I was in Montreal. We found a nice little restaurant that served poutine, and another local favorite, Montreal Smoked meat sandwiches. Had an enjoyable day walking around and talking with my friend.

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Saturday brought us to the race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. We had awesome seats, right across from the pit lane. It was fun being able to watch the cars come in for their pit stops. The race started out with a bang, a lap one. A big incident on the first corner that took out the local driver, Lance Stroll. It was kinda sad to see this happen.

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After the first lap, the race was not to very exciting, but it was still fun to be at the race. I was glad to see Sebastian Vettel win the race, putting him in the lead for the season. After the race we walked around the track, more for avoiding the crowds headed to the subway than any other reason.

Back to the hotel for a relaxing evening, talking about the day with another friend of ours that was planning on attending with us but somethings happened that made him cancel his trip with us.

After a good nights sleep we got our selves ready for our respective trips home. I was driving and my friend was flying home to Calgary. After a little over six hours of driving I arrived home, safely.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2018 in Travel, Weekend Trips

 

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Bookends Adult Superstore Enfield Connecticut

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I find adult stores fun to shop in, I like to talk about the fun I have with like minded people and I am entertained by some of the oddities that are for sale.

A visit to Bookends in Enfield was an enjoyable stop. I was in the market for a stroking toy for me and was hoping to find a small, discreate one, as I was on a weekend trip and wanted it for some hotel play.

The store is split up into two halves, a big DVD section in the back, where you are not allowed to bring anything from the front half back there, a good idea for some one shopping for both a movie and a toy, get the movie first. Me, I was just looking for a toy, but did give the movie section a bit of a browse just in case I saw something that interested me.

Back to the front of the store. There is a section filled with bachelorette party supplies, as well a some other novelty items. Magazines are in abundance here, I did browse through them a bit, hoping to fine a copy of Hustler Humor or some other funny magazines, not so much luck there.

Lubricants are next in order, a good selection of lubes are available here, including water based, silicon based and some natural selections as well. Flavored lubes and massage oils rounded out the rack.

I was not having any luck finding what I was looking for, so I got some help from one of the attendants. She was very knowledgeable about the products I was interested in, but informed me that the store does not carry what the any of the specific items I was interested in purchasing. She did how ever give me some options that were close to what I was looking for that the store did carry. After some questions and answers and a bit of fun conversation, I purchased one of the items the young lady had suggested to me. I will say that I may have been disappointed in not getting what I was looking for, the item I did purchase was just as much fun.

I felt very comfortable in Bookends, the store is well lite and very clean. If you are looking for a little something something for some adult pleasure, this is a good place to check out.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2018 in Shopping, Travel, Weekend Trips

 

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TGI Fridays Enfield

First Timer

So, I travel a bit, a weekend trip once a month for the past five years. This is the first time that a TGI Fridays was close to where I was staying. Needless to say, this was my first time eating at a Fridays. It was a very pleasant experience.

I had almost no wait time, just needed to wait for the couple who entered just ahead of me, before I was seated. My server, Susane, was cheery with a pleasing smile.

I started off with a Strawberry Passionfruit Iced Tea, I will say that although I did enjoy the first one, the second one was a bit tart, making me think that each one is flavored to order.

For an appetizer I went for the White Cheddar Broccoli Cheese Soup. The soup came quickly and was steamy hot. Creamy and full of broccoli and plenty of cheesy flavor. Main course for this evening was the Center Cut Sirloin and Shrimp with mashed potatoes and lemon butter broccoli. I am sensing a theme. My order came in a timely fashion, all the food was nice and hot and cooked to my preferences. The steak was nice and tender, the spices complimented the meat perfectly. The potatoes had a nice smooth texture to them with plenty of butter. The lemon butter broccoli was, well, lemony. I found the lemon to be a bit overpowering and actually covered the flavor of the broccoli. The broccoli itself was cooked to a nice tender feel.

I finished my meal with a Red Velvet Sparkler Cake. An interesting dessert idea, I thought. Red Velvet cake, layered with a nice, smooth cream cheese frosting, a dollop of whipped cream on top with some sprinkles, candy bits sprinkled around the cake. Some pocky sticks stuck in to give the impression of sparklers and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. This was a large dessert and I found myself only able to eat about a third of the cake. Susane was kind enough to bring me a to go box so that I could take the rest with me and enjoy the remainder at my convenience.

The restaurant is very sports oriented, with big screen tv’s about the dinning area playing sporting events. The volume on the tv’s was not loud and did not interfere with my dinning experience, but they are there if this is your interest.

I found the restaurant to be clean and comfortable, my table had no evidence of a previous dinner guest and the condiments were all filled.

My first experience with a Fridays was one that makes me look forward to my next meal at a Fridays restaurant.

 
 

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