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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

October 5th, 2017

Air Boat Rides, Gatorhunt Airboat Rides, Summer and Winter, Okeechobee, Florida, Summer 2017 Travel, South Florida in the Summer

Looking for a change of scenery from the beautiful Maryland and Delaware Beaches…..oh yes, it was time to see what was happening in South Florida at this time of the year; Summer 2017.  As you know the State of Florida does not empty out in the summer against popular belief.  And guess what?  Those 9 days in Palm Beach County were cooler than home.  While Southern Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland were taking in 100 degree weather, we were enjoying low 90’s and upper 80’s.  Less traffic, restaurants were open without long lines….Yes, traveling during the summer to that part of Florida was certainly very enjoyable.

Did I tell you that we did not plan much?  Winging it and seeing what adventures we could experience on a daily basis was part of the fun.

I have experienced going on an airboat through the Everglades but traveling with Dennis Smith on Gatorhunt Airboat Rides took it to a different level.

An Airboat is a flat bottom boat propelled by an aircraft-type propeller and it is powered by either an auto engine or aircraft engine.  Perfect for traveling in marshy and/or shallow waters.  We actually found Dennis online.  He is located in Okeechobee and from Singer Island, Florida it took us about an hour.  You have to travel west.  His tours are very private and affordable; 2 to 6 people.  At that time of the year it was $25 and we did leave him a tip because he delivered a great airboat tour for us.  He does have a fun personality, as well.  His telephone number is 863-763-7433.  You can check his website http://www.gatorhuntairboatrides.com. 

As you can see from the photo the airboat was small.  But what a personality Dennis had!! The first he said that the previous days he had been out and had not seen and gator sightings!! Oh, that should be our luck not to see any.  It was so quiet traveling through the marshes and so beautiful.  The actual boat is noisy.  You could use the headgear provided or just get used to the noise.

 

Then all of a sudden a sighting….a big one!!

He was checking out a small male coming into his territory.  Dennis was amazed that so quickly we were able to see one.  When it is hot, and it was, at times it is hard for them to come to the surface.

We continue looking for more creatures and we did find more.

There are plenty of airboat tours taking you through the marshes of South Florida, but this particular one was not commercialized whatsoever.  Dennis has been doing this for so many years. The water was like glass.

This next scene had me mesmerized.  It was like out of Africa.  The cattle crossing the river.  I was worried that the alligators would get them, but Dennis said that alligators know that they are too big for them. I believe Florida runs 12th in the nation in beef cow.  There are about 18,433 beef cattle ranches.  It is one of the oldest and largest in the nation. After Texas, it is the South’s main source of beef.

We continued on our journey and Dennis was going to so fast, then would slow down to give us more insight on this beautiful place.

Our tour was almost over when we noticed a little something taking a ride with us.

Totally worth it and totally unexpected.  Thanks to Dennis for making our last day in South Florida a memorable one.

 

June 25th, 2017

Dewey Eats, Two Seas, Restaurant, Rooftop Dining, Parking, Dewey Beach, Delaware

“One of the nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”  pavarotti

And when we stop and enjoy dinner with friends, the experience is priceless!!

Dewey Beach was somewhat quiet last night, if you can imagine.  During the day the yearly event of the Running of The Bulls might have deterred some to even have dinner in town.  Not us.  My friends, Debbie, Amantha, and Sharon had a destination in mind…..Two Seas.  This restaurant has been in Dewey for over 30 years.  It is family owned and run.  On any single night all owners are there, greeting you at the door.  There is no rush to get you in and out.  Friendly conversation, more so when one of my friends is a true “native”.

Rooftop Dining…so glad we were able to get a table because the views are the ocean on one side and the bay on the other.  The night was comfortably warm, not much of a breeze, though.  Perfect for eating al fresco.  Two Seas is located at 1300 Coastal Highway.  It is at the corner of Van Dyke Ave. and Coastal Highway.  Tel. 302-227-2610.  There is parking underneath, which not many restaurants have in the area.

I usually try to avoid going out on the week-ends….it gets hectic at the beach.  This week-end, Friday and Saturday with friends was a lot of fun.

Let’s get to the topic at hand…eating.  The Delaware Beaches are a dining destination.  Chefs are outdoing themselves with so many innovative dishes.  Last night our choices are always on the Menu.  So many years of preparing these dishes…they truly have perfected them.

They do run specials and last night’s Spicy Tuna & Avocado Maki Roll is something we shared while having some wine.

I had not realized it but my choice of the Sweet Onion Crusted Red Snapper is the same dish that I ordered in 2010.  It is delicious, oven baked served with Madeira sauce and caramelized onions that added a sweet touch.  Amantha and I had the same dish and both of us loved it.  This is a signature dish.

Debbie’s entree was the Cedar Plank Scottish Organic Salmon with potatoes and fresh vegetables….she said “All done to perfection, no complaints.” It was broiled with a maple glaze.

Sharon decided on the Two Seas Angel Pasta.  It was tossed with their own marinara freshly made with vine ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, and toasted garlic.  Finished with parmesan.  This dish can be enjoyed by itself or you may top it with shrimp, scallops or chicken.

No dessert was necessary; we were completely satisfied.

Please note that there is no elevator and you do have to go up the stairs.

Relax, you are at the beach!!

September 29th, 2016

Rehoboth Beach Eats! Blackwall Hitch, Restaurant, Review, Bar, Sunday Brunch, Live Music, Inside The Glass Dinner Series, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Delaware Beaches, Welcome to the Beaches

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It is the perfect time of the year to try one of Rehoboth Beach’s restaurants that opened this year. The summer crowds are gone. Locals come out and not having to pay for parking is a blessing.

So nice to get together with Debbie and Jody….birthday girl was Debbie.  Arriving early at Blackwall Hitch located at 52 Rehoboth Avenue in Downtown Rehoboth Beach.  Tel. 302-226-0550.  Website? http://www.theblackwallhitch.com/rehoboth

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Blackwall Hitch looks amazing inside.  Plenty of tables, comfortable enough that you are not on top of each other.  It is so well appointed, very chic indeed.

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The expansive bar is on the other side.  From Wednesdays through Sunday live music begins at 9:30 p.m. until 12:30 p.m.  For more info. on who is playing, please visit http://www.theblackwallhitch.com/rehoboth/live-music

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Starting with The Blackwall Salad of mixed field greens, grape tomatoes, cukes, red onion and carrots, tossed with their signature house vinaigrette.  A simple salad with flavor and big enough to share.  I could have had a different starter but after eating my way through Portland, it was best to keep it low cal, if you get my drift.

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The Chicken Lemongrass Soup was loved by Debbie and Jody…roasted chicken, lemongrass, celery and onions topped with a fried veggie dumpling.

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People are talking about their Fish Tacos and our taco connoisseur, Jody, was the one to try them.  She said they were amazing, full of flavor.  Blackened Cajun Mahi-Mahi served in soft taco shells with spicy slaw, roasted corn salsa, avocado, feta cheese, pico de gallo and avocado sour cream, served with a side of herb pearled couscous.

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My Striped Bass was delicious, as well.  It was pan seared served with a chayote squash salad and lime butter sauce.

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Debbie’s Salmon Kale Salad was colorful…Grilled Atlantic Salmon, basil oil and kale salad with roasted red beets, mango, and candied walnuts tossed in their poppyseed lemon vinaigrette.

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No dessert was necessary even though there was plenty of temptation like Sminth Island Cake, Chilled Key Lime Panna Cotta, Monkey Bread, Chocolate Flourless Torte, Pineapple Upside Down Skillet Cake, Chocolate Truffles and more.  But we were so good.  Only coffee and tea, please.

Our server was attentive, more than attentive if I should say so.  It is feast or famine, some don’t care and others care too much.

Every Sunday there is brunch beginning at 10 a.m.  For more info. please visit http://www.theblackwallhitch.com/rehoboth/sunday-brunch

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Wednesday, October 5th Blackwall Hitch Presents – Inside The Glass.  This is their inaugural event of Dinner Series.  These dinners will take place the first Wednesday of the month and will feature a specially crafted chef’s dinner.  Multi-course dinners will be paired with drinks.  4 p.m. until 10 p.m.  Reservations are recommended.  This first dinner will feature a 4-course craft beer dinner menu.  Please check their Facebook Page for more information.

Blackwall Hitch offers other menus as well:  Gluten Free Menu, Kids Menu, Happy Hour Menu, Late Night Menu…just check their website above mentioned and click Menu.

So what can I say about our dining experience?  We loved the atmosphere, and the food was very good.  I had been told that it was pricey, but we found that it was a la par to all other restaurants in Rehoboth Beach at that level.

Dinner is even better when we eat together, catching up is always priceless with Jody and Debbie.

September 27th, 2016

Travel 2016, Portland, Oregon, Ram’s Head Bar, Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood, A National Historic Place

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This has been my year for traveling.  But you know what?  “Do me a favor…Stand up, walk to wherever the nearest window is, and just look outside.  You may not know this, but there’s an entire planet-worth of summers, friends, sunsets, street lamps, songs, late nights, great films, and night skies waiting for you.  Your life is as amazing as you want it to be, but first, you have to let it be that way.”  chad sugg

I took off for Portland, Oregon, to visit a friend that I had not seen since 1973.  We had so much fun.  The weather was pretty good in Portland.  I had no idea that it does not snow.  Maybe once or twice through the years.  What they do have for a winter is a day like we have had today at the Delaware Beaches…..grey and wet.  They don’t even get thunderstorms.  It is a drizzle.  That is probably why their soil is fertile and the wine is delish.

Arriving in Portland the first thing that caught my eye from the airplane was Mt. Hood. Towards the end of my stay we decided to go up to the mountain to check out Timberline Lodge.  The lodge was built in 1937.  Some of the scenes of the movie The Shining were filmed here.  They used aerial shots of the Timberline Lodge as part of its opening scene and also some other shots outside of the fictional Overlook Hotel.

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The inspiration for the Lodge was the mountain.  The architects used 3 themes to illustrate the regional heritage: hand-hewn timbers and hand-crafted furnishings to pay tribute to early pioneers, carved wood and wrought  iron designs to capture the Indian spirit, and carvings of animals and paintings of wildflowers to represent wildlife native to Mt. Hood.

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The timbers used were huge.  The lodge had the fire going.  It was rainy and cold.  Plenty of hikers last week.  We were hungry and thirsty so we decided to try the Ram’s Head Bar which is uniquely located on the second floor circular balcony.

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We ordered some drinks.  I decided to try Grady’s Spill…It is the short glass on the photo.  “It’s advocaat sir, it does tend to stain. I’ll just set my Bourbon and Advocaat down…right here”…from Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Shining” Eastside Distilling egg nog advocaat liqueur, Jack Daniels, angostura bitters; served on the rocks with nutmeg, cinnamon and hazelnuts.  It really tasted like an egg nog.  It was good!!

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And speaking of hazelnuts, Oregon is the largest producer of hazelnuts.  We ordered Smoked Hazelnuts and Charcuterie.

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A delicious Puree of Mushroom Soup with smoked hazelnuts, and green onions, and a Fire Roasted Tomato Soup with a rosemary crouton, and olive oil garnish.

The weather was conducive for a warm and comforting soup.  But this was just a tasting.  A dinner reservation was waiting in Portland where chefs are preparing some amazing dishes.  Talk to you later.

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September 9th, 2016

Destination? Abbott’s Grill on Broad Creek, Restaurant, Laurel, Delaware

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Laurel, Delaware, is considered to be part of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area.  It takes about 40 minutes from Rehoboth Beach. Going on Rt. 24 all the way, checking out the country side.  Stopping for lunch which is something I have been wanting to do.  It happened that I was in the area.

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It was such a hot day, we decided to eat indoors.  But, I must tell you that the outdoor seating looked very nice, more so as the cooler fall temperatures start to arrive.  Abbott’s Grill is located on Broad Creek at 300 Delaware Avenue.  Tel. 302- 280-6172.  They open for lunch and dinner.  Website?  http://www.abbottsgrillde.com.

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Friday, September 16, there is a Murder Mystery Dinner.  It will begin at 6 p.m.  Reservations are required by calling 302-280-6172. It will be a 3 course dinner & show, by Ovation Dinner Theatre Performance… $40/person….Who Shot the Sheriff?

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I found the restaurant to be bigger than I thought.  It has a separate bar and banquet facilities, as well.  But, the first thing I saw as we came in was the bread on the counter.  Just baked and beautiful.

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Kristen was to take care of us and she did a great job.  A big shout for her.

The most incredible chips were brought to our table.  They were made out of flour and spinach.  Soft, warm, lightly salted, and the best ever, accompanied with salsa.  Worth driving there.  And, of course, they are made in house.

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We ordered the same thing from the daily special….Colvine Farms Bison Burger with white cheddar, bacon, portobello and onion.  Colvine Farms are located on Rt. 404….local, the best!!

A medium rare bison burger is so yummy, cooked to perfection with beautiful looking tomatoes.  Loved the flavor of the bison!

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It was a quick lunch with no dessert because as you can see it was not necessary.

Abbott’s Grill on Broad Creek is the sister restaurant of Abbott’s Grill located in Milford, Delaware, north of the Delaware beaches.

Have a great week-end.

September 6th, 2016

Summer Travel 2016, Terracina, Italy, Bomba Calda, Terracina’s Delicacy, Go Somewhere! Italy’s Beaches

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“Don’t be afraid that something happens to you.  Be afraid that nothing happens to you.  Nothing noteworthy or exciting or breathtaking.  I’m more afraid of a life where nothing extraordinary ever happens.  I am more afraid of putting my dreams on a shelf and later realizing that I am too jaded or to tired to live them.”  we are sole sisters

Yes, it has been some time since I put my thoughts and my photos on this blog.  But here I am.  I was telling a friend not long ago that seizing those special moments is something we should all aspire to.  Hey, you never know what is around the corner.  So I have decided that once a month I Want To Go Somewhere!  It does not necessarily have to be taking off on a plane.  It could be a day trip with friends, a new museum.  I don’t want to be stuck in a rut.

When my friends called me last April or so to tell me that they had planned a trip to Italy and were thinking if…..I am In, I said.  I don’t think I let them even finish the sentence. LOL

My friends are the perfect traveling partners.  Italy is home to them.  Italian they do speak.  I can manage with my Spanish.  So off we went to an adventure.  Guess what?  It was a #girlswannahavefun kind of trip.  We got along, we were on time when required, more so at 7:15, for drinks, a nightly ritual, we laughed and we were all 20 years apart.

Traveling is exhausting and you have to be patient.  Meeting my friends from Boston to Rome I was supposed to be on that plane, but I won’t bored with the details, my plane was canceled from BWI to Boston so I got to Rome a day late and another expensive plane ticket in order to get there.

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Our first stop was the seaside town of Terracina, located about 47 miles southeast from Rome; between Rome and Naples.  Sandy beaches attract summer visitors and it is the perfect beach get away since it is only about an hour from Rome and Naples.

Our hotel was Albergo Mediterraneo, located on Via Veneto, 2, 04019 Terracina Lt.  Website? www.albergo-mediterraneo.it.  The hotels in Terracina are comfortable and simple.  Visitors come mainly for the main attractions which are the beaches, bars, and restaurants.

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Every town we visited had either fireworks or some sort of festival.  Seafood for the evening with family friends.

The beaches were wide.  Wide enough that right on the sand are clubs you can pay a fee and enjoy more of an upscale service.  Plenty of music on the beach, as well. You can walk from one beach club to another choosing the perfect one for you and your family.  No boardwalk here but the sidewalks and bike lanes were very well defined.

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If you just wanted to sit on the beach, there was plenty of space to do that.  The clubs just attracted my attention since we do not have that type of set up here in our Delaware resorts.

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Beach vendors pass you on the beach.  You could have  bought beach toys to evening wear.  And if you forgot your swimwear….hey, they had that too.

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Judith, my friend, and I took off walking early.  Terracina is a seaside town and fresh seafood abounds.  The crates of fresh fish arriving daily.  And the vegetables stands were simple and beautiful, showing us that eating fresh and local is so amazing.

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By the bridge overlooking the canal and then my first fig tree showing up.  After that I saw fig trees everywhere.  I was in heaven!

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Like many towns there was the new section of town; modern and then the historic sites where you could appreciate the ruins of the time and the old cathedral and the Piazza del Municipio.  This piazza is the ancient Roman forum.

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While in Italy we ate a lot, but lucky that portions are not super size like we have here in the U.S. Plus the fact that we walked and climbed steps.  Boy did we ever!

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While in Terracina a trip to the Temple of Jupiter Anxur is a must.  You will be able to get a breathtaking and scenic view from that advantage point.  This temple has towered over the city since the second century A.D.

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During the Middle Ages there was a Benedictine Monastery dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel.

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In the year 2000 the Temple of Jupiter Anxur was recognized as a National Monument.

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And in 2008 it became part of the Natural Regional Park of the Ausoni Mounts and the Lake of Fondi.

It was 9 p.m. in Terracina and a delicacy called the Bomba Calda is a nightly ritual for many.  It is like a stuffed doughnut with Nutella cream and Panna cream.  There are other flavors but the best are these.  Down the beach road we went by the hotel and here it was.

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Nobody twisted my arm to have the Bomba Calda…..I needed that like a hole in the head. But, in Terracina you follow others. haha

In most parts of Italy, if you are thirsty drink from the fountains in town.  Perfectly safe.  Next is the Amalfi Coast.

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July 24th, 2016

Fun at Funland, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Beaches, Southern Delaware, A New Post by Sophia, Watching out for You Kids!! Summer 2016

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Need a ride to Funland?  Remember me?  I am Miss Sophia and I am a little bit new at posting on a blog.  So give me a chance.  I will improve.  There is nothing better than living at the beach!  It is my playground.  On such a hot week-end a day at the beach was a must.

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Rehoboth Beach has parks and plenty of places to have a picnic.  One of my favorites past times.  I am a foodie at heart so a little to eat outdoors is always priceless!

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Kids coming to Rehoboth Beach will soon find out that the Boardwalk is the life of the town.  Lots of fun for young ones like me.  But there is one place where the whole family will enjoy.  That is Funland located at 6 Delaware Avenue and the Boardwalk.  There are a lot of young kids attractions but the thrill rides that the older ones like, are also there.  It opens daily at 10 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.  The website is http://www.funlandrehoboth.com.

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We had just been at Nicola Pizza, having dinner and a delicious Nic-o-Boli.  Website? http://www.nicolapizza.com.

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It was in June and the weather was still a bit cooler.  So off we went to Funland.  First thing my Grandmas and my Mom wanted to do was Whack-a-mole.  This game was invented so long ago, in 1976. We had just gone from Nic-o-Boli to Whack-a-mole!!  I was not sure about why all the screaming, but they thought it was fun.  So here I am with my Mom.  A Nikon Moment.

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The beautiful carousel was more my speed at this stage of my life.  I forgot to tell you but I have been busy mastering the art of walking.  I am a bit stiff but it is definitely getting much better.

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I know I am very serious on my photos but I can assure you that I was having fun.  haha

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I think the boat rides are the same price of so many years ago.  On the first photo you can see my Dad on a green boat when he was little. He is not smiling either. On the other photo is where I am. A green boat, as well.  1 ticket per ride still!! A bargain.

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Early evening is a good time for Funland.  It is quieter than later at night.

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I am going on the cutest little engine ride.

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And then on the Police Car.

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Oh no, I did not know about this next ride….but here they were taking me too!!

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It was getting late and more people were starting to come in.  It is right off the Boardwalk so it such an easy walk from all points in Downtown Rehoboth Beach.  I will get the hang of all these rides as I get older but my first experience was a “blast”.  Talk to you later!!

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June 22nd, 2016

New Foodie in Town, Sophia, Kid Friendly Restaurants, Half Full, Restaurant, Pizza, Lewes, Delaware, Delaware Beaches, A New Post by Sophia, Kids Eat at The DE Beaches

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Hi there. Here I was this past week-end when the weather was glorious.  It is what I love the most. Playing on the beach with my family.  Well, there is another thing I like to do just as much and that is eating.  I am Sophia and I am a new foodie in town.  Looking for places that kids are welcomed and not rushed.  It is the beach, afterall, you should come here to relax and chill out.

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Half Full is the restaurant that we went to eat the other night.  It is in Lewes, Delaware, located at 125 Second St.  Tel. 302-645-8877.  It is open from Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m.and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m.    Website?  http://www.halffulllewes.com.

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My Grammy and my Mom were there too.  Half Full is celebrating their first year in this location.  I guess it is about my age.  I just took my first steps and this is a milestone.  I am growing up.  Everyone has been laughing and clapping at my way of walking.  I will master it and then they will be sorry because I will be all over the place.

At Half Full you order at the counter and then they will bring you the food at the table.  Our table, and this is a tip from me to you, was inside.

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It was a corner booth.  It is perfect for little ones like me.  You can also eat outside on their porch but my Mom thinks this is the best one.  There is also a high table that I have sat before.  Yes, I do get around.

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Some of you might think I should be home in bed but to tell you the truth it was not late and I also took a late afternoon nap.  So I was ready for some tasting.

The first thing we ordered was the Cold Board.

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It is a composed salad of two cheeses, sopressata, roasted red pepper and tomato, Kalamata olives, which I so love, and garlic sauce.  I am not into the garlic sauce but I love everything else.  You can tell by the photos by Grammy took.

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Two pizzas were ordered.  These pizzas are thin and crispy.  They are sooooo good.  You are going to love them and so will your children.

In the background the pizza was Have It Your Way….you customize it.  Tomato sauce, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes and Kalamata Olives. That was my Mom’s.

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In the foreground my Grammy’s was The Lobster & The Leek…Canadian lobster, creamy leek confit, cognac tomato sauce.  My Grammy said she had forgotten how good these pizzas were.  I totally agree with her.  They were yummy!!

It was an early evening in Lewes.  The town was quiet.  Stay tuned for my next post.

Night Night!!

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