Williamsburg, Virginia Getaway!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

 Greater Williamsburg Getaway!!

Last week we made the decision to get away somehwere that would make it a.) easy to social distance and b.) be able to take Piper with us. After plenty or research and planning we packed up, got in the car and headed to Williamsburg, Virgina. It's a facinating place due to the rich history and tons of fun activities available. There are plenty of shops, resturants, museums, tours, not to mention all of the beautiful holiday decor that lines the streets. As you will see in the images below it was beautiful day and night. The Williamsburg Inn (as shown above) was especially lit up and stunning in the evening. We stayed at the Williamsburg Lodge, which is a cute hotel right in the center of Williamsburg and a short walk to just about everything you can think of. The room and lobby had a very comfy and cozy feel and were very clean, they also kept up with all current COVID regulations, so we felt very safe. The best part is that Piper was just as welcomed as we were, and this is very important to us because whenever we go away we take Piper with us. She is a member of our family after all. It's refreshing to see such a wonderful welcome. 

We arrived around noon on Saturday, and by the time we checked into the hotel, got settled and headed back out to start exploring, it was around 1pm. So we made our way to Colonial Williamsburg and Merchants Square. This was one of our over all favorite spots, there were so many great little shops, bakeries, restaurants and even a cute little skating ring. We spent hours window shopping and wandering around from shop to shop. Looking at the many beautiful items. We also enjoyed sampling all of the delicious treats we came across. One was a spot called Retro's Good Eats, they had the best orange soda and frozen custard floats. 

After sharing our delicious float we decided to check out the Williamsburg Christmas Market for live entertainment, hot chocolate and lots of cool vendors. Before we knew it the sun started going down so we looked for a fun spot to grab a drink and warm up. We found the coolest spot called The Corner Barkery. You can go in and order a beer or a bite to eat with your dog, they even have plenty of pup items you can order for your sidekick. We hung out there to have a root beer, along with a Bowser Beer and cookie for Piper. 

Then we headed back to the hotel to wind down before going to dinner, which we made reservations for around 7pm at Casa Pearl. It's a fun spot that mixes oysters and tacos, which made for a cool and interesting combo. We had the Iceberg Stack as an app, and wow it was just as delish as it was pretty. I ordered a fruity pink cocktail called the "Pinkity Drinkity", along with some fried chicken tacos for my entree. Rob ordered mahi-mahi fish tacos. Finally, to finish off the meal, we ordered the key lime and tiramisu desserts. Everything was right on the mark and the resturant itself has a really chill vibe. 

After dinner we headed back to the room for the night to get some rest. The next morning we had plans to visit Historic Yorktown and The Christmas Market on Main. The weather called for a sunny day, so I was looking forward to exploring more of Williamsburg. We www able to check out the Watermen's Museum, Riverwalk Landing shopping and eateries, Yorktown Beach and Cornwallis Cave located just next to the Archer Cottage. It was really interesting reading the plaques of information. These particular locations have history that dates all the way back to before the revolution. It's amazing to think what those walls or beaches have seen in their time. Piper and I really enjoyed the boardwalk and pier along the beach on Water Street. 

We stopped into Yorktown Pub for lunch. They have a great seafood and drink selection. Rob and I are not big early morning eaters, so we just decided to skip breakfast, then wait and eat an early lunch. So, by the time we arrived, both of us were more than hungry. We ordered a little bit of everything, along with two of thier beautiful cocktails, which looked fabulous backed by the sun and sand. Foodwise we got some raw oysters, steamed shrimp, nachos, a burger, and some crab soup. 

Everything on the table was amazing and fresh as can be, plus it was nice to see the beach and the water while we were eating. Such a great vibe!! After eating until our hearts were content (...or stomachs, shall I say...lol!!) We made our way to one of my faves, Ben & Jerry's, for a couple scoops of icecream. Rob and I shared two scoops of strawberry icecream topped with peppermint dust, all piled high in a 
chocolate-dipped waffle cone, garnished with more peppermint dust. One of my holiday favorites is peppermint in and on everything, especially hot chocolate and ice cream. 

Needless to say we made that icecream disappear pretty quickly, and then we were back off to the hotel to wind down for a bit. We had plans at 5pm to go to the Busch Gardens Williamsburg Christmas Celebration, which I'll admit I was pretty psyched about. If you've never been for this particular event, I definitely recommend it. The whole park is lit up and absolutely gorgeous. The park is set up to feature different countries., and we saw England, Scottland, France and Germany. Germany was definitely my favorite, as I really enjoyed the decorations and fun details. I also think it's because I'm a bit partial as I was born in Germany..lol! While in there we stopped into Festhaus to grab some dinner. Rob and I both had a salad, along with a sliced turkey and gravy entree, which came with mixed veggies and mashed potatoes. Once we finished eating we started looking for something sweet. So we stopped into Three River Inn, located in the New France section, for Gingerbread Spiced Funnel cakes. Oh my goodness talk about amazing. They were soft, warm, and delicious, plus I'm a huge fan of gingerbread. 

Once we finished our funnel cakes we proceeded through the rest of the park by getting on the train. It's a great way to go from section to section since the park is a good distance from end to end. After exploring, eating, and having fun, we left the park and headed back to the hotel for a very good night's sleep. I have to say the beds at the hotel were super comfy. The next morning we headed out to Billsburg Brewery to get a drink and order some food from The Hungry Pug Food Truck, located right there at the brewery. I was excited to order the pink beer, a Cherry Raspberry Berliner. The cherry and raspberry gives it the beautiful color. It was delish with the Ruben sandwich and soft pretzels with beer cheese, which happens to be one of my absolute faves. 

We hung out and at the brewery for a couple hours, then headed to Williamsburg General Store to check out a great little ice cream spot called Bubba's Ice Cream Shop. They have all kinds of shakes and sundaes; I ordered the Dulce De Leche sundae, and WOW! Every bite tasted just an Dulce Leche cake. There was also caramel and fresh banana on top, and I can tell you that Rob and I ate the entire thing. I definitely need to get that recipe, because it was that good. 

After ice-cream at Bubba's we went to Williamsburg Premium Outlets to check out the shopping scene. There were so many great stores to choose from, not to mention the amazing prices. I also thought it would be a good time to pick up a couple holiday gifts for friends and family. I got a couple sweaters from Express and some workout gear (hoodie and matching leggings) from Reebok. I got everything at 50% off so you know I was happy as can be. I saved so much money on gifts for my parents and friends. 

That night, we had dinner at Berret's Seafood Resturant full of fresh fruit and cheeses. For entrees, I ordered the mushroom risotto and Rob got the salmon. Both were amazing, especially with the cocktails that our waitress recommended. She was very and nice and answered all of our questions. There's nothing better than helpful staff when it's your first time to a particular place. Barret's Seafood Resturant will forever be my first choice when visiting Williamsburg. Did I mention they also have amazing desserts? You guys know I'm a sucker for sweets and cakes, so I ordered the ice-cream, caramel topped, bread pudding for us to split. Usually, I'll get my own but we had been eating all day so splitting one seemed like the smarter choice, plus their helpings are massive as you can see in the image below

After sufficiently stuffing ourselves we headed back to the hotel for our last night in Williamsburg. First thing in the morning we spend a couple hours at Historic Jamestown. It's the first permanent English Settlement in the United States. There are so many things too see, including the beautiful shorelines and an award-winning archelogical dig museum. Their many exhibits are full of the neatest items that have been found all over the island. I feel like three days wasn't enough time to see everything, I'm definitely making a trip back to Williamsburg. We genuinely had a great time and can't wait to return!!

Also if you ever want to see unposted or unseen footage of all these amazing treats or trips just follow me on my Instagram or Pinterest at @DanaStargazerTruitt, both platforms have their own unique content.

To check out the last Ice Cream Tour just click here-> "First Annual Ice Cream Tour"

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Halloween Antics!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Happy Halloween 

This years costume was pretty simple, you guys know for me that crazy color is the main goal for sure, and this new painted wall in Baltimore City completely did the job. Because it was fresh, the colors were bright as can be. I also love the way that the pink and red worked so well together!! I had a costume for Piper which you will see in a couple of the pictures, we had to take it off because she kept shaking at which time it would shift around to being on backwards. We were the Queen and Pup of Hearts, as I said nothing to in depth just fun, cute and colorful.

The entire costume came from Party City, it consisted of the dress, gloves, headband and stockings. All together with tax it was just over $52. I just added a pair of Guess ankle boots that I had in my closet, along with some heavy pink and red blush, eyeshadow and lipstick. I wanted to wear my OTK boots but didn't want to cover the hearts on the legs. so ankle boots it was. Also keep in mind I had to return the original costume, due to stains on the dress where you could see it was obviously wore at some point. The costume in this picture was the second one I had purchased. I think someone returned the first one and they put it right back on the shelf where your girl then bought it. I just feel had they actually looked at it, they would have seen the disgusting stains. So naturally I drove up to return it on the day of, since I didn't see the stains until last minute. Naturally they didn't have anymore my size on Halloween afternoon, so I drove to another store in Towson where I luckily found another one that was actually new. My point being check the costume before you pay for it, especially with the current virus issues. I'm sure you agree that it's gross to buy something someone else has wore, especially with intimate items like stockings. I got lucky that the Towson store had one or I may have ended up with NADA. But come on, you figure when you buy something it's not used right? Yikes was that a mess...lol!! I'm just relived I was able to get everything sorted so I could catch these colorful fun shots!! 

Oh before I forget Piper did a fun growling lion impression on her Instagram page with some yummy Krispy Kreme donuts, you guys gotta see this... it's way to cute (CLICK HERE) to check it out. Please give her a follow and comment on what you think, she's just to precious in this look. I would also love to know what you or your pups or kids dressed up as this year? I know 2020 was odd as was Halloween due to our current world situations, but we have to remember to keep the spirit of any holiday in our hearts and it can be just as amazing no matter what!! 
Love You Guys & Merry Christmas to those that celebrate!! 

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"The Brunch of Queens!"

Monday, September 21, 2020

 The Best Brunch EVER!!

Found an amazing brunch spot today hidden in Columbia MD called The Turn House, it's tucked away on the grounds of Hobbit's Glen Golf Course, at: 11130 Willow Bottom Dr., which I never knew existed. The decor is modern and classy with clean lines, as you walk in there's a sleek fireplace surrounded by a cool vibe with lots of gray hues. Since the weather was absolutely gorgeous we chose to sit out back where you get an amazing view of the gold course. It was very chill and relaxing, definitely an atmosphere that you guys will more than enjoy, I know I did. To start I ordered a watermelon margarita and Rob got on of their house made lemonades, both were super good. They also have great mimosas which are only $7 or $20 for bottomless. My watermelon margarita was full of flavor and had just the right amount of sweet and salty, hence the old bay and salt mixture rimmed glass. 

For the entrees I ordered the brisket hash, and Rob the signature burger, fries and summer salad. Mine came in a cute little skillet filled with cubed brisket, white and sweet potato hash, with two over medium eggs on top, all smothered with an amazing cheese sauce. Rob's was a brisket burger with cheese on a super soft bun, I didn't have any of the burger but I did eat a few of the fries ...(which were perfectly cooked). Let's just say he was more than pleased as he told me 2 or 3 times, which I can't laugh at because I found myself saying much of the same. 

For dessert I ordered the cheesecake smothered with a berry compote, topped with two scoops of vanilla ice-cream and Rob the mint chocolate mousse, lets just say by the time we left we could barely move. My cheesecake was so rich and creamy, the vanilla ice-cream paired perfectly with the berry sauce. Everything was soooooo good that you just couldn't.. not eat every bite. I had to run 5 miles instead of the usual 3 to feel better about all of the calories I happily ate. If you are ever in the area I completely recommend The Turn House for Brunch, it's the best I have had in a long time. Now keep in mind it's a bit pricey, this meal was just over $100 so it's not an everyday spot, but for once in a while as a treat yasss!! It's for sure worth every penny, I can't wait to go back and try the dinner menu. 

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The Ice-Cream Tour 2019

Thursday, January 2, 2020

So Much Fun!

 Of all the trips we have been on this was by far the most fun because it included the ice Cream Tour and you guys know just how much I love ice-cream. To start off we drove into New York City on the way to the Jersey Shore, which was our final destination. When it comes to amazing ice-cream and milk shake treats there is no better place then New York City where all the fantastic spots reside. One of my absolute faves and the first spot we hit was Black Tap NY, they're known all over for their amazing Crazyshakes and burgers so we decided to stop in for lunch. Now mind you the night before we left for our trip I came down with thee worst flu and was more than sick, by the time we arrived in downtown Manhattan I was feeling a little bit better but still a little nauseous which was not the best, especially considering I was about to invoke on the most awesome food and ice-cream trip EVER!! It was really hard to get into it with the normal magical excitement that I usually have, hence my many prayers to feel better asap. When we arrived at Black Tap I couldn't wait to get started, so naturally we ordered the shakes first. 

The location we went to on 35th Street has a milkshake bar where you can watch them make your shake, so we just couldn't help ourselves. First up was the Pumpkin Pie Shake, it was themed for Thanksgiving and topped with a piece of pumpkin pie, a yummy turkey lollipop, plenty of whipped cream and a cherry all piled atop a pumpkin pie shake, in a mini marshmallow and vanilla frosting rimmed glass. The shake tastes like a big bite of pumpkin pie, wow was it delish and right on point. 

Then was the birthday cake shake, a piece of birthday cake, plenty of whipped cream with a cherry on top, all piled atop a cake batter milkshake, in a rainbow sprinkle and vanilla frosting rimmed glass. The vanilla shake is perfect because it balances the sweetness of the cake and brings it to the perfect level of yummy!

Then is the cotton candy shake for the absolute sweet-tooth diva, its a tuft of cotton candy, a lollipop, rock candy and whipped cream all piled high atop a strawberry milkshake, in a pink and pearl chocolate and vanilla frosting rimmed glass. This is the one that will give you a major sugar rush and it's so worth it!!

Next up is the Churro Choco Taco, another amazing concoction as I'm a big fan of churros especially when caramel is involved.....yah feel me?...LOL!!
It's a Choco Taco ice-cream with two extra crunchy churros, whipped cream and a dulce de leech drizzle all piled atop a cinnamon toast crunch milkshake in a cinnamon toast crunch and vanilla frosting rimmed glass. OMG my favorite by far, and I love that they give you plenty of whipped cream. definitely not stingy!!

The 5th and final shake we got was the Cookie Shake which is topped with a chocolate chip cookie ice-cream sandwich, crumbled cookies, whipped cream and chocolate drizzle, all piled atop a vanilla cookie milkshake, in a cookie crumble and vanilla frosting rimmed glass. 
If you are a lover of chocolate chip cookies like Rob, then this is the shake for you.

Finally after we finished shooting the shakes we ordered lunch...lol! Yeah a little backwards but this is The Ice-Cream Tour so the ice-cream is first!! I ordered the Black Tap Impossible burger because to be honest I have been very curious see what they taste like with all the recent craze. Rob ordered the Miso Salmon Salad with a side order of onion rings. 

Let's just put it this way the burger tasted like a regular burger and a good one at that, I was more than blown away. I was watching Rob lick his fingers while I was eating so the salmon and onion rings must have been great too. As yucky as I felt being sick the food was too good not to enjoy, and I'm happy to say by the end of our visit to Black Tap NYC I was feeling much better. After hours of crazy shakes and filling our bellies we headed over to a spot that I have had my eye on for some time via Instagram called The Stackery, it's located in The Lodge at Bryant Park during the colder months of the year. They have some amazing chimney cakes filled with all types of amazing fillings and hot drinks. 

I ordered the Yule Want S'more (seen right) which is filled with Nutella, a graham cracker cheesecake whip, and topped with bruleed marshmallow, graham cracker and hershey chocolate. Sounds amazing right? With me it's always s'mores for the win!! Rob ordered the Santa's Strudel (seen left) and that is filled with a honey crisp and fuji apple house made strudel, topped with "Schlagsahne" cream, apple crumble and caramel. Sounds amazing as well right? They both were to die for, and just like Black Tap are aways coming up with fun holiday themed items. I recommend you follow both @BlackTapNYC & @TheStackery on Instagram for some grammable and mouthwatering shots, I know I do!!

Our next stop was at Besfren Cafe, which was not far from Time Square on 5th Ave. We were up for a little matcha and taro yumminess in a cone, that comes complete with orchids. Yes I said orchids, it's not often your cone comes with flowers and it makes for a great picture. Normally matcha isn't my favorite but we decided to give it another try and to my surprise it was quite delicious at Besfren Cafe. I really like the taste of the taro with it, I guess for my taste buds that's the secret. 

Well by the time we were finished at the cafe it was starting to get dark and we still had the drive from NYC to the Jersey Shore so we headed back to the garage to get the car and headed out for the hotel. i think I had forgotten just how insane New York City traffic was until we were leaving the city at rush hour, on a Friday night. It took us 3 hours to get to New Jersey...yikes! Either way it was all made second fiddle, the relief of reaching the hotel because once the sun went down I started feeling nauseous again, which was not a welcomed feeling. I had been feeling better the good part of the day and was not happy to have that sick feeling return. We stayed at the Ocean Place Resort right on the boardwalk, in Long Branch New Jersey. What a relief it was to check in and be able to take a shower and relax, the best part about our suite was the bedroom being surrounded with views of the beach and boardwalk. We also had a huge balcony that would make thee absolute perfect chill spot in the summer months as it looked right down onto the beach as well. 

I loved that it was clean, roomy and super nice. It's hard for me to relax anywhere but home but Ocean Place was so comfy it really wasn't hard to settle in and enjoy, which I thought I was going to do but my stomach had other plans. It wasn't long after 8pm that I started getting sick all over again, trust me it wasn't pretty. Thank goodness for the huge hot shower which helped a great deal. I wasn't able to get to sleep until 4am but as soon as I woke up I started feeling much better which made me look forward to the rest of our trip and hoping I was done with whatever bug I had.

They also have indoor and outdoor pools, a full spa, a hot tub and sauna, a gym, room service and a in house restaurant. We really enjoyed a couple games of pool while we were in the lobby game room. Not to mention there is a great little shopping center with all kinds of great restaurants and shops that is about a 5 minute walk from the hotel's front doors. The next morning bright and early we want down and had breakfast in the hotel restaurant and headed out to explore the area, coincidentally our last two stops on the tour were in that particular shopping center. The two spots are Coney Waffle, home of the Show Stopper Freakshake and yes it's definitely a show stopper, along with Stewart's home of the REAL ice-cream soda. 

We stopped in Stewart's first, there's something nostalgic about an ice-cream soda for me, I guess it's ice-cream in general really...it invokes or reminds me of those good childhood memories, when life was good and you didn't have a care or worry in the world. You also didn't have to stress about any of the things we do as an adult like paying bills, meeting deadlines and much much more. Shoot stress didn't exist for me at that age. Stewart's has a special soft serve, it just has an amazing vanilla flavor that goes perfect with an orange soda. I sure wish there was one in my area, and check out the fun decor it's insanely cute. 

After Stewart's we had lunch at a great little Greek spot across the street, I was only able to eat a lentil soup because of my stomach which did help me to feel a bit better. It was looking like a pattern was starting to form, and not a good one at least not when the sun went down. it seemed now for 3 days I was feeling better in the morning and sick at night, it was looking like I had the flu. I'm happy to report though that for the first time in days I was back to normal and finally got a good nights sleep, only after all of my Ice-cream tour stops were finished...go figure!!
Anyway after lunch we finally got to stop into Coney Waffle where we met Jason who made us thee coolest freakshake EVER!!

It's called the showstopper and wow was it piled high with everything. I picked a cotton candy ice-cream for the milkshake, then piled on top was an ice-cream cone complete with a scoop of icecream, an ice-cream sandwich, a waffle cone with 2 scoops of ice-cream, a wall of cotton candy complete with a lollipop, chocolate bar, and lots of gummy and sour candy. Note I didn't eat this shake I gave it away to a table of 6 kids that made it disappear in a matter of seconds...lol!! It was more fun to watch them devour it by far, then we ordered a churro ice-cream sandwich followed by a showstopper cone. 

As you can see everything is super colorful and amazing, plus Jason was super helpful and creative which is the coolest when you're an influencer. I love working with people that enjoy being extra as F with the ice-cream concoctions!! If you're ever in New Jersey I definitely recommend them, they have a few locations in the state and an amazing Instagram account as well, check it out along with all of their amazing creations. Did I mention their ice-cream is Kosher? Yup so you know it's the best of the best.

After we ate and shot immeasurable amounts of ice-cream we headed back to the hotel to settle in for the night and enjoy the many amenities of Ocean Place Resort. I took advantage of then hot tub as well as the room service, we had a reservation to eat at the hotel restaurant the next day which was Thanksgiving. In the meantime we schmyed around the hotel and relaxed until the next morning when we ate breakfast and walked the beach for a few hours. I saw so many people walking their dog and it was at that time I really started missing Piper. I wanted to bring her but she doesn't do well in New York City, she get's really stressed around all those people so we decided against bringing her. By the time dinner came I was feeling really hungry and feeling much better so I was more than happy for Thanksgiving dinner, the hotel restaurant had an amazing buffet with carving stations and all the trimmings. Let's just say we were more than stuffed by the time we were done ....we waddled our way back to the room for a very cozy nights sleep. All in all our trip was amazing and the stay at Ocean Place was amazing, Rob and I were talking about how we would love to see it in full swing so we will be going back in spring or early summer. We are more than excited due to the great experience we had this time, I was almost sad to go home. Then I remembered it was time to get Piper which made the drive home seem soooooooo long. The roadways were packed with people driving home from their Thanksgiving travels, so it took us 6 hours to get home when it should have been 3 or 4.

We made it just in time to pick Piper up from Debondale before they closed and headed home. Have you guys ever noticed that no matter where you go, no matter for how long, that there's no place like home? 
Happy New Year Everyone, I hope you enjoyed my recap of The Ice Cream tour, we will be doing many more in the future. I'm looking forward to sharing more with you in 2020!!

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