1. Peoria, IL.

    Peoria. While the people were extremely nice and welcoming, we kept looking around thinking what were we doing there? I think I now know why… to make us appreciate our tour and the cities we usually visit. 

    There are two places I have to mention becuase they were our saving graces…

    - One World: A contemporary bistro with great food and a nice cafe. 

    - Hoops: Great pizza and probably the only good food option downtown. 

    Thank you Peoria for being so sweet and for loving us depsite our negative grumpy attitudes. I promise we are more pleasant people when we can have a Starbucks in walking distance. 

  2. Atlanta, GA.

    Atlanta. The south’s metropolis. Delta’s home hub. Home of the Braves and the Falcons. House to the World of Coca Cola. World’s best Aquarium. Atlanta brought us many fun times and full bellies. I think I gained 5 pounds from all that fried food. Yum. Here are my thoughts and recs (Recommendations - just in case you didn’t get the lingo):

    THEATRE:

    Fox Theatre - A very famous old movie house, the house of the theatre is one of the biggest Wicked has ever played. The design is stunning and it is quite a treat to look out unto the audience and see a night sky with stars (all fake of course). However the time they put into the theatre space, they neglected to consider the convenience of dressing rooms. Stairs, stairs, and more stairs to our dressing rooms. I mean, my legs and butt look great but really Fox Theatre? 

    HOTEL:

    Georgian Terrace - Dee Roscioli said it best, “This hotel is all smoke and mirrors”. The outside and the appearance of it is all first rate, and the rooms are extremely spacious. However construction was going on during our month long stay. Now by construction I mean, gutting and tearing out walls in the rooms. The customer service was atrocious and really left a bad taste in my mouth. 

    FOOD:

    - Mary Mac’s - Down home southern cooking. The cinnamon roll bread is to die for. 

    - One Midtown Kitchen - A very trendy farm to table restaurant. Our waiter prided them  on having the best calamari in the city.

    - Empire State South - An amazing spin on southern cooking with a farm to table inspiration. Great decor, and finger licking good food!

    - The Flying Biscuit - BREAKFAST!!! Definitely one of my top picks for best breakfast in the country. Their biscuits with apple butter jelly is indescribable. 

    - Flip Burger Boutique - Richard Blais’s cute trendy burger house where the gourmet burger lights up your taste buds. The burgers and sweet potato tots are all great but what caught my eye and tongue was the “Krispy Kreme” milkshake and burnt Marshmallow and Nutella shake. 

    - Yeah Burger - A fun “build your own creation” kind of place. Great for lunch and the meat is grade A, great! 

    - Fresh to Order - A healthy inspired place that prides itself on providing fresh ingredients to classic recipes. A good quick spot to grab something fast!

     

    SHOPPING:

    Midtown - This is where the hotel and theatre are located. A good area with a lot of restaurants and some boutique shopping. 

    Lenox Square Mall - A great mall with pretty much all one would need. 

    Highlands - A very neighborhood-y feel with cute boutiques, yogurt shops, and over the counter food places.

    Little Five Points - Atlanta’s Brooklyn Williamsburg. A hipster take on all things clothes and food.

    Atlantic Station - A suburban metropolis with food, some mall like stores, and a Target. 

     

    OTHER INTERESTS:

    Clermount Lounge - This is for all the over 21 year olds, it is Atlanta’s secret. I must not tell you what it is, just go and experience it for yourself. Be ready to feel much better about yourself. 

    Georgia Aquarium - Named one of the best aquariums in the world, and rightly so. It was amazing, complete with live dolphin show. (I love dolphins.) 

    Piedmont Park - A great park with plenty of trails and greenery. The dog park is fantastic, one of the best I have seen. It’s huge! 

  3. Hartford, CT.

    I have to say up front, Hartford was not my favorite city. With that being said, there were a few gems among the rough that I must share with you. I also have to mention that West Hartford is super cute and if you can escape downtown, this area will brighten your spirits. If you do have to stay downtown, get ready for party, party at all of the local bars - it is loud and lasts late into the night. Not the best when you have a one o’clock matinee the next day. Okay, enough of my scabbling, now for the gems…

    Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts - Although it is somewhat of an old theatre, I really liked the ambiance of it. I loved my dressing room, it had a window (that never happens!) and that just gave it that old vaudeville flair.

    Homewood Suites - Simple and elegant. I also have to give them props because they made me guest of the day :) Big downfall was it’s location, while close to the theatre, it literally next to the big bar strip. A lot of noise at night!

    Salute - Great contemporary italian cooking. The staff and owners were all so sweet ad treated us like kings every time we came in. I recommend the cheesy bread appetizer, and the “Spasta Pesto”.

    Trumbell Kitchen - Modern bistro type cuisine. The drinks are fun and the food is good. They also have a great late night happy hour menu.

    Market at 21 - It was great to have a fresh market a block away from the hotel. They are not huge but they have a lot of what you would need for a 3 week stay. They also have a great fresh deli counter complete with noodle bar!

    Bushnell Park - This has to be the best part about downtown Hartford. It is a beautiful park and has plenty of greenery to satisfy this nature enthusiast. It also has a beautiful carousel you can pay to ride.

  4. Washington, DC

    Oh say can you see, by the dawns early light… DC is definitely ranked in my top 5 favorite cities on tour. Wicked inhabited the Kennedy Center for ten whole weeks, giving us a full summer in our nations capitol. Perhaps the phrase, “So much to do, so little time” stems from a tourists mouth while trying to see what DC has to offer. Below are some of the highlights I found while exploring this patriotic escape. 

     

     

    The Kennedy Center- In a word, stunning. I had no idea that the Kennedy Center was considered JFK’s monument and I definitely have to say there is something prestigious and alluring in the air. It was, by far, my favorite theatre to play while on tour. It’s crazy to think we performed on the same stage that the “Kennedy Center Honors” is held every year. I wonder who else had been in my dressing room before me??

     

    300 Mass Ave. - A ton of cab drivers kept telling us that our building was were Obama used to live when he was a Senator. I mean who knows, but I like to think it was. The building was great, minus the AC breaking down for 5 days (I won’t even get into that one), it was one of my favorite housing on tour. 

     

    Dupont Circle:

     - Firehook Bakery - Cute DC chain bakery. Try the mini fruit tarts!

    - Lauriol Plaza - Cute outdoor patio, with margarita pitchers! Food was pretty good, but it looked like people come for the drinks!

     

    Georgetown

    - Booeymongers - Great local sandwich bistro. 

    - Georgetown Cupcakes - It might take about 20 minutes to get into the door, but while you wait in line, you get to gander at the extensive cupcake menu. Three words, chocolate banana cupcake. Absolutely worth the wait. 

     

    Chinatown

    - Chop’t - DC local chain where you get “creative” with your salad that is chopped to bits in front of your eyes. Good healthy option.

    - Graffiato - Top chef all star, Mike Isabella’s new restaurant. With a small plate flair, everything we had was incredible. A must eat! 

     

    Adams Morgan

    - City Paws Vetrinary - Zoey had a little stomach bug and City Paws was great about fitting us in last minute. The doctor’s were very helpful and gave her great medicine. She was back to normal in no time!

     

    Downtown/National Mall:

    - Birch and Barley - A favorite brunch spot. Try the sticky buns! 

    - Lincoln - Themed around the 14th President himself (the entire floor is made out of pennies!), Lincoln is a fun venue and has great food. Served tapas style, one must order a lot to get full! 

    - National Archives - You have to wait a while in line but once you approach the rotunda, you are able to see the original documents that make up the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

    - Holocaust Museum - Very depressing and solemn but this museum is a must see. An absolutely incredible museum honoring the victims and survivors. 

    - White House - Unfortunately free public tours do not exist anymore, however since we were with a “Wicked” group, we were able to take a self guided tour of the first floor (no, we did not see Obama). I am told though you can try to get a tour through your local congressman. 

    - Willard Hotel - Famous hotel where Lincoln stayed. Very beautiful and ornate. Has a great breakfast buffet.

    - Smithsonian - American History Museum - Favorite exhibits include, the First ladies inauguration dress display, the Star Spangled Banner, and the Pop Culture (features the original “ruby slippers” worn in the Wizard of Oz. 

    - Smithsonian - Natural History Museum - Favorite exhibits include, the Crown Jewels featuring the Hope diamond, and the Wildlife Photography awards gallery. 

     

    U Street

    - Marvins - A fun nightspot with a great out door patio. 

    - Ben’s Chili Bowl - A DC staple. I have to admit, the chili cheese fries are to die for! (Warning, chili is a tad spicy)

    - American Ice Co. - An industrial trendy beer garden with a great selection of drafts and bottles.

     

    The Hill

    - 7th Hill - Wood fired pizza with a creative menu. They also have amazing cheese garlic foccacia bread. 

    - We the Pizza - Another top chef, Spike Mendelsohn, brings an over the counter quick pizza joint. They are also known for their sodas. Try the orange soda, super sugary, but quite good. 

     

    Foggy Bottom 

    - Founding Farmers - This farm to table concept restaurant was, without a doubt, Wicked’s cast and crew’s favorite place to go. Everything I tried was exceptional, and all fresh and organic. Some highlights you must try are: the deviled eggs, their cornbread, their chicken and waffles, and last but not least their amazing beignets. 

    - SweetGreens - A DC local chain that offers organic salad creations and wraps. While their salads are quite good, this place made the list because of their amazing soft serve yogurt (in the style of Pinkberry). 

     

    Arlington, VA.

    - Fur Get Me Not Doggie Daycare - This establishment was definitely my favorite doggie daycare place I have had on tour (and if Zoey could talk I am sure she would agree). The staff was great (most have dog training experience), the location was clean, and most of all Zoey always came back happy and pooped. We also had a great pet taxi chauffeur named Jodi, and I would recommend her highly. The only downside, and I mean only, is that their prices are a little on the expensive side. 

     

    Alexandria

    - Old town - Very cute and quaint. Has a ton of food, cafes, ice cream, and coffee shops. A great place to spend an afternoon.

     

    Tours: 

    - Monuments by Moonlight Trolley Tour - While most of DC is self guided and free, this tour is well worth the money. Not only are the monuments stunning at night but the tour guides give you a lot of great information while making the 3 hour tour entertaining and fun. A must do while in DC! 

    Now as fall approaches and it begins to cool down, I realize how much I already miss hot and humid DC. Summer is over, and what a great summer it was. Onto Hartford, CT. 

  5. Omaha, NE.

    Better late than never… 

    When people think of Omaha, Nebraska; you usually think midwest, football, and steak. During our three week stay in the city, my thoughts and preconceived notions changed from not really caring about the city to actually really enjoying it’s culture and city flavor. The Old market is one of the cutest pockets of a city I have ever seen. Decorated in a sort of “Meat Market NYC” type of style, it is full of great restaurants and novelty stores. Besides renting a car maybe once to run errands, I was content and able to remain in this area, it had everything I needed. Omaha turned out to be the unexpected blind date that ends up turning into a beautiful relationship.

     

    Living: 

    Doubletree Hotel - Well this was complicated because in general this hotel was nice and comfortable but for some reason they were remodeling a couple of rooms upstairs causing loud construction noise and yes it would wake me up in the morning. So only due to that sole reason will I give this hotel a thumbs down. I do have to mention its good location and easy walking distance to the theatre. I also particularly enjoyed the park behind the hotel which offered a good space for Zoe to run around. 

     

    Theatre: 

    Orpheum Theatre - The theatre itself was beautiful and has great sound. The dressing rooms however are pretty tight quarters and the bathrooms look like prison toilets. With that being said, everyone was so kind and loved having the show in Omaha. I really saw that midwest hospitality. 

     

    Food: 

    -Vivace - Located in the Old Market district, Vivace has great contemporary italian food. In a more upscale style, I would recommend getting reservations. It seems to be a hot “pre-theatre” dinner spot. I have to mention they have a very extensive “Create your own pasta” menu, where all your pasta desires can come true. 

    -Cantina Laredo - Located in Midtown Crossing, a newly developed area, this new mexican restaurant offers modern gourmet interpretations of mexican classics. I highly recommend the table side guacamole and fish tacos (In regards to my fish taco journey to find the best, this would be in the top 5). Also they have a great happy hour that features $3 dollar margaritas, that are pretty good size. 

    -Ingredients - Located in Midtown Crossing, this is a “Build your own - salad, sandwich, pizza place”. They have tons of “Ingredients” (hence the name) to choose from. With its over the counter service, it’s great for lunch. 

    Wheatfields - Originating from Omaha itself, they have many locations throughout Omaha. I visited the Old Market location which also has a express take out counter next to their bakery. Oh, the bakery. I have four words, “Black Bottom Banana Pie”. Just exceptional. They also have an amazing all day breakfast menu. 

    Pepperjacks - Also known to Omaha, they have many locations throughout the city. It reminded me of a “Pita Pit” in the sense that they grill your meat and veggies on the spot. Then can either put it on a bed of greens (healthy), rice and beans, or what there famous for, a philly. 

    Saigon Surface - Located in the downtown area, this newly opened restaurant offers amazing vietnamese food. Their soup, whether it be the egg drop or the hot and sour where out of this world. The best I have ever had. They also have their menu on your own ipad that sits at your table and to where you can choose the music that plays in the restaurant. 

    Indian Oven - Located in the Old Market, who would of thought that Omaha has great indian food but “Indian Oven” does. I had what I always get, the “Tikka Marsala” (although it was called something different on their menu) and some naan. The spice and flavor of the dish was great and the service was quite quick and good. 

    Big Mama’s Kitchen - Located in a school?? Yes, you read that right, Big Mama’s is located in a school. You park then find your way through the hallways to where it opens up into a cafeteria looking place where leopard print tablecloths adorn the tables. Although the strange location, you must come here! Big Mama’s serves amazing soul food and southern breakfast. We had the biscuits and gravy and an amazing dish called “the Big Mama’s casserole” which was skillet potatoes topped with peppers and onions with scrambled eggs and cheese, cheese and more cheese. This is an Omaha must for the experience alone. 

    La Buvette - Another Old Market gem, La Buvette became a cast favorite for food and wine. In a french tapas style, it also has a wine grocery in the store. The menu changes daily and everything we tried was tongue tingling good. My favorites had to be the Har  viot salad and the fettucine with spinach and andoiulle sausage. 

     

    Nails: 

    The Nail Shop- This was a great nail salon. Definitely not your typical strip mall joint, but a much better spa like atmosphere. They have the most comfortable pedicure chairs! It might be a tad more pricey than your average nail salon but so worth the extra coins! 

     

    Things to do: 

    Henry Doorly Zoo - Rated one of the top Zoo’s in the country, this was my second visit to this Zoo. It did not disappoint me the first time but for some reason this second time I found myself in complete awe of the amazingness of the experience. I have never been at a Zoo when ALL the animals were up and truly alive. The gorillas were out romping, the orangutan was throwing a fit, and the tigers and lions were pacing for their afternoon feeding. It was wonderful to see such beautiful creatures seeming to enjoy their zoo life.  

    Taste of Omaha - I love street fairs and what better way to get to know the city and it’s culture then by eating your way through the best of Omaha. This street fair, offered in the beginning of summer, gives people the ability to eat at multiple places at once all for a minimal price. For example, I had meatballs from an Italian stand (don’t remember the name - I know, I know what kind of travel blogger am I) and then I had a mexican platter from another place I can’t quite remember the name, and then for the finale I had Big Mama’s famous sweet potato pie ice cream. Say what?? It was a great way to spend the afternoon.

    The Durham Museum - “Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize winning photographs”. 

    This was probably one of the most memorable museum experiences I have ever had. I was touched, angered, sad, and inspired. The exhibit showcases all of the pulitzer prize winning photographs dating back to 1942. I spent three hours in this one exhibit. Go see this if you get the chance, you will never forget it.

     

    Omaha, thank you for being everything I needed you to be. Now onto the exciting patriotic city of Washington DC!

     

    ________________________________________

     

    Between City Shout Out - Boston

    Union Oyster House 

    Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage

     

  6. Buffalo, New York.

    Shuffling’ OFF to Buffalo…no offense to anyone who is from the area but most of us wanted to shuffle OUT of Buffalo. Only due to the following, we were stuck in downtown Buffalo with no cars, and there is not many food options or things to do downtown. I happened to be proactive and rent a car for a couple days so I could feel the freedom in my hair and explore the city to give it a fighting chance. I have to say the surrounding areas of Buffalo are quite lovely and have many different things to do. So in the end, Buffalo was an acceptable destination, just make sure you have a car. 

    Living: 

    Hyatt Regency Downtown - The hotel had just been remodeled so the rooms were quite nice however mine happened to be a tad small. The hotel had everything one would need from room service to an amazing gym (kudos to the gym - best gym in a hotel I’ve seen). However with all its great amenities, it was always swamped with conventions and people. Although its great for their business, it was not so great when you were waiting for the elevator for 10 minutes. The staff was nice and catered well to us, I especially thought the valet and bell staff were particularly friendly and always were happy to see Zoey when I took her out. Overall the hotel gets a 7/10 for me. 

    Theatre: 

    Shea’s Performing Arts Center - I loved this theatre. My dressing room in this theatre just so happens to be my favorite one I have had. It was spacious and had a lot of space which sometimes lacks in the older theatres. The house was cavernous yet with the front row being close, gave it a real intimate appeal. All the crew were very kind and lovely. For the last few cities I have been blessed with really amazing dressers. Just lucky I guess :) 

    Food: 

    Blue Monk - A fun local spot with a beer garden flair. Offers a great menu with adventurous specials (ex. Foie Gras Bison Burger) and it’s decor; a industrial atmosphere with brick walls adorned with artwork. I highly recommend the mussels, and truffle oil mac and cheese. Located in the Elmwood Village. http://www.bluemonkbuffalo.com/

    Spot Coffee - Located in both downtown and the Elmwood village, I pretty much ate here or got coffee here twice a day. While the food was delicious, I came here for the coffee shop atmosphere. Bring a book, or grab your computer and enjoy some of their soups, sandwiches, or my personal favorite their breakfast options. Spot coffee has a special place in my heart, I called it my great escape. http://www.spotcoffee.com/

    Buffalo Chop House- This establishment being another gem in the downtown area, located near the theatre. This gourmet steak house offers an a la carte menu and has many wonderful choices. I had the mussels to start (salty and delicious), a salad (basic but good), and the pork chop with a side of their twice baked potato, and garlic spinach. This is a great pre-show dinner spot or even perhaps for a nice romantic date. http://www.buffalochophouse.com/

    Mothers - On our last day we went for a drink and ended up here, where their food ended up being better then their drinks. Located about a mile north of the theatre, it seemed a little off the beaten path, but had a lot of local flair. It also had a great patio and if the weather was better that night, we would of sat out there. I had their gnocchi with mushroom, proscuitto in a truffle oil sauce, I was literally licking the bowl. Then we had the appetizer portion of the spaghetti squash, followed by their banana cream pie. Delicious, I was sad to have found it the very last day. http://buffalo.citysearch.com/profile/7733996/buffalo_ny/mothers_restaurant.html

    Shopping: 

    Elmwood Village - I wish we could of stayed on this strip, because it was just adorable and cozy. Adorned with cute boutiques, co-ops, and yoga studios, this area was full of local culture and fun things to walk around and explore.

     -Anna Grace - I fell in love with this boutique, it had so many cute clothes and accessories. The only downside was they did not have very many size smalls, making everything I tried on just a little too big. So after an hour of dressing room frenzy, I only walked out with one shirt. http://www.shopannagrace.com/

    Galleria Mall - Your typical mall, but who doesn’t love a good mall. It had a great movie theatre and an assortment of food chain favorites like a PF Changs, and Cheesecake Factory. It had an Urban Outfitters and an apple store, so it entertained my eyes. 

    Things to do: 

    Niagara Falls - I mean it’s infamous, and I was not going to leave Buffalo without seeing it. I rented a car and drove north to the American side of the falls. Parked my car and walked up to the Maid of the Mist (mentioned below) and experienced the full glory of one of earths creations and the power of water itself. Literally the power takes your breath away as the water mist hits your face. It was beautiful and I am very glad I went, I think everyone should see it in their lifetime. 

    -The Maid of The Mist - The famous blue poncho boat tour that takes you into the horseshoe of the falls. It was everything I hoped it would be, except once in the mouth of the falls it is hard to actually see because of all the water floating around you. The poncho’s do their job and you don’t get wet at all (with the exception of your face). The fact that the boat tour is only $13.50, you really can’t miss it. http://www.maidofthemist.com/en/

    -The Misty Dog - After the falls, I walked over to the more touristy area and found this drive up establishment. It had so many varieties of hot dog, making the indecisive side in me take 15 minutes to order. I got the “Porter Dog” which was one of their more simple concoctions but delicious all the same. It’s real cheap too! http://www.yelp.com/biz/misty-dog-grill-niagara-falls

    -Twist of the Mist - After my hot dog, I walked across the street to the big ice cream cone shaped building and had their homemade custard. Words cannot describe it’s creaminess. My “trying to be healthy” went right out the window but I guess “while in Niagara…” http://www.yelp.com/biz/twist-o-the-mist-niagara-falls

    Lily Dale - Words started spreading throughout the cast saying they heard of this place where the spiritualist movement flourishes and a community of mediums all congregate. It is exactly that, basically a small community village of psychic mediums. While it was during their off season (During the summer they have a huge event festival where a bunch of tourists come and enjoy) I had to make an appointment. http://www.lilydaleassembly.com/

    Through a few recommendations I choose… 

    • Bonnie White (Medium) -  She specializes in “Spirit Art” Readings, which is where she takes charcoal and places on paper and lets her hands and the spirits do the rest. I included the final product here, I can’t really go to much into detail about what she said everything meant but it was pretty cool and she almost brought me to tears at one point. She is very welcoming and in general a very sweet lady. I recommend her and her talents. http://www.bonnspirit.com/
    • Upper crust Bake Shop - After my reading, I went to a recommended bakery to grab some lunch. I had their cheddar broccoli soup and a very delightful turkey apple compote sandwich, then of course I had to get one of their baked goods. The girl working the counter assured me I would enjoy what is called, a “Blueberry Cloud”, which is a scone mixed with a muffin topped with icing. Need I say more? http://www.yelp.com/biz/upper-crust-bake-house-fredonia 

     All in all Buffalo showed me some good times and some thrilling memories. Once again,thanks Wicked for taking me to a part of the US I wouldn’t have gone to on my own.  

  7. Between City Shout Out: New York, New York.

    NEW RESTAURANTS!!!

    Southern Hospitality - Justin Timberlake’s new restaurant on ninth avenue and 43rd offers good old fashioned bbq. Along with amazing bbq pulled pork, and awesome mac and cheese, they have huge whiskey and bourbon selections. This is a great place to come to after a show or even in the afternoon when you don’t have to work and want to have a finger lickin’ good time (and it’s moderately priced too)! http://www.southernhospitalitybbq.com/


    Nine - A brand new more upscale restaurant just opened on 9th ave. and 53rd and offers a wide variety of chef’s selections. It has some southern influences like their famed chicken and waffles but also boasts a french delicate spiced cod with a vegetable side. The wine list was good and the dessert had too many delightfully tasty options. We finally decided on the Nine “candy Bar” which was a creation based on a snickers bar. It was devoured within seconds. This restaurant would be a great place for a date or even a nice dinner with family. http://www.9restaurantnyc.com/home.html

  8. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

    Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

     “Let the sunshine in”, and let the sunshine in Fort Lauderdale did. The weather was absolutely beautiful and put us homesick Wicked tour bunnies in good summertime moods. Although I might say I liked Miami a little bit more, Ft. Lauderdale still has amazing appeal. The beaches are beautiful (not too crowded like Miami Beach), the downtown area was lively and for the most part clean, and there were a few food destinations worth mentioning. The more and more I’m in Florida the more and more I love it so. Below are some of my suggestions but feel free to comment and let me know some of your favorite South Florida spots. 

    THEATRE: 

    Broward Performing Arts Center - I have to say this theatre is in the running for being one of my favorites. The whole facility is beautiful. The dressing rooms were nice, perhaps a little small but the house makes up for any of the dressing room insufficiencies. The whole crew was very welcoming and very sweet. http://www.browardcenter.net/

    LIVING: 

    We lived “off campus” for this city in a house located in the area called Tarpon, which happened to be exactly a mile away from the theatre. Very convenient. The house itself had a great energy to it and we all enjoyed living there for our months stay. The only thing I will say is that when it came time to leave the owner has given me some trouble with returning our security deposits, which has been quite frustrating. Besides that I recommend this space for occupancy. http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/6517.html

    FOOD:

    Brew Urban Cafe - I do love me an independently owned coffee joint! The decor was cool, what with it’s exposed brick colorful artwork, and their menu was great! They had awesome mash ups of espresso and different flavors, and of course they had all the staples. I didn’t have a scone but they always looked really good in those bakery cases. 

    Dos Caminos - I know, I know, it’s a chain but I have to mention it because it just so happens to be one of my favorite places to go in New York. When I saw a cab pass with the advertisement for Dos on the rooftop, I knew I had to make it over there. It was everything I remembered but it was located in the Marriott Hotel and had a nice outdoor patio where we sat. The guacamole is exceptional (I would go there literally just for that) and their margaritas are delicious and quite dangerous (don’t have more than one Prickly Pear margarita if you want to drive home). The food is good, not authentic mexican but still pretty darn good. http://www.doscaminos.com/

    Rok:BRGR - Located only two blocks from the theatre, a lot of us frequented this joint after the shows. They have patio seating on the popular boulevard, which provides fantastic people watching (especially on the weekends). The food is absolutely delicious, with menu items such as lobster mac and cheese, Bison Sliders, and good old fashioned Buffalo wings. Then they have a huge list of gourmet burger choices. I had the “El Paso” which was a thick kobe beef burger with melted pepper jack cheese and jalapenos. YUM! Great late night spot! http://www.rokbrgr.com/

    La Bonne Crepe - I love crepes. I love them sweet and I love them savory. Located on Las Olas boulevard, the french cafe offers outdoor seating and has a huge menu of different styles of crepes. I decided to blend sweet and savory and had their crepe with ham, gruyere cheese, and caramelized apples. Bon Appetite! I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this place and their menu had many great options making my decision very hard. http://www.labonnecrepe.com/

    Roccos Tacos - A very popular taqueria and tequila bar located on Las Olas. The decor of this place is well worth mentioning by itself, with all of these cool glass chandeliers and mirrors occupying the walls. Super trendy feeling, it reminded me of a restaurant you would see in New York but of course way more spacious. The food was great and they had great combo platters. I had their three item combo which included a chicken enchilada, a shrimp taco and shredded chicken taco. All were great across the board and I even have to commend their salsa and guacamole. A mexican restaurant wins my heart with their salsa and guacamole. This is a definite “go eat” but be careful of the busy eating hours, this place can have long waits. http://www.roccostacos.com/

    Original Pancake House - Who loves pancakes? OPH has a bunch of locations throughout the country, and this is the second one I have been to. The first being their location in San Diego. Exactly how I remember, they have delicious pancakes (try the Baked Apple Pancake - looks like a cake) and great portions for the price. I did hear it is crowded on the weekends so make sure to get there early. http://www.originalpancakehouse.com/

    Coconuts -  Located right off the A1A, Coconuts has a great “off the ocean” appeal. It is also located right on the docks and gives you great views of all the amazing yachts in the harbor. We all had seafood, and it was all great. I, of course on my quest to find the “perfect fish taco”, had their fish tacos. The fish itself was really fresh and moist, however the toppings were not as extensive as I hoped they would be. So my search continues… However my friends had the crab cakes and the snow crab legs, and they all raved about them. http://www.coconutsfortlauderdale.com/

    Caffe Europa - Again, another outdoor seating cafe located on Las Olas. This was a “trattoria” and offered an extensive menu of italian favorites. I had the caprese salad to start, followed by the eggplant parmesan. Both were fabulous and very fresh tasting. This is a great late afternoon lunch/dinner spot. 

     Miami Shout out! 

    Sushi Siam - On one day off we made our way to Miami for a pool party and dinner. After strolling Lincoln street we choose Sushi Siam. We sat outside on the patio and had sushi as appetizers and various noodle dishes for dinner. I had their shrimp tempura and their spicy tuna (what I always get) and their chicken pad thai. Both sushi and their thai dish surprised me on how good they were. Great flavor. It also did not have as long as a wait to sit outside then the other popular restaurants on that strip. Did not have dessert there but from past experience I recommend going to the “Ice Box” for the sweets. http://www.sushisiam.com/

    THINGS TO DO:

    Ft. Lauderdale Beach - Clean beach and not over populated. It was located off the A1A and 26th street and had very convenient parking. 

    Canine Beach - On Fridays and Saturdays, a portion of the beach located off A1A and Sunrise, opens their beach to the pups. Of course you have to pay for a weekend pass and the hours are from 5-7pm so our time had to be limited because of the show but we did manage to go and have our doggies frolic in the sand. Zoey loved the sand portion and had a great time running with some of the other smaller pups but she did not get a kick out of the water and waves. I took her out and she immediately swam back in and did not even come close to getting back in the water. We got back in the car to go and I looked at her all wet and sandy and she had a big grin on her face, I think she enjoyed it overall. 

    Las Olas Blvd. - So the big fancy mall is located between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale and we were only able to make it down there once but if you are looking for great shopping within the city limits, look no further than Las Olas Boulevard. There are plenty of cute boutiques and gift shops, my favorite being an LF Boutique. I only thought they had stores in NY and Miami but apparently they have a nicely sized store right in Ft. Lauderdale. Let’s just say I spent way too much money there. The staff there were also super friendly and helped personally style you.  

     DOG DAYCARE:

    Camp Canine - From the outside one could be skeptical of this place but I must say I have never seen Zoey pull so hard to get inside a daycare before. She loved it there and their inside facility looked beautiful. They also have a nice boutique with cute little accessories for the pooch. It was also located close to the theatre so I was able to walk there to pick her up after the matinees. http://www.campcanineflorida.com/

     YOGA:

    Barkan Method Yoga - I was only able to take two classes here but the studio was really great and had a good schedule of classes. I also have to commend their actual yoga room for being very well lit and nicely decorated with red and maroon panels on the ceiling. The whole experience was very zen and relaxing but yet I still left feeling like I got a good work out. http://www.barkanmethod.com/

     Trust me Ft. Lauderdale when I say we were very sad to leave you and head to Buffalo. Thanks for giving us hints of summer around the corner, now for a brief stint in spring and then hopefully the sun will make its beautiful appearance again. 

    Um… THATS ME!

    Fan shout out! Thank you for the drawing!

    Till next time, thanks for reading! 

  9. My Top 10 Tour Cities!

    Hello blog family! My post on Ft. Lauderdale is on it’s way, however next week I am on Vacation, so it might be a tad detained. I promise to publish it as soon as I get back. Till then, I leave you with a Top 10 ranked list of my favorite cities on tour… Feel free to comment and let me know your favorite spots in any of these cities!! Thanks for reading! 

     

    Honorable Mentions go to: 

    Denver, Colorado - It is just stunningly beautiful. Also, has a cool downtown area near the theatre. 

    Dallas, Texas - This has to have an honorable mention just because of their mall. Best Mall in America (in my opinion)! 

    Tampa, Florida - I had an amazing time in Tampa, we really took advantage of every Monday off here. I especially have to recognize Homosassa, Florida, and Clear Water Beach.

     

    And now for my Top 10 tour cities!

    10. Providence, Rhode Island - The Brown University area is so darn cute! The city is very old fashioned and clean.

    9. Boston, Massachusetts - How can you not love Boston? The shopping is incredible and the city is full of history.

    8. San Antonio, Texas - Hot, but the River walk is a blast and there are a lot of fun things to do in the surrounding areas!

    7. Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida - You have to love Florida beaches. The water is warm the sun is hot. You can have a margarita (on a day off of course) at an outside cafe overlooking the beach… yes please! 

    6. Chicago, Illinois - The closest city atmosphere to New York. I was such a foodie in the city. Need restaurant recommendations? Ask me, I have tons! 

    5. Phoenix, Arizona - I was home. 

    4. New Orleans, Louisiana - Most unique city in America. You feel like you’re in Europe. 

    3. Portland, Oregon - Greenies everywhere and don’t miss walking around the Pearl district.

    1. Seattle, Washington - The food, the shopping… it’s all amazing. You will spend a lot of money here :) 

     

    And now for my favorite…

    1. San Diego, California - The atmosphere and the attitude brought me so much happiness. Plus I lived in the most amazing housing in a high rise downtown apartment where you could see the ocean. I love Southern California, makes you feel like you’re on vacation 24/7. 

    Remember to comment, I want to know some of your favorite spots! 

     

  10. Happy Earth Day.

    Happy Earth Day everyone. Let’s try to make our planet a little bit more colorful (and green)!

About me

Nessa-ssary Updates from the tour adventures of Stefanie and Zoey.

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