Friday, March 26, 2010

West Point Market and the Killer Brownie

Bill received a book for Christmas entitled 500 Things To Eat Before It's Too Late by Jane and Michael Stern. We have been reading about unique restaurants and unforgettable food found throughout the United States. We are on a bit of a mission to try as many as we can. Some, by chance, we have already partaken of but others call our name! Last weekend the Killer Brownie from West Point Market in Akron, Ohio called our name!
Since Anna's gymnastic meet was near Akron we decided to stay in the area and locate the market. I was a little apprehensive about how much I was going to enjoy it. After all, we do have the legendary Jungle Jim's Market nearby and since I go there about once a week I was worried that there would be no thrill to this store. Other than the hopes of retrieving a "killer brownie" of course!! Boy, was I wrong. This store was unique and gourmet and fun!! Their food displays were cute and inviting and delicious! Cheese! Who could resist with Wallace and Gromit telling us to help ourselves!!

The store tastefully mixed areas of food with areas for kitchenware and seasonal displays. Above is Anna looking at Easter decorations and a how to book on making fancy colored eggs. I could have spent hours looking over the kitchenware!!
West Point Market also has a website So if you are not in the Akron area any time soon you can still order that "killer brownie" and have it delivered right to your door. It would definitely be worth it. The caramel oozing out of the chocolate was awesome!! We also recommend the double fudge brownie and the cheesecake brownie. Next trip, I try the Blarney Stones (bourbon balls)!!

State Champions!!

A big congratulation to the CGA level 10 gymnastic team for winning the State Championship!! We are all very proud of this group of girls. They faced quite a few challenges this year that would have defeated many but this group persevered in mind, body and spirit and triumphed!! Great Job Acacia, Allie, Khadijah, Mary, Kayla and Anna!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Trader Joe's and an Easter Tip!!!

I have a confession.....I do love me some Trader Joe's. But before any of you start thinking I am a total health food nut I thought I should add one of my favorite pictures to this post. Below shows that I am a firm believer in balance. A trip to Trader Joe's and then lunch at Johnny Rockets - perfect day! Trader Joe's is a mini field trip. While browsing the aisles you can munch on samples, and guess what, no annoying sample ladies!! And you can always get a cute little cup of coffee - for free!! Even more exciting is that you can put real organic HALF and HALF in your little cup of coffee!! A delight!! But my all time favorite thing to buy at Trader's is a floral bouquet and at Easter they have an awesome assortment.
Trader Joe's flowers are the best! They offer a bunch of unique and different arrangements and the flowers last forever!!
There are so many offered that it is really hard to choose. So, I suggest that you go and get your little cup of coffee first and then browse the floral aisle.
After picking out your flowers you'll want to look around the store. I can suggest the very healthy cage free eggs and the ever so healthy cereal, Joe's Fiber Os. But I highly recommend the dark chocolate blueberries, the peanut butter pretzels, the chocolate chip dunkers, the ginger cat cookies, the pecan pralines and the dark chocolate covered raspberry jellies.
Balance. Balance is the key.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Newport Aquarium

Once you take your kids to an aquarium they form a type of addiction. Ever since last years visit to the Virginia Beach Aquarium Anna has been dropping little hints to visit the one right in our own backyard. Well, right down I75, anyway. My only reservation has been the cost of those darn aquariums. I know, it must cost a fortune to keep them up and running, but $22 dollars for a one time adult admission hurts a little bit. Good thing they offered a senior discount for Grams and Gramps - $21 each. Gee. I think I will send a little note to the aquarium about being a little more senior friendly!!
We had a great time despite the admission fee. Just look at Gram's face in the above picture!! Pure joy at feeding the lorikeets in the Rainforest Exhibit! We call her "The Bird Whisperer". I think we will put her out by the hummingbird feeder this summer and see if she gets one to land on her finger!! Thank you Gramps for buying the bird food. Maybe next time it will be included in the price of admission! After Anna got over the fear of being pooped upon she really enjoyed this. By far I think this was Gram's favorite but Anna's favorite was the Shark Touch Pool. We had visited other aquariums with stingray touch tanks but this was fun and unique. They gave a little lesson about the two finger touch system and then we were free to pet away. The only thing we had to watch out for was the spitting shark. Picture below. He was pretty funny!

All the exhibits at the Newport Aquarium were very well done. The jellyfish were awesome and the frog bog was pretty cool, too. We were slightly disappointed in the penguin parade. I guess we thought that the penguins would be walking in the parade and not riding in a wagon. Bad assumption on my part! If I had thought about it more, letting those little penguins walk on their own would mean a lot of clean up for some poor aquarium worker.
So, final review. Definitely save up some money and head to the Newport Aquarium. Your family will have a great time exploring. Since our daughter is aquarium addicted... I think we may have to include aquarium costs in our yearly family budget.