Proino Breakfast Club Review

It’s been some time that Dayana and I have gone out to eat together because we have been really busy or because we’ve already made plans. We decided to schedule something and I told her she could pick since I know she’s pretty good at finding yummy breakfast places and like always I wasn’t disappointed. She said she’d been wanting to try this place in Largo, so we decided to go on this lovely Saturday morning and it was better than we imagined.

Proino Breakfast Club

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Proino Breakfast Club
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Street facing Proino Breakfast Club

It wasn’t hard to find Proino and although we feared we would have to park far because we didn’t see much parking available, we were able to find a parking spot in front of the building.

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Parking
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Parking in front of Ulmer Park

Loved the location! We parked right in front of a small park called Ulmer Park right next to the little plaza Proino was located in. There were a few other businesses in the same plaza including a cute little cafe called Evermore Cafe which we will have to visit soon!

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Ulmer Park next to Proino Breakfast Club
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Ulmer Park next to Proino Breakfast Club
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View of the little plaza Proino Breakfast Club was located in (Proino was at the other end)
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The front of Proino Breakfast Club
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Front of Proino Breakfast Club (loved the pretty trees by the sidewalk)
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Front of Proino Breakfast Club

Once we were in we were seated immediately which was great because we were starving. The place looked full but had enough tables to accommodate plenty more if they needed to. They also had outside seating which would’ve been nice, except it’s been extremely hot & humid here lately, so we decided to pass and went straight inside. The decor wasn’t great and has the potential to look better in my opinion, but I guess it’s not as important to them as serving good food and that’s alright with me. We also noticed they are on UberEATS!

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Outside tables
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Inside Proino Breakfast Club
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Inside Proino Breakfast Club
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Inside Proino Breakfast Club
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Inside Proino Breakfast Club
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Inside Proino Breakfast Club

When we opened the menu it was a little overwhelming because, like I said before, we were hungry and there were SO MANY options and all of them seemed like the “right choice” lol. Once we decided, the waitress placed the order and I would say that we waited about 20-25 minutes for our food. Our waitress was nice and gave me her recommendation on what to get as far as waffles or french toast. She also checked up on us enough times.

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Menu at Proino Breakfast Club
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Menu at Proino Breakfast Club
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Menu at Proino Breakfast Club

The food was delicious and we liked that they serve big portions. I loved how they make their home fries, they were so yummy! The waffles were really good as well and my cousins loved their Banana, Strawberry Crepe, which looked amazing!

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Coco-choco Waffle #34 on the menu
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Banana, Strawberry Crepe #58 on the menu
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Fruitti Waffle #32 on the menu

 

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Create your own omelette #75 on the menu
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Proino Special #5 on the menu

 

We had a great experience at Proino Breakfast Club and will most likely come back to pick something else from their awesome menu!

-Daylin

They have TWO locations in Largo

Proino Breakfast Club BAY DR LOCATION

201 W Bay Dr, Largo, FL 33770

Ph: (727) 444-0937

Hours: Mon-Sat 6:00AM-3:00PM &

Sundays 7:00AM-3:00PM

Proino Breakfast Club WALSINGHAM RD LOCATION

14400 Walsingham Rd, Largo, FL 33774

Ph: (727) 303-3896

Hours: Mon-Sat 6:00AM-3:00PM &

Sundays 7:00AM-3:00PM

Story Brooke Craft Coffee Bar Review

I’m always looking for new places to eat at and small local ones are my favorite. My friend found Story Brooke Craft Coffee Bar on Instagram and immediately sent me a screenshot. After looking at the few pictures I realized they were still new but already looked amazing. I knew it was a must try and asap. Also, it wasn’t too far from my home, so decided to go with my husband on a Saturday.

It was located in a part of St. Pete I had never been to and I don’t recall there being any other places to eat around there. So I thought it was a random location. We drove right by it and didn’t even notice it so we had to turn back. Maybe we were just distracted by the location, not the nicest street in St. Pete. There were many people walking around and the parking was behind the building in a grass area. I was so glad I went with my husband because around the building there were a bunch of men just standing around looking “sketchy” I was ready to turn back but then I thought it would all be worth it.

IMG_0598IMG_0599IMG_0600IMG_0601We made it around the building to the front door. Inside it was a whole other story. Everything was beautiful. I loved the decoration and the colors. It had an old rustic feel but super stylish with bright colors and nice artwork. We weren’t the only ones there, everyone else was enjoying their coffee and food.

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I walked up to the front clueless about what I wanted. The lady was very friendly and super patient with me trying to figure out what to order. She recommended what Coffee I might like that was sweet enough since I don’t really drink coffee. My husband had the Costa Rica Coffee since we’re visiting pretty soon. I also had waffles of course! That’s why I went there. With strawberries and chocolate, please!

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Their description of “Craft Coffee” is nicely written on a chalkboard. They offer a variety of different coffees, lattes, cappuccinos, and teas. They also have “Inventive Waffles” with many toppings. For example strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, banana, blackberries, raspberries, mango and peach. And sweets like marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate, white chocolate, coconut, macadamia nuts, peanuts, almonds, pecans, caramel sauce, brûléed ice cream and Nutella. Making pretty much a million different possible combinations.

The coffee and waffles were amazing! I look forward to visiting again and I’m literally craving it right now. I liked the feel of the place, it would be a very nice date or hangout place. If the pictures look yummy trust me you have to go! And take me with you.

-Dayana

Story Brooke Craft Coffee Bar

Location: 1437 4th Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30AM-6PM, Saturdays 8AM-4PM & Sundays 8AM-2PM

Ph: (813) 479-7585

Pho Kien Giang Vietnamese Restaurant Review

I came across this little gem by accident. Scrolling through Instagram I found a post that caught my eye. I will start off by saying I absolutely love Asian food! I’m even thinking I must have some Asian in my DNA because my love for Asian cuisine is outrageous. I even annoy my husband when deciding where to eat because that’s always my first choice. Anyways, the picture was a delicious bowl of ramen. Yumm! I find it a little difficult to venture out and find authentic Asian restaurants. I want to always make sure I fully understand what I’m eating and that it will taste good. So I was really excited when I read the caption and it was ramen and they said it was so good. I had to try it!

The location was easy to get to from my house. The place was clean and tables were full which is a very good sign. Also, the menu was very well translated and the prices were good. Our server was very friendly and helpful as I always have many questions. We ordered a couple items just to try it out. When our food arrived everything looked good and smelled good. Let’s dig in!

Pho Kien Giang

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For appetizers, we chose spring roll with shrimp and roast pork. It was two of them for $2.95 it was my first time trying it. They looked very pretty and I love shrimp so I was very excited about this one. It was very fresh and the shrimp tasted good. The only thing is there was a taste to it that was not of my liking. I believe a herb but I couldn’t tell what it was called so I just gave it to my husband which liked it very much. He had the wonton soup $3.50 the flavor was very good but for my liking, it was too fatty tasting. Of course, he loved it too!

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My main plate was the same exact thing I came for, Ramen. I have had Pho before but I didn’t like it. Why!? I felt like something was wrong with me. I had done all my research and imagined how great it would taste. I was so disappointed and sad but everyone else liked it, what was I doing wrong? It’s ok, my life was changed when I met real ramen and from that day forward I was on the hunt to find the best ramen spots. This spot did not disappoint. The herbs were so fresh and smelled great. The ramen bowl was beautifully colored. I could not wait to get my hands on it and it was oh so delicious! Egg noodle soup with roast pork and shrimp $7.75 my husband had the caramelized spare ribs with onions $9.95 they were made in fish sauce. A little skeptical at first but it tasted amazing as well. It came with white rice.

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We were very happy with this restaurant we came back two days later for the ramen again. We will try different things from the menu but sometimes those ramen cravings just take over. Thanks for the great food and friendly service. Make sure you give this place a try!

-Dayana

Pho Kien Giang

Location: 8730 49th Street North, Pinellas Park, FL 33782

Hours: Sunday-Thursdays 10AM-9PM & Friday-Saturdays 10AM-10PM

Ph: (727) 544-1393

 

 

Our trip & what to do/eat in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

We just got back from our trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and it was amazing (PLEASE GO CHECK OUT OUR AWESOME PUERTO VALLARTA VIDEO)! Words can’t describe how awesome it was. We were looking to go somewhere different yet close enough to Florida that we wouldn’t have to spend so much time on our way there since we were only able to go for 5 days. We decided on Puerto Vallarta after having two pages opened, one with Expedia for prices and the other with a map to look up places. On our quest, we actually found really cool places to visit, but it was just not the right time to go. Until we finally found Puerto Vallarta and at a great price!

We didn’t expect to need more days than we booked our trip for, but man were we wrong! Five days was just not enough. We did so much, yet we missed out on doing so many things we wanted to do. We are thin, but definitely not in the greatest shape to be doing so many outdoorsy things so we would do an excursion one day and would want to take it easy the next just because we were so sore the next day from all we did. I do barre classes which really prepared me more than I thought, but my husband hasn’t had the time to work out as much as he’d like so he struggled more in certain activities.

When we got there we were tired and really hungry. While walking to the Malecon we saw a restaurant/pub that looked pretty cool and saw they were airing a soccer game, so we went in and grabbed some drinks and relaxed while watching the game. Our vacation had started!

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This is a bridge that crosses the river in front of our Airbnb house

 

Los Muertos Brewing

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Madrid vs Atletico Madrid (3-0)
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“Flight”

Our Airbnb host recommended we walk around a close by area to the house and find some local eats and that’s exactly what we did! We just found a whole bunch of locals sitting down at this long table in a hidden street and a whole bunch of vendors to the side selling food. This dish had meat, rice, beans and a salad. Super good!

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Carne a la Mexicana
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Taquitos de Pollo

At night we walked around a nearby neighborhood and found a restaurant called El Mole de Jovita and decided to give it a try. I’m usually really picky and don’t like to risk trying things when I’m really hungry but I always make an effort when we’re traveling to try things, especially when I’ve never heard of or seen it before. I’ve heard of “mole” (pronounced Mo-Leh. Like the MO of the word “MOtion” and the LE like the word “siLEnt” is the best I could explain the pronunciation in English as.) before but didn’t know what it looked like or what exactly it was. It looked interesting though because the lady was actually making it outside and giving samples as people walked by, so we decided to stay and eat there after tasting it. After talking with our waiter for a while we found out he actually lived in the Tampa Bay Area a few years ago but had decided to move back to Mexico and live in Puerto Vallarta. What a small world!

They have 3 different type of moles. Mole Jovita, which is the original mole (chocolate base), Mole Pipian (squash base) and Mole Verde (tomato base). I liked the Mole Jovita and Mole Verde and my husband liked the Mole Pipian and Mole Verde, so we both ordered chicken with the two mole sauces we liked. It tasted like something I’ve never tried before, but very good and we’d definitely come back here again if we ever get the chance to visit again.

El Mole de Jovita

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There was also a lady singing while we ate
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Tasting the mole
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Mango Margarita
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Mezcal de Cucumber
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Chicken covered with Mole Jovita (the brown sauce) & Mole Verde (the green sauce) w/ rice & salad
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Chicken covered with Mole Pipian (the orange sauce) & Mole Verde (the green sauce) w/ rice & salad

The next morning we had breakfast at around the same place where all the locals were eating at the day before. Again there is no name for the place, so you’d just have to pick whichever of the stands or spots you like the food from what you see and order.

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This was my hubby’s, but it was sooo good! Scrambled eggs w/ ham and like a shredded beef sandwich with lettuce & tomatoes
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I went safe and just got scrambled eggs w/ ham and toast

After, we went to like a 7-eleven type store called Oxxo and bought a Mexican energy drink to try something other than the regular red bull we always get. I’m not really into green tea (it was green tea flavored), but it was really good. Tasted much better than red bull in my opinion.

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We then headed out to Conchas Chinas beach. Throughout our trip, we noticed that asking taxi drivers for recommendations was a good idea and this beach was a great beach to take our drone and our cameras to since it wasn’t a beach where there’d be many people at. Actually, when we went there were just a few people and no one really stayed long since the current was strong.

Conchas Chinas Beach

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Conchas Chinas Beach
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We had it to ourselves for a while 🙂
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This was a little past Conchas Chinas beach. Right where Lindomar resort is at.

After we flew our drone (the DJI Mavic Pro, which we totally recommend) for a while and enjoyed the view of Conchas Chinas beach we wanted to head to the other beach the taxi driver suggested we visit, Mismaloya Beach (a popular beach in Puerto Vallarta with a view of Los Arcos which I will show below). When we got there we actually ended up horseback riding up to “El Eden” where one of the scenes in the movie Predator (1987) with Arnold Schwarzenegger was filmed at. They take a picture of you in the entrance and then you can enter the park. We didn’t do anything in the park but just have lunch at the restaurant there. You can, however, do many things there like zip lining, swimming in the river and hiking. The restaurant honestly was a bit over priced (we guessed it was due to how touristy the place is) and the food was ok. I personally didn’t really like my food, which was just chicken with rice. My husbands fish tasted great though, so I guess it’s a hit or miss. The view of the river where we sat was nice because it was a little farther from all the kids at the other side playing in the water. If you have kids though there is a closer area by the water where you can eat while your kid plays in the river. The river isn’t deep and the zip lining is right across from the restaurant.

As for the horseback riding tour, there really isn’t much to say other than it was EXTREMELY HOT and it takes an hour to get to El Eden from where the tour starts. It was just my husband and me so that was nice, but I wouldn’t take that tour again if they offered it to me. Beautiful horses, but I didn’t like the fact that they gave me a horse that had just had her baby about 3 months ago and was really impatient and honestly I wouldn’t have ridden on her if the guy didn’t offer to hold her while I was on the whole trip to El Eden because I was so scared. I felt sorry for the guy cause he had to walk holding my horse the whole 2 hours to and from the Park, but they shouldn’t have done that. The horse was wanting to go back to her baby the whole time and I felt horrible about her being away from her newborn after I found out. I don’t think it was a specific tour agency because it was just some random guy that was by the tour agency stands at the Mismaloya bus stop, so I can’t tell you the tour agency name since I think it was just a local with a ranch full of horses trying to make some money. Of course, leave it to us and follow the guy *sigh*.

Parque Nacional Ecoturistico El Eden de Vallarta

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Their menu. Prices in Mexican pesos.
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The chips & salsa were not so good. The chips were kinda stale.
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I loved the pina colada. My husband ordered it for him but didn’t like it because they barely put any alcohol lol
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My chicken dish. The beans were kinda gross and only half of the chicken was good the other part tasted weird
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My husband’s dish. The fish was really tasty!

At night we went to an event (maybe like a fair) they were having with a show and a whole bunch of food game stands. We had crepes and got a little too addicted to the shooting game lol (no pictures of that though).

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The same guy that we bought the horseback riding tour from sold us the Marietas Island tour the next day with a legit tour agency called  Vallarta by Boat. I will be talking about that tour on a separate blog post because I have quite a lot to say about it, so stay tuned for that!

In that specific tour, we met a group of people and decided to meet up at night for dinner. They were from Puebla, Mexico and it was their first time in Puerto Vallarta as well. We waited for them at the Malecon (an oceanfront promenade that borders the shoreline along the downtown area’s main street, Paseo Diaz Ordaz) while we took pictures around the area. They said that they also got suggestions about where to eat from their taxi drivers and so far all the restaurants were great, so we decided to try another restaurant they had on their list called Cuates y Cuetes. It was right by the water and you could choose to eat inside or outside on the sand. It was by far our favorite restaurant on our whole trip! Definitely, give it a try if you are in the area!

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“The Boy on the Seahorse”, one of Puerto Vallarta’s main symbols and the first statue that was placed in downtown Puerto Vallarta
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El Malecon
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Los Arcos Amphitheater
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The Vallarta Dancers (2006) sculptor Jim Demetro

Cuates y Cuetes

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Outside seating at the restaurant Cuates y Cuetes with the view of the pier in Los Muertos Beach
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The strawberry daiquiri was so good!
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Queso fundido con chorizo (melted cheese with sausage)
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What my husband got. It was fish, but he doesn’t remember the name.
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Camarones al Coco (coconut shrimp w/ rice & veggies)
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I also got “Tacos Rosita” so yummm!!! (sorry pic was taken w/ my phone)

The next day we took another taxi drivers suggestion and tried a restaurant called Cafe de Olla and it didn’t disappoint! Absolutely wonderful! It was full of locals, so we knew it had to be good!

Cafe de Olla

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Their menu

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The orange juice was perfect and seemed freshly squeezed
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Hot chocolate (I know, I was crazy in drinking this with how hot it was outside, but I wanted something with chocolate so bad lol
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Shredded beef w/ beans and plantains
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Chilaquiles con Carne (tortilla chips topped w/cheese & some delicious sauce poured all over, plantains, beans and meat.

After we had brunch we went to Los Arcos to fly our drone and get some cool shots for our video and after, Mismaloya Beach to relax on our last day. We don’t know what the big hype was about Mismaloya beach because you could barely swim with all the small boats anchored so close to shore and more kept coming in. I also had the impression it’d be a long beach, but it was extremely small and full of people. I would’ve gone back to Conchas Chinas Beach in a heartbeat if it hadn’t been so far away from Mismaloya. The only thing it has that makes it special in my opinion is a view of Los Arcos.

When we got back to our Airbnb to watch the video we had taken it turned out it was out of focus the whole time, so we made the decision to go back to Los Arcos (a 20-minute drive) to take the video again. We just couldn’t leave Puerto Vallarta until we got the shot of Los Arcos. I mean that’s one of Puerto Vallarta’s main sites. We couldn’t miss it! We made it at sunset and actually got some really cool shots!

 

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Mismaloya Beach

 

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This was a shot from the first time we went.

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My husband flying his drone
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The taxi driver took us to a hidden beach where we could get some cool shot for our video
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La Piedra del Diablo (The Devils Rock). Our taxi driver said that dark spot on the rock, which looks like the devil with his horns (he is standing up and you could see the horns and his walking stick), is called that because it looks like the devil and weird things have happened around the rock. He said one incident in the 1900s was when a camera crew in a boat going under the image was suddenly flipped over and their things disappeared never to be found. I thought that was pretty interesting, but of course, probably made up lol.
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Sunset at Los Arcos

The same taxi driver who took us to Los Arcos a second time was the one who recommended the last restaurant we went to and that’s when we found out they are not all going to recommend the best places to eat. Many taxi drivers get a commission for taking people to certain restaurants/places, so you have to be keen in observing who is who, something I lack completely. My husband could tell he was trying to get us to go to this restaurant and found it fishy (he’s pretty street smart) he said it had a nice view though so we just let him take us. The restaurant truly did have an amazing view and great food, the only thing was that it was really expensive and full of foreigners, something we usually avoid because it’s a sign of something being expensive and also we like to try what locals eat. Be careful about being fooled to go somewhere expensive when you could eat good and cheap somewhere else. Either way, we enjoyed it! The view really was incredible and we got to meet a really sweet 10-year-old boy who was in charge of preparing guacamole for anyone who asked for some. He said that after school he would go straight to the restaurant to work and that when he grows up he wants to be an architect. We thought he was adorable and commended him for staying in school and not dropping out.

Our waiter recommended everything we ate and we just went with it. We don’t regret it even though some things I would’ve never ordered had I been back home lol. Everything was delicious, but I completely forgot to get the name of the dishes, so I’ll come back to update it if I find it.

Ah Caramba

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The view @ sunset
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Pina Colada (idk we just craved it I guess lol)

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Cheesecake
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Night view 🙂

Below are other recommendation from taxi drivers.

Restaurants (recommended by several taxi drivers)

Mariscos Tino’s

El Palomar de los Gonzalez

Pipis (2 taxi drivers went on about how great this restaurant was and said it’s cheap and delicious Mexican food)

Mauricios

Hotels recommended by one of the taxi drivers we met

Hotel Rosita

Hotel Gaviota

Buenaventura Grand Hotel & Great Moments

Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel & Romantic Getaway

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PHEWW!! That was a longgg post! Hopefully I didn’t bore you too much. Since it was way too much information I decided to split it into parts, so look out for our post on the Airbnb we stayed at and for the review of the Playa del Amor tour!

-Daylin

 

 

 

My One Year Anniversary

Our anniversary falls on July 25th and we got married in 2015. Our wedding was beautiful and everything went as perfect as possible. I enjoyed every moment of it surrounded by our loved ones. We made sure to take a moment to sit back and observe everything as everyone always says that day goes by so fast, well it did. For our first year anniversary, we wanted to recreate something similar with our friends and family and also something romantic for just us two. We also had a vacation planned. The 25th fell on a Monday so the Saturday before we were having a party my mom was preparing. The Sunday before we were doing a dinner cruise and the Saturday after we were traveling to the Caribbean for a weeks vacation.

I was so excited for the party. I’m very hands on and crafty so I definitely wanted to be involved in the planning and decorating. I had to think about a theme or color scheme. Pinterest always helps! After searching I decided on gold, white and black. The first thing we did was order a cake matching the colors, and buy party decoration. Then we ordered food and of course being Cuban you need a whole pig roasting in your backyard on a stick. The rest we had family members bring in. We started decorating the day before and then setting the table. We did as much as possible.

Finally, the day came and Mother Nature was just not on my side. In the early morning, the day was perfect. The pig was roasting outside everything was going as planned. 12 pm came and there was a huge downpour that lasted hours. The whole back yard where the event was taking place was flooded, the fire for the pig was completely gone and it wasn’t done cooking. I was freaking out! What were we supposed to do!? Everything was ruined. Long story short the meat finished cooking in 3 different homes ovens. It finally stopped raining late afternoon and the party was going strong.

While all the chaos was going on I managed to finish decorating. I put the balloons up and the backdrop with my mom’s help. The pictures I chose were black and white and I hung them up on a string with little cute wooden clothe pins. The hanging circles I also did myself days before with string and craft paper from Michaels. That definitely took some time and patience. That day I did the cupcakes and put the donuts together. I also made the hearts from craft paper and glued it onto the kabob sticks. I got the idea from Pinterest, it was so adorable. The party went great after all. We all had a good time and the food turned out great.

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On Sunday we took the dinner cruise out of Tampa. I think it was at 5 pm and it was our first time ever so we had no idea what was going on. We parked there and hopped on. The table was assigned and everyone eats in the same space, you just get up and serve yourself. We had a very nice lady take our drink order and get us anything we’d like. I had a drink I didn’t like much so husband finished it for me. Dinner was a buffet of various options. I had stuffed chicken breast, mashed potatoes, pasta, salad and green beans. I had to try everything I liked. I saw people getting up for seconds, it was a very laid back atmosphere. After we ate we walked upstairs to walk around the boat and we watched the sunset. It was beautiful. We finished up the night upstairs where they had fun music. There was a party going on. We loved it all and definitely recommend to try it.

Yacht StarShip

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Monday was our actual anniversary date. Husband sent beautiful flowers to work that day with yummy chocolate covered strawberries. It was such a nice gesture, I had never gotten flowers sent to work before. The flowers came with a funny card on them I couldn’t show anyone. Silly husband! That night we went to a nice dinner. It was everything I could have ever asked for. In my eyes it was perfect!

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-Dayana

Tokyo’s themed cafes

We had planned our trip to Japan/South Korea about a year before going (2015). When you think of a year you might think it’s a long time, but it went by flying and now it’s almost been a year since our trip (we went early April 2016)! It’s crazy! I actually really liked that I had a year to plan our trip because I truly had fun doing it. I’ve never actually had an itinerary for any of my trips, we just kind of picked spots we were interested in visiting and would just go with the flow, but for our Japan trip, I went above and beyond. I wanted it to be perfect and most of all I wanted to make sure we would go to ALL the themed cafes that were available at the time.

I was a bit upset when I found out the Sailor Moon cafe was going to open the day I left Japan! My favorite anime since I was a kid was Sailor Moon and I had heard that in the past they would open pop-up cafes with a Sailor Moon theme and it’d be in early April everytime and for a limited time. I also learned that Starbuck’s famous cherry blossom flavored items would come out earlier than expected that year, so I was extremely sad about that as well because I didn’t know if I’d ever visit Japan again. When I went to South Korea though they still had it available so I actually got to enjoy Starbuck’s yummy cherry blossom flavored mocha.

The first cafe I went to was the Alice in Wonderland cafe. There are several Alice in Wonderland cafes in Tokyo, but this one was the one I chose because of the queen of hearts theme. I felt like I was in a dream!

I will be putting the address for the places in English as well as in Japanese. Hubby and I found it much easier to give a taxi driver the address in Japanese. It’s a struggle when it’s in English.

Alice in Magical Land, Nishi-Shinjuku

Address: Shinjuku Nishiguchi Huluku B3, 1-5-1 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023

Address in Japanese: 〒160-0023 東京都新宿区西新宿1-5-1 新宿西口ハルクB3

Access: JR Shinjuku Station Central West Exit a 1-minute walk

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The caterpillar parfait
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Queen of hearts chocolate brownie ❤

 

The 2nd cafe was the Little Twin Stars cafe. We actually didn’t even know that this cafe was going to be opened. It was a collaboration between Little Twin Stars characters Kiki & Lala and Nicolas House and would be opened for a limited time. We were walking around Harajuku and when I saw it I immediately wanted to eat there. We had passed by other cute cafes before finding this one but needed a reservation, so we were surprised when we were able to get a table. It was so cute! There is no address for this one as it was a pop-up cafe that was opened for a limited time.

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We had lots of fun at a Maid Cafe we went to in Akihabara Electric Town (a shopping district for video games, anime, manga and all electronics, hence why they call it “Electric Town”). We felt like it’s something you have to do there. Depending on what you choose to eat they’ll ask you what you want “drawn” on your food and they’ll “draw” it on your plate with ketchup or something. Beware, they will make you chant/sing cute things and after your meal, they might take you to their stage and take cute pictures with bunny ears (I don’t remember, but probably for an extra charge)! I’m warning you just in case you’re not ok with that lol.

Maidreamin Akihabara Electric Town-Exit Store

Address: Takarada Chuo-dori Building 3F, 1-14-1 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0021

Address in Japanese: 〒101-0021 東京都千代田区外神田1-14-1 宝田中央通りビル3F

Access: 1 minute on foot from JR “Akihabara” station (electric town mouth)

Tokyo Metro Ginza line “Suehiro cho” station 7 minutes on foot

 

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Kuma Chan Curry
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Omelette Rice

 

We also went to the Robot Restaurant (you do need a reservation for this one btw) in Shinjuku and really liked the show. The food wasn’t great, so that’s why I don’t have any pictures of it. I don’t have any pictures of the show either because I mostly took video, so here are 2 pictures that look decent enough (sorry no awesome robot pictures either, just took video *sigh*) lol. We did love the sake my husband ordered here. It turned out to be our favorite, but when we wanted to buy some at the airport they didn’t have the brand :(. It’s called Sho Chiku Bai Mio Sparkling Sake.

Robot Restaurant

Address: 1-7-1 Kabukicho Shinjuku-ku Tokyo, Japan

Address in Japanese:東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1-7-1新宿ロボットビルB2F

Access: JR Yamanote Line Shinjuku Station 5 minutes on foot from east exit

Tokyo Metro Line Shinjuku Sanchome Station 5 minutes on foot from Exit B9IMG_1970

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Sho Chiku Sparkling Sake

Some friends we met along the way recommended the Final Fantasy Eorzea cafe near Akihabara. We didn’t even know there was one and thanks to them we were able to go and check it out! It was awesome and the food not only looked cool but was really good. They also have a few computers where you can play Final Fantasy. The restrooms are really fancy here btw! So many BUTTONS! :O lol

Final Fantasy Eorzea Cafe

Address:1-1-10 Kanjinka Chiyoda-ku , Tokyo Pasera Resorts AKIBA Multi-entertainment 2F

Address in Japanese: 東京都千代田区外神田1-1-10パセラリゾーツAKIBAマルチエンターテインメント 2F

Click here and it will take you to a page with different ways to access the cafe and even shows pictures so you can easily get to the cafe from whatever station you’re at. It is in Japanese so just make sure you translate it to your preferred language.

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Bar area

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Big hamburger of Titan
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Squid ink pasta of Spriggan (sorry it came out blurry :/)

 

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Drink of Materia IV
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Drink of monk
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Honey toast of Demon Wall
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Chocolate parfait of Spriggan

 

 

I really enjoyed all of the cafes I visited and can assure you we will be going back to visit more! Hopefully I’ll get to visit the Sailor Moon one next time! 🙂 Let me know in the comments or by email if you have any questions!

-Daylin

Kyoto

We thought we were going to love Kyoto from the moment we stepped off the train, but it took us a bit to get used to how different it was from Tokyo. The first thing we noticed was that since it’s an older city the trains weren’t as quick to get to the train station as they were in Tokyo. Since we got used to everything being quick in Tokyo it was hard to get used to waiting. Another thing was that at night (around 8ish I’d say) we had nothing else to do but go back to our Airbnb. We are night owls and love going out at night, so that was really disappointing. We do, however, want to give Kyoto another try because we just felt like we didn’t really explore much, especially since it was our first ever trip to Japan so we wanted to stick to what we had researched and didn’t venture out.

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Before I go on, when arriving at the station in Kyoto I decided to use the bathroom and it was surely an experience! I knew I was in the women’s bathroom for sure because when I arrived there was a long line of women waiting. When I finally got to the beginning of the line I saw what looked like a urinal and thought it looked weird just there at the end of the bathroom hall. If anyone knows what it’s for please share because I’d love to know! When I made it into a stall I noticed there was no “toilet” and I had to squat to pee (thank goodness I didn’t have to go for something else :O).

When we got to our Airbnb we saw many foreigners coming in and out of the building and it looked like it was going through renovations. When we got to our apartment the guy was just finishing up with cleaning and let us in to leave our bags. We really liked how clean he’d left it and we were also impressed by how big it was because we had heard about many apartments being pretty small.

Click here to go to this Airbnb’s page!

 

Our first day we decided to walk around our neighborhood and find a good place to eat. We found a really hippy/cool/chill cafe a few blocks from our Airbnb and decided to check it out. It turned out to be our favorite breakfast/brunch place we ate at on our whole trip. The owner was such a cool guy and our waiter was so sweet and attentive. We later found them on Instagram by the name globe_mountain_coffee (go follow now!).

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Best pancakes ever!

 

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After breakfast, the first day, we decided to visit the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine. I was so excited to see it in person. When we got there it was packed with people, something that didn’t even cross my mind. I don’t know why I expected it to be less crowded, but I was really bummed to see that many people at the entrance. Later, as we got closer to the top, the crowd of people was less and less. I noticed why that was rather quickly. We had to walk up so many steps to get to the top, but it was completely worth it because not only was the view amazing but there were not that many people and we were able to get some really cool shots.

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This place was truly magical
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Good luck fox charms

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The second day in Kyoto we went to the Bamboo Forest. This time there was no escaping the crowds though. The road through the forest was really not that long, so there was a lot of people and not as many spots to take nice shots without people’s head in the way. On the bright side, we got to see two geishas/maikos (not sure which one, but probably maikos) walking into the forest right before people started walking their way. We were able to take one awesome shot with no one in the background and that was the best part for me. We had seen girls dressed up like a geisha/maiko, but never with their face painted, so this was so nice to see some with the white on their face. I can’t be certain that they were “real” because although they looked like they were in a hurry and not really willing to stop for pictures, like most tourists that dress up as them do, they did have a few things that made me question their realness. One of them being the fact that “real” geisha/maiko tend to stay away from the crowds, which would slow them down to get to work and the bamboo forest is definitely a crowded place. Either way, I was delighted to see 2 and in such a pretty area.

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Bamboo forest

 

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Geishas/Maikos in the Bamboo forest

 

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Ablutions fountain
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Messenger Fox
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Foo dog/Guardian dog

 

At night, the first night we went to a really nice Japanese style restaurant (a sit down on the floor type). I have been used to sitting “Indian style” or “W-sitting” on the floor since I was a kid, so it was hard for me to understand why my husband was having such a hard time with it. I couldn’t stop laughing at him constantly trying to get into a comfy position. I felt really bad when I saw it impossible for him to do. He definitely wanted the experience but said this would be the last time because he could just not enjoy his food being so uncomfortable. Anyways, this first restaurant was a hole in the wall little place we found just walking around our neighborhood. We actually didn’t even notice it was a restaurant until we looked a second time and they had like an outdoor menu. Everything was in Japanese, but nothing a little basic Japanese from my husband and of course google couldn’t fix. We had a little bit of a struggle giving our order, but the Japanese are willing to help as long as you try too. We struggled with our Japanese and they struggled with their English, but we did get what we want in the end and they were so happy to see us trying our best to communicate in Japanese.

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The second night was a blast because my husband had already planned from before our trip to go to this restaurant. The restaurant’s name is Menbakaichidai and they serve “fire” ramen. They set you up in their bar area and tell you to put your hair back if it’s long & to lean back once he comes around to your plate to set it on “fire”. They also take your phone and set it up in front of you on video to catch your reaction to the explosion. We really had a great time and the owner was so funny. Definitely recommend coming here!

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Fire ramen! “No Ra-men no life”

Hope you enjoyed!

-Daylin