Month: June 2014

Dinner at Rock Bottom is not as bad as it sounds

Last night, my parents and I wanted to get some dinner after seeing the new Transformers movie.  We tossed around some ideas for places to go but none of them stuck until I recommended Rock Bottom Brewery in Short Pump.  Sure, it’s a chain, but they make their own beer on the premises and the menu sounded really good.  I knew there was one in Arlington, but never went there when I lived in Northern Virginia.

It was a gorgeous night out, so we were able to sit outside and enjoy the nice big patio.  We were quickly attended by our waitress Nicole, who proved to be exemplary.  My stepfather and I enjoyed our limited-time-only nitro coffee cream stouts as we waited for our dinner.  I had ordered the Bourbonzola burger, which combines my love of burgers, gorgonzola, onion straws, and bourbon; my mom got fish and chips; and my stepfather ordered the bell peppers stuffed with chicken and chorizo.

After a little bit, not too long we thought, Nicole came back to apologize for the food taking so long, offering to get us something like the chicken tortilla soup to eat on the house while we waited.  We discussed appetizers, which she said would likely arrive after our entrees.  Mom and I decided that the chicken tortilla soup would do fine (we’re big fans of that in this family), and we asked for a loaf of their bread as well.  Nicole had hardly left before the manager Tim came by to also apologize for the “long wait,” saying that someone from the kitchen had left early, causing our food to be delayed.  He offered to pick up the check as recompense.  We were floored by his generosity!  Then we started talking about beer, and before long, our food arrived, including the chicken tortilla soup and the sourdough bread loaf.  Mom and I sampled the soup and both agreed that it was really good.  We dug into our respective meals and agreed that those were tasty as well.  I wondered how the black beans I had ordered as a side would taste, and they were good, not spicy or anything.

Full as we were, we wanted dessert.  My parents ordered the carrot cake, apparently made from a recipe by the founder’s mother that had never been changed–and why would it need to be?  It was moist and delicious and had pineapple in it.  The cream cheese wasn’t slathered on too thick, which was nice.  I ordered the brownie sundae, which was also very good–dark and rich.  We were told that the desserts were all made in-house, which impressed us.

We enjoyed our dinner enough that my parents signed up for a Rock Rewards loyalty membership, and Nicole told us we would get $10 toward our next dinner.  Can’t pass up that deal!  Plus my parents had gotten wind of an upcoming beer that would incorporate Nutella, so I know I have to go back for that…and I could probably be persuaded to have a meal there too!

Thanks to Nicole and Tim for making our dinner even more awesome!  We’ll be back!

Liebster Award!

I feel a bit like this is one of those chain-letter type things you used to get in e-mails (remember those?) or see on Facebook, and since it’s been a while since I’ve done one and it’s a good opportunity for you to get to know me better, why not go for it?

I’m not sure I’d ever even heard of the Liebster Award before, but I’m glad to know about it!  Katrina from The Thrifty Gypsy’s Travels introduced me to the award in this post.  (The rules regarding the award are here.)

Liebster Award info

1. How did you catch the travel bug? I think it’s in my blood.  My uncle has been to every continent except Antarctica and really the only big place left besides that on his bucket list is Italy–he’s never been!  My grandma also had a life-long dream of seeing Norway because she envisioned it as a real-life fairy tale land; she and my grandpa went with my uncle and aunt several years ago.  My first big trip was just after I turned 1 when my family went to Hawaii.
2.  If you attended Hogwarts, in which House would the Sorting Hat place you?  Gryffindor or Ravenclaw. I’m very loyal but also kind of a know-it-all…
3.  What’s your go-to ice breaker story about yourself? I don’t have a go-to, but it would surely be self-deprecating because that’s just how I roll.
4.  I hand you a free airline ticket voucher but you have to leave within a few hours (I know, I’m so generous).  Where do you go? Maybe London or Paris? I don’t know, sounds romantic though!
5.  What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you while traveling? Fortunately, I don’t have any scary, terrible travel-related stories, but in November 2013, I was living in Sydney, and my uncle had an aortic aneurysm and had to have emergency surgery. I was terrified that I would never see him again. Fortunately, he’s okay, having survived yet another near-death experience!
6.  Mountains or Beach? I love being near big bodies of water, so probably beach. But I enjoy being at the mountains too, for short periods of time. I enjoy being near civilization and most mountain destinations are decidedly not.
7.  Are there any countries that you would not visit?  If so, why? Hmm let me think…probably most of the Middle East. Just too much general trouble over there.   Plus I think many people there wouldn’t exactly be welcoming to Americans…
8.  What’s the best travel advice you’ve ever been given?  Just go!
9.  You stumble across a time machine.  You can go to any point of time, location, change social status, etc.  What time frame do you choose and who would you be?  (Doesn’t have to be anyone famous, e.g. “a Saxon armorer during the 1050s” is an acceptable answer.)  Oh, so I get to play Doctor Who, huh?  Maybe I’d go to my future and see what’s going on there?  ’80s London/Manchester for the music scene?  Follow David Bowie around in the ’70s?  Go see ancient Egypt, China, Japan, hang out with America’s Founding Fathers…so many possibilities…
10.  Other than traveling, what’s another passion/hobby of yours?  I really love listening to music—I’m a bit of a nerd.  I buy a lot of stuff on iTunes and AmazonMP3.  I have also loved singing pretty much all my life.
11.  If I came to visit you in your current city, where would you take me?  (Shamelessly stolen from Mariah) I would take you to all the places I’ve been wanting to try in Richmond but haven’t been to yet!  There are four taco places, two pho places, and two Chinese places, in addition to all the foodie destinations like Lunch and The Pig and Pearl, so you better be hungry! Also, we’d go to Maymont and Hollywood Cemetery, and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden just because it’s been years since I’ve been there.  And we’d get classy super-swank Sunday brunch at The Jefferson or Can Can Brasserie in Carytown.  And if we’re not too bushed, I wouldn’t mind catching a concert at the new Broadberry across from the Science Museum.

11 Random Facts

  1. I foresee myself living on the West Coast, or at least in the Western part of the US. Like Utah or maybe Colorado, even though I thought Denver was weird.
  2. The only places I’ve been to on the West Coast are San Francisco and Los Angeles (where I spent a whopping 24 hours).
  3. My entire family lives in the metro Richmond area.
  4. I’m an only child, and actually the only grandchild on both sides of my family…no pressure.
  5. I’ve only been to five countries. I have my work cut out for me…
  6. I’ve watched NFL football my entire life (Go Packers!) but still don’t entirely understand it…I’m a little ashamed to admit that.
  7. Going to Italy in 2005 made me want to learn Italian. I have taken one class and have some language apps, but needless to say, I’m not proficient.
  8. I only recently started reading comic books. They’re good for people with short attention spans. 😛
  9. I love learning new things but wish that didn’t require so much time!
  10. Also I’m terrible at self-motivation. Hence #9.
  11. Running a blog can be overwhelming.  I’m currently taking a social media certification course not just for my blog, but also for hopeful future employment purposes, and there’s just so much to keep up with.  And I’m not even travelling right now!


Sarah @ Plumb Worn Out (currently on honeymoon hiatus!)

Lori @ Going of Things

The Zen Kat

Adventurous Miriam

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to answer the following questions, and then pose 11 of your own.

11 Questions

  1. What’s your favorite smell?
  2. Describe a favorite travel scene—smell, sight, what you hear, if you ate anything. Where was it?
  3. Which “teen/children’s lit” scene are you most into: Harry Potter, Divergent, Hunger Games, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, or (shudder) Twilight?
  4. What are you nerdy/geeky about? Comics? Music? TV shows? Science? Don’t be shy! 🙂
  5. Least favorite social media site? Why?
  6. Your future self travels back in time to give you a message. What does Future You say?
  7. What’s your favorite snack?
  8. Favorite exotic animal?
  9. Do you prefer a house with lots of decor, or do you like a more minimalist approach?
  10. What would your last meal consist of?
  11. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?