First Hibachi Experience and Delightful Dunedin

So, I have a confession to make…

I’ve never been to a hibachi restaurant.

Apparently it’s one of those things that I should have done long ago and just never did. Like learning how to ride a bike. Ya, I don’t know how to do that either, but that’s a different story for a different day.

My friend Ashley has been particularly adamant about taking me to hibachi so finally on Friday, we went.

I love new experiences and was excited to go! Everything from the sky-high flames on the hot top to the food was excellent.


We went to Tsunami. We didn’t make a reservation, but only had to wait about 15 minutes. The place was bustling.


I like the idea of sitting in a family style set up. There was an adorable little boy across from us that we made faces at throughout the night. We were next to two families and while they were friendly no one seemed to strike up a conversation. Oh well!

Jon and I shared some sake (2 for 1!)

Our meal started off with the traditional miso soup and salad with ginger dressing. Pretty typical, nothing mind blowing here. I also had a few pieces of Ashley’s sushi that she ordered, which was pretty good.


Then our chef came out and put on a little show.


Fire in the hole!


This huge bowl of butter kind of scared me.


I had the shrimp and steak. The steak wasn’t my favorite, but I really liked the shrimp. I wasn’t a fan of the noodles (too greasy) but the rice was awesome! Loved the seasoning they added to it.


A LOT of food!

Awesome first hibachi experience!

photo8Have you ever been to a hibachi restaurant?

Saturday was a busy day. I’ve applied to be on the Junior League Board of Directors for 2013 and Saturday morning I went in for a “meet and greet”, which is pretty much an interview so the nominating committee can see how you’d fit with the positions that you want. I was uncharacteristically nervous, even though I knew most of the women and they were all so nice. They give you a list of questions ahead of time, but they asked a few I felt I wasn’t prepared for (I’m a person who doesn’t do well when caught off guard). Hopefully it still went well!

The rest of the day was spent cleaning! I sorted through some papers, got rid of some junk that had been sitting around forever. It felt so good to empty out our place some!

On Sunday, we had a fun day planned!

After bench presses and pull ups at CrossFit, I came home and Jon and I got ready for a drive over to Honeymoon Island in Dunedin. I’ve heard great things about Honeymoon Island, especially about the dog beach so we finally decided to make the hour drive and see what it was all about.

Luckily the drive wasn’t too bad and it was fairly easy to get to. There’s an $8 charge to get into the park, but since we were planning on being there a few hours I didn’t think it was too bad.

We parked, lugged all our stuff out (a beach bag, two chairs, an umbrella, a blanket and a cooler) and made the trek to the beach. I say trek because it was a 1/2 mile walk from the parking lot! Oi vey. It was unexpected, but once we got to the water we quickly found an open spot. There were a lot of people there, but not too many people that it felt overcrowded.


This was Maddie’s second time at the beach. Poor girl is still not a big fan of the water 😦 We tried to get her to swim, but eventually retreated to our umbrella for people/dog watching.


Beach babe.

While we had a nice time, Jon and I both agreed we liked Ft. Desoto a bit better. It’s closer to home, cheaper and just as nice of a beach. Plus, dogs can be leash free. We had to keep a leash on Maddie, which was fine, but it gets all icky and she can’t run around as freely.

We left around 3 and decided to stop in downtown Dunedin for a bit. I had looked up pet friendly bars on Yelp and found Rosie’s Tavern.


Rosie’s was such a cute place. What makes it different is that dogs are actually allowed IN the bar so owners are not restricted to stay outside, which is nice. The staff was super friendly and we chatted up some locals while we enjoyed our drinks.

photo12Maddie enjoyed cleaning up dropped popcorn (it’s free!) on the floor.

Afterwards we walked along Main Street and checked out the store fronts and an art walk they had going on. Dunedin is so cute! I wish we were a tad closer so we could visit more often.


It was a delightful day indeed! So nice to get out of St. Pete for the day and explore more of what our area has to offer.

Have you had any fun day trips lately?


Maddie’s First Week

We’ve certainly packed Maddie’s first week with us with lots of experiences.

She LOVED the dog park. More and more dogs showed up and she had such fun with her new doggie friends. She is FAST. We may need to look into some agility training…

One of the things we’re thinking of is certifying her as a therapy dog. She is just SO sweet and great around people, kids and other dogs. Such a good temperament. Jon and I love volunteering and would love to have her be a part of that aspect in our lives.

She loves her toys 🙂

We took her to Beer with the Bard with us on Thursday. The Ale and the Witch has a wonderful courtyard area and lots of people bring their dogs along with them. Very pet friendly place. Again, she had a ball. She got so much attention and just took in the scenery.

We also took her down to Cape Coral with us this weekend. Luckily she got along great with the other dogs. Everyone loved her and couldn’t stop petting her and telling her how pretty she is. I tell ya, this dog certainly has landed into a good life here 🙂

I am so in love with this photo.

We tried to go out on Jon’s brother’s boat on Saturday, but the weather wasn’t going to let that happen. We drove out to the channel, saw the looming clouds surrounding us, and turned right back around.

The pups still seemed to enjoy themselves.

We tried to get Maddie to swim in the pool, but she clearly has never been swimming before. We eased her in to get her used to the water, but I think it will take her some time to get into swimming. Maybe a beach would be better?

Later that night we had a big family/friend dinner outing to the best restaurant in Cape Coral, no joke. La Trattoria Cafe Napoli is a must if you’re ever in the area. The price point is reasonable, the atmosphere is lovely and the food is to-die-for amazing.

We started off with a variety of appetizers. Tuna Picadillo, Stuffed Plums with gorgonzola wrapped in prosciutto and Baked Goat Cheese. All delicious, but the stuffed plums stole the show.

For dinner I had the Ternera Tortellacci a la Castellana, which was handmade pasta with veal ragout, roasted garlic, plums, shallots and madeira wine. Simply divine, but not enough! I wanted more. Especially since we were such a large group (there were 10 of us) so it took a long time for dinner to come out and I was ravenous. I had little bites of some surrounding plates and all was wonderful. Unfortunately, Jon and his dad got the pork special and the pork was overcooked. I had a bit of Jon’s and the wine wasn’t cooked down all the way so it had a very strong flavor. Surprising, since everything we’ve ever had there was great, but I guess it happens every now and then.

This was another week, where my runs took a backseat. I think we’re still adjusting to our new schedule as doggie parents…so it’s been hard to schedule in a run after work and every time I’ve set my alarm early I’ve ignored it come a.m. This weekend I knew it was going to be hard to fit in my 8 miler since Cape Coral means late nights out with family and friends. I didn’t set an alarm Sunday and when I saw it was raining I thought I’d have to cut my run. But I looked at the forecast, which told me it was going to clear up so I laced up my shoes and headed out the door. Since it was later in the day and therefore more humid I decided to just do 5 miles. As soon as I started running and really felt the heat 5 miles turned into 4. And eventually 4 turned into 3. It felt like I was running through a sauna! Glad I got it in though. Now hopefully this week I can get back on track for my 10k training.

Sunday is family dinner night and we were celebrating August birthdays (Jon’s mom’s, his brother’s and mine).

So we fancied up the dining room a bit.

And had a menu of beef tenderloin, mushroom rosemary risotto, roasted asparagus and grilled Cesar salad.

And Grouper nuggets for an app.

I helped on the risotto front.

I love making risotto. It’s easy and truly a labor of love. But man do you need some arm muscles to keep the stirring up! Jon’s sister, Tori, and I kept switching 🙂

And for dessert Jon’s sister-in-law, Amanda, made a beautiful and delicious cake. I can’t remember what kind it was exactly, but the cake was made with malted milk (hence the whoppers as decoration on top) and chocolate ganache was the icing. SO good. We got sent home with some extra ganache and I can’t wait to swirl it on top of some vanilla ice cream.

We also pulled out the Pictionary last night, which is a classic game in this household. It’s so fun to play with a big group and we all really get into it.

How was everyone else’s weekend?