Tuesday, May 04, 2010

South Carolina:   Santee, Mt. Pleasant, Hilton Head

Friday - April 16, 2010 - Brian's Birthday

We went to Santee, SC on Thursday afternoon and spent the night with Sue and Wes.   On Friday, Brian played golf with Wes at the golf course behind their house.   Sue got Maurice's Barbeque for lunch.     She even had Brian's name put on an ice cream cake.   After lunch, we drove to Mt. Pleasant and checked into the Hampton Inn & Suites in Mt. Pleasant - Isle of Palms.

We drove over to the Isle of Palms, and had drinks at the rooftop bar at Coconut Joe's.   It was a beautiful day, but the ocean breeze was cool.

We drove down to Sullivan's Island to eat at Station Twenty Two.

She Crab Soup
Fried Green Tomatoes
Crab Cakes
Coconut Cake (to go)

Then we walked to another restaurant nearby, High Thyme Cuisine.   We had another appetizer, then ate the Coconut Cake - it was delicious!

Saturday - April 17, 2010

We drove back over to Isle of Palms and ate lunch on the outdoor deck at Hucks.   We had a delicious lunch, overlooking the beach at IOP.

We drove to Hilton Head to stay at our timeshare in Sea Pines - Marriott Monarch.   Here is another link to information about the Monarch.

We got some groceries at the store, then we went to Two Eleven Park Bistro in Park Plaza to have some appetizers for dinner.

Sunday - April 18, 2010

We went to Harbour Town and had lunch at The Quarterdeck, overlooking the golf course.

Sunday was the final round of the Heritage Golf Tournament.   We walked around the course for a while - looking for the Grey Goose tent, but we didn't realize that it was actually a house on the course.   We ended up walking all the way back to the Monarch.

We had dinner that night at Island Bistro.

variety of appetizers
delicious Pork Tenderloin

Monday - April 19, 2010

We went back to Harbour Town for brunch at the Waterfront Cafe.

We shopped at a couple of stores - I got a cute skirt and a tank top, and we found a nice Tommy Bahama shirt for Brian's birthday.   We went to the pool for a couple of hours that afternoon.

We had an early dinner at Red Fish:

Surf and Turf Spring Rolls
Goat Cheese Salad
Lowcountry Shrimp and Grits
Latin Ribs

Tuesday - April 20, 2010

We rented bikes and rode to Harbor Town for brunch at The Harbour Town Grill.   We rode bikes to the Bayard Ruins, ruins of a plantation house and slave dwelling, dating back to the 1800’s.   The plantation house was built using Tabby - a material made from oyster shells.   Then we rode to South Beach Marina to shop and have drinks at the Salty Dog Cafe.

We went to the pool for a couple of hours that afternoon.

We went to Wexford Village that night and had some wine samples at Wine Times 4, then we had dinner at Robert Irvine's Eats:

Seared Chicken Sliders
Seared Breast of Duck

Wednesday - April 21, 2010

We went for a bike ride that morning, and saw a lake and wildflower garden that we had never seen before.   We had lunch at Truffles Grill:

Tee Time Now Famous Cheese Ring
Black Bean Cake
Southwestern Salad

Brian left Hilton Head to get back to work in Greensboro.   I went to the pool that afternoon, then I rode the bike to the Holiday Inn for a drink at the beachfront grill.

That night I had dinner at the Alligator Grille in Park Plaza.

Roasted Duck spring Rolls

Thursday - April 22, 2010

I spent the morning doing school work, and I made progress on the final project for my Web Development class.   I went to the beach that afternoon.   I rode the bike down to South Beach Marina, and got Jake's Famous Shrimp Toast at the Salty Dog Cafe.

I had planned to go out to dinner, but I ended up eating leftovers and watching Survivor on TV.   I spent a couple more hours on school work, and made progress on the JavaScript assignment.

Friday - April 23, 2010

I went to Shelter Cove Marina for lunch and shopping.

I ate lunch at San Miguel's:

Chili con Queso dip

I got 2 cute dresses at a little shop at Shelter Cove Marina.   Then I went to Wexford Village and Harbour Town, where I got a bridal shower gift, a Christmas gift, a pair of nautical shorts, and 2 dressy dresses.

I went to Marley's Island Grille for dinner:

Chicken Corn chowder
VooDoo Shrimp
Madamia Coconut Crusted Lobster Tail
Key Lime Pie

Saturday - April 24, 2010

I packed up to leave on Saturday morning.   It started raining as I was getting the car loaded.   I left Hilton Head at 11:20am, and I got home just before 5:00pm.   Brian had played golf that day in Asheboro, and he had just gotten home.   That night, we went to a Fiesta Party / Bridal Shower for the daughter of some friends in our neighborhood.

Hilton Head is beautiful this time of year.   The azaleas were later blooming this year, so they were still in bloom.   The weather was very comfortable - highs in the 70's and low humidity.   It was great weather for riding bikes and laying out in the sun.   We enjoyed eating at some good restaurants, but there are always more that we want to go to.   We have another trip planned to Hilton Head in September, so we will go to some different restaurants during that trip.

See our pictures on Snapfish.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Las Vegas

Wednesday - February 10, 2010

We were scheduled for a flight at 7:00am, arriving in Vegas by 1:00pm, but the plane was over weight.  They offered $400 vouchers (each) and an upgrade to first-class on the flight from Atlanta to Vegas.  So we took the offer and went back home for a few hours.  I had been up all night doing school work and packing, so I took a nap with Matty & Bailey, and Brian went to the office for a few hours.  We went back to the airport for a flight at 1:50pm.  Our luggage was in Atlanta, waiting to be put on our flight, so it arrived in Vegas when we did.  The upgrade to first-class was nice - roomier seats, better food, and free drinks!  We were lucky to be going a southern route through Atlanta, because a lot of flights were canceled that day, due to a major snow storm in the Northeast.  We arrived in Vegas around 7:00pm Vegas time.  We took a cab to the Hilton Grand Vacation Club - which is very far up the strip - between Circus Circus and The Stratosphere.

Thursday - February 11, 2010

We had a time-share tour scheduled for 10:15 this morning at the Hilton Grand Vacation Club. Our 2-hr tour turned into a 3+ hour tour!  They have a point system, connected to the Hilton Honors program, so that would be nice to have the option of staying at hotels in addition to the timeshare resorts.  We explained that I was laid off and don't have the extra money to buy any more timeshare at this time.  Plus, IF I go back to work, I won't have as much vacation as I had built up at IBM, so it would be hard to use what we already have.  They were nice about it, and even marked our record as not attending the presentation, so that we could come back another time and still get the 1st day incentive.

We walked a mile to the Encore and the Wynn - both are beautiful hotels!  We got drinks on an outside balcony over-looking a waterfall.   It was in the mid 60's, and it would have been warm enough to lay out in the direct sun!  We shopped there - very high-end.  Garth Brooks was playing there this weekend, but it was sold out.


We walked to the Palazzo to see the The Shoppes at The Palazzo.

Then we went over to the Venetian to shop at The Grand Canal Shoppes.

We had dinner at Emeril Lagasse's restaurant Table 10.  It was very good!!

BBQ PORK & MASCARPONE RAVIOLI - Homemade Ravioli served with Creamed Spinach and Blonde Chicken Reduction
SLOW ROASTED PORK TENDERLOIN - Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Green Chili Mole and Brown Sugar Rum Glaze
GRILLED ASPARAGUS with Hollandaise

Friday - February 12, 2010

We moved to Polo Towers Suites, a Diamond Resort timeshare, which is closer to the middle of the strip.   It is next door to the Marriott's Grand Chateau that we stayed at in 2008. They are located between Planet Hollywood and MGM, and across the street from the new City Center.  We had a 1-bedroom suite, which was very nice!  


After we checked in, we took a cab down Harmon Ave. to Hard Rock Hotel.  We ate lunch at Pink Taco.  We shopped at the Affliction store. Brian got a thermal shirt and I got 2 Affliction t-shirts and a hoodie. 

APPETIZER PLATTER - sweet corn tamales, cheese quesadillas, chicken skewers, carne asada skewers, taquitos and guacamole

We took a cab back to Polo Towers and walked over to Planet Hollywood to shop at the Miracle Mile Shops.

Friday night we walked over to the new City Center.  Crystals has expensive stores and nice restaurants.

We had dinner at Eva Longoria's restaurant - Beso.  We got drinks, appetizers, and dessert at the bar, as we watched the pretty people come into the restaurant - there was an interesting group of Barbie Dolls.

EVA’S TORTILLA SOUP - chicken, sour cream, salsa verde
CHAR GRILLED FOIE GRAS - tequila marinated mango, chili pasilla emulsion, deep fried corn bread crouton
CRISPY FRIED DUNGENESS CRAB CAKE - avocado puree, whipped sour cream, golden caviar

Saturday - February 13, 2010

We went back over to Crystals at City Center to have lunch at Brasserie Puck, a new Wolfgang Puck restaurant.


DUCK CONFIT SALAD with Apples, Pears, Dates and Citrus Dressing

We walked through Aria and Vdara hotels at City Center and up to the Bellagio to shop.  We each put $20 in slot machines, and I cashed out at $28 and Brian cashed out at $29.75.


That night we took a cab to Mandalay Bay.  We had mojitos at RumJungle.

Our Valentine's Dinner was at the Chef Hubert Keller's French restaurant Fleur de Lys.   It was a very pretty restaurant with very expensive and very small portions of food.  The more expensive the restaurant, the smaller the portion of food!!   I wish we had taken pictures of the plates - especially the plate of beets!  It consisted of 8 pieces of diced beets on dollops of goat cheese, and two tiny quail eggs on small pieces of cured duck.  The ravioli and duck were both delicious, but very small portions for the price.

ROASTED ORGANIC BEETS - Fresh Goat Cheese, Poached Quail Egg, House Cured Duck
PAN SEARED DUCK BREAST - Duck Confit, Chestnut Puree, Cippolini Onion, Ginger Gastrique

We shopped at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place, located between Mandalay Bay and Luxor.  We walked through Excalibur, New York, New York, and MGM on the way back to Polo Towers.  


Sunday - February 14, 2010

On Sunday, we walked to Caesars Palace for brunch and shopping at the Forum Shops, and I got a Vegas track suit at the Juicy store.


We had brunch at Mesa Grill, Bobby Flay's restaurant.  When I ordered the Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, the waiter said that it would be served room temperature.  I asked if it could be served hot, but he said no.  I said, "don't you have an oven in the kitchen?"  He said that they have an oven, but Bobby Flay wouldn't allow the chefs to change the temperature of some of the items on the menu.  Everything we had was very good!!  We had some Sweet Potato Hash and half of my sandwich left over.  I cut up the pork and combined it with the hash the next morning for breakfast - and it was still very good - even served hot!

GOAT CHEESE “QUESO FUNDIDO” - Rajas + Blue Corn Tortilla Strips
SPICY CHICKEN + SWEET POTATO HASH - Poached Eggs + Green Chile Hollandaise
NEW MEXICAN SPICED PORK TENDERLOIN SANDWICH - Grilled Red Onion, Arugula Ancho-Chile Mayonnaise + Southwestern Fries

We walked over to Mirage and had drinks at the outdoor bar called Rhumbar.


Then we walked back over to Caesars Palace to get a beet salad at Spago, a Wolfgang Puck restaurant.


ROASTED ORGANIC BABY BEET AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD - Oranges, Petite Greens, Walnut Brittle and Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette

As we walked back to the Polo Towers, we stopped to watch the water show at the Fountains of Bellagio.

Then we stopped for drinks at the Harley Davidson Cafe.  We ordered the Barbecue Sliders and Mac & Cheese to go. 

We got back to the room in time to watch The Amazing Race and eat our dinner - Beet Salad from Spago and Barbecue Sliders from HD Cafe.  This seemed appropriate for Vegas - it represented the diversity of city - from classy celebrity chefs restaurants to the tacky bars on the strip.

Monday - February 15, 2010

Our flight home was scheduled for 11:30pm, but we had to check out of our room at 2:00pm.  So we had to pack up and store our luggage at the front desk.  It was another beautiful day - in the mid 60's, but warm enough to lay out.  It would have been a good day to go to the roof-top pool, if we still had a room to use later in the day.   But we decided to go to Town Square, a shopping center south of Mandalay Bay.  We had lunch at The Grape Wine Bar.

FLAT BREAD - cambozola, prosciutto and fig flatbread

We shopped at a few stores, and saw the movie "Valentine's Day" at the theater.   We went to Tommy Bahama's Cafe for dinner.  We had drinks, appetizers, and dessert at the bar.


BIG ISLAND GOAT CHEESE - Warm macadamia nut encrusted goat cheese served with mango salsa, Tommy's flatbread and a sweet soy glaze
TOMMY'S WORLD FAMOUS COCONUT SHRIMP - Crispy coconut encrusted jumbo shrimp served with papaya-mango chutney and Asian slaw
ANTIGUA QUESADILLA - Warm goat cheese, spiced Monterey jack, asparagus, tomato jam, lime sour cream & Queso Fresco
PINA COLADA CAKE - Moist vanilla layer cake with Myers Dark Rum and chopped pineapple, covered with white chocolate mousse and toasted coconut

We took a cab back to Polo Towers to get our luggage, then went to the airport for our red-eye flight.  We got home around 9:30am on Tuesday morning. It is still cold in Greensboro, and there is still some snow on the ground.  Brian went to the office, and I took a nap for a couple of hours.   Then I spent the rest of the day reading 2 chapters in the Web Graphics book for my test on Wednesday.  Back to Reality!

See our pictures on Snapfish.