Monday, December 5, 2022

Cirque du Soleil presents 'Twas the Night Before.... at the Wang Theatre in Boston #cirque @cirquedusoleil

This weekend, we had the opportunity to see Cirque du Soleil presents 'Twas the Night Before.... at the Wang Theatre in Boston and the show was absolutely amazing.

It is an exhilarating spin on the beloved Christmas classic with the acrobatic and theatric storytelling that is a signature Cirque du Soleil performance. 

We kept gasping and cheering for the artists as they performed many difficult moves and dances to a very upbeat musical soundtrack. There were aerialists, gymnasts and even roller skaters - we kept being in awe of one performance after the next.

We couldn't believe how one of the aerial performers did all of her acts while being hooked up to the rope by her hair (and can't imagine how much that must have hurt)!

My daughter loved the performers in the acrobating table and hoop diving. I enjoyed the aerial acrobatics at the beginning as well as the artists performing with diablos and involving two audience members as well.

The show is in Boston through December 11 and tickets are still available.

Although photos were not permitted during the show, we did receive some press photos that we are able to share below:

Photo credit Kyle Flubacker, MSG Entertainment

Photo credit Kyle Flubacker, MSG Entertainment

Photo credit Kyle Flubacker, MSG Entertainment

Photo credit Kyle Flubacker, MSG Entertainment

NOTE: We were provided with complimentary admission to the show in order to facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided, and all opinions are our own.

Monday, November 7, 2022

The best cup of coffee I've had! Aeropress Go is the best way to brew coffee and it's super quick and fun!

I've been on the search for the best tasting coffee I can make at home and after years of trial and error, with espresso machines, single brew makers (like Keurig) and French presses, I have found the best cup of coffee I've had and it is using the simplest principle - let the coffee steep and then push the coffee through a very fine filter and air pressure in the chamber will do the pressing for you and express a great tasting brew.

I received the AeroPress Go as a sample unit to facilitate this review and found that it couldn't be easier to set up, brew the coffee and then clean all of the pieces.

Once I got comfortable with brewing the coffee I wanted to minimize the drip through of the water as I was waiting for it to steep (I was making room temperature cold brew which gives you cold brew concentrate in only 60 seconds)! I had tried the inverted method to brew and that solved the dripping issues and still gave me the great cup of coffee I was expecting.

You can have two different filtration options: paper or reusable stainless steel. I have tried both and I like the stainless steel option so you can keep reusing it.

I strongly (pun intended) recommend this brewing method and coffee maker.




NOTE: I was provided with an AeroPress Go unit and filters in order to facilitate this review. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Back to school… Where did the summer go?

Well, I can’t believe we are here so soon but it is already back to school in our house. The summer totally flew by and we had a lot of fun and now it is on to new adventures. 

This weekend I canceled some things and decided to be a little more present with my family and a little more flexible with things. 

I enjoyed some time cleaning the house, donating a few items and walking on a nature trail in our town while catching Pok√©mon which is neat to see a fun use of mobile technology in the real world. 

Friday, August 5, 2022

LEGOLAND New York Resort is fun and a close 3.5 hours from Boston!

We went to LEGOLAND New York Resort for a quick two-day trip from Boston. The resort is 3.5 hours from Boston and we recommend planning a day for travel on either end of your trip. We spent two whole days in the park and found that to be the right amount for the number of attractions they currently have. As of this writing (July 2022) they are currently working on a new addition to the park that is a water playground in LEGO City, but that is still under construction.

TIPS


Be sure to bring mini figures to trade as there were a lot of different mini figures available for trade. The four main places to trade are: Mini Market, Creative Workshop, DUPLO Baby Care, and Smuggler's Haul. You can also trade with any model citizen (LEGOLAND staff member) who keep mini figures on their Brick Badges.


Parking is not included with the price of your ticket, so pay for parking in advance so you can save time as you exit the park.


If you are buying tickets in advance for LEGOLAND you should certainly look for various offers from Buy One Get One tickets to discounted percentage-off tickets. A quick search around the internet should help you find some of them! If I end up with any deals to pass along I certainly will.


LEGOLAND PARK


It is broken up into 7 lands (Brick Street, Bricktopia, LEGO® NINJAGO® World, LEGO® Castle, LEGO® City, MINILAND, LEGO® Pirates).


Emily did some great research and we got there at 9:30 so we were able to park the car and get in line to go through security and scan the tickets so you’re ready to enter the park at 10.


The model citizens pump up the crowd a little and you can do some mini figure trading which all adds to a cute little experience to start the day.


When you walk in, the first thing you pass is guest services on the right and you can rent a scooter from them, and have all of your purchases from the gift shops throughout the day held so you can pick them all up at once on your way out and not have to carry them throughout the day.


Our recommendation: Go through Miniland first which is a very long walk down a hill (bring comfortable shoes!) that has amazing things to look at so you can get to the most popular water rides that tend to have the longest wait times and may not be reservable through the Reserve ’n Ride system.


BRICK STREET


When you first walk in to the park Brick Street welcomes you and you have a sculpture in the middle, a carousel with lego horses that you can ride and a show stage. There are a bunch of shops where you can get locally brewed coffee, eats as well as the big shop and the guest services and photo shop. If you make any purchases at the stores you can have them held at the big shop so you don’t have to walk around with them all day.


MINILAND


Mainland is great but it is a lot of walking, so be prepared to crush your daily step count goal. You walk from the top of Legoland down to the lower part of the park by going through a zig-zag type walkway and you pass various cities along the way, first up is Goshen, NY, the city where Legoland is located, then you come across New York City in all of its detail. Once you get out of New York, you come across Washington, DC, then Philadelphia, New Orleans, Las Vegas and San Francisco/California. As a Salesforce fanatic, I enjoyed the Salesforce tower in San Francisco (pictured above).


LEGO PIRATES

This was one of our favorite areas. It was hot during our stay, so we enjoyed the water rides. If it’s hot outside, you won’t need a bathing suit necessarily, since you dry off so quickly, but in case you get soaked, there are drying stations you can pay for. Be prepared - you certainly will get wet! 


The first ride we enjoyed was Rogue Riders where you stand on a platform and control the barrel you are in spinning in a large circle and controlling it to go either left or right to avoid water spouts that will absolutely soak you (which feels great on a hot day)!


The second ride we loved was Splash Battle (pictured). It was the best ride for all ages and we enjoyed getting sprayed with water from other boats and onlookers as well as trying to spray others. We noticed the day we were there the green side was seated on the right of the boat so every time you were spraying people you were aiming more for the folks looking on the ride (and sometimes you even saw the pirate who made an appearance).  If you were on the red side (left side of the boat when we went) you would spray the other boats as much and couldn’t spray folks outside of the ride, but unfortunately you would still feel their wrath and get soaked without being able to return the favor.


We didn’t ride the Anchor’s away ride since the adults in the party didn’t like spinning around so much and one of them would have had to accompany the little guy.


We enjoyed going on the Shiver Me Bricks! Playscape which is a giant Pirate Ship playground. The little guy (~6 years old) didn’t want to leave and could have spent the whole day there. We think it would be geared for kids up to 11 - even our daughter had a great time running around chasing after her brother!

LEGO CITY


This is really good for younger kids as it has a movie theater, fire station attraction, driving school and coast guard academy boat ride. The movie was a little scary. The driving school was a big hit with the little guy who went through the ride a few times while his older sister was watching the movie. We had the reserve ’n ride passes so we were able to save a lot of time by not standing in lines, but the day we went, it wasn’t so crowded so a lot of the lines weren’t long anyways.


LEGO CASTLE

The climbing tower was one that the kids loved. The line could be long for this ride. There were two roller coaster rides (a big dragon and little dragon). We only rode on the little dragon, which everyone enjoyed, except Emily, as she was asking to get off shortly after the ride started. Our little guy found it so funny, it was certainly one of his favorite memories.


NINJAGO WORLD


There are a lot of playground activities in this world that the kids can do. There are places to train like a ninja as well as a fun ride to go on as well. There is also a shop where you can buy special NINJAGO-themed merchandise.


BRICKTOPIA


The rides in this part of the park were great, but unfortunately the Factory Adventure ride kept having technical issues the different times we went to visit it. We enjoyed the classes that were taught in the creative workshop - be sure to sign up early for them once you get in the park since the spots are limited and they go fast!


SKILL GAMES

At LEGOLAND there are skill games or games of chance that are around the park, but are not included in the price of admission. We walked around and watched a few games, and when we tried them we found that the ones with larger prizes took more tries to win (therefore it would be better to buy more tries upfront to try and win those). 


What was nice was that we noticed a lot of families walking around with various prizes from small to large which meant that the games had winners, unlike your typical carnival type games. Additionally the workers were very kind and actually would show you tips and tricks to win the games. They would also encourage you and cheer you on.


PHOTOS


During some of the attractions you can have your picture taken with the chance to see it and purchase a copy at the end of the ride. Alternatively, you can scan a QR code that is in your LEGOLAND New York resort app or on a card they can provide you so that you can group all of your photos together and purchase an option to download them at the end of the day. There are a bunch of photo options to choose from and at the time of this writing the photo prints were $17 and you could even get the photo made out of bricks ($50 as of this writing) but an awesome option for the LEGO fanatic in the group! If you would rather have digital downloads those are available for $30 for 1 day or $45 for a 2-day photo pass.


FAVORITE PART OF LEGOLAND NEW YORK


Little Guy: “My mom freaking out on the baby dragon roller coaster roller coaster and I was so excited. “


Emily:  “Getting stuck on the boat with the little guy, mini figure training, and looking at the MINILAND, watching the kids do the tower climb and spin-circle cups.”


Older Sister: “All of it: Trading mini figures, rogue riders, and the tower climb. The baby dragon roller coaster - especially hearing mommy scream, and being with my family.”


LEGOLAND HOTEL


We visited the Legoland hotel and found it to be very chaotic and crowded in the kids play area that was themed as a castle. We were disheartened to see a lot of appear-to-be-unsupervised children running around playing with lego-made swords and rifles. 


The arcade game room seemed a bit small and wasn’t very busy. There was so much to do that arcade games didn’t seem like it was a priority for anyone there.


One thing that would have been helpful would be more hand sanitizer to be around for after the use of the legos.


In the hotel there was a restaurant called the Skyline Bar and the food was decent although we found it to be a bit overpriced at $14 for half of a bowl of salad and $12 for kids meals that came with no drinks or sides (ex. Just a burger or chicken tenders and fries). It wasn’t a huge portion for what you were paying.


We cannot comment on the rooms because we didn’t stay in one during our stay, but everyone seems to rave about it.














NOTE: We were provided with complimentary admission to Legoland, photo downloads and skill games to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own and no other compensation was provided.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Crystal by Cirque du Soleil on ice came to Boston and it was outstanding!

Crystal by Cirque du Soleil on ice came to Boston and it was outstanding! We were offered tickets to see the show at Agganis Arena in Boston and the show totally blew us away. We arrived a bit close to show-time and when we picked up our tickets we didn't recognize the section later to find out they were right on the floor. We have never had seats this close and they were unreal.

The show started on ice and it is the first time that Cirque du Soleil performed a show on ice and we were amazed at the acrobatics and artistry performed on ice! We happened to somehow land in seats that the artists interacted with a few of us throughout the show and totally caught me off guard when one of the artists passed a glowing orb to me and I caught it. This has *never* happened with the seats that I got but this was a performance we will remember for sure!

The story was wonderfully told through quite a few series of ice skating, gymnastics and aerobatics. 

Cirque du Soleil is bringing their show to the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island from July 7-10 for five performances. You can get discounted tickets starting at $39 each thanks to Cirque Week which ends on Sunday, June 26 by clicking on the link here.








NOTE: We were provided with tickets to the show in Boston in order to facilitate this review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions, as always, are our own.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

The Scooper Bowl is coming to Patriot Place in Foxboro on Saturday

One of my favorite events of the year, the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl, is back in person this year at Patriot Place in Foxboro this Saturday! 

I used to attend when it was in downtown Boston and always had the best time. Kids would have contests to see who could eat the most ice cream and stack their cups throughout the event in celebration of their feat.

Tickets are on sale now through TicketMaster with the proceeds benefitting the Jimmy Fund, which supports adult and pediatric cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.


The full press release is below:

PATRIOT PLACE TO HOST THE JIMMY FUND SCOOPER BOWL FOR THE FIRST TIME SATURDAY, JUNE 18

Tickets for all-you-can-eat ice cream festival on sale now at www.scooperbowl.org

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.  – Patriot Place will host the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl for the first time on Saturday, June 18 from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m.

The annual all-you-can-eat ice cream festival celebrates its 39th anniversary this year and first time at Patriot Place. The Scooper Bowl will be held in Lot 22 between the west side of Gillette Stadium and the Renaissance Boston Patriot Place Hotel. Attendees will sample a variety of frozen treats in all their favorite flavors while enjoying live music and fun interactive activities for the whole family. There will be sweet treats for everyone, including non-dairy, nut-free and gluten-free offerings.

Tickets are on sale now at www.scooperbowl.org. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children 5 to 12 years old. Children under 5 are free and will not require a ticket for entry. Tickets must be purchased online or via credit card onsite. All proceeds benefit the Jimmy Fund, which supports adult and pediatric cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“We are proud to partner with the Jimmy Fund to host the Scooper Bowl at Patriot Place for the first time this June,” said Diana Griffin, Director of Marketing for Patriot Place. “The fight against cancer is extremely important to us here at Patriot Place and we are honored to work with the Jimmy Fund to support adult and pediatric cancer research and care. We look forward to teaming up with our guests in support of this cause on June 18.”

ABOUT PATRIOT PLACE

Patriot Place is a shopping, dining and entertainment destination located adjacent to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Patriot Place features large and boutique retailers, 23 casual to high-end restaurants and other nightlife venues. Among the highlights of Patriot Place are New England’s first Bass Pro Shops, a state-of-the-art, 14-screen Showcase Cinema De Lux, the award-winning Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon, the retro-style bowling alley, Splitsville Luxury Lanes, the modern gastro sports pub, CBS Sporting Club, the four-star Renaissance Boston Patriot Place Hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn Foxborough/Patriot Place and Helix eSports, the region’s largest egaming center and social hub. Patriot Place is also the home of Brigham Health and Brigham and Women’s/Mass General Health Care Centers. For more information, visit www.patriot-place.com, follow Patriot Place on Twitter (twitter.com/patriotplace) or like Patriot Place on Facebook (facebook.com/patriotplace).

 




Friday, June 10, 2022

Monster Jam roared into Foxboro and brought fun and energy to Gillette Stadium

On Saturday, June 4, we went to Monster Jam in Foxboro at Gillette Stadium with our friends and we had an absolute blast! Before every Monster Jam show you have the chance to buy additional passes for the Pit Party and we wanted to have the up close experience for the kids to see the big trucks and tires that were almost as big as me!

It was a nice day so we brought some food to tailgate with the boys before the show and gates opened two hours prior to showtime - we went in with an hour to go and it was more than enough time to get to our seats and be ready!

If you go, be sure to bring hearing protection - the monster trucks can get LOUD! We wore hearing protection for us and the kids too!

Here is my friend's recap, for a different take on things than I usually give:

My 2 boys (ages 7 and 4) absolutely loved Monster Jam. After enjoying their first tailgate in the parking lot, the Pit Party was a great opportunity for them to get up close and personal with the trucks and their drivers. Then the show itself was a blast and they could not get enough of the non-stop action and music. 

Entering the night, Grave Digger was the household favorite but Zombie stole the show with its stunts and the crowd going wild whenever it’s music (Thriller) was played. The next morning my youngest asked me when the Monster Trucks would be back  and we’ve been watching videos all week on YouTube. Safe to say we’ll be back next year!






NOTE: We were provided with tickets for show in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own and no other compensation was provided.