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Where Stress Melts Away…

The spa at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC is a force to be reckoned with.  Come early and plan to stay all day – it’s an underground grotto with an outdoor pool, mineral pool, underwater music, whirlpools, plunge pools, sauna, steam room and the list goes on.  Make sure to try the peppermint hand towels when you leave the sauna area.  And don’t forget to use the showers before you leave – the rosemary mint shampoo and conditioner is amazing!

fave spot

My favorite spot – secluded and a great spot for reading on the iPad or a quick mid-day nap!  Come back to this spot at night as the star lights in the ceiling glow and the waterfalls light up!

 Reading

Starry sky in the rock ceiling!:

Night sky

This is one of the pools – float on your back and listen to the relaxing underwater music and enjoy the views in the underground rock quarry.

 Spa

View from the outdoor pool.  You can order drinks and food to be delivered to you.  Most of the chairs face the building – select a seat on the building side so you can enjoy the mountain view from your chair!  The pool areas are co-ed so you can bring a significant other with you to enjoy the views.

 View from Pool

The whirlpools are heated – sit under the waterfalls for a neck and back massage.  When you are done swimming, you can head upstairs to the quiet room by the fireplace and enjoy some homemade teas and light snacks.

 whirlpool

Although the spa here is very pricey, I have to say it is worth every penny.  There aren’t a lot of people so you have the feel of being by yourself.  If you are visiting Asheville, I highly recommend you spend a day at the Spa here – I will definitely be back!  (If you live in Asheville, you can buy a day pass for $100.)

View from outside the spa, looking up at the hotel:

view of hotel

Fruit Please!

 Nothing says summer better than a fresh fruit tart! Buttery pie crust with custard and your choice of fruit. I even feel justified eating these for breakfast!  

tarts

Anyone who has been to Whole Foods knows how delicious their bakery looks. I decided to try one of their mini fruit tarts on a whim. It may have been one of the more bittersweet decisions I’ve made as my taste buds and wallet now have a battle every time I go into this store! They are so small but packed with so much flavor. Keeping this post short and sweet, true to the fruit tart, but please try one. You won’t regret it. If you aren’t near the Southpark area, a new Whole Foods is opening in the Huntersville/Lake Norman area later this year!

Lemon Cookies

These are the best cookies to make if you are looking for something quick, easy, light and fresh. The perfect summer cookie. The best part is you can use the same recipe and swap out different flavors of cake – Strawberry and Red Velvet are other great options!

Lemon Cookie

Ingredients:

1 box of cake mix. Lemon in this case but any flavor will work – mix lemon and strawberry for a citrus berry flavor!

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 cups Cool Whip, thawed (8 oz). THAW!!! The more thawed the Cool Whip, the easier it will be to mix later!

½ to 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, egg and Cool Whip. The batter will be very sticky and thick! (Again, thawing the Cool Whip well will help with this step.) Dab your fingers in powdered sugar to help with step #3.
  3. Form dough into tablespoons and roll in powdered sugar.
  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are golden. Allow to cool 1 minute on baking sheet, then remove to wire rack to cool.

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S’mores Pancakes

The only thing that beats breakfast in bed is dessert breakfast in bed!!!  My boyfriend made me s’mores pancakes this morning and they made my day!  Craving something sweet for breakfast? Whip up a s’mores pancake! These tasted great and hit the spot, and were surprisingly filling!

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S’mores Pancakes

Ingredients:

Your favorite pancake recipe

Chocolate chips (optional)

Jumbo Marshmallows

Chocolate Syrup

  1. Mix your favorite pancake recipe – we used Bisquick – and add in chocolate chips.
  2. Put the marshmallow on a skewer and toast over a low gas burner until it is melted and golden brown OR put the marshmallow on top of the pancake and microwave 20 seconds. We used the latter option which worked great!
  3. Sandwich the marshmallow between two pancakes, and smoosh it down so the marshmallow expands to all sides. Drizzle on chocolate syrup and serve!!

Pisces Sushi

Although the name speaks strongly to sushi lovers, this is the place to get your Japanese food fix, whether hibachi, drinks or sushi.

Atmosphere – Sophistication meets trendy. Classy restaurant, hip vibes for every age. Ask for a booth when making your reservation for a romantic, secluded date night.  Both the Charlotte and Mooresville locations offer equally impressive food and service.

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Food – Sushi or Hibachi? The struggle is real. Both are so good, it’s a battle of the stomach every visit on which I should order. The Screaming O roll earned its name for a reason – try it. The Dynamite roll has deliciously fresh shrimp tempura topped with the perfect amount of crab salad. For a light and summery roll, try the simple but tasty First Love roll – not quite as flavorful as it doesn’t have a sauce in it, but the mango and avocado make for a healthy but filling entrée.

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All of the hibachi orders are delicious, but I can’t say enough about the shrimp hibachi. Cooked to perfection it will leave you wanting more. Upgrade for $1 to get garlic noodles and you won’t regret it.   

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If you can save room for dessert, try the Tempura Oreos and Green Tea ice cream.

Drinks – Great (and strong) cocktails, like the Mexican Samurai and the Cranberry Cucumber Martini. Some drinks can be seasonal – if you find a favorite don’t hesitate to ask for it – they will make it off the menu by request!

Service – You will feel like family here. Service is helpful and friendly.

 

Pisces Sushi gets 5 out of 5 stars!

1 Star – Never going back

2 Stars – Would go back if I had to

3 Stars – Would like to give it a second try

4 Stars – Great food, definitely going back

5 Stars – One of the best spots I’ve ever been!

Chillfire Bar and Grill

My boyfriend and I made the drive up to Denver to visit some friends who live in that area. They invited us to Chillfire Bar and Grill which I was impressed to learn is a sister restaurant of Epic Chophouse in Mooresville.

Appetizers – Shanghai Shrimp is amazing – huge shrimp cooked perfectly with a sweet and tangy sauce. The Cheesy Bread is also delicious and similar to what you will find at Epic Chophouse.

Dinner – I had a side salad which was great. All soups and salads come with a croissant drizzled with almond butter glaze. So good! My entrée was Crab Stuffed Flounder in a white wine butter sauce. The fish was a little overcooked, but the crab was delicious and came in a very generous sized portion. I got a side of the Butternut Squash Puree with nutmeg was tasted just like sweet potatoes – delish!

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My boyfriend ordered the Ribeye which was cooked just the way he wanted. He ordered a side of the Cheddar Jack Grits which came out a little on the cold side, but delicious nonetheless.

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After the appetizers we were way to full for dessert. I would definitely recommend this place if you are in the Denver area.

Chillfire Bar and Grill gets 3 out of 5 stars!

1 Star – Never going back

2 Stars – Would go back if I had to

3 Stars – Would like to give it a second try

4 Stars – Great food, definitely going back

5 Stars – One of the best spots I’ve ever been!

Marco’s Pizza

Asheville is a great place to visit – mountain air, beautiful views, the Biltmore house, winery’s – can’t be beat!  Our favorite pizza place in town is Marco’s pizza – make sure you go to the one on Merrimon Ave – they have the best service and food! The pizza is delicious – huge slices!!

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A locals tip (my boyfriend went to school here) – ask for an order of the wing sauce to dip your pizza and/or crust in! It’s a little sweet and spicy and adds the perfect kick to every bite. Enjoy!!

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