Date Night Cheers – Movie, Shenanigans and Ashley’s Pub

Having date nights with a toddler at home is for the most part very limited.  My husband Jay and I both try our best to schedule a dinner and movie when we can.  Luckily we have older children at home that can help babysit so that we can have mommy and daddy time.

Our choice of movie for the night was A Quiet Place.  I’m not a huge fan of horror films but I know my husband likes them.  I’m more of a cheesy, Hallmark movie kind of gal but figured it was time I put my big girl panties on.  Plus I saw that the movie had great reviews and it was only an hour and a half long.  Figured I’d be safe since the torture would only be short lived.  Haha.

It was actually an awesome movie.  Our opinion was that it was like the movie Signs, starring Mel Gibson, but on a whole other level.  It was well directed and the actors did a great job making it believable.  It was a quick and to the point kind of movie that didn’t drag on.

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After the movie we decided to check out Shenanigans.  It’s an new Irish Pub and Grill in downtown Bremerton that just opened this month.  It was very busy and it seemed like everyone we knew, and their neighbors, decided to try it too.

The owners did a great job renovating and decorating the inside to reflect the Irish theme.  It was very cozy with a great atmosphere and it seemed like the waitresses and bartenders were always moving and taking care of their customers.

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They had a pretty extensive menu including lots of Irish dishes and more. For drinks we opted for one of our favorite beers, Irish Death, and for food, their Irish Nachos and beet salad. The Nachos was thin sliced wedged fries slathered with melted gouda cheese and topped off with bacon and shredded corned beef. The cheese had just the right heat and the corned beef was very tasty. Great dish all around.

The beet salad was good too. My only request would be to have less beans, 2 more slices of beets and a hint more dressing. The other toppings were just perfect.

We left a little too early to enjoy the live music they had schedule for the evening but Shenanigans will definitely be on our list for a revisit. Can’t wait to go back to try more of their dishes and enjoy some entertainment.

On our way back to our car we stopped in to visit another new establishment in downtown Bremerton called Ashley’s Pub, Boardom’s End. We got to meet the owner Ashley and she was sweet enough to chat with us for a few minutes and even take a quick photo with me for our blog.

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Ashley opened her pub so that like-minded individuals and groups can have a comfortable and safe place to go to have drinks and enjoy having a space to play games. They have a wide range of choices, with bookcases full of books, classic and popular board games, and lots of RPGs (Role Playing Games.)  She said she realized that some people wanted to play the adventure board games that they had always heard about but didn’t know how or didn’t have enough friends or players to fill out all the roles.  If they don’t have enough friends to play some board games they can make them here and also learn how to play.  She has different nights set aside for both established players and new players.

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If board games aren’t your thing she also has a several console games and pinball machines in the purposely-darkened back corner.  For warmer days, she also has a corn hole set, and guests can enjoy their snacks and drinks with their 16 on tap beer and cider selections out on the open courtyard.  Outside food is welcome.  She is open every day of the week except for Wednesday.  She has an event calendar posted above the bar that includes monthly book clubs for sci-fi and graphic novels, and weekly game nights and pinball tournaments.  It is best to check her website for updates.

http://www.ashleys.pub/

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Ashley’s Pub is wonderful, bright and tastefully decorated. The murals on the walls were painted by her boyfriend. Very reminiscent of the “tagged” paintings we used to see growing up. Her Lego beer tap handles are so fitting and the cute little details everywhere made us want to stay a little longer to just explore. We’re definitely adding Ashley’s Pub to our future date night and friends get together list.

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~ Deb and Jay

 

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Train Ride Trip to Portland with Kids Part 2

Yea! We made it to Portland!

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It was a smooth ride so far. Portland’s Union Station was a little different from Seattle’s station. A little dark and gloomy but getting our baggage was at least quick and easy.

We decided to forgo getting a taxi and walked 12-15 minutes to our hotel. It wasn’t too far of a walk but just like any big city, Portland has a few sketchy spots around the transportation centers. So we walked as quick as we could with our overstuffed backpacks.

By the time we reached our hotel we were ready for a nap. My husband made a point and said if we took a nap we probably wouldn’t leave the room to go out again. So off we went in search of the hotel’s dining hall for their complimentary drinks and snacks.

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We were also able to have a beer and cider on the train.

My husband had a beer and I had a wine. Snacks consisted of veggies and dip, tortilla chips and all the fixings. The dining hall was loud. We headed out to find more food with a little quieter atmosphere. The bellhop at the door of our hotel suggested Huber’s Cafe.

Huber’s was a cute little restaurant contained within an “old Portland” bar dating to the 1890’s. It had what we needed and the staff was friendly and attentive. Their apple/blackberry cobbler was yummy! Part of the “loud” from the dining hall seemingly followed us to Huber’s as in the bachelor party or class reunion was seated next to us … again.

After we ate we finally headed back to the hotel room. Our son was happy he was able to go swimming in the pool. A hotel with a pool and hot tub was my husband’s request. He wanted a place to relax at the end of the day. There were two hot tubs here. He was happy.  It worked out great!

It was a wonderful end to an adventurous day.

Note: We were so busy looking around and carrying our bags that we didn’t get any pictures when we arrived in Portland. I just included some of the train pictures that my husband took with his phone.

~Deb

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Train Ride Trip to Portland with Kids Part 1

Planning to take a trip on a train with kids? We have discovered that it is completely doable.

Taking a train ride was one of the items on my bucket list. This Spring Break we were able to take a train ride from Seattle to Portland. It was most certainly an adventure for my husband, myself and our 2 younger children.

The ride was about 3.5 hrs each way. It was an experimental trip to see how things would work without driving. On our last trip to Portland our daughter was then 2 years old.  She cried for a while on our way back home. It was quite stressful and quite dangerous trying to get in and out of traffic to take care of our very uncomfortable toddler. On this present trip we really wanted to see if it could have much more relaxing vacation.

We started our trip from Bremerton via the ferry to Seattle. It was a free trip to Seattle. We had sandwiches and snacks that we had prepared in the morning. It was a quick and relaxed hour ride.

Once in Seattle, we walked about 10 minutes to Tat’s Deli, a cheesesteak place that my East Coast husband has been wanting to try. We were already quite full but my son and I agreed to share a sandwich and some fries. The food was great and well worth stuffing ourselves! Our almost 3 year old daughter happily had a lot of ketchup with few yummy fries. Apparently, her favorite vegetable is ketchup.

With our over-filled bellies we headed to the train station. It was about a 6 minute walk but it took us a little longer to get situated because we also took a booster seat in case we needed it for a taxi or Uber in Seattle or Portland. (Note: We ended up not using it.)

The King Street Station in Seattle is BEAUTIFUL! It is very well maintained with an amazing vaulted ceiling to gaze at while you wait to board your train. There were lots of designs in the marble tiled floor and my wily husband had the two year old walking the outlines hoping to use up some of her energy.  We purchased our tickets online at Amtrak.com. The check in process was simple and the check in area was well defined with signs, roped off areas for the line, and a counter.

In Seattle they boarded passengers with children, or in groups of four, first.  We were able to grab a table with four facing seats on the train and it was best thing we could have asked for. It allowed us to spread out our refreshments, our activities and most importantly it allowed us to talk to each other.

Before the train rolled on, our children and I each had a dose of Dramamine, just as a preventative measure. I get motion sickness very easy so this is a great tip for those who have issues with motion sickness. Thankfully, we had no problem. We all even got a short nap on the train ride.

We took with us a small bag full of activities for our toddler. The most popular of the activities was coloring with the twistable crayons. It was new to her. We also took along stickers, a sticker book, lacing cards, and some of her favorite snacks. Our teenage son was responsible for packing up his own activities and snacks.  He was fairly occupied with his new-ish iPhone 5.  Amtrak has decent WiFi onboard for internet access and social media, but not enough for streaming media.

We had movies and TV shows downloaded on our mobile devices as a great back-up activity for all of us. We were able to plug our chargers right into the two convenient outlets under our table.

Overall, the ride to Portland was comfortable and pleasant experience. The scenery on the way was spectacular. Our teenager was happy and our toddler did great.

~Deb

Unusual – Infamous Voodoo Donut

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While we were on our Portland, Oregon trip we decided to try out the infamous Voodoo Donut. The donuts were very tasty and reasonably priced. We waited in line for almost 25 minutes. The donuts are worth the wait if you are in Portland for a long visit. There are much more wonderful things to see and do in Portland if you are just making a quick visit.

We found that Portland is a great place to people watch. We probably would have left the line if it wasn’t for the street entertainment. There was a decent guitar player/singer performing right in front of Voodoo donuts. The downside to Voodoo Donut’s location is that there was a lot of pan-handlers right in that area. A few even approached us while we were in line.

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The store decor was eclectic and different but I guess it’s part of the charm. The donut fixture on their ceiling was definitely eye-catching and unusual.

Their donuts definitely live up to the company’s name. We loved the Voodoo Doll and the Maple Bacon donuts. The Doll contained a tasty raspberry filling and it was covered with great chocolate frosting. Talk about yummy Sugar Rush! The Maple Bacon donut was simply delish! (I’m a sucker for bacon.)

Yes. If we have the time to wait on our next trip to Portland, we’d definitely go there again.

Have you been to one of the Portland Voodoo Donut locations? If so, what are your thoughts on their donuts and your visit?