One Last Hurrah

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I’m typing this as we prepare to rush out of the hotel room – it’s only 6 AM, but it’s time to go home.  All in all, our babymoon was a great success, and I highly recommend all expecting couples do it.  It was nice to get away from our regular lives for a bit.


Yesterday was filled with University of Miami fun.  The Husband is a former student and a huge fan, so when he heard that I was giving an Operation Beautiful presentation on campus, he jumped at the chance to tag along. 


We walked around campus for an hour or so (it’s definitely the prettiest campus that I’ve ever seen – so lush and well landscaped) and remarked how jealous we were of these 18 year olds who got to go to college in the sun…


We stopped by the hall of fame, which was ironically small… lots of awards, but not a lot of space.  There were Big East Championship trophies shoved in corners under TVs!  I guess when you win a lot, trophies aren’t as special.  Winking smile


And then I did my event, which went well.  I wore a Miami pin on my shirt and won extra points with the crowd. 


And last, but not least, we went to Samurai, a hibachi grill restaurant.  This was my ‘special’ restaurant when I was growing up – you know, the place my mom would take me for birthdays, or the hot spot for date nights with high school boyfriends.  It was fun to walk into the restaurant a decade (and a major renovation) later!


(Steaming onion tower!)


We ordered the Garden Delight, which of course came with tofu and tons of veggies.  We got the salad to start… with the same wonderful ginger dressing from my high school days!  Some things never change, apparently.


Yummy fried rice with dippin’ sauces (the BEST part of Samurai – and the sauces still taste exactly the same).


And vegetarian fare.


Time to hop on the plane!


What was your ‘special’ restaurant as a kid?  Think you would still like it?



  • Chelsea March 6, 2012, 6:37 am

    Oh, man, Samurai! I’m from Miami, too, and loved that place. What I wouldn’t give for a vat of their pink sauce…

    Our “special” place was Gracie Cafe, which used to be down on S. Dixie and maybe 120th or so in a strip mall in Pinecrest, so it was totally unassuming, but the BEST Italian food. It’s since wised up, packed up, and moved on to South Beach!

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) March 6, 2012, 6:50 am

    Yum that dinner looks great. We have a place like that here in Houston and it really is delicious. My favorite childhood dining spot was …. get this …. Luby’s cafeteria. (When I was in elementary and middle school). Seriously? The place kind of grosses me out now. I would always order fried chicken, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese and a roll. Stellar meal right? ha!

  • Katie @ Raisins&Apples March 6, 2012, 7:21 am

    Mine was a Japanese steakhouse, too! My dad used to take me there before the girl scouts’ father-daughter dance every year 🙂

  • Cindy March 6, 2012, 7:28 am

    Nice “U” pin! I’m from Ann Arbor, so…yeah. 😉 Beautiful meal shots! Now I’m wondering about good Japanese steak houses in northeastern FL, around Jacksonville, for our vacation. Must research.

  • Stephanie @ Legally Blinde March 6, 2012, 7:30 am

    Hibachi restaurants are so much fun! I love to taste something after I haven’t had it in a long time – it’s amazing how you can be instantly transported back in time to when you last had it. We didn’t really go out to eat very much as a family when I was younger, but my sister and I did get to pick a restaurant to go to as a reward for good report cards, which was always really fun.

  • Trin March 6, 2012, 7:44 am

    Oh man, the first time I experienced a Hibachi grill, it was my 9th birthday. I felt extremely important and my grandpa gave me a pair of ruby stud earrings. Unfortunately for my wallet, hibachi is still probably my favorite “go out” meal!

  • Molly @ RDexposed March 6, 2012, 7:47 am

    I’m surprised with the rennovation-most restaurants are stuck in the past!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 6, 2012, 7:54 am

    Aw what great memories! I too am jealous of university kids that go to school in the sun…. it’s totally not the norm here! I cringe at the thought that one of my favourite restaurants as a kid was Dairy Queen, but not necessarily for the burgers. It was the Blizzards I was always after, and we would always go with my soccer team after games. Can’t say I crave that kind of thing any more though… I’m a green smoothie convert! 😉 Safe travels!

  • Kristen March 6, 2012, 8:02 am

    There were a couple of special restaurants in my family. One of them is no longer around but it was in the days when salad bars were everywhere and this one was HUGE (or at least it was to me…as a kid). Two items on said salad bar were popcorn and chocolate mousse (not sure why they were on there…) and I loved to dip popcorn in the mousse. If it was still there, I’d definitely hit up that combination just for fun.

    Looks like you had a great time in Miami. Hope you don’t miss the Florida sun too much when you get back home.

  • Lee March 6, 2012, 8:07 am

    Mine was TGI Friday’s. Ha. I don’t think I’d like it quite the same way now.

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed March 6, 2012, 8:23 am

    My special restaurant was Olive Garden… it’s still pretty tasty (who can resist their salad?) but I’m generally not that into chain restaurants!

    Glad you had a good babymoon, save travels!

    • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed March 6, 2012, 8:40 am

      PS – I made your Mexican Lasagna last night… so simple, yet so delicious. My boyfriend who “doesn’t like beans” and is usually asking “where’s the meat?” even liked it! We added black olives, a bit of sour cream, and some lettuce on top. I think next time I’m going to add some onions and peppers too! I will definitely be making it again! Thanks for the simple recipe, you are speaking my language 😀

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 6, 2012, 8:26 am

    I’ve always wanted to go to a hibachi restaurant!

    My favourite restaurant as a kid was this place called Sonoma Valley – I was obsessed with their chocolate raspberry truffle cake for dessert! 😀 They closed down years ago, but I still crave that cake haha.

  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon March 6, 2012, 8:35 am

    That’s so fun to revisit old favorites! When I was in elementary school, my special place was friendly’s–my parents would never let us get dessert out but at friendly’s it came with your meal! I was all about the conehead sunday!

  • Kelly March 6, 2012, 8:44 am

    We went to this Chinese place called Dragon Garden. It was owned by this kid in my neighborhood (well his family owned it) I still miss that place but I live in the complete opposite corner of Austin from where I grew up so we never go there but I definitely think I would still like it.

  • Shannon March 6, 2012, 8:46 am

    As a graduate of UM currently living in Miami and having been to Samuri many times you are so right, the sauces are the BEST there. They do not compare to any other hibachi restaurant.

    Love the pin 🙂

  • Charity March 6, 2012, 9:07 am

    Mine was a take out restaurant called The G & E it served the best clam dinner and fries with the works.. HUGE servings.
    However I no longer eat deep fried foods so I have no idea if they taste the same as when I was a kid.

  • Caroline @ After Dinner Dance March 6, 2012, 9:10 am

    A pizza restaurant in my hometown – still love it 🙂

  • Khushboo March 6, 2012, 9:29 am

    Al Basha- a Lebanese restaurant in Nigeria which was a family favourite. Growing up we would go at least once a week…I would kill to have one more meal there!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 6, 2012, 9:31 am

    OH MY GOSH I LOVE HIBACHI RESTAURANTS!!!! That was a bit much, but still, I LOVE them! I haven’t been to one in years, probably 5 or 6 years. There was one I always wanted to go to for my birthday growing up! So good and so much fun!

  • Lindsey March 6, 2012, 9:45 am

    A placed called Bonaza, it had a huge buffet and ice cream bar! And I was always allowed to get chocolate milk there which was a treat. My favorite was the shredded cheese bowl and of course the ice cream!

  • Jen March 6, 2012, 10:23 am

    My special restaurant was an Italian place called Il Forno, and I still love it today. When I was a kid I always got the personal pan pizza, but now my favorite is minestrone soup with garlic breadsticks. Haha I also really loved IHOP and looked forward to the chocolate chip smiley face pancake every time we went to the Cape (Cape Cod to non-New Englanders).

  • Jen March 6, 2012, 10:25 am

    OMG, you are killing me. I miss Samurai at the Falls so much! That’s my number one restaurant to hit if I ever visit Miami again.

  • VKS March 6, 2012, 10:26 am

    If you think Miami is the most beautiful campus you’ve ever seen, you’ve CLEARLY never been to William & Mary!! 🙂

  • MigraineMe March 6, 2012, 10:30 am

    My favorite restaurant as a kid was a little local place called Bert and Ernies. I am from a town of 2,500 people and it was the local hang out, just like in Cheers, the place where everybody knows your name!

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery March 6, 2012, 10:41 am

    That looks delicious! Love the picture of the husband and the pelican (at least I think that’s a pelican). I didn’t have a special restaurant. I think my special restaurant was eating at one of my aunt’s houses. She lives in the south and always made food my parents wouldn’t so that was my special treat. I’m heading down to visit her tomorrow so I can’t wait! Cornbread here I come 🙂

  • Corrie Anne March 6, 2012, 10:42 am

    Haha. Our special restaurant was definitely Old Country Buffet!

  • Ashley March 6, 2012, 10:48 am

    So funny – my hubs and I were just talking about this the other day! When I was a kid I thought a “fancy” restaurant was Macaroni Grill! haha! We rarely ate out when I was young, so I guess ANYTHING counted as “fancy” because any restaurant trip was a treat! : )

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 6, 2012, 10:51 am

    Not gonna lie, I LOVE LOVE those restaurants!!! And the fried rice… omg. No words.

  • CJ @ March 6, 2012, 11:05 am

    I love hibachi restaurants and we would also often celebreate things there because of the show like atmosphere,but since my birthday is in the summer we would usually have the big hoorah at our vacation spot…my favorite was in Cinderella Castle as Disney World…i celebrated my 21st there and the ironic thing is they dont even serve alcohol!!! I did wear a crown though haha

  • Linds @ Linds Eats March 6, 2012, 11:11 am

    My “special” restaurant when I was a kid was Red Lobster! Funny this about that is, I only went for their basket of tea biscuits. They were amazing. Unfortunately, I know longer eats grains so I probably wouldn’t enjoy it these days!

  • faith @ For the Health of It March 6, 2012, 11:57 am

    Mine was El Sol, a mexican place in Mississippi. I loved it because I got to sit under a creepy looking Aztec sun. You better believe I’d still love it!

  • Sarah March 6, 2012, 11:58 am

    Wow, those dishes look fantastic! I used to love any Italian restaurant, so nope, no change there!

  • Kayla @ The Best Things March 6, 2012, 11:58 am

    WHOA mine was Red Lobster too. And I didn’t even eat seafood. I used to always get chicken fingers and fries and those cheddar bay biscuits!! yum…

  • Ellie@Fit for the Soul March 6, 2012, 12:00 pm

    Oh gosh~I can’t remember which one mine was, but when I was still younger, I loved this one called “Clapton’s”, but it’s in Argentina haha. I love those Japanese restaurants where they have the whole pan laid out! It’s so fun to watch~

  • Sonia the Mexigarian March 6, 2012, 12:28 pm

    LOL. That Samurai place is just like the Benihana’s here on the west coast, as well as house of Genji. At HoG they actually throw food at you to catch in your mouth. I LOVE going to those places.I remember my high school boyfriend took me there for the first time and it was the most amazing thing I’ve seen at the time. haha. But my favorite place as a child was this Austrian resturant in Los Altos. A very nice place with wood beams, hunting trophies, dim candle light and a very comfortable feeling. Here the owner came to our table and played the violin. Even as a small child I remember being in awe an mesmerized by the beauty of the place and the music. Sadly they tore the place down many moons ago. . . . 🙁

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 6, 2012, 12:40 pm

    Awww how fun! My dad would always take us to Ponderosa…..a huge buffet family-style restaurant. He was in residency and there were 6 kids at the time, but it all tasted good to me back then. Hah.

    Now we all love Outback and Cheesecake factory–something for everyone there!

  • Sophie @ threetimesf March 6, 2012, 1:16 pm

    Glad you managed to enjoy a relaxing break! 🙂

  • Amber K March 6, 2012, 2:00 pm

    My special birthday restaurant was always La Carreta’s aka the best Mexican restaurant around! I still go there probably at least once a month. Not healthy version of Mexican in any way, but sooo good!

  • Kimberly (Sketch the Ebb and Flow) March 6, 2012, 6:54 pm

    Omg that looks so good! That reminds me of a tradition my parents have. For 36 years they have dined at a ridiculously expensive restaurant on their anniversary. It’s something they don’t regularly do, and they choose romantic settings, so it helps keep the love alive. 🙂

  • Jen March 7, 2012, 1:28 am

    Haha – Love the picture of your husband with the evil-looking bird! 🙂

    In my tiny little hometown, the place that has been there FOREVER (and which would break my heart most if it ever closed) is called Dee’s Drive Inn. Obviously, nothing fancy (although more variety than you’d expect), but lots of yummy food and nostalgia! 🙂

    And, yes, I am spelling that correctly…that’s what they call it, although they do still offer car hop (drive-in) service to this day! 🙂

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