Tag Archives: Beach

Pigging Out…Jersey Style! The Blue Pig Tavern

Blue Pig Tavern, Jersey Shore

By Rohan:

The Jersey Shore has transformed from the land of Ferris Wheels and Funnel Cakes to Snooki and the Situation. It’s reputation has sunk to rock bottom thanks to endless reality shows and a bad media rep. However, there are parts of the shore that are quite redeeming and peaceful. If you prefer hopping from boardwalk to boardwalk, conquering everything that resembles a roller coaster in your sight, then you probably want something filling and energizing to fuel you up in the morning. Fear not, the Blue Pig Tavern in Cape May satisfies all your breakfast needs.

The Blue Pig is located inside the quaint Congress Hall Hotel. Step into the restaurant and you immediately feel like Goldilocks as you are seated in wooden benches in a room painted pink and baby blue. The decor in the restaurant provides its rustic charm. There are old antiques hung up everywhere ranging from tricycles dating back to 1930 to album covers. It’s no wonder why this place is always packed on summer mornings before beach-goers head out to soak up some sun and play in the waves.

We ordered the standard American breakfast. Buttermilk pancakes, English muffins, French Toast, and their “world famous” freshly squeezed orange juice. The pancakes were heavenly. They were light, fluffy, and packed full of flavor. If you’re willing to spend an extra buck or two, try them with fresh fruit, chocolate chips, or even nutella! It’s like eating dessert to power you for the rest of the day.

In the juice industry, the Blue Pig hits it home with some great freshly squeezed drinks. The orange-pineapple juice stole the show, blending two awesome flavors into a cup that made you feel like getting out there and playing an intense game of beach volleyball or attempting to sculpt Buckingham Palace out of sand.

For a restaurant with great ambiance and even better food, you would expect a hefty bill to come your way as soon as the table is cleared. However, this wasn’t the case. The meal was actually pretty affordable, a great bonus the restaurant has going for it.

If you are in the Cape May area, or love small beachside towns, make sure to check out the Blue Pig. Check out their website here:

http://www.caperesorts.com/restaurants/capemay/bluepigtavern/

A Slice of Modern Art in South Beach- The Sagamore

Sagamore at South Beach

By: Rohan 

Shrouded by the endless rows of art-deco hotels in downtown South Beach, rests the Sagamore, a small white building dwarfed by the Ritz-Carlton next door. While the facade may not have much to offer visually, there is plenty of eye-candy that awaits behind its doors. The lobby is truly unique, sporting an interesting collection of modern art from all over the world. To your left, a picture of a group of people crowded in a busy Parisian street. To your right, paintings of a hibiscus flower that capture every detail while paying homage to the city’s heritage. The lobby has little furniture, a circular couch on one side of the room is the only place to sit. But you won’t need it thanks to the sheer amount of artwork and photography to arouse all your senses.

As you enter the main hallway, the left side of the wall slowly becomes covered in black and white photographs that together define the United States. The glitz and glamor of Hollywood is captured with the stunning Marilyn Monroe flashing her endearing smile and glittery white dress. Right next to it, a car pierced with bullet holes is the only sanctuary for a young African-American boy during the apex of the Civil Rights Movement.

Walk further down and you will find the hotel’s only restaurant, that changes its cuisine depending on the time of day. At breakfast, enjoy fresh rolls and delicious pastries with homemade jam. As the sun begins to set, the breakfast buffet transforms into a twenty-first century pizzeria, serving thin crust flat breads topped with mounds of vegetables and meats. It is here where you will find one of the most fascinating pieces of art in the entire hotel. The work is divided into four pieces and shows a young Muslim girl slowly losing her identity and blending in with society. Its design is simple, but its message is powerful.

As you exit the main building, you reach the pool area. A standard rectangular pool with cabanas and lounge chairs awaits with lush gardens and plasma screen televisions showing slideshows of famous artwork you can find around the hotel. As nightfall approaches, the pool deck conforms to the city’s art-deco style, vibrant in light, music, and of course, food. The palm trees resemble something out of a Dr. Seuss book, illuminated by colored lights and swaying gently in the breeze. The evening’s soundtrack is a medley of the waves of the ocean combined with soft rock music.

The rooms are spacious, stylish, and modern, resembling something out of a Star Wars movie. The furniture takes on shades of white and beige to contrast the color and vibrance that defines South Beach. Each room is a bungalow, containing two floors with two separate patios. Perfect for enjoying the Miami sunset while sipping on a delicious smoothie.

If you’re looking into comfortable lodging in one of the most iconic places in America, look no further than the Sagamore.

The Sagamore is located on Collins Avenue and is a short walk away from the shops and restaurants on Lincoln Road.

You can visit their site here:

http://www.sagamorehotel.com/ 


A getaway in Sanya encapsulates life’s rainbow of emotions

By: Lakshmi

We love tropical getaways and Hawaii is a favorite.  So it did not take much to convince us that a visit to Sanya, the “Hawaii of the East” would be a vacation that would appeal to all senses.  Little did we know then that the spectacular beauty of this getaway would bear witness to one of life’s irreversible losses.

Boarding our flight at Guangzhou airport, we got the much dreaded call.  My beloved 92-year-old grandmother who had been ailing for some time with esophageal cancer was now in the “death-rattle” stage, a phase that signifies imminent death.  We were deeply saddened, but did not register that the end was near.  A few hours later, we landed in tropical Sanya on a perfect day and boarded our car to the Marriott.  And then came the call, that grandma had passed away.

It was surreal; here we were admist breathtaking natural beauty, in a car taking us to a beautiful resort and dealing with a devastating loss.  We all took turns sobbing in the car and our driver who did not speak a stitch of English was bewildered….Did he pick up three looney bins at the airport?  Is this trio crazy to be in such a beautiful spot and yet crying their hearts out?  He seemed nervous and this was confirmed when we had the most hurried drop off at the hotel.

We saw the ocean stretching as far as the eye could see.  Groves of palm trees and huge overflowing masses of tropical flowers.  Coconuts and coconut water being devoured by the guests.  Was it destiny that led us to be in a place that was in so many ways a mirror image of where grandma spent all her years….in Trivandrum, Kerala in southern India.  She loved fresh flowers, coconuts were integral to everything that she cooked and loved to eat.  We dragged ourselves to our hotel room and talked about her role in our lives.  We cried, we laughed and we asked for more tissues.

The hotel was beautiful, situated on prime real estate on Yalong Bay with beautifully landscaped grounds, a well maintained beach, and a handful of tourists (the Chinese had not yet learnt that lazing at a beach resort was the best way to holiday!).  We spent hours sitting at the beach, talking, bonding, laughing and crying.  We felt joy at the beauty before us and tremendous sadness at our loss.  We felt guilt for being some place so perfect, when one of our dearest had lost her battle for life.  On our last evening there, as we were taking a long walk on the beach, we came across the Ritz Carlton.  We walked into Fresh 8, a beautiful restaurant that had a buffet benefiting royalty.  Reluctant to spend a lot on a meal which may not be vegetarian friendly, and feeling guilt at having such a lavish meal so soon after a loss, we started walking away.  That’s when the restaurant manager approached us.  He assured us that we would have a great meal with choices from all of the food stations.   He walked us over to a station where they were serving Indian food.  The chef it turns out was from southern India.  Was this grandma’s way of saying she loved us?  Varieties of foods were laid out at our table, till we could eat no more.  As we walked into the night and looked at the stars, we knew that the star in our lives would always be watching over us and Sanya would always hold a bittersweet place in our hearts.

To stay at the Marriott resort in Sanya, click here.

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/syxmc-sanya-marriott-yalong-bay-resort-and-spa/

To stay at the Ritz Carlton in Sanya, click here.

http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Sanya/Default.htm