It has been two months since I took over the place and have been busy working towards opening. I went into this with a very open mind and with lots of patience. I knew that it would involve countless hours of commitment and work. And just as I imagined it —it has been just that.
Between equipment delays, paperwork filing, ordering supplies and merchandise my days have been spent in phone calls, organizing and learning. Hoping that I would open before the ‘Busy Season’ came to end but as it would be— I will not be ready before the season is over. But with each day I get closer to my new target date.
This time has been part of the process …..I have learned to take it in stride and to breath deeply knowing that everything arrives in its due time. Patience has been the key and I have learned to do things during this time to help with any stress or discomfort I may feel. Yoga, Pilates, painting and learning to play the guitar are some ways I have helped to strength my patience.
I look forward to the next couple of weeks as I get closer in celebrating my birthday, Mother’s Day and even more exciting my opening day.
One of my most recent highlights for me has been connecting with a local high school in the community of Ft. Myers to be able to share the scholarship I created a few years ago to honor my cousin John. John was a young man who loved to perform in his high school musicals. He enjoyed the singing and dancing and also played the trumpet in the school band. Clearly he had a love and appreciation for the performing arts.
Like many first generation born in this country —the arts whether performing or fine art it is not encouraged or supported. Immigrant parents typically view these as hobbies and reinforce the need to choose money making careers. John went off to study computers and landed a job right out of college working with IBM. Unfortunately, his time here on earth was short and he passed at the young age of 25.
I have made it my goal to honor his memory and love for the arts. By supporting high school seniors who are graduating and continuing their education in either the performing arts or fine arts with scholarships. This was always my dream to be able to honor his memory in a loving way. I started with one scholarship for $250 and this year I will be awarding 1 scholarship for $1,000 and 2 at $500 each. I am so thankful to God for the ability to do this for students who love and appreciate the arts.
With love, faith and hope
Drink & Think House will be awarding these scholarships on 4/27/22. Stay tuned who the recipients are of these scholarships.
Its been over a month that I began my journey in taking over the location and begin preparing the shop and filing for licenses/permits. It has been a roller coaster full of excitement meeting with vendors, designing the logo, choosing colors, cleaning the shop, ordering equipment, setting up furniture and decorations. All these things have not necessarily happened in a specific order but rather parallel to each other.
I think about the experience I have in working in education in and out of the classroom and most recently training educators—-without realizing it God was ordering my steps with these jobs. I learned to be organized, efficient with my time and patient with challenges and people. I learned the value of serving and balancing the work with enjoying the life.
My days begin at 5 am and typically go till about 10pm —but the feeling of joy and excitement is amazing. I continue to work training educators and focused on opening the shop. I know that for some the idea of working two jobs is unimaginable but a long time ago someone told me if you find something you are passionate and you get the blessing to do it —you will never work again. I love education and I love coffee so I have found my passions and everyday I am doing something for either or both —I enjoy every minute.
It does not mean I don’t get tired because I do but I feel like I am preparing for the arrival of another child. This dream of owning my own business has been one that has been in me for about the past 12 years—but as life would be —-I had to learn to be patient and navigate in the life of what was happening at the time. I knew that I would get here with God’s love and my focus of never loosing sight of what he had placed in my heart.
I hope that you will continue to join me as I get closer to opening up my shop. Keep checking in and reading my blog.
I love seeking unique, affordable and fun places, people and things to do ………and with Tuckerton in mind the creation of my app was inspired by this truly hidden gem. I realized that not many people really know much about our area or why it is such a special place to live or visit.
We are ideally located not too far off from Exit 58 and nicely nestled between the Jersey coastline and the robust pine barrens. Time has gently moved in this area always maintaining the integrity of simple times. Providing a unique feel of the earlier Jersey shore town where you knew that whether you visited for a few hours or a weekend —-you enjoyed ‘relaxation’ away from the hustle and bustle of everyday living.
Whether you are an avid angler or hunter enthusiast this area has something for you. With miles and miles of water to fish, crab or simply enjoy —Tuckerton offers everyone something to do. With several marinas and a sporting center you have endless possibilities. Whether you prefer a walk with your dog down the end of South Green street or maybe bike riding with friends to several of the local pubs —-this area entices you to let go and simply enjoy life in the most of simplest ways. There are no time lines or agendas to meet—the care of the day is to have fun!
And fun is what the local residents provide…..the people in this area are as much of a joy as the area. Grown with kindness and love for their hometown—-the local people never shy from having fun with friends. Pride for their hometown and country are at the top of the list and once you experience this sense of love for hometown and country you realize you have stepped into a forgotten time. A time when life was simple and easier ….a time when your word meant something and when your neighbors looked out for you and your kids.
Tuckerton is the pearl of the Jersey shore —- classic, timeless and basking in natural beauty.
Although we would love to keep this hidden —the reality is that we can benefit from seasonal tourism. For the short period of three months —tourism can provide financial gains that can carry our local businesses through the harsh and quieter winter months. Before we dismiss those folks visiting our area —remember that we are very blessed to live all year round in such a beautiful place and by sharing this gem with others we can continue to help our town and our property values. More money that rolls into to our town can have a domino effect with people wanting to own a piece of this gem.
So, instead of wishing less traffic or for these visiting folks to leave—- offer them ways to spend more money….. share where they can rent a boat for the day, where they can crab or eat a great meal with cool beverage, invite them to donate to our local charities or summer fundraisers and most important help them feel welcome in our town.
We are an amazing community with an attribute unlike in any other area—–we love to enjoy life, friends, a good time —–so let them experience it!
With love, faith, and hope! XOXO
PS – After living and raising my children—I sold my home in Tuckerton Beach this past spring, 2021. It will always be a gem to my children and me.
My first experience with Puerto Rico was when I was about 11 years old then I returned when I was in my 20’s but both times never really soaking up all that this island has to offer. This time in my more seasoned age — I have really had the opportunity to experience what this beautiful Caribbean island has to offer.
Yes, the beaches, the sun and the warm tropical weather is outstanding however, that’s not all!Three things that stood out to me during this trip….the people, the artistic flavor and the relaxed atmosphere.
I have been very fortunate to travel through out many different places but I found that the people in Puerto Rico are by far the kindest and warmest people I have had the pleasure of meeting. They are courteous and respectful. Their calm and relaxed demeanor is a refreshing experience. They are very friendly and it almost a bit shocking for me to see people greet you as you walk down the street or in the elevator.
They are genuinely kind with strangers as well with each other. It’s evident even in their driving—having taken Uber around we noticed that even when the traffic was thick or drivers were being cut-off —no one shout out curses or gave any hand gestures. They seemed to take it all in stride—being patient and then moving right along as if nothing happened.
The people’s appreciation for each other is not the only thing you will notice…..they have a love for art. Art is expressed in their music, sculptures and murals through out the island. Although for many graffiti would not be considered art—they have embraced it and it is evident on many of the buildings we saw as we toured the island.
Music is such a part of the Puerto Rican Culture that whether you are on the street waiting to cross or visiting a local bar —-Music is always being played. Many musicians are beating the Bongos, shaking the Maracas or playing the Guiro which is a percussion instrument of an open-ended hollowed-gourd cut on one side. The sound that this instrument makes is as unique as the people of Puerto Rico.
The music is in the people’s blood — from the very young children who you will notice moving their shoulders and feet to the rhythm of the music to the very seasoned elders who will get up from the rocking chair to dance and live life through their music.
Whether it is the balmy air, the warm and shining sun or the festive environment —–the Puerto Rican people are very relaxed and thus making the island and very relaxing atmosphere. This is a place where time is not the focus but rather “Vivir La Vida” as Marc Anthony has so eloquently put it.
You forget the cares of the world and simply be—-you become present and nothing else matters. This is an island in which life is meant to be enjoyed in its most simplest manner. No need for the expensive materials or gourmet meals. It is about enjoying your family, friends and all the things that this island has to offer.
We learned to appreciate the love they put into each meal they make….ordering our meals did not mean we would come out at the same time. Whether it was my meal or David’s —-one of us would be waiting a little longer for our meal to come out. Not a bad thing but just different from back home—which means patience and appreciation for the love and care they put into each meal they prepare. Once you bite into that meal –you will soon realize why it takes longer than home.
Overall this experience has been one amazing time! We learned so much from visiting Puerto Rico and look forward to returning with friends and family again so they may experience heaven on earth 🙂
One of the beauties of the Keys is that no matter how many times you visit this area –you always see new beauty that you did not see the last time! This time we traveled to the Keys we found a hidden gem. It is truly one of a kind! It embodies the feel and vibe of the untouched mystique of the Florida Keys.
It is located right on Rt. 1 It is roughly about 12 miles south of Isla Morada right before the Dante B Fascell Bridge. If you are too busy enjoying all the picturesque views of the area you ill miss this ‘HIDDEN GEM’. It is called the Edgewater Lodge which has about 15 cottages/efficiency studios. It has been owned by the same owner for 37 years and who continues to put the love the back into the place.
It was hit by Hurricane Irma and the workers along with the owner worked endlessly to get it up and running in three weeks.
The average room goes for $179 a night and it includes two full size beds, shower bathroom, kitchen with complete fridge, stove, and dishes and silverware. It also includes the use of kayaks, fishing poles, and paddle boards—and if you bring your boat you can park in it one of their slips. All this plus great views for $179 a night plus tax.
It is a great place with a great staff. I will remind you that it is the Keys and staff tend to be on island chill time…LOL!!! It is worth making this one of your stops when you are in the Keys.
Take the trip to the Layton, Florida Key — you will enjoy your stay at the Edgewater Lodge! With love, faith, and hope! XOXO
Miami is full of laughter, love, color and undeniably a large group of Latin American people. Speaking Spanish is more of a requirement than an option………..everywhere you turn there are different Latin American restaurants with their own twist to traditional foods.
You can hear the music and feel the vibe in the people. The color is not only in the clothing the people wear or their homes but in their soul. The people are lively, festive and appreciative of life. They work hard and enjoy life.
I have noticed that roosters and chickens in the streets of Miami are common—-schools located in strip malls are not unusual and their highways and streets are constantly expanding. Miami-Dade County houses the many communities…………you don’t realize how big Miami-Dade County is until you actually begin to travel with in it.
The city like any other city is burdened with traffic and congestion so you have to leave plenty of time open for traveling from one place to the other —–but since the area embodies Latin America you may be ok because anyone who has ever been invited to a Latin American event —you know that it never starts on time………everyone usually arrives about 1/2 hour to an hour later than the invitation said.
I love the experience and enjoy my time in this amazing county and city. I have noticed how much it grew from 23 years ago and how its growing even more. This is a city that if you have not experienced ….you should add it to your travel list. Once you come, visit and meet the people and feel the vibe —you will never be the same.
After spending a night in Virginia Beach ………I manned up and got back on the bike to head to South Carolina. We ended up losing some time due to a wrong turn after lunch. So what would have been a 5 hour trip turned into more like 7.5 hours and my toosh was on fire!!!!
Sitting on that bike in the back is not an easy task —–you have to hold on without pulling on the driver, you can’t fidget too much and you have to hold yourself every time a bump comes up. But that is just when your riding on back roads—-it changes when you end up on an interstate highway……….then it gets real!!! The wind from the 18 wheelers is no joke and the mountains and curves add its challenges but nothing like metal debris from cars…….talk about scary.
I have managed to keep my cool and stay calm as much as I can—I think I have only pulled on Dave’s belt rings twice but it was pretty scary being between two 18 wheelers….my toosh continues to get tougher but the pain is still there only now instead of it feeling like I am sitting on porcupine needles it feels more like smooth stones and GOD almighty everytime we hit a bump I want to pull on David’s shirt. Obviously, that would not go over too well.
I have learned to jump up with the bumps and hold it until we are over the bump this has helped somewhat —my legs are getting stronger 🙂
I also learned that using ICY HOT Roll on on my toosh and lower back alleviates some of the pain.
As if traveling on a motorcycle not enough of an adventure—-we went up to SkyBridge……….WOW!!! If you want to do a pilgrimage and feel like you are touching GOD then this is the place to do it! Just be ready to sit on ski lift that will take you up to the mountain then once there you will need to go up higher by walking up stairs ———–be sure to stop and take a deep breath and enjoy the view once you are up there.
You will need that breath as you begin to walk on that bridge which by the way is suspended being rocked as people are walking on it and once you get to the middle of it —the wood flooring turns into clear glass so you can see how high you truly are. But remember to look up towards the mountain and you will see GOD smiling and you will feel like you and him have just high fived each other. I was scared, I was sweating, my heart was beating and my eyes tearing and I kept thinking about my grandmother. Afterwards David and I enjoyed an adult beverage before taking the ski lift back down.
Our journey has taken us to North Carolina, North Myrtle Beach, SC, Rock Hill, SC, back to North Carolina by Blue Ridge Mountain and now into Gatlinburg, TN. The people are extremely nice and everyone is happy and very optimistic. It has been a breath of fresh air—-Stay tuned —-not sure where we are off to tomorrow.
One of my joys as mom to adult children is to meet up with them for a meal. With John attending Rowan University —it was his suggestion to meet up at local favorite in the town of Pitman. The Merryman’s Pub is located in the downtown area and what we found was so inviting! The love and dedication that was put into repurposing the once National Bank that serviced the locals more than a 100 years ago is evident once you drive up to it!
This building features a historical architecture on the outside complemented with a warm trendy inside. As if the building wasn’t enough this place boasts a variety of foods for the foodie in everyone one of us. Whether you are choosing from their signature sandwiches Pickle Fried Chicken the Cubano Americano or maybe you are more interested in the Guinness & Short Rib Pot Pie. They host a speciality of different types of fries with even a basket of GLUTEN FREE Fries….
Outside of the food they have a full bar with many different types of cocktails, beer and wine. To end your meal make sure you try one of their desserts. What makes this place such a pleasant and unforgettable experience is that the two owners made it their joy to bring this beautiful building back to life for the community. One of the owner’s Vito is also the owner of two other restaurants just steps away from this one. Their vision and commitment to the community made it even more special for us to visit and dine there. We enjoy supporting local businesses and we hope that you will take time to stop and check this place out for yourself if you are visiting in NJ.
We recently visited Texas even before we landed in Dallas —–David and I knew there were some things we wanted to see and experience besides just the Cowboys game on Thanksgiving Day. After getting our rental car —we headed to the hotel which was located not too far from the airport.
On our way to the hotel —I could hear David asking Siri about a place that we could visit watching the cattle walk down the street….I giggled as I drove because in my mind I kept thinking David may have dreamt this and now is asking Siri to find it. LOL.
We got our room and settled in and decided to go and grab some food —we found a cute steakhouse grill in a store plaza heading towards the AT&T Stadium. It was a great afternoon meal accompanied with some driving around Arlington near the stadium trying to figure what was near and around.
We asked a few different people about cattle walking in the streets and no one seemed to know what David was speaking about. That night he continued to search in hopes of locating what he was confident was in Texas. Before he laid down to rest —he muttered “I know I have seen something on this —I am not making it up.”
The next day we woke up with no real set plans other than to find the cattle David continued to look and search. I realized that part of our interest in visiting Dallas was not only to be present on Thanksgiving Day for the Cowboys football game but also to visit the stadium. Quickly David called to get tickets to our amazement —everything was sold out and the only two spots open were in an hour and VIP tickets. Without hesitation–David booked it and off we went to the stadium.
The tour of the stadium was amazing! To say that its big is an understatement —you have to experience the size of the building inside and out. You have to learn about the enormous undertaking Jerry Jones went through to accomplish this project. Whether you are a Cowboys fan or not —if you are ever in Dallas or near —this is one of those things that you might want to schedule some time to experience. Trust us you will not be disappointed !
After our tour we found that the cattle drive was located about thirty minutes from where we were so we decided to take a drive out that way. As we drove to Fort Worth, David was excited that we would be experiencing this and that he did not dream it ——that it was an actual thing.
Now, Fort Worth Texas is a big city however when you enter the Stockyards you feel like you have taken a step back in time. It is the old west and you are part of it. Great little shops, restaurants and inn along with free entertainment such as the cattle drive and western shoot out. The cattle drive happens two times in the day at 11am and 4pm. It is a tradition that they continue—they are proud of their strength and drive as Texans.
According to the narrator at the Cattle Drive— after the civil war that area was economically devastated and cattle roamed freely in the south making it almost worthless but in the north cattle had financial worth. So, it was proposed that if the Texans could walk the cattle up to the north they would get $40-$50 per cattle but see the walk would be about 800 miles (nearly the distance between Houston, Texas and Abilene, Kansas). So, Texans were told it can’t be done! Apparently, any time you tell a Texan that something can’t be done…. they will figure out a way. They walked their cattle and needing to rest, eat and drink they stopped in a valley full of green grass and water that being Fort Worth (the Stockyards area). This is how the tradition began —so now they walk the cattle down the center of town as a reminder of the Texan spirit and tenacity they had and continue to demonstrate.
This is definitely a place that we recommend you experience because it is truly beautiful and the spirit can be felt when you are there.
Our first full day in Texas and we were so overjoyed to be experiencing so much! The Texan spirit, the southern charm and the great tasting food. We could not even imagine what more could we experience and see over the next few days.
We decided the next day to drive out to Waco not being too far over an hour and a half depending on the traffic and route you decide to follow —it will bring you to an area that for a long time has had a not so pleasant memory….However, HGTV stars Joanna and Chip Gaines have breathed life back to Waco. The Magnolia Silos Market is tastefully and beautiful located in the downtown area of Waco. You can feel that things are turning upward and I imagine in a few years this part of town will be highly sought out.
You will find a coffee shop, the designing store and several different types of shops and food trucks to experience. They have a little chapel and a small ball field. When you visit the Magnolia you can picture the Gaines family enjoying a day of shopping and family time because children are welcomed and they can play Wiffle ball or a game of corn hole while mom or dad shop.
The next couple of days involved Thanksgiving day tailgating with about 500 strangers and giving thanks right across the stadium with a combination of barbecue and Turkey. The Cowboys vs Raiders game was an amazing tight game that made the day an exceptional day! Cowboys did not win but boy they sure gave it the “Texan Spirit and Tenacity”.
We could not end our trip to a big city like Dallas without being part of the the Van Gogh Immersed Experience. It’s safe to say this was not on David’s list …..LOL!!! It was on mine as was the Magnolia but I can happily say that David enjoyed the Van Gogh Immersed Experience.
Overall this trip to Texas was full of wonder and fun. I think for me the best part was truly getting an opportunity to meet and understand the Texan people and how proud they are of being Americans. Dallas is a melting pot of races, languages and cultures yet they are proud of being Texans, Americans, Football and of worshipping GOD.
If you ever have the time or opportunity to visit this state or the area you will not be disappointed.