Jewel Paradise Cove Drink Challenge 2024

For our mission to drink every resort drink we used the 2 menus that seemed to be at most of the bars.  We did end up finding a variation menu on the resort website so we did add a couple drinks from that throughout the trip.  We also came up with a scoring system for each drink – which we only needed to take 2 sips from to count as trying.  I had started out keeping notes about what I liked or didn’t like, but that got old fast so please see the drinks, ingredients and my rating.  After a weeks worth of research we found out that the drink we had been drinking all last year (Jamaica Smile) was indeed our favorite, but we also learned that we also liked the Blue Hawaiian. Any drinks that were mostly just juice and liquor were not a favorite and we liked the frozen drinks more – even if there were no straws.

🌟– gross
🌟🌟– ok but wouldn’t get again
🌟🌟🌟– ok and would get again
🌟🌟🌟🌟– like and would recommend
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟– ok drinking only this

Jewel Delight – Tuesday Gem of the Day
Appleton gold, apricot brandy, lime juice, syrup and pineapple juice.


Paradise mule 
Vodka, ginger beer, strawberry, lime juice
Jamaica smile 
Gold rum, rum cream, strawberry daiquiri, pina colada
Gold rum, white rum, passion, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine
Emerald Wednesday Gem of the Day
White rum, blue curacao, pineapple juice and lime juice
Blue Hawaiian (add on)
Vodka, blue curacao, pina colada
Mai tai
Gold rum, Coruba, triple sec, pineapple juice, lime juice, clear syrup
Coco loco
Coconut Rum, Gin, Lime Juice, White Rum, Pineapple Juice, Simple Syrup, Tequila Silver
Vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, a dash of lime juice
Bob Marley
White rum, blue curacao, mango daiquiri, strawberry daiquiri
Golden lady – Thursday Gem of the Day
Coconut Rum, Creme De Banana, OJ, apple juice and ginger ale
Jamaica kiss 
Coffee liquer, dark rum, milk
Vokda, orange juice, cranberry juice
Amaretto sour
Amaretto, orange juice, lime juice
Mango tango
Rum, mango daiquiri, strawberry daiquiri
Red ruby Friday Gem of the Day
Gold Rum, OK, Pineapple Juice, Grenadine and Ginger Ale
Electric lemonade
Vodka, Melon Liqueur, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup
Purple rain
Vodka, Blue Curacao, sweet and sour, grenadine
Jamaica gem – Saturday Gem of the Day
White Rum, Blue Curacao, Sweet and Sour, Cranberry Juice
Bahama mama
Coffee liqueur, dark rum, coconut liqueur, white rum, lemon juice, pineapple juice, grenadine
Vodka, cranberry juice, grapefruit juice
Harvey Wallbanger 
Vodka, galliano, orange juice
Dirty banana (add on)
Rum, Coffee liqueur, creme de banana
Jade Samurai – Sunday Gem of the Day
Coconut rum, peach schnapps, oj, lime and grenadine
Sapphire – Monday Gem of the Day
Vodka, triple sex, blue curacao, sweet and sour and soda

PEZ Visitor’s Center

I live about 10 minutes from the PEZ Factor & Visitor’s Center but have yet to visit it in my 10+ years of living here.  After a local radio station gave me free admission for my birthday this year, we decided to check it out on Friday.  Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and children 3-12.  With your admission you get a PEZ lanyard that holds your ticket (super cute!) and $2 to the store for any merchandise purchase on the day of your visit. (A pack of a fun PEZ flavor is $1.99)  Each month they also do an activity that if completed wins you a free PEZ dispenser and there are also trivia computers where you’ll get a certificate once you complete it.

The tour is self guided though there are some stickers on the floor to guide you and the brochure give to you when you enter also has a suggestion for how to do your tour.  There are windows opened to the PEZ packaging and production area so if you go during the week you’ll get to see stuff going on, but they are not working on the weekends.  Honestly, that area of the tour was not quite as exciting as I was expecting so if you’re only available to go during the weekend I wouldn’t worry too much about missing out.  There are some other displays upstairs and there are stairs or an elevator (I’m sorry, Ela-Vader) to access that area.  There also is a spot where you can do a photo op to put your head on the PEZ dispenser. (We didn’t end up doing this)

Our activity to win a PEZ dispenser was a scavenger hunt, you had to find hidden in all the displays each of the 7 dwarfs.  Once you found them, it told you what letter to put on the card and when you exited you handed it in to get you dispenser.  We got I believe a fox?  They show at the ticket booth what the prize is when you’re buying your tickets.  We actually struggled to find the last 2 dwarfs, even though we had already figured out what the phrase they would spell out was.

Overall it took us about an hour to check out all the displays, solve the scavenger hunt and shop.   They also have a bucket of pez available for I think $7 though the flavors they had didn’t really appeal to me so I didn’t get it, even though I wanted to.  The price of admission is pretty low considering all that you end up getting out of it.  I’d definitely recommend visiting and I wouldn’t mind going again.

Savannah Bananas @ Dunkin Park

Last year my brother was telling me about this fun baseball team in Savannah, GA called the Savannah Bananas. He wanted to go and see them but was having trouble being able to get tickets to see them so I was recruited to try and help. We had no luck getting tickets to any of their games in GA but then they announced in 2023 they’d be going on a tour and they’d be making a stop in Hartford.  I signed up for tickets immediately and they were going to do some sort of lottery from their wait list.  But in December, my work sent out an email to “Go Bananas” and get tickets to the game so of course I wasted no time signing up and grabbing tickets! In June, I was told that I wasn’t even going to have a shot at the tickets going on sale to the public and honestly I am not even sure any tickets did go on sale to the public.  Everyone keeps asking how I got the tickets and I don’t have any real trick to it, just got lucky my work did a group thing.

Finally the day of the game came!  The email mentioned when gates would open and when people typically started lining up.  We got there at 4:30 and were told the seats would open at 5:30 and there was a line that had started at *9am* which was absolutely not what the email had said!  Fortunately they were very accommodating for those with mobility issues and told us to wait in a different area and we’d get to snag seats at the top of the concourse a little before the general public was going to be released.  I thought for sure we’d witness a stampede once everyone was let in, but the team went to the line and celebrated the opening of the seats and everyone made their way in pretty orderly.

Banana Ball is a bit different than your regular baseball game… before the game started they “Simba’d” a 10 day old baby, had a young girl eat a banana and say whether or not it was good or rotten, and instead of first pitch a grown man had to crawl around blindfolded to find a golden banana and throw that to the catcher.  Music is playing constantly, little clips in between at bat songs and there are no such thing as walks.  Because it is not your typical baseball game, they can’t exactly play against any other team, so a 2nd team, The Party Animals, are their opponent.  Now the Party Animals live up to their name and they were dancing outside the dug out for most of the game.  It essentially was if boybands played baseball and I loved it.  I’m not sure if I can go to a regular baseball game again and I hope that when they tour next year my work does something again so I can snag tickets!

In Banana Ball, whoever scores the most runs each inning gets a point for that inning, unless it is the 9th (or last) inning in which all runs count as a point.  The game has a timer going from the start that it won’t go over 2 hours, and it doesn’t even stop for the in between inning games.  At the end of the Hartford game, the Bananas came back to tie things so they had to go into a tie breaker.  The Bananas ended up walking it off and winning 5-4 scoring 7 runs to the Party Animals 6.  Because the games are timed, a stat that you’ll see for the pitchers is minutes per inning and the bottom of the inning ends as soon as the home team scores enough runs to give them the point.

After the game they announced that we could go down to the field and meet the players, but expecting it would be total chaos, we opted to try and get out of the parking lot quicker instead.  I’m not sure this review does the game justice since I wrote it so long after we had attended, but if you have the opportunity to see the Savannah Bananas and are a baseball fan I think you should take it.  It’s fast paced and a ton of fun!

After Hours with Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris on Twitter: "Anyone up for some day drinking? Come join  me and sip on my new espresso martini from @ThomasAshbourne" / Twitter

While I was at the airport waiting to see Hanson in Arkansas, an ad popped up about a Neil Patrick Harris bottle signing on Long Island on my birthday.  Typically I avoid Long Island, but I was already going to be there because O-Town was playing a birthday show, so I signed up and immediately got a “you’re in!” email back.  The event was to take place from 4pm-6pm and I ended up leaving around noon in hopes of getting there for 2.  Of course, the traffic to get to Long Island is real and I ended up getting there at 3.  There were not too many people already in line at the liquor store (us Hanson fans are a different breed when it comes to what time we start to line up) and as it got closer to 4, I was much closer to the front of the line than the back.

Shortly after 4pm the line started moving, NPH had pre-signed some bottles or you could have it signed in front of you. I opted for the pre-signed and told him it was my birthday and I was enjoying all his 50th birthday posts on instagram.  He said he was glad I was enjoying it because he never really knows how it will be received and I assured him that I was totally jealous and it looked like so much fun!  He thanked me for spending my birthday with him and one of the workers handed me back my phone after he had been taking photos for me to “document the moment”.

Upon heading to the check out to buy my signed bottle ($15, a steal for such a meet and greet!) , she had to scan my ID and upon realizing it was my birthday she gave me a free bottle of prosecco! All in all I was back in the car by 4:20 and ready to drive the what I thought would be 30 minutes to the theater for the O-Town show, that ended up being more like 45 minutes. (Fortunately I was beyond early!)

Book Review: Baseball Field Guide

The Baseball Field Guide, 4th Edition, helps you learn about “every inch of the baseball (from the core to the stitches!)”.  As the introduction says, the basic rules are second nature to those who watch the sport regularly (me) but the official rules can be surprisingly complex. Which is true. Every now and then some weird situation comes up and you kind of wish you had a rule guide in your back pocket – and now you can!  I liked how this book has the rules broken down and there’s also graphics and images to help you understand what’s going on.  With several new rules coming to MLB this season, now that I have this field guide available to me I’ll hopefully be a bit less confused while I root on my Mets!

I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A great overview for novices and a precise reference guide for hard-core fans!

Admit it: Even if you’re a die-hard fan of our national pastime, sometimes an umpire’s call can be baffling. And for newer fans, Major League Baseball’s nuanced rules—developed and revised over many decades—can be downright perplexing.

Now updated throughout with the latest changes, including specifications about the universal designated hitter and limits on defensive shifts, the Baseball Field Guide lays out every rule in plain English. You’ll learn to answer all these questions and more:

  • Do you know the twenty-two ways a pitcher can be charged with a balk?
  • Can you list all seven ways a batter can safely get to first base?
  • Obstruction or interference—who’s at fault when things get rough?
  • What are the rules that apply before and after a game?
  • What happens when spectators are the ones who misbehave?
  • How well do you understand the infamous Infield Fly Rule (and why does it exist)?

This is the clearest explanation anywhere of the rules of baseball. Designed for quick and intuitive searches, this entertaining reference will help you understand every aspect of the game and add to your enjoyment of the sport.

90s Con 2023

That's 4 Entertainment | 90s Con 2023

This past weekend was the 2nd 90s con, once again held in Hartford, CT! This year I got a full weekend pass and a hotel room at the convention center!

Day 1

The first day was 4-8. I immediately went to merch because they had a bear I absolutely needed for my collection. I also ended up getting a pin and magnet and impulse buying a pen and slinky. 🤷‍♀️

My first stop was Joey Fatone’s booth and of course he left as soon as I got in line. But he was back quickly, I managed to snag one of the last Joey/Buzz shirts he had and did a photo/auto combo and was super excited he had on a care bears shirt! (See also last paragraph where I mention my love of collecting bears, care bears included)

Then I hit up Chris Kirkpatrick’s booth and asked him for dinner recommendations for my trip to Nashville next week (stay tuned to see if we end up there!) I also did a photo/auto combo with him and had both him and Joey sign masked singer photos!

By the time I got through Chris’ line, it was just about time for my *NSYNC duo photo op so I headed that way and ended up the first through. Joey said hey and was ready to do a photo and then realized we needed to wait for Chris. Then when Chris came we realized he was in the wrong spot since he has a sling so we repositioned and Joey made them take a 2nd photo. So thank you Joey for the BOGO. (I prefer the 2nd one too!)

I then made my way up to the ballroom for the Steve Burns panel, which I was waffling on because I didn’t have time to see Jeff Timmons, but I am soooo glad I did the panel because it was amazing to hear all the behind the scenes from Steve and how he created a lot of things used on the show (and they initially wanted a more conventionally handsome host but his pilot went over much better with the kids they showed it to in a focus group!)

Then it was time to head back to the hotel and rest up.

Day 2

I started the day waiting to get into the panel room and ended up doing 3 panels in a row – Hocus Pocus, All That and Full House.

Hocus Pocus was Omri, Vinessa, Thora and Jason.  I was hoping Kathy Najimy might have showed up as well, but no such luck.  They talked a little bit about how they filmed just for a couple weeks on site in Salem and then everything else was on sets.  There was also a lot of discussion about how it was released in July so it never really caught on initially but then like 10 years later it started gaining traction and now it’s bigger than ever, especially since the sequel is out.  It was fun to hear all the behind the scenes stories about filming and special effects and magic.

All That was Lori Beth, Danny and Kel.  Amanda was supposed to be reuniting with them but unfortunately had to cancel last minute due to illness and it sounds like she’s not in a great place right now so I’m definitely wishing her the best with her mental health so maybe she can come next year! After the three came out and were chatting for a bit, Kel said he had something he wanted to do for us and yelled “HEY YO KENAN!” and Kenan ended up joining them!  Lori Beth was absolutely hilarious and their stories about skits and doing the voices of some of the more iconic characters really took me back.  Kel also said how he feels bad that he may have gotten kids hooked on Orange Soda and says there’s now orange soda with probiotics and electrolytes and he loooooves that now.  Lori Beth was hating on Danny’s mustache and ended up shaving it off mid panel with a razor that she had tucked in her bra!  You never know what’s going to happen at 90s con…

Next up was Full House which was Candace, Andrea, Dave and Jodie.   I feel like they talked a lot about the same stuff as they did last year.  Dave ended up being impressed with the ASL interpreters and kept making fart noises to see what they would end up doing to sign them as so now I know the variations of ASL for fart… Everyone keeps asking me about the interaction between Jodie and Candace – they didn’t sit near each other but they did interact and talk to/with each other during the panel so I can’t confirm or deny if any beef has been squashed or what’s going on there.

After Full House was the costume contest so I left to try and find food.  I probably should have stayed because Chris Kirkpatrick ended up being a judge and the concession stand I went to was out of food other than salads and vegan wraps.  I ended up getting the wrap as I needed to eat something and got back in line for the Saved By The Bell panel.

For Saved by the Bell it was Mario, Elizabeth and Mark Paul.  They also talked a lot about behind the scenes and gave a lot of kudos and credit to Dustin Diamond for being such an amazing actor and not really caring what anyone else thought.  They talked a bit about their first kisses, behind the scenes stories and when they all first met, what they’re up to these days, etc.  It did seem a bit awkward at times and Mario almost seemed like he didn’t even want to be there but it was nice to see 3 of them as last con I went to it was only Mark Paul on the panel by himself. (Elizabeth had been slated to come but had to cancel.)

Then I was freeeee to roam the floor. I ended up trying to see Jeff Timmons but he wasn’t around, but was able to knock out Sabrina’s Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda, then went for a witchy trifecta with Thora Birch and by the time we did all that, Jeff was back.  OF COURSE as we are chatting, MMMBop starts playing and I tried not to react at all.  Jeff ended up telling me 98* would be touring in the fall and should be coming to CT in September so that was good to know! (I am kind of hoping the date he said he thought it might be isn’t accurate though as it’s pretty close to 90s Con Tampa which I am debating going to!)  After that, Joey’s VIP line had no one in it so I mean, of course I had to go see him again.  He ended up saying he loved MY shirt this time and I was glad he got the reference (Chuckie from Rugrats) because no one else seemed to. (And just after we left a line a couple girls came up to me and said “Your shirt, we know we know it, but can’t think of it…” And once I said “Chuckie from Rugrats” they were like “ohhh yeah!”)  We ended up leaving a bit early to hit a local restaurant before the mad dash showed up – and we played it juuuust right as the line was nearly out the door when we left!

I opted to not go to the after party and instead hang in the hotel to rest up some more.

Day 3 

My initial plan was to jump in line for Kathy Najimy ASAP and just hang there until I made it through or it was time for the 1pm Boy Bands panel.  However, she unfortunately needed to leave early due to a family emergency. So I decided once again to just do panels all morning.

First up was Sabrina The Teenage Witch – with Melissa, Caroline, Beth, Nate and Jenna.  It was absolutely hilarious, although the panel host kind of couldn’t keep them under control.  They had some absolutely wild behind the scenes stories – even one about a lion (or panther?) that got on the loose and all the different props that didn’t quite work and were trying to kill them.  They talked a bit about their favorite guest stars and even some of the mishaps with the guests on set as well.  Caroline Rhea is absolutely hilarious and I think Beth was trying to keep her in check but it was not working at all! lol

Next was Clueless.  Alicia, Stacey, Elisa and Breckin were in attendance.  The ASL interpreter caught Breckin’s eye and he ended up saying “poop” to see what would be signed and then rapped a couple of songs to see if they could keep up with them.  The interpreters absolutely could and he ended up getting up and hugging one and saying thank you.  He seemed enthralled by watching them the entire panel.   They talked a bit about Brittany Murphy and how they missed her and were sad that we can’t see what she would have been up to now and how she’d most likely be killing it because she was a great actress and singer and would have had so many opportunities. 

Then it was time for the main event – the boyband panel!  Joey and Chris from *NSYNC and Jeff from 98 Degrees.  They all were absolutely hilarious, but I figured as much with Chris and Joey there.  Poor Jeff kind of got railroaded and kept being told be was the “serious” one.  Jeff “I am not!” Chris “Watch this” *Jeff answers the question with a serious answer*  I had totally forgotten that Chris has been in a band with both Joey and Jeff too.  They talked a bit about when they first were starting out and toured together in the UK which I didn’t know much about and also that 5ive and 98* apparently had some beef.

After the panel we grabbed some food and then wandered around a little bit before it was time for all the *NSYNC photo ops to start.  Mine was the last, since I had a trio.  I was on the fence about doing a fun pose or not, but when I walked in I told the guys my plan and they all agreed to it so that was fun! It came out perfect!   Then we ended up going back to Jeff and he saw my Hanson popsocket and started saying how he really likes Hanson.  Well, I guess I *should* have reacted when MMMBop was playing the day before.  But this time 5ive was playing and when Chris came back to his table he yelled over to Jeff “They’re playing this just for you!” and Jeff started saying how they were a two hit wonder.  We also went to see Caroline Rhea, and she ended up taking a picture of my shirt because she thought it was funny!  After that everyone had seemed to start breaking down so we unfortunately missed out on The Golden Gays and a few of the other photo ops that were set up.

Then I got stuck trying to leave the parking garage – I had paid in the hotel but the machine ate the receipt. He ended up making sure I go the receipt texted to me and it was a good thing he did because they were trying to get me to pay another $45.  Once I showed the receipt they got a manager involved and all was good, but I was there for a good 5 minutes lol

Overall it was an exciting and exhausting weekend and I can’t wait to do it all again next year! 

Global Entry in 10 Days

This is not a paid post. I just need to share the amazing.

After Jamaica, there was some discussion on me getting Global Entry, which helps expedite getting back into the country and through customs.  My credit card would actually pay for me to get it as a card perk but I remember there not being anywhere nearby to do interviews when my friends started talking about it several years ago so I opted to just go for TSA Pre-Check instead.  The CT airport has an interview location so I figured I would go for it and shortly after filling out the form saw that appointments were over a year out.

Enter Appointment Scanner.  For $30 I had access for 1 month for it to look at up to 3 locations for appointments. I chose CT, RI and tried to add Boston but it wouldn’t let me (Could have been user error).  Almost immediately I had an appointment scheduled for April 2023.  Then March. Then Feb. And a couple came up for the next day, but I wasn’t able to make it with my work schedule.  In the end, I got an appointment for an off Friday and had signed up and got through the interview process in about 10 days.  I will say – though I had CT and RI in my profile to give me updates, I never saw any pop up for RI so as they always say – your mileage may vary.

Just a tip – once you sign up it’ll default to look for appointments within the next year.  Once you get one closer, update that date to the date of your appointment or your phone will keep blowing up with appointments that may be later in the year than the one you already have.  I snagged whatever I could initially, and then tried to be a bit more selective with my schedule and it worked out for me.

I am still waiting for my ID card to come in the mail – but I am all set now until 2028!  Best $30 I’ve spent in a while!  I just wish I came up with this scanner idea myself!


Due to weather and other factors, occasionally we had some down time at BTTI.  I’ve recently become obsessed with the AI GPT Chat Bot, so I decided to spend the time having it write me various songs about various topics and it got to be so many I decided to “release an EP”.  You probably had to be there… but here is BTTI 2023, in song.  (It’s probably actually more like an album)

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An Inconceivable Evening with Cary Elwes

The Princess Bride - An Inconceivable Evening With Cary Elwes at Toyota Oakdale Theatre

Growing up, I must’ve watched Robin Hood Men in Tights 100 times.  When I was a bit older I found The Princess Bride.  I always thought Cary Elwes was sooo cute.  We had tried to meet him at a con a couple of times, but he always ended up canceling.  When I saw he was coming to Oakdale for a screening of The Princess Bridge and Q&A, I immediately jumped on buying tickets.  When I saw a VIP M&G add on was an option, I didn’t hesitate to add it to my cart.  Though since he had canceled on me before, I was nervous he was going to again – even until I was in my seat that night (especially when there was a delay getting us into the theater).

The evening started with a screening of The Princess Bride.  I am *not* a movie goer – everyone laughing and talking is just not my thing, but this movie is so quotable, it was kind of cool when the whole room yelled out some of the more memorable lines.  After the movie, Vinnie Penn introduced Cary who came out and did a Q&A for an hour.  He did all the voices of anyone he was talking about talking and was just fantastic.

Then it was time to line up for the M&G. Being on my own, I knew I couldn’t stand in the line and I asked for a chair.  Unfortunately this ended up meaning I was going to be one of the last one through the lines as they had no ADA accommodations figured out beyond giving me a chair.  The Q&A ended at around 10pm, the M&G started sometime after that and I was making it through the line at about 12:20am.  ZzzZzzZzzz.  When I made it in to see Cary he immediately asked me why I was one of the last ones!  I said it was because I needed to sit and he said I still shouldn’t have been last.  He said I was “adorable” and “god bless you” multiple times, then grabbed my arm and walked me over to the partition for the photos.  We took the photo and he came back over and gave me a huge hug and whispered “as you wish” in my ear.  All the anger about having to wait to be last went POOF.  He also asked to make sure that I was ok getting back to my car.  Of course, now the staff fell all over themselves to help me.  Too bad that wasn’t something they thought of on their own earlier…

I found it funny that we had a partition for the photo, but he was touching and hugging everyone anyway (I assume I wasn’t a special case) and they edited the partition out before sending us the photos but they didn’t bother to edit us standing a bit closer together! (I took that into my own hands and edited it myself.)

Pop 2000 Tour

Friday September 16 the Pop 2000 made a stop in Stamford at the Palace Theater.  Before the show we did VIP with O-Town which got us into their soundcheck.  Usually they do the real soundcheck first and then kind of mess around with VIP but as they had a late arrival to the venue it was a legit soundcheck and some chit chat as well.  After soundcheck it was time for photos and we hopped to the front of the line because we were also doing VIP with Chris Kirkpatrick.  He did a Q&A chat session before photos and autographs.

Ryan Cabrera opened the show and had a drummer with him this time (past times when I saw him it was just him and his guitar)

Then it was time for Chris to take the stage to introduce O-Town!  We had front row for the show and I was very happy to have a monitor in front of me so I could stand and not feel like they were going to be stepping on me the whole time.  Brad from LFO joined them for a medley to honor both Rich and Devin and I was surprised how I managed to still know every word and I honestly can’t even tell you when I last listened to any of their stuff…

The show was so much fun and high energy and ended with Chris joining O-Town for Bye Bye Bye and Dirty Pop.

We’ve now seen Pop 2k with both Lance and Chris and well, we all know who I’m looking to see host next…

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