So I’ve been meaning to do a blog about this amazing place for quite some time. Truth is, when I go, the only thing I’m thinking about is tacos. #foodieproblems So finally, here it is.
Starting out, this place was firstly a food truck. You can see their truck parked right behind the restaurant. Apparently it was such a hit, no surprise there, that the owner decided to try a standing spot. Best.Decision.Ever.
Now it’s not a big space and it’s connected to some sort of tiny sandwich shop, but it is every part of the word amazing. On this particular visit, Easter day at 4pmish which is when they open, we were able to get right in and get a table. This never happens. Of course by 4:45 there was already a wait for a table, so today we were the lucky ones. Every other time we have ever come to Mission Cantina, there is nothing short of a 45 minute to an hour wait. And as crazy as this is going to sound, Carlos and I have actually waited 2 hours to get a table. Sorry people, it’s just that darn good.
It’s a dark little place packed with candy skull decor. Because they open later in the day the staff is the same and they’re just as awesome. The menu is small, which I love, there’s nothing more aggravating than going somewhere to eat and trying to decide between 3 pages of options. All the options are fresh and you can’t go wrong no matter what you choose.
My recommendation would be to start out with the queso fundido appetizer. It’s packed with cheese, onions, peppers, chorizo (the best part), and other veggies. It comes with chips and is so delicious! I generally could eat one of these myself. Safe to say I don’t hold back when it’s Mission Cantina night.
For my meal I usually get 3-4 loaded tacos with chorizo, I love chorizo. Their tacos come with chopped onions, tomatoes, and what seems to be pickled cucumbers along with your usual lettuce and crema. You don’t need the beans and rice to fill yourself up, this will do the trick. The flavors are fantastic, you can taste the freshness of everything.
Their drinks are great as well. I typically stick to a bottled beer but Carlos really enjoys their margaritas. There’s never anything left to take home and you leave feeling super satisfied with life. I could gloat about this place all day. We typically go to eat here just about once a week. I love mexican food and I have never found a place more delicious than this. There’s even a happy dance that occurs once my tacos have arrived - you would have to eat here to understand. This is hands down a must try if you are in the Amherst, MA area.
Having to get up at 5:30 in the morning on a non working day is not my idea of excitement unless I’m going on vacation. Carlos had a doctor appointment in Boston for his neck, and being the supportive team member I am, I gladly accompanied him on the 2 hour road trip to the big city. After leaving the appointment and running on what fumes we had left from our coffee stop we were ready to eat - one of my favorite things to do.
Since we don’t typically find ourselves in the Boston area very often, we wanted to eat somewhere super yummy that we can’t get close to home. I did a quick search on my Google maps to see what was nearby and saw Cheesy Street Grill. The reviews were great, almost 5 stars and everyone had something awesome to say about the food and staff. I was sold. I mean c’mon, gourmet grilled cheese that’s amazing…who just passes that up?
I plug it in and we end up at a gas station stop off the pike. First I was thinking no way this is right. Carlos even suggests we go somewhere else because this wasn’t what he had in mind. If you’re not aware, the pike offers rest stops that are less than appetizing. It’s usually overcrowded, semi dirty and your food choices are generally Mc Donalds, some sort of pizza place and a sandwich shop. It’s not your ideal place to stop and get a bite unless you’ve been trapped in the car for 8 hours, have to pee, and going to start eating your fingers if you don’t see a drive thru stat. But, at 4 . 8 stars and awesome reviews I was more curious than anything to find out what was really going on inside this rest stop.
We walked in to find the Cheesy Street Grill right next to a pizza place and a Mc Donalds. The menu is simple but amazing, which I love. Carlos ordered an Italian sandwich which was a delicious mixture of cheese, prosciutto and red peppers with some other yummy ingredients and I had the chipotle chicken, which was recommended by Lisa the owner. The food was nothing short of everything you could ever hope a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich would be. I have to say that given the location I was happily surprised at how delicious these sandwiches were.
Lisa was awesome. She started her yummy sandwiches out on a food truck and then moved into a solid location. She has two other places in the eastern part of Massachusetts but was looking to put her next location into the soon to be opened Springfield Casino. This excites me, that casino will be 15 minutes from me and I can’t wait to add another local place to my picky list of places you just have to eat at! I’m so glad we found this little gem, and Lisa is just the sweetest. I’m looking forward to checking her spot out in Springfield soon. - Check them out at https://www.cheesystreetgrill.com
So my younger brother saw a place in Brooklyn, NY on Facebook that had an axe throwing bar. We all thought this could turn into a really cool trip out to New York, but as it turns out, we have an axe throwing bar right here in Massachusetts called Agawam Axe. Well it’s not a bar, more like axe throwing with a snack bar. Either way, the thought of throwing around axes as a method of fun sounds…well….fun!
We gathered a few friends and off we were to throw some axes. Honestly we had no idea what to actually expect. We pulled up to a small warehouse and walked in to be greeted by some really awesome staff. I believe they were all from Canada and were more than stoked to get us in and show us their stuff.
I have to say, this was the most fun I’ve had in a bit. Probably due to the fact that I was somehow a complete natural at throwing axes (who knew!) and was kicking everyone’s butt! There were 4 throwing lanes with 2 wooden axe boards in each lane so you could compete against your friends. Everyone had so much fun trying to get a bullseye and trying out small and large axes to see which one was better.
You get an hour of play and it seems to pass by perfectly. By the time we were all axed out we had about 3 minutes left before we were done. The price wasn’t bad at $20 a person. If you compared this to doing an escape room, which is also $20 a person, I would say your money is far better spent axe throwing. I am totally looking forward to going back. I personally think this place would be spectacular if they had a sports bar type of place connected to it, but it seems to be just enough on its own. It’s a totally fun idea for girls night, date night or hell, even if you want to go alone and let out some frustration. It’s plain good, clean fun and has Carlos and I considering something of the like in our backyard for the summer.
So for the second time this year, soon to be third, we have made another trip out to our favorite place in America - Greenville, Maine. Typically we stay in a small cabin that overlooks the beautiful Moosehead Lake but this trip we decided to rent a camper and camp it out. We were also going to be bringing along Carlos’ two boys for the first time as well. A lot of new things with this trip!
Our adventure started off sort of rocky, the boys’ mother was being very difficult about pick up time and ended up waiting until the last minute (literally 30 seconds away from contempt) to drop them off to us. Not to have our adventurous spirits squashed we decided that we would leave town that night anyway. It’s a six hour drive from where we are and we had made arrangements to stop at a Walmart on the way for some sleep. Both the boys were super stoked about going camping but were fast asleep within the first few minutes of being on our way. We made it to our Walmart location, wicked tired (it was about 2am) and piled into the camper for a quick sleep.
The next morning after a quick Dunkin Donuts stop, in pure New England fashion, we were once again on our way to our favorite place. The campground was perfectly positioned right outside of the town but literally less than a mile from the town grocery store, which by the way is pretty much the most amazing place to go if you need anything, it’s like a small town Walmart with a sporting goods store attached to it. We got our camper all settled in and then released the children into the wilderness that was our little camp site. At first I wasn’t sure how the kids were going to take. They’re both pretty young (2 & 4) and this was essentially their first camping trip. To my surprise the oldest, Vince, took to the camp life almost immediately. He was running around gathering sticks, poking at worms and throwing around this little frisbee disc I got from the dollar store. He was in outdoor heaven. The littlest one not so much, I think it’s fair to say it took him about a whole day to warm up to the idea of having to be outside and do things.
When I look through our pictures from the trip I just laugh at how many things we were able to accomplish in one whole day. We played with the kids outside, we cooked turkey burgers and hotdogs on the fire, we explored the town and stopped at a few bodies of water to let the kids play around and so much more. Nighttime was my favorite part. All of us all snuggled up in the small space, the kids slept on the table bed and Carlos and I were on the actual bed but everything was pretty much right on top of each other. I turned on a random radio station that played through the camper, turned out to be soft christian music, it was perfection.
Leaving of course was the hardest part, and always is when we visit here. But it was a very successful trip and one we plan to make with the kids again sometime next spring. As of now, Carlos and I are planning our new year’s in our favorite Greenville cabin! <3
Prior to leaving for our trip I did some searching on ideas to keep the kids occupied and involved without resorting to cellphone entertainment, which honestly you lose all cellphone service as soon as you get there - another reason we love the place! I also checked up on what the weather was going to be like while we were there so I could pack accordingly. Here are some tips on what worked for us on our camping trip.
1. Kids Activity Bag - This bag was honestly a life saver! I wanted the kids to have things to play with but I wasn’t about to pack their whole toy box. Staying in a small camper, you need to pack super light and easy to avoid clutter (I super hate clutter!). I also wanted the kids to use their imagination and explore a little, so I didn’t want to bring all sorts of toys. I brought them 2 digger trucks that they could use to put dirt, leaves and rocks in and a couple matchbox cars to roll around in the dirt with. I bought a bug catching kit and a frisbee disc from the dollar store, again, things that keep them moving around outside. Since we were going to have at least one day of rain while we were there I packed and planned some things the kids could do inside the camper (coloring books, puzzles, books to read and a “leaf people” craft) and held off on letting them use any of those things until the rainy day. Kids get bored easy so I didn’t want to give them everything I had brought all at once risking the chance that they would have colored/puzzled/playdoh'd themselves before rainy day. Everything fit perfectly into one medium sized backpack. This made it easy to carry, everything had a place and it took up hardly any space.
2. Bring Extra Clothes - Essentially we were only at the campsite about 2 nights, not including the overnight at the Walmart. However, I packed for about 5 whole days and I was so glad I did. Camping is super dirty when you’re having fun! Vince basically soaked himself at every place we stopped with water, this kid was walking through a stream almost waist deep just because he thought it was so fun. I was super thankful for extra shoes and lots of extra underwear!
3. Keep Meals Simple - I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating Pinterest is when it comes to camping meals. I like to keep things cheap, simple and clean and I can’t justify lugging around a crockpot or spending a whole day wrapping foods up in foil - not to mention all the groceries you have to buy. Only camping for a few days just made those ideas seem like overkill. We visited the grocery store by the campsite and bought just enough to feed us. A couple packages of ground turkey, hamburger buns, loaf of bread we could use for peanut butter sandwiches and as hotdog buns, hotdogs, chips, poptarts and a couple little oven pizzas for the rainy day. We brought some of our own stuff we already had from home like peanut butter, crackers and ketchup. I brought along leftover plates, cups, napkins and silverware from a birthday party we had earlier this year for one of the kids. We were more than fed, we didn’t have a camper fridge full of food to empty at the end and everything worked out well. :)
Carlos and I have made our second trip to Greenville, ME and of course it was nothing short of amazing. The drive there is beautiful and relaxing and as soon as you arrive you instantly understand why people love this place. We stayed in the same cabin that we stayed in our first time and it was like we had finally come home. The cellphone service usually cuts out within the first few hours, which we only care because we enjoy streaming our music while we relax on the deck. Otherwise, you wouldn’t care that you are, in a sense, unreachable to anyone else you know.
For Carlos and I, we like to reflect on the past year, future plans, and present issues. We talked a bunch about buying land up there one day and putting a small vacation home there. Maybe one day we will even live there. We had dinner at a local restaurant right on the lake; even with the rain it was still such a romantic and peaceful meal. We made a friend at a local café store and spent time in the antique shop where I purchased our moose skull last year for $25. I even brought my old pup, Hope, to enjoy some rest and relaxation as well. I know the new puppy is wearing her out and she enjoys lying out on the deck and enjoying the fresh air.
We’ve already made plans to spend New Year’s there but we’re thinking we may sneak up there in the fall as well. There is just no place like it. I think Carlos might have said he loved the place about a million times while we were there. As soon as we got back he started looking at cabins to build and land – this man is seriously in love. :)
I can’t wait to go back, I could seriously spend every single weekend up there and not think twice about it. Thank you Moosehead Hills for sharing your small piece of heaven with us! <3
Waturbury Vermont to be exact. With our new busy schedules getting seemingly out of control I had decided we needed a small getaway to regain our energy and some sanity. Additionally, my love turned 30 on Christmas Eve and since that’s not exactly the perfect time to celebrate, we pushed the celebration back on a weekend we would have to ourselves.
I booked a B&B (Moose Meadow Lodge), which I figured should be interesting since neither myself nor my love had ever stayed at a B&B before. And in all my investigative ways I studied everything about the place and checked the reservation calendar obsessively until the day we left. As luck would have it, we had the entire place to ourselves for the weekend and it was nothing short of amazing. We actually relaxed! We spent both nights in the hot tub, enjoyed a cigar on the front deck, took a steam shower, baked a cake in the beautiful kitchen, and enjoyed beer and late night pizza. We did venture out to the Ben & Jerry’s factory but found we enjoyed the area much better from the comfort of the B&B. It snowed almost the entire time we were there and it was just wonderful.
Now we’re home and it’s back to business as usual. After all the sleep I’ve acquired over the past 3 days, I have found the time and energy to get all the ornaments off the tree. Our poor tree has been staring at us since New Year and every weekend I say I’m going to take it down….and somehow the time gets filled up with other priorities. Hopefully this weekend will be different. :)