Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Been There, Done That and DID NOT like it: #Ghost Town in the Sky (Maggie Valley)

How disappointing it is to write this message but it has to be done. We visited Ghost Town in the Sky (Maggie Valley, NC) this past weekend (on Fri 18OCT2013) and paid $24.95 each to get in. A total of 6 adults and 2 children. We were told at the bottom that there were "a few rides no operational for the adults, but that the kids rides were still open and the shows and attractions were still going.'" We should have second guessed our decision at that point, but we were so excited to visit once again for the first time in many years and as a whole family. Once we got to the top, we realized the true defintion of GHOST TOWN. NO ONE was there, not even majority of the employees. At 12 noon on Friday, only 3 of the souvenir shops were open with very limited staffing; no chapel services were scheduled; no restaurants were operational; the fudge shoppe keeper wasn't even in the shop and only 2 half pans of fudge that were several days old were avaialble (btw.... anyone could have helped themselves to the goods because the shop wasn't secured!!!); only 4 of the street crew/gun fighters were at work plus the martial (and they stood around in corners smoking cigarettes talking and laughing with one another); the saloon show only included 3 ladies, the piano player, and the host of the show; the bartender didn't even have drinks on tap, just canned drinks for $2.00 each. No kiddie rides were open, even though the signs posted in the gift shop stated that there were 3 kiddie rides available that day (the operator didn't come to work!!!) The T-shirt salesman told us that no one on the property even knew they were supposed to be open that day. They had to call their friends to come into work, IF they even showed up at all. The place was filthy! The bathrooms looked like they had not been attended to in MONTHS. There were rust and stains in all of the commodes, spider webs in the corners of the rooms (even the INSIDE bathroom), spider webs lining the staircases in the gift shop. It was the epitomy of a run down 'has been'. Once complaining at the bottom back in the gift shop, we were informed that we got to see what was advertised and that no refunds would be given. It's sad to see an establishment with this much history go down in shame, but I'm afraid that's what is going to happen and very quickly.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Been There, Done That, and LIKED IT : Deno's Fine Foods, Columbia, SC

I owe this next business a big apology!! We went to visit and I promised to write up a blog for them and got so busy, I'm just now getting around to it. Better late than never, though, because they soooo deserve the praises.

Been There, Done That, and LIKED IT: Deno's Fine Foods in Columbia, SC

So if you've never been over to Deno's at 6161 St. Andrews Rd Columbia, South Carolina 29212you've not experienced some great food!!! We tried the restaurant after searching for something different online. I now know why the reviews I found online were so good. The place is JUST THAT GOOD!!

Deno's is a small, family owned and operated restaurant serving Greek and fine Italian foods; Handmade NY style pizzas that are TO DIE for; Spanikopita that people rave about; Pastas, desserts....you name it, they have it! The family that runs the business are very friendly and outgoing. The restaurant is clean. The atmosphere is inviting.

You have to try it. You'll be glad you did!!!

Long story short.... Been There, Done That, and LIKED IT!!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Been There, Done That, and LIKED IT! Blush Nails and Spa - 1787 S Lake Drive Lexington SC

So everyone that knows me well, knows that there are two things I thoroughly enjoy.... hanging out at Starbucks (anywhere, anytime) drinking my favorite brews AND pampering myself (nails, massages, etc). Today, I took a much needed longer lunch break and headed out to get my nails done.

To my surprise, a new locally owned nail salon had just opened up down the street from me. I couldn't wait to try it. And much more to my surprise, this place didn't let me down. Blush Nails and Spa (1787 S Lake Drive Lexington, SC) has an awesome staff and great customer service. The salon is clean, well organized, trendy, and VERY peaceful. They have soothing music playing. Their nail prep area is separated from their pedicure area so that the noise of the drills do not disturb the people relaxing or soaking. They have plenty of service stations to accommodate several customers at one time for each service they offer. They even offer you complimentary beverages. And most of all, the staff is very welcoming and professional.

Blush is my new 'go-to' place for nail services. My nails look great, My hands are not sensitive after the service, and the cost was well within reason.

Go see Michelle and the staff at Blush Nails and Spa!! You will not be disappointed!!!
Check them out here on facebook......
Welcome back to my newly revised blog, Been There, Done That, and Liked it (or NOT!!).

My blog started out as a review of restaurants my family and I had visited. Then we stopped eating out as much but I wanted to keep writing so I started adding in nifty recipes that I liked. Recently, though, I visited a really nice new nail salon in Lexington, SC that got me to thinking....I really would just love to share with the world simple reviews of places I go in general. Thus, the revision of my blog. Hopefully you'll see more frequent posts here now.  

The reviews, for the most part, are very fair and very accurate;  but keep in mind they are MY opinion. Take them at face value and keep the information handy if you're thinking of shopping at or eating at one of the places I 'critique'.  You will find that I'm just as passionate about sharing the good things as I am the bad. I've said it once and I'll say it again, if the place deserves praise, they'll get it from me. If they need constructive criticism, well....... they're going to get that, too (whether they ask for it or not and whether they like it or not).

Simply put, a business cannot grow without constructive feedback. If you're in business and you're a true business-minded person, you already know there's a critic on every corner. Keep your ship running tight and you'll find that the positive will far outweigh the negative.

Enjoy the new adventures of Been There, Done That, and Liked it (or NOT!!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nifty Recipe: Cinnamon Rolls



  • 1 cup warm fat-free milk (100° to 110°)
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter, divided 
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 package quick-rise yeast
  • 16 22/25 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3 3/4 cups)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. To prepare rolls, combine milk, 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups. Add egg and remaining granulated sugar to bowl. Stir in 4.5 ounces (1 cup) flour; let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Add 11.25 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) flour and salt to milk mixture; stir until a soft dough forms (dough will be sticky). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; turn to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 35 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rise 35 minutes or until doubled in size. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
  3.  Combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; roll dough into an 18 x 11–inch rectangle. Brush remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter over dough; sprinkle evenly with brown sugar mixture. Beginning at one long side, roll up dough tightly, jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Cut dough into 18 (1-inch) slices. Arrange 9 slices, cut sides up, in each of 2 (8-inch) square baking dishes coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 35 minutes or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°.
  5. Uncover rolls. Bake at 350° for 22 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes in dishes on a wire rack. Turn rolls out onto wire rack; cool 5 minutes. Turn rolls over.
  6. To prepare icing, combine 3 tablespoons softened butter and cream; stir with a whisk. Stir in vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar; stir until blended. Spread icing over rolls; serve warm.

Not to Eat: Burger King, White Knoll (Lexington, SC)

Location: Burger King at White Knoll (Lexington, SC)
To Eat or Not to Eat: Only if you have days to wait for your food.....

Fast Food? Not at this Burger King location...... It's so sad for these guys that the new McDonald's coming in took all of their business and, evidently, their zest for life, too. After waiting in line for 15 minutes (while I was only car #2 out of 3), I finally arrived at the window and said to the young guy, 'Competition getting the best of you?'...... His reply was priceless....'yeah, we haven't seen very many cars tonight, that's for sure.' My response: 'You wanna know why?' (With a BIG cheesy grin). The dumbfounded expression on his face said enough. I drove off with probably what is the last order of food from that Burger King that we will eat for quite some time. Serves me right.....should be feeding the family healthy stuff anyway, right?

Sooooo......its simple. No Bon Appetite, here!! Sorry, guys.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Not To Eat: Libby's of Lexington, SC

Location: Libby's of Lexington, SC
To Eat or Not to Eat: You would be better off going somewhere else

It is with such sad displeasure and disappointment that I write this review. On 03JUL2012, I raved and raved about Libby's in Lexington, SC. I was so proud of them for overcoming a bad moment a few days before that and for always being the place my family asks to go to eat. But when  a month ago, you overlook something as major as cheese being hand picked off of a burger after it's already been served and that same burger being served again after the cheese was hand picked off, it's really REALLY disturbing to experience the kind of visit I had this past Saturday (11AUG2012).

Saturday midday (not EVEN during lunch or dinner rush) around 2:30, my family and I (a group of 5) went into the restaurant with our taste buds absolutely salivating at the thought of an Asian steak wrap or pizza or steak and cheese sandwich. What we walked into was a very dirty restaurant, a manager eating pork with his hands right out of the tray it was cooked in out in the middle of the kitchen in plain sight, no air circulation in the dining areas, very SLOW moving staff that were also clumsy enough to drop more than one tray of food in the first 15 minutes we were there (probably because they couldn't stand upright on the greasy floor), and just an overall very disappointing look at the great Libby's that we had grown accustomed to. Orders not even prepped the way they were requested, one sandwich completely left off of the order and delivered 15 minutes after everyone else at the table had been served, and 2 trips to the kitchen myself to see what was going on.

After talking to Clint, (and some of you already know he plays a very important role in this restaurant's hierarchy), I was still very disappointed that the attitude of the day was not to fix the situation and try harder, but instead to make excuses for why the ship was running astray. I don't get it. I just don't get it. I'm so, sooo disappointed with Libby's right now. I almost take it personally that they could disappoint me sooo much. What a shame.

Long story shortened for you, I would give Libby's a while to clean up their act before even bothering to spend your money or your time. You'll only be frustrated with yourself for going right now.

No Bon Appetite here for a while..... :(