Friendly’s Review

The Friendly’s in Holden is a great place to bring your family. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and they are famous for their ice cream. I have to say, their food and ice cream are the most delicious particles I have ever inhaled. The restaurant was nothing extravagant just a little place where families could relax together.

I walked into Friendly’s and I noticed it had very nice set up. With the red seats, bright yellow walls, soft green carpets, it gave me good vibes. It was sanitary, it could be cleaner, but it was bearable. I saw some left over food on the ground from the previous customers. But, I saw the staff trying to clean it all up which was greatly appreciated. It was crowded but there were no disturbances. Everyone minded their own business, deep in conversation. The waitress led us to our tables. While I was walking I could hear sizzling of the cooking foods from the kitchen. I could smell the different aromas of foods like the french fries in the air making me even more hungry.

I looked over the menu and they had a great selection. I saw foods for meat lovers like big juicy burgers and foods for vegetarians like salads and fish. They had all types of appetizers from mozerella sticks to calamari. The desert menu was to die for. They had all type of ice cream, frozen yogurt, cakes, brownies. They had so many toppings too, sprinkles, sauces, and candy. There drink selection was also very big. They have sodas, juice, milkshakes, anything to satisfy your thirsty needs. First,  I ordered a sprite and chicken tenders. My friend ordered a grilled cheese and a coke. The service was very fast. It only took around 10 minutes for our food to come out.  I took one bite into the delicious chicken and instantly fell in love. The chicken had a crispy golden brown outer coating and nice tender chicken in the middle. The french fries were amazing as well. They had a crunchy skin and a nice potato like substance in the middle. And the food was perfect because it was not too hot or cold. It had the perfect temperature.

The staff was some of the nicest people I have ever met. During the wait for our food the waitress and I had nice conversations. I learned all about her daughter and how she does gymnastics and I told her about the sports I do too. I have to say The waitress and I even had a conversation at one point. The manager also came to check in on us during our meal asking if we needed anything and how our food was.

After we finished our meals we stacked our plates and cups to the side of the table so the waitress could get the message that we were done with our food. She came quickly and gave us a minute to look over the dessert menu. I ended up getting cookies and cream ice cream with chocolate sprinkles and whipped cream. It only took her about a minute to make. She set it up nicely in an ice cream dish putting just the right amount of whipped cream and sprinkles in it.

Finally we were all finished eating, and she gave us the check. It was only about 25 dollars. I found this to be very cheap for all they had done for us. My chicken was only about $6, my drink was about $1, and my ice cream was $4. The rest of the amount came from my friends meal.

Friendlys went through a rough year last year. They went bankrupt and several closed. They are too good of a restaurant to be closed down. I really enjoyed myself when I went and I believe everyone else would too. They have a great business. It is not the type of restaurant that is only good for a particular age group. It is good for children, adults, and elders. So overall, I would give Friendlys a solid A+. Honestly, I cannot complain about it. Everything was great from the service to the food. They made me feel really comfortable there. It is my favorite place to eat and I think I will always love it, even when I am really old and saggy. If there is a Friendly’s near you, you should stop by and pay them a visit because it could be a great memory for you and your family.

 

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The Croods Movie Review

This past weekend I went and saw the newest family movie, The Croods. The Croods was produced by Dreamworks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Cloris Leachman, as well as some other well known actors and actresses.

The plot:

The Croods are a family of cavemen, surviving as the last humans in their area. Eep, Thunk, and Sandy are three siblings, told by their father, Grug (Nicolas Cage), and their mother, Ugga (Catherine Keener), to always stay in the family cave. They are taught that the outside world is a dangerous and evil place, until Eep (Emma Stone), the rebellious teenage daughter, sneaks out during the night and unexpectedly meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds). Guy is a homeless “caveteen” who finds fun in everything, and believes that the world is there to explore. He and Eep get talking, and become good friends. Later that night, an earthquake destroys the Crood’s cave and the family, as well as Guy, has an adventure to find a new cave.

So how was it as a whole?

It was entertaining for a while, but then I questioned where the story was going. There was no real big conclusion. The script in no way was at all “Crude” as suggested in the title, and is appropriate and enjoyable for anyone. I guess you could say it was funny for young kids, but honestly, I never heard anyone laugh genuinely, except for the occasional cackle of a woman behind me that found everything hilarious and the group of 6 year olds up front. Although, the comic relief grandmother, Gran (Cloris Leachman) was good, and had some funny lines. The animation was okay, but Dreamworks has really done better.

Conclusion and should you see it:

I believe that The Croods is unfortunately just a “filler” movie until Dreamworks next big movie premier. Nothing about this movie really screamed “classic Dreamworks” or “number one family movie of 2013”. I give this movie 7 stars out of 10 for a promising but unfinished storyline. Should you see it? Not in theatres. Wait until it makes it to a good price at walmart. Kids will love this movie, but I was a little disappointed. Hopefully Dreamworks will soon get back on their feet and make a new classic like they did with Shrek and How To Train Your Dragon.

 

Some information borrowed from imdb.com

How to survive: Roadtrip edition

This is my first March blog post! I’m glad to be back for a fresh month of writing, so let’s get started! March Break is coming up and many people have plans to travel. Personally, I will be taking a 14 hour car ride almost nonstop, so this is what I have put together for March blog post number one: a list of what you need to survive a long road trip.

What you will need to survive a long road trip:

A backpack filled with: Paperback books to read or an e-Reader, an iPod, a tablet, headphones, your cell phone, a laptop, a few movies (typically 4 or more), a water bottle, card games, Mad Libs

Not for in the backpack, but to keep near you: Sunglasses, a light blanket, a pillow, dry shoes, chargers for your devices, an in-car outlet

  • Sleep! Bring a blanket and a pillow in the car. Nothing is worse than sitting in the car for hours and being uncomfortable.
  • Read! Bring an e-Reader (such as a kindle or a nook) to read some novels to pass the time. If you don’t have an e-Reader bring lightweight paperback books.
  • Drink! Keep hydrated.
  • Watch! Watch some TV shows or movies on your laptop, iPod, phone, or tablet.
  • Look! Just look out your window for a while. See how many different state’s license plates you can find.
  • Play! Play some card games or download some new apps on your phone, tablet, or iPod to keep you entertained. For app suggestions, read my App Review blog post.
  • Don’t! Don’t distract or bother the driver. This can lead to fatal consequences. Also, do not waste all your charge on your devices during the beginning of the trip if you don’t have any power source.

I hope this helps you think about what you want to pack and do!

We’ve all heard of Highway to Hell, but what about Highway of Hell? Talk about my “scenic” route this coming break! 14 hours of trees and pavement… hundreds of miles of pavement. Wish me luck, and have a great break!

Next in the How to survive series: How to survive: rainy day edition

The Walking Dead – Review

It’s AMC’s original new series, The Walking Dead. This is a horror/ drama series based on the comics, written by Frank Darabont. The story starts out with actor Andrew Lincoln as police officer Rick Grimes and his partner in crime, … Continue reading

The Chocolate War Review

The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier, was a great story about corruption and rebellion.  Every year, Trinity High School has a chocolate sale to make some additional money for the school.  This year’s sale is extra important though, because it could be the difference between one of the main antagonists, Brother Leon, getting a promotion and losing his job.  The general consensus is that you just sell your chocolates and don’t make trouble.  There is extra motivation to follow the rules this year because the school’s evil secret society, The Vigils, are helping Brother Leon to sell the chocolates.  The main character, Jerry, a student at Trinity, is a freshman with very few friends.  He doesn’t like the way that things are working at Trinity with The Vigils and Leon being very powerful.  With that in mind, he decides not to sell his chocolates.  Normally, this would not be a very big deal, but Leon needs to sell every chocolate he can because he paid out of his own pocket for half of the chocolates.  After Jerry begins to rebel, other students begin to rebel as well.  With a massive decline in sales, Leon and The Vigils have to go to incredible lengths to sell their chocolates.  The results of their actions are disturbing, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what really happens.

Photo Credit: NPR

Photo Credit: NPR

Overall, I thought that The Chocolate War was very well written.  I enjoyed the story and thought that the characters were very interesting and that they truly grabbed my attention.  Also, I think that the book had a very good lesson on corruption and learning where to fight the power and where to follow the unwritten rules.  The ending of the story was satisfying to me, and I think that it fit the rest of the book.  I would recommend this book to all young adult readers, and to many adults, especially teachers.

Top 5 children’s stories that should be read to every young boy

One of my favorite memories from childhood is bedtime stories with my dad. When I was young there was a great big piece of paper on my wall next to my bed with various drawings upon it. The piece of paper was a map of a world my dad and I created together. Each drawing was a different location in our world such as the kingdom, the forest, radio land, Loch’s tree house, the village (with the bakery and other various shops), and many other locations. My dad is an artist in his spare time (as well as an author) so this was a fun project for him. But the hard part hadn’t come yet. Every night I would choose a location on the map and a type of transportation (a hot air balloon or a wagon). My dad would come up with miraculous stories about me and my stuffed animal (who came to life during the stories) and the amazing adventures we went on. My dad soon ran out of ideas after more than 2 years of every night story telling, and he finally started to read me novels for children. Here is a list of my top five favorite books my father read to me or I read as a child.

5. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

I don’t remember this book too well, but it is a classic story about talking animals, which I enjoyed thoroughly.

4. The BFG by Roald Dahl

 I originally heard this story from my third grade teacher, but I reread it again that same year and heard it again last summer when my father read it to my brother.

3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

This is a classic that has been adapted as a film twice, yet the book is still better than both films.

 2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone By Joanne Kathleen (J.K.) Rowling

The first volume of one of the world’s most famous series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a children’s classic from the last century.

1.  Danny, Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Danny, Champion of the World is my favorite book from childhood. Every young boy should hear this story from his father.

The Social Network: The Topsy-Turvy Adventures of Facebook

The Social Network is without a doubt, a fantastic movie.  While the creation of Facebook does have a great story, the actual movie is even better.  I had read a book called The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick prior to watching the movie, so I knew the real story, unaltered by Hollywood.  Surprisingly, the movie was quite accurate in terms of the legitimate story of the upbringing of Facebook.  I was surprised by this because based on the various trailers and TV spots I had seen two years ago when the movie came out, it made it look like Mark Zuckerberg and his many “business” partners spent most of their time drunk and surrounded by girls.  Of course, that was nowhere near the actual movie.  The Social Network is actually a great movie, deserving all of it’s accolades and praise.

sha3telly.com

Photo Credit: sha3telly.com

I liked that the movie thought outside the box in the way that it presented the story.  One thing it did that I thought was very interesting was jumping between lawsuits with the Winklevoss twins (Fellow Harvard students who think that Mark stole their idea for a social network) and his ex-best friend Eduardo Saverin.  The Winklevoss twins were suing because they thought that Zuckerberg stole their idea for a social network and Saverin was suing because Zuckerberg lowered his equity in Facebook massively and raised Sean Parker’s, who did no where near as much work as Eduardo.  If a character says something to a lawyer, the movie might jump back to 2004 and show if the character is telling the whole truth.  It also might just delve deeper into the story or show further information and backstory.  Also, the movie doesn’t ignore the fact that the founders of Facebook had to do a lot of work to lead Facebook to where it is today.  Finally, while the movie isn’t super dramatic, it still manages to convey the emotions of all the actors to the point where you can almost feel their pain, or how ecstatic they are, whatever the case may be.  One moment that I thought was very interesting was when Eduardo stormed into the Facebook headquarters when he found out what Mark was doing to his ownership in the company and slammed his laptop on the table.  Continue reading

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is Bethesda Game Studios fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series and their sequel hit a boom. The last game that came out was The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion; this game was a very good one and came out in 2006 for Xbox 360. Waiting 5 years until Skyrim was released, Bethesda really blew everybody away. It was a huge jump from the 4th game in the series with everything getting better from gameplay to graphics.

The Elder Scrolls series dates all the way back to 1994 with the release of The Elder Scrolls: Arena. Looking back at that game, you really realize how much these games have changed over the past decade and it is truly amazing. There is no better place to start when talking about Skyrim, but the visuals. Skyrim is a beautiful game from snowy tundras, to wide open valleys, murky swamps, and even thick forests. Because of the massive amount of quests, Skyrim has about a  9 hour main quest and over 100 hours of additional side quests and gameplay to do. This is massive for any game and really the possibilities are endless when it comes to gameplay. There are hundreds of different weapons from daggers, to bows, to magic staffs. There is also spells and shouts, since you are a “Dragonborn” you have the ability to use your different shouts which have many different effects from transporting, to blowing away anything in front of you. It is no wonder that Bethesda sold over 7 million copies less than one week after release.

Bethesda Games really blew everybody away with this game. They improved every aspect of the game, and even more. There are only minor glitches to this game, but nothing to kill the experience what so ever. I would recommend this game to anybody who have a lot of spare time especially, but also to anybody who just loves to go on adventures and kill dragons. The only reason why I would not rate it a 10/10, is because I want even more than the more, even though the game is its own fictional world with hundreds of hours of gameplay. 9.5/10