Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sports Connection Trivia Update. . .

I just wanted to spread the word that Bright House Sports Network has decided to temporarily forgo taping new trivia segments for the Toyota Sports Connection. We are working on a totally new look and presence for the segment which we hope to launch by the end of the year. So, if you're used to seeing me on there every night and wonder where I ran off to, don't worry. . . I'll be back. . .


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

NEW on TBOD's "Bars & Clubs" ~ Bellini's & O'Maddy's

If you've never hit up Gulfport for a night out, grab a cab and just do it. The whole downtown area of Beach and Shore Blvds is lined with super cool nightspots. One's like O'Maddy's, that you've probably heard of and one's like Bellini's, that are hidden gems. We decided to do two shoots in one night so you could get the real feel of Gulfport. If you wanna dress up? Cool. If not, well, that's cool too.
First off, O'Maddy's stole my heart. So much so, that my friends and I are heading there this weekend to celebrate my birthday. Yeah, it's that kind of place. I dig it big time. The atmosphere is laid back, the staff is cool, drinks are cheap (and stiff!), and the food is off the charts. . . "I'll have the Roast Beef on Kummelweck, please." Oh, and the view of Boca Ciega Bay isn't bad either. So many people have been telling me about this place for so long and yes, I WAS missing out. . . but, not anymore.

After having my fill of O'Maddy's fine grub, we headed a couple of blocks North to Bellini's Tapas y Mas for some of the best drinks in the Bay Area. Yeah, this was a GREAT night out! They're located right behind the La Fogata Churrascaria (same owners) and the Brazilian feel carries over into this hip little lounge. In fact, their specialty is the caipirinha, the national drink of Brazil, which I knew I just had to try. And yep, it was fantastic. Full of fruit and yummy cachaca (watch the show!). They also have out of this world mojitos, martinis, and a world class beer and wine selection. A perfect end to this night out!

Airing now on Tampa Bay On Demand, channel 340!

Until our next night out. . . Rachel

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm Back in Fashion!!!

Well, kind of. . .
See, back in the day I used to do a little modeling here and there and one of my most favorite things in the world to do was fashion shows. Never anything crazy, just super fun local events here and there and mostly for the most rad fashion designer in the area, Paul Raymond.

For those of you that don't know Paul, you will. He designs one-of-a-kind dresses and status apparel, guaranteed head-turners! Because I love his dresses so much and enjoy being his living Barbie doll, I was honored to accept the invitation to walk for him once again.

So, now that I've plugged Paul and his stellar dresses, check 'em @ The Blue Martini for the "Culture Clash" event. . .

Me and the one and only, Paul Raymond!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

NEW on TBOD's "Bars & Clubs" ~ Tommy Bahama Cafe

Tommy Bahama is no longer just about the clothing! The famous retailer is going foodie by opening up Tommy Bahama Cafes nationwide and we just happen to have one right here in our neighborhood! St. Armand's Circle, in Sarasota, houses this super chill bar and eatery with THE BEST MOJITO I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE!!! It's called the "pineapple yuzu" and you MUST order it if you go (and if you like mojitos!). What's super cool is that Tommy Bahama has their own brand of rums that they use in their signature drinks, a silver called "White Sand" and a gold called "Golden Sunset." Definitely give them a shot. The food is also outstanding! I didn't have dinner there, but certainly drooled over the menu. I was lucky enough to sample some of the "island time" appetizers (Tommy's happy hour) and was blown away by the flavors, especially the goat cheese plate and the mango bbq chicken lollipops!

I could go on, but suffice it to say that the place was really cool and congrats to Tommy Bahama for a very successful new venture!

Airing now on Tampa Bay On Demand, channel 340!

Me and Mike Reeves, TBOD's "On Dining" host and sporting a sig TB shirt, doing a dual shoot @ Tommy's!

Until our next night out. . . Rachel

Thursday, July 16, 2009

NEW on TBOD's "Bars & Clubs" ~ The Undertow

What would summer in St. Pete be without a visit to The Undertow? If you're a local, chances are you've taken in the many "sights" at this popular beachfront spot! The drinks are cheap, stiff, and delicious (just be careful not to lose yours in the "moat" circling the bar!) and they always have great live music. Oh, and the sunsets don't hurt either!

Airing now on Tampa Bay On Demand, channel 340!

Until our next night out. . . Rachel

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hooray!!! My first journalism award!!!

Yeah!!! Roger and I won!!!

The Florida Associated Press Award

"Best Photo Essay"

We didn't win first, but we came in second! We won for our "Dean Guitar Factory" segment and I couldn't be happier because we had so much fun filming and writing it, but at the same time, it was also A LOT of hard work. Here's a link to my Dean Guitar blog post.

They did spell my name wrong, but I'll get over it!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

NEW on TBOD's "Big Boys' Toys" ~ Kiteboarding!!!

Last Fall, while I was enjoying a day at Pass-A-Grille beach, I saw two guys doing this in the water . . .

Needless to say, I was totally impressed! So much so in fact, that as soon as I got home, I started doing research to find out what this was all about. I quickly learned that "kiteboarding" or "kitesurfing" as it's called, is the newest & hottest watersport sweeping Florida's beaches. Sounded like a job for Big Boys' Toys to me!!!

So, we hooked up with Watersports West in Largo to get the lowdown on all things kiteboarding. . . the history, the lessons, and the gear. Steve "Steve-O" Visnage, kiteboarding instructor extraordinaire, took me under his wing taught me how to take flight (Aww. . . me so corny!). Although it was a little tough at first, once you get the hang of it, you know exactly why surfers and wakeboarders are diggin' it so much!

Airing now on Tampa Bay On Demand, channel 340!!!

Extra special thanks to Steve-O and Watersports West and for hooking me up with the rockin' board shorts harness!

NEW on TBOD's "Bars & Clubs" ~ The Fox Jazz Club

For decades, Tampa's Fox Jazz Club has been the only place to hear the area's best live jazz bands. Cool cats and sexy kittens gather nightly to dance the night away and sip some highly creative cocktails! In fact, the place just oozes sexiness, so much so that you almost expect James Bond or the Rat Pack to walk in and take a seat. It's just one of those special places that can take you back, even if for just one night, to a time of glitz and glamour. If you enjoy jazz, the music here is eargasmic and I won't get into the food, but oh my. . . the pork chop was otherworldly!

Airing now on Tampa Bay On Demand, channel 340!

Until our next night out. . . Rachel

Thursday, May 28, 2009

NEW on TBOD's "Bars & Clubs" ~ Sam's On The Beach

Since the Tampa Bay On Demand viewing area encompasses 7 counties (oh, my!), we've set out to shoot Bars & Clubs in all of them. We know Pinellas and Hillsborough are loaded with options, but here comes Pasco sneaking one in on us! Sam's On the Beach, in Hudson Beach (yes, Hudson has a beach folks and it's mighty pretty too!), is a super cool, laid back beach bar with all the crazy drinks (ie: see the fish bowl beside me?) and live bands you can handle. The night we came, this place was PACKED to the rafters with people having a good time. If you are ever in their neck of the woods, check 'em out!

Now airing on Tampa Bay On Demand, channel 340!

Until our next night out. . . Rachel

Saturday, May 23, 2009

NEW on TBOD's "Big Boys' Toys" ~ Hacker Craft Boats

Sometimes an opportunity for a shoot arises that you didn't even know existed. Take Hacker Craft Boats for instance. These handcrafted mahogany speedboats and runarounds were the pleasure boats of the rich and famous in the early 1900's, but went out of production shortly after the Great Depression. The only way to enjoy them as of late, was to restore an antique. But, we got a tip that the Hacker Boat is back in production and we have a proud owner right here in Tampa! They are keeping to tradition by building these boats with the original Hacker blueprints. The only difference??? Added modern technologies like nav and stereo surround systems, turbo engines and infrared devices!!!

I was sooooooo excited to take part in this shoot and even got to drive the boat around myself, which I have to say was the smoothest boat ride I've ever experienced. These boats are indescribably cool and I hope you all enjoy the bit of nostalgia that goes along with it as well. I must mention that Roger (photojournalist extraordinaire!) did a bang up job putting the piece together! Enjoy!!!

Now airing on Tampa Bay On Demand, channel 340!

Happy Memorial Day!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

NEW on TBOD's "Bars & Clubs" ~ Ferg's Sports Bar

When it came to chosing our first sports bar to feature, the answer was simple. Ferg's !!!

Where else can you be so close to all the Tampa Bay Rays action before, during and after a game??? We showed up to film just before an away game was about to get underway and the place was packed even then! In all honesty, I really just wanted to wear my Rays gear for a shoot and have an exuse to order Rays Punch. . . but beware, it turns your mouth blue!

Check out the full feature on Tampa Bay On Demand, channel 340!

Here are some candids of me and CJ doing our thang'. . .

Until our next night out. . . Rachel

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Official Launch of NEW Tampa Bay On Demand "Bars/Clubs" !!!

Yep, it's official!!!

I'm now Tampa Bay On Demand's nightlife host! I'll be bringing you the lowdown on all the hottest nightspots in the area and I am super stoked to have been given this opportunity!

The new "Bars/Clubs" section can be found under the Bay Area Guide category on
Tampa Bay On Demand (channel 340 on Bright House Networks) and we will be adding new segments weekly. It's basically going to be a "library" of the coolest places to go, so we will only keep adding titles, not taking them down. . . unless the place closes for some reason!

These are the titles that are already up:
(Harbour Island, Tampa)
(Downtown St. Pete)
(Ybor City)
(St. Pete)
(Clearwater Beach)

And coming soon. . . PUSH Ultra Lounge and Sam's on the Beach!

Until our next night out. . . Rachel

P.S. I'm still doing "Big Boys' Toys" features as well! Next up? Hacker Craft Boats and KITEBOARDING!!!