a guy and a bee

a collection of random thoughts and ideas from me, her, and sometimes us

Tag Archives: columbia

mattress capital of the world?

has anyone else noticed recently that columbia seems to be the mattress capital of the world? i hadn’t really noticed this until lately when one mattress store left the columbia crossing shopping center and 2 days later there was another one. maybe the sign just changed and it caught my eye, but after that i started noticing more and more of the these places. there is basically a mattress store in every strip mall if you haven’t noticed. and if there isn’t a mattress store, there is a furniture store that sells mattresses.

is there a need for this many mattress stores and how do they stay in business in a down economy? i know i haven’t bought a mattress in several years and with the price tag on these things, people are more likely to continue to stretch their bucks and not replace an older mattress. am i missing something here and should get a new mattress? i count at least 9 on the yellow pages site and several more in laurel and other parts of the county. i know howard county is big, but i’d imagine there isn’t a need for this many mattress stores.

what am i missing here and why does it seem columbia is the mattress capital of the world?!

hocoblogs@@@

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food review: always up for pizza

for the last couple of weeks, we’ve been trying to go to coal fire over off of 108. we have been several times and always enjoy it but the last few times we went over there, the wait was over 30 minutes so when we called last night and it was already 25 minutes at 615, we decided to pass. we had decided we were going to go to chicago uno and swing by LL Bean afterwards. bee’s coat got screwed up so she wanted to see if they would fix it. as we left the house, I suggested we try Luna Bella in the hickory ridge village center. we always see it when we go to that village center and hadn’t ever been so we figured now was the time.

luna bella (photo from yelp)

the restaurant is a small and intimate italian place that serves brick oven pizza. it was voted as one of howard county’s best in 2011 for pizza and italian so I was excited to try their brick oven style. after waiting more than the estimated 25 minutes, we finally got seated. I figured it was worth waiting to spend money at a local small business instead of a chain place and the place and line were packed. I saw someone from work who decided to not wait as several others did as well. there were also plenty of people getting carry out.

we started with the fried mozzarella which was a nice size appetizer. it could easily be for 3 or 4, but we just split it for ourselves. haha. bee got the eggplant parmesan and she enjoyed it. I, on the other hand, went for the main attraction, pizza. I’m always one for a meat pizza and went with the Pizza Carne. a nice blend of pepperoni, sausage, salami, and canadian bacon. the crust was a little thicker than I expected for brick oven pizza but it was crispy and held all the toppings nicely. they offer their pizzas in 10 or 12 inch and have several prepaid options as well as the choose your own toppings. the gourmet options as they refer to them had a nice variety and also looked tasty. our friend, steve, pointed out that the pizza finito is also real good. meanwhile, the build your own toppings seemed endless. anyway, the pizza and toppings on the pizza carne worked wonders together and i ate the whole thing!

howchow did a post on luna bella a few years ago and had different thoughts on the crust but my experience was that it held up well.

we certainly enjoyed it and will be back to try the other pizzas and menu options. afterwards, we stumbled over to the meadows original frozen custard. it’s a franchised ice cream place but the proprietor of this one is a fantastic guy. we walked in at 810 and they were actually closed, but “since they were there, they were open.” the frozen custard is made fresh daily and they only make select flavors each day so you know it will be good. we ended up getting a cookies and cream ice cream sandwich, which we split since it was pretty large for just $4. well worth it. we’ve been several times and have their club card. if you are looking for a new ice cream place, check it out!

hocofood@@@

mission accomplished!

last week, bee and i went to to see mission impossible: ghost protocol. we ended up seeing it in IMAX at the AMC in Columbia. i always try to go to late morning or early afternoon movies to avoid large crowds so we found ourselves at the 12:30 showing. it was the first movie theatre visit for bee in at least 2 years and her first time ever at an IMAX showing. we both really enjoyed the movie although her feet didnt touch the floor while sitting all the way back in the chair. haha.

quick review: overall, it was a pretty good action movie and one of the better ones that i have seen lately. they worked in many of the things mission impossible has been known for over the years like face masks. if you are a fan of the series, like i am, you will be pleased with that part. tom cruise continued his role as ethan hunt and was good in this one as well. jeremy renner’s character, william brandt, was weaved into the plot line nicely and without making you question the prior movies or what he was doing there. the other member’s of ethan’s team worked out well and rounded out the story, as well as the bad guy. the story line and the bad guy’s attempt at destroying the world are something we can all see based on the world’s current events and wasn’t as far fetched as it could’ve been. i was a little worried about simon pegg, who played benji dunn, and was the goofy tech guy who couldn’t pass the field ops tests but eventually did after repeated tries. pegg is known more of his comedic value and although he did add a few good jokes every now and then, played the role in the movie well. one thing, i didn’t like was the intro into the movie. as the beginning credits rolled, you basically got to see small clips of the movie throughout intermingled with credits for the actors in the movie. it gave away a little too much of the movie in my opinion.

the movie in IMAX is the way to go if you have one near you and can afford it. we had some gift certificates that bee had gotten from work, so we paid the extra $10 for the IMAX viewing. the sound and the locations of the movie are really enhanced because of it, but i am sure it would look good in standard definition as well.

one hint for families or folks who don’t want to spend a lot on concessions, buy the kids pack. you’ll get a small soda, small popcorn, and fruit snacks for just $6.25 and if you use the bathroom before the start of the movie, you won’t have to get up part way through the film.

hocoblogs@@@

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