Friday, June 28, 2013

Day Trip: St Augustine, FL

Chip's work schedule this week has been crazy, he's been going in from 9 pm til the wee hours of the morning, sleeping for a while and then working from home/fielding phone calls all day.  Not wanting to disturb him, I often spend my time at back of the house where my treadmill lives.  Under the watchful eye of my personal trainer, Jezebel, I burn a few hundred calories and do some good stuff for my heart. (She's ruthless, I tell you, doesn't let me slow down a bit!)

Jezebel the Personal Trainer photo IMG_20130627_095355_zpsd5505970.jpg

Yesterday he decided to take a little time off, suggested that we drive up to St Augustine for shopping and lunch.  Well, twist my arm!

You should know that when we talk about "shopping," it's not how you might imagine. There are no malls or strip stores involved, no fancy shops & long lines. We go thrifting. It's a shared passion of ours, discovered in the early days of our relationship. No matter where we travel, whether for business or pleasure, we manage to scout out a thrift store or two.  It's not just bargains we're looking for, although that's certainly part of it, it's the experience itself that we enjoy. The treasure hunt, finding something unique and's just so much fun for us.  I've passed along that passion to my girls, we're forever proudly sharing our "thrift store finds." Of course, in this day & age with the economy what it is, and the landfills overflowing with unwanted junk, it's also very green to re-use, recycle, and especially in the case of myself & Kristyn: upcycle. So, off we went on a treasure hunt. But first: lunch.

Michele at Present Moment Cafe photo IMG_20130627_125113_zpsfb0534a8.jpg

My favorite restaurant in St Augustine is a little cafe off the beaten path called The Present Moment.  The first time we visited we only had dessert, so I was really looking forward to sampling their "real" food.  The menu is 100% vegan, mostly-raw, so refreshing to open a menu and be able to order anything without question or concern about the content! I chose a Collard Veggie Wrap with a side of Chilled Sweet Potato Soup. Forgive my photo, the presentation was much nicer than I was able to capture here. But the taste, oh, my. Absolutely delicious! If you're accustomed to your sandwich "container" being of the tortilla/bread variety, you really need to try using greens instead. Not only will it save you a bunch of calories and add extra nutrients, but it just gives the whole dish a different flavor! The collard green leaf is firm enough to hold up to folding/wrapping, but the chef kindly adds a layer of plastic wrap just to ensure that it stays in place during consumption.

Collard Veggie Wrap photo 20130627_123725_zps5224acaf.jpg

Chip went for the Viva Burrito, described as follows: Our dehydrated tortilla filled with pine nut-chili and walnut pate, guacamole, coconut sour cream and Jalapeno vinaigrette. Served with salad.

Viva Burrito photo 20130627_123700_zpsaaf04b27.jpg

He said that while it was certainly unlike any traditional burrito he'd ever eaten, it was very good. Of course, a cold organic beer rounded out the meal nicely. (For the record: I stuck w/water)

Chip & Organic Beer photo 20130627_122815_zps949735bc.jpg

Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout photo 20130627_122802_zps6a863651.jpg

Alas, our thrifting experience wasn't quite as successful as the dining one.  After visiting a handful of stores, we came away with only one purchase: a vintage Pyrex Mixing Bowl.  At only 3 bucks, this was a steal and when not being used for salad, works perfectly as a popcorn bowl! (If you're a collector or simply curious, you can see a similar item here).

Popcorn Time photo 20130627_205804_zpsf18c1cbc.jpg

So, when Chip headed off to work last night I snuggled up on the couch with a cat or two and a bowl of popcorn, proceeded to make my way through the first season of Downton Abbey. (I'm hooked!)

Today's plans have yet to unfold. I'm reading blogs, sipping coffee and trying to stay quiet as a mouse until my hunny wakes up.  I made a new soup recipe for dinner last night, will probably pop in later to post.  In the meantime, have a fabulous Friday!

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