Tag Archives: Road Trip
A few months ago, I decided to create a winter bucket lists of things I plan to do once my classes are over in late December, and I have been sharing these items here on the blog in some of my Sunday Snippit posts. So far, I have written about my desire to hire a personal trainer for a few sessions so I can get back in to strength training, as well as how I want to get a professional make-up lesson because it’s just something I have always wanted to do! This week, I’m going to add another item to my list: I want to go on a few day trips with my mom!
My mom is my BFF, and since June, when I began my class-taking blitz, I haven’t really seen her much– maybe once a week for a few hours if that. I used to hang out with her nearly every day when I had more free time, so needless to say, I miss her so much! I actually feel sad that I can’t spend full days with her. . . so, when I am officially done with my classes and only have my job to contend with, I plan on taking my mom out on the road for some mother-daughter day trips! I think we both desperately need to get out of the area and share in some fun and different experiences together!
Here’s a list of places I am thinking about. . . they’re all within an hour or hour and a half drive, so they are close enough to travel to in order to spend just an afternoon or so before heading back home.
Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun Casino, CT: We’re both not gamblers but they are wonderful places to just walk around and people watch!
Mystic Village and Aquarium, CT: We’ll definitely take my nephews if we decide to go here! Mystic is such a quaint and adorable village, and the aquarium is one of best in the country in my opinion.
Boston, MA: There’s a million things to do there. . . including visiting my husband at work! The North End and Faneuil Hall are not to be missed.
Newport, RI: Shopping, eating and a walk on the beach. . . it may be the dead of winter but who cares?
Wrentham, Mass: For no other reasons than the outlet shopping!
Kittery, Maine: This is probably the farthest from where we live (a nearly two-hour drive), but Kittery is the best place for outlet shopping. Just imagine strip mall after strip mall full of name brand outlets!
I cannot wait to whisk my mom away for some quality time this winter and spring!
Have you ever been to the above-mentioned places? If you could take a quick day trip, where would you go?
On Monday morning (Columbus Day), the husband and I woke up bright and early so we could enjoy at least a few more moments in Montreal before we had to head back. We hit the streets for one last time to track down my one morning essential. . . coffee!
Fortunately, there was a Starbuck’s right around the corner!
I had told my husband I wanted something pumpkin-y on this trip to celebrate the fall, so he suggested I go with a pumpkin spice soy latte, which I thought sounded perfect! I never do coffee “drinks,” so it sounded like a nice indulgence!
I tried to look for it on the menu, but clearly, there were some language barriers to deal with!
We were in another country after all!
I ended up asking the barista about the pumpkin spice soy latte, but unfortunately, they did have the pumpkin flavors yet. So, I ended up just getting a plain soy latte and enjoyed it back at the hotel lobby by the fire! Maybe the lack of pumpkin was a blessing in disguise because I thought I read somewhere the pumpkin latte, even made with soy milk, is not vegan? Not sure if that is true, but I guess if it isn’t vegan, it’s best I didn’t end up with it.
We finally got to packing up and saying a sad farewell to our awesome hotel. We stayed at the St. Sulpice in Old Montreal, and for those of you who may be visiting Montreal in the future, I highly recommend this hotel! We stay here every time we come, and it is awesome. Here’s a little photo tour of our “room,” which was actually more like a suite with a separate bedroom and living room area.
There was a lovely couch in the living room facing a tv.
Here’s the desk area, where I did most of my homework over the weekend.
The room even had a cute kitchen area, complete with sink, stove, microwave (in the cabinet) and mini-fridge (also in the cabinet)!
The bedroom was its own little sanctuary.
We said bye bye to our hotel and hit the road by 11 A.M.
The ride was pretty smooth except for in a few spots. Our efforts to get out of Montreal were thwarted by an actual train crossing! Never have I ever had to actually stop at railroad tracks for a train to go by! It was actually really cool to watch it whiz past us!
We were stopped for a bit, so I took this photo, which I love just for the fact you can see me taking it in the rearview mirror. How coincidentally artistic of me!
The only other time we were at a stand-still (for a whole hour!) was at the border. Happy to report though we made it safely to the other side!
We made it back to Providence around 6 P.M., and we decided to extend our vacation just a bit longer by going out to dinner once again. Of course, I’ll save that for the next and final post of my epic weekend in Montreal!
What’s the worst traffic you have ever been in? How long were you stuck, and where were you?
In about an hour, my husband and I are literally going to another country. . . Canada! It’s Columbus Day weekend of course, which means it is time for us to pack up and head off to our favorite Canadian city of Montreal. Since we have known each other, the husband and I take a weekend trip to the beautiful city where we got engaged, and I so totally look forward to it each and every time. In just seven short hours, I should be relaxing on a comfy hotel bed. . . and I am literally counting down the minutes!
Yesterday after work, I ran around town tying up some loose ends and running some errands. When I got home, I was only motivated to do the one kind of packing I like to do– road trip snack packing! I went through my cupboards, fridge, and candy/bar drawers to dig out some suitable vegan and gluten-free fuel to take with me to snack on during the weekend. In retrospect, most of the stuff I brought with my is on the desserty end of the spectrum because it’s relatively easy to eat vegan and gluten-free in restaurants (with some planning and restaurant research), but vegan and gluten-free desserts tend to be very hard to come by when on vacation (depending on the city of course). I already booked our dinner reservations for tonight and Sunday night, but I want to have back-up sweets in case I can’t track down any desserts!
So here’s a quick look-see at what I am bringing!
First up, this box of vegan and gluten-free snickerdoodle cookies that looked mighty appealing to me when I was at the grocery store a few weeks ago.
I also am bringing along this box of vegan and gluten-free graham crackers because I have been craving them like crazy but have yet to indulge.
A fine collection of chocolate will make an appearance!
Two kinds of vegan and gluten-free peanut butter cups:
Two bars of dark chocolate– one wth sea salt and the other with almonds:
And a few more decadent chocolate bars:
I am also bringing some bars that are suitable to stand in for a fast breakfast if need be.
This Dr. Cow raw biscotti may come in handy too!
Can’t leave without some nuts!
Here’s a few other random treats!
I put everything nice and neat in a road trip food bag.
Now, I didn’t totally forget to pack some savory snacks! Got some kale chips. . .
and some raw quinoa crackers!
No, I am not going away for a week. . . only two and a half days! I know I am packing an enormous amount of snacks given the short time I will be away, but what can I say– I like options! I especially want to be able to enjoy a good dessert or two, hence the strong emphasis on all kinds of sweets, ranging in flavors, textures and forms. I also packed a bag for the husband– his includes small bags of Doritos, Sour Patch Kids, Nutter Butters and Cinnamon Toast Crunch breakfast bars. It should be a good ride. . . at least when it comes to our snack options!
What are some of the foods you bring along on road trips or vacations?
Vacation 2012 flashback continued. . .
Our last morning in Rehoboth Beach involved another all fruit and coffee breakfast. . .
and then we blew outta there as fast as we blew in!
We embarked on a very long, traffic-filled drive to New York City. . . there was so much traffic that we arrived at our hotel at the same time our dinner reservation was scheduled! Fortunately, I was able to move it an hour later, so we would have plenty of time to get there via subway.
Last year, in April, my husband and I enjoyed an epic raw meal at Pure Food and Wine. This time around, I wanted to visit yet another legendary vegan dining destination in New York City. My choice this time was the vegan restaurant Candle 79.
My inspiration? Well the last issue of Veg News I read featured an ad for Candle 79 that sparked my curiosity. . .
plus Gena of Choosing Raw has written many a blog post praising the eats at Candle 79.
We arrived right on time for our 8:30 reservation.
I had studied the menu long and hard before dinner, so I already knew what I was going to order. Candle 79 has both a vegan and gluten-free vegan menu, so I modified an app from their standard menu for the husband and I to share. We started with their nachos (minus the seitan) with corn chips, refried beans, lettuce, salsa, guac, vegan sour cream and what I perceive to be Daiya mozzarella cheese. The waiter did inform me the corn chips had a little gluten in them, but I still ordered the nachos, because one, the craving was really bad, and two, since I am not allergic to gluten, I figured a little would not cause me too much trouble.
The nachos were plentiful and outstanding– they tasted just like my favorite nachos from Tortilla Flats in Rhode Island! Very authentic indeed!
For dinner, I tried two items off of their gluten-free menu. First, I ordered the grilled kale salad, with kale, beluga lentils, quinoa, avocado, turnips, red onions, haricot verts, sunflower seeds and chive dressing.
Again, the portion was extremely generous. . . but more importantly, it was delicious! Better than my usual Whole Foods massaged kale salad for sure. Even my husband, who is not a fan of kale, thought it was wonderful. It was so big too I couldn’t finish it.
That may be in part because I also ordered their smoked hummus and cracker appetizer. The crackers were Mary’s crackers, which was a tiny bit of a disappointment because I thought they would offer up crackers that were homemade. The hummus was a roasted red pepper variety and it was quite tasty, but the best part of the dish was the roasted garlic bulb! Yes, an entire bulb of roasted garlic was served in conjunction with the hummus, and the creamy garlic cloves were perfect accompaniments to the smoky hummus, crackers and even the few olives sprinkled on the plates.
The hubster ordered the jalapeno-rubbed tofu medallions with sautéed seasonal veggies. He wasn’t a superfan of the tofu, but that’s because it wasn’t all fried and greasy like the tofu he is used to. I loved it though– the veggies were perfectly seasoned and cooked and the tofu had a great bite to it.
A dessert menu was presented. . .
and a dessert was ordered from said menu!
Of the few gluten-free options, I ordered the Mexican brownie sundae with French vanilla ice cream, caramelized banana, candied nuts, and an ancho chocolate sauce.
It was extremely good, though not the best vegan brownie I have ever had. It was a tad dry. . . but the sauce and ice cream helped make up for that.
Of course, coffee helped wash it down too!
A good ending for a wonderful night for me consists of this:
A good ending for a wonderful night for my husband consists of that:
Yes, my husband kept me company and even participated a bit in this lovely vegan meal at Candle 79, but he saved his appetite for a stop at the Halal Guys cart afterwards. It’s all about compromise, right?
Candle 79 was quite a treat– it offers a nice selection of both raw and cooked vegan dishes, portion sizes are fantastic, and most importantly, the food did not disappoint!
a lot has happened, and all of it fun stuff!
I want to thank all of the support you lovelies are sending my way regarding yesterday’s post. I really am going to take it a day, an hour, and even a minute at a time in order to successfully make it through the four months. Also, thanks for those of you who reminded me a routine is inevitable and that it will come soon enough! I guess the beginning of any big challenge is always the hardest to get through!
So, onto brighter things. . .
As soon as school ended yesterday, I speeded home only to hop back into a car with the husband for our next road trip adventure to Burlington, Vermont. Two of our favorite people are getting married today, and we wanted to make sure we could get there in time for rehearsal dinner fun!
I hadn’t had lunch yet, so I packed up a quick one to eat in the car immediately.
I started out with this pre-packaged quinoa salad– this is always a great staple to have on hand when you need something hearty and nutritious to eat on the road. Full of protein, this stuff is tasty. This was fitting since once, I made a copycat version of this salad a long time ago to bring to a potluck at the couple’s home whom we are about to see tie the knot!
I also had some last of the bag kale chip crumblies that I thought would add some green to the lunch.
And I topped it off with some orange slices!
Not bad for a car lunch!
We drove for about six hours. . . I alternated between correcting papers, falling asleep, and feeling carsick. It was my own fault– never correct papers in a car on a full stomach people!
Around five, I had a snack hoping it would settle my stomach. Though I failed to snap a pic, it looked like this minus the tea.
We arrived to K and J’s home for the rehearsal dinner. It was such an honor to be there, hanging out with them and meeting their closest friends and family! The mood was relaxed and festive, which is exactly the style of K and J!
I have mentioned K and J before many times on the blog, and have always been amazed at how accommodating they are to my eating habits. Even at an occasion like this, where they truly should not be worried about me at all given it is their wedding weekend, they went out of their way to make sure their was food for me to enjoy! In fact, K’s mom and dad went to the vegetarian restaurant in town to put together a plate for me! I was so touched– they really didn’t have to do that!
The food was classic “Ami” food, and I loved every bite! On the plate was some kale, basmati rice, daal, and a mixed veggie medley which included edamame, beets, and olives! So delicious!!!
I ate a ton of unpictured tortilla chips and mixed nuts along with this plate!
We arrived at our hotel around 10, and the combo of being exhausted and my raging sweet tooth had my breaking into my snack stash I brought with me. I enjoyed this bag of Lucy’s vegan and gluten-free sugar cookies.
They were crispy and light, and just what I needed before I crashed into bed.
I woke up today at 8! What’s up with me and my late wake-ups? I know if I were at home, I’d be up at 6 at the latest, but its these hotel beds that put me in such a relaxation mode, I have no desire to wake up early.
Anyway, today, we are off to explore a bit of Burlington before the big night! Be back soon!
Have a great weekend!
What time do you wake up during the week? On weekends?