Saturday, May 24, 2014

Key West

I am little late in writing this, as I was in Key West two weekends ago, but life has been a bit hectic.  I'm currently living in Northampton, but working in Ashland during the week, so time has been precious.  But I am taking advantage of a gray rainy day and I'm updating from my new favorite hangout spot in NoHo, Woodstar Cafe, where I am enjoying a decaf coffee and a vegan, gluten free doughnut with coconut on top.  Life is good!

I was in Key West May 8-11 for the beautiful wedding of my good friends Jen and Lauren.  We stayed at the resort where the wedding was being held, Casa Marina, which included its own private beach with hammocks and excellent poolside service.  We had breakfast outdoors at the resort the first two mornings we were there, where I enjoyed some excellent steel cut vanilla oatmeal with mangoes, bananas, and dried apricots.  After putting in a good showing at the pool the first day, I ventured downtown to try the vegan Sugar Apple Cafe.  The Cafe is attached to a natural foods store, which I explored while waiting for my lunch.  I had lots of time to do this, as the young man who took my order became quite busy flirting with some ladies who came into the cafe and therefore forgot to put my order in.  When it was finally ready, I enjoyed a smoked tempeh sandwich and a salad with key lime vinaigrette at a small table in the shade outside of the cade.  I also decided to try a raspberry banana smoothie, which was fabulous.  Well worth the wait, in my opinion.

On Saturday, after enjoying my oatmeal for breakfast and some time by the pool, I made my way to The Cafe for lunch.  The Cafe is a sit down, casual restaurant with significantly better service than Sugar Apple.  I went with one of the specials, which was a chick pea "tuna" sandwich with onions and a bit of seaweed, which I'm guessing was supposed to give it the "tuna" flavor.  It didn't really taste like tuna, which I was happy about, and I couldn't really taste the seaweed.  It was quite delicious!  It came with some yummy sweet potato fries and an amazing curry dipping sauce.  They had some pretty good looking vegan desserts, but I was full and decided against trying one.

Finally, the wedding!  The ceremony was one of the most beautiful I have ever been to, right on the beach with the waves lapping the shore just feet from where Jen and Lauren said their vows.  The weather was perfect, sunny and in the eighties with a breeze (the "relentless breezes" as my brother referred to them).  Dinner was a buffet with many vegan options.  I enjoyed seaweed salad, a variety of raw and cooked veggies, and a delicious quinoa dish.  For dessert, I got to toast vegan marshmallows.  Well done, Casa Marina!

Finally, on our way back to Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, we stopped at Help Yourself, a natural food store and cafe.  I had a vegan breakfast wrap with tempeh, salsa, and lettuce, and an iced chai tea latte with homemade coconut milk.  A great way to fuel the long drive back to the mainland!  Though the trip was short, I left feeling refreshed, relaxed, and full of good vegan eats!

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