Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back from Vacation!

Hi everyone! I was so excited to get back from vacation and see that I won Jenny's CSN giveaway over at veganandsoforth! Thank you so much Jenny! I can't wait to use it!

My trip was fun! Not so fun to be back home though. I could have stayed in NJ alot longer! Now I have to get back into my routine again. :-( However, I have decided that my old routine needs to change some. Change is always good...right?

Anyway, I found it to be very tough while traveling as a vegan. Saturday morning, before we set out for NJ, I packed us a lunch so we wouldn't have to stop and get fast food. I made Tony a ham sandwich and I made myself a PB&J, along with some pretzels and a few other snacks. Saturday night we stopped in Winchester, Va for the night. It was around 8:30 when we got there, so we ended up walking over to eat at the Cracker Barrel next to the Travel Lodge where we were staying. We were both exhausted from the drive, so we didn't feel like riding around to see what else there was to eat. I got a small salad and a baked potato. That actually hit the spot. The next morning we just hit the road without eating breakfast. I have found that breakfast is the toughest part as a traveling vegan...for me anyway. :o) We stopped at Quizno's to grab a bite for lunch that Sunday, right outside of Jersey. I got the Veggie Sammi...without the cheese of course.
We arrived in NJ a little after lunch on Sunday. That night, Jenn, (my sister-n-law) made some Broccoli Rabe pasta. I had never heard of Broccoli Rabe, but I really enjoyed it. The bad thing is, our grocery stores here don't carry it. :-(

Monday night we grilled out. The men had hamburgers and the women had portabello burgers, which are my fav! Jenn made some seasoned fries to go with the burgers....YUMMO!

Tuesday we hung out around the pool which was so nice! Jenn went and picked up some bagels, chickpea salad, and wheatberry salad, which was to die for. I have got to find a recipe for both of these salads. They were delish! That night, we went out for dinner. We ate at The Brick Oven in Morristown, NJ. I had the Penne Alla Roberta, which was penne pasta with arugula, sundried tomatos with extra virgin olive oil and fresh squeezed tomato sauce. This dish originally had shrimp in it, but they veganized it for me. The waitress even told me what other dishes they could veganize for me. I thought that was way cool. Undoubtedly, there's alot of vegans in Jersey!

Wednesday, we just chilled for the morning and then for lunch we had a "mama" pie from Mama Caterina's Pizza. Ok, this is the part where I have a confession to make...... I fell off the wagon at this moment. NJ has the best pizza! This pizza had fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic and ummm...mozzarella cheese on it. Yes, I had to have a slice. I can't believe I did it, but I have to admit, it was so good! How bad is it to fall off the wagon like that???? So, after the pizza incident, we rode over to the Hippie Shop where I got some great smelling incense, a couple of cool stickers to go on my car window, a wicked puzzle to try to put together and best of all...a Hippie cookbook! It has vegetarian, vegan and pescatarian recipes. Of course I will just have to veganize the vegetarian and pescatarian recipes. :o) Has anyone ever heard of The Hippy Gourmet tv show? I hadn't until I got this cookbook.

Wednesday night, Jenn made an awesome black bean soup and some delicious guacamole. I sure hate that I didn't get a picture of that meal. It was awesome! Actually, that was the first time I have had black bean soup. I always think it is too hot in the summer for soup, but I have now changed my mind about that!
For breakfast while in NJ, we had smoothies, oatmeal or toast with peanut butter. Oh, the oatmeal...I had my first bowl of steel cut oatmeal while I was there. I can't believe I haven't bought them before. Needless to say, they are on my grocery list! In case you can't tell, I totally enjoyed my food while in NJ! I also went to Homegoods while there and bought a new cutting board and an oh so cute pug painting. I had to have it, being as I have a pug. I thought it was too cute. I had to bring Maggie back a gift...right?

We left NJ Thursday morning whether we wanted to or not. We had to make a pit stop by the local grocery store, Acme, so I could pick up some Falafel chips. Jenn had bought some for us to snack on while we were there. I just had to bring a couple of bags home, since I haven't seen them where I live.

We had planned on stopping in Mt. Airy, NC, but didn't make it because of a bad wreck and the interstate was at a stand-still. So, we just decided to keep going and stop in Pigeon Forge, TN for a couple of nights. I am so glad we ended up there. We used to go to Gatlinburg all the time, but haven't been in several years. I couldn't believe how things had changed! Talk about a hard place to try to eat vegan. The mountains definitely have the southern fried foods. I made it through it though.

While in Pigeon Forge, we went shopping at some of the outlet stores. I found some very much needed kitchen gadgets at the Kitchen Collection and Corningware Corelle Revere Factory Store. See all my fun gadgets that we picked up. I could have gone real crazy in the Kitchen Collection store, but I managed to keep myself in check. Or maybe I should say, Tony kept me in check...ha

And of course I have to throw in a few pics of us and the mountains. We had to go to up to Chimneys and play in the stream for a little while. This was the best part of being in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg!

Oh, and my new favorite shoes that are made out of hemp...woohoo. These are the most comfy shoes I have ever owned!!!

Now it's time to get caught up on reading everyone's blogs. Can't wait to see what I have missed while being on vacation!


  1. I'm so glad youre back! I missed you!

    First off, you look GORGEOUS in those pictures!! It looks like you had a nice time travelling. I totally agree with you about breakfast being the hardest part while travelling. For me, searching around for something to eat in the morning is a sure way to make me cranky! The two pasta dishes look great though. And congrats to you for dealing with vegan travels!!!


  2. That sounds like a great trip and that you really enjoyed yourself! I would not worry one bit about falling off the wagon.

    I love the painting you brought back for Maggie. Glad to see you had some fun breaking up the roadtrip. Although I grew up in Tennessee I have never spent much time in the eastern part.

  3. Glad you had a fun trip! Brings back memories of a weird Gatlinburg trip I once had. Where did you get your shoes? I'd like to own a pair of super-comfy hemp shoes:)))

  4. Welcome back! I feel your pain though--the first few days back after time off are not especially fun. Sounds like a great trip!

    Love the shoes; they are really cute.

    BTW: I noticed that you are an Echinicea, that is cool...you're the only Echinicea I've seen so far! I'm a Snapdragon :)

  5. Jessica@ Lima's...thank you so much! You know, I could live off pasta! :o)

    Jessica...You have got to get up to east TN sometime. It is beautiful! I think Maggie liked her picture. I just have to find the perfect place to hang it now. :o)

    Aimee...I got the shoes at the Journey's outlet store in Pigeon Forge. I tried them on and loved them and then the lady told me they were made out of hemp...that's all she had to say..I was sold on them at that moment. :o)

    Rose...Your blog is where I saw the flower. I thought that was cool, so I had to check it out. :o)

  6. I know, I had pizza in NY when we went back this summer!

  7. It was fun reading about your trip. I like your shoes. It's nice you got to buy some goodies for yourself. Those scenery pics are so pretty it looks like you're standing in front of fake backgrounds! If you haven't heard from CSN yet, let me know!