adventure

Local Flavors

I’m fortunate to have quite a few road excursions this summer. When I am out of town, I try my best to find and support local people and places. When I visit, these are some of the things I like to do that help me get to know a place.

1.) Start your day the local way

I’ve written about this before. Find a local coffee shop! Many have interesting traditions and can give you the “feel” of a particular community. If you prefer donuts for breakfast, hit the donut or bagel place, or have a full breakfast if you’re up for it. Yelp is my favorite app to use for local spots. I’m told google searches are more popular, but I’ve had better luck finding unusual and wonderful places with yelp.)

2.) Find a farmer’s market and / or grocery store

As a farmer myself, I love seeing what is in season. Maybe there are local specialties. On a recent trip to New York and Pennsylvania, I had my choice of both permanent farm stands with a variety of local products as well as an “every Thursday afternoon” market. I loved that I got to enjoy local strawberries in Pennsylvania, especially since the growing season for strawberries at home was already over. I also found locally made whoopie pies, pretzels, maple syrup, and other treats. Regional grocery stores can also give an interesting glimpse into different foods and traditions.

3.) Eat the local specialty

When my family took long road trips in my youth, my dad would hand me a book called Road Food, Good Food. Before google, yelp and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Jan and Michael Stern looked for local joints serving regional specialties. I was in charge of using the book, organized by state, and the atlas to find places that were at least sort of on the way to the destination. (But we have been known to drive hours out of the way for special types of pie, barbecue and more.) They now have a website that is still organized by state and will tell you the special dishes a place is known for and give you some small, independent spots to give that dish a try. This website is challenging to use, and reminds me of juggling the index of the atlas, map coordinates, and so on. But, it’s usually spot on with great little places and special foods.

Asking a local is another great way to find things. My aunt and uncle steered us to pink stripe cookies and Bison brand French onion dip in Western New York. Both were top notch!

Whatever you do, break out of the chains of chain restaurants and predictable average while you’re on the road! Experience new places in different ways.

adventure, celebrations

Whirlwind

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were booked solid. Events, activities, celebrations, milestones. So much importance in such a short period of time. Such is life in the fast lane.

The choreography begins days before. Have to squeeze in the dress shopping. The nail salon. The essentials of course. Nobody wants to look a mess in the photos. Can’t forget the laundry for the activities that fall in between big events.

Travel. Bags packed. Snacks packed for travel. Hydration. Dinners out. Mask. No mask. Fancy mask. So many details. Does the car have gas? Did the dog go out? Ready. Set. Go.

It’s Sunday night and the whirlwind weekend of festivities is over. Many tears of joy as well as sadness. Many smiles and giggles as the days pressed on. There may have even been some pains and blisters for poor shoe choices.

A new week begins. A new schedule of sorts. New sports seasons. New travel schedules. Summer mindset. It seems like I blinked and we are here. The end of school. The end of many firsts and hopefully last digital days.

How this year is so different from last. I am grateful that we are where we are today as far as being busy. Being able to do things. Being able to have graduations, banquets, special events in groups. It’s so needed for many. I have an appreciation for people. Mask-free smiles. Fresh air without counting people around you. Professional sporting events. Lines at restaurants.

Here’s to being busy this summer. Here’s to traveling to new places. Here’s to meeting new people and trying new things. For me It’s about savoring the moments. The experience. The time with loved ones that I can’t get back.

I have had plenty of time to think the past 12-15 months. Now I’m committed to spending all my minutes doing what I can, when I can with what means I have. No need to make excuses as I’ve had to live in the I can’t stage for too many months due to restrictions I never asked for.

2021 and beyond is all about new discoveries for me. I can’t wait to soar. I can’t wait to fail. Most importantly I can’t wait to try it all! Looking forward to whirlwind weekends.

adventure

Hitting the Road

I’m about to hit the road for many short trips over the next few months. I plan to take it all in. The views. The time away. The experiences. The people I will meet. 

I feel fortunate to get up and go. Some destinations are more exciting than others this year but I’m just happy to be on the move. Looking ahead to new destinations. Time with friends and family. I don’t care if the car rides are annoying or long. I will be making memories.

I will document some of my destinations or the ones that I feel have merit for a post. I know I have one escape on the water in a tiny house with breathtaking views and great star gazing from a skylight. I won’t share every detail which means I will selfishly keep some adventures to myself. 

I’m on the road to 50. As I approach that milestone I want to see more, do more and explore more. Near and far. I want to stretch myself. I don’t want ordinary. I want once in lifetime experiences.

Some travel may include a hotel. Some may include an excursion. Others might be a one-of-a-kind stay. One might be all about the the play time. Blue skies, sunshine and adventures are on my horizon.

Off I go.

adventure

24 Hours

There are 24 hours in a day. We all get to use those 24 hours as we wish. Or depending on your age you may have some limitations.

What can you do in 24? How much fun can you pack into those hours? How much could you complete of anything? How much stress would you have? How much food? How much heartache? How many memories?

Each 24 hours is different for sure. Sometimes when I put my head down to rest at night I think did I really just do all that in 24 hours? Sometimes I even surprise myself. That’s the beauty of my life. Every day is a challenge. It’s up to me to overcome obstacles and make strides. Then rise again for the next 24 hour episode.

The current 24 hours is road tripping, rest, work, eat, plan, tennis, parent, grocery shopping, and a bunch of other mundane tasks. Some I like more than others but I’m going to add my twists and personal touches to the day to make it exciting. I will also have some first-time memories tucked in the hours.

My last 24 hours were memorable. Time with the mini. Time with friends. New sights. New adventures. New places to eat. So many memories. What I reflect on is that I changed my normal. I changed my scenery. I let go of the have tos and did the want tos.

I’m looking ahead to a week of work and have tos and saying I’m going to get all this done and more because at the end of the week I have a new 24-hour time with a different group of people. A different destination. A different kind of adventure. I already know there will be memories made. I already know it will be fun or I wouldn’t have said yes. 

As I look back to think about 24 hours the week before I can truly say I had yet another experience in a different location with different people doing different activities and being equally happy. There is a common theme surfacing.

Take 24 hours a week and make them momentous. Change the scenery some way some how. Engage in activities that are fresh and new or repackaged for a different outcome. Visit with others. Some may have you giggle one way while others make your belly hurt you laugh so hard.

Take the walk with a friend. Whisper to your confidant. Jot down the memories in a journal. Smile a lot. Tell somebody how much they are valued and/or loved. Cherish the memories today as they may not be available tomorrow.

Life is precious. Time matters. You are important. Living my best life while avoiding anything and everything (including people) who want to snatch the life out of you. My 24 hours of happy time has no room for sour attitudes.

adventure, friendship

Breakfast Time

It was time for breakfast on a sunny Sunday morning. Visiting a new town and not an egg in the house. Time to eat out.

Off we go online for reviews. We find a local place in town. Palmer’s Cafe on St. Simons Island. It was a cozy place in town. There was a line outside which was a good sign.

Then there was the menu:

Well this is just one page to highlight and really the reason for this post. I wanted an omelette but I was just unsure what to order. They sparked my curiosity but sounded weird too.

I went with the chicken pot pie. Partly because of the name but also because I just had to see what it was like. Let me me just say it was delicious from the first bite to the last. I made a happy plate for sure.

My omelette was not the only tasty one. Everyone at the table opted for a different one which enabled us to share. The Local, the Hooch, even the special of the day with brisket was amazing. This is a must visit place if you ever are on St. Simons Island.

I can’t even stop at the omelettes. They have delicious pancakes as well. One was even named Buddy and it was a banana pudding pancake that had banana goop oozing out the sides. I’m not a fan of oozy banana flavors but everyone else at the table was nibbling and savoring the flavor.

All the while I was polishing off some grits. Not just any grits. They were pimento cheese grits that were extremely tasty. Another staple to try if you make it to St. Simons Island.
Enjoy my tidbit for your tastebuds. Hope you don’t get too hungry reading this.