Greetings from Florida!

We are presently staying at my (Laura’s) parent’s abode and finally have the appropriate equipment (camera+software+computer) to put out a post of our Florida doings, food and otherwise.

We are presently off of our local food challenge, since visiting between three households of varying ways of food beliefs, ways of life, etc. would be really impossible to expect our radical way of life to continue.  Or somewhat extreme to expect our hosts to take on our radical way of life.

So, we have been experiencing a rather broad range of food.  We have had Velvetta , industrial meat, and jello to locally grown sustainable oranges, to homemade marshmallows and everything in between.  Us and our bodies are not quite sure how to feel about all of this still… but I think we both have come to realize that this week of break from the challenge has not been as exciting as expected.  I think we expected to go a little hog-wild, enjoying every moment of it.  It has been less novel, and I (Laura) am really starting to crave our local home-cooked meals with some sad sense of longing.  Theresa,s getting there, but not quite yet.  We’ll see how she feels after getting her fill of citrus or ice cream.. or other stuff.

So, what have we been doing?  The first part of our trip together was with Theresa’s dad, going bird watching.  Photo parade of Florida wildlife:

Theresa's Dad taking wildlife photographs with his awesome camera at Green Cay.

Florida Freshwater Marshland- great place for waterfowl watching.Yes, that does happen to be an alligator in the middle.

Blue winged teal ducks in some form of duckweed.

Coots with cool feet amongst pond lilies.

Florida Red Bellied Turtle + Moss.

Tree with white ibis, snowy egrets, great egrets, anhingas, comorants, great blue heron, little blue heron, and tricolor heron.

After a day apart visiting with our families, we spent a day of nostalgia, visiting old haunts, food and not food oriented.

We visited Nature’s Way Café, a most wonderful health food sandwich shop.  We got a gardenburger with veggies, avocado, on a whole wheat pita, and shakes: the triathelete (ma favorite) of frozen yogurt, banana, peanut butter, soy milk, wheat germ, honey and chocolate chips, yum!  The owner still remembered us after us living in Boston for three years.  It was lovely to catch up and chat.

We picked up our lunch and went to one of our favorite nature reserves (Jupiter Ridge Natural Area), and ate lunch on the dock looking out onto the mangroves.

Mangroves.

One thing that we both really miss is Florida’s unique flora and fauna.  We spent our undergraduate years studying biology whilst living near a lot of really neat ecosystems: florida scrub, florida swamp/everglades, pine flat, and tacky stucco filled florida developments.  This particular park consists of scrub, I think the type of flora and fauna we hold most fondly in our memories (Theresa did her senior thesis on Scrub jays, so I think it’s a love hate thing for her).

Many fond memories of this place: countless times of studying various biology things using the parts wildlife as an example, and really cool wildlife happenings like the time we stumbled upon walking catfish migration.

Theresa looking out onto the dry marsh adjoining the scrub.

Florida Scrub shots.

Scrubby pine flats.

More Pine Trees in the Scrub.

The landscape is almost alien-like. We miss it a lot.

We next picked up our friend, Magda, who was visiting family down here too,.  We exchanged gifts and got homemade marshmallows, and organic Georgia Pecans  (she lives in Savannah, GA) from her-so sweet!

Home-made Marshmallows from Magda!

Then went off to Nutrition S’Mart, our old beloved health food store.

Nutrition S'Mart decked out for the holidays.

The place still smelled the same, and still seemed to be doing pretty good business, regardless of the popping up of a new Wholefoods nearby.

We relived our fond memories of this place.  Many fond memories of trying new things, like nutritional yeast from the bulk section, ostrich meat, and raw vegan goodness from Glaser Farms.  We picked up a few things, like raw vegan numies, and avocados.

The produce section.

Nice bulk section.

Then we headed off to Ter Marsch Groves, a small fruit stand/store that carries local citrus, and got a nice load of local citrus: tangerines, gatorines (an old variety or orange) grapefruits, and pumelos.  Yum! They have some of freshest orange and grapefruit juice you can find around.

Ter Marsch Groves' Store

Fresh local citrus, nom, nom.

Then we went off to Ebisu, our beloved old sushi restaurant.  We stuffed ourselves on deliciously fresh raw fish.  We also got to chat with the waiters that worked there, when we lived in the area.  Happy to see that it is still thriving in economically depressed south Florida.  But, oh such good sushi- hard to beat- so it’s not surprising.

Ebisu Sushi Restaraunt.

Vegetable Tempura with the most amazing ginger sauce.

Eel and Futomaki rolls.

Sashimi.

Some ngiri sushi- tomago, tuna, and crab stick.

Then we stopped at one of the reliably awesome streets that has crazy Florida Christmas lights.  We have decided only in Florida does this happen, because elsewhere in the country, no one is going to freeze their asses off putting up all of these lights!

A very florida christmas to you!

Really over the top decorating with lights.

More faboo lights.

All in all, we had a lovely day visiting our old food haunts, and spending time with Magda.  I think we feel pretty satisfied in our nostalgia of Florida.  We got in these homages, and feel pretty good.

After this, we have mostly visiting time with family, and maybe a few more interesting food happenings to report.  We will see how often we are able to post- maybe we’ll get one more in before we get back to Boston.

We hope everyone in Boston isn’t too cold and enjoying your local holiday festivities!

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