Juicy July: A Vegan on the Road

Mr. M and I don’t travel much (I don’t like to travel, and he gets his fix traveling for work.), but we do try to get out of town a couple of times a year – usually around July 4th weekend and the first week of October. This year was no different.

Thursday morning, after a quick workout and my favorite carob banana smoothie, we hit the road for the four hour trip to northwest New York state. I packed the car full of fruit, water, and juice, so I’d have something to eat along the way and over the weekend. By the time we stopped for lunch, I had already made my way through half of the watermelon juice I packed and made a nice dent in my homemade trail mix (a bag full of almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins and goji berries).

Finding an open restaurant was a challenge. I’ve never know so many places to close for Independence Day; it was odd. We finally found an open Panera, and I filled up on a cup of black bean soup and a small house salad with avocado. Another hour on the road, and we arrived at Mr. M’s aunt and uncle’s house.

While we were visiting with family, I may or may not have eaten a medium cheeseless pizza for dinner. Ok. I did. So much for that grain-free thing *sigh* But…it was worth it!

We finally got to the resort and checked into our room around 10 pm – just in time to go to bed.

{No snow this time of year, but the grounds were still very pretty.}

After a bad night of sleep, I was up with the sun and ready to hit the gym. I quickly realized it didn’t open until 7, so I fueled up on the rest of my watermelon juice and waited it out. When I finally got the gym, I found one of the treadmills was out of order, and right after I got on the one working machine, people started wandering in wanting to use it. I wasn’t about to give it up, so I finished my workout even though I felt like I was on display as three people hovered around me, waiting for me to get off of the machine. Crazy.

Once I got back to the room, Mr. M was up and ready for breakfast. I had some fruit in our room then enjoyed a decaf cafe au lait with soy milk in the resort cafe.

While we were eating, the weather cleared up a bit, so we grabbed our bathing suits and hit the pool.

photo(480){I got a little too much sun between the clouds and pick up some crazy bathing suit lines.}

Even though the pool area wasn’t very big or deep, they had a fun water slide and lots of lounge chairs. A couple of hours later, were chased back inside by a downpour, which was the perfect excuse for Mr. M to visit the resort bar. I don’t drink, but I was appreciative of the ice cold lemon water I sucked down; the sun was a lot hotter than I realized!

After a quick nap, we got in a round of put-put and then left the resort to eat dinner at a local dive restaurant. Since Mr. M is from the area, he knew all of the local holes-in-the-wall; this place was no different. I was surprised they had a decent salad bar – if you consider iceberg lettuce ‘decent.’ At least everything was fresh. And, I may or may not have eaten some fried mushroom with my giant salad. Hum…I wonder 😉

We wanted to go back down to the bar later that night to listen to live music, but after a few hours in the sun and dodging raindrops the rest of the day, we were both wiped out and ended up falling asleep before it started. In hindsight, I wish I’d stayed up because I was wide awake at 3 am. And, unlike ‘regular’ hotels, nothing opened at the resort until 7, so tossed and turned until the sun came up, did a little hotel-room yoga, and started packing. After noshing on some fruit, Mr. M finally woke up and wanted breakfast in the resort dining room. I was ready for second breakfast by then and was able to find some bottled juice and indulged in another decaf cafe au lait with soy milk before we packed up the car and headed back  home.

photo(482){There are a family of ducks in the water. So cute!}

On the way home, we stopped in Erie, Pennsylvania to see if the Brig Niagara was in port, and it was – for another hour or so.

photo(481){Brig Niagara in port.}

We totally lucked out! The lady in the Maritime Library told us the ship was about to sail to Lake Michigan, and if we got to the channel in time, we could see it sailing out into Lake Erie. Since the beach was our next stop anyway, we took a little extra time, and guess what we got to see…

photo(483){Brig Niagara heading out to the Lake.}

After we watched the boat sail away, we visited a few more beaches at Presque Isle. Here’s Mr. M photo bombing my lake side selfie.

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After a couple hours of driving and a short stop at a music store and health-food co-op (where I snagged two piece of vegan cake!), we stopped for an early dinner at Melt.

photo(488){Vanilla Cake with Strawberry Filling}

I’d already read up on the restaurant and knew they had vegan offerings, so I was really excited to try a grilled cheese. (Melt was featured on the Food Network’s show Dinners, Drive-In’s and Dives and has become a very popular grilled cheese restaurant in the Cleveland, Ohio, area.) Check this out!

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I ordered the Kindergartener with tomato and avocado  – veganized. I called ahead of time ot make sure they took care of the butter situation, and they use Earth Balance on the bread. I’m not sure what brand of cheese they use, but it was really, really good. I didn’t eat many of the fries because I ate all but one bite of the giant sandwich. Soooo gooood! The prices were good too. We’d definitely stop there again if we were in the area. (Mr. M is excited to take his work people there the next time they’re in the area, which happens quite a bit.)

The best part of our trip was coming home to a very happy to see us Dick Cheney. In case you missed it, Dick Cheney is the name of our adopted kitty 😀 I had a friend come and check on him while we were gone (and feed Betty (Yes. Betty is still alive and well.)), but he was still beyond thrilled to see us. I had to hold him for about 15 minutes, and he never stopped purring. Aw….

photo(490){Yes. We still have Christmas stockings hanging up. I guess now we’re celebrating Christmas in July??}

So, if you were keeping track, I may or may not have eaten an entire medium pizza (cheeseless of course), one and half orders of fries (Did I forget to mention the fries poolside? Oops.), an order of fried mushrooms, two giant coffee drinks (decaf), two pieces of vegan cake, and a giant grilled cheese sandwich. Oh, my aching belly! Thank goodness today was a new day and the beginning of a new week. It’s back to fresh fruit, smoothies, juices and salads. Hold on belly; I’ll have you back in tip-top shape in no time!

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