We spent a lovely evening eating great food and watching videos of corgis with my friend. Célie and I were thrilled when she brought us to FoMu, an "alternative ice cream" joint. Célie had the magic bar, pictured below, and I had lemon meringue ice cream. It was a wonderful birthday treat.
Our visit to West Warwick, RI was not especially picturesque--we were greeted with gloomy gray skies that interrupted our plans to play outside. However, I had the opportunity to catch up with an old friend from college and introduce her to Célie.
A City of Firsts
Philadelphia was a city of many firsts. We stayed at our first Airbnb, where we met a very friendly kitty named Puppy. He was a lovely companion after a long day of driving.
We stayed at our first hostel the second night in Philly. NoFish was very welcoming and comfortable. We were the first people to represent Waterville, Maine on the map of visitors.
The Gayborhood! This cute neighborhood in Philly pays homage to queers of days past and celebrates the gay today.
Pitbulls & Dinosaur Poop
In DC we stayed at an Airbnb where we met Sophie, the sweetest dog you could imagine. Snuggling with her after a long day of sight-seeing was a highlight of the trip.
"The things you have in common are what keep you together, but your differences are what make a relationship spicy."
We visited many of the memorials in DC, but one that stood out from the rest was the MLK memorial. I couldn't help but get emotional as I read the quotes on the walls and considered how much they still resonate today.
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History was another standout. It was interesting to finally see dinosaur bones up close and personal. Perhaps a little too personal--there was even some fossilized poop on display.
Huntington Beach also has boardwalks that go out into the marshy swamp. We spent hours watching the birds, gators, and crabs.
Visiting the Lil' Bro
Coral Springs, FL
We stopped in Ormond, FL to grab a bite to eat at the Kale Cafe, an all-vegan restaurant. We loved the teriyaki tofu, fried plantains, mac n cheez, and kale salad.
Célie's brother did some work on our car so our journey would be smoother and safer. Célie managed to befriend one of the stray kittens in the garage.
We spent a day at the John U Lloyd Beach State Park and learned some unexpected history. After I spent an hour or so body surfing in the crashing waves, I built a second beachside fairy house.
We stopped at the Lego store in the Sawgrass Mills Mall with the hope of making minifigures that look like us. Unfortunately, the selection was too limited for that to happen. Célie had fun admiring the Lego sets and posing with this guy anyway.
The Green Wave Café was our first experience with raw vegan food. We tried the raw nachos and blackberry cheezcake, both of which were delicious.
Afterward, we stopped by The Cafe for dinner. I got good vibes from the place when I saw this Frida Kahlo collage in the bathroom. The artichoke sandwich was delicious, but I was most excited to try their key lime cheezcake. Key lime pie is my favorite dessert, and I worried that I wouldn't be able to find a suitable vegan version. I am happy to say that my worries were unfounded.
The Good Food Conspiracy Health Food store has everything your average crunchy vegan could ask for, and more! If you ever need nutritional yeast and to get married, we found the place for you.
We were on our way to Shark Valley when we saw two small dogs running around in a field. They looked like the dogs the woman from Chain of Love described to us, so we pulled over to see if we could rescue them. Unfortunately, they were not as trusting as the first dog. After a few hours of chasing, we lost sight of them and had to move on. We took some comfort in the fact that Chain of Love was still looking for them and trying to bring them home.
The Everglades National Park in Shark Valley was full of amazing wildlife. We got up close and personal with dozens of gators, including babies. We also saw an amazing variety of insects and birds.
My family used to vacation in Sanibel when I was a child, so we stopped by the island to relive the memories. Our first destination was the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. We had fun wandering among the mangroves and making inappropriate jokes about the signs.
As a kid, I loved Cheeburger Cheeburger, but since I'm vegan now that's not an option. We tried the Sanibel Sprout and loved their vegan BLT. We also got a cup of pho.
The best part of Sanibel is the seashells that line the beaches. We went to the Lighthouse Beach Park and collected some for our mothers and ourselves. It was raining, but that didn't stop us.
Big Cat Rescue
Célie has wanted to see Big Cat Rescue for a few years now, so we were excited to stop and take a tour. This sanctuary rescues wild cats that have been abandoned, abused, or otherwise left to fend for themselves without the necessary resources to survive. Their practices are looked to as a model for other sanctuaries. We were especially impressed with their "vacation rotation" program. Every cat has a decent amount of space to live in every day, but the rescue decided to set aside two large sections of the sanctuary to use as "vacation" spots. The vacation areas are much larger than the cat's everyday living spaces, so they have an opportunity to run and play in a bigger space.
The Sassy Homos go to Homosassa
The Homosassa Wildlife State Park is home to animals native to Florida, including flamingos, black bears, wild cats, and manatees. The only exception to this is Lu, a hippopotamus who resided on the land before it became a state park. Célie and I were excited to meet the three manatees who live in the park because they would not be able to survive out in the wild. It was a pleasure to watch these gentle animals eat lettuce from the underwater observatory. When the manatees weren’t around, it was fun to see the schools of fish that hung around the observatory.