cégetravel Célie + Paige + Travel

This page is currently a work in progress. Written from Paige's point of view unless otherwise noted.

Leaving Home

Waterville, ME

Our first stop was in Portland, Maine. I wanted to say goodbye to my college town and enjoy one more delight from The Holy Donut. The relatively small step from Waterville to Portland was just what Célie and I needed--at the beginning of the day, we felt overwhelmed by the magnitude of the journey that lay before us. Verna, Célie's mother, advised us not to think of the trip in its entirety, but in steps. Her advice, as usual, was perfect.

Pomegranate donut from The Holy Donut in Portland, ME
Our next stop was Lynn, Massachusetts, where Célie showed me the neighborhood she called home as a child. We even stopped by her old house and watched the man who lives there now receive a delivery. I felt like a total creeper, and that feeling was deepened when Célie said, "Oh, yeah, it's the same guy. My mother and I have stopped here to look at the house before."

Visiting Friends

Brookline, MA and West Warwick, RI

Our first flower of spring
We then went to Brookline to see one of my friends. We arrived earlier than expected, so we had some time to kill before my friend got out of work. We didn't feel like looking for parking downtown, so we parked in a quiet residential neighborhood and walked around. We stopped to take pictures of the crocuses growing in peoples' yards because there was still snow on the ground in Maine. When we tired of the strange looks we got, we stopped at Caffé Nero for coffee and tea.

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.

Magic bar from FoMu in Allston, MA

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, PA

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 also experienced our first vegan diner, The Tasty, where we had THE. BEST. tofu scramble ever. We began to fall in love with Philly when we realized how many vegan options are available there. After years of limited options in rural Maine, it was so refreshing to Google "vegan restaurants" and have dozens of options pop up. (VEGANISM IS HARD YOU GUYS)

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 African American Museum was the first museum we visited. Our plans to visit more historical sites were interrupted by the first downpour of our trip.

The Gayborhood! This cute neighborhood in Philly pays homage to queers of days past and celebrates the gay today.

We couldn't leave Philly without trying a (vegan! Vegan you guys! They had a vegan version!!!!) cheesesteak at the Blackbird Pizzeria. It was so good we nearly cried.

Pitbulls & Dinosaur Poop

Washington, DC

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.

We tried TaKorean, a Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant, and relied on it for fast, healthy, affordable food. We shared the hoisin tofu with veggies and avocado sauce during our first visit. On our second visit, the man who served us noticed that we were getting separate dishes. He said, "The things you have in common are what keep you together, but your differences are what make a relationship spicy."
"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.

First Night Camping

Rocky Mount, NC

Our first night of camping was at a KOA in North Carolina. We were the only tenters except for a family that arrived late that night, so we had a peaceful evening. We built a fire, played cards, and looked at the stars. Later, when the other family arrived, they asked if the main office was still open so they could purchase firewood. It wasn't, so we decided to share with them. As we slept, we heard coyotes in the field beside the campground. That may seem frightening to some, but it reminded me of home in rural Maine.
Firewood with worm trails

Visiting Grandpa

Georgetown, SC

We stopped in South Carolina to see my grandparents for two days. Huntington Beach State Park had a variety of interesting things to do. We laid on the beach and enjoyed the ocean for a while, and after that I built a little fairy house.

Huntington Beach also has boardwalks that go out into the marshy swamp. We spent hours watching the birds, gators, and crabs.

We realized that our GPS likes to tell us to go off-roading every now and then.

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.

Pei Wei is another chain that accommodates a vegan diet. We loved their spicy tofu and veggies.

Fifi was yet another of the many dogs we fell in love with along the way. She's older, but when she wants to play she still has the energy of a puppy.

We stopped at Pizza Fusion in Fort Lauderdale and gave their mushroom pizza a try. The fresh, chewy crust and delicious sauce did not disappoint.

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.

Note from Célie: I finally got my hair retwisted!

Sunset Celebration

Key West, FL

We swung down to the Keys to experience the Sunset Festival. There were jugglers, fire dancers, and other performers, but none of them were quite as spectacular as the sunset itself.

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.

We then returned to our KOA hoping to settle in for the night. However, we heard a couple fighting in the next site over. We sat in tense silence until we heard the dispute get violent. We decided to get in our car and call the police. When they showed up, we directed them to the fight and hid in the bathrooms. We didn't know what would happen next, so we called Verna for advice. She suggested leaving our things at the campground and staying the night at a hotel. The man who checked us into the Sugarloaf Lodge at 11:30 pm was perplexed but friendly.

Our night was rough, but the following morning we woke up to this beautiful view from our balcony. We enjoyed a complimentary cup of coffee before heading back to the KOA to collect our things. The woman in the KOA office was understanding when we told her what happened and refunded us.

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.

Everglades National Park

Homestead, FL

One night Célie and I were heading into town for dinner when we saw this small, golden, curly-furred dog on the side of a busy road. We pulled over and I called to him. He immediately rushed into my arms. When we got him in the car we saw that he was dirty and covered in ticks. We then panicked, because we didn't know what to do. We decided to knock on some doors nearby to see if anyone was missing a dog. One man said he wasn't, but he had the card of a woman who was looking for some dogs. As it turns out, she works for Chain of Love, one of the rescues. The dog we found wasn't one she was looking for, but she came and retrieved him from us anyway. When we gave him to her she held him and stroked him so lovingly. He was in good hands.

After that stroke of good fortune, we had dinner at a Haitian/Jamaican restaurant called Yardie Spice. The jerk tofu with peas and rice reminded Célie of the food her father makes. The food and service were so good we returned the next day. We initially ordered the jerk tofu again, but the waiter convinced us to try something new. We settled on the curry lentils, which were just as delicious as he promised they would be. The waiter asked Célie if she was Haitian, and jokingly asked me the same. We had a good laugh when I said, "Not even a little."

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.

After this long, long day, we decided we needed a good, healthy meal. We decided to stop at Aji Limon Peruvian Kitchen in Naples. The vegan tacu tacu with sauteed veggies and seitan was the perfect introduction to Peruvian cuisine.

Childhood Memories

Sanibel, FL

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

Tampa, FL

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

Homosassa, FL

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.

Beads Without Boobs

New Orleans, LA

A Queer, Vegan Paradise

Austin, TX

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad, NM

Desert Rose (ayahyaya)

Santa Fe, NM

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