4th of July Dolphins!

5 07 2011

And, we’re back! Sorry we missed ya yesterday! I (Steph) hope you had a fantastic 4th of July weekend! Now, it’s back to the grind…

Well, lucky for me, I took a few extra days off to hang out with my boyfriend in Orlando! Though I haven’t done any of the crazy cross training I did last time I was here, I have done some other cool stuff, like run a 5K and see manatee and dolphin in Cocoa Beach!

On the 4th, I ran the Watermelon 5K, where I ran into Kelly from Beneath It All and Megan from MegaNerd Runs.

The race was fun, and there were over 3000 people there! There was no “official time,” but according to my watch, I went 25:23. Not bad, but I definitely took it out a little too fast.

We also went on a dolphin and manatee boat tour! Last week, my boyfriend shared a Living Social link with me; it was a deal for a dolphin and manatee watching excursion. A two-hour tour for two people for 29 bucks? Count me in!

I knew I wouldn’t be doing any of this:

But I was definitely stoked to see them up close again!

I reserved our spots on a noon tour with the company, Fish Tale Tours. We had a tiny bit of difficulty finding the place when we got there, becuase it was a dock on the canal behind a restaurant, not well marked. I was a little skeptical when we finally found the empty dock with a small hand painted sign, but when the boats showed up with people from the earlier tour, I knew the place was legitimate.

Before we even took off, we spotted some manatee in the canal.

We set off, and went into another canal, where we saw a bunch of them! A cool thing about manatee is that they love to drink fresh water. So, one of the easiest places to spot the manatee was where fresh water was dripping into the canal.

Pretty cool huh?

It was a little sad though because a lot of the manatee we saw had pink scars on their bodies, from being hit by boat propellers. There are a lot of laws now to protect them, and require boats to travel at slow speeds anywhere close to where manatee may be.

After cruising around in the canal for a little while, we headed out into the river to search for dolphins. First we tried the west side of the river with no success. Then, on a pass on the east side, we spotted one. Then one more. Then another, and another! As we sat there, at least a dozen dolphins were popping up around us! I even spotted a baby or two! Here’s a video for ya!

I definitely got my 29 bucks worth out of this trip! I had a great time, saw lots of dolphin and manatee, the captain was friendly, and we almost had our own personal tour, since there was only one other family onboard with us!

After the tour, we ate lunch, which could arguably have been the best part of the day (well, the whole day was awesome, but I love me some food!) At the restaurant right out front of the dock, they were having a crab boil and making some BBQ beef sandwiches! SCORE! I got my fill of crabs last weekend, so I opted for the uber cheap ($4) sandwich that came with slaw and a pickle.

Topped with some BBQ sauce and what they called Tiger Sauce (horseradish, mayo, and some spices), this sandwich was awesome! Something about BBQ on a holiday weekend, just seems right.

I hope you all had some rockin meals this weekend!

Question of the day: What was your favorite part/meal of the weekend?





What I Ate Wednesday (was delish!)

25 05 2011

Recently, Chloe and I were talking about a few of the trends we’ve seen in the blog world. Some bloggers shared a little bit about themselves with the ABCs of me, and a few others took a stab at being filmed in the Accent Video Blog. Well, the most recent trend I’ve seen is  What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW). I believe this was started by Jenn over at Peas And Crayons and I figured, I take pictures of my food anyhow, so why not join in on the fun? I was also pretty excited about my eats yesterday, so I wanted to share.

I was at a meeting at a Hyatt hotel, and they fed us SO WELL!  This wasn’t your typical Cosi salad and sandwich catered meeting.

For breakfast, I had some fresh melon, eggs, a strip of bacon, and because the croissants looked like pieces of buttery, flaky heaven, I grabbed one of those too. Sorry I didn’t snap a photo!

Then came the awesome lunch:

Roasted radicchio and arugula salad with reggiano and toasted hazelnuts; grilled asparagus with herbed bread crumbs, gorgonzola cheese, and toasted pinenuts; assorted antipasti of olives, roasted tomato and bruschetta; seared salmon with caponata; roasted tomato and bell pepper soup. There was also roasted chicken breast with potatoes, tomatoes and portabello, but I opted for the salmon.

Um, and then there was dessert: tiramisu and amaretto cookies:

Yes please!! I helped myself to one of these babies and two small cookies.

Despite loading up my plate and eating dessert, I didn’t feel like this meal was super heavy. (Probably because half my plate was veggies!) I felt no need to grab a diet coke to power me through the second half of the day.

Just as I thought the food couldn’t get any better, they brought out our afternoon snack!

mini peach cobblers

finger sandwiches (ham and cheese, I believe)

cheese with dried cherries and an apricot white cherry spread

I was still satisfied from lunch, so I only grabbed a little of the cheese and fruit spread. I don’t know that I’ve ever turned down cheese 🙂

Can we hold all our meetings at the Hyatt from now on?

After our all-day gorge fest meeting, one of my colleagues had a barbeque at his place. We noshed on some olives and almonds as the grill heat up, and grazed on a chick pea salad and a tomato salad. The main event was some Spanish chorizo:-) It was grilled to perfection, and perfectly spiced. I need to go find some of that chorizo now!

And, since I’m a foodie, he showed me the red wine vinegar he makes! Yes, I said he makes vinegar. How cool is that!

Basically, any time there is leftover wine, he dumps it in this vat:

Over time, the wine over-ferments and turns into vinegar. I was told that when he first began making vinegar, he started with some wine and some yeast. Now, all he does is add the wine, and it converts to acetic acid. Simple! The vinegar was pungent, but almost sweet smelling, like balsamic vinegar. I would definitely put it on a salad! Maybe this will be my next project..maybe I’ll be the next trendsetter in the blog world? 😉

Question of the day: Are you a trendsetter or a trend follower? What was the latest trend you follow?

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