In June, shortly after my big kids were released from school, we embarked on a 10 day vacation to Naples Florida, where my mom and dad retired to years ago. My mom had given up terrestrial meat some years ago, so I figured we were off to a pretty good start. My dad was the consummate meat eater, and quickly adopted the phrase "blech" to describe anything that I might be eating. However, after our long travel day got us to their condo, we were greeted with the best vegan pizza that Papa Johns could muster. (I admit, I didnt research their dough, which has been part of my "dont ask, dont tell" policy).
In Florida is where I started cheating a little bit however. It was rather benign cheating, I didn't sneak our for a Big Mac (which I always crave btw. Although even before when I would eat these, I always regretted it later. I can only fathom the guilt I would have in downing one of those things now). It started with a simple olive. Not an ordinary olive, but an anchovy stuffed olive. These went very well drowned in Russian Standard I should note. I considered the Anchovy as outside the influence of a vegan dietary existence. After all, no one has ever been accused of cruelty to Anchovies. So I consumed them with reckless abandon. The Anchovy stuffed olive became my secret affair for ten days. I would go into the kitchen to presumably get a drink, and quickly open the jar, and pop a couple of them. Ahhh,.. I loved to dance at the top of the slippery slope. We'll talk about the kids pizza crusts, and the bottoms of the cans of mini ravioli later (I had no shame).
But for that one indiscretion, I managed to exist quite peacefully in early June, basking in the oppressive heat that is a south Florida summer. Lots of cereal, pbj's, faux meat sandwhichs, hummus, salad, pasta, and two trips to a new found Vegan restaurant located in Naples. I discovered the Loving Hut had recently opened in Naples, and there I had one of these experiences similar to when I found Stella's in Grand Rapids. This was a fabulous treat. We had a "fish", that was made from bean curd and seaweed, that was utterly phenomenal. And now as I look back at what I had written, I realize that 2 months earlier, the thought of bean curd and seaweed would have hardly seemed appetizing. We went back a second time for take out, brought home a wonderful key lime pie as well. They called it cheesecake, but it really wasn't.
The Florida trip winding down, and thinking about the prospect of travelling home and going back to work is dawning on me now, our last days were spent boating, swimming, chasing dolphins, and letting my folks soak up there new grandson as much as possible. Little do they realize, he is destined for much "blech"