Thursday, April 29, 2010

24 hour get-away- parto dos

Like my use of Spanish?  LOL

 Ok, I left off with Jodi checkin out the pool...   When she came up to the room, she cracked open a bottle of champagne and we toasted to being away, even if it was for a short time!  We are glad to get what time we can and will take it whenever it comes!  Jodi, Mary Ann and I proceeded to sit around and talk(while snacking on the goodies we brought and consuming modest amounts of beer and champagne) for quite some time before we decided we were actually hungry enough to go get some real food.  We decided on a Greek cafe they had seen on the way in to town.  We loaded up in the car and went downtown, which is the college area.  The sidewalks were loaded with college kids getting together for friday night happenings(They all looked about 12!  How is that?  I'm NOT THAT OLD!).  After our wonderful greek food we skipped a couple doors down to an ice cream shop to get dessert since we were so good at dinner!  We like to reward ourselves when we are good, and what a reward it was!!!  The place was called Karma Cream.  It's an organic/fair trade ice cream coffee joint that was right up our alley!  I was the only one who got ice cream though.  Lemon sugar cookie in a homemade waffle cone- can you say heaven????   They also had flavors like chocolate lavender, and honey orange cream, and cinnamon among others.  They are made with organic cream and they also had vegan ice creams too!  It's a place I made a mental note of and will visit again- soon!  
"Tired and full" set in then, so we headed back to the hotel.  We then proceeded to wash our faces, get in to our pj's and bed, and read/watch a movie, then we all fell asleep(It was only 10:30!  Maybe we are THAT OLD?). 
Next morning we awoke with NO HANGOVERS(Maybe it's not so bad being THAT OLD)!  So in celebration of no hangovers we popped the cork on the second bottle of champagne and had that for breakfast!  Whaaaat?  We mixed it with juice....
'Ya know, I think champagne for breakfast is fabulous! I was in such a good mood!
We tarried in the room taking our time getting ready and gathering our things, just 'cause we could!
When we finally got downstairs and loaded up(in our cars, hehe), we drove to a local-type grocery store called Ward's.  It was a really neat place, and they had great stuff.  Unfortunatly, I got carried away inside and forgot to take pics.  Sorry, you'll have to take my word for it.  They had all kinds of sauces, health foods, local produce, meats, wines, fresh baked artisan breads, and plants.  Like I said, really neat local-type grocery store. 
Since it was so late in the morning when we left there, we decided to head straight to the festival because it only lasted till 3pm and we still had a drive ahead of us.  We were heading straight to the festival via country roads so we could have a scenic drive on the way there...  I was leading.  I was not the one with a map.  So we didn't exactly go straight to the festival, but we didn't exactly get lost either.  We just went a more 'round about way than we planned....  It was really pretty.  We finally made it to the festival, with plenty of time to spare. 
Crone's Cradle Conserve is in Citra, out in the boondocks basically.  They have a farm stand and chickens, a pig named lipstick, guniea hens that run around, raised organic beds of produce, a pond, herb garden, and small accomondations for retreats.  It is a neat place that is very peaceful and natural.   
Inside the farm stand are jams and jellies, breads, preserved veggies, soaps, books for children, and books for adults on self-sufficent living, composting and gardening, natural living and healing, things like that.  On the porch outside, on tables in ice water and baskets, are the various kinds of produce in season that they are growing.  The porch there is quiet and cool, very inviting.

Jodi and the herb garden, with the raised beds in the background.

Allright, allright, if there's chickens, I'm going to take pictures of them.  I can't resist.  Lipstick the pig was napping and I couldn't get a good shot of her.

The covered "potting shed" where they start their plants to sell.  I usually get my tomato plants from them.  they have a variety called Sungold that is out of this world!  Little grape tomatos that are sweet bites of sunshine- YUM!  Alas, this year I am not growing tomatos as the root-knot nematode population is overabundant in my soil right now.  I have to wait a couple years before I can put them in the ground again. Bummer.

Now we get to the eatin'.  They had several tents set up with different vendors cooking a variety of things.  From alligator to lemonade iced tea.  Above, that's Mary Ann enjoying a grass-fed beef mini-burger.  I had one too and it was great!  I also had an alligator puppy(think hush puppies), bbq pulled chicken, sour orange dressed salad, and blueberry poundcake.  All of it was fantastic!  The guys fixin' the alligator were generous enough to tell me how to fix it and tenderize it as I have a large block of it in my freezer and I had no idea how to deal with it!  Problem solved! 
We wondered around for a little while after we ate.  I talked to the chickens.  By now it was later in the afternoon and it was time to go.  The girls had to get back to their homes as did I.  One last parting shot:

Hot, stuffed and tired.

My ride home was fun, I stopped at another place I had always wanted to stop at.  A little metal shop on Old Jacksonville road called The Iron Works.  There are various iron sculptures out in front, and it looks like an interesting place.  I stopped in and spoke a little bit with the proprietor who is a welder by trade.  He learned it from his father and does the sculptures only 'cause it's fun and makes him happy.  True artwork in my book!  Here's what I got:

That was the end of my trip.  It was short but packed with lots of fun!  Can't wait for the next one!

P.S.  It's wild flower season here and the fields are full of them!


D'Ache' said...

Really like the owl!

Amber said...

Thanks! I couldn't leave without something after talking to him, especially after he said he does it purely 'cause it makes him happy.

Ingrid DeVilliers said...

Dear looks like you had a ball! I love the farm stand....wouldn't mind shopping there!

Amber said...

Yes, it was alot of fun! Can't wait to get away again...

Mary Henderson said...

You really had a fun-filled trip Amber. I envy you! I'd also to go around places and visit gardens and I would love to go that place. I'd like to see the "covered" potting shed and see what I can get from there. Thanks for sharing!