Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Girl Trip!

Last night I met one of my baking heroes.   The Cake Mix Doctor!  LOVE her.  Her Cake Mix Doctor book, out of the 50 or so cookbooks I own (its a sickness), is the most covered with food on my favorite pages.  I know it seems a little silly, but I really wanted to see her in person, and I was not disappointed.  This lady is just so excited about food.  She has a new book out that's got 200+ recipes that are easy and portable for potlucks.  And these aren't your average potato salad, deviled egg-type recipes (although those are in there too).  These are show stoppers.  These are the food you bring when you want to be the one at the party whose plate is completely empty at the end of the night.

Anyway, so I'm a little food dorky, but I totally had a great time last night.  AND they had free food from recipes from her book!  Lucky me.

Its about time that I blogged my Florida trip.  This last Christmas my Grandma planned on coming to visit us, but she wasn't quite up to it.  Last year was so incredibly hard on everyone with my mom being sick, but I can't imagine how hard it was on my mom's family who live so far away.  My Grandma hadn't seen her since she was first diagnosed with Leukemia.  That's why my parents decided that my mom should go to Florida and that I should go with her.  You know, to make sure she kept out of trouble.  :-)

So my mom and I set off on a girl adventure.  I'd always wished we could take a trip together, but I never thought it might actually happen.  And better then that, for the better part of the trip it was just my mom, my grandma, my aunt, and me.  All ladies!  And boy did we do it up.  We went from delicious food to delicious food, spent plenty of time by the water, saw some touristy stuff, and we even got to have dinner in the dining room of my Grandma's retirement community with all her girlfriends!  

I'm ashamed by the fact that I spent a fraction of that precious time being crabby because I am just not used to moving at anything less then lightning speed on vacation.  But I just know I'll forever be appreciative of the gift of time that I got with the ladies in my life.  As promised, pictures...

My mom on an early morning walk on the beach. After we had breakfast on the beach:

These are some sponge-diving ships at Tarpon Springs, North of where my relatives live. Tarpon Springs is a must on every trip we make because its an entirely Greek community, which means the food there is to die for. Here's my mom, my aunt and me at Tarpon after some coffee and people watching at the docks:

We headed over to St. Pete's pier for some of the most delicious Spanish food I've ever had. The Columbia on the 3rd story of the Pier is so, so good, and the view is just as good as the food. Hilariously, there was a small group of Ron Paul revelers on the Pier who were holding their signs overhead like they were showing them to the sky. Turns out they were. A Ron Paul BLIMP kept buzzing the Pier.

After lunch we stopped by the floating chapel:

You can rent that thing out for weddings, and it looks just like a chapel on the inside. Nutso.

Besides all the eating out with the girls, my cousin invited me to watch football w/ the boys one night. Which I did happily because it meant beer drinking w/out offending anybody. :-) My cousin's backyard looks like a beach bar! Here's a picture from the last visit I made out there:

Awesome, right? Mark is known for his superior BBQ skills, and he didn't disappoint on this trip! On football night he made me grilled scallops, stone crab claws, and I stole a bite or two of steak from the plates around me. The next night he made us grouper sandwiches that I'm drooling now just thinking about.

The other big part of the trip was the boat ride to a popular waterfront beach restaurant for She Crab Soup and conch. OMG. Frenchy's has a boat valet! Can you imagine that life?

But what I'll take with me about this trip was the time I got with my mom, her sister, and their mom....


OpenID azholiday said...

I have to say that I love seeing this sort of thing. I think that these days we end up living so far away from family that it's just so hard to keep connected. My mom, my grandmother, myself and Grace have done two road trips since Grace was born and I just love that! I love having this girl time, and with 4 generations! I have some pretty amazing memories. Plus, I know it's been such a rough year for your mom and this seems like just such a gift to be able to enjoy with her!

7:07 PM  
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11:05 PM  

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    I'm Amanda. I'm an engineer in an industry full of men, a professional wedding and family portrait photographer, a firefighter's wife, a traveler, and a dogMa.

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