Fun, sun and beans…

by JL Fields on March 21, 2011

My husband and I escaped to Florida for a few days.  Dave (gladly) spent his weekend on the couch chilling (he’s still on crutches) hanging out with my dad while my mother, aunt and I hung out. It was sunny and in the 80’s. The perfect way to shake off some of the harsh New York winter we’ve experienced (so far).

Thursday evening we landed at the Orlando airport around 5:30 and I asked my dad to drive us directly to Ethos Vegan Kitchen for dinner. What an amazing meal!

Details on these good eats can be found in the Vegan Field Report:  Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Orlando I wrote for quarrygirl.com. Ethos Vegan Kitchen  on Urbanspoon

Friday morning my mother, aunt and I drove to Sarasota. We were obsessed with the 80‘s station on Sirius Radio. Then the 70‘s station.  Okay, when I say “we” I mean me…

…and there was some serious seat dancing going on.

We arrived in Sarasota hungry and immediately went to Columbia Restaurant, a Spanish restaurant with Cuban roots, where we go every time I visit.  There was a long wait so we stopped off at the bar first

Mom and Aunt Candy; AC and JL

I started with a salad hold the ham, hold the Swiss cheese, hold the Romano cheese.

followed by the Cuban Black Bean soup (“100% Vegetarian” according to the menu). The flavorful, thick soup is served over a bowl of rice and topped with chopped, raw onion.

Love, love, love this soup.  We sat outside, without an umbrella, so I promptly got burned on my neck and back. Ah, vacation in Florida!

A big lunch requires a big walk…on the beach.  We strolled Lido Beach and dipped our toes in the water.

Saturday morning I joined Mom on one of her “routines”—the 9:00 a.m. power walk.  We walked, met up with my aunt and some friends, and walked some more.  We then met up with Dave and Dad and went for … wait for it… black bean soup! (Sensing a theme?) We enjoyed the soup at a small, Mexican restaurant near their house. Dad loves it and now I know why. I didn’t take the camera to this meal so no photos.

Mom, Aunt Candy and I went shopping and ended our day getting pedicures.  I bought mom and I a pair of matching flip-flops with margaritas…

JL’s foot and Mom’s foot

…so we needed to take our toes out for margaritas.  Mom, Dad, Dave and I met Aunt Candy and Uncle Ron at Don Jose Mexican Restaurant and enjoyed (many) drinks and a great meal sitting outside on the “porch.”

One margarita, two margaritas, three margaritas…and dinner.  I had the vegetable fajitas, hold the sour cream. I asked for the refried beans, without cheese, and the waiter said “you might want the black beans.”  I trusted he knew how the refried beans were made and I took his suggestion.  Yes, my third meal with black beans and it was another great meal.  He brought us each a shot of vanilla schnapps for “dessert.”  Um, okay.  I was in bed by 9:30 p.m.

Sunday morning I joined Mom and Dad for a 3 mile power walk and then enjoyed breakfast in their Florida room.

Granola and coconut milk yogurt over a whole grapefruit from their grapefruit tree

It was so nice to enjoy a quiet meal “outside” with Mom and Dad.

The weekend ended too soon…

…but was just what we needed. Warm weather and, more importantly, family time.

Have you had a chance to escape winter?  Share!

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