Saturday, July 23, 2011


It's a bit of a puzzler- where does one go for vacation when one lives in a city that is one of the best vacation cities of all? We didn't want to fly, but we did want to be a good distance away from New Orleans. I really wanted to be near a Gulf beach- I'd seen so many beautiful pictures and was salivating to get to one. We also wanted it to be a very mellow experience. Since we didn't grow up with family vacations down here, it was a bit of a crap shoot about where to go. After a lot of internet surfing and Facebook polling of friends, we finally settled on Port St. Joe and Cape San Blas, on Florida's Forgotten Coast.

We stayed in the town of Port St. Joe, which was just a beautiful, adorable, very chill little town that had restaurants, shops, a bike trail, and the Port Inn, which is where we stayed. Look! Pictures!

Sunset over the bay...

We went to Cape San Blas to explore and go to the beach; both on the Gulf side:

and the bay side:

We checked out the Indian Pass Raw Bar, an institution in Indian Pass:

We ate shrimp and drank beers in our bathing suits- it was a lot of fun.

We also, one morning, decided to take a bike ride on the new bike path that Port St. Joe has constructed:

You can also go scalloping in the bay- the season is from June-October. We didn't do that, but we did eat some local scallops at the Sunset Coastal Grill!

Other restaurants we enjoyed in Port St. Joe: Joe Mama's Pizza- we actually went here twice because I fell in love with their clam chowder. Their pizzas, beer selection, and sangria were also wonderful! Also Provisions, an elegant bit homey place with great sandwiches (and I'm sure they have great other stuff too, but we just had sandwiches the one time we were there.)

We took a trip out to Apalachicola just to check it out and have lunch at That Place Off 98. There was some issues with oyster supply, so we only had a half dozen raw, but I was happy to get them- they were delicious. Also an excellent seafood chowder.

We spent most of our evenings relaxing at the Thirsty Goat, which was located in our hotel. They had a nice beer selection, nightly drink specials, and made a hell of a Manhattan.

We slept, and ate, and read a lot. Our little room had a private deck patio where we'd go to enjoy the afternoon or evening in the shade along with a variety of tiny lizard types.

We kitted ourselves up for a day at the beach, with chairs and umbrellas and food and drinks and enjoyed our last full day back up on the Gulf Shores of the St. Joseph State Park, reading, swimming, relaxing.

I'd brought 4 books to read during vacation and got through two of them. I think once I post this blog entry I'll go upstairs and stretch out and start on my third. Work and real life don't start until Monday, after all.

Friday, July 8, 2011

NOLA and health

So, anyway. I went to my doctor's office a few days after the Beers Not Bullets fundraiser and my blood pressure was CRAZY high. The doctor asked me if I was particularly stressed, and I, ever the stoic New Englander, was like "nah." This is forgetting my grandmother's death, putting on a fundraiser, driving every day, and the ever increasing pressure of my job. Also, I think I get stressed out about not taking advantage of all the awesomeness of New Orleans, and think I should magically be more mellow because I moved south of the Mason-Dixon. Plus, let's not even go into the whole owning a condo I don't live in, in the worst real estate market ever. So, maaaaaaybe a little stressed.

SO! In conclusion, I have been trying to eat healthier and exercise, etc, which while it might be good for the BP, is BORING for a blog.

And that's why things have been quiet on this front lately.

I'm looking forward to volunteering for the Beasts & Brass fundraiser on Sunday. I brought in a couple silent auction items and will be helping with the silent auction on site.

I'm also exploring opportunities and overall viability for starting a new non-profit around sustaining the care of uninsured restaurant workers with healthcare related debt. We'll see.

Have tried a couple of good recipes lately though. Slow cooker carnitas and quinoa and chard cakes. Gonna try to get to Hollygrove Market early tomorrow to be able to grab some figs before they run out.

In the meantime, I'm trying to relax more while driving, eating less sodium and fried foods, and engaging in yoga and other physical activities. Yay. No, though, it's good. I think the thing is also to STOP STRESSING ABOUT HAVING HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. Sigh.