On the 4th of July, we went to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT. What was different about this aquarium is that it focuses on the animals and fish from the Long Island Sound. I love going to aquariums because I love animals, so this was a perfect activity for me.
My favorite exhibits, of course, are where the turtles are! There was a huge tank with three ginormous sea turtles. One of them was bigger than me! I took way too many selfies with them...
I also enjoyed hanging out with all the different frogs. It was neat to learn a bit about the different types.
Hanging out with the seals.
The seahorses were so cute! As were the meerkats!
These flounder were really good at hiding in the sand.
This is just a really funny looking fish that I liked.
It was a great morning/afternoon at the aquarium. I enjoyed the IMAX movie about Sharks and loved the hands-on exhibits, and looking at the turtles :)
It's always hard to find places to eat when you are both vegan & gluten-free. I recently spent some time in Connecticut and visited some old-favorites and discovered some new places!
Located in Manchester, CT is a chocolate shop that I always have to visit! Every chocolate is both vegan & gluten-free! Divine Treasures is THE place to visit if you need vegan chocolate. For those non-Connecticut people, you can also order online and have the chocolate sent to you!
There are three display cases stocked to the brim with different types and flavors of chocolate. We usually get a variety pack to take with us!
Another thing I love about Divine Treasures is that they have almond milk soft serve ice cream!!! I have yet to find this any where else, and let me tell you ... it is VERY tasty!
Nathan and I both got sundaes: swirl soft serve with Caramel Sauce and Peanut Butter Melts. All topped with a gluten-free cone!!!
Divine Treasures also carries ice cream cake...one day I will need to have one of these!
Another great vegan & gluten-free find in the Central Connecticut area is Dee's One Smart Cookie in Glastonbury, CT. I did not have the chance to visit this bakery during my last trip to Connecticut :( but it is a very worth-while trip, and I visit there as much as I can!
I follow them on their facebook page and their menus are posted everyday. Dee's is a
dedicated gluten, dairy, soy, peanut, tree nut free bakery in Glastonbury CT. They offer a variety of goodies such as cakes, cupcakes, muffins, pizza, breads, cookies. Egg free & yeast free items are also available!
I was lucky to find Swoon Gluten-free Bakery in Ridgefield, CT. Swoon Bakery specializes in gluten-free cakes, cupcakes, cookies, breads and desserts. They offer several dairy-free and vegan options, and we never use any nut products in anything they make.
Swoon had a good variety of vegan offerings. I went on a Saturday morning just after they opened, so I had a lot to choose from. I ended up buying 6 cupcakes (one of each flavor), banana bread, chocolate bundt cake, and 2 chocolate chip cookies.
As you can see, Swoon has a large selection of vegan offerings!
Above I am enjoying the banana bread. It made for a perfect breakfast with some rice milk!
The chocolate bundt cake was rich and yummy! The cookies and cupcakes were also moist and delicious. I ate them before I could take a picture!!!
Not baked-good related, but still a good restaurant that I ate at in East Norwalk, CT: Los Molcajetes was a hole-in-the-wall restaurant near the Maritime Aquarium.
The one thing that I liked about this restaurant was that they attempted to make me a burrito. Usually when I go to a Mexican restaurant they won't make a burrito using corn tortillas because they are so small. Because of this I order a plate of rice and beans, with a side of corn tortillas. At Lost Molcajetes, they at least attempted to make me a burrito!
The restaurant was very authentic, albeit a bit slow with the service. I could not eat the tortilla chips, but they did bring me some corn tortillas so I could have something to snack on while waiting for our food.
I enjoy finding new places to eat! Do you know of any vegan & gluten-free places in Connecticut that I should try out on my next trip? Leave me a comment!
Nestled on South Main Street in Concord, New Hampshire is a great restaurant called Spoon Revolution Vegan Bistro. Spoon Rev is 100% Vegan & Gluten-free, and I was super excited to try it out! It was awesome to find a place where Nathan and I could eat everything on the menu!
Spoon Revolution's mission:
To offer healthful, nutritious, good-tasting meals at an affordable cost. In addition, we aim to offer the community educational and cultural events with fine vegan cuisine to both inform and entertain the public.
The inside of the bistro opens to its kitchen where you can see everything being prepared fresh. We went for lunch and each ordered the lunch special: Appetizer and Entree with Mixed Organic Green Salad. The price was good for the amount of food, and we set out to feast! We each ordered something different so we could taste more of the delicious offerings.
Nathan started out with a glass of kombucha. We had never tried it before. I did not like it, but Nathan ended up having two glasses!
Appetizer #1 was a hummus plat: organic chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, scallions, parsley or cilantro, and organic spices. Served with fresh organic crudites: carrots, cucumber, celery, pepper, radish, kohlrabi or jicama.
It was a great tasting homemade hummus. It just needed more veggies!
Appetizer #2 was the Vegetable Pate Roll-ups: Steamed green beans pureed with bell pepper, celery, fennel bulb, scallions, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, fresh basil, lemon juice, olive oil and spices. All rolled up in a fresh young collard or Swiss chard green and topped with a dollop of basil cream sauce.
I've never really had anything like this before, and it was quite tasty. I really liked the basil cream sauce.
Entree #1 was the Biryani: Curried vegetables (eggplant, green bean and tomato or cauliflower, summer squash and green pea) and spiced basmati brown rice topped with roasted nut and spice mixture.
This was REALLY good. Not quite the same as the biryani that you get at an Indian restaurant, but in my opinion, more flavorful!
Entree #2 was the Colombian Corn Cakes with Pico de Gallo: Stone ground organic cornmeal batter pan-fried in organic coconut oil, topped with picante salsa of tomato, scallions, jalapeno pepper, basil and spices.
I also really enjoyed these corn cakes. The sauce was delicious and complemented the corn cakes.
Dessert #1: Raw Carob Brownies - An irresistible mixture of dried fruit (dates, figs, prunes, cranberries, raisins) and nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds) mixed with oats and ground rice cakes and sweetened with Panela.
This brownie was very rich and delicious. You really don't need more than what you are given!
Dessert #2: Green Juice. The juice was fresh and refreshing. The only thing that would have made it better is if it was cold. It was room temperature when they served it, which is ok, but I am used to cold juice!
Spoon Rev is a great find in Concord, NH. We will definitely be returning each time we visit New Hampshire. The menu is on the small side, but they change it out for each season, focusing on fresh, healthy food!
**These opinions are my own, and I was in no way financially compensated for this review.**
It's been a busy summer so far! Read on to hear about my exciting adventures for the past TWO WEEKS!!!! :)
Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to visit Sterling Restaurant Supply to pick out some items. If you are a Virginia local, you should check this place out. It has some awesome items with very inexpensive prices. I came home with a bamboo cutting board, ceramic knife, soufflé dishes, and a melamine serving dish. You can see here one way that I used some of these products! And I currently have a giveaway happening!!! Click here to enter!
Kendra and I had a lunch date and visited The Dons' Pizza in Sterling. They had gluten-free vegan pizza that was delicious. The sauce was tasty, and the pizza had a smoky flavor, which I enjoyed very much.
On Wednesday evening, Nathan and I took a trip out to Wolf Trap to see Ben Folds and the National Symphony. I don't really know his music, but it was a well-done concert and it was neat how he was playing with the symphony. It started lightening during the show and we had an awesome view of the electric sky.
On Friday I made a delicious fruit crisp for breakfast. You can read my recipe here :)
On Saturday Nathan and I headed over to Madre's neighborhood for a picnic and firework show. There was a live band; Nathan, Ryan, and the kids played Super Fight; and we ended the evening with fireworks over the Potomac River.
On Sunday evening I attend a Gifford's Ice Cream Tour Kick-off Party at the Dulles Golf & Sport Center. It was a great time, and you can read more about my experience here!
Nathan, Maestro, and I headed up to New Hampshire for a Nathan's Uncle's funeral. It is not the best circumstance, but it was good to spend time with family.
While in New Hampshire, I came across this 100% vegan & gluten-free restaurant in Concord. You can read my full review of Spoon Revolution here! I will also be posting about other awesome gluten-free & vegan offerings I found while up north!
Nathan and I walked around the grounds of the New Hampshire State Capitol and took some pictures for the civics classes at our school for next year.
After New Hampshire, Nathan, Maestro, and I drove down to Connecticut for some more family festivities.
We visited the Maritime Aquarium (post coming later)...
We celebrated the 4th of July...
We went swimming. The dogs were very confused....
We took a group photo...minus Kendra :(
We saw fireworks.... Do you see the hidden Mickey!!??!?!?!?!?!
... And then we drove home. Maestro is still exhausted from his week adventure and has been sleeping constantly since we got home. Too much excitement for him!
It was a VERY busy week, full of family. Now I am back home trying to get re-settled, and preparing for some adventures this week, next week, and then it is time for my DISNEY WORLD VACATION!!!!
It's always fun visiting new places. Nathan's parents live near Concord, NH, so we had a bit of time to explore (aka...find some place to eat!)
Our first stop was Spoon Revolution. You can see my full review of the restaurant here!
It amused me that the capital of New Hampshire has police riding bicycles down Main Street.
We walked by the State Capitol and stopped for some pictures.
Nathan wants you to guess what number president Franklin Pierce was!
Nathan and I had lunch atSiam Orchid, where I had the yellow curry. It was good; I just wish there was more of it. I wanted more veggies and more sauce!
We stopped off for some treats at Granite State Candy Shoppe. There wasn't much we could eat (most of it was chocolate) but we did get some maple syrup candy! YUM!
It was a good quick trip around Main Street in Concord!
This week I had a chance to go check out the soon-to-open Rise Bakery in Adams Morgan, Washington, DC. This bakery is 100% Gluten-free and will also have vegan offerings!
I was able to taste some delicious samples of some of the products that will be offered. Above is some melt-in-your-mouth cake. I've already decided that this is where I want to get my birthday cake from this year!
There were some still-warm cookies that tasted AMAZING! I know I am so far removed from the gluten-filled world, but even my niece thought they were delicious!
I also got to try this chocolate cupcake, which was also very tasty. I can't wait for this bakery to open! They are still working on outfitting the kitchen and getting set up, so there is no exact opening date, but I will keep you posted on when it will open!
In the meantime, please like them on facebook and twitter so you can see what they are up to! Both gluten-free and gluten-eating people will love this bakery!
On Thursday night I had the opportunity to check out the Capital Wheel at National Harbor before it opened to the public. I attended with Kendra from When's My Vacation. It was an absolute perfect night. It was warm, with a nice breeze and the most beautiful sunset!
Kendra and I had an amazing time taking lots of pictures. The Capital Wheel is located on the waterfront by the boat docks. It is 180 feet tall. When we were driving over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge it was clearly visible and almost as tall as some of the hotels and building.
The Capital Wheel looks small from far away, but once you get close, it really is huge! There are 42 climate-controlled Gondolas, which fit up to 8 people. The entire wheel can fit up to 332 people at a time!
It was neat watching the sun set behind the Capital Wheel. While we waited for it to get dark, we enjoyed some live music, concessions by Wolfgang Puck Catering (the hummus was really tasty), and conversations with other attendees of the Preview Event.
It was neat watching the planes preparing to land at Reagan National Airport. It looks so cool with the sunset and the Capital Wheel. I'm sure it would be a great view for the people in the plane, as well.
The Capital Wheel has 1.6 million fully programmable LED lights. We got to see a Red, White, and Blue light show in honor of military families and USO.
Riding the Capital Wheel was a blast. I was a bit nervous for all of 5 seconds, but then enjoyed the trip and the amazing views. It was hard to pinpoint the monuments in DC in the dark, but you could certainly see everything lit up and it was beautiful.
The ride lasted about 15 minutes and rotated 4-5 times. It was enough time to enjoy ourselves and see the views from all sides. There were four people in our Gondola and it was a very comfortable number without feeling squished.
I absolutely loved riding the Capital Wheel at night, but would also love to ride it during the day to fully see the Washington Monument, U.S. Capitol, and surrounding areas.
I highly recommend that everyone should take a visit out to National Harbor and to take a ride on the Capital Wheel. Pair it with lunch or dinner and you have a fun day or night out on the town! Adult tickets are $15, and Children (ages 3-11) are $11.25, payable by debit or credit only.