Monday, October 29, 2012

Rug Doctor

I have never used one of these things before... and let me tell you.... WHAT. AN. EXPERIENCE.  To cut down on moving costs, I decided to clean my own carpets with the trusty Rug Doctor instead of bringing a professional in.  Costs WERE saved but my sanity might have been frayed just a bit.  I'll spare you the rugged details... maybe I'm just not all that coordinated.  Maybe I didn't read the directions well enough ahead of time.  But regardless, I got my condo security deposit back so I must have done something right. :) ~ Christina

Sunday, October 28, 2012

15th Annual Diwali Mela - Festival of Lights

The Association of Asian Cultural Festivals presented the 15th Annual Diwali Mela celebration on Saturday, October 27th, 2012 at the Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando.

Also known as the "Festival of Lights," this annual cultural celebration has fun for the entire family. Entertainment included traditional singing and dancing performances by many top local artists. Vendor booths offering unique clothing and a wide variety of delicious traditional cuisine.  

As one of my last local events before the big move... this was a perfect example about what I'm going to miss.  Such cultural diversity.  Such richness.  I loved it! ~ Christina

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Canoeing with Jordan

I am so glad I made time to do this before moving... Jordan had never been canoeing before. So Jeff and I took him out on the Wekiva River one morning.  He loved it! And I must say... he was pretty good at it.  At least when he wasn't getting me drenched with his oars! :) ~ Christina

Friday, October 19, 2012

Melissa's Sidewalk Cafe

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the iPhone app "Happy Cow".  Anywhere I am, it helps me to find local vegan  or veg-friendly restaurants.  That's how I discovered this little gem in Crestview, Florida.  On the way back from moving a load of my belongings to Louisiana, Jeff, Denver and I stopped here for lunch.


This little food truck specializes in vegetarian and vegan take-out.  Everything is fresh and locally grown. I'm so stoked to find something like this along I-10 (or at least not that far off it) for my drives back and forth.  ~ Christina

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Hussong's Cantina Taqueria

In search for vegan eats in Vegas, I stumbled upon this place in the Mandalay Bay Shoppes area.  Veg-friendly and so delicious!  Vegetarian tacos (made vegan) with beans and rice was my first official meal in Sin City.  Awww... it was far and few between when I could find a dish chock full of fresh veggies that tasted as good as it was for me.  Plus the bar atmosphere had most games on the big screen so I was able to keep tabs on my Saints while here. ~ Christina


We went to StripSteak for our chapter dinner this past week while in Vegas... and I have to say I had mixed feelings about it.  The chapter guys love their meat and potatoes so it made sense for the dinner to take place there (plus the reviews are all fabulous about the chef and his creations)... but this vegan felt like a fish out of water (literally).  On the plus side, the chef went out of his way to create a vegan dish for me (delicious!)... and the service is amazing.  But as a vegan... there are too many negatives.  From the hanging raw meat slabs on display through glass door coolers, the french fries cooked in duck fat (wish I'd known that BEFORE eating a few of them - talk about upset tummy!) to the pricey meat dishes.... I had to leave a little early.  Way too many animals lost their lives for that place and at $100+ per person... I just couldn't stomach it all.  If you are a meat-eater... definitely check this place out.  But it's not vegan friendly at all.  ~ Christina

Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino

Each time I visit Vegas I try to experience a new property... and this time it was Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino. My dad was in town for the NECA Convention so I tagged along... so glad that I did!

The Mandalay Bay Convention Center opened its doors as the fifth-largest convention facility in the United States, and the largest meeting facility located on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.
The entire Mandalay Bay complex – from hotel to special resort features to meeting and event rooms – are luxurious without pretention. The clubs, restaurants, casino and outdoor water activities are amazing here.  Owing to the outsized nature of Mandalay Bay, it’s possible to really never leave and yet be fully entertained.  I think this might be one of my favorite resorts in Vegas so far! ~ Christina
Fabulous art
They have an AH-MAZING beach here at the resort... wavepools, lazy river, cabanas, etc!
Even an in-house aquarium 
Lots of shopping!

Border Grill

This Las Vegas destination restaurant overlooks the Lazy River just off Mandalay Beach, where Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Bravo's "Top Chef Masters" and Food Network’s "Too Hot Tamales", want nothing more than to spice up your day. With two floors of patio dining, it’s the perfect setting for sipping margaritas and savoring the bold flavors of Mexico while enjoying views of the beach and pool. Loved the vegetarian options this place provides... my favorite being the Tostado Salad.  YUM!  I loved it so much I went back a second time before heading home.  If in Vegas... check them out! ~ Christina

Officially a Yoga Teacher!

It's OFFICIAL!! I'm a certified yoga teacher!  This year-long adventure was celebrated this weekend and I'm just so excited.  A+ on all exams (and let me tell you... it's a lot more work than one might think).  Whoo Hoo!!! Now... next steps?!  We'll see... ~ Christina

Oblivion Taproom

I heard of this place through a local vegan meet-up group that I'm a member of... and I have to say I'm glad I did.  I probably would never had thought to check them out otherwise.  While mainly serving bar food, the owners are vegetarians so there are several veg-friendly and vegan options on the menu.  Yay!  That's a great thing when you've got a twelve-year old boy who likes a regular hamburger as opposed to tofu-patties. Last night we grabbed dinner at this place... and loved it.  Be sure to check out their tator-tots... lots of fun flavors.  The chive-onion is my personal favorite while Jordan loved the regular plain ones.  The place reminds me of a dark biker bar... with its dim interior, pool tables and dart boards... but that just adds to the ambiance.  Check them out... they are right off Colonial Dr. ~ Christina

The Valley of Fire

As beautiful as this was... I don't think I'd do the 2 hour drive through the desolate dessert to GET to it again. "The colors are vibrant and incredible," is what we were told. Basically that means "a whole lotta red rocks." Glad I got to see it... Doubt I'd return. - Christina

The Hoover Dam

Incredible. Simply incredible. Especially when learning HOW it was built and the numerous lives list during its creation. Humbling. - Christina