The Best Thing I Ever Ate.

This morning started out stresssssssssful!  Let me preface by saying that I am the most relaxed traveler in existence.  Some would probably say too relaxed.  I love flying, I am never stressed out about travelling, and I could hang out in airports all day.  Feeling relaxed as always, I was thrown a curve ball this morning when we pulled out of our driveway (10 minutes late) to find ourselves sitting in rush hour DC traffic – WHOOPS.

Throw in a bit of pouring rain and two huge suitcases, and we had a bit of a situation.  After ten minutes of barely moving in traffic, we realized we needed a new plan.  Casey whipped the car around and raced us (safely) to the Metro.  Why didn’t we just do that in the first place?


Ten minutes later we were safely to Reagan airport.  Then we entered our next set of obstacles – different terminal, missing gate, slow pokes at security – eventually we made our way to the gate as they were calling our row to board.  I think Kath’s expression summed up our airport commute…

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Once we were safely on board our plan and en route to Denver, it was breakfast time.  English muffins with banana and almond butter (the real deal – purchased by my visiting mother-in-law!)

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Kath and I were seated across the aisle from each other, which was fun.

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NOT fun was that we had these teases of TV screens that you had to PAY to watch – no way!

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Also not fun, I discovered, is a 4 hour flight with your busted leg jammed in next to a large man with a 2 year old on his lap.  I was soooo happy to get off the plane in Denver!

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In Denver we were greeted by the wonderful Ashley, who came bearing JAMBA JUICE smoothies!

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It is so fun to finally meet Ashley in real life, and strange to think that we hadn’t officially met until now, since we talk almost every day!  We were lucky and had seats next to each other on the plane from Denver to San Fran, so we got to make up for lost time.

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Fun Fact:  Casey’s grandpa used to design special types of ceilings and roofs, including the old RCA Dome in Indianapolis, and the Denver peaks of Denver International Airport!

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Denver quickly turned into an all-out blogging party – Ashley, Gina, Laura, and Kath!

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And three hours later, we arrived!

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I keep forgetting that I am finally on the West Coast, and am doing double-takes at all the California license plates.  (I am also a huge dork.)

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On our way to the hotel, we passed the Giants Stadium!  How cool to be here right after they won the World Series.

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Finally, Kath and I made our way to our hotel and discovered that we lucked out by getting a corner room with an amazing VIEW!

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We dumped our stuff, met back up with some friends, and hit the streets for our first day of exploring.  I can’t believe I’m actually here!

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I am learning quickly though that I can only do so much.  As much as I want to cover every inch of this city on foot, that’s just not simply possible (or responsible).  I’m going to limit myself to a few hours each day, and do my best to rest my leg in between.

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When asked where we wanted to go first, I immediately exclaimed “to the water!”  So we headed towards the Ferry Building just about a mile away.

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Inside we found fun things like a mushroom shop…

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And mountain of CHEESE!

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More importantly, outside we found WATER and a gorgeous view!

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It is so fun to be here, but there is a small piece that feels a little sad that I’m not here with Casey.  I can tell we would love exploring this city together.  Guess we’ll just have to come back…

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After a snack break, it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for dinner (even though my body thought it was 9pm).

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FRONT Street – awesome!

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For dinner, we made our way to Millennium – one of the top-rated vegetarian restaurants in the world.

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Many thanks to Diana, who organized this wonderful dinner in a private room – with all sorts of food blogger perks!

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To our surprise, we placed our orders and then suddenly all sorts of complimentary food started hitting the table.  Starting with OLIVES (my favorite).  These were seasoned with fennel seed, and rocked my world.

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There was a lot of this type of action all night long…

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Friends from Charlotte together again!  So fun.

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Next came delicious fluffy bread with some sort of chunky lentil spread…

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Followed by my personal favorite, fried oyster mushrooms with spicy fruit chutney.  To.die.for.

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But there is more!  Roasted carrots that were soft and perfectly cooked.

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Smokey brassicas – a mixture of cauliflower and broccoli…

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And finally the main course!  I had actually ordered a small plate starter that never arrived, but after all the complimentary food, I was kind of glad to pass on it.  Instead my main course arrived and left me drooling – maple glazed banana squash with roasted tofu and farro risotto.

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I have no idea what that brown sauce was, but it was quite possibly the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten.  To be honest, I think this was the best meal of my life.  I have never had the opportunity to eat such upscale vegetarian food, and it was absolutely incredible.  I can’t wait to come back and head there with Casey, and order one of everything all over again.  :)

Tomorrow is bound to be another long day of exploring and fun.  The Foodbuzz Festival officially starts tomorrow night – wheeeeee!  It’s 2am Eastern time, which is about…5 hours past my bedtime.  Time to SLEEP…