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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Vacation Eats

We arrived home to cold, snowy weather after our much needed break in the sunny south, Key West and Fort Lauderdale to be specific. This was our first trip with the exception of staying in a motel the night before flying out that we decided to not motel it at our destinations. We rented a cute little red convertible in Fort Lauderdale then made our way to Key West where we got around by scooter, back to Hallandale after a stop at No Name Key finally arriving at Fort Lauderdale to fly back home. Aside of soaking up a few of the sun's rays, sight seeing and walking along the beach we enjoyed a lot of great foods. If you are interested in the non-food side of our vacation I'll be making several entries with photos on my personal blog over the next week or so. To orient you, we stayed at Cypress House a lovely, historical bed and breakfast in Key West where we enjoyed breakfasts at the inn and ate out. Then we made our way back up to Hallandale where we stayed at a wonderful condo on the 14th floor of the Sian Ocean Condo Residences with ocean and intercoastal views. The kitchen was slightly different than pictured in the ad so I'll post pictures of that later. We were on vacation and I insisted on cooking a few meals more because taking it easy in the morning, sipping coffee while enjoying the ocean view and relaxing was nicer than rushing to get ready to go out for breakfast. I'll be sharing some of the foods we ate during our vacation foods and places we enjoyed eating over the next few posts, as always with my commentaries.

Potato Skins

Once the suitcases are packed and loaded into the car, vacation mode sets in. We generally stay overnight before winter flights simply to remove the possible delay due to weather. The night before our flight we stayed at a Four Points by Sherridan motel. I don't know what it is but I always have to try something from their menu simply because. So while my husband lounged in the room, I headed down to the motel bar where anything on the menu could be ordered. The bar consisted of a large oval bar with bar stools, table seating to the left and casual, comfy seating to the right. The staff were very friendly. Pondering the menu I decided on potato skins then patiently waited while people watching. Six well topped potato skins quickly arrived for me to take back to the room. These were quite good, very cheesy at at $7 a rather inexpensive appetizer. The next morning we woke to snow thankful to be heading south. This motel included park & fly and had a shuttle to the airport where we arrived bright and early to enjoy breakfast about three hours before our flight.

[sorry, no photo] Our experience has been that airport food can be quite good but sometimes it can be touch and go. We've been at this particular airport bar/restaurant on several occasions so know what to expect. We each ordered scrambled eggs (the only choice), sausage, home fries and toast. It was an average breakfast served on plastic plates with plastic utensils. However, the eggs were real eggs, the sausage was nicely browned and the toast was sourdough! In general the airport bar/restaurant combo serves higher quality foods than the airport fast food ones but even that varies from airport to airport.

Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville

Landing in Fort Lauderdale was slightly delayed and it took ages to get our luggage (a good 40 minutes!). A shuttle took us to the car rental then finally we were on our way towards Key West at just about 4:30 pm. We were on a time schedule to get to Cypress House before the office closed at 9 pm. Well we were warned about US 1 being tedious. As we neared the 8 pm mark the innkeeper called to see where we were and to make arrangements for us to pick-up the key if we arrived after 9 pm. Well we pulled in front of Cypress House just as the innkeeper was locking the front gate so all was well. The only stop we had made on the way down was through a drive through at Wendy's for a snack. Most of you know how I feel about fast food restaurants but we hadn't eaten since breakfast. After settling in we walked down Duval Street to Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville where we enjoyed a Cheese burger in Paradise ($8.95 each), key lime pie ($4.95 shared), a couple of drinks and live entertainment. My husband tried a Rum Runner ($6.95), a Keys favourite. This is a must eat at restaurant in Key West! Our waiter was one of the best. Although we took several photos I must have been too tired to remember taking pictures of the food only so thanks to our waiter we appear in several of the photos. A Jimmy Buffett burger comes with all the toppings including the Heinz 57. Strolling along Duval to Caroline then up to Cypress House, I vowed to take more pictures of the food as the warm breeze brushed my shoulders.

Continental Breakfast

The following morning we enjoyed the continental breakfast served from 8 am to 11 am at Cypress House. The breakfast is laid out in the kitchen of the main house. The cabinetry and appliances are modern but in keeping with the historical atmosphere. And I really loved their Viking stove! Unlike many continental breakfasts Cypress House has hot offerings as well as the standard cold cereals, fruits and breads. I do have to give them two thumbs up for their coffee as well that was rich bodied and full flavoured. The photo is of the main cold foods serving area in the kitchen. To the left not pictured is their prep area and that lovely Viking. Before the chair at the bottom is a bank of counter where the hot beverages are. To the right is the hot foods. On this particular day there were hot biscuits with sausage. The following day they had hot apple pancakes.

Once you load your plate, it is only a short walk out the kitchen door into the green space where you can enjoy your meal on the pool side covered patio. The atmosphere is calming as the palm trees rustle slightly in the wind. Other guests give a friendly greeting as does the resident pets. What's nice too is you can always take your plate back to your room then enjoy breakfast on one of the verandas off the room. Sitting on a wicker rocker gently rocking while sipping good coffee is a wonderful way to start the day!

1 food lovers commented:

utenzi said...

Welcome back home. Rum Runners are great and I do love potato skins but I have to make them myself since I just can't stand the taste of bacon. I've heard that's considered a crime in Canada... LOL