Elise did it amazingly fast and correctly guessed that we were in Key West today. Congrats! And now the clues will have to get harder. In the meantime, Elise, drop me a line … your blog doesn’t load and I don’t have an e-mail address for you.
The weather today was absolutely perfect, and we got in everything from shopping and gallery-hopping (my favorite!) to eating at an authentic Cuban restaurant and a swim in the pool.
The Husband, being Cuban, was anxious to grab a bite to eat at a good local Cuban restaurant and asked a shopkeeper we met for a recommendation. She sent us to El Meson de Pepe, which was a fantastic tip. They had both indoor and outdoor seating, and taking advantage of the weather, we sat outside. Decorated Havana-style, the inside is filled with tons of Cuban history, featuring everything from photos of old Cuban restaurants and bands to Cuban sports heroes and bodegas. It was a great choice to visit. The Husband got a Pork Sandwich with Fried Plantain Chips, The Neighbor got Coconut Shrimp and I got Pepe’s Cuban Nachos, which, starting with a base of Fried Plantain Chips (love them!), it was topped with Ropa Vieja and Picadillo. Definitely a worthwhile visit.
Inside the back of the restaurant, there was a cigar store with a woman hand rolling the cigars, and a gift store. I spied a cookbook I want, The Columbia Restaurant Cookbook (I didn’t know they had their own cookbook and after making a salad recipe from them recently, this is definitely one I want), but at $38, I’ll be getting it from Amazon instead, where it’s a bargain $15! Along the way though, I did, however, pick up a few bottles of Key West Lime Juice and a Key West Lime Juice cookbook (of course!). Also managed to grab The Florida Keys Cookbook and The Habana Cafe Cookbook.
When planning our shopping excursions, the main things I was looking for were local/regional cookbooks, beach prints and nautical maps. I always collect a local cookbook when we visit a new area; that’s a given. But for souvenir purposes, I’ve started collecting nautical maps showing the area that we’re in and I’m going to use them in our soon-to-be mudroom. It ends up being a nice thing to look back on and is educational for Nicholas (and much better than those ticky-tacky souvenirs they usually sell). Same thing with the beach prints.
Ok, for tomorrow’s destination… here are the clues: An outbreak of smallpox swept this small area way back when, and although at one point, the population was 40,000, thirty years later, it was completely abandoned. It was a popular base for pirates several centuries ago and now the population is up to a whopping 175,000 people! Once a sleepy fishing village, it has been deemed one of the most beautiful scuba diving places in the world. No more clues for you … and Elise, no guessing. ;) First person in my Comments sections to correctly name the city we’re hitting tomorrow wins a cookbook.
One more thing before I forget… this week, since I’m away, Stephanie from Dispensing Happiness has generously agreed to guest host tomorrow’s edition of ARF/5-A-Day #6, so please send your submission to her (e-mail the permalink to email@example.com). Next week, it’ll be back here as usual.
All for now… until tomorrow…
Mallory Square Marketplace
Cuban Restaurant Lunch Stop – El Meson de Pepe
Inside of Restaurant – Cuban Sports Heroes
Inside of Restaurant – Cuban Restaurant Pictures
Inside of Restaurant – Band Area
Pepe’s Cuban Nachos
Key West Historic Area
Key West Sunset
Afternoon Pool Time