Vacation, All I Ever Wanted. Mom-Cation, All I Ever Needed
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Sometimes a Mom's got to get away from it all -- the kid, the daily grind, the never-ending To-Do list.
This past week I did just that. Packed my bag and headed to St. Augustine for a Mom-Cation. The best idea I ever had. The second best was staying at the Inn on Charlotte. The bed and breakfast, a luxurious Southern and English country home hybrid located in the historic downtown, was phenomenal.
As much as I loved my morning walks along the bay, watching the sun rise molten in the morning sky, I was particularly saddened to leave the humongous king-size bed with its plush pillows and cozy comforter. The bed was to die for and my afternoon soak in the jacuzzi bathtub brimming with bath salts and bubbles was sinful. My hostess, Lynne Fairfield, had afternoon wine and nibbles -- cheese pennies, chocolate chip cookies, fresh fruits and nuts -- so I had sustenance to fuel that long soak too.
It's a wonder I had room for any food at all after the amazing two-course breakfasts that were prepared by Fairfield's innkeeper, Chris West, and assistant innkeeper, Rae Ann Couts. Simple food, but absolutely delicious. One morning I had fresh mixed fruits with yogurt followed by nutmeg spiced oatmeal pancakes, dusted with confectioner's sugar, served with hickory-cured bacon and a fresh, hot peach compote.
During the day, I roamed far and wide, usually on foot, but just as often hopping on the Old Town Trolley that runs throughout the town and over to the beach, hitting all the attractions and giving my tired feet a rest just when I needed it. I loved meandering along the old brick streets, wandering into little shops and art galleries, and checking out the historic museums like the Dow Museum of Historic Houses, where one city block contains more than 400 years of history with nine houses dating from 1790-1910.
And then there was the food. No trip I take is ever complete without a food angle. I found a great shop, Old Florida Spice Traders, that specializes in spices, herbs, teas and accessories. The chunks of Bolivian Rose Salt with a hand grater were a neat gift for yourself or a foodie friend.
Close to my Inn (see I think of it as my home away from home), I ate lunch at Casa Maya (17 Hypolita St., 904-217-3039). The all organic menu is prepared fresh daily by owners Marco and Carla Barerra. On the recommendation of local Patricia J. Molus, who waved me in as I read the posted menu, I had a refreshing glass of Portuguese vinho verde. We settled in for an interesting chat and even better food.
"You'll be glad you came here," she said. "The food is delicious."
She was right too. The appetizer I ordered was some of the best guacamole I have ever put in my mouth and a bowl of Mayan Soup, a brothy vegetarian sopa laced with avocado, pico de gallo, Chihuahua cheese and tortilla strips, was a delicate blend of heat, spice and texture.
There was too much to see and do in three short days, but I did my best to cover it all. I don't let any grass grow under these size 9s. And to make sure I kept running, I was sure to drink up at the Fountain of Youth. While no one was looking, I grabbed a few extra gulps!
Really, I can't wait for my next Mom-cation. I might even take the boy.
Posted on September 19, 2008 - by
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About the Author: Mary MacRae Warren (aka Mrs. Cleavage) is a single mother who lives with her delightful young boy child in a cluttered apartment in Crown Heights. She is saucy, opinionated, creative, and a smarty-pants - not necessarily in that order. This is her story, live and unedited from Brooklyn. Check out her other thoughts at Eat. Drink. Memory.
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