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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Then we ate all of the vegetables....

What's a vacation without food? Nothing, that's what. We ate and ate and ate for 7 days, so I thought it would be fitting, before I tell you about my reunions with Abe and Tom, that I tell you about the food. 

When we landed in Raleigh we were tired and hungry, and only one of those problems could be resolved immediately.

The girl at the rental car lot gave us a few restaurant suggestions, and at the end of her list she causally mentioned there was a Bojangles nearby. Our kids had never been so we felt it was our parental duty to introduce them to the delight that is Boberry biscuits

On our second day in Virginia we ate lunch at the locally famous LaCarretta. My enchiladas were super yummy. Sadly I forgot to take a picture of my food, but here is a picture of the boys messing around in front of the restaurant. (This will forever be known as the day Brodie learned the hard life lesson of how dangerous it is to be the smallest person in the dog pile.)

On the fourth day (please note, we ate MANY times between the LaCarretta day and the Busch Gardens day, just not anywhere thrilling)...on the fourth day, we got up at the crack of dawn to drive to Williamsburg so we could spend the day risking our lives riding rides designed to scare the living snot out of people. 
On the way we stopped at this adorable little... I hate to call it a convenient store, although it was convenient... lets call it a market. I wish I had taken a picture. It was the cutest little wooden store, surrounded by trees, and it had a porch. A PORCH!!! Can you imagine?! The second best thing about this store was that it wasn't trying to be cute, it just was. The first best thing about it was, they sold bubble gum cigarettes and BUTTER RUM lifesavers. (Do you know that NO ONE has butter rum lifesavers anymore? I have to buy (not so cheap) bags of them on Amazon.) It was like a vacation miracle.



Our kids had never had bubble gum cigarettes before (I felt like such a failure as a parent when they told me that), so we made up for lost time by "smoking" the whole pack right away.

 Busch gardens, as you may or may not know, is set up into themed regions that represent different countries. Each has it's own death defying rides and, best of all, food specific to that land. 

Sylvan and the boys ate lunch in New France, also known as Canada. Their meals consisted of large piles of meat and an order of fried pickle spears. By all accounts the piles of meat were tasty, but a little pricey, and the pickles, which I tasted myself, were really good. 

Ivy and I ate in regular France, where we had some delicious strawberries and cream crepes. They were SO good, and as a bonus did not cost as much as a giant pile of meat. This confirmed what I have long suspected, old France is better than New France. Sorry Canada. 
This is a picture of what remained, as well as the beginning of a trend of my forgetting to photograph my food until after I had eaten it. I will never be able to be one of those fancy Instagram girls. 
Towards the end of our day I learned that Sylvan had never eaten a funnel cake. You guys, I almost cried. Luckily the funnel cake knows has no regional boundary, and thus you can purchase one in any land at Busch Gardens.

Sylvan enjoyed his tremendously. Possibly even more than the giant pile of meat (but probably not). 
On the fifth day of our trip we finally made it to D.C. I had pinterested the crap out of this vacation and had a whole list of places we wanted to eat while we were in town. We didn't make it to all of them, but we were able to hit a few. 
The first was We The Pizza. 
I was a little worried it would not live up to the hype, but YOU GUYS!! OMG! 
It was so good. At We The Pizza you can either get whole pizzas, or order by the slice. Because we never agree on what makes the perfect pizza, our family went the "by the slice" route. I had the white pizza (all the cheeses) and the veggie. The sauce was good, the crust was great, the service what fast and the place was not packed. I don't think you can ask for anything more from a pizza joint. My brother's family went the "buy a whole pizza" route. Again, everyone loved the pizza, and even though they had to wait for it to bake, the wait was not what I would call long. Between us we tried probably 6 or 7 different kinds of pizzas and everyone was super happy. 

We took the metro to the Crystal City location. The resturant was not far from the metro station and it was not what I would call spendy at all.
We The Pizza gets all the thumbs up. 

The next night we decided we had not risked our lives enough on this trip, so we took the metro to Chinatown to get some authentic Asian food.

Ming's did not let us down.

Of course, whether or not you were let down seriously depends on how much you enjoy a good plate of crispy pig intestines. Loving a good food adventure, like I do, I stuck with my usual, vegetable fried rice, no egg, extra broccoli. Although no one ordered the cold jelly fish or the slicked pig's knuckle (what the heck is that anyway??), everyone did order more exotic plates than mine, and everyone said they really enjoyed their meals. 

Ming's is literally a stone's throw from the Chinatown metro station (which, by the way, was probably the busiest/most crowded station we experienced on our trip) and the prices were very reasonable. 

I had read so much about Ted's Bulletin and their homemade pop-tarts prior to our trip that I really wanted to stop in and try them, but an ongoing theme of this vacation was NOT ENOUGH TIME. In the end we took our chances with doughnuts. 

Any doughnut expert will tell you that not all doughnuts are created equally, and not all doughnut eaters are looking for the same qualities in their breakfast breads, so what makes a good review for one person, might not work at all for another. 
We gave Sugar Shack a try, and for the doughnut eaters in our group they were a win. 




They had ALL the flavors, salted caramel (with REAL caramel), maple bacon, samoa, butterfinger, vanilla cake, which was littered with specks of vanilla bean, and strawberry frosted, whose frosting contained actual pieces of strawberry.... 
They were a little heavier than my favorite Bosa doughnuts at home, but as you can see, we had no problem finishing them off. 

We drove to the Alexandria location, so I'm not sure about proximity to the metro, but thanks to Siri they weren't hard to find. 

On our last day in D.C. the lack of time thing almost did us in. We came to a fork in the road where we had to chose between food and art and the real eaters were separated from the amateurs. Eli and I (amateurs) picked museums over lunch and we dashed off to cram in a couple more Smithsonians while everyone else (real eaters) went to Founding Farmers for lunch. Since real eaters don't take pictures of their food, I don't have any evidence of their meal, but all involved said, the food was good and they would go again. 

Eli and I had shakes and ice cream cones from a truck for lunch, and I can safely say, although it was the most expensive soft serve I've ever purchased, it hit the spot and gave me the strength I needed to power through the rest of the afternoon. 


Okay, that's all of the super healthy stuff we ate on our trip, or most of it anyway. 

Next up, all the rest. 

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