Saturday, May 24, 2008

THE FINALE (Without Epilogue)

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men/ Gang aft agley."

-Robert Burns

After walking all day in Salem, MA the last thing I really wanted to do was go out to dinner for another big meal. I could have gone back to the hotel, and curled up for the night without any problems, but we had reservations for 7 PM, and Keely had her heart set on eating out. (Thank you again Mr. Burns!)

Our dinner plans on Saturday took us to Beverly, about 10 minutes north of Salem. We stopped at a beach, and I walked in the Atlantic. I figure you can’t go to the east coast without trying to freeze some part of your body off.

Dinner was at Robert Reid’s “Organic Garden Café”. Several years ago I drove from a Peace March in Providence, RI to eat at the Café. It was my first experience eating out at a real raw restaurant.

The food was as good as I remembered it to be. There are a few cooked items on the menu like steamed rice, or a regular tortilla, that can be substituted instead of the raw soaked wild rice, raw nori, or a leaf wrap. Keely had a raspberry lime “Ricky” to drink that was great, and the apple crumble dessert was really tasty. For our main courses I had the Veggie Burger Plate with raw onion rings (top picture) and Keely had the Sampler.

If you don’t want to make the trek into North Boston, make sure you make reservations for the Organic Garden Café in Beverly, Ma. when you're in the New England region.

I had planned on leaving the hotel around 11 AM on Sunday, and eating at “The Grasshopper Vegan Restaurant” in Allston, MA, but we were too close to Salem. Keely hadn’t gotten to spend time in the old graveyard, so we checked out and headed back into town.

To make a long story short, Keely got her pictures, I discovered that a crypt isn’t that uncomfortable to stretch out on in the sun for a short nap, and we got lost again trying to get to lunch in Allston.

The problem with Sunday lunch was that we had to drive again through downtown Boston. I’d like to know who the hell decided that it was a good idea to put on and off ramps in the middle of a tunnel. I mean really! That’s like putting ramps in the middle of a bridge over Boston Harbor. (I’m sure they’re probably there too, but our route didn’t take us there.)

Once we found the proper highway, and a parking spot, we had our last meal in the Boston area at “The Grasshopper Vegan Restaurant”. The Grasshopper isn’t raw, but it is vegan, and it is Vietnamese. As you should know by now, I won’t give up Vietnamese food whenever given the opportunity to imbibe. The servings were so big that we thought we were sitting in a restaurant in HaNoi.

Of all our meals this was the least expensive. We had “Chicken Fingers” (top picture) and BBQ “Pork” on lettuce as appetizers.

I had the “Spicy Curry Vegi-Squid with Onions, Mushrooms, Peppers, and Lemon Grass” (top picture). Keely had “Sautéed Spinach with Garlic” with spinach that was piled at least six inches deep on a huge platter. Needless to say we had more than enough for dinner.

I ordered the “Vegetarian Nori Rolls” to go. These were a wonderful surprise. Instead of using rice, they used rice noodles. The nori rolls were a lot lighter, and easier on the palate. I plan to try the same thing using raw Kelp Noodles!

If you’re a vegan, or not 100% raw, “The Grasshopper” is a really great alternative in Allston, MA.

The remainder of the trip was uneventful. I collapsed at the Courtyard by Marriott on Sunday night in Moosic, PA. We spent some time on Monday replacing the headlight that decided to die on us during Sunday’s drive, and finally arrived home at about 10 PM Monday night.

The total mileage was 1674 miles in 5 days. I didn’t think that my ass could be any flatter, but it is. My one regret is taking a wrong turn, and having to merge on to the Ft. Pitt Bridge at the height of rush hour in Pittsburgh on Monday night.

But, all in all, it was a trip we both needed, and deserved.

To those of you that had to huddle in your cellars in Central Ohio with the tornado sirens blaring, just remember that it was sunny and 65 in Salem on Sunday, May 11, 2008.

A special thanks to Katie, Kara and Murmur for watching Clyde and Dove Cakes. They've grown to love you as much as we do.

Of course we need to thank Dr. Laura Skaates, DC too for getting us ready on Wednesday before we left, and putting us back together when we returned to Westerville after a long drive. What would we do without her, and the rest of her staff! (Thank you for recommending another massage too!)

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