Well I'm back from eastern expedition, and what a amazing journey it was. I didn't fly out till Wednesday the 21st, but my real trip started Tuesday night before that. My sister, brother-in-law, and I drove east to Columbus to see an amazing and rare performance of Beck. All I can really say about the show is WOW! He put on a stellar performance full of hits new and old. Jump at any chance you get to see him.
Wednesday I landed at LGA around 5:30pm and had my car by 6:30. I stopped by a health food store in Queens for some distilled water, kiwis, and a chia kombucha, then I began the trip south. As I was scooting down I95, I realized I was going 120! I thought it sure doesn't feel like I'm moving that fast. Upon closer inspection I realized that the car was set to metric (kmh). I didn't figure out how to switch it back to English standard till a few days later. Made it to the hotel just north of Baltimore by about 11pm. My buddy Aaron was already there and checked in as he had arrived about an hour before.
Thursday morning we were up and moving by 7am because we wanted to get the early bird parking at the convention center. Turns out the 30 minute drive was more like a 50 minute drive the way we went, so we parked elsewhere for $2 more. The show didn't open for another 2 hours, so Aaron and I piddled around till we found a way to sneak into the show early and catch up with some of his cohorts at Focus Nutrition. Once the show opened, Aaron and I went our own ways.
I started out with the third floor because it opened first and we were already there. I had fully intended to blow through the food section without stopping at anything. Most of the food even at one of these conventions are usually full of sugar and other random junk. However, much to my surprise, there was lots of clean raw vegan options. To not drag it on forever and to create a bit of suspense, I'll be reviewing products starting in the next blog. There will be a series of 8 installments discussing products I found to be worthy and interesting.
As the show closed that night, I met back up with Aaron right as my phone died. He had 2 coworkers with him and we roamed the show for another hour or two before we left. I easily convinced them to have dinner at a raw vegan place, since one of the 2 coworkers was also raw vegan. She suggested a place that she had been to last year called Liquid Earth. This place had amazing food for everyone. There was even cooked meat available if you wanted it. I wish every restaurant had their mentality. I had their special which was a nut burger wrapped in collard greens. It sure was tasty!
On Friday Aaron drove separate because he had a breakfast meeting as well as a dinner meeting after the show. I slept in (hey this is a vacation too) and then made my way down to the show around noon or so. I opted not to pay the $8 per 20 minutes in the garage, and I found 2 hour street parking several blocks away. It was free but I had to leave the convention to move my car once. Worth it especially since it got me away from so intense sales people when my phone's alarm went off.
After the show I browsed a book and vinyl store for any rare treats. I picked up a book on palm reading, and an 8 track of Jerry Lee Lewis in good condition. They also had a copy of Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass. I've been looking for that album for a long time, but they were asking about double of what I was willing to pay. I then went to a raw vegan place that implied that they had food options, but it was mostly a juice and smoothie bar. They had acai bowls, so I had one of those minus the granola that they thought was raw but I had to assure them it was not. We carry the same granola at Good Earth and it's real yummy but definitely not raw.
Saturday morning I popped into a great vegan spot with several raw options near the hotel called Zia's Cafe. I highly recommend this joint. They have a great mock tuna which I had them add to the Rainbow Wrap. De-lish!
After Zia's I played 9 holes at a nearby disc golf course. I did OK, but lost a disc and spent 30 minutes at least looking for it. I did find it finally. After that I did my daily meditation in the woods by the course and then got in the car and headed to the last day of Expo East.
I chose to park on the street again which maybe wasn't the best idea, since I had several heavy bags full of free products to carry out when I left. One jar of super yummy kraut juice drink fell out and busted on the ground next to me. My Birkenstocks will prolly smell like fermented veggies and dirty feet for years now.
On my trip back up to Long Island, I stopped in Philadelphia to eat a place called All the Way Live. The owner/chef was honored that I made a special trip deep into the city just for her food. I had the nut burger wrapped in nori with raw hummus, sprouted wild rice, and BBQ mushrooms. So good, I wish I had more with me now. Make sure you stop here next time your in Philly.
I made it to the Hyatt on Long Island around 11pm and got settled in. Sunday I had the day to myself, so I drove out to the eastern most end of the island. This area is known as Montauk and has a beautiful lighthouse that was commissioned by George Washington to be a lookout for British invaders.
It took most of my day to drive out to this point, explore, and drive back. Granted I did stop at a few little health food stores along the way just to check them out. You know it's about impossible to find dairy free yogurt and distilled water on Long Island, at least on the eastern half of the island. Lots of really neat towns to see around there though. The little village of Wainscott, NY was settled in 1670 I think it said, so a lot of history around there too. Pretty cool. I had every intention of slipping into the water on the Hampton Beach, but I ran out of sun.
Monday I found a great disc golf course in a park that also had a nice beach not too far from the hotel, so I spent much of my free time there. The park was called Heckscher State Park and the course was a long professional 21 hole. I definitely want to go play that course again! After the park I met some folks from Nature's Answer for dinner at a place called Tutto Plazo. Not exactly raw or maybe even vegan, but the zucchini noodles with red sauce were amazing!
Tuesday I met at the Nature's Answer facility for presentations and tours. We then we to lunch at a neat little spot called Plant Strong where I had the raw zucchini alfredo, a veggie tuna wrap, and a mean green smoothie. All of it was delicious. The staff of Nature's Answer that ate with me were disappointed that they hadn't found this little gem earlier. It was only a short drive from their offices.
Shortly after that I said my goodbyes and got in my car to head back to the airport. I, of course, have much more to tell you about my trip to Nature's Answer but I'll save that for an up coming blog, so I can give you more detail. As I got into my car, I received and email saying that my flight had been delayed for about 90 minutes. I took that chance to head back to the beach! I cruised down to Jones Island and stopped at Jones Beach State Park. I got my feet wet, took some pictures, and then did my daily meditation with the ocean air blowing on my face. It truly was the best possible ending to a magical trip.