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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

South by Southeast: Day Two (A Day Late)

Well, I missed blogging yesterday. Blogging on the daily isn't required for Vegan MoFo, they actually only suggest blogging at least 5 days a week, but I was so determined to post every single day in November. But let me say that it wasn't from lack of trying that I missed posting yesterday! At 11:30pm, I exhaustedly hauled out my lap top with the intention of posting just a quick snippet, but then I couldn't find a hole for the cable modem plug at a friend's house! Weird! I thought of blogging, though, and I think that counts.

Today is technically Day Three of the trip, but I'm posting about Day Two.

I took my sweet time leaving St. Louis, and actually ended up leaving an hour later than I had originally planned. My day started out with some fun kids boppin' around the house and a simply delicious breakfast, made with love by my host.
Tofu scramble and roasted potatoes

I'm not exaggerating when I say it's the best tofu scramble I've ever had. Whenever I make it myself, I always seem to be missing *something,* and it's never Quite Right. This was perfect. It may have been the salsa.

After lingering for awhile, I headed back out on the road, driving through a little more Missouri, then suffered through southern Illinois' 65 MPH speed limit on the Interstate.
Hello from a IL rest area!

I was pretty stoked to discover that the giant Superman statue in Metropolis, IL (the hometown of Superman) was just a few miles off course. Naturally, I made the detour.

That ate up quite a bit of time, and then I pulled over again when I saw this stud muffin on the side of the road.


Back on the road, there was a beautiful sunset over the Ohio river, just as I drove into Kentucky. I've been trying to avoid driving in the dark because a) I don't have very good night vision, and b) DEER! Ugh, I was a little nervous going through Kentucky in the dark, but I survived. I met up with a friend in Nashville at the Smiling Elephant, which was recommended to me by a fellow vegan blogger.

I was easily talked into starting with a bowl of coconut soup. I love these bowls! (Are they still called bowls when they're not round?)

My dinner companion went with lemongrass soup, which was very good, but I'm quite partial to coconut milk.

We both ordered the vegetable stir-fry with tofu.

The veggies were crisp and I especially like the bamboo shoot "noodles." Tofu is always good. I love tofu.

The Curry of the Day was Panang, and I love a good Panang, but I didn't feel very confident that it could be prepared mild enough for my wimpy tastes. I figured I'd better play it safe since I'm on the road, didn't pack antacids, and was dining with a new friend, so I didn't want to have a runny nose all through dinner.

The gong was hit and we attempted to visit Cafe Coco, but there was a show going on nearby, which meant ZERO parking spaces. I was getting pretty tired, so we called it night shortly after that.

And that pretty much wraps up Day Two of my solo journey. I'm surprised at how much I enjoy traveling alone. With road trips, I love being a passenger, but if I'm the one driving, I feel more comfortable driving alone. (For some reason, I feel nervous when other people are riding in my car.) I've always felt happy and content on the road. Some sad thoughts creep into my mind from time to time (how could they not?), but I'm careful to listen to happy music (which has been challenging, since I'm partial to the sappy, mushy, broken-hearted stuff) and sing and dance along the highway. I'm having fun overall.

More to come!

PS. Don't forget to enter the Larabar giveaway!


  1. That's where I am from! Central Illinois originally, I have driven around the state because thats all there is to do in central Illinois. I kind of like driving on road trips solo too except that I can get pretty bad about pushing myself and not stopping for anything.

  2. I feel the same way about driving alone - I get to listen to MY music and think quiet thoughts interruption-free (though that's both good and bad). And, of course, sing 'n dance :P

    Can't believe you're already in TN. Keep driving safe, and making fun road trippy stops!

  3. *sigh*

    Awwww.... I lived in Nashville for almost two years. While I never went to the Smiling Elephant (do you know if it is a newer restaurant?? I left the Nash in early 2009...), I'm quite familiar with Cafe Coco!!!

    I actually used to work at the Whole Foods in Green Hills!! If you have a chance, stop in there and get a smoothie from the juice bar ;)!

    OOooOoo... and if you have time, go hit up the restaurant, PM. ANYONE who is familiar with Nashville should be able to give you pristine directions. AND... PM is a moment's jaunt down the sidewalk from one of my fav Nashville coffee houses: Bongo Java.

    AHHH...I can't stop.

    If you are at Bongo...treat yourself to a Las Paletas popsicle. They are AMAAAAAZING and there are tons of different vegan friendly flavas!!

    Geesh.. I could go on and on.

    Enjoy your trip!!