Monday, May 25, 2015


This year has been a big one for birthdays amongst my people. Mom and Dad both turned 60 and Bryce turned 30. To celebrate their "150th Birthday" we spent a week together in Siesta Key, Florida. (Prior to my move to Hawaii, that's where our family vacationed on the regular.) We got right down to the fun having immediately with a trip to the Daiquiri Deck just hours after we arrived!

It's so easy to slide right into vacation mode - laughing...


...eating oysters! 

We tried two types of oysters, although living in Seattle makes you extremely suspicious of other seafood locales. 
  1. The oysters from the Gulf of Mexico were terrible
  2. The oysters from the Atlantic Ocean were good!

Who can pass up chocolate cake on their first day of vacation? Neither Bryce nor Bruce Bogtrotter! (Matilda, anyone?)  

We enjoyed the hell out of ourselves throughout the week. We ate and drank near the water, at Mom's favorite restaurant Turtles.

The landmark I was most looking forward to visiting was the Ringling Museum, most especially the mansion called the Ca' d'Zan, or House of John.

The outside was totally gorgeous and the interior was ornate and over the top! My favorite rooms, of course, were those relating to food consumption and/or service. 

Surely the Ringlings had help who would prepare their meals using such a fancy Vulcan range!

Just when you thought John Ringling couldn't have any more, here's his kitchen within his private train that would take him from city to city!

The best and most unexpected part of the Ringling Museum experience was the GIANT display of miniature circus models. One man made the entire thing and it took him 50 years.

  You could see the circus staff enjoying a meal in the cafeteria tents.

Cheerful guests lined up for cotton candy!

 You know how I feel about old-school cookbooks and I was giddy to see the mention of Merry Go-Round Cake and Circus Cupcakes. Ringling Museum people - you're really missing out by not selling said items onsite!

The vacation wasn't just family, food, and funny business, though! We met up with our good friends, Candace and Don, who we know from Hawaii.


Our dinner at Clayton's was full of laughs, stories, and catching up after several years. My beet salad was one for the books! It included two types of beets, greens tossed in pesto, pistachios, and fried coat cheese. It's on my list of items that I must recreate! Raise your hand if you love beeeeeeets.

The most anticipated meal of the trip was breakfast at The Broken Egg, one of our old favorite stops. 


The location has since moved off of Siesta Key, although I'd travel miles and miles for (ricotta) cheese blintzes like those again. Another item I need to attempt to create, right here.

Many of the visits and meals were pre-planned and anticipated, although finding sfogliatelle in Florida surely wasn't. I about LOST MY MIND when I found out that they were within my sights. (To be clear we were near St. Pete when we found out about Cesarinas Deli.)

They were beautiful! And so flaky, just as I remembered them. The filling wasn't quite up to Naples standards, duh, although the pastry was pretty close.

This is me reeeeealllly happy :) Yeah, the cheese blintzes and sfogliatelle were eaten on the same day and I didn't suffer any side effects from ricotta overload.

Our vacation to Florida was fun-filled and calorie-packed! We left a little grub behind for those who came to the condo after us...

Travel and food things are my love language. Who's with me?

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