Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Deerfield Beach Getaway 2010: Part 1

The last time our family took a weekend away for R & R, it was a wet, cold, camping trip in December.  We have been overdue, so we planned a small trip to the other side (the east coast) of Florida for a little exploring and relaxation.  My older dd, Maia, as you may recall, is into all things Japanese, stemming from her love of Manga & Anime.  Discovering that there was a Japanese garden and museum located around Boca Raton, FL, we decided that would be our primary destination and planned our hotel stay and excursions around that. 

No beach, you ask?  No.  Not when beautiful beaches are 25 minutes from our house and family is arriving from MN today, which always entails beach visits.  No, we wanted to check out some other things Florida has to offer besides its beaches. 

So, Maia wanted the Japanese gardens, Paul wanted to relax in a hot tub, I wanted to try out some new restaurants and find fun shops - not really to buy, just to look - and Eve... Well, Eve is 10 and is just pretty much happy to go wherever the family is going.  She didn't care what we did.  We were going together and on an adventure and that was enough for her.  Awesome. :)

She did manage to finish her first sewing project in time for the trip and she knew she wanted to wear it to the Japanese gardens. 


She really did a fantastic job!


After the 3 hour, 40 minute drive, we checked out our hotel (the girls checked out cable channels, since we don't have that at home), took a breather, and prepared for our visit to Delray Beach's, Atlantic Avenue.



I had designs on the Antique Mall that I'd read about, so we parked nearby and immediately spied this super cute cupcake shop!  We would have gone in, if Paul had not been on doctors orders to cut back on sugar for a while.  Going in just might have been torture for him, so we just looked instead.  This darling place is a fine example of why I love, love, love shopping locally.  I love unique, independent little places that you can't find anywhere else. 


A little view of the inside.  Check out the televisions in the oven doors!  So creative!

We stopped in at the Antique Mall and were really a bit disappointed.  I can't say that I've ever been to an antique mall where absolutely everything was behind glass.  It was kind of weird.  But Maia found something very special.  She didn't buy it on this day, though, because the next day we were visiting the Japanese gardens and she wanted to see if she could find something similar in the gift shop.  She didn't, by the way, and we returned for this special item on Saturday... but I'll tell you about it in Part 2!!

So, then it was just time to explore on this hot, Florida, summer day.  We strolled past a health food store and I just had to go in.  I love to check out these little places.  It had a great juice/smoothie bar and deli in the back.  We stopped back here on Saturday after we'd picked up Maia's special item and enjoyed smoothies all around.  Mine was called Hawaiian Sunset and consisted of OJ, banana, papaya nectar, dates, pineapple, and coconut milk.  Delicious, delicious, delicious.



Outside of a stationary/art supply store was this hand seat.  We especially liked the cup rest on the thumb!



Some of the shops - at least 3 or 4 that we saw - had these misters spraying down on their outdoor eating areas.  I suppose if you sat under them for the duration of your drink or meal, it might keep you cool, but though they kind of look cool, I thought that most of the water was likely evaporating, and when we walked beneath them, we really didn't feel much of a difference at all.  It seems a bit of an environmental extravagance to me, but I'm sure is a novel attraction for tourists, who don't necessarily think like I do.



We finished up the evening with dinner out at Olive Garden (nothing unique about this place, but I didn't have anything planned for that night and they do have a few vegan options), which the girls picked.  You can't go wrong with Italian food in our family.  Swimming under the stars was the big finish to our evening, made all the more fanciful with the participants in the ballroom dancing event happening in, what else, the ballroom of the hotel.  So, everyone swam and watched through the glass, the elaborately costumed dancers heading in for their performances. 

 A good start to our weekend! :)

*A brief note to say that my sister and her family are arriving today!!! Hooray!  We'll be making more fun with them until the 5th.  I hope to get a chance to post part two at some point, but with everything going on, it may be delayed.  If I am not back here before the 4th of July, I hope all my U.S. friends have a very festive time with family and friends celebrating our own, special day of Independence!



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