A Florida State of Mind: IBMTD #4

I’m a Yankee. I love winter. Really, I do. No, really.

But, sometimes, a person needs a break from the cold and the gray and the usual.

So, for a while now, I’ve been meaning to (IBMTD) take that break and, with my husband, avail myself of the kindness of two sets of friends who spend winter on the Gulf Coast of Florida. “Come,” they said! “Stay!” Such very good friends . . .

We’re so glad we took the time and went! It was a marvelous trip and, in hopes that these photos will allow you to experience vicariously some of warmth and beauty of this amazing place, I share them here.

We loved the exotic, purely Florida, colors and places. (No Disney for us–sorry!)

We loved the variety of animals that one simply does not see in upstate New York.

And, oh my, we loved the dolphins.

The week went quickly (even with the extra day that we got as a result of a flight cancellation!) We’re back in the snowy and cold Northeast now, pondering winter festivals and snowshoes.

But I also have a mother who lives in Florida! And she says, “Come! Stay!” So, we’ll be heading back one more time, for a little antidote to the rest of winter. What lucky folks we are!

To Market, To Market . . . Atwater in Montreal

250px-AtwaterMarketIs there anything better than a farmer’s market on a perfect autumn day?

Maybe the only improvement would be to visit one in a setting a little different than the ones you normally frequent, with some exotic choices mixed in with the usual favorites.

We spent yesterday at Atwater Market in Montreal. The market is set in and around an Art Deco building and opened in 1933. It has interior space with stalls that feature meats and cheeses and baked goods; during the summer, outdoor stalls overflow with beautiful produce and flowers.

Shopping in a country other than your own always brings discoveries and surprises. We bought ground cherries, which we’d never heard of but are obviously related to Chinese lantern plants; these are meant to be eaten instead of displayed. We got chocolate-covered brandied cherries and chocolate gianduja bars. A cheddar made with Guinness beer, heirloom tomatoes, salt and pepper cashews, fresh croissants . . .

I have two regrets. We didn’t have a car so we couldn’t really dive in. And we didn’t buy the maple and bacon-flavored potato chips. Time to start planning the next visit!