Tag Archives: tallahassee

Post-classes: Vacation Day Nine (Tallahassee: Edward Ball Wakulla Springs Park)

I decided to take my parents to Wakulla Springs on their last day here, because it was a sunny day and the last time I had attempted to take it in it had started pouring rain as soon as we got on the trail. It turned out to be a great decision because we saw plenty of turtles, alligators, and even got a chance to see manatees in the wild! This is what I’d been hoping to show my parents all along, so I’m glad we all got a chance to experience it together. If you go to Wakulla Springs, I STRONGLY recommend taking the river boat tour. It’s reasonably priced and without it you most likely will have a very difficult time spotting anything. the glass bottom boat tour wasn’t running when we went, because of “dark water” but we still saw plenty. I highly recommend visiting this park. Also, you will get to see the untouched “real” Florida if you take the tour (from the boat), at the end of the stretch of spring where people are allowed to go, and where they only visit a few times a year. The first and third movies in The Creature of the Black Lagoon series were filmed here, as well as Tarzan. If you’re going to take the trail anytime in the spring/summer, wear bug spray! I got many mosquito bites. We did see some lizards though.

main sign

We even got to see a turtle on our way into the park, crossing the street! The car you see in the sign above contained people that also stopped to admire the turtle.

turtleeeee

one

two

three

four

five

six

seven

eight

nine

ten

beautiful

so nice

There is also a swimming area, a beach-y place to lay about in the sun, and a lodge with a soda shop (for milkshakes, hot dogs, etc.) and a real restaurant where we chose to eat lunch.

lodge

outside

ceiling

picture

Here’s the menu:

menu one

menu two

We got the Chicken Caesar salad, Po Boy shrimp sandwich, and the grilled shrimp salad.

caesar

shrimp salad

sandwich

Everything was great! My parents agreed the shrimp was very fresh and I thought my salad was great too. The lodge also offers lodging (imagine that) and beer/wine. Anyway, highly recommended, and a great way to end my parent’s visit.

lizard!

Post & photos by: Melissa

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Post-classes: Vacation Day Eight Part Two (Traveling & Tallahassee: Dade Historic Battlefield State Park & Momo’s pizza)

On our way up through central Florida to Tallahassee we came across Dade Historic Battlefield State Park. Not knowing that this had nothing to do with the civil war, an interest of my dad’s, we stopped in. We quickly learned that this park was focused on the history of the battle that started the Second Seminole War. Having just graduated from Florida State University, (for which the mascot is the Seminoles) I figured this was a great opportunity to learn a bit about this event.

greeting sign

first sign

1800

texty

first seminole war

the beginning

florida territory

treaty

settlers

the reservation

another treaty

date of the battle

artifact

micanopy

afterward

survivors

survive

the second war

afterward

face

Seminoles today

locations

3

4

5

 

1

6

AND! After a long drive back to Tallahassee we ended up at Momo’s pizza, where I got a huge slice with pepperoni, sausage and bacon. Gosh I love pizza.

pizza!

Post & photos by: Melissa


Post-classes: Vacation Day Five (Tallahassee: Graduation, El Tapatio & Kool Beanz)

I graduated! PROOF:

class of 2013

ME

I am now a master of science.

None of us really ate breakfast this morning (as we frantically raced toward the civic center instead), but we did have lunch at El Tapatio, which I enjoyed. Both times I’ve been there I got the carne asada and was not disappointed.

asada

I also tried to show my parents around Lake Ella, but it started raining. We got in a look at some food trucks that happened to be there, as well as the rose garden by the church.

pizza

tacoooos

menu

flowers

The main attraction of the day for me was a well-deserved graduation dinner at Kool Beanz, my favorite Tallahassee spot. My hints: get there early and be prepared to wait. Fortunately we spent time at a local boutique, Cole Couture, while we waited for our table. I also forgot that Kool Beanz always gives you delicious bread and butter before your meal. The bread is so crusty and the butter is so creamy, I could eat the whole basket.

menu

My mom and I each also had a glass of wine.

wine1

wine2

We had the clam appetizer, the spring salad, and the two pasta dishes at the bottom (the crawfish and the scallops/shrimp.) It was ALL amazing but we couldn’t pass up dessert.

clams

le salad

cheesy

mine

Lastly, the dessert menu and our chosen dessert (the smoky bacon brownie!)

desserts

Sorry the picture is dark, it was getting late! This was wonderfully unique and smoky and delicious.

ours

Post & photos by: Melissa


Tallahassee: Birthday food (Kool Beanz Cafe)

Today was my birthday and I went out to get a bunch of food. I stopped at Starbucks for my free birthday drink (which you can get for registering a Starbucks gift card) and my free pastry at Panera (a “candy” cookie which I got for opening a mypanera card.)

candy cookie!

I also headed over to Au Peche Mignon, which I’ve mentioned in a previous post, for some other sweets. I got a pistachio/pistachio macaron, a rose/strawberry preserve macaron and a pistachio/chocolate macaron. I also got a raspberry tart. (All were delicious.)

tart and macaron

tart close-up

les macarons

Later, for dinner, I went to Kool Beanz cafe which I’ve been meaning to try for a while now and it is DEFINITELY my favorite restaurant in Tallahassee. The menu changes often, or so I’ve heard, but I had the duck and it was amazing. I also tried my friend’s shrimp and it was great. The raspberry-jalapeno jam that came with my meal might have been my favorite part though.

tried to capture the menu

(sorry its dark)

I had the “boneless duck breast, raspberry-jalapeno jam, Brussels sprouts, sweet potato mash” and my friend had the shrimp and I would definitely come back for either dish or anything else on the menu because most of it sounded amazing. Overall, a nice food-filled birthday.

Post & Photos by: Melissa


Tallahassee: Au Péché Mignon and the farmers market

Recently I looked at my bookmarks on Yelp. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Yelp lets you bookmark places that you want to try and organizes them into lists for you by category. I looked at all the places I wanted to try around Tallahassee and found there were almost 80! A few I had already tried and hadn’t taken off my list yet, so I reviewed them and deleted them and I’m left with about 75. I don’t know if I’ll get to them all, but I did cross one off my list today!

Today I went to Market Square in Tallahassee and tried Au Peche Mignon, the local French bakery. It was amazing! I didn’t think that macarons existed in Tallahassee, but I was wrong. Today I tried three of them and one amazing almond chocolate. The bakery is conveniently located next to the farmers market (on Saturdays.)

First, the market. I was happy to see it was here, I’d never been in this area on a Saturday before and it was really quite cute. There were lots of fruits and vegetables for sale and a man playing guitar. It was pretty lively but I had no trouble parking, which made me happy. It probably helped that it was a gorgeous, sunny day.

farmers market

food!

After I walked around the market I headed over to the pastry shop.

au peche mignon

So I had a look around.

macarons omg

pastries and cakes omg

more pastries and cakes omg

chocolates omg

sign and more pastries! and cheese!

I ended up with 3 macarons (which I’ll get to in a moment) and a delicious almondine chocolate. The macarons come in this adorable bag (which they actually seal at the top for freshness, which is such a nice touch.)

cute bag

macarons!

I got these flavors, from left and around clockwise(in picture 2): strawberry jam-filled,  hazelnut with kirsch buttercream & nutella. I liked them all, but the strawberry jam one was the most perfect and delicious. The nutella one was great but the shell was a little hollow, and the hazelnut one was the perfect consistency but I should’ve paid more attention and gotten the chocolate-filled hazelnut, because Kirsch is a type of brandy and I was confused as to why the macaron tasted a bit like alcohol. However, if you like that sort of thing, it had a great texture, brandy’s just not my thing. I’ll definitely try more macarons there in the future!

Next, the chocolate. I’m not sure any of my pictures captured the true beauty of this chocolate! I got the “almondine” chocolate, which is described as: “a whole caramelized almond and ganache covered in dark chocolate” and I could pretty much eat these all day every day and not get enough.

could it be in here?

so good

In summary, amazing. I recommend. If you live around the area you must go, and if you visit, you must go. I’m excited to return in the future and I really want to try their baguettes!

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa


Saving money: Why you should sign up for store emails/coupons/etc.

I thought I would give Earth Fare, a (semi) local health food store a chance again today. I normally shop at the chain, Publix, and Earth Fare has a good philosophy of only stocking more natural foods that do not contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, etc. I was pleased to see that they emailed me this coupon:

While this might not actually be the most “Italian” of meals I was really excited and headed there around 4 pm. I found everything and thought I would share this with you, in case your local health food stores offer email coupons. They can be a great way to save money. Dinner for $5 is always a deal in my book.

Another feature Earth Fare offers is a list of printable coupons from their website. You simply select the coupons you’re interested in by clicking on them and then hit “print coupons.” They had some pretty good deals as well, just nothing I was interested in purchasing at this time. As for me, I plan on making a salad and having that spaghetti with some meatballs. Be sure to check out your own local health food stores and good luck!   🙂

Post by: Melissa
Photo courtesy of: Earth Fare


Tallahassee: Natural Bridge Battlefield

One of the things I did around Tallahassee with my mom was to visit the Natural Bridge Battlefield State Park. It was a $3 fee for parking there and we were the only ones, though it might’ve been because other people have important things to do during the week while they aren’t on vacation. There is a very nice picnic area and then there is the actual park.

The battle fought at Natural Bridge Battlefield State Park was during the final weeks of the Civil War, and helped preserve Tallahassee as the only Confederate Capital(capitol?) east of the Mississippi River to never fall into Union hands. (Getting this off of the pamphlet that can be found at the park, all credit goes to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection – division of recreation and parks.) It occurred on March 6th, 1865. Union losses totaled 21 killed, 89 wounded and 38 captured. On the Confederate side, 3 were killed and 22 wounded. There is a battle reenactment every March.

Also, there were lots of little frogs around in the grass! I didn’t manage to take a picture of them, but I did get a picture of a super tiny one that I cornered over on the cement near the entryway to the park. Here he is:

I really enjoy that there are frogs all over the place in Florida. And squirrels.

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa