Thursday, May 25, 2006

Vegan Travels: Take One

So... we left yesterday morning bright and early at Linus' urging. At about 4am he decided that after 3 nearly sleepless nights in my sister-in-laws unsleepable guest room (hardest bed ever, and I can sleep on anything) that he was done and began yelling his head off. So we got up and got our stuff together to head out. By 11 we were well into California and were cruising along. The kitties were doing remarkably well, with Linus and Ravi riding with Jim and Bindhi and Moussa the Hamster with me. And then... Jim's car overheated.... and we had to stop and find a dealer to take it to because AAA was being enormously unhelpful. Thankfully we were only 7 miles away from a Volvo dealer in Palm Springs. We found a hotel to drop everyone off at and made our way to dealer. They said they wouldn't be able to look at it until this morning so we resigned to the hotel, praying it was nothing big.


On our way to the dealer I noticed a restaurant directly across from our hotel called Veggie and Tea House. How convenient, I thought. After dropping off the car we headed there for dinner. All vegetarian with clearly marked vegan options. An absolute god-send after 3 nights of virtually no sleep, car troubles and 115 degree heat. We both ordered a thin rice noodle dish, served with mushrooms, ginger and some other assorted yummy veggies.


Last night Jim jokingly said to me "You should find us a place to eat tomorrow, so for the heck of it I logged on to Happy Cow on a whim. Well, this whole car breaking down thing turned out to be a mini vegan vacation in the making! Low and behold, the amazing and famed Native Foods has a location literally one mile from our hotel! For those not familiar with them, they are a chain of restaurants in California. They have 4 locations and the owner has a cookbook. Well, once I found out about that, we spent the evening oogling their menu.



When we woke up today we ate lightly from our stash and got there when they opened. We started by sharing the Casear salad, which is SO good. Their dressing is great and the recipe is in their cookbook!


While this looks like a pile of lettuce, it's actually 2 tempeh fish tacos. Incredible! They were very yummy, the sauce was savory and the black beans on the side were perfectly seasoned.


While Jim enjoyed his taco (which I stole bites of, naturally) I had a chicken sandwich with 1000 Island dressing on it. That dressing is also in the book (which we bought while we were there). Wow, it was good. I was a little skeptical of the Thai slaw on the side (I have issues with anything called "slaw") but it was very tasty and refreshing.

Wow, this has been nuts so far. We got Jim's car back this afternoon and now the sun is down, so we're going to head out while it's cool, for the kitties sake and the car's. We power napped this afternoons, so we're just going to hit the road and see how far we can go. More luck and well wishes, please!!! :)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good luck. Weren't you worried about leaving the cats in the hotel room? What if a maid had let them out?

Freedom said...

You have been lucky and unlucky! To find a hotel that would take cats and so close to great restaurants! When we moved my parents had my four guinea pigs in the car (I flew ahead, with my kitty, dog and rat) and they had to smuggle them into the motel - can't imagine what the fuss would have been over cats!

Good LUCK!

Anonymous said...

It just occurred to me that some small airline could make itself a tidy sum catering to people moving with animals. I'm envisioning nice places for animals next to seats for their humans, all in the passenger compartment. I've heard so many horror stories about animals in cargo compartments being let loose, freezing or getting heatstroke, suffocating, etc.

Lady T said...

My best wishes on your already eventful adventure!!!! Perhaps the car breaking down where it did was serendipity......

Meg said...

I've read your blog before, but never commented, so this is the first time. Just wanted to say good luck on the rest of your trip; hope everything goes well and the rest of your trip is uneventful!

primaryconsumer said...

Good luck on the rest of your trip!

Shananigans said...

Native Foods is so good! I go to the one in Westwood pretty regularly and I’ve never had anything there that wasn’t absolutely delicious. Hope the rest of your drive goes smoothly.

karen said...

Sounds like you at least found some great food to refuel for your journey. Wishing you and your pets a safe trip!

krispycheks said...

Hi all! We are in Oregon now, but about 250 miles south of Portland. We left last night at 9pm and we got here at about 8pm tonight. We stopped and slept in our cars for about 3 hours over the course of the day. I'm wiped now and I'm just looking foward to this being over.

I have been very grateful to find pet friendly hotels all over this country. All La Quinta hotels are pet friendly, but they aren't everywhere. Many places will have a pet friendly suite, even if all the rooms aren't "friendly". Tonight we are at a pet friendly Best Western.

I wasn't too worried about leaving the kitties because we specifically requested no service, we had the "do not disturb" card on the door and it was after the cleaning crew had already done our floor. Even without pets, I don't like cleaning people coming in, so I always request to not have service done and then double check it. You gotta have a strategy to keep the kitties safe!

Thank you all for all your support! I will report more when we get in and are a little more rested. I've officially been up for 38 hours, with the exception of the 3 I spent hunched over a cat carrier with a pillow, so I'm going to go and pass out now. :)

Brooke said...

wow, that food looks fantastic! do you know what they make their "chicken" out of? it looks so realistic! :-)

Johanna3 said...

i hope you can get soon to your new home, wishing you a good travel and no more car accidents.

Johanna3 said...

i got your pin and cokies and jerky today wohoooo, what a surprise, we love all, was super sweet of you to send it! what is food fight?

Randi said...

Native foods is great. When I loved in California, I ate at the location in Westwood.