Sometimes I think I really am the worst food blogger ever (nervous chuckle). While everyone else on the internet is cooking up a pre-Thanksgiving feast to share with you and getting you inspired for the upcoming holiday, I’m talking about meditation, travel, and well, brunch.
Don’t worry – I have some more healthy recipes coming up, but until then I want to take a moment to pause and reflect on my recent trip to Tucson, Arizona. As I shared earlier this week, I went to Tucson last weekend to attend a meditation training with Tara Brach. The training was two full days and since I flew in the night before and left the day after, this didn’t leave me with much time to see Tucson (sad face), but I did manage to explore the city a bit through food.
When I arrived in Tucson, my first stop was to check into my hotel and, like the true cat lady I am, my presence immediately attracted a cat in the parking lot. This is incredibly humorous considering I hadn’t even been in the city for two full hours and already managed to come into contact with a feline. I guess the only thing I can say here is… #CrazyCatLadyStrikesAgain
After settling into my hotel I headed to the closest Whole Foods for a late afternoon lunch. I also was lucky to be able to attend a class at Session Yoga. I instantly fell in love with this studio and would definitely come back if I visit Tucson again.
Day 2 was booked solid with the training, but I did manage to visit a different Whole Foods for breakfast and lunch (tip: the one on River Road is much larger and has a better hot foods bar than the one on Speedway Blvd) and I ended the day with a fresh green smoothie and the kale citrus salad from Goodness Tucson. (Thanks to Judy for the great suggestion!) They have an incredible clean foods menu and beautiful ambiance.
Day 3 started with an early breakfast at Nook in downtown Tucson. Nook opened this year and focuses on serving local and exotic dishes. I’ve been obsessed with peppers lately so I opted for the jalapeño omelette and quickly realized: these Tucson folks are not playing around! The food was absolutely incredible, but my Seattle palate was not ready for real jalapeños (wink, wink).
By the end of the two-day meditation training I was absolutely exhausted. It’s hard work to dig deep and talk about your greatest fears, vulnerabilities and joys for two days straight. After the training was over, I decided to end Day 3 with a glass of local red wine while watching the sunset on the patio of Harvest. Harvest is a locally-owned restaurant and focuses on creating seasonally-inspired dishes. The staff were great and the restaurant is absolutely beautiful, plus the view from the patio can’t be beat!
During this trip I realized that one of my favorite things to do on vacation is to visit an outdoor cafe at night. This was one of my best memories from my vacation to Miami a few years ago and I was lucky enough to find a Starbucks in downtown Tucson that was open late and had plenty of outdoor seating. The weather cooperated just enough that I could manage to sit and write outside for several hours, even in the late-night drizzle.
My final day began with brunch at Prep and Pastry Restaurant where I enjoyed the chef’s omelette, loaded with local heirloom tomatoes and bell peppers. What you didn’t see is that the minute after taking these photos, without thinking I drizzled hot sauce over my omelette and proceeded to learn my lesson for the second time that this Seattle gal can’t tolerate real heat in her food. Lesson learned: you win, Arizona.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was the flight back. There was quite a bit of turbulence on the plane (and I felt really bad for the nervous passenger sitting next to me), but the view was absolutely incredible. I’m not quite sure if these mountains were in Nevada or California, but it was such a wonderful reminder of all the beauty there is in this world and how important it is to stop and take a breather once in awhile. I usually have a hard time justifying taking a break, let alone taking a vacation, but every time I do I come back refreshed and inspired, and am able to bring more creativity, dedication, and passion into my work. That being said, it’s really nice to be home and I couldn’t be more excited to get back in the kitchen (and share it with you).
I hope you have a wonderful season and are able to take time for yourself as well!