Yes, there is a vegan cruise. Can you believe it? It’s called Taste of Health and I’ve been two other times. It’s great to get together with like-minded people, be able to eat all the food without asking a ton of questions, and go to educational classes about health and wellness. But first I started my trip with a few days in Miami Beach with Laura Jill from Veganlicious LJ. I almost had more fun with her in those two days than I did on the cruise. If we lived closer we’d be two peas in a pod!
When I arrived from the airport we grabbed some dinner at a noodle place, which was walking distance from her house. Miami Beach is a dream. Lovely weather, cool architecture and everyone walks and rides their bikes. It reminds me of Santa Monica or Venice. Then LJ took me to the Standard Hotel to use the spa. Just what a girl needs after a long day of travel!
Thursday we woke up and did sunrise yoga at the Standard out on the deck overlooking the bay. It was lovely. Then we went to the Mac n’ Food vegan food truck. That evening we had a fun potluck with the Veganlicious Miami Meetup group. The food was amazing! I made a fruit ceviche that will go in my next book. Here are a few photos from the potluck. People in Miami are nice 🙂
Friday morning Laura led us in a yoga class right on the beach. That was heaven. For lunch we went to the Books and Books Cafe where they had a great selection of vegan dishes on their menu. It was kind of hard to choose just one actually. I went with the vegan platter, which was huge and ended up being two meals, and a side of yucca fries. The platter had sweet yams, grilled tofu, corn salad, black bean hummus, a black bean salad and a huge green salad on top. All delish!
Thank you so much to my wonderful hostess Laura Jill! I seriously had such a great time there!
We said our goodbyes and then I headed for Ft. Lauderdale to board a huge boat that would sail through the Caribbean. I have been on this vegan cruise two times before. It is so great to catch up with old friends and meet all the new beautiful faces that are new to veganism, macrobiotics, and plant-based eating. It’s also fun to meet your fans. Many people came up to me during the cruise saying how much they loved my blog and Blissful Bites.
First stop was St. Thomas. A few friends and I took a ferry to St. John, then hiked to a secluded beach to do some snorkeling. It was beautiful! The next stop was San Juan, which I had been to before on a previous cruise. So I grabbed my computer and went to an internet cafe to check emails and such. Third stop was Nassau, Bahamas. It was pretty touristy here as ports tend to be in the Caribbean. Went on a snorkeling excursion then walked around the city. We hung out with the locals in a market that had shacks set up along the water. All they were selling were fresh conch salad and other seafood, so I starved that afternoon, while my friends enjoyed the local delicacies (they weren’t vegan obviously, yes all kinds of eaters go on this cruise). Some nice locals shared their roasted peanuts with me. The people were really nice, but it made me sad to see horse-drawn carriages carrying people around the city.
Other highlights: yoga everyday and met an amazing yoga teacher named Moses, ate mostly the gluten-free meals which were all very tasty, eating dessert at lunch and dinner and not feeling guilty about it, met Dr. Esselstyn who was charming and funny (though I don’t necessarily agree with his restricted diet philosophy), the bookstore sold all my books and it was exciting to see it lined up with all my favorite authors and mentors, working out with Robert Cheeke on the ship deck, late night dance party with new friends on the last night, and hanging with Sue and her cute family.
What I enjoyed the most this time around was hanging with close friends and meeting new people. The classes were great, but I had seen most the presenters speak many times. The food was pretty good (desserts were the best!), and I always enjoy the evening parties like the Coconut Bliss ice cream social. But there is nothing like sharing time with friends and meeting people that you want to be your friends for the rest of your life. It’s unfortunate that at the end of the week you have to part ways and return to different cities across the globe.
Did you do anything exciting last week? I’m excited about my book tour that starts officially today in DC! Here’s the info. Hope to see you in the next three weeks on the east coast!