Bradenton Flea Market

As much as I wish Bradenton had something like the Nashville Farmers Market, we definitely do not. What we do have is good enough for me, though. The Bradenton Flea Market is the absolute best place to buy produce in town. Great prices and excellent food..

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LOOK at those tomatoes! Only $.25 each. If you tried to buy a tomato at Walmart, you’d easily pay double, AND you’d have to actually go to Walmart. I’m not sure which is worse. Also, when you buy something at a produce stand, it’s actually ripe enough to eat that day. You don’t have to leave it sitting in the kitchen for a week, waiting for it to become edible!

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Tell me what’s tastier than a ripe avocado? That’s right. Nothing.

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The actual Flea Market is only open Thursday-Sunday, but the produce stand in the front is open everyday, except for Monday. Stop in and look around. Your wallet and your tummy will appreciate it.

Nashville Farmers Market

We found the Nashville Farmers’ Market by accident while we were driving around the city and we were not disappointed by our decision to stop. They had plenty of BEAUTIFULLY ripe fruits and vegetables..

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Local honey..

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Jams and pickled things…

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Inside, they had several small booths selling different beauty products and candles etc…

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This candle booth had candles that smelled like everything from fresh linen to fruit loops to leather. I was boring and just went with “Breeze.”

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There is also a nice cafeteria…

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…with everything from Indian food…

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… to BBQ..

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You know you are in the south when there is an entire menu section dedicated to varieties of Grits!

My favorite was probably the kettle corn place.

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I have never seen so many varieties of kettle corn! We sampled many of them, and they were all fantastic!

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Of all the food we tried in Nashville, this was probably the best. I have to recommend that you go there and buy a couple of bags. I can’t believe I never noticed the White Cheddar Jalapeno and the Dill Pickle! That’s it! Time to go back!

Makes Me Want To Take A Backroad

Hellooo writer’s block. I have to take my GRE this morning so of course my brain thought it would be an excellent idea to wake up at 5AM for absolutely no reason. Fantastic! There isn’t really a method to the madness of writing these posts. I just scroll through my pictures and the first thing that catches my eye gets a post. This morning, at 5AM, it was the things we saw on the back-roads of Tennessee.

We took the back-roads often, but we mostly only drove on the first and last days. The rest of the time, we were in Nashville. We arrived there and found it impossible to leave, so we did a lot less driving than we had originally planned.

Our first stop, once we were outside of Knoxville, was Oral’s Elegant Junk…

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Who wouldn’t stop there?? Unfortunately, it was closed. That may or may not have kept us from being chopped into tiny pieces and thrown into a river. I guess we’ll never know. Then we stopped at a few smaller antique/thrift shops which were not what I would call exciting.. but then… we saw this beautifully promising sign..

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Bargains AND MORE? What could you possibly want beyond bargains? We had to investigate. Upon driving up the long twisty driveway, this is what we found…

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Why yes, that’s a 6′ by 10′ shed… I’m not sure how much “bargains and more” could fit in this place, but there was no turning back now…

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Apparently, she’s a couponer and she sells her extras, using a deceptively large sign to lure people in. I only say deceptive because her sign was probably bigger than the whole shed. At least she “excepts” major credit cards

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The people were really very sweet, and I was able to buy some paper towels which definitely came in handy so I can’t really complain. It’s always an adventure.

Our best stop was probably on our way back home. We had just been to a park for some relaxation and river frolicking and we’d worked up a pretty good appetite. That’s when we saw this place…

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The food is very southern, which means a lot of fried food and a lot of meat. For us vegetarians, there is a grilled cheese option that they make with Texas toast. Add some tomatoes and it’s perfection! The owners were there and so friendly! They gave us a lot of recommendations on things to do in the area like white water rafting, kayaking, parks etc. Too bad it was our last day!

The decor is very hunter chic..

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One deer even gave the place two thumbs up…

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Terrible joke. I apologize..

Here’s the address, 3292 STATE HWY 158 SOUTH, GEORGETOWN, TN 37336. If you’re driving from Chattanooga to Knoxville, I definitely recommend stopping for some lunch.

Traveling Student Problems: WiFi Dilemma

I loved the hotel where we were staying, but they charged for their WiFi and I had an online class presentation to complete. Just one block from the hotel was this place:

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It is the Turkish version of Central Perk I think. I felt very “New York” walking down the street, laptop bag in hand, headed to the local cafe like, “No big deal, guys. I do this all the time.” We had breakfast there and the food was really good. I had spinach pie and mom had a bagel and Turkish coffee. Perfect way to start the day. I ended up being there for over 2 hours..

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They are right across the street from Central Park, so if you happen to have someone unfortunate enough to be stuck waiting around while you do school work, at least they will have somewhere to go. The place is surprisingly busy! There was a nice mix of tourists chatting excitedly amongst themselves about their plans for the day and locals who came just to hang out and read the paper.

So if you are in need of some WiFi, or just want a good local breakfast with strong coffee, check this place out! Good food and great hospitality.

New York Bageling

My experience in New York City is limited to about 2 weeks, so I’m far from trying every bagel shop and being able to say which one is the best. I AM able to tell you that if you try the Absolute Bagel shop, you won’t be disappointed. Judging by their four square reviews, I’m far from the only one with this opinion. It’s located right on Broadway near Morningside Heights and Columbia University. This is also right where the M60 bus starts, which is the one you can take to the airport.

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You can sit outside and people watch when the weather is good. People watching happens to be one of my favorite travel activities and where can you do that better than in NYC? But when it’s chilly like my last visit, they also have cozy seating inside…

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The bagel variety is quite impressive and the people are really nice… as long as you know what you’re doing. New Yorkers don’t like to wait. First you go to the farthest counter and select you type of bagel, the everything is always a safe bet. Next they toast it for you, and lastly, once it’s toasted you tell them the type of spread. If you do this out of order, they get kind of fussy, but it all adds to the New York experience. Floridians like me aren’t used to rushing, so the intensity of it all is very amusing.

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They have about every type of spread you can imagine..

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Strawberry, Blueberry, Onion and Chives, Pimento, Lox and my favorite the Sun-Dried Tomato..

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It really lives up to the NY bagel hype. It’s a small hole in the wall place, so it’s easy to miss, but it’s well worth finding!

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Anyone have other recommendations?

Snacking in Times Square

Times Square is amazing. You don’t have to have a plan… or buy anything… or do anything… Just BE there. Watch the people, see the sites and take it all in. There are so many families, school groups and couples from every corner of the earth all congregating in that small square in New York City. It’s sort of the Cliff Notes version of the ethnicities of the world. What better way is there to take in all those sights than while drinking a warm drink and snacking on delicious mini cupcakes?

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The place is called Baked by Melissa and it’s just a few blocks away from Times Square so it’s easy walking distance. They have so many flavors and the prices are really good!

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They are barely bigger than a quarter, so if you get a twelve pack and split it with someone it’s pretty guilt free. C’mon! You’re on vacation. Calories don’t count!…

So grab a chai…

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And head to Times Square…

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