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Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

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Beach Trips

My first vacation of any real length is coming up in two weeks’ time. My boyfriend and I are heading south to Delray Beach, Fla. — a place picked solely for being home to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, and for having the word “beach” in its name.

Beyond taking in some culture and art — Chihuly is on display at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables — we’re hoping to do little more than soak up some sun and surf. When I was little and used to go with my parents to the beach — usually South Carolina’s Litchfield Resort — there were two albums we’d always pull out as soon as the wisteria started climbing the trees — Clapton’s There’s One in Every Crowd and Buffet’s Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. I’d watch the landscape change, pine trees giving way to sea grasses, and softly sing along to “Don’t Blame Me” and “Margaritaville.” Years later those two albums are still required listening whenever I head toward the coast.


Tofu

Up until recently I thought tofu was disgusting. I’d pick around it in my hot and sour soup and make fun of people like SMN writer Don Hendershot who has Tofurky at Thanksgiving. As it turns out, those tofu eaters actually may be onto something. It’s early on in the experiment, but I’ve found that the key is incorporating heavy spices and making sure it’s cut thinly enough before cooking as to keep it from being all squishy in the middle. For any other carnivores out there who are curious, I recommend heading to Doc Chey’s or Jae in Asheville for Pad Thai with tofu. While you’re there, spring for a bowl of coconut soup.


Getting Outside for a Walk

Went for a walk around town the other night in downtown Waynesville to work off a bit of a rather large BBQ dinner (the antithesis of tofu). It was long after the stores had closed, but there was still a dusky light and a gentle warmth in the air. I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I’d never really just gotten down, on ground level, with the town. Never made much use of the sidewalks. Never realized that there were so many flowers and stone walls. It made me feel so much more connected to the town than I do zipping around in my car from task to task. But whether it’s downtown, or out on a trail, or with all the dogs and joggers doing laps around Lake Junaluska, get out and move around a bit as this most marvelous spring weather sets in.

— By Sarah Kucharski

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