Sunday, March 14, 2010

Florida Strawberry Festival

by Meghann on March 14, 2010

Good evening ladies and gents!

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA all day, but this is the first chance I’ve had to sit down. It was another BEAUTIFUL day today and I was determined to spend as much of outside as I could. ;)

The morning started early, well it would have been early yesterday, today I guess we can consider it sleeping in. My alarm went off at 7:15, but it felt like 6:15. :( Booo.. losing an hour of sleep!

Begrudgingly we awoke from our slumbers and I had 1/2 a bagel with almond butter and chocolate chips before my run.

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Last night Derek offered to join me on my run this morning and I welcomed the company. He rollerbladed while I ran and together we completed the 10 miles like it ain’t no thing. ;) It was reassuring to have Derek by my side and company always make the miles fly by on long runs.

After the run I had exactly one hour to shower, pack, dress, and eat a quickie breakfast before heading out the door. Luckily Derek and I were able to divide and conquer. While I was in the shower he got to work on the eggs.

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And after the shower I assembled a yogurt bowl with orange, cereal, and chocolate goldfish to complete my plate.

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Yummy :)

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Where were we off to in such a rush? Well, let me tell you…

The Florida Strawberry Festival!!

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Every year Plant City – located just outside of Tampa – has a month long festival that revolves around the start of strawberry picking season. Plant City is known for they’re fabulous strawberries and they’re proud of it!

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I’ve never been to the strawberry festival, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I did know, however; that I wanted strawberry shortcake! Derek and I bee-lined it to the ‘Build Your Own Strawberry Shortcake’ bar as soon as we arrived.

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There was a line that wrapped around the booth!

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You start with a choice of pound cake and a biscuit. (I chose the pound cake)

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Next, you pile on the strawberries

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And a healthy serving of whipped cream.

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Last, but not least, they top it off with a simple strawberry for decoration.

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Nom Nom Nom

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You can’t tell in the photo, but Derek’s bowl was OVERFLOWING. He was determined to get his $3.50 worth of strawberry shortcake! :)

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I had been warned ahead of time that the vendors at the festival offered just about every deep fried item you could imagine, they weren’t kidding!

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Look, I found veggies!

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Can’t forget the chocolate dip’t bacon!

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I saved the best for last!

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In case you can’t read the tiny sign below, it’s cinnamon flavored deep fried butter! I’ll take two deep fried Pepsis, two deep fried butters, and a heart attack to go please! Thanks!

I was expecting all the deep fried food and all the pop-up food booths, but I was also hoping for some local Mom & Pop vendors as well. I was wrong. :( The only local food options involved strawberries and dessert items. I was craving actual food for lunch and not just dessert items, but my choices were limited.

After Derek and I looped the festival and surveyed our options, we both decided that Gyros would be the best we could do.

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I ordered the chicken gyro, which actually wasn’t that bad.

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Does anyone else get sick just watching rides twist and turn?

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This however looked like something I would do!

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Today’s trip to the Strawberry Festival wasn’t just about strawberries, fried food, and people watching, we had a hidden agenda as well. ;)

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Sara Evans!!!

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Each year the Strawberry Festival draws in a few big name performers and this year it worked out that Derek and I could see Sara Evans perform.

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I LOVE Sara Evans! Her music is fun, up beat, and she is an amazing performer as well. It was a great concert to end the weekend with.

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During the concert Derek and I split some chocolate covered strawberries and I reached my officially sugar overload limit for the day. ;)

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The street on the way back to the car was lined with vendors selling fresh, local strawberries that we calling my name.

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I took home half a flat of strawberries for $6!!

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I plan to put half in the fridge to eat during the week and the other half for future smoothies and other treats.

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When I finally made it home, I was seriously craving fresh VEGGIES for dinner!

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I made a platter plate of snap peas, zucchini…

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… peanut butter pretzels, jalapeno cheese…

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… yellow squash, carrots…

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…and a big dollop of hummus to dip it all in.

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I enjoyed the stacks of zucchini, hummus, and cheese. :)

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It has been a long day and my bed is calling my name.

Good night!!!

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