John and I have been biking the West Orange trail a lot recently.
The weather has been incredible lately (the joys of living in Florida!) and biking has been a fantastic way to take advantage of the beautiful sunshine. I’ve never been much of a cyclist and haven’t ventured beyond leisure cycling so this has been a new experience for me. In the past, John has regularly biked the whole 26.2 miles and back of the trail. Although I’m back into a regular running routine (3-4 times a week for the past month now), I still feel like a cycling baby. Although John’s kind of a pro, we’re starting out in shorter distances. The first time, we went about 12 miles; the second time 15. The last time we started out in Oakland and went to Clermont and I just about died on those monstrous Clermont hills.
This past weekend, we decided to take a more leisurely route into Winter Garden, since we were inviting our friends along. On Saturday, John, Oscar and Jodie and I biked the easy stretch from Oakland (starting at the Killarney Station) into downtown Winter Garden. This part of the trail is shaded by Spanish moss oak trees and runs past houses, a nature preserve and several fields.
Jodie took some photos along the way which I’ll include…
We stopped at the library so John could drop off some CDs, then headed over to the Winter Garden Farmers’ market. We found an interesting way to lock up our bikes:
I’m a huge fan of local markets. I love the Winter Park Farmers’ Market. I’m starting to love the Winter Garden one as well since I come here more often nowadays. Last time we visited the Winter Garden market, John and I were intrigued by pasta by Pappardelle’s. They sell gourmet pastas with interesting blends such as lime chipotle linguine, sweet potato orzo, and even chocolate linguine (to be served as a dessert). We finally settled on porcini mushroom linguine and a mixed blend seasoned with sundried tomato, basil pesto and cracked pepper.
John and I have been on a Thai food kick lately (having dined Thai Singha, Nara Deva Thai AND Thai Blossom in less than two weeks) so we decided to return to Thai Blossom. Oscar and Jodie split Chicken Pad Thai, while John and I split vegetable spring rolls and vegetarian Pad Kee Mao (drunken noodles). We stopped in at Here Be Dragons Bookshoppe where I purchased a live Miles Davis album for 98 cents.
Then we swung by Sweet Traditions French bakery. I had never been in here before. It was ridiculous. I thought it would be a tiny display case with a few pastries in it. The display case was as long as a hallway and was chock full of all kinds of cakes, pies, tarts, cookies, croissants and more.
I got a black coffee and a Napoleon (my fave French pastry) and John got a coconut cream pie and a cappuccino. After enjoying our coffee and desserts it was time to head back to Oakland. I realized that I would like to purchase a basket for my bike. For long distance, I’ve been using John’s mom’s mountain bike; however, for leisure trips like this, it would be nice to take my single speed cruiser to the market and be able to take home a basket full of fresh fruits and vegetables from the market. We are definitely going to try and visit this market more regularly from now on.
We ended up cooking both pasta blends at home later that weekend and each turned out beautifully. The first we cooked with onion, mushrooms, basil, fresh tomatoes and garlic. The second, we pan-fried pine nuts and garlic and tossed it in with some more fresh basil, zucchini squash and onion. Both lovely and now I have plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week!
BTW, I watched both Food Matters and Forks and Knives. Won’t have time for a full review now but I would like to post thoughts about both documentaries soon.