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Hello, dear readers! It’s been quite some time since my last post, but with good reason. My summer has been busy and chock full of travels, yummy vegan food, and of course, tasting lots of chocolate–all of which I am very excited to share with you!

My first stop for the summer was visiting my sister and parents in the Bethany Beach, DE area. I would get up early and head downtown, before meter parking was in effect (free before 10am, woohoo!) and take in a jog on the beach. I’ve never actually watched the sun come up over the water and so, this particular morning, I got my butt in gear, got down there early and enjoyed my morning run with the sun. As you’ll see from the shots below, there was another “early morning exerciser” out in the water too. Also, because it was early enough before the beach front filled up with chairs, blankets, coolers, and noisy humans, I even snapped a few photos of the elusive ghost crabs that burrow in the sand and scuttle across from hole to hole. I had to snap my phone camera fast because those little suckers are quick! And, to make it more challenging, they’re very tiny and practically blend in with their surroundings. But I got in a few shots for your viewing pleasure.

beach sunrise 1

beach sunrise 2

beach sunrise 3

beach sunrise 4

beach sunrise 5

dolphin swimming

dolphin swimming 2

seashell

ghost crab

ghost crab

tiny ghost crab

Notice this crab is so tiny that its body resides in where the “big toe” would be in this footprint! That’s sooo teeny!

closeup tiny ghost crab

larger ghost crab

Even though my parents live in the Bethany Beach area, the more vegan-friendly places to eat are mostly in the Rehoboth Beach area. For this visit, I didn’t go to the acclaimed Hobo’s restaurant, but instead, tried a new place called Planet X Cafe. Planet X Cafe isn’t exclusively vegan, but they have a number of vegan-friendly dishes. Their menu changes on a regular (if not daily) basis, so if you happen to venture there, just check the menu that day.

The setting is eclectic with lots of paper lanterns, bold colors, patterns, prints, but not too “loud”, especially if you choose to sit outside like I did. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about vegan diet options and was more than happy to accomodate any of my requests. Isn’t that always a pleasure when the wait staff of a non-vegan restaurant actually understand the vegan way of eating? I love that and so appreciate it!

So what did I eat? For my appetizer, I tried their hummus platter and for my entree, I enjoyed a tofu (in some sort of sauce), cocount rice, and pickled vegetable dish. Both courses were very tasty! (The hummus platter, despite being an appetizer, could easily have been a meal in its own right.) Kudos to my kid sister for choosing this place and sharing the meal with me!

planet x cafe exterior 1 Planet X Cafe exterior 2 planet x cafe outdoor seating hummus platter tofu dish 1 tofu dish 2

Finally, because no trip would be complete without it, I stopped at a natural market to check out their chocolate bar collection. Boy, did this place not disappoint! I purchased two bars that were dark chocolate and vegan-friendly. I had never heard of either company, so I was excited to expand my knowledge base. Unfortunately, one bar had already bloomed as you will see from the photos below. But this did not affect the taste. Between the two, I highly favored the Shaman Chocolates bar – which is an approved brand on the Food Empowerment Project’s chocolate list. Despite it being a dark chocolate, the taste was not bitter and the chocolate was super smooth. The Sweet Earth Chocolates brand was not bad; it simply was just not my preference between the two. I would say the Shaman brand was smooth enough to eat on its own and to use in desserts or on s’mores, and the Sweet Earth brand would be better paired with wine as it is a little heartier as dark chocolate goes.

sweet earth front

sweet earth back

sweet earth inside

sweet earth inside

shaman chocolate front

shaman chocolate back

shaman chocolate inside

shaman chocolate inside

Thus concludes my summer beach adventures. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on my travels to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, the vegan eats I sampled, and of course, more vegan-friendly chocolate reviews! And what about you guys? What have your summer adventures been?? Do tell!

As always, thank you for stopping by 🙂