Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vegan Mac 'n Cheese Bake-Off and Druid Hill Park

Sunday was another action-packed day.  I started the day off by finally getting around to putting some Biscoff spread on toast - it was delicious!  It doesn't mean I'm going to stop eating it straight from the jar with a spoon, but this is definitely a more filling way to enjoy it. 

You would think after all my own mac 'n cheese making we would be sick of the stuff, but not so!  For lunch, my boyfriend and I went to a Vegan Mac 'n Cheese Bake-Off.  It was $10 to get a sample of all of the entries (there were probably about 20), with the proceeds going to the Baltimore Animal Rights Federation.  In addition to sampling, $10 bought you a judging card to rank each of the entries on a scale of 1-5 (1 being the best). 

I only gave one of the entries a 1 on my score card, a Sriracha Mac 'n Cheese that was spicy, creamy, and just plain delicious.  And it ended up being the winner!  I guess everyone else agreed with me too.  By the end of 20-or-so samples my boyfriend and I were both incredibly full.  We nearly had to be rolled back to the car. 

Later in the afternoon we decided to take some outdoor time again to enjoy the weather by taking a stroll through Druid Hill Park, which is one of the oldest landscaped parks in the U.S.  The park is huge and has so much going on you could spend an entire day there.  We opted to just walk around for about an hour taking in the beautiful trees and flowers. 

I don't even know what kind of trees these are, but I actually prefer them to all the cherry blossoms you find in the mid-Atlantic.  The puffy balls of flowers are like beautiful pillows on the trees.  They look like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book - very reminscient of childhood.  Plus they make me crave cotton candy. 

Rather than dig up the old pool, the park management decided it would be easier to just fill it in with dirt and grass.  The old lifeguard chairs, pool steps, and even the diving board platform (minus the board) still surround this grass pool. 

Most of the flowers in the park aren't planted in neat little beds, but have just randomly popped up all over the place.  It's an eclectic mix of all sorts of flowers I've never seen before. 

Because Druid Hill Park has been around for so long, there are lots of historic elements to the park as well, so there's more than just flowers to see.  This boarded up gardener's house is particularly cool. 

The tree-lined path around the reservoir was pink and gorgeous!

We even spotted some local wildlife - a beautiful red wing blackbird in the bushes.  (Actually, we spotted quite a few, but this is the only one that sat still long enough for me to snap a picture.) 

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