For me, the highlights of our cross-country drive were Pittsburgh and St. Louis. I’ve blogged a few times before about my love for Pittsburgh, but I’d never been to St. Louis before. I was really excited to see the Gateway Arch, which is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and is an awesome example of architecture and engineering in the 1960s.
Obviously the arch is huge, but I never fully appreciated its scale before seeing it in person. The top of the arch looks so sleek that I never expected there to be enough room inside for a tram to carry passengers to the top, where they can get out and enjoy views of St. Louis and the Mississippi River.
After visiting the arch, we had a fantastic lunch at PW Pizza. You can get gluten-free crust and vegan cheese on any pizza, so we had a “Popeye and Olive Oil” pizza (cleverly named: roasted garlic olive oil, spinach, roasted red pepper) with those substitutions and vegan sausage on half of the pizza. Best lunch of our road trip!
New Brunswick is probably best known for its coast along the Bay of Fundy (the bay between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, famous for having the highest tidal range in the world). The Hopewell Rocks is one of the most popular spots to take in the wonders of the Bay of Fundy. And you can enjoy lots of pretty views like the one below as you drive along the Fundy coast.
But as we planned a road trip from Halifax to Quebec, we wondered if there was anything interesting to see inland in western New Brunswick. It turns out that there are a lot of neat old covered bridges in New Brunswick, and the longest covered bridge in the world (391 meters long!) is in Hartland. The Hartland Bridge was built in 1901 and although it is only one lane wide, traffic still flows pretty steadily across it. The 111th anniversary of the bridge is also featured as the Google Doodle today!
After stopping in Hartland, we continued on to Grand Falls, a town known for its impressive waterfall and gorge, as well as potato farming and processing. The waterfall at Grand Falls is apparently the largest waterfall east of Niagara Falls, with a drop of 23 meters. There are several nice hiking trails around the gorge, and opportunities for zip lining across the gorge! We were feeling mellow and just strolled along the hiking trails a bit.
Finding a decent dinner in small towns like Grand Falls can sometimes be challenging for folks like me with several dietary restrictions. Luckily, Pizza Delight, a common Canadian franchise, offers pizza with gluten-free crust! Top that with tomato sauce and lots of veggies (and no cheese), and I’ve got a great meal!
I’ve been working from home occasionally, which is awesome because I get to make graphs and write and whatnot from the comfort of my couch, enjoying my toasty woodstove and listening to music. Working from home also means that I don’t have to pack a lunch and instead can make whatever I’m craving when I get hungry. Pizza wraps are a great lunch and it probably takes me about three minutes to make one. In fact, the process is so easy that I think these four photos describe it almost completely.
One word is necessary here: microwave.
And that’s it! When the soy cheese is all melty, lunch is ready!
I’m going to venture into posting a savory recipe today, because this crazy-sounding mexican pizza that Jeff dreamed up is just too delicious (and easy) to keep to myself.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Start with preparing the crust. Since we usually make pizza when we’re wanting dinner sooner rather than later, we just buy pizza crust (usually multigrain) at the grocery store and keep it in the freezer until a pizza craving hits.
Once your crust is ready to go, spread mashed butternut squash on the crust. Canned pumpkin also works well.
Next, spread refried beans on top of the squash.
Then spread on some salsa. Then layer on some spinach leaves. Then we throw on some broccoli for good measure. Other vegetable toppings would probably also be fabulous!
Finally, top with grated cheese (we use soy cheese). Bake at 425ºF for about 12-15 minutes.
Enjoy this unexpectedly delicious combination of flavors!