Dining Outside the Home: Goo Goo Shop in Nashville, Tennessee! Wander into the SoBro area just off Broadway’s bar scene to tickle your tastebuds with clusters of buttery caramel, creamy marshmallow, roasted peanuts, and decadent chocolate. But don’t stop there. This is home of the famous candy nougat for over a hundred years. Start with the classic then mix it up with southern pecans or gooey peanut butter. The dessert bar offers thick milkshakes, retro candies, moist cakes, chocolatey sundaes, and much more. Nibble away. True love never tasted so good.
Dining Outside the Home: Sift Bake Shop in Mystic, Connecticut. How lucky to discover a celebrity pastry chef, who won the Food Network’s “Best Baker in America” award, owning a bakery in Mystic, Connecticut. Talk about a hidden gem. Adam Young’s French inspired bakery will lure you down to Water Street with its fresh-out-of-the-oven aromas. Follow your nose to be pleasantly surprised by artisanal breads, sold by the whole or half loaf. Croissants might be stuffed with meats, veggies, nuts, or chocolate. Choose wisely. Exquisite cakes and delectable cookies satisfy the sweet tooth cravings now and later in the day. Better get extra. By dilly-dallying around you could find yourself yearning for something another customer already placed in her French market basket.
Ambrose’s Kapuna Surf Gallery is a bright yellow-painted building with chipped edges and white-wash streaks that sits at an intersection on the edge of Kuhio Highway. It’s typical weather-worn entrance has doors propped open to catch a glimpse of area art pieces hanging throughout. We ducked inside to get a break from the noonday sun and catch a cross-breeze. A lean, mellow man with seasoned eyes sat behind the counter with fingers wrapped busily in untangling a wad of knotted fishing string. “I’m using this to sew stitches in a hat I’m making from dried coconut palm bark,” he volunteered. With that he stood up, walked over to a makeshift coat rack and pulled down a primitive looking wide-brimmed fisherman’s hat with an open top. “Here, try it on”, he said without leaving me a choice. “This is a first attempt at saving my old hat that has seen better days.” Without a will of my own, I complied a few seconds longer than I felt comfortable and then removed it. “I didn’t have the confidence to attempt sewing a top on it then”, he continued. “This time will be different,” he said as he took it from me and placed it on his own head. I shoved all thoughts of his disheveled thinning scalp from my mind. He handed me a piece of palm bark as his fingers brushed up and down the surface. “Here. Feel it. This stuff is durable and waterproof. It’ll be perfect when it’s done.” I nodded my head in agreement and wished him good luck. He smiled a coffee-stained grin and turned his attention back to the discarded fishing net. I had to admire him for recycling the knotted nylon mess and perhaps saving the ocean floor from one more piece of debris. Later, we heard through the grapevine this man is practically the “surfboard whisperer”. Like magic, he can repair dings, cracks, and shatters in any damaged surfboard. The guy is a master at restoration. Stepping across the threshold on that hot sunny day was like stepping into a treasure trove.