Unique Attractions and Vegan Ice Cream Across New England!

The six northeasternmost states of the USA are known collectively as “New England”. This region that I call “home”, offers scenic beauty during every season. Because the earliest settlers in the country inhabited the area, historic residences and museums abound here as well.

Fortunately, more and more places across the New England states are offering vegan ice cream options nowadays! My experience devouring incredible vegan ice cream varieties in this region is worthy of sharing, so that other vegan travelers will enjoy it as well!

In addition, I would like to share some noteworthy sightseeing options in the region. I have written in the past regarding the typical sightseeing that a tourist in New England seeks: the stunning coast with its lighthouses, the idyllic lakes, and the majestic mountain ranges. This time, I would like to mention some of the region’s “unique gems” or ‘hidden treasures” that travelers would enjoy visiting.

Maine:
Maine is by far, the largest of the six New England states. The town of Freeport is home to a little known attraction called the “Desert of Maine”. An ancient glacier arrived in the state 11,000 years ago and left sand and mineral deposits, forming this small desert, surrounded by a pine forest. Tours are offered today explaining its history.

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Further up the highway, in the central Maine region, is the city of Augusta. A special site there is the “Old Fort Western”. This Revolutionary War fort is the oldest surviving fort in the United States. Visitors are invited to climb the watch tower and see the soldier’s quarters.
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Speaking of “unique” and “noteworthy” places in Maine, I found a special ice cream shop in the town of Brunswick. Gelato Fiasco(Gelato Fiasco) is a gelato shop that offers several flavors of vegan sorbetto. The sorbetto actually tastes like gelato. I opted for the four flavor combo dish of strawberry, chocolate, mango, and banana. I absolutely enjoyed the gourmet-like sorbettos! The price is reasonable. Another location is found in the city of Portland.
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While visiting a city where no vegan-friendly ice cream shops can be found, sometimes vegan restaurants may offer a couple of flavors on their dessert menu. Indeed in the city of Portland, the vegan restaurant “Little Lad’s” (Little Lad’s Vegan Cafe) included a cherry pie topped with vanilla vegan ice cream. My dessert was great.
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Likewise at vegan-friendly Silly’s restaurant (Silly’s Restaurant) in Portland, where diners may choose a vegan ice cream sundae or a pastry drizzled with chocolate sauce and a side of vegan ice cream. This dessert was awesome.
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New Hampshire:
Adjacent to Maine, in the state of New Hampshire, more “hidden gems” are found, in its picturesque outdoor allure and in wonderful vegan ice cream!

Each June, the small town of Sugar Hill celebrates the “Lupine Festival”. These slender purple flowers are found in the fields across the Franconia Notch region. While many travelers are well aware of the breath-taking landscape of the Franconia region, this “hidden gem” of Sugar Hill’s lupine fields are worth a visit as well! Craft vendors display their goods in tents throughout the festival grounds.
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I was absolutely thrilled when I discovered the vegan ice cream shop “Rock Salt Creamery”(Rock Salt Creamery) in the small town of Sanborton, just south of the Franconia Notch/White Mountain region! They serve up ice cream bars and pints of hard ice cream.

One freezer contained pints of hard ice cream flavors.
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A freezer display case contained bins of the vegan ice bars offered for that day.
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The owner put together a display tray of the various ice cream bar flavors, so that I may see them up close without the wrappers. What a colorful and lovely display it was! Each yummy flavor caught my eye and peeked the interest of my taste buds! Raspberry, maple nut, chocolate, strawberry, and more tempting flavors provided many options for vegans to savor.
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I selected the strawberry cream ice cream bar(made with cashew milk) dipped in chocolate and topped with pecans. It was so delicious!
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My second purchase was a pint of the vegan peppermint stick ice cream. Each and every spoonful was decadently flavorful! Visitors to New Hampshire have got to try the yummy vegan ice cream here!
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Another visit to the state brought me to the Lakes region. Lucky for us vegans, Sunapee Harbor has a market in town that includes vegan sorbet on its menu. Marzelli’s Deli ( Marzelli’s Deli) offers a strawberry sorbet that is vegan. I enjoyed the refreshing taste on a hot summer evening.
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Vermont:

Vermont provides such stunning vistas with its Green Mountains and forested terrain. However, one attraction that may escape many visitors is its quarry in the small town of Dorset. The quarry is the oldest one in the United States. Shimmery waters reflect off the brilliant green tree leaves surrounding it. It presents an opportunity for many a weary tourist to take a refreshing swim or to simply walk along its perimeter and enjoy the views.
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Ben and Jerry’s(Ben and Jerry’s) ice cream headquarters in the city of Burlington, offers a sorbet that is vegan. My raspberry sorbet was a tasty treat for the day.
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Massachusetts:
Those visiting the state of Massachusetts are aware of Boston’s historic tourist attractions. I offer up a suggestion to take a drive to the neighboring town of Concord. The town is home to many accomplished authors of yesteryear. Tourists may visit the homes of Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The Alcott’s Orchard House gives a glimpse into her life and writings. Travelers can see the desk where she wrote her novel “Little Women”.
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Quite a few ice cream shops in Massachusetts offer the gamut of vegan ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt. The northern town of Gloucester is a scenic coastal getaway in the northeastern tip of the state. Bishco’s Cafe(Bishco’s Cafe) in the downtown area has a homemade, soy-based frozen yogurt on its menu. The owner makes it himself and will mix it with fruit upon request. I opted for the strawberry flavor. It tasted really yummy! They serve large portions at a good price.
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Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts has a couple of options for vegans. The J.P. Licks ice cream shop (J.P. Lick’s Ice Cream ) offers usually two flavors of soy or coconut milk ice creams per week. I enjoyed their coconut almond lace flavor in a vegan sugar cone.
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A few streets away, I strolled into Lizzy’s Ice Cream(Lizzy’s Ice Cream) on Church Street for some tasty chocolate Tofutti ice cream in a cup.
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Central Square in Cambridge is home to the vegan diner “Veggie Galaxy” (Veggie Galaxy). They offer vegan ice cream scoops, sundaes, and banana splits with multiple toppings. The ice cream is made by the local vegan ice cream shop “Fomu”.

I enjoyed a delicious sundae with vanilla and strawberry ice cream, chocolate sauce and vegan whipped cream.
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My next sundae was drizzled with a fruit topping.
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Yet another visit enticed me to eat a scrumptious banana split with all the fixings: bananas, cherries, chocolate sauce, vegan whipped cream, and a couple of ice cream flavors.
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Speaking of Fomu Ice Cream shop (Fomu Ice Cream) in Boston’s Allston neighborhood, I purchased an apple cider donut flavor ice cream. It was really delicious! Their ice cream is mainly coconut milk-based, with a few flavors offered that are nut milk-based. Two of my favorites are the avocado and the mint chocolate chip ice cream. The all vegan ice cream shop offer many flavors.
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Heading to Cape Cod for the day, I first made a stop in the southern Massachusetts town of Duxbury. Most travelers are familiar with Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts as the site of the first Pilgrim colony. However, a little known fact is that after Pilgrim John Alden and his wife Priscilla left Plimoth Plantation, they built a home in Duxbury. The stone foundation of this homestead is visible after its excavation.

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Several hundred yards through the woods, another Alden home is located. The Alden’s son resided here. John Alden may have spent some time here while visiting his family. Some of his belongings were excavated as well. A display case shows his personal belongings such as shirt buttons, tweezers, and other items.
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Making a stop in Plymouth, I visited the Jabez Howland House. He was the son of Pilgrim John Howland. It is thought that the elder Howlands lived here for a while. Several of the senior Howland’s belongings are displayed within a glass case on the first floor level of the home.
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Cape Cod attracts many visitors each year for its gorgeous coast and beaches. I am thrilled that vegan ice cream is now an option in several towns, along the upper and lower Cape region!

In Falmouth, Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium (Ben and Bill’s Chocolate Emporium) offers a couple of vegan soy gelatos. I opted for the strawberry flavor. It was quite good.
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My most recent find was a vegan-friendly ice cream shop in downtown Hyannis. Katie’s Ice Cream (Katie’s Ice Cream ) offers a couple of vegan ice cream flavors and vegan frozen yogurt. I selected a chocolate ice cream (coconut milk based) topped with walnuts, in a sugar cone. It was wonderful!
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Further up the highway in Orleans, the Ice Cream Cafe (Ice Cream Cafe ) offers a couple vegan ice cream favors and vegan soft serve. I chose a vanilla and chocolate twist soft serve ice cream. It was incredibly delicious!
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The furthest town at the tip of Cape Cod is Provincetown. A local cafe “Grab N Go” (Grab N Go Health Bar) offers vegan soft serve ice cream. My vegan vanilla flavor was awesome.
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One of the best summertime experiences in the state is a visit to the island of Nantucket, located off of the southern Massachusetts coast. Much to my delight, the extremely popular Juice Bar (The Juice Bar) started offering vegan ice cream in the past couple of years. I really enjoyed the yummy chocolate flavor topped with walnuts.
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Connecticut:
The Barker Character, Comic, and Cartoon Museum resides in Cheshire, Connecticut. This unique museum is well worth a visit. Curious tourists may peruse the museum’s collection of cartoon memorabilia from several decades or gaze at the fanciful cartoon character cutouts upon the grounds.
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Manchester, Connecticut is home to Divine Treasures chocolate shop (Divine Treasures). In addition to creating chocolates, they offer vegan ice cream. My chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce and caramel sauce was really yummy.
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Sweet Claude’s ice cream (Sweet Claude’s) in Cheshire offers several Tofutti favors. I chose a cup of the vegan cookies and cream ice cream. It was delicious.
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I ate dinner at an award winning gourmet vegan restaurant in Branford, Connecticut one evening. G-Zen (G-Zen) is an exquisite, upscale, vegan restaurant that also offers desserts. The evening that I dined there, their menu included a wonderfully unique vegan gelato ice cream. My vegan gelato was a lacuma(Peruvian fruit) flavor with a cashew milk base, topped with fresh mint. It was absolutely delicious!
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Rhode Island:
While many tourists are familiar with the striking mansions of Newport, Rhode Island; less have heard of Blithewold Mansion located in Bristol. Equally as charming, it makes for a wonderful day trip by the coast. The property is a 33 acre estate in Narragansett Bay. It became the 19th century summer home of coal mining businessman Augustus Van Wickle and his wife Bessie. The property boasts of having one of the top public gardens in the country.

The elegant mansion contains many large rooms, a patio overlooking the bay, and a gorgeous public garden.
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Rhode Island is home to an all vegan ice cream truck! The “Like No Udder” truck (Like No Udder) is found throughout the streets of Providence, as well as outdoor festivals. They offer vegan soft serve. I savored the great taste of the vanilla and chocolate twist flavors topped with chocolate sprinkles, in a sugar cone.
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Cool Bob’s (Cool Bob’s) is a vegan ice cream cafe within a juice bar. I enjoyed the mint flavor topped with chocolate sauce and nuts.
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The vegan-friendly restaurant “Crazy Burger”(Crazy Burger) resides in the coastal town of Narragansett. They have amazing vegan sundaes with vanilla ice cream, sliced bananas, nuts, and raspberry drizzle sauce.
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As you can see, a visit to New England’s “hidden gem” attractions, followed by a visit to one of the many vegan ice cream shops will make for an interesting and happy summer vacation or day trip! I hope every vegan visiting New England will enjoy these itinerary suggestions and wonderful vegan ice cream options!

No trip to New England would be complete without a visit to the region’s spectacular mountains and magnificent beaches.
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Vegan Travel – My Weekend in Arizona Part#2- The Grand Canyon and Sedona

On day two of my Arizona adventure weekend, I awoke bright and early. My tour guide and group would arrive around 6:45am. As a well-prepared traveler, I had purchased my breakfast the previous day and stored it in my hostel room. My breakfast from the vegetarian/vegan-friendly Bragg’s Factory Diner(Bragg’s Factory Diner) in downtown Phoenix was a delicious Spiced and Sliced Almond French Toast with cinnamon-ginger spiced citrus. After eating my fabulous vegan breakfast, my tour van had arrived and I was on my way to a day tour of Sedona’s Red Rocks and The Grand Canyon!
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As the tour van made it’s way from Phoenix to Sedona, we passed through ever-changing terrain of the Senora desert that included single and multi-pronged cacti, mountainous regions, small rounded brush, a forested area with trees, and rocky ledges.
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We arrived in Sedona during the mid-morning hours. The Red Rocks were stunning to say the least! Their red color is caused by iron oxide. Massive formations of rocks in varying hues of orange and red greeted us, as we drove through town and then later made a stop at an overlook to admire their majestic size and beauty! Each rock pattern in the red sandstone canyon is unique in shape, with each of its jagged edges and pointed peaks.
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Next on our agenda was a visit to the downtown Sedona’s shopping district.
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On the opposite side of our overlook stop, behind the main shopping road, we noticed some additional and unique red rocks formations.
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This particular rock formation resembles Snoopy with Woodstock bird on his tummy.
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After purchasing some souvenirs in town, I decided upon the “Wild Berry Vortex” juice at “Canyon Breeze Juice”(Canyon Breeze Juice). The raw juice was a tasty blend of apples, oranges, strawberries, and blueberries.
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Our time in the gorgeous Red Rocks had ended. Our tour van passed through the scenic Oak Creek Canyon and the ponderosa pines of the Coconino Forest on the way to the next stop on our itinerary: The Grand Canyon!

After a brief drive, we arrived at the South Rim of The Grand Canyon.
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The tour company had arranged for each of us to received a picnic lunch sandwich, which our guide picked up during our time in Sedona. He had confirmed with the “Wildflower Bread Company”(Wildflower Bread Company) that both the bread and the sandwich itself was indeed vegan. My vegan lunch meal was a roasted sweet potato sandwich with fig confit, tomato, roasted potatoes, arugula, marinated fennel and balsamic vinaigrette on herb focaccia.
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Now it was time for the “Piece De Resistance:The Grand Canyon”! I strolled along the South Rim of the Canyon to admire the breath-taking views. The canyon and its deep valley floor displayed a wide range of geological forms and color schemes from its history of erosion. It was quite stunning!
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The El Tovar Hotel resides on the South Rim of the canyon. This grand historic hotel first opened in the year 1905, was designed to cater to the elite at the time. The upscale accommodations include a full concierge service, dining, and a gift shop.
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Across the walkway from El Tovar is the Hopi House. It was built as a market for Native American arts and crafts. The local Hopi tribe were the designated in-house artisans and thus the building was designed to resemble a Hopi pueblo.
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The interior shops offer pottery, jewelry, and other local crafts for purchase.
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Prior to alloted pickup time from our tour guide, I spent the remaining few minutes walking about the South Rim canyon views from the opposite side of the Hopi House.
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Onward we went to drive for several miles along the East Rim of the canyon for some additional vistas. Each one was equally as spectacular.
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Our final Grand Canyon stop of the day, was the infamous Watch Tower.
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FRom outside its perimeter, I gazed upon the geological rock formations, flowing river streams, and native plants.
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I entered the first level of the Watch Tower and found myself surrounded by indigenous carvings, colorful drawings, and intricately detailed paintings on the interior walls and ceiling.
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A winding staircase brought me to an upper level. More colorful paintings of local characters and animals decorated the walls. Each expressed a story that was told among the local tribes people.
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Upon climbing the staircase to the top, I peered through the glass windows for a closer look at the canyon panorama at this uppermost level.
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Our day at the magnificent Grand Canyon had come to an end. We had more more stop on our day’s itinerary. The drive took us to the Navajo Nation, with distant views of the Painted Desert, as well as the Colorado River Gorge along the way. The popular trading post at the Navajo Nation gave us an opportunity to purchase some crafts made locally by the Navajo people and other Native American groups. Pottery, jewelry, and indigenous folk art were among the items offered for purchase here.
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When we arrived back in Phoenix, it was dinnertime. I decided to dine at a popular vegan restaurant downtown. Vegan House Restaurant(Vegan House Restaurant) is a vegan restaurant serving Thai food on their menu.
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I opted for the dumpling curry. My delicious vegan dinner meal included vegetable dumplings in a green curry sauce, served over rice.
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Back at the hostel, I only had a few hours to take a nap. My early morning flight was scheduled for 5am. For breakfast, I enjoyed the yummy peach spice scone and strawberry mini-poptart I had purchased the day prior at Treehouse Bakery (Treehouse Bakery). This all-vegan bakery offers baked goods such as coffeecake, scones, cupcakes, pies, and more.
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My flight departed Phoenix and we arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina for a brief layover. That gave me just enough time to eat lunch at the Charlotte airport before my connecting flight back home. Genghis Grill (Genghis Grill Restaurant) offers healthy bowls. I dined on the Buddha Bowl of veggies and tofu with a spicy sauce. My lunch was filling and flavorful.
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As my connecting flight was taking off, I pleasantly reminisced about my wonderful vacation and the amazing sightseeing I encountered in Goldfield Mining Town, Sedona Red Rocks region, and the spectacular Grand Canyon.

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Vegan Travel: Weekend in Arizona Part#1-Goldfield Ghost Town

Every Memorial Day weekend, I enjoy traveling to a part of the USA that I have not seen. Thus last week I spent the long holiday weekend in the state of Arizona. My limited time permitted me to visit two destinations: the Goldfield Ghost Town and the Grand Canyon region.

The evening flight time allowed me to grab a bite to eat at Boston’s Logan Airport. Fortunately, Au Bon Pain now offers a vegetarian sandwich that can be made vegan without the cheese. The veggie and hummus wrap contains hummus, cucumbers, roasted tomatoes, carrots,chickpeas, romaine, field greens, basil pesto, and balsamic vinaigrette in a whole-wheat wrap. The 12 veggie soup was vegan, as well. My vegan dinner was satisfying.
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Upon arrival in Phoenix, I took the airport super shuttle to the Phoenix Downtown Hostel: my accommodations for the next three evenings. Since the time was close to 11:30pm, it was time to call it a night. Bright and early the next morning, my goal was to eat breakfast and also to purchase a breakfast meal for the following two days, since there would be no time to do so before the next day’s tour or Monday’s return flight home.

With directions and restaurant names in my hand, I quickly made my way into the downtown area. The atmosphere was clearly Southwestern. Beautiful palm trees lined the streets.
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Cacti of every shape and size dotted the residential and commercial parts of the city.
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Nami, an all-vegan restaurant (Nami Restaurant) in downtown Phoenix, offers wonderful vegan breakfasts and brunches.
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The cozy restaurant also provides vegan baked goods such as cakes, donuts, and cupcakes.
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For my breakfast, I decided upon the Country Breakfast Burrito. This absolutely delicious meal was an organic tofu scramble, organic tempeh “bacon”, sautéed peppers & onions, a drizzle of pure maple syrup, melty vegan “cheddar cheese” & breakfast potato hash in a toasty flour tortilla with a side of namibertos salsa. A freshly squeezed orange juice was my morning beverage. The burrito was amazing beyond words: one of the best breakfast meals in all of my domestic travels!
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Next, I headed to Bragg’s Factory Diner (Bragg’s Factory Diner) for a takeaway breakfast that I could store in my room until the next morning. I selected the “Spiced and Sliced French Toast”. This tasty meal was made with almond French toast with cinnamon ginger spiced citrus and a side of eggplant “bacon”.
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The vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurant also has a baked goods for purchase. All of the pies in the displaycase are vegan.
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Their bathroom wall showcased artwork that truly represents the region: a painting of a smiling cactus! I just had to capture it on camera!
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Outside the restaurant, I couldn’t help but notice the funky and colorful artwork that was created upon the tree trunks and sidewalk.
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As I walked further up the road, a colorful “Historic Grand Ave” emblem graced the pavement.
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My final food stop of the morning was Treehouse Bakery (Treehouse Bakery ). This vegan bakery offers baked goods such as scones, pies, cupcakes, coffeecake, and more. I purchased a peach spice scone and a strawberry mini poptart for Monday’s breakfast before my 5am flight back home.
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Mission accomplished finding yummy breakfast foods for the entire weekend! My next feat was to rent a car for my drive to Goldfield Ghost Town. As I walked down the street towards the light rail, my eyes gazed upon the spectacular large cactus and vibrant red flowering bushes that crossed my path.
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A quick 40 minute drive brought me to Goldfield Ghost Town. The old mining town originally sprung up in 1892 when high quality gold was found in this hilly region between the Superstitious Mountains and the Goldfield Mountains. A post office, saloon, boarding house, general store, school, and blacksmith shop took root in the small town of 1,500. When the ore supply started to fizzle out, the miners moved on to other ventures. In 1898, Goldfield became a deserted ghost town. In 1988 after purchase by a local couple, the old mining town was re-created with authentic-looking buildings and a re-constructed mine to the delight of tourists.
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Visitors may take a narrated twenty minute ride around the perimeter of Goldfield Town, aboard the historic locomotive. I decided to do so myself.
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The Superstitious Mountains provided the backdrop to the first portion of our train ride. The mountains got their name from locals who would hear tales of strange happenings from the indigenous tribes. Legend has it that The Lost Dutchman’s Mine is located somewhere within the range.
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Underground mines of yesteryear, with rusty mining equipment outside, can be seen along the train route.
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Desert flora and fauna exhibit proudly along the dusty trails. Massive cacti of the singular and multi-branch types may be viewed throughout the fields.
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As we head around the curb, the locomotive chugs by the back of old Goldfield Town’s buildings, with the Superstitious Mountains in clear view behind.
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Typical desert brush and the region’s short white flowering tree are seen towards the end of our train ride.
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After the conclusion of the locomotive ride, I walked to the center of Goldfield Town. The apothecary, shops, restaurants, and other town businesses gave a sense of a true 19th century town.
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I peered into the window of the old re-created jail.
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A metal art shop nearby displayed tools and equipment utilized for artistic endeavors.
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An old water tower contained stacked up buckets that would supply the town’s water.
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My favorite activity of the day was a tour of the underground mine. An animated guide brought a large group of tourists to explore the mine’s secrets and passageways. He shared tales of how the miners excavated for gold and precious minerals. The guide explained how the equipment we saw, was used for mining purposes. The dark long tunnel finally gave way to stairs that led outside.
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Adjacent to the mine was a gold panning shack where visitors could learn how to pan for gold.
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You can’t visit such a fascinating attraction without purchasing some souvenirs! So of course, I paid a visit to the mercantile shop! The old time shop housed 19th century memorabilia.
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I then strolled around the remainder of the town center. An old time saloon, gift shops, and an art gallery appeared to my left and right.
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A large building Was home to a history museum. Old west artifacts such as Indian pottery, mining equipment, and even Doc Holliday’s outfit were showcased.
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In the town square, one can find a piece of equipment that was used to lower men into the mines.
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A large green building housed many 19th century business including a brothel, a post office, and shops.
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At the end of the main street, a lovely chapel overlooked the town, with a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and valley.
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My time in old Goldfield mining town was fun. It was time to head back to Phoenix for some great vegan dining!

Green Vegetarian (Green restaurant) in downtown Phoenix is a completely vegan restaurant.
I started with a strawberry lemonade beverage.
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For my appetizer, I chose the Spicy buffalo wings with vegan cucumber ranch and celery sticks.
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My dinner entree selection was the Kung Pao bowl with organic brown rice and mock chicken, in a spicy ginger and garlic tamari sauce with crushed peanuts. The entire meal was delicious!
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After dinner, I strolled over to Nami next door. Their vegan ice cream “Tsoynamis” are quite popular! I chose the Rocky Road flavor consisting of vegan chocolate soft serve ice cream with organic walnuts, organic chocolate chips, organic chocolate sauce, and Ricemallow fluff. What an incredibly tasty treat!
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My first day in Arizona had come to an end. The historic sights in old Goldfield and the wonderful vegan dining in Phoenix made for an amazing experience! I looked forward to what experiences the next day would bring as I visit the Grand Canyon and Sedona.

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Vegan Travel : Nantucket Daffodil Festival With Vegan Meals

I never need an excuse to visit Nantucket. It is my favorite destination in the entire USA! However, I had never attended a particular annual Nantucket event. The Daffodil Festival is held every April on the island of Nantucket, off the coast of southern Massachusetts. “Everything that is daffodil” can be observed during this weekend festival! This year, I decided to visit the island to experience this time honored ritual.

The fast ferry from Hyannis brought me to the island in about one hours time. As we pulled into the harbor, the first sight that caught my eye, was the daffodil wreath hung against the lighthouse as it greeted us visitors.
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Upon arrival, one soon notices the daffodil atmosphere and preparations for the festival. Even the bicycle rental shop had daffodil displays showing proudly within its windows.
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Wandering further up the side streets, I caught a glimpse of the daffodil-decorated classic autos awaiting their turn to be staged on Main Street prior to the car parade.
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Many shops displayed stunning daffodils in their window sills or in the soil in front of them.
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The classic autos lined up one by one in front of the judges on Main Street. They announced the make and year of the autos as they drove up in front of the podium. The cars then drove at a slow pace while the crowd would “ohh” and “ahh” at the stylish vehicle and its fancy or whimsical daffodil decorations.
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After watching the auto staging for a while, it was time for a hearty breakfast. I headed over to Arno’s ( Arno’s Restaurant). My morning meal was a tofu scramble with broccoli, spinach, peppers, and mushrooms. It was accompanied by homefries and toast. I opted for an orange juice as my kickstarter morning beverage. Everything was delicious.
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Over at Children’s Beach, the next activity was about to begin. A crowd was gathering for the children’s parade. Daffodil-decorated children rode their daffodil-decorated bicycles, scooters, wagons, and mini-autos. “Adorable” would be an accurate word to describe this procession!
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Following the Children’s parade was the Daffodil Hat contest. Kids and adults competed with unique and creative hats decorated with daffodils.
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I strolled back to Main Street for the auto staging again. More daffodil-decorated shops came into view. The colorful yellow flower arrangements were simply breath-taking! One shop’s windowsills displayed toy lambs among the daffodils.
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All of the participating autos were now staged on Main Street. The crowd could visit each car and take a look at it upclose. Bright colorful autos, dune buggies, and vans were among those displaying their finest daffodil decor. Front hoods, back hoods, car seats were all decorated to the nines!
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One auto conveyed an ocean theme with its inflatable plastic whale on its rooftop.
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Yet another one bore dancing daffodils on its roof! The auto parade had begun!
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As each car drove around the corner of Main onto Centre Street, it paused so that the crowds could appreciate its beauty and uniqueness.
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For lunch, I dined at Boarding House Restaurant (Boarding House Restaurant). They are vegan-friendly. My meal was a vegetable risotto topped with greens. This was really tasty!
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A shuttle bus took me to another part of the island for the Garden Club’s Daffodil Show and contest. Daffodils in shades of white, pale yellow, and deep yellow were among the contestants.
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Local schools had created daffodil displays based on certain given themes such as “A Day At The Beach”.
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As the bus drove us back to town, I glanced through the window at the gorgeous display of daffodils in the nearby fields.
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I strolled around Main Street for a while, admiring the daffodil displays in the shop windows, the park, and the homes.
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Evening had arrived, so I headed to “Sushi By Yoshi”(Sushi By Yoshi Restaurant) for dinner. I selected the vegan maki combo of avocado, cucumber, and asparagus. My meal was filling and satisfying.
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Time had arrived to board the ferry going back to Hyannis. Prior to doing so, I stopped by one of my favorite spots on the island to view the tranquil sea from Easy Street.
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I really enjoyed my trip to Nantucket! The daffodil Festival is well worth the visit. The enticing displays of the colorful yellow flower; showcased in shop windows, on classic autos, on hats, and on children’s bicycles made for a spectacular day! My vegan meals pleased me as well. All in all, I had an amazing time at the Nantucket Daffodil Festival!

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Newark Cherry Blossom Festival and Vegan Meals

Every April, thousands of cherry blossom trees bloom across eastern United States. A little known fact is that the state of New Jersey can boast of having the greatest number of cherry blossom trees in the entire country! Newark, New Jersey is home to Branch Brook Park where the vast majority of these trees reside. A thousand cherry blossom trees are being planted this year, bringing the grand total to 5,000! These blossoming trees have always piqued my curiosity, so this year I decided to pay a visit.

My journey began from the bus station in Boston, Massachusetts; arriving four and a half hours later in Newark, New Jersey. This was to be a whirlwind, one day trip; but well worth it!

Metro Cafe(Metro Cafe), across the street from Penn Station; appears to be a local hotspot for breakfast meals. The owner told me that he makes a good deal of the food purchases at Whole Foods. The bagels he serves are ordered from Simply Bagels, right there in Newark. After speaking with them by phone, he assured me that they were vegan. For those who eat lunch at Metro Cafe, vegan options can be found such as quinoa. I decided upon a raisin bagel, toasted and filled with locally made strawberry preserves. My beverage was the “Morning Lovers” freshly made juice. The ingredients were strawberries, carrots, and apple. Both my breakfast meal and my raw juice were delicious! They also offer smoothies with soy or almond milk.
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It appears from my research, that many restaurants in Newark are closed on Sundays. The city does not have any vegetarian or vegan restaurants. However, the Visitor’s Bureau website lists “healthy dining” options in the city. I was able to find good vegan-friendly restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner while in town for the day.

My arrival time in Newark was approximately 7am, which gave me several hours prior to the start of the Newark Cherry Blossom Festival. So after breakfast, I chose to go on a sightseeing walk downtown. The Market Street area is where I strolled by the majestic city Hall and federal buildings, as well as a shopping district. Several old church from the 17th and 18th century came into view on my path.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Newark is known as Miitary Park. This downtown park displays statues to honor its local heroes from the American Revolution, Civil War, and World Wars. A massive bronze sculpture honoring those who did not survive the wars, resides at the far end of the park, surrounded by colorful flowers. The outdoor space is also a community gathering spot for movies, concerts, and reading.
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A 17th century church beyond the park, was the spot where George Washington paused to on his way to battle in Trenton during the Revolutionary War.
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After my downtown sightseeing walk, I headed to Commerce Downtown Kitchen restaurant for lunch. CDK ( CDK Restaurant) offers a Sunday brunch buffet. The restaurant is vegan-friendy. For my lunchtime meal, I dined on a buffet selection of salads(savory and one with fruit); sauteed mushrooms, onions, and peppers; roasted peppers and stewed tomatoes with a garlic and ginger topping, black eyed peas, and collard greens cooked in vegetable oil. The vegan meal was absolutely delicious! During the week, they offer additional vegan buffet items such as quinoa.
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Now it was time to head on over to the Cherry Blossom Festival! Branch Brook Park was a quick nine stops away by light rail. The street lamps and the stone archway gate greeted visitors with signs that proclaim “Cherry Blossom Festival”.
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Along the main road, as far as the eye can see; rows of cherry blossom trees display in tones of white, light pink, medium pink, and dark pink.
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Some trees stand singularly, while showcasing the uniqueness of their form and hue.
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Yet other trees seem to join together, as if in an embrace.
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Certain trees form what appears to be an archway, that provides a romantic atmosphere for those enjoying their stroll among the scenic pathway.
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A field of white colored trees stand tall; while surrounding a mini light pink blossomed one.
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An upclose view of some medium pink blossoms exhibits the beauty of the delicate flower and its developing buds.
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I headed across the street to the Cherry Blossom Center. This was where the day’s Bloomfest activities was taking place. The signage indicated that the cherry blossoms are at peak!
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All things “Cherry Blossom” could be found at the vendor craft tables! One artisan had created cherry blossom wreaths to wear around your head.
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I gazed at the elegant cherry blossom branch nearby.
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Not too far in the distance, was an enormous white blossom tree. The sheer immensity of its branches was quite impressive!
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Across the road from the Welcome Center, I took in the view of the cherry blossom lined street with its striking palette of white, light pink, and dark pink hues.
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A humongous white cherry blossom tree caught my eye. Its umbrella shaped dome provided majestic beauty, as well as shade for its visitors.
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I appreciated the splendor and sheer attractiveness of each and every tree for its form, size, and color palette; as I wandered around the main area of the park.
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I studied the intricate petals of a light color cherry blossom, as a branch hung closely above head, uncovering its form.
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Many food and beverage vendors were found throughout the park during the day. I quenched my thirst in a freshly squeezed lemonade with ice.
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The next group of entertainers to hit the stage were the Japanese taiko drummers. They thrilled the crowd with a lively performance, as they banged those drums with high energy while jumping up and down on occasion.
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A large white weeping cherry blossom tree with its hanging branches graced my path after the music performance.
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The festival’s visitors were taking full advantage of the lovely sunny weather by spreading picnic blankets around the park , as they ate their snacks and appreciated the scenic view of the cherry blossoms.
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When I arrived at the cultural events tent, an artist was commencing to paint a cherry blossom tree on canvas. The audience sat captivated by the elegance of the brushstrokes and the aesthetic vision of the resulting image.
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The gorgeous blooms were clearly visible as I exited the tent.
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Next onstage were the musicians playing traditional Japanese instruments, including the stringed koto. They played with such passion and energy. Such wonderful pieces that they performed!
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A dancer wearing a traditional orange kimono, performed cultural dance.
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It was time for me to take a walk down to another region of this expansive park. As I strolled throughout this section of Branch Brook, I again took noticed and appreciated the various shades of the blooms and the various sizes and shapes of the trees.
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More weeping cherry blossom trees with their branches hung low greeted me along the way.
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Others appeared a bit more upright.
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My eyes beheld such glorious sights with every step along the bloom filled pathway!
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A light pink blossomed path of trees met me as I waked back towards the Welcome Center for the final cultural performance of the afternoon. A troupe of entertainers amused the audience with feats of swordsmanship and javelin moves onstage.
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My incredible day at the Cherry Blossom Festival had come to an end. It was time for me to think about dinner before taking the evening bus back home to Massachusetts. As I walked along the road lined with cherry blossom trees for the very last time, I admired each and every configuration and hue of tree and blossom that met my eyes.
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Chickpea Cafe (Chickpea Cafe ) at Penn Station bus depot was the perfect spot for me to grab a quick dinner. The vegan-friendly restaurant offers sandwiches, salads and bowls. I opted for the bowl of quinoa with kale, peppers, corn, mushrooms, and chickpeas. This was a great evening meal.
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The bus back to Boston had arrived shortly thereafter. My day trip to the Newark Cherry Blossom Festival’s Bloomfest was an amazing experience! I cherish the time spent admiring the incredibly gorgeous blooms on that lovely day, filled with fascinating culture and the aesthetic beauty of the cherry blossom trees!

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