Palm trees, hot sunshine, flowers and fountains…no, we’re not in Toronto folks, we’re in Fort Myers, Florida! Welcome to Ate by Ate Goes Globe Trotting, your special look into the fun culinary adventures I’ve enjoyed during my travels! First up? Macarons at the Miromar Outlets in Fort Myers, Florida! I’m so super excited to finally share these photos and stories with you guys. I’ve been holding onto them for months now and I finally feel ready to start this fun series now that the weather is nicer and people are starting to think of vacationing for the summer (can you imagine how mad everyone would have been had I posted this back in February when we were still buried in snow?! You guys would have thrown stones at me!). These photos are really special to me because they reflect my first real taste (no pun intended) of traveling.
Let’s start from the beginning: back in February I was given the opportunity to travel to Marco Island, Florida for a 4-day business trip with my Kraft Kitchens and culinary marketing team. Let it be known that aside from a few out-of-town trips across the border and a few trips to Montreal and Quebec City when I was younger, I have NEVER traveled. EVER! So many people talk about family vacations, going away, and this and that. Not the case for me.
I’m not kidding when I say that at the age of 27, this trip to Florida was my very first experience of so many things: my first time packing on my own, my first time navigating the airport by myself (heck, the first time I’ve been in the airport to travel at all! Going to the airport to pick up my aunt and uncle does not count!), and my FIRST TIME BEING ON A PLANE! No joke! If someone would have told me 10 years ago that my first trip was going to be with coworkers to an island in Florida in the dead of February I would have laughed. But life and fate work in funny ways.
I can’t tell you how excited I was. I know flying and traveling are no big deal to some people. For some, it’s even a regular part of life. But for me, traveling has never been. I’ve always had dreams of going here and going there, but my family and I just didn’t have those chances or opportunities when I was growing up. But gosh did this trip ever put me on a high! I wasn’t scared or intimidated in the least and I soaked in every moment of it: going through customs for the first time, chucking my shoes and luggage through the little customs conveyor belt, running down the corridor to board my plane. There was no other feeling like it.
So, how did I end up at the Miromar Outlets in Fort Myers? Before the trip, we were all given our itineraries and we were all told to choose a “free time” activity for one of the afternoons. Everything would be taken care of (transportation, meeting spots, etc.) and all we had to do was choose our activity and show up for it on the day of. The choices were shopping at Miromar Outlets, beach day, golfing, and boating and fishing. You don’t even have to know me inside and out to know which one I would have chosen. HELLO, SHOPPING!
So there I sat on my hotel bed the night before in my jammies, fuzzy socks and wet hair after my shower with the tv on in the background with the Miromar Outlets pamphlet and pen in hand. I had work to do! I wasn’t going to be there for the whole day so I had to make the most out of my time. I circled all the places I wanted to shop my heart out, mapped out a route for my myself and had myself a jolly good time dreaming about all the fab stuff I would buy for my family, friends, and myself. And boy was I ever excited when I saw Le Macaron French Pastries listed in the specialty foods section of the pamphlet! Macarons. At a shopping outlet. In Florida. SWEET! And was this outlet ever a thing of sweet beauty. Flowers, fountains, palm trees, and stone walkways everywhere and such a sense of peace; it was like the outlet was its own little world.
Le Macaron French Pastries (a shop with multiple locations all over Florida!) had a delicious assortment of macarons, a gorgeous display of chocolate truffles, and some yummy flavours of gelato in their gelato bar. Being the macaron maven that I am, I purchased a box of 6 for $12.60: 2 coconut creams, a mint white chocolate, a lemon cream, a dark chocolate passionfruit, and a Colombian coffee. Even though I was in Florida, it really felt like home. The prices were right on par with the ones we have in Toronto and the shop was adorable: bright magenta pink paint on the walls, pretty gift boxes stacked on the display cases, and little chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
My macarons were so cute! The coconut cream ones were studded with shredded coconut and they were definitely my favourite with the Colombian coffee coming in second. Part of me wanted to share a few with my coworkers but the other part just wanted to scarf them down all on my own. I opted for the latter option and enjoyed the whole box all by my lonesome! IT WAS GREAT.
It was such a memorable, special trip and it makes me happy knowing I got to have some foodie fun while I was there. I know these posts and photos will make those of you who love traveling very happy and excited so I’m hoping that with more trips and traveling adventures in the works, it’ll indulge and inspire everyone’s inner traveling and foodie.
Le Macaron French Pastries is a macaron patisserie and sweets shop with a number of locations in Florida including Tampa, Naples and Sarasota. The Estero, Fort Myers location is located within the Miromar Outlets at 10801 Corkscrew Rd. Suite 183. You can check out their website HERE.