Whenever Doug and I take a road trip, we instinctively search for anything related to Armenians along the way – people, restaurants, exhibits, films (you never know when a new Atom Egoyan movie is premiering!).
On our return drive from North Carolina recently, we stopped in St. Augustine for the night. We could have made the drive back to Florida in one day (10-hour drive), if we wanted to, but at our age we didn’t feel the need to push.
We randomly selected a hotel and checked in. The manager noticed our name, and asked if we’re Armenian. He told us he’s Lebanese, from Beirut, and mentioned Beirut’s large Armenian community. He’s been in St. Augustine for 19 years, and what he misses most, he says, is Armenian basturma! After dinner, we strolled through the area’s Prime Outlet Mall for something to do, and to stretch our cramped legs. While I was looking at shoes, Doug wandered off then returned excitedly, dragging me to see a store he’d just found – Le Gourmet Chef. I have to admit, it was much more fun wandering through the over-stocked aisles of kitchen and household wares than looking at Easy Spirit shoes!
It never ceases to amaze me what you’ll find in unexpected places. We found Boyajian flavored oils, Boyajian flavorings for baking, and Boyajian fondue oil. If you’ll recall, I wrote about them back in December as a suggestion for a Christmas gift. Since we live a good four hours away from St. Augustine, and this lovely store, it was our duty to purchase as many Boyajian products as we could. Of course we could have ordered directly from the company, but I love having the products in-hand for immediate use.