In late September, I decided to treat myself to a relaxing afternoon after my first exam of the semester. Of course, that consisted of going to Ponce City Market and getting an acai bowl from Lucky Lotus. A protein bowl, to be exact. I sat outside and enjoyed the mix of refreshing acai, creamy peanut butter, fresh bananas and strawberries, mini chocolate chips, and crunchy granola. It was delicious, as always.

About a week or so later, my roommate had the same idea and went to get an acai bowl herself. Upon arriving there, she immediately texted in a panic that Lucky Lotus was closing that weekend and would be giving out everything for free or reduced prices until they ran out and subsequently closed. We were devastated, to say the least.

It might be difficult to understand how upset we were about the closing of an acai bowl shop in a food hall full of delicious restaurants and vendors, but to us, Lucky Lotus was more than just the food. Yes, we loved that the acai was frozen so that it melted slowly in comparison to Playa Bowls. Yes, we loved the college-budget-friendly price point ($7.50 a bowl!). Yes, we loved the freshness of the fruit, the giant scoops of peanut butter, and the sweetness of the chocolate chips. But even more so, we loved that it was always there when we needed it.

That sounds cheesy, but I truly mean it. Last year as we trudged through the Zoom fatigue and daily frustration of being stripped of such a large chunk of our college experience, we really relied on the little things to make us happy. When we discovered Lucky Lotus, it became our go-to treat when we were feeling down, and we started going so regularly that one of the workers began recognizing us. He would always ask us how our days were with a genuine smile, and it was pretty difficult after that to feel all the gloom that the past year had provided.  

Lucky Lotus reminds me of making the best of a difficult situation. An acai bowl isn't going to fix any major problems, but our routine of going to Lucky Lotus brought some much needed sunshine and consistency to our otherwise monotonous days.

It also reminds me of the importance of self-care. The way that I still associate Lucky Lotus with relaxation and treating myself even now that life is busy and exciting again just goes to show how impactful it has been on my well-being. It's so important to recognize what keeps you calm and recharges your energy, and Lucky Lotus did that for me time and time again. 

Although Lucky Lotus plans to transition to taking orders through their website, I will definitely miss the experience of going and getting my acai bowl in person. From the friendly staff, to the fresh ingredients, to the delicious bowls, Lucky Lotus was a special place that always brought some cheer to my day. While I'm eagerly awaiting whichever amazing vendor will take its place, I will always secretly be hoping that Lucky Lotus makes its return, and I will be first in line if and when it's finally back.