A world traveler I am not, though I guess, technically, I am, having spent time in Rome, Abruzzo, and ever so briefly in Copenhagen. I'm new to the 8 hour flights and the accompanying layovers. To the strangeness of being functionally illiterate with words swirling about that I simply do not understand. (Example: Uscita is not a subway stop in Rome. It means exit. Moron.) To driving up what seem to be endless and death-defying mountains with twists and curves that no bus should ever try to maneuver.
But with that said, I really enjoyed the adventure. I liked being away from home, for a bit, and I liked seeing things I never thought I'd lay my own eyes on, in their natural setting.
|Look! The colosseum!|
I'll tell you about the trip and the bits and bobs of all of the adventures in the next few weeks or so, as I remember them and go through my notes and so on and so forth. The cheese factory, the almonds, the ridiculously good pizza. Today though, today, I'm going to tell you what I learned while on my grand adventure, and not a whole heck of a lot of it has to do with food.
|Fish & emotions...really!|
- I am neither as brave nor as badass as I actually thought I was, and actually missed my family tremendously, including the two teenagers.
- Americans on holiday with unlimited quantities of wine sometimes do not behave in a way that is appealing.
- You should have at least a passable understanding of the language before you visit a foreign country. It's just the respectful thing to do.
- Fish, when consumed on a trabocco on the Adriatic Sea, really can conjure emotions (the restaurant's tagline, almost assuredly translated not quite correctly, read Fish & Emotions, and I had both)
- Hearing an Italian say the word Viper instead as Veeper will cause endless hours of laughter, and perhaps a nickname or two.
- You cannot seek out epiphanies. They must arrive on their own schedule, and sometimes not at all.
- Sitting in the basement of an Italian palazzo, cooking while music plays and a slightly off-kilter German stokes the fire of the pizza oven can be very pleasant indeed.
- If you're on a tour with a group of 20, you're incredibly lucky when you get a really good batch, even with the over-imbibing.
- A detox meal on the 8th day of a food-centric Italian vacation is never a good idea.
- It may be a fault to some, but I really don't care for Italian red wine, though Limoncello is all together another matter.
- If an Italian butcher and his family ask if you want you pasta "just a little spicy", the answer, must absolutely be a resounding NO.
|That's our chef, Dino, behind me. I got a "brava" for my mad gnochetti kneading skills.|
I liked Italy and I'd like to go back someday. I really liked the idea of Copenhagen a great deal more than I thought, though I never even got out of the airport or the hotel adjoining it. It could have been the great design or the tall blondness of everything, but it felt like a place I'd want to see...someday.
So here's the group, with our hostess Christina, on our last evening at the Palazzo. We cooked, we ate, we had fun together. I met people I wouldn't have otherwise, from Vancouver and Alexandria, and from a few places in between.
So now it's back to real life, and summer camp registrations and staffing and business and softball, and track and...you get the idea. It was a week ago from this very moment that we were filled to capacity with fish & emotions. I'm glad I did it, and I'm glad to be home.