Porto: Honest to Cod

February 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Mosaic everything, graffiti fun, sardine packaging, iconic Port ads, cod (so much cod), seafood (barnacles? barnacles!), shepherd houses, photo fun, cooking lessons, illustrated store fronts, ladies in pink, rambling streets, tawny shots, river fronts, beach stops, growing stomachs, port, port, port, carnival dress up kits, the most disgusting street food ever, us shaped trees, cross terraced hills, left over birthday candles and a dozen more reasons to come back…. obrigado, Portugal!

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The Final Hoorah

February 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

At least we’re going out on a bang.

Olá Porto! Home of cod, octopus, port wine, port wine and oh yeah, more port wine… I could certainly think of worse places to spend my birthday. I’ll be back in a week, (hopefully) tanner, (obviously) fatter and (unfortunately) a whole year older. Boom.

 

Calabria: Chilly/Chili

January 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m back from Calabria, safe, sound and only 3 pounds heavier. Verdict? Success. By far the most random trip we’ve had yet, it proved to be interesting, sometimes delicious and generally entertaining. Best of moments included: chili peppers everywhere, tangerines everywhere, mozzarella turned into awesome animals making, 9:30 am shot drinking, cheese smelling, pigs, milk for your cappuccino straight out of a goats utter (oh yes),  eyeball/brain tasting, traditional dancing, nature walking/freezing, hanging out with the bodyguard to 4 U.S. presidents (what??), top notch food, pasta making, yatzee playing, cannoli eating, olive oil pressing, Italian immigration learning, beach limbo’ing, karaoke, model photoshoots, mafia fighting priests, fish “juice” tasting, sardine canning, tuna canning (eek), fish auctions, me-size chocolate eggs, spreadable salami making, IGP onions, beach touring, Gollum pizza, stripes wearing, museum visiting and so much more… Slow Food, you ain’t so bad.

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When Weather Strikes

January 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

In a cruel twist of geographical irony, it looks like the coldest place I’ll be all winter will be at the beach… in the south of Italy… where up until 10 minutes ago, I thought I would be tanning. No such luck.

Snow boots, check.

Our Calabria (toe of the boot) stage starts tomorrow. One of the poorest regions in Italy, home to the most dangerous mafia and obsessed with chili powder, I’m thinking our last Italian stage will be one to remember. I’ll (give or take 10 pounds) be back in a week.

A presto!

A collection of starlings is called a Murmuration.

November 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m off to Tuscany tomorrow for a little pre-stage road trip, to be followed by a week of geo-thermal (who knows) Tuscan didactic activities… let’s just hope it’s code for wine.

In Greek we say…

October 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

So it turns out My Big Fat Greek Wedding wasn’t so off the mark. You’re a vegetarian? Here’s some lamb. Check. Greeks invented everything. Check. Greeks make everything better than everyone. Double check.

And after spending a week in Thessaloniki, they might just be right. Highlights of our trip included: constant sleep deprivation, making bread, water buffalo, monk magic, intense amounts of food, beautiful vineyards, saffron central, byzantine churches, big butchers, very Greek strikes, magnums of wine, mushroom degustations, magical villages, adorable stray dogs, crazy corkscrews, too much ouzo, badass bars, sassy signage and so much more… Efxaristo, Greece!

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The return of the Goulash.

July 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Arrivederci Alto Adigo, ciao Bra (sigh)!  Amazing week and potential future place of residence. Highlights included, and in no particular order: cheese making, a ridiculous picnic, beautiful views, gondolas, rain, manure machines, cow milking (!!!), cows in general, austrian apple pickers, wine tasting, meat, so much meat, deer, goulash, pretzels, bread, knudels, cabbage salads, alpine hats, mountain huts, cheese, singing austrian children, figs the size of my face, too much strudel (not possible), milk tasting, fun benches, funny pins, speck, bitters, delicious drinks, ridiculous mounds of bruschetta, beautiful vineyards, hammock time, obvious physical alterations and although not pictured, some incredibly competitive rounds of ping pong.  (Full disclosure, I had no idea I was uploading so many pictures… my bad)

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