So I just got back from a whirlwind work trip that involved both France and Italy and 8 plane flights. It was quite the trip, and I enjoyed some seriously good food while there as well. I’ll come out and say it right now, I didn’t eat 100% vegan, I HAD to try real Italian gelato, I’m sorry plant-based diet, but I’m just not that political to skip that opportunity, and while I’ll say that I really wanted to have some Italian pizza we never did go to a restaurant that just specialized in pizza, so I stuck to some other things while there. I also had to have a croissant in all its buttery goodness while in France. That being said I had some great food and great experiences with the people that I traveled with. I was able to stick to whole grains in a lot of places, the ability to have pasta’s with simple sauces was abundant and vegetables seemed pretty easy to come by. Fruit was also pretty prevalent so overall I was happy in that sense. (I did skip most food on the plane though, that’ll teach me to call ahead and file a vegan preference.) Also I apologize for the quality of some of these pictures, my work blackberry has a craptacular camera. Next time I’ve got to try to take my good camera with, the point and shoot also failed pretty mightily on some of the night pictures.
While there I had a good discussion with one of the French people that I’m working with and I started understanding that my thoughts about food are much like his thoughts about wine. Its not so much about the food itself but the memories that come with it. I have great memories and have really enjoyed this change that Jackie and I are going through. You know I feel healthier and can share more life with her and with others so what isn’t going to be great about it. I like being able to share these memories and experiences with those around me and if I can in some way make other peoples lives better well then by all means I’m going to try.
I also really learned that what I like about the sterotypical European culture really is there to be liked. They are such a social bunch and really are fun to be around. They like their wine and drinks but they aren’t binge drinkers like American’s tend to be. That fits right in with my way of thinking, I do enjoy a good beer, or as I found out on this trip good wine, and good bourbon, but there isn’t any reason why a person needs to have the excess alcohol and the drunkenness that comes with it. In other ways of saying this, I liked the trip because I feel like it makes me a more well rounded individual and I certainly grew some relationships with the people that I work with that I found difficult before hand. I can’t wait to get back and take Jackie with me. Now that’ll be a trip to make some memories from.
Oh, I couldn’t possibly talk about the trip without perhaps the best part that really didn’t have much to do with food at all. I convinced the guys I went with on my last night there that we should take the time to go the 50 km and see downtown Milan. (That’s where the picture above was taken, and where the gelato was consumed.) Seriously what a beautiful city, so worth it to go down there and just enjoy that architecture and the culture with the guys that decided to go with me. It just had such warmth and was a wonderful experience, the pace of life is so different and you just sort of let it all sink in while feeling like such a small blip in the history and size of the place. I’ll leave you with this parting shot of me in the middle of the Doumo. All I could think in that building was wow… Oh and why the heck is McDonalds in here… But whatever.
One complaint… Seriously Europe bring on the Peanut Butter :).