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A trip down memory lane

It has been so long since I have: 1. Logged into my account to WRITE something, 2. seriously considered putting up a post, and 3. actually logging in and writing a real post.

I have failed tremendously as a blogger.  As such, I hereby consider myself an n00b once again in the food blogging world.  Please be nice to me.

A year has come and gone as it always does.  However, this year I do not have a big trip to look forward to.  For the past 2 years, I have made a summer trip overseas to Europe on both occasions.  My first trip was back in the summer of 2008.  The trip was my graduation present to myself and also, my last real BIG trip before I started my career (aka being an adult).

In 2008, I made my first trip off of the North American continent since I was like 4 or 5 years old?  I don’t even remember the last time I set foot off of this continent because I was so young.  On top of that, I was setting out on my 25-day excursion on my OWN.  Well…technically, I wasn’t completely by myself since I was joining a tour group.

For 25-days, I let the good people of Contiki decide where I should be, where I would be staying, and where I would be exploring in general.  My gosh…25 days of non-stop traveling, carrying my 45 pound luggage on my own (I would get a little help occasionally) and going around foreign countries with little to no knowledge of the native tongue.  However, it was one HELL of an adventure!

I don’t even know where to start to describe my very first trip to Europe.  So instead, I’ll give a reader’s digest version and let the food pictures document my trip!

During my 2008 trip, I visited the following countries and cities:

  • UK – London
  • France – Paris, Beaujolais Wine Region, French Riviera, Nice
  • Monaco
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Italy – Verona, Venice, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Pompeii
  • Greece – Corfu, Athens

These were the main cities we had visited during our trek through Europe.  There were other cities that we had made stops in between our destinations, but they have since been lost on me.  However, as you can see here, I had my wide range of sights, sounds, and cuisines!

Please do keep a few things in mind:

  • I had just graduated and left my part-time job about 2 months before the trip and I had spent majority of my savings on the trip.
  • My choices were limited at times and thus, I ate a lot of bread and anything to keep me from starving.
  • Yes, I did more than just gelato (you will see a lot of it).  However, when I was in Italy, it was the end of June and the heat plus humidity was KILLING me.  All I wanted during the day time was gelato and ice cold water.  That’s all I needed honestly.

For the record: I was well fed and never did I once go hungry for long.  And I am sure there’s the question of weight gain.  The honest answer is I had no idea.  I stayed away from the scale after my trip and the whole summer for that matter because you know what?  I was about to start my working life and I was going to have as much fun as I possibly could in those two and half months!

Let the reminiscing begin!!

London, UK:

Chicken Tikka Masala with naan

Sandwiches from Harrod's

Dessert from Harrod's - a pistachio cake with strawberries

Paris, France:

One of MANY baguette sandwiches I had, but they are so yummy!

Laudree...I squealed in delight just thinking about this place

My precious!!! These beautiful macaroons were amazing and well worth the money.

Delicious pizzas/cheese foccaias from a little bakery. A cheese (back) and a proscuitto & goat cheese (front)

Look at the stack of Nutella

Nutella, banana, coco crepe - best combination ever

Duck a l'Orange

Beaujolais Wine Region:

Wine tasting

Bruschetta

Roasted chicken with vegetables

Tiramisu-like dessert...still was really good

Barcelona, Spain:

The amazing market right off of La Rambla – La Boqueria

Falafel sandwich with seasoned califlower from Maoz

Garlic Bruschetta

Traditional Paella...the pan was bigger than a tire rim!

French Riveria, Nice, Monaco:

Lasagna and salad

Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Salad

Sangria

A different goat cheese and prosciutto salad

They killed smurffs to make this cold, creamy, blue concoction

No smurfs for me, only Fig gelato!

Venice, Italy:

One of my favorite surprise flavors!

Pisa & Florence, Italy:

Best fettuccini alfrado I've ever encountered! Nothing like that the States make.

Eggplanet pizza

Gelato MOUNDS...get in my belly!!

At a group dinner in a little restaurant where we were crammed into a little basement dining hall.

Cold cuts

2 types of bruschetta: white bean and tomato paste.

Pasta course

Roasted chicken

Rome, Italy:

Eggplanet Parmesan

Yes, more gelato because I needed it to function.

Ham and cheese sandwich

Corfu & Athens, Greece:

Chicken plate with pita and fries

Kataifi - honey drenched dessert. Much too sweet even for me

Misc Snacks throughout the trip:

I still think about these amazing Paprika Pringles...I only wish they had these in the US

My goodness...the amazing little Bacetti. Chopped hazelnuts mixed in a smooth ganache, topped with a whole hazelnut and enrobed in dark chocolate.

Really cute snack - a wafer shaped like a hippo, filled with hazelnut (or chocolate) cream and chocolate dipped and covered with crunchies.

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