Monday, July 29, 2013

Eating our way across Europe

Eating in Europe can always be an interesting experience.  No matter how much you tell the kids to expect something new, no one really understands until we get here.  In most cases the first experience is a positive one, but there are times that some kids choose to pass on the salted chicken leg.  It is good that we keep moving across this continent.  Different countries bring different foods.

On the first Saturday of our trip, we covered a lot of ground and enjoyed three different meals in three different countries. We had breakfast in Germany, lunch in Austria, and dinner in Italy.  Not bad day for a group of kids that includes some that have never left the United States.

After traveling all day, our arrival in Italy on Saturday night was a welcome one until we stepped out of our air-conditioned bus.   With new countries and changing food, there also comes changing climate. The heat here was pretty shocking.  Many of were surprised by the fact that the hotel restaurant didn't have air conditioning.  At dinner, we ate one bite, then took a drink of water, another bite followed by another drink. Local people sat around completely oblivious of the heat while many of were sweating profusely.  Tourists!

On Sunday morning, we were welcomed into Venice with the announcement that it was the hottest day of the year.  While only 90 degrees, the humidity was at times unbearable.  Thank goodness this country has gelato!  After grabbing a pico cup of Italy's famous version of ice cream, many of us jumped into the 11th century Basilica of San Marco and the neighboring palace to escape the heat.  The labyrinth of streets and bridges also provided much needed shade.

Even thought the day high of gelato was a mere 4 servings (the record on our trips is 10), everyone seemed to survive the heat and have a fantastic day.  We left the city around 6:30pm just as the heat began to waver.  As these trips are meant to do, you can easily imagine spending more time here on a future return visit. If the food doesn't do it, the sights will always make your dream about returning to Europe.

Jim Sill

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