Food and Travel.

Expanding your world and your pallet.

Espresso pour-over at The Fable, London. January 2016.

I haven’t gotten the chance to travel recently, but I have been cooking which has led me to think a whole lot about eating while traveling.

In a lot of place you can visit, you can easily make it so that your food doesn’t vary much – you can always get french fries/chips and a burger no matter where you go with little variation.But I don’t see the fun in that – I don’t go to McDonald’s when I’m state side let alone when I’m traveling the world.

I feel like if you are spending the time and money to expand you horizons through travel, why limit yourself in what experiences you are willing to delve into? Food is one of those great experience centered items that immerses you in feeling and memory – there are smells and tastes and textures as well as the visual aspect. A single dish can make you feel at home or immerse you in your surrounding so why not jump in?

I love that individual locations can have specific specialties that can make traveling an adventure for your taste buds just as much as the rest of you and that will make you remember a specific day or location forever.

In the summer of 2004, I got to travel to Australia and visited a crocodile farm which served the group of us crocodile chowder. It was so good – it turns out crocodile is a lot like chewier chicken, at least when cooked in a chowder!

In the summer of 2002, we were in a tiny town in Italy where a family restaurant made us their special holiday lasagna chicken stock soup for being such regular and great customers.

I’ve had steak tart-tar in Paris (it tasted like blood to me and not to my taste), homemade sushi in Japan (which was fantastic), just to name a couple. I never ate escargot in all the times I was in France – I never felt like spending the money – but my sister said that it’s a lot like shrimp in texture and – similarly – tastes like whatever you cook it in.

Some of the food you will love while others you’ll never order again, but the experience is always worth it.

What I love about food travel is that the food you are trying doesn’t have to be related to the place you are stay in. Rather, expanding what you eat because you are traveling and you may as well, can do just as much to expand your horizons.

My sister – recently back from her travels – went to the largest restaurant in Amsterdam (Sea Palace, a Chinese restaurant) and her picky husband has now claimed to be addicted to mini fried squid.

Traveling somewhere between Waterford, Ireland and Liverpool, England, I fell in love with mushrooms because in the strange times we were eating, small authentic Italian restaurants serving mushroom risotto were all we could find open. We were in Ireland but my palate has been forever changed.

So, when you travel – especially you Americans because we are known for sticking to our fast food basics – avoid those fast food chains you can go to at home and really look to push your comfort zone! I’m not saying go out and eat bugs if it turns your stomach, but if you think it’ll go down, why the hell shouldn’t you!

You only have to try something once to tick it off you bucket list – even if it wasn’t originally on it – so go out, eat, and enjoy.

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.



Food and Travel.

Packing for Nicer (Dress) Travels…

So as I have mentioned in previous posts, most of my family is out traveling at the moment (I literally dropped my father off at the airport this morning) and I am sitting here at home writing to all of you.

My parents bid and won a trip on a Viking Cruise down the Danube river, but with this excursion there comes a whole new set of travel issues. My dad asked me to help and then suggested writing this post talking about the packing issues that come up with a cruise that usually don’t effect your travel planning; specifically clothing.

If you haven’t taken a cruise before – especially one with a company like Viking – you may not know about the dress codes. Cruises are an uncommonly fancy travel extravaganzas – I mean dresses, pearls, cardigans, the whole deal. While these dress codes don’t generally span much beyond the dining room, the age group of the normal cruise crowd tends to keep to collard shirts and khaki pants. From what my dad was told from others who have taken this cruise, my parents (at 51 and 52) will be among the youngest on this trip.

With excursions like these, you aren’t going to just stay on the boat which makes keeping to dress codes a little difficult. Firstly, the clothes you want to wear when you are running around a city may not be the ones that you’ll see on the ship. Secondly, you may not have much time between excursions to get yourself together before it’s time for dinner. Lastly, even if you do have the time to run back to your room and prepare for dinners, you may not have room in your luggage for both average day travel clothes and your nicer dinner clothes.

So what do you do (especially you young ones who don’t generally wear travel khakis)?

For once in dressing news, ladies have it pretty easy. Because we always have to think about making clothes move easily from day time to night time, cruise clothing obstacles are nothing new. Dresses and skirts are easy when it’s summer and hot and cardigans with a few pieces of jewelry can make you instantly dinner ready.

But for men (because these issues are much further and far between), this can be a bit rougher. My father is 51 and, again, definitely young for this kind of trip, so for the last two weeks, we have been on a mission to find clothing that will work both for the occasion and for someone as laid back as my father.

We ended up at Target (our go-to shopping stop) which was having an amazing men’s sale. In the end, we left the store with three pairs of golfer’s pants and 5 golfer polo shirts. These pieces are great because while they conform to the dress code of the country club crowd (and you guessed it, these crowds overlap quite a bit) but are designed for days spent moving around. Beyond what we bought, we threw in a pair of jeans, a few t-shirts, and a pair of button-ups for those day when either they won’t be eating in the dining room or when there is time to change.

Getting these pieces to work after flying half way around the world can be a challenge – button ups, slacks, and suitcases do not mix. Luckily, my dad found this new way of packing as advertised by NBC which is meant to stop your nice clothes from wrinkling beyond repair when there isn’t time to iron your clothes.

So while I’m here and everyone else is out exploring the world – and later they’ll tell you all about it – have a wonderful week and travel well, even if it is vicariously,

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

Packing for Nicer (Dress) Travels…

Being a Travel Spectator…

If you are reading this travel blog, you most likely are someone who like to travel. As the writer of said blog, I like to travel too, however, sometimes it’s just not in the cards.

This summer, I’ll be doing day trips with groups like the SCA but otherwise I’m home.

On the other hand, my mom, sister, brother-in-law and 5 month old niece are currently in London (my old homestead) followed by Paris and Amsterdam. Then my dad is joining them in Amsterdam before he and my mom hop on a cruise along the Danube River with stops in a handful of countries.

For the next month, I’ll be watching others travel around the world, but also giving out assignments.

So here is the update: over the next month or so (probably starting in two weeks with any luck), I will continue to have updates but with family members input or featured guest writers. Covering everything from how to dress for cruises and travel to traveling with a baby and all that entails.

But until then, this is a quick update.

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

Being a Travel Spectator…

It’s Always the Things We Don’t Think to Bring to Disneyland…

I just got home from chaperoning a trip to Disneyland for a group of 32 8th graders – for those of you who do not know, this means 13- to 14-year-olds; I am exhausted.

I’m a California native and someone who has ‘grown up Disney’ as I like to call it. My mom worked for Disney for the majority of my childhood and up until I moved temporarily out of the state, I held an annual pass so I more or less know the parks like the back of my hand.

Tuesdays are not supposed to be this busy – but we forgot to calculate High School grad night.

So today was more or less a madhouse of crazy, maze-like line preparation which we all had to navigate on top of the beginning of summer vacationers, our 32 kiddos (as well as a few other middle school day-trippers), and the high schoolers who now have extended Grad Day hours.

I figured that going to the park as a chaperon wouldn’t require much more thought and focus than my normal day trips down – for the 8th grade trip, the kids roam in groups with specific in-person check-in times so it’s not labor intensive – but apparently, even at 25, Disneyland chaperoning makes your body feel old.

I’m not going to get graphic here, but even though we told the kids to make sure they had all the medication/supplies they might need along with our phone numbers for emergency circumstances, we as the adults were less prepared.

One by one, we fell to various issues – I did have my pain specific medication, however, it took much longer than normal to work with much worse symptoms through that waiting- from cramping to flu stuff to back pain (for other leaders!).

We were a mess.

So my advice for theme parks:

  • Bring a simple first aid kit with any and all quick-fix medications dosed out by person and labeled so security knows if you are stopped.  They do sell individual headache medicine packets, but it’s easier if you just have one set.
  • Bring in a leak proof water bottle and a bag (like zip lock) to stick it in just in case – they won’t stop you from carrying a water bottle, you’ll save money, and the baggy almost always comes in handy as I have learned in the past.

If you are chaperoning:

  • Have the parents give instructions for pain/headache medication (ie. check box if we can give your child Advil/Tylenol) on the permission slips. Teachers carry these forms anyway and it’s easier for us if we can leave you a message saying this happened and we did this, rather than playing phone tag while your child complains about their head.
  • Don’t just give out your number to the kids; have them send you their contacts as well for the trip. This is just a basic know how for emergency/check=in purposes and can be digital or written on the permission slip along with parent/emergency contact information.

Alright that’s all I have. Again, as the school year comes to a close, everything feels like a mad rush so thanks for sticking with me and, as always:

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

It’s Always the Things We Don’t Think to Bring to Disneyland…

Home from War, Potrero…

…and I am so tired.

War and Shield. Potrero War, California. May 2016.

This past week, my sister and I camped with our barony at Potrero war outside of San Diego as part of a SCA event. I’ve written about the SCA – The Society for Creative Anachronism – before but this is the most intense part of the society we’ve been apart of yet.

Potrero war is a 5 day event – including the set up and pack up day – where you are fully garbed and in persona. We bowed to royalty and their chairs; we saw a knighting and a court where many were elevated to new ranks; we shopped in the marketplace; we partied with Romans, Romani, and other baronies (though I never made it very long in the party arena…); and we watched the battles while other ladies and gentlemen worked on their crafts.

And it was so much fun!

Down the road, I’ll talk about all the things I wish I had brought or left, that I had done (like volunteering more!) and explored. But for now, I am going to de-gunk my system – a lot of greens, teas, and yoga in my immediate future – and get a whole lot of sleep.

Until then – and sorry this is short!

This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.

ps. pictures to come on my new Flicker account.

Home from War, Potrero…