Pasta Al Forno, Gnocchi, and Salami

I am on day two of eating nothing but fruit (aside from the snow peas and carrots I am consuming as we speak) and it's getting kind of old. The highlight of the day from a food perspective was the soy-milk latte I allowed myself this morning. Why am I subjecting myself to this? Well, after 5 days of shoving my face with pizza and pasta in Italy, I am scared shitless of getting on the scale. I feel a definite difference in my clothing and marichasana d was not pretty yesterday morning. As Tim says, "2 kilos!". I think it's at least that much. I think tonight I will have pasta because I need some substance, already.

Anyway, I managed to eat only a minimal amount of meat - it was pretty much unavoidable seeing as I can't really say "no" to my Nona and Zio Gigi. So, a small amount of ground beef was eaten, as well as a small piece of home-made/cured salami. That and some shell fish in Venice because if you're in Venice, you have to eat some calamari fritti. Even Air France managed to have my special meal request on file - though it seems they make them mostly for vegan - rather than making two options, one vegan, one lacto-ovo. Annoying because my desserts sucked, while the hubby got things like cheesecake and custard tart. I got some chocolate brownie that tasted like ground-up and formed cardboard since it contained no dairy. Blech. Just reaffirmed that it would be a ginormous sacrifice for me to be vegan. Lacto-ovo is hard enough.

As suspected, Italy is expensive. At least it is for Americans with US Dollars. We ended up spending very little, considering. I had 200 Euros given to me as a wedding gift in 2004 from my now deceased great uncle, and we charged about 150 Euros. So, in total, about 350 Euros, which is about $550 (1 Euro buys you about the same in Italy as does 1 dollar in the US. The only thing cheaper was wine and pizza).

Rusty's paws didn't regress while at the kennel which was a relief. And, as was expected by rational people, our flights went with no incidents, even though my irrational fears had be worried about whatever catastrophic event I was going to experience. The worst of it was going over Hudson Bay in Canada. It's like guaranteed turbulence when you cross that bay. Going over the tip of Greenland, which is more North, was smooth, but both times when approaching Hudson Bay, it got bumpy and continued to be bumpy until coming close to the US-Canada border. But the bumpiness was no where near what I experienced in January of 2000 going over the Alps from Frankfurt to Venice. That was probably the flight that planted the seed of irrational fear of flying. Looking over the spiky snow-covered peaks, I knew there was no where to put this plane in the event we hit some serious shit resulting from the turbulence - my mind was obsessively reciting Hail Mary's and Our Father's. How quick I am to run back to my Catholic school days, huh?

Anyway, if anyone is reading, I am back from my European vacation, weighing 5+ pounds more, but safe and sound, and not bankrupt.

Oh, and I have a new music obsession courtesy of my second cousin. An Italian chick, Elisa Toffoli, who happens to write and sing in English. Stay and Heaven Out Of Hell are the best ones.



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