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Monday, 10 September 2012

Lunch in Paris, Dinner in Rome

By Marcy Belson

I saw my doctor today. He checks my blood sugar numbers and blood pressure and weight. He asked me if I was still feeling deprived about the diet.

I told him "Yes". Food will always be important to me. I am a true foodie. When I talk about trips it includes where and what we ate

I married a man who is also a foodie. We were in London on vacation. The chunnel was up and running with a fast train to Paris. We got on that train one morning, arrived in Paris about 11AM and with a reservation made in London before we left, we had souffles for lunch.

Then we went to the Louvre and spent a few hours, caught the train back to London and arrived at bedtime. Financially, it was an insane thing to do. But for a wonderful memory, the price was right.

Today, I eat a lot of lettuce. Better lettuce than a shot of insulin every day. Of course, it may very well be both lettuce and insulin down the road. But for now, I can control it by diet. Maybe someday, I won't crave a box of chocolates. But we all make choices and my choice today is to do what I can to stay healthy. Crunch. Crunch. Celery.

I've been reading aloud my 1977 travel journal. We landed in London and a month later departed from Paris. By car, we had traveled up the eastern seaboard of England into Scotland, then over to Ireland for a week. I write about a tasty treat I found in the stores. It was a chocolate covered creme built as a beehive with a tiny bee at the apex!

We flew to Belgium, rented another car and went as far as Amalfi, Italy, and back to Paris. All of this in 30 days, and it was easier than traveling coast to coast in the U.S. in 30 days, which we also did, in an RV.

I loved the autobahn. Driving a small Fiat, everything on the road passed us, and I was going 80. The gas stations in Italy on the main roads were mostly a chain called AGIP which I thought was very appropriate since as tourists with a special rate, we were paying $1.20 a gallon for gas and I was furious about the high price! Little did I know what was coming down the pike.

There was usually a food area and the offerings were encased in plastic and tasted just like airport food in the U.S. The bathrooms were another marvel; that's a story for another time.

But this is about food and nothing beats European butter, bread and wine! Bring it on! My mouth waters at the thought of breakfast in France - warm croissants, good butter, hot coffee with real cream. What a way to start a travel day, or any day!

For lunch on the road, perhaps a Spanish, blood-red orange, some cheese and hard rolls, with a little ham and Dijon mustard.

Dinner in a local cafe, I'd order a pasta dish or soup, always with more tasty bread and butter and a wonderful fruit pastry for dessert.

Plus delicous chocolate available in every store; why did it taste so much better than what is available in our stores?

Who's a foodie? Me! I'm sorry for people who don't taste and enjoy their meals.

As I said in the first paragraph, now I eat lettuce and healthy vegetables and fruit. But, I've eaten at the Plaza Hotel Palm Court and it was delicious!

Eloise (written by Kay Thompson) and I have grown old and slow. Goodbye to chocolate eclairs!

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Ummm yum! But you were on vacation and the foods were a part of the culture. I too discovered the Konditeri in Germany with kaffee und torte, chocolate cups with coffee cream, etc. That still holds wonderful memories, good writing about a tour.

What I remember most about my month in Paris was not the wonderful sights but the croissants bought fresh every morning by the maid and served with home churned butter and lots of hot coffee with cream. Ah, take me back again.

Loved your post! I have traveled very little, but friends comment that my travel journals are all about food! I am a foodie, and they are right. I seem to have spawned 3 foodies, and they have done so, also, plus one married a chef! Fortunately, I am prone to be skinny in my old age, but UNfortunately, I have to deal with gluten and dairy sensitivities, which are even more limiting than the flexitarian diet I put myself on nearly 40 years ago(the last filet mignon I had was at the wedding of two friends who now have 2 sons in college! Need I say more?).

Thank you for the great comments! It takes a foodie to know one. A nutritionist told me to stay out of buffet lines and to cancel all food magazines. I just couldn't do it.

I will never read this site again before bed or I'll put on thirty pounds by Christmas!

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