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From Rome, K flew home while I flew to Madrid to visit my childhood besty and her beautiful family for three days (they live in sort-of-nearby Caceres).  Thereafter, I caught a train to Lisboa where I met up with a dear friend, and spent a week in Portugal.  Now flying back to Pearson and so terribly excited to see my K and kitties again!  Thus concludes this trip and back to work on Monday.

I enjoy reflecting on how a particular experience has affected me, whether in profound ways or otherwise.  So how do my travel experiences affect me when I get home? Here are a sample of Taking It Homes for this trip:

1)  Aperol spritz. I have had them before, but K and I took this particular aperitivo almost every night, and it thus became the drink of the trip.  Three parts prosecco + two parts aperol + a splash of soda + ice + an orange slice = bliss after each day’s walk around Rome.  We brought two bottles back to Toronto and I look forward to enjoying one after a long day at the office. (Note to Customs Canada: K and I brought back one bottle each)

Dirty Dancing and coming of age

Dirty Dancing and coming of age

2)  Dance. I love to dance. However, when an opportunity to dance comes up, I cannot count the number of times I told myself that I was too tired to go for a night. In that context, my Friday night in Lisboa was a Taking It Home.  We started the night strolling around in Bairro Alto and ended up at Lux, a club (formerly?) owned by John Malkovich.  Sure, there is nothing original about my itinerary, but what is important is that after a fun night of a few drinks, dancing and meeting new friends, I literally felt reborn.  I get this exhilarating feeling now and again – at a U2 concert, dancing, when Canada wins a gold medal at the Olympics, etc… It is an elixir, vital for the heart, soul and mind, and I know it’s in my power to taste it more often than I do.  All in moderation, of course.  I threw Johnny and Baby in here for the obvious dancing reference, but also because Dirty Dancing relates to some of my more profound Taking It Homes.  Ladies, you know.

3)  Anchovies. I use them in homemade caesar salad dressing and in Korean soup stocks.  But whilst in Italy, I ate anchovies smeared onto toast, as part of a nicoise salad and, of course, on pizza – all just so delicious.  From now on, I will have anchovies in the house at all times and use them more liberally.

4)  “A true friend is someone who knows all about you and loves you anyway”. I was fortunate to spend the last three weeks with a few of my closest friends.  We are living in different countries, at different stages of life, dealing with our own issues.  No matter what, I love you and I am lucky that you accept and love me.

Jorge the Spaniard slicing the jamon

Jorge the Spaniard slicing the jamon

5) Jamon vs. Proscuitto vs. Other. Being passionate about something can cause someone to discuss it ad nauseum.  Such is the case with Jorge, a jamon epicurean.  Each time I bite into a piece of cured ham, I will wonder – is it jamon, proscuitto or other?  How long has it aged for? What was the pig fed while it was alive?  And so on.  Thank you, Jorge, for adding another layer of contemplation to my thoughts.

P.S.  Ecstatic moment as I realize I can listen to Madonna’s The Immaculate Collection on this flight. See number 2). I am actually teary-eyed at the moment.  Happy for the last three weeks, happy to be going home and happy to be alive.

P.P.S.   Congratulations to my cousin June and her fiance Dan on their engagement! Hamptons wedding, perhaps?

P.P.P.S.   On the flight home, I sat next to the National Ballet of Canada’s music director, David Briskin.  David was on his way back from the Royal Ballet’s premiere of Alice in Wonderland, which opened to strong reviews in the press and from David.  The show is coming to Toronto in June: “buy your tickets now”, Briskin says.  Will do!

3 thoughts on “Taking It Home and the Elixir of Life

  1. haha – B just walked by and saw the picture with jamon and exclaimed “JAMON IBERICO!”. love your travel reflections 🙂

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