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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Wrong Place

It’s decided, I was born in the right time, wrong place.  I should have been a European.  Specifically, Italian born and raised. Espresso and dessert for breakfast, wine and 2-3 hour lunches,  wine and 4-5 hour dinners. The no problem attitude. A impeccable taste in style. If smoking wasn’t totally unhealthy for you, I would probably be a smoker because I’m a fidgeter and you might as well look cool if you’re going to fidget. 

The leather and the fashion, the history and art, the love of life and living passionately, generously, positively and for each other.  Not for work, status or money but for people and for life.

Oh god the food. The pasta, pizza, gelato, caffe.  That’s all I ate for 3 weeks and I still lost 6 pounds.  Mostly because we walked everywhere, sweat through everything but also because so little of their food is processed that it’s real whole food. 

Maybe this sounds weird but I liked being around people that I looked like.  The dark hair, olive skin, high cheek bones, and childbearing hips. I very clearly personify the Italian body type. 

I’ve been home for 6 weeks now.  I’ve settled back into most of my American ways.  I sit a desk, I’m stressed out to the point where I have shakes and heart palpitations, I work stupid amounts of hours, drive more than I walk, and most upsetting I can feel myself emotionally closing off.  I no longer think about what time it might be in Rome and wonder if he’ll call.  I’m still in love with love but maybe not showing it as much as I had or hoped I would continue to.

However, since being home I have done EXTENSIVE research on Seattle’s best Italian coffee AND Seattle’s best Italian restaurants.   Here’s how they stack up:
Macrina Bakery - great bakery, ok espresso.  I accidentally stop here on the end of my runs.  This is not a new practice.
Le Reve - Incredible (French) bakery, icky espresso

Café Senso Unico - mediocre pastries, but excellent coffee and real Italian barista/shop owner and real Italians talking. It’s where the Italians hang out.   

Caffé Umbria - pretty good French pastries for a local French Pasterie and stellar espresso. They knock it out of the park.  It’s so good I run 3.3 miles here and walk 3.3 miles home afterward. 


Restaurants: I’ve also hit up a couple Italian restaurant but I level-set my expectations knowing full well nothing can compare.  It has yet to.

Agrodolce - A cute little place in Fremont.  We sipped on Rose and dined on delicious plates.  It was good, not quite Italian good. 

The Pink Door - A Seattle institution approaching near real Italian quality food.  This place won major points for having Limoncello from Sorrento (where we had spent a week).  We never paid $8 for in Italy but I couldn't say no.  Oh, the tiramisu wasn't bad.
While eating out isn't sustainable or really that desirable, I've imported a love of caprese salad. For someone who doesn't like tomatoes, I sure can put it away.  It's what I eat about 5/7 nights a week.  I stock up on a good olive or rosemary bread, mozzarella, I've got my own basil plant, roma tomatoes, and some salami just to add to the mix.  Add some quality olives, a glass of pino and I'm the happiest camper.   The key here is quality ingredients.  
Oh, eff it, I'm just moving to Rome.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

SLC Swooning

Took a little layover in SLC while en route to PHX to visit the sis.  One of my favorites picked me up. We ate brunch under grapevines at a great little veg place.
Then we headed to Park City to watch the last stage of the Tour of Utah which was great fun.  Put me in a crowd of bicyclists and I am one happy camper. We strolled the town, shopped in bookstores, sipped on tea and otherwise soaked in the sun and sights.  Park City is where we met for the first time a few years ago so we paused for a moment at the spot of the momentous occasion. 

After Park City we headed up into the mountain to take in some sights from above. Windows down, music up, I mean, what is hotter than a dreamboat in a pick up listening to great music standing on top of a mountain? Not much. Proceed to swoon.
We headed back into town for some dinner, gelato surrounded dead people thanks to a zombie festival, then strolled through a park. Because that is totally normal.  I don't think there's been a time we haven't had a frozen treat while hanging out. I feel like that's a promising correlation.
The next day we picnicked in the park for breakfast for a few hours.  We talked about everything, good things, hard things, nothings.  A quick swing by Café Rio before the airport and then in was on to Phoenix.

Utah is sllloooowwwly growing on me, but it ain't got nothing on Seattle. 
Here's some good lesson I learned: 

I can be smooth, really smooth.  But I can also totally crash and burn, get super sweaty and almost throw up when I get caught off guard.  So, that keeps me humble.  I blame the 2 hours of sleep. 

Do not plan a bachelorette party the night before a 7:30 am flight.  Just don't.  Ever.

Some nuts take a little more to crack.  Some people are granite vessels, that you just need to keep swinging at. 

Vulnerability is scary.  Always has been for me.   I think it always will be, and I'm coming to believe that that's not only really ok, but essential.