Oh my, over 5000 miles away.
While we were excited about the prospects of this trip, we as parents, had many questions to ask and details to sort. In the meantime, the hoping-to-soon-be-globe-trotter was looking through travel guides, and German, French, and Italian phrase books; fortunately, she could speak a little French.
Summer came and she boarded a plane anxiously, but looked forward to traveling, meeting new people, seeing new places, and experiencing the world with eagerness and wide eyes. I hoped we had done the right thing in letting her go so far away from us, quietly said a prayer and returned home with a few tears.
After visiting in Germany they took the train to France and later on to their main destination, Italy. Just a few of the places they toured in Italy were the Cathedral in Milan,
photo by Hans Peter Merten
the beautiful city of Verona (remember Romeo and Juliet),
photo by afaulkner526
the canals in Venice,
photo by afaulkner526
and the Vatican in Rome.
photo by Juan Rubiano
While in Rome they stayed in a hostel that served roof-top suppers, where they enjoyed meals and met other travelers.
To our daughter it seemed liked a short stay; to me those weeks were an eternity. But she did return to us with smiles, new friends, a few souvenirs, many stories (of which she did tell us a few), and a suitcase full of dirty laundry.
Our kid had spent over three weeks in Europe, had seen many sights - on and off the standard tourist list, had met many people, had established new friendships and one of the things that she raved about and continued to talk about was not anything that we were expecting. Though I had heard of it before, I had never tried it, and was not even sure just what it was...Nutella.
If you have not read my post A Sure Sign of Weakness, let me tell you that no one had to twist my arm to make me try this creamy, hazelnut, cocoa spread. Are we not a part of the free world? How could I have not known just what this was, and just how good it is?
Nutella is the divine creation of Italy's Mr. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker and founder of the Ferrero company. In the 1940's cocoa was scarce due to the rationing during WW II. However, because there were hazelnuts galore in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, Mr. Ferrero decided to use them in order to decrease the amount of the cocoa, and the idea for Nutella was born.
This stuff is almost to good to be true. Besides being delicious, it is a pretty healthy spread. Nutella is trans fat free, does not have any ingredients that come from gluten containing cereals, and is made with hazelnuts - no peanuts. It can even be stored in the cupboard; it does not require refrigeration.
In our household we have tried it on toast, bagels, crackers, toaster waffles, and yes, I have been known to spoon it straight from the jar.
Do you have a favorite way of eating Nutella? I would like to know.
On the internet you can find many recipes using Nutella. I have selected a few to show you that I think look really yummy.
Nutella Cup Cakes from the Sweetest Kitchen
Nutella Mousse from Delicious Magazine
Special Hazelnut-Espresso Treat from the Novice Baker
Mocha Frappe posted on The Flow on Three Lakes
Has anyone not heard of, or not tasted Fererro Rocher candy. I was well acquainted with this particular sweet product. Made by the folks at Nutella.
And Tic Tacs? Yes, they manufacture them also.
It's true; I might have been the last person on the planet to try Nutella, but I bet I am one of its biggest fans. Nutella has become such a mainstay that it now has its own international day, February 5*. You can get ready for the 5th Annual World Nutella Day by checking this web page www.nutelladay.com/.
* Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso and Shelley from At Home in Rome, solemnly declare Friday, February 5th “World Nutella Day" – a day to celebrate, to get creative with, and most importantly, to EAT Nutella.
Due to the lack of ownership of a digital camera at the time of this trip, these photos were taken from various sources.