This post, and new series, is inspired by several blogs I follow who regularly post their “Friday Favorites,” which is basically a list of their favorite things from that week. The listed items usually reflect whatever type of blog it is (wine, food, fitness, etc.). Typically the blogger will link to sites outside their own.
I also have my sister and Oprah to credit for the theme as well. Yes my sister AND Oprah. She (my sister, not Oprah) has been trying to get our family to steal Oprah’s “favorite things” theme every year for Christmas (i.e. gifting each other things we have discovered that we love, or have made our lives better, instead of something on the recipients wish list). I love the idea, since I am always looking to friends and relatives for recommendations for household items, personal items, food, wine, etc., so why not return the favor?!
So I hope to start offering you a few things from each week that have made my life better, or at least more enjoyable. And in theme with my blog they will be those that fit into the categories of Wine, Food, Travel, or Lifestyle. They will usually include the most memorable wine I had that week, food and wine pairing recipes (sometimes my own, sometimes those I found on the web or favorite cookbook), and any travel or lifestyle related tidbits. If I happen to skip a week, that probably just means nothing I encountered that week was inspiring enough to share.
So without further adieu, my first Friday Favorites list.
Just returning from a 10-day trip to Croatia and Italy I have A LOT of favorites to share, many of which you will read about in future posts. The ones that stand out right now, however, are…
Ribolla Gialla – a local indigenous grape variety to the Friuli region of Italy. Key characteristics are its high acidity and low sugar at harvest yielding a wine that is fresh, dry, crisp, and typically minerally on the palate. Several producers make a sparkling wine made from Ribolla Gialla where the grape really shines! You will see much more about this variety and other favorite wines from Friuli here on the blog in the coming weeks.
Local cheese and charcuterie – I had some remarkable local cheeses and meats throughout my trip through Friuli and it has inspired me to now seek out local versions wherever I travel from now on. Like wine, good cheese and charcuterie reflect the land and environment from where they are grown (i.e. terroir), and you can taste it!
Being that this post follows a 10-day travel journey I have to inlude more than one favorite…
Skype – Improving the morale of traveling moms since 2003! The first time I left my kids was last year when they just turned one year old. It was difficult to leave them. But the ability to Skype with them makes my experience much richer and more enjoyable. To see their precious faces and hear their voices at the end of a long day (for even a few short minutes) is priceless! The ability to connect with your family via video chat is a must for any sappy traveling mom.
The Pillow – I can’t sleep on airplanes. Ever! Whenever I try my neck ends up feeling like I was body slammed by the Hulk. And I also don’t react well to jet lag, so I decided to try out one of those $15 neck pillows you see at nearly all airport gift shops to attempt to get much needed rest before my trip. First flight in years my neck didn’t require a 10 hour massage to feel normal again (well, not that I’ve ever received a massage after a long flight, usually I just suffer through the pain. Ouch!). I still didn’t get any sleep, but I at least felt rested after 15 hours of travel. The pillow goes with me everywhere now! I might even give it a name.
Working out on the road, and the greatest hotel gym ever!
The first thing I did when I arrived at the Doubletree in Zagreb was take a quick power nap then seek out the gym. I’ve never seen a standard hotel gym with such amenities (which included a separate room for several group fitness classes they offer, in addition to their indoor pool). And for anyone on a wine or food related work trip the ability to escape for even just 30 minutes to replenish and get in a quick workout is a necessity to balance yourself and build up your appetite for more wine and food!
What was your favorite thing from this week?