I decided to visit Egypt first. My great-grandfather had been sent here on a top secret mission for the Sims Bureau of Investigations (SBI). My grandparents had also spent time here working with Doctors without Borders.
The weather was nice and after months of being in the big city I decided to get back to nature and go camping.
As I had a limited time in each location I headed straight to town to try the local cuisine.
I ordered a Falafel. It was delicious and I couldn’t wait to learn the recipe.
I went to the bookstore and picked up a couple of cookbooks.
When I got back to the camp ground I was exhausted from traveling and went straight to bed.
I spent the next morning reading the cookbooks. In addition to reading the recipe for Falafel’s I also read about a dish called Shawarma. I can’t wait to try making them. Unfortunately the camp ground does not have a stove so I will have to wait until I get home to try the recipes.
I spent the rest of my time in Egypt exploring. My dad is going to be so surprised when I tell him I found the ingredients he needs to make that mummy elixir.
Next I went to visit China. I guess my grandma had visited here when she was in high school.
Just like in Egypt I went straight to town to try the local cuisine.
I had egg rolls which were amazing.
After I finished eating I tried making fortune cookies.
After they were done I decided to try one. The machine inserts a random fortune into each cookie. Mine said “Do not eat this fortune.” Does that mean don’t eat the cookie or the paper the fortune is written on? I decided to test fate and ate the cookie. Must have been referring to the paper because I feel fine and the cookie tasted great.
Next I went to the bookstore and got cookbooks on how to make egg rolls and stir fry.
I admit I stayed up way later than I should have pouring over them.
In China I am staying at a local Lǚguǎn which according to the translation app on my phone means hotel.
I am meeting a lot of new people.
For lunch I tried making everyone egg rolls. They were not as great as the ones at the place in town but the other guest seemed to enjoy them. I think they were a valid first effort.
Over the next few days I did some exploring and also went fishing.
Next I went to visit France. Bella had given me a list of must see places and things to try.
First thing I did was visit this charming French Cafe.
“Je voudrais commander les crêpes,” I said. I really hope that means, “I would like to order the crepes.”
It must have been right because she handed me a beautiful plate of crepes.
They were amazing.
Like in all the other places I have visited I went to the nearest bookstore and got a bunch of French cookbooks. I ended up getting four new cookbooks. Besides one on crepes I also got books on how to make frog legs, a cheese plate, and bouillabaisse.
I then sat down and enjoyed the warm summer day while I read them.
The next morning I got up early and made a big batch of crepes for all of the other guests at my hotel.
Everyone seemed to enjoy them and I got several compliments on my cooking abilities.
Bella said I had to visit the local nectary so the next day I headed there first thing.
I spent a pleasant morning picking grapes.
Then later tried making my own wine but it tasted terrible. I picked up some books on wine making. I think in the garage or maybe in the barn attic there is an old wine making machine. I will have to find it and see if it still works. I think it would be cool making my own wines to sell.
I heard someone at the nectary talking about this house with an amazing garden that was open for tours so I decided to check it out.
There they had plum trees and others that I had never tried before. I picked some to add to the garden back home.
I also went fishing and caught several frogs that will be perfect for trying out frog legs.
Lastly I traveled to Italy.
I decided to extend my stay here because Italian food is some of my favorite and I want to learn all I can from the locals. Rather than stay at a hotel I decided to rent this charming cottage.
One day I was out walking when I did a double take. It was Chef Luis Toledo. He was the chef on one my favorite shows Tasty of Italy. He is the reason I love Italian food.
“Chef Toledo, can I have your autograph? I grew up watching your show Taste of Italy. You inspired my passion for Italian Cuisine.”
“Certamente, cara mia,” he said as he signed his name to the back of my travel map.
“Grazie,” I said.
“If you like Italian cuisine, you must come to my former ristorante and join me for pranzo. I have retired and it is now owned by my figlioccio Gino Ferrari. Come join this vecchio uomo for lunch.”
Turns out his former restaurant is right across the road from the town square. Even though the place was busy we got a table right away. Pays to be the former owner I guess.
Chef Toledo ordered a caprese salad while I had the carbonara.
After we finished eating a man came out of the kitchen and Chef Toledo a big hug.
“Padrino, it is great to see you,” the man said.
“Who is this bellissimo young woman?” he asked.
“My name is Maggie,” I said while blushing 10 shades of red. “I just graduated from culinary school and am traveling to different countries to try the local cuisine. I grew up watching Chef Toledo on TV and Italian cuisine is my favorite.”
“You must come and let me teach you to make real authentic Italian cuisine,” he said.
“Wow, that would be amazing,” I said.
Over the next several weeks Gino taught me how to make pizzas and other dishes in a wood burning oven.
Soon I was flipping pizza dough like I had been doing it all of my life.
He also took me to see all of the famous sites like the Colosseum.
My favorite spot was this charming like park with a stream for fishing. I would spend many a quiet morning there.
On my last night in Italy I had gone to Gino’s restaurant and we had made pizzas. Afterwards he reached out and rubbed his thumb across my check.
“You had some flour there,” he said with a laugh.
Then he pulled me into his arms and kissed me.
I kissed him back and when we finally came up for air we gazed into each other’s eyes.
“Let us take this somewhere more private,” Gino whispered in my ear.
My first reaction was one of surprise followed by excitement.
Gino and I raced up the stairs, to his private apartment over the restaurant, throwing our clothing off as we went. We got into the bed and he pulled me into his arms.
“Vieni da me, amore mio,” he whispered.
We proceeded to make love all night long.
The next morning he gave me a kiss and a hug goodbye.
“I could probably stay longer,” I said.
“No, cara mia, you are your families heiress. You must go home. We will see each other again,” he said.
I cried the whole way home but once I saw the house and my parents I was happy to be home.
I had been home about a month when I noticed I was throwing up a lot and nauseous all the time. Could I be pregnant?
Certamente, cara mia – Certainly, my dear
Grazie – Thank you
Ristorante – Restaurant
Pranzo – Lunch
vecchio uomo – old man
Padrino – godfather
bellissimo – very beautiful
Vieni da me, amore mio – Come to me, my love
cara mia – my darling