Friday, April 30, 2021

Destin, Florida

We break briefly from our revisiting of places we visited when we could travel and actually take a [short] vacation trip to Destin, Florida, located on Florida's gulf coast.  We fly into the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, located on Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle.  Arriving as the sun sets, we have a great view of the hotel and the beach in dark, then, the next morning, in light. We're travelling the week after Spring Break in the US and the area is much less crowded than the previous week.

Night and day

The beach

We stroll up a few miles up the beach and back, walking on the unique sand that is among the whitest and most homogeneous in the world, consisting of small quartz particles that the glaciers brought down from the Appalachian Mountains about 20,000 years ago.

Strolling along the beach

We head over to the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, stretching a quarter mile (0.4 km) along the harbor, filled with shops, restaurants, fishing charter boats, water sports, and adventures of all kinds.

Destin Harbor Boardwalk

We run across a stand selling, among other things, a treat I've never had before:  fried pickles.  I can no longer make that statement!

Fried pickles

We follow our fried pickles with dinner of oysters, fish tacos, and sliders.  While we're dining, a fishing charter boat pulls in and the crew cleans the fish on the dock so the lucky fishers can take them home.  This activity attracts a large flock of pelicans, who are fed by the crew as they clean the fish.


Fishing boat pulls in

Soon, the sun sets and we wind up our day in this delightful spot.


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Recreating Tastes of Italy

We're still hoping to get to Italy this fall.  Over the weekend, the head of the European Commission said that American tourists who have been fully vaccinated will be able to visit starting this summer.  We have reservations and are ready to go spend another week at Hotel Villa Steno in Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre, on the Italian Riviera.  What a truly magical place! 

But, even though we can't get there for a few months, we can create a few of our favorite dining experiences to remind us of Cinque Terre and other fabulous locations.

Before Easter, we spend a few hours making a Bolognese sauce (with ground beef, pork, and veal), then the next day a besciamella sauce.  We use both of those to make lasagna alla Bolognese (we understand that only non-Italians call it that - Italians say "lasagne al sugo di carne").  We start with a bruschetta made with brie and prosciutto (sprinkled with fresh chives), followed by the lasagna.  And, for desert, a small French influence:  profiteroles.




After moving from San Francisco to the Dallas area at the end of last year, we find to our great surprise and pleasure that there is an Eataly about 20 minutes away, where we can get Italian ingredients and dining experiences (Eataly was founded in Turin in 2007 and now has locations worldwide - we have been to Eataly in Bologna, New York, Las Vegas, and Dallas).  

We head over to Eataly to stock up on a few Italian items, such as speck, pancetta, and stracchino.  And, while we're there, we stop for lunch at their casual restaurant, Il Pastaio di Eataly, and share two bruschetta (al Gorgonzpol e Pere and Mediterranea), followed by two pasta dishes:  Trenette al Pesto Genovese and Malloreddus al Ragu di Salsiccia, accompanied by a bottle of Ligurian red wine.  A few weeks later, we return, starting with the same bruschetta (which again disappears before a picture can be had), followed by two different pastas:  Agnolotti del Plin al Sugo and Ricciarelli Alla Trapanese.  What a great excuse to get out!

Here's a guide to the dishes:
Bruschetta al Gorgonzola e Pere:  Housemade rustic sourdough bread, gorgonzola dolce, anjou pears, walnuts
Bruschetta Mediterranea:  Housemade rustic sourdough bread, sun-dried tomato pesto, almond, garlic, fresh herbs
Trenette al Pesto Genovese  (Liguria):  with basil, pine nuts, grana padano DOP (aged 18 months)
Malloreddus al Ragu di Salsiccia (Sardegna) (also called Sardinian gnocchi):  with pork sausage, mutti tomato, pecorino romano zerto DOP
Agnolotti del Plin al Sugo (Piedmonte):  in a beef reduction
Ricciarelli alla Trapanese (Sicilia):  with cherry tomatoes, almond, basil, pecorino romano zerto DOP

Shared pasta (Malloreddus, Trenette)

    Second lunch at Eataly (Agnolitta del Plin, Ricciarelli)

While at Eataly, we stop at the butcher shop and acquire a leg of lamb, which, cooked Renaissance style, becomes Easter Dinner, accompanied by a Milens Bordeaux from St. Emilion, one of our favorites.

Appetizers and wine

Leg of lamb

For a taste of Liguria (the region of Italy in which Cinque Terre is located), we prepare octopus salad (octopus acquired at Eataly) and trofie with pesto (and potatoes and green beans), bringing back more great memories and anticipation of things yet to come (in a few months!).

Octopus salad

Trofie with pesto

Dinner is served

We'll continue to enjoy the delights of other lands from afar and look forward to enjoying them in person soon!

Change of Email Subscription Service for Indulgent Sojourns

Dear Reader,

Google is discontinuing the email distribution service that Indulgent Sojourns has been using and we are, on April 27, converting to a new service, MailChimp.  We have tested MailChimp by sending the last few blogs to ourselves and it seems to be working well.  Please let me know (email to if you have any issues with the new service.

Thank you for your continued interest in Indulgent Sojourns,


Friday, April 23, 2021

Day 2 in Copenhagen

We head out in the morning and walk through Copenhagen, past the beautifully-painted movie theater and over to Orsteds Park (├śrstedsparken), a few blocks northwest of Tivoli Gardens.

 Movie theater

 Orsteds Park

Orsteds Park was created in 1872 as one of a series of parks built on the grounds of Copenhagen's old fortification ring.  Construction of the park including converting the moat to a lake and creating small hills out of former bastions.  One prominent feature of Orsteds Park is a monument to Hans Christian ├śrsteds, the Danish physicist and chemist who discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields.  Also, scattered throughout the park are many additional statues funded by the Albertina Foundation created by the head of Carlsberg.

Monument to Hans Christian ├śrsteds

 Sculptures around the park

Leaving the park, we spot several great bicycles in this city famous for its biking culture.

 Fabulous bicycles

We walk through the great little streets to the Frederiksborggade pedestrian street and then across the canal to the castle, home of the Danish royal family and built surrounding a large equestrian field.

 Great little streets

 Over the canal

 Through the castle and grounds

Just past the castle, we return to the pedestrian street (renamed at this end as Amagertorv Street).  This end of the street is a serious high-end shopping district and we zip into the Royal Copenhagen shop.  We have a family history of collecting Royal Copenhagen Christmas Plates and we start by viewing this year's plate in the shop and then admiring all the other great porcelain products, made in Copenhagen since 1775.

 Christmas plate

 Admiring the Royal Copenhagen (and buying some)

From there, we walk along the canal and riverfront.

 Along the canals and river

Strolling through through the Kastellet, one of the best-preserved fortifications in Northern Europe and still an active military base for Danish Defense, we spot the Little Mermaid.  The Kastellket also contains a monument with the eternal flame for Danish military previously or presently deployed, including a chronological list of all places in the world where Danish soldiers have been sent and a list of all the deceased.  The inscription at the eternal flame reads:  "One Time, One Place, One Human Being" ("Et Tid, Et Sted, Et Menneske").

The Little Mermaid

Kastellet fortress

 Memorial and Eternal Flame

This has been another short trip and exploration of a great town that deserves more time someday to fully appreciate the culture, history, and people of Denmark.