Europe, Pass the Statins Please and Thank You, Along the Way, Travel, Brrr

It was five years ago I went to Europe for the very first time. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. It was an exciting trip full of fun and adventure. Such an incredible experience it was to visit the places I have gotten to visit and I was fortunate to get the opportunity to see how others live. I’m still working on the next trip but waiting to see how the ‘rona and other medical things in the world are progressing.

I was near St. Louis over the weekend watching Meghan show two of her dogs in a dog show. Afterwards we went to one of the locations of Gioia’s Deli, an Italian deli that’s been around the city since 1918. This place has been on my list of spots to eat at so I was stoked to go there. We went to the Creve Coeur location.

When in St. Louis…

I went for this particular sandwich – an original Hot Salami – since this deli has been around for over 100 years, and if a specialty is what they’re famous for then that’s what I’m trying. Hot salami (thick slices), house-made sausage, provel cheese (a St. Louis thing), and I added spicy mustard…all on garlic cheese bread. Add to that a bag of honey BBQ Red Hot Riplets and a Fritz’s grape soda – an all-St. Louis meal.

After that was a stop by Global Foods Market – that big & awesome international grocery store in Kirkwood that I went to last year. I wanted to look a bit and grab a few things that are difficult to find in most stores. I actually found some Portuguese-spiced Spam which is supposed to be like linguica from what I read. I’ve been wanting to try this. First time I’ve ever seen it so I got a can so I snagged it. Wish there was a store like this closer to me!

At the store, Loran picked up a bottle of grape rakija – a Serbian brandy that I have seen Anthony Bourdain drink many times on his show. After we got back we cracked it open and had a couple of shots. Jet fuel indeed! Whoa! It was pretty strong with a slight grape finish. The first shot was strong, yet I think it’s easier to drink than straight vodka…even Grey Goose. It was not as harsh as the grappa I tried a few years back and most definitely smoother than the Irish poitín I had in Ireland. Another interesting experience!

We saw some interesting things on the way to St. Louis and back. One thing was crappy vehicles towing not one but two other crappy vehicles or trailers. We saw four or five different ones and how this is legal I have no idea; looks like a real safety issue plus none of them have license plates and my guess is no insurance. One was a van that I have no idea how it still runs, towing a trailer with junk motorcycles and a car on it, and after that was another beat up POS car. My understanding is they are usually bound for Mexico (for real).

The other interesting things:

Umm…I’m not really sure what to say…I’m not, er, lion
What I want to know is if I run out of hot water, then why don’t I run out of cold water?
I think this might be a bathroom stop

Concerning this last picture, Missouri’s state/secondary highway numbering is confusing at best. I hear that the individual counties can label the roads what they want – no rhyme or reason; highway known as AH in this county probably will not be the same name when it crosses into the next counties. That means a state highway you are on changes names everything time you cross into the next county.

How can you keep track of where you are and where you are trying to go? Can you imagine if all highways were labeled as such? This is honestly one of the most ridiculous labeling systems I have ever heard of. I had no knowledge of this on prior road trips and now I see how I got confused about highway names disappearing or changing while out exploring last year.

It was really good to get out on an adventure. It was long overdue to get out. I’ve got cabin fever pretty badly and I’m so ready to go somewhere to see & do things. I have a long list of places to go, both domestic and international. I am still working on the international part but due to the ongoing potential for health concerns in the world but I am still looking. It’s very frustrating but nothing I can do about it.

Whenever I see something or someplace of interest I add it to a current list or create a new Guide in Apple Maps. I have them created for areas and cities, like the St. Louis vicinity or Amsterdam for example or for all public transit stops I want to use someplace like Seattle or Europe. I also have started a Guide for things to see along the way when I plan to go on a longer road trip. Then, as I get to an area i want to visit for a day or even few days I have plenty of options for places to go and the maps to get there, like we did over the weekend.

As I visit my saved places I remove them from the Guide but I can save as a favorite if I want to visit again, keeping the Guide info for only new things I haven’t seen yet. It helps keep the clutter down and only shows the new places I haven’t been to yet.

Going to be a cold one tonight – around 8 degrees F without wind. Right now it’s 14 with a 7 mph wind so it feels like 4.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading.

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