Bagna Càuda: A Delicious Dip from Piedmont

Chelsea’s recipe for the Piedmont specialty, Bagna Cauda.

Read More

Fantastic Ribollita: A Classic Tuscan Soup

Easy and delicious! Our take on a Tuscan classic soup, ribollita. The recipe is easy to follow and the results will transport you to Italy.

Read More

Pizza Crawl in Naples, Italy

The Euro Travel Coach Team travels to Naples, Italy and does a pizza crawl of three of the best pizza spots in the city. Find out who the winner is and where you can try them when you visit.

Read More

ETC's Favorite London Restaurants

Here are some of our favorite restaurants in London. If you are planning to travel the UK capitol, here are our top picks to grab a bite or enjoy a nice meal.

Read More

Our Daughter's Destination Wedding: Difficult Roads Often Lead to Beautiful Destinations

Will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
— Walt Whitman
Lac Pemichangan, Quebec

Lac Pemichangan, Quebec

OK, I know the Euro Travel Coach blog is about travel, but it’s also about our life, lifestyle and life events.  I’m here to tell you, this past week was a doozy.  I hope you will indulge me as I use this forum to share a little bit about this incredible week.  Our little girl got married.

The view from the rocks

The view from the rocks

It’s a bit complicated.  They actually got married in a civil ceremony in Ottawa a year ago so that they could move together to Copenhagen with all the proper paperwork.  But this past week was a celebration of their love for one another, in front of and with their friends and family, in a place that is very special to all of us.  Chelsea and Sam had a destination wedding like no other.  They were married on our dock at our cottage in Quebec.  It was absolutely amazing.

The view from the water -- ducks were unexpected but welcome guests!

The view from the water -- ducks were unexpected but welcome guests!

This was a challenging venue for a wedding.  The thing that made it even possible and created such a remarkable event is that it took the entire lake community, our friends and family from Texas, Ohio, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennessee, California, Michigan, Indiana, Arizona, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and elsewhere to pull it off.  It was incredible how everyone pitched in!  And they didn’t do it reluctantly or grudgingly – they enthusiastically, cheerfully, creatively, energetically went above and beyond to make this weekend go absolutely over the top.  I am overwhelmed with the generosity and kindness of everyone who was involved.  I will never be able to adequately express my appreciation.  I am grateful beyond measure.

I have to give it up to the bride and groom.  They had a vision in mind from the very beginning and they planned and coordinated everything in great detail.  The rest of us did our best to execute.  People shared their cottages, pontoon boats, fishing boats, cars, time, incredible talents, docks and even their rosaries. 

Yes!  I said their rosaries!  Chelsea and Sam wanted the ceremony to be on our dock and the reception to be in our dear friends’ front yards, lakeside.  Every good outdoor wedding must have a rain plan.  We had tents but really did not want to have to use them.   It has been an exceptionally wet, rainy summer and there very possibly could have been a downpour on the day of the wedding.  I started mentioning weather to friends a few weeks ago and they said to put rosary beads on the clothesline the day before the wedding.  I thought this was so interesting and unusual until several other friends said exactly the same thing!  So, one friend let me borrow her husband’s grandfather’s rosary beads.  I carefully placed them on the clothesline on July 7.  Other friends put rosary beads on their clotheslines in anticipation of the upcoming nuptials too.  All I can say is that it rained in the morning and was still grey and wet at 2:00.  By 5:00, the time for the ceremony, it was absolutely glorious!!  I also think my parents were smiling down at the cottage they built, and their granddaughter and her love, as they promised their lives to one another in the presence of their family and friends.  People watched from our deck, our dock, the rocks, our neighbor’s yard and a flotilla of boats.   It was incredible.

Cocktail hour was amazing with bottled cocktails and unbelievable charcuterie prepared by Chelsea's friends from Cornell. The reception was a wood-fired pizza oven/food truck and carefully procured beer served from a beer bar that Greg built.  Wonderful wine was also served.  Fantastic!  There were several near catastrophes.  The remarkable thing is how people just fixed any problem that came up!  No cord bins for the sound system? No carbon dioxide for the beer kegs 2 hours before the reception?  Cake not yet delivered to the table after the ceremony?  No problem!!  Every single time an issue came up, people quickly figured out a solution and just made everything work.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  Again – you ALL know who you are!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

It was an awesome party.  We hope everyone had a blast.  I know we sure did, as did the bride and groom.  I was concerned about getting everything back to normal when it was all said and done.  Again – friends came to the rescue!   While we were enjoying bagels and bloodies with the happy couple at our cottage, numerous people arrived at our friends’ cottages to help clean everything up after the festivities of the night before! 

Chelsea and Sam are now in the Azores on their honeymoon.  They say they are relaxed, happy, and eternally grateful to all who made this such a special wedding celebration.  And now these three remain:  faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:13

Are you planning a trip somewhere in Europe? We can help with that! Remember that we are always available to you and your friends and family for custom trip planning to Italy, France, Ireland, England and all of Europe. We also still have spots available on our small group trip to Tuscany and our small group trip to Piedmont!  We'd love for you to join us!  You can always reach Betsy at betsy@eurotravelcoach.com.  We would love to help you make your travel dreams to Europe come true! 

 

 

 

 

 

Pasta, Pizza, Pomodoro -- LOVE that Italian food...Part 1

Greg and I are real foodies.  We love to find the small out of the way local restaurants that are so very special, all over Europe.  We also like to drink local and often travel to a location simply to learn more about wine from the people who actually make it.  I want to offer the next several posts on some of my favorite meals in specific countries.  Today, I’ll start by talking about Italy and one of my favorite meals while traveling there.  In following posts, I’ll talk about other favorite meals – in Italy and then in France and in Ireland.  This could take a while!!  There have been SO many fabulous meals over the years!!!

Ok, I know I just said that we love out of the way restaurants and that is totally true – but it’s not absolute!  As much as we love restaurants most people have never heard of, sometimes we do go to places that are fairly well known, and it can be totally worth it!  I loved reading Eat, Pray, Love so much.  When it came out, the author’s description of eating pizza in Naples made me want to fly to Italy that very day and eat nothing but pizza for weeks.  We didn’t get there right away, but when we did go to this part of Italy (you can see some info on Naples here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naples) we made a point of going to L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele (http://www.damichele.net).   It’s only a 15 minute walk from the Napoli Centrale train station.  We had to wait in line to get in but that was part of the fun!! Waiting with all the other locals and tourists was fascinating; they were so helpful!  We got a number and waited for our number to be called, but then jumped the gun…we thought they were calling us but we had misunderstood when another number was called, in Italian (of course!). We had a good laugh -- along with everyone else in line....and then when our number finally was called, everyone pointed us in the right direction and cheered!!   It was so funny.  We were seated at a communal table with an Italian couple.  I love this idea of eating with strangers and making new friends in the process.  They didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak much Italian, but I do speak French and so did she, so we had a really fun conversation, in French!  They really only have 2 kinds of pizza at da Michele – Margherita and Marinara.  They are baked in a super hot oven and the crust is delightfully thin so the pizzas are ready in a heartbeat.  They arrived, steamy hot and melt in your mouth delicious.  The setting was great, the experience an adventure and the pizza was wonderful!   Our afternoon at Da Michele was memorable and fun!  We loved it – it was a favorite meal!  It was one of many.  Now that I’m thinking about this, it’s going to be hard to limit this to just a few favorites, but I’ll do my best!

 

 

Naples, Italy

Naples, Italy