My Quirky Adventure – Day 21

ImageI was awoken this morning by the smell of home made bread.  Our wonderful host Danieli advised he made a fresh organic loaf every morning.  I could get use to this, but alas we were now checking out – on route to Tuscany!!

Next stop Avis for operation hire car, WHAT IS THAT I HEAR YOU ASK? ME, THE QUIRKY ONE…. DRIVING IN EUROPE, ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE ROAD (opposite to my home town Australia)!! I think NOT…

Luckily the Fiance (Sean) was the designated driver (phew)…  We opted not to get satelite navigation as we figured that’s what Google Maps (which we could access on our mobile phone) is for… We then headed off on our journey..

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On route to Tuscany we stopped at a few factory outlets, the most memorable was the Prada outlet, not that this was memorable due to the fashion but the fact of witnessing so many shoppers bring their dogs with them as shopping companions, now that sure is quirky!!!

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All this shopping had caused me to work up quite an appetite and I was so pleased to find fresh salads available in the kiosk on site.

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I am a sucker for peas as they are one of the most nutritious leguminous vegetables, rich in nutrientsis, anti-oxidants and vitamins.

Peas are also relatively low in calories with 100g of peas containing only 81 calories, as well as being a good source of protein as well as fibre.

SO.. when I saw a chicken salad with PEA’s it was a no brainer for me to choose this highly nutritious meal for lunch, it was delicious!!

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Upon continuing our journey I became quite frightened as not being familiar with driving in the left seat on the right hand side of the road (as in Australia we drive in the right seat on the left hand side of the road), Sean kept veering to the right which had me constantly cringing with terror.

We had lost our travel companions so Google Maps was our saviour, however this was draining our mobile phone battery at a faster rate than the usage.. Hmm no charger, what were we to do??

In a foreign country unable to speak the native language and with absolutely no clue on where we were, I suddenly had a light bulb moment.

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I quickly got hold of my laptop and plugged the phone in to charge from the laptop power…

I was quite chuffed with my idea but unfortunately it was not doing the job, as Google Maps was using power faster than the laptop was providing it.

We had no choice but to go off course and look for a store (after 6pm I must add) or a service station where we could buy a car charger..

All of a sudden BANG!!!  The passenger side had clipped the curb.. It seems I had not been over reacting with my previous cringes of terror!!  I was too scared to look at the damage but it had to be done and just as I thought we had damaged the hire car!!

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How could we have experienced another quirky mishap!!  I knew this would be a funny story to tell in the future (like now) but at the time it was quite stressful.  We could not let this distract us from “operation car charger” as without this we had no chance of accessing a map to take us to our destination….

Fast forward, we miraculously found an electronic goods store, purchased the charger and off we went to Tuscany!!

The food is so different amongst the regions in Italy, I was surprised at the diversity.

Tuscan food is quite rich, with more meaty dishes on offer opposed to traditional Italian pasta…  For entree we started with deliciously healthy beef carpaccio which came with a delicious spinach salad, topped with parmesan cheese..

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As you have probably gathered from reading my previous quirky adventure posts, I am absolutely addicted to prosciutto and rockmelon (or cantaloupe as some call it) in Italy, so tonight I again could not resist ordering it.. Sean thinks it is a waste as we could be ordering traditional Tuscan food but I just love the way I feel after eating it (rockmelon is hidden under the prosciutto in the picture).

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Now, I am not much of a meat eater however one of the most famous dishes in Tuscany is the Florentine steak which is a thick piece of beef cooked medium rare. Apparently some of the butchers in Tuscany love this dish so much that poems have been written about it like the famous Dario Cecchini of Pansano in Chianti.

I asked for my meat to be cooked a little more than medium rare but less than medium and it was delicious… Just the protein needed to fuel my quirky cardio journey so far!!

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I was naughty after dinner, ordering an empty calorie Italian dessert, ‘tiramisu’ for Sean and I to share..  I was quite disappointed as the taste of cream over powered the dessert, not what a tiramisu should taste like..  Hmmm, what a waste of calories I thought, not to mention the saturated fat.. Lucky I made healthy choices for my entree and main..

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