Archive for » May, 2010 «

How to pair wines with food

The ability to pair food and wine is a skill that is easily and delightfully developed. As with most skills, learning to perfectly pair wine with meals or appetizers requires practice, however, practicing your attention to flavors is an enjoyable exercise.

The objective of a good food/wine pairing is to enhance both the flavor of the food and the wine. A simple example is that of pairing wine and cheese. A dry complex red wine, such as a Bordeaux or Syrah is well-paired with a creamy cheese, such as brie, because the fats in the cheese affect your taste-buds and alter the way the wine tastes, making it softer and fuller of flavor on the palate.

This same principle is true with all wine and food pairing. When thinking of a wine to go with a meal, you should evaluate the meal for heaviness, strength of flavor, what kind of meats will be served, spice, temperature, and the personal proclivities of those who will be participating in the meal. If you are serving a heavy meal of steak, garlic potatoes, and Brussels sprouts, then you should choose a wine that can stand up to that much intensity of flavor and weight. A light, floral, white wine is not a good choice for such a meal, but a full bodied Red Zinfandel, Syrah, or Cabernet Sauvignon will go nicely. Once you’ve chosen a grape varietal, (the type of grape used to make the wine) next consider which wines you and your guests prefer, as well as the specific flavors exhibited by the different choices. Wines which have flavors of spice, smoke, leather, and terroir (soil) pair well with red meat and grilled food because the complexity of those flavors compliment the flavors of grilled food. Lighter reds, such as Pinot Noir or Cava, pair well with salmon, stews, pasta dishes, and other foods that have weight without being as heavy as cream-based or red-meat dishes.

If you are serving lighter fair, such as seafood, salads, gazpachos, et cetera., consider the fairer side of the wine spectrum. Generally speaking, the lighter the food, the lighter the wine should be. Chardonnay compliments chicken and pork, but a Chenin Blanc is better for scallops or salads. As with the red wine pairings, consider the flavors of the food in conjunction with the flavors of the wine. Pair drier white wines with complex foods, and pair floral and fruity whites with light, simple foods. It may come as a surprise, but a light floral wine pairs extremely well with spicy foods and Asian cuisine. The light floral notes of the wine cool and cleanse the palate between bites. Riesling and Viongier are delicious with Thai food.

With practice you will begin to notice how the taste of your food and wine changes depending upon how they are paired, and this will teach you how to better pair foods in the future. It’s fun to try new pairings, and there are absolutely no rules. Wine and food pairing is all about what tastes best, and if you find an unconventional duo that you enjoy, then you have truly developed pairing skills.

Hotel Metropol – an Example of Historical Moscow Hotels

You won’t find many hotels around the world nowadays that were built at the start of the 20th century but fortunately Hotel Metropol of Moscow, Russia still stands after being constructed in 1907. The style of the architecture of the Hotel Metropol is Art Nouveau and its design was the result of collaboration between three architects named Vladimir Shukhov, Lev Kekushev, and William Walcot and three artists named Nikolai Andreev, Alexander Golovin, Mikhail Vrubel.

Having been brought back to its original function as one of the Moscow hotels, the Hotel Metropol currently offers 362 rooms for occupancy to the public. Each room in the hotel is unique because each has a different shape or special décor that differentiate it from the other 361 rooms inside.

Back in 1898, the lot on which the present Hotel Metropol stands was originally purchased to become the site of a new opera hall. The lot was purchased by Sawa Mamontov (who was eventually taken off the project when he was sentenced to jail due to fraud) and Petersburg Insurance for this purpose. Once Mamontov was removed from the project and jailed, Petersburg Insurance took over management of the project but scrapped plans for the opera hall.

From an architectural perspective, the Hotel Metropol is one rectangular building that was constructed so that it would not require any beams or columns to support its parts. Construction was initiated in 1899 and culminated in 1907. The structural system is based on reinforced concrete.

It is notable that the Hotel Metropol survived the turmoil during the 1917 Russian Revolution and still stands today as one of the historical yet functional Moscow hotels. Once the Bolsheviks were in power after the Russian Revolution, they nationalized Hotel Metropol in 1918 and called it the Second House of Soviets. It no longer functioned as one of the Moscow hotels under the Bolsheviks – rather, the new Soviet bureaucrats used the Hotel Metropol building for both living quarters and office space.

It was only much later (during the 1930s) that the Hotel Metropol building was restored to its previous role as one of the functional Moscow hotels.

When 1986 came around, certain Finnish companies initiated a major restoration of the Hotel Metropol which lasted until 1991. The restoration was an offshoot of bilateral trade between the Soviets and the Finns.

At present, the Hotel Metropol is considered one of the five-star luxury Moscow hotels which has a prized location at the center of the city of Moscow itself. It is also conveniently located right across from the Bolshoi Theater, while the Kremlin and the Red Square sit just three minutes away from the Hotel Metropol if you walk. It serves both European and Russian cuisine in its three in-house restaurants.

From the airport, you require just a 45-minute drive to get to Hotel Metropol. If you disembark at the Leningradsky Railway Station, the Hotel Metropol is just 15 minutes away from that station by car.

The five-star luxury hotel designation of Hotel Metropol is no laughing matter because the hotel has garnered multiple awards from 2001 to 2006, giving recognition to this hotel with the very long history and a reputation to uphold. Among the recognition it has received are the 2002 “International Golden Trophy for Quality” in Paris; the 2003 “17th European Gold Award for Quality” also in Paris; and the 2005 “Golden Europe Award for Quality and Commercial Prestige” in Brussels. These awards are only a fitting reminder that some things in life really do get better as they age.

Travel experiences: Road trip tales

OUR TAXI DRIVER in Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast in Italy picks us up outside our hotel and heads for the Cappodichino Airport in Naples. He is a slim, native Sorrentino, a ready smile on his face and speaks fine English, although when we compliment him, he says, seemingly embarrassed, “You flatter me!” He learned English in school and knows a good amount of American slang and culture. He’s surprised and amused when we tell him a couple of words in Italian that have distinct, negative connotations in English. “Baby On Board” stickers in the U.S. become “BIMBO ON BOARD” stickers in Italy, “bimbo” meaning “child.” Similarly, when we pass the “Hotel Albatross,” we note that in English, an “albatross” denotes a bird, but connotes a deadweight, a burden, certainly something not desirable.

As we zip along with three hours to our flight, we suddenly hit a roadblock. Literally. Traffic in the two-lane roadway grinds to a standstill. An accident on the autostrada has closed that main artery, which would have allowed us to reach the Naples airport in twenty minutes from where we stopped. “I am afraid the drive will take longer than usual,” he informs us, with sadness in his voice. Then, seconds later, after assessing the situation, he adds, “A lot longer.” We start sweating. Sure enough, a 40-minute ride becomes a frustrating crawl with the promise of another hour or more to our destination.

Now, two hours have elapsed since we loaded up the taxi in Sorrento. We start talking seriously about missing our flight to Brussels and making other arrangements. We don’t want to stay in Naples-tourist guidebook reports of crime and sleaziness have scared us away. We’ll stay at the airport. CAN we stay at the airport? What about the reservations? Can we get a flight out the next morning? What if it’s fully booked? Now we are sweating in earnest. Our flight leaves at 2. It’s an international flight. They say arrive two hours before. It’s now 1:25. More sweating.

Finally, at about 1:30, traffic starts moving on our road. We’re near the entrance to the autostrada, ahead of where the accident occurred. Our driver speeds onto the highway entrance and we’re off, as he buckles down to serious motoring. We keep quiet, letting him concentrate on his driving. He zips along at speeds over 60 mph, passing cars, weaving around trucks, flashing his lights to cars ahead of him in the left lane. Like cars making way for fire trucks, they peel off into the middle lane as he barrels along, feet, then inches behind vehicles that don’t move to the side, which eventually they do. We’re really moving-606570.We start seeing signs to the airport; he veers to the right, glides onto the exit ramp. We feel like diplomats in a motorcade.

Miraculously, he pulls up to the terminal with fifteen minutes to spare, jumps out of the taxi, returns with a cart, loads our luggage, and wishes us well. I have my euros out, a generous tip included, shake his hand and dart off to the departure lounge. We board the plane, the last occupying the only two vacant seats, and take off.

Travel destinations: Amsterdam

It’s not just sex, drugs and bicycles that Amsterdam is famous for. It is rich in culture and architecture and is a tourist’s delight. The Netherlands boasts of more museums per square foot of area than any other country in the world now, that’s something you didn’t know.

Amsterdam is actually a quiet but interesting place. The narrow streets with cobbled stones are busied with bicycles and the occasional car movement. One must take a walk through these alleys to experience Amsterdam in its whole.

Dam Square

Dam Square is the heart of the town and is located on the site of the original Amstel dam. The main attraction point on the Square is the Royal Palace.


The famous Rijksmuseum is home to some of the most splendid works of art. The most notable pieces here are that by Rembrandt the works of Frans Hals and Vermeer. Beautiful illustrations of porcelain dolls & dolls’ houses are also seen.

Van Gogh Museum

Another perfect destination for fine art is displayed at the Van Gogh Museum. Housing many of Van Gogh’s best works, the Van Gogh Museum is home to the largest collection of his work in the world.

Amsterdam through its unique nature is very likely to storm, excite and fascinate its visitors. Its multi-ethnic atmosphere, the perfect balance of open spaces and urbanization is something that has to be seen to be believed.

Getting There

Amsterdam is actually accessible by air, by bus or by train, depending on your exact location.

By Air:

Note that when you choose to fly to Amsterdam, the flights usually arrive in the Schiphol Airport, which is approximately 18 km away, southwest of the city centre. From the Schiphol airport, the trains leave for Central Station every 20 minutes. From the Central Station one could take a taxi to reach the city centre.

When you choose to fly to Amsterdam it is good to know that some budget airlines are starting to fly to Rotterdam Airport, which is approximately one hour from the city by bus.

By Train:

Trains arrive at the Central Station which is close to the City Centre.

By Bus:

The buses arriving and leaving from the city of Amsterdam come from Amstel Station. This station is actually linked to Central Station by a Metro system. Buses leaving for London, Brussels, and Amsterdam’s other cities depart from the Amstel Station.

Getting Around

On your Amsterdam travel, note that you can stroll around the city on foot, by bike, by tram, or by bus or metro, as these are the usual modes of transportation around the city. Actually, the central highlights of the city are just easy to get around. Apart from the Red Light District and Dam Square, most of what there is to see is a short tram or bike ride away.

We will let you in on a secret: the best way to see the entire city of Amsterdam is to travel by bike. There are more than 500,000 bikes in the city. One may hire a bike for about 7 per day. The most important thing to remember is to lock your bike, as bike theft is a huge problem in Amsterdam.

Hotels – Travelling by Rail in Europe

When you think of going on your holidays, what springs to mind when it comes to travelling to your destination?

If you’re travelling by air, complications such as crowded airplanes – usually with plenty of screaming children – long waits for shuttle buses to your respective hotels and other general annoyances that come with travelling abroad.

But have you ever thought about rail travel? With prices from as little as £30 return for a journey from London to Paris, holidaying in Europe has never been easier. And with a wide variety of hotels in London available to the avid rail traveller, the potential for weekend breaks by rail travel has become more widely available.

With the recent refurbishment of London St Pancras station, passengers now have the opportunity to travel to Paris and Brussels via high-speed Eurostar services.

For those looking to experience rail travel in more than one country, there are a variety of different railcards available for across Europe. For a single fee you can purchase railcards that are valid for a certain amount of countries in a certain amount of time.

For example, you could start your journey in London, hop on the high-speed train to Paris before going on to a wide range of other destinations – from Munich to Madrid, the choice is endless.

And with some railcard deals stretching to include ferry travel from ports like Copenhagen, the sense of freedom provided by such deals allow for freedom of travel – provided you stick to within the timeframes of the pass.

For longer journeys you have the option of sleeper carriages whilst on board, depending on how long your journey might take you and at what time you will be travelling. Cabins are usually shared and provide the opportunity to either catch forty winks or simply sit back and enjoy the rolling scenery.

And upon arriving at your destination station, you can either go on to your next destination, or choo-choose to stay and take in the sights – finding eateries and hotels along the way – giving a greater sense of freedom and choice during your journey.

Peachy Wilrijk Has Pleasing Nightlife

When seeking a spirited holiday, Antwerp tourism opportunities are ideal. Antwerp tourism options give the traveller a guise to experience fine dining options, to stay at extraordinary places of affection, and to drink in the rich experiences of the municipality of Antwerp in Belgium. Fabulous, uniquely styled architecture, inviting and welcoming stores, magnificent actual monuments, numerous art galleries, stacks of , and myriad humanizing activities await the visitor of Antwerp. In addition, getting around the place of Antwerp and to miscellaneous destinations of activity is amazingly easy, thanks to the myriad forms of public transportation accessible to guests and metropolis inhabitants.

You could begin your “Antwerpen circuit” by seeing the Antwerp Zoo. This zoo is one of the earliest zoos in the world. Since it was founded in 1843, it continued to collect exotic animal species from Belgium’s African colonies. You can still see the lion panels from the 1800′s. The Grote Market in the bygone town centre is an icon of medieval lifestyle in Flanders. The triangular area that covers the market is lined with guild halls straight from the Renaissance, and you could also find the Brabo fountain in the centre of the market.

Shopping is one activity that you should not miss in Antwerp. Once you leave the Antwerpen Centraal Station, head over to the diamond district just at odds with the station. After you stroll through the diamond district, you may walk through the old city, as you are greeted by antique fabrics and lighthearted citizens. You can also drive to the Antwerp’s north side to find old oil refineries. Then, go back to the city centre and shop for souvenirs, as well as consume some of Antwerp’s local produce.

Antwerp has its own brand of recreation found in the bygone city centre. The Cafe Beveren is a quaint shop frequented by university students, singles, and sailors. There is also an antique organ and jukebox that is played by local talents. The Bourlaschouwburg is a round theatre that was once built for the French elite in the 1830′s. Present, you could watch the Het Toneelhuis theatre company display their talent in this theatre. Cartoons is a cinema house for foreign films and independently produced features. You could sit down and take in the cosy ambiance of the cinema house with your date.

The residents of Antwerp adulate renowned food. You can get satisfying French temptations like french fries and other fried dishes in the standing eateries found on the drives. Antwerp has a unique mode of creating distinguished bread, one of which is named “smos”. Smos is bread topped with lots of layers of garnish. The only fashion to eat it is to plunge in and chew them the messy guise. For dinner, Antwerp has a collection of fine dinner restaurants. They say that the food in Antwerp is preferable than in Brussels. You will need to be the judge.

Antwerp has been under the radar for so long, so expect this municipality to emerge as a prime tourist place in the coming years. The supreme way to get around Antwerp is with bikes. See museums, royal houses, and the famed Cathedral of our Lady.

Italian Air Travel Booking Tips

The cost of flying within Italy is often comparable to the cost of train travel, although be sure to include the expense of getting to and from the airport. When flying out of Italian airports, always check with the airport or tourist agency about upcoming strikes, which are frequent in Italy and often affect air travel. The work stoppages are called by trade unions over contractual disputes, and can also ground or delay flights to and from Italy operated by several European carriers, including British Airways and Air France.

Things to Think About when booking

When you book, look for nonstop flights and remember that “direct” flights stop at least once. Try to avoid connecting flights, which require a change of plane. Two airlines may operate a connecting flight jointly, so ask whether your airline operates every segment of the trip. You may find that the carrier you prefer flies you only part of the way. Check web sites to find more booking tip, to check prices and to make online flight reservations.

When flying internationally, you must usually choose between a domestic carrier, the national flag carrier of the country you are visiting (Alitalia for Italy), and a foreign carrier from a third country. National flag carriers have the greatest number of non stops. Domestic carriers may have better connections to your hometown and serve a greater number of gateway cities. Third-party carriers may have a price advantage.

On international flights, Alitalia serves Rome, Milan, and Venice. The major international hubs in Italy are Milan and Rome, served by Continental Airlines and Delta Air Lines. American Airlines flies into just Milan. US Airways serves only Rome.

Alitalia and British Airways have direct flights from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports to Milan and Rome. From Manchester, British Airways has daily flights to Milan and Rome. Smaller, no-frills airlines also provide service between Great Britain and Italy.

EasyJet connects Gatwick with Bologna. British Midland connects Heathrow and Milan. Ryanair, departing from London’s Stansted Airport, has daily flights to Milan, Rome, Pisa, and Venice. Meridiana has two or three direct flights each week between Gatwick and Olbia on Sardinia in summer, and daily flights to Rome and Florence throughout the year. From its hub in Brussels, Virgin Express files to Milan, Catania, and Rome.

Alitalia connects Canada and Italy. Air Canada flies to Munich for connections to Rome, Florence, and Milan via Lufthansa. Qantas flies from various cities in Australia via Bangkok, arriving in Rome. Alitalia and New Zealand Air fly from Auckland to Rome with a stop in London. Another option if you’re coming from Australia or New Zealand is Thai Airlines, landing in Rome via Bangkok.

When buying tickets for flights within Italy, on Alitalia and small carriers such as Meridiana and Air One shop around for the best deals. Tickets are frequently sold at discounted prices, so check the cost of flights, even one-way, as an alternative to train travel.

Tips for choosing an airport hotel

Need to get to the airport at the crack of dawn? Flying in late at night and need some sleep? In answer to these questions, it’s often easier to stay at an airport hotel. For a business traveler, the airport hotel is a godsend and nothing beats their ease. The airport hotel can work well for the leisure traveler, both individuals and families, if carefully checked out in advanced.

Years ago, airport hotels were very basic and nothing more than small motels, but today that has all changed. The newest and largest hotel chains are providing spacious deluxe rooms, with many amenities such as spas, swimming pools, Internet access, and free airport shuttle. The business traveler will appreciate never being out of touch with high-tech business facilities.

With an extensive range of hotels having all the modern comforts required, may have you wonder about pricing and proximity to sights in the nearby locations. If you are in a major airport, the airport hotel is usually part of a national chain, and because there may be several hotels in the area, fierce competition ensures decent prices.

A hotel on the airport property may even be in the terminal area such as “Hyatt Regency Orlando Intl Airport. If you need to fly out of Orlando on an early morning flight, it works out perfectly. However, it is not near any of the theme parks and is not suggested to use as a base for a holiday

The same holds true for Marriotts Angeles Airport Hotel, which has been recently renovated to assure wonderful and convenient stay. There’s no problem in getting to LAX, as free transportation is provided, but there is no alternative transportation into Los Angeles other than a taxi.

Many times hotels that are in the terminal are usually high in quality but you pay a high price too. The traveler often pays for the proximity advantage but one new in terminal chain affords a bargain in London and Amsterdam known as a Yotel.

The Yotel is modern, low-cost and right in the terminal so there’s no need to wait for a shuttle as you can walk directly to your gate. It is a great place to hang your hat and rest your feet if you have a long layover or if your flight has been delayed.

Winner of Worldwide Hospitality Awards in 2005 for innovative Concept in Hotel Lodging, the Yotel can be secured for either hourly or overnight stays and you can check you’re the status of your flight right on your TV screen.

Several airports can work wonderful for your entire stay as the infrastructure from the airport to the city is well planned. Of course you need to do your homework to check all options.

Other cities such as Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva and London have mass transportation systems that can whisk you right into the center in a half an hour or less. You may be able to budget a more luxurious four or five star hotel at the airport for the price of a one star in a city.

Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, you will wake up feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to start begin your day, when you stay at a hotel that meets your needs.

The best way to choose an airport hotel is speak with a travel agent, sign up on-line with a major hotel chain, read reviews from others on the web or suggestions from destination tourist offices prior to your trip.

Appreciate The First-class Shopping Malls In Antwerp

When seeking a spirited spot, Antwerp tourism opportunities are ideal. Antwerp tourism options give the traveller a mode to experience fine dinner options, to hit extraordinary sites of curiosity, and to drink in the rich history of the metropolis of Antwerp in Belgium. Fabulous, uniquely styled architecture, inviting and welcoming stores, magnificent chronicled monuments, numerous art galleries, a volume of , and myriad refining activities await the visitor of Antwerp. In addition, getting around the municipality of Antwerp and to diverse destinations of interest is amazingly easy, thanks to the myriad forms of public transportation accessible to tourists and municipality inhabitants.

Sightseers are drawn to scarcely any hotspots in Antwerp. Appealing Antwerp tourism destinations include the Cathedral of our Lady, notable for its architectural design, the Steen, noted for it’s archaic castle like structure and the fact that it is one of the most old buildings within the municipality; the home of painter Peter Paul Reuben; Antwerp’s urban place Hall erected in the sixteenth century, and the zoo. Don’t forget to check out the Grote Market in Antwerp where vendors regularly sell their wares. Antwerp tourism is a growing industry because the city has so many spots of curiosity!

Take a journey of one of the ancient zoos in the entire world; the Antwerp Zoo contains sea lions, adorable King Penguins, crocodiles, dolphins, monkeys, a vast diversification of reptiles, and fish. Plus, the Zoo is perfect for and children alike! If the zoo doesn’t appeal to you, perhaps the Royal Museum of Fine Arts will hold attraction for you. Already ruined by a devastating fire, the museum has a rich experiences, having been produced around 1884. Within the museum’s walls you could delight in the extraordinary work of artists like Rubens, Jacob Jordaens, and Floris Claesz van Deck.

As with every one of things Europe, the bars are always of note. Every country has its own bar lifestyle, and Belgium is not any disparate. The Pelgrom is a foremost underground public house that wayfarers should not forget to see. Unlike other countries that demonstrate “locals” frequenting the bars, Antwerp bars are refreshing due to the friendliness of the Antwerp populace.

There is also the high-class shopping area in Meir for voyagers who wish to spend pleasant money on some novel Belgian wardrobe and shoes. The items are certainly worth it as they act in place of the form of life in Antwerp.

The residents of Antwerp thrive with notable food. You can get satisfying French temptations like french fries and other fried dishes in the standing eateries found on the highways. Antwerp has a unique form of creating prestigious bread, one of which is named “smos”. Smos is bread topped with lots of layers of garnish. The only fashion to eat it is to plunge in and chew them the messy custom. For dinner, Antwerp has a cluster of fine dining restaurants. They say that the food in Antwerp is preferable than in Brussels. You will need to be the judge.

Antwerp has been under the radar for so long, so expect this borough to emerge as a choice tourist destination in the coming years. The supreme guise to get around Antwerp is with bikes. Tour museums, royal houses, and the famed Cathedral of our Lady.

Humor: Getting pulled over by a police officer

Happy Turkey Day:

To see flashing red and blue lights in your rear-view mirror is never pleasant. To see them on Thanksgiving Day with two highly amused college students as passengers in the back seat does not improve your mood. After all, instead of tending the turkey, I was out there driving from Newark International Airport in New Jersey back to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Thanksgiving because of them.

The boys were euphoric to begin with – and not because they were high on anything but being back in the USA.

As someone who drove 40,000 miles a year with a sparkling clean record, the path to what looked like my first ticket since I was a teen myself started with a “will you accept the charges” international phone call. The voice of my youngest son came over the line to tell me that he and his classmate had been robbed on the train from Paris to Brussels en route to catch their flight home. Gone were their return tickets, their clean clothes and, above all, their passports. It was a sad end to their semester at a French university for credit at their college.*

They had camped outside the Embassy until it opened to report the loss and to get help. It was not a good situation; two, by now scruffy, college age boys without identification. Fortunately, the consul knew Harrisburg and when my son correctly answered his questions about facts only locals would know, two new passports were forthcoming, a new flight arranged, their tickets replaced at no charge, and they were arriving on Thanksgiving.

While I was thrilled that they were safe and on their way home, I was not thrilled to be on the highway on Thanksgiving. Because many Pennsylvanians ate their Thanksgiving feast in the early afternoon, there were sure to be drunk drivers on the roads by the time we started on the return trip.

So, there we were on Route 22 in a known speed trap area. An innocuous brown sedan in front of us was bouncing back and forth between 45 and 50 in a 55 zone. That worried me; it sure looked like a drunk driver trying to be extra careful. I signaled, pulled out to pass, and stepped up to 63 until there was a safe distance between us. I then moved back into the right lane to start easing back down to 55. Within seconds, the flashing lights in my mirror told me that the innocuous brown sedan was an unmarked police car. As I said, this was a known speed trap area; I just had not known what kind of speed traps.

The officer approached my window and asked for my license and car papers. In the back seat, the boys were laughing and having a great time at the joke of Mom being pulled over. I just sat there with my hands in my lap enduring their jibes. The officer gave them a look; then he looked again at me. He walked back to his car. In the mirror I could see that he wrote for a while, looked up at the clearly rollicking boys in the back seat, and wrote again. He returned.

“Please, officer, just give me the ticket,” I said tiredly. He handed me my papers and a filled out form. With another sharp look at the boys, he said, “I’m giving you a warning, not a ticket. Have a Happy Turkey Day.”

Incidentally, Thanksgiving dinner came out just fine.

* Note, back in the 1989, the semester in France was cheaper than the semester in the US, plane tickets and all.