Melissa Hartwig

Plan a Whole30 dream vacation

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I'd head back to San Sebastian, Spain where I'd forage for small bites of tapas (pintxos - hence my online name) around the old town. Especially for the seafood - pulpo a la gallega, salt cod stuffed peppers, their superior tinned shellfish, sopping up with a hearty tortilla slice! Speaking in my hesitant brushed-up Spanish, I'd make sure the jamon iberico has no additives or sugar and tell them to hold the wonderful Manchego or bread...and no, I can't have that Txakoli that you're passing round.

Oh, this is after I'd run 6 miles along La Concha, taking in the sea breeze and then kickstarting the day at a cafe with a cafe solo, averting eye contact with the pastries that are calling 'Hola, hola..!'.

Dinner will be at one of the many wonderful seafood places along the coast..

Once in a while, we'd head for the fresh market to hunt for local produce/meats and prepare an outdoor picnic somewhere.

And repeat for 2 weeks or more!

 

Otherwise I'd love to head for a Greek island, dive for fish and just eat a lot of simple fresh seafood and lamb!

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I came close to having my dream vacation for the past two years, in October. My place of utter and deep peace is at the ocean---almost any place at the sea. I grew up spending summers at the Jersey shore when I was a kid, with mom and grandparents, and my dad coming in on the train every weekend from work. I remember those days as long, long, long and utterly relaxing. I could entertain myself for a full day on the beach, finding shells, walking the breaker rocks, sandcastles, naps in the sun, refreshing dips in the salty sea, riding the little white waves in to the shore. 

 

So the past two Octobers my husband and I have spent 10 days in a place literally on the ocean at a spot in Marathon, Florida in the Florida Keys. We open all the windows to hear the ocean at night through the screens, a sound that is to me one of Earth's lullabyes to humans. We have stayed in a place with a full kitchen, and I make breakfast at home every morning: eggs with salsa and avocado, good Cuban coffee and we eat it on the balcony overlooking the ocean. My husband is getting going in the morning, so I often do a post-breakfast beach walk, or go swim in the pool, or take a 30 min. bike ride on my rented bike. Then my husband and I get up and go exploring----we tour an historical place, or a nature walk, or go browse in a gallery. We usually eat lunch and dinner out----and this is what I love about being on a coast----I eat fish for one or both of those meals! And the fish is so fresh! My typical meal in most restaurants in Marathon is fish grilled in butter with a salad and vegetables, and the fish is SO GOOD! In a Cuban restaurant I will treat myself to yucca in garlic sauce, or plantanos or tostones (fried plaintains) or sometimes maduros (sweet, ripe fried plantain), asking that the starchy food is grilled in butter. 

 

Usually my husband and I both swim in the pool a second time after lunch, doing laps. Then we read, listen to the ocean, nap before going out again for dinner. We end the day with some Cuban coffee, unsweetened. Now in the interests of honesty, I must say these real life vacations included alcohol pretty much every night with dinner. We don't drink a lot, but I usually had a glass of wine, so these memories of not those of whole30 vacations. But minus the alcohol, I'd choose this same vacation at beautiful, slow-paced oceansides all around the world---especially the Mediterranean, where I've never been. The coastal towns of Italy and Sicily, Greece.....ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. To me that is heaven.

 

Pea

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My dream vacation would contain the following:

Travel to the Antarctic and stand on an ice floe.  I'd hire a private jet to get us to a vessel to take us further in to where Shackleton and his men were held captive for, I think it was 2 years.  I would have specially made meals while in flight and I would have a personal chef make compliant meals while we made our way to the Antarctic.  While there, I'd want to drive those huskies across the frozen tundra (remember the York Peppermint Patty commercial)?  One of the towns I grew up near had dog sledding days every winter.  It was always exciting to see those dogs chomping at the bit and upon coming back from their run with their tongues hanging out and a look of satisfaction on each of their faces.

After that, I'd want to visit South Georgia Island via the same vessel.  Once that was completed I'd want to go to Australia and go on walk about.  For an evening, take in a show at the Sydney Opera House.

Then, it's off to the Cook Islands via a private jet with enough time to get recertified in scuba to we could see some of the local underwater sites.  We'd have a personal chef to make meals that are somewhat regional but to our specs.

Afterward, it's off to Ireland.  I'd want to see the Blarney Rock, have an Irish scone and a cuppa tea and visit Kerrygold farms.  In addition, I'd like to see if I can find any of my mom's distant relatives. And, of course, a couple nights stay in a B&B where they would serve us up Americanized Irish meals.  There's just some things I can't fathom eating.

England is next on the list, but just for a couple of days.  I'd visit the Queen's palace to see her royal guards.  High tea is next.  And I'd want to see where Scotland Yard is.

Dubai is last on the list.  I've a friend who is a flight attendant and she always stays in her hotel room.  I'd love to take in the indoor theme park that they have and to visit the sand world they've made in their bay.  Having a personal chef would be paramount as I'm not sure what the people in Dubai eat or if I'd be able to dine on what they do.

Last, but not least, is Ontario, Canada.  "See Ontario...Only in Ontario" was the commercial that I used to hear during the time we lived in Minnesota.  I was always captivated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and would love to see them perform in person.

Oops, almost forgot the Blue Ridge Mountains.  "My Side of the Mountain" always intrigued me.  Although acorn pancakes aren't compliant, I'd probably have to have one just to say I tried it.  That' would conclude my dream 'journey'.

Yeah, I'm a bit of a dicatomy but then that's me. :rolleyes:

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9 hours ago, Robertaworley said:

Afterward, it's off to Ireland...... a couple nights stay in a B&B where they would serve us up Americanized Irish meals.  There's just some things I can't fathom eating.

Such as.....? I'm intrigued....!! :ph34r:

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10 hours ago, jmcbn said:

Such as.....? I'm intrigued....!! :ph34r:

Since I don't eat pork or organ meat, that means I wouldn't partake in offal, haggis, tripe or items cooked in blood and other such 'delicacies'.  By me not eating it, there's more for everyone else! :D

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19 minutes ago, Robertaworley said:

haggis, tripe

Both Scottish in origin ;)

The black and white pudding (not much different to sausage in all honesty - only the black contains blood) you can leave for me though :wub:

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jmcbn, you are most welcome to have whatever it is that I don't or won't eat.  And now, I have a partner in crime, besides my sweet husband.  You can show us around Ireland, eh?  It would be nice to have a resident tour guide that we can pay with the food we'd rather not partake.  That means, of course, you'll get a double portion.  You good with that?

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On 10/4/2016 at 4:31 AM, Robertaworley said:

You can show us around Ireland, eh?

There's very little of it I don't know!

And yep, those double servings of black & white pudding will not be wasted on me...!! The more active you are the more protein you need, right...? ;):D

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On 10/5/2016 at 3:34 PM, Robertaworley said:

Is any part of Ireland off limits?

Sorry, only seeing this now that all the recent bugs & glitches appear to have been ironed out.

Erm, no.... what makes you think there might be anywhere off limits?

And running ragged definitely counts for activity - most of Ireland is best seen on foot ;)

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9 hours ago, jmcbn said:

Sorry, only seeing this now that all the recent bugs & glitches appear to have been ironed out.

Erm, no.... what makes you think there might be anywhere off limits?

And running ragged definitely counts for activity - most of Ireland is best seen on foot ;)

Well, I thought Ireland was divided and at war.  Have I been misled?

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14 minutes ago, Robertaworley said:

Well, I thought Ireland was divided and at war.  Have I been misled?

Not so much misled, but maybe just a little bit behind.... There hasn't really been a full scale war in Ireland since the Fenians Rising in the 19th Century, although there have been various uprisings & the much publicised 'Troubles'

The North & South have been two separate countries since 1921 with the North being part of the UK whilst the South is independant. They are separated by a 'soft border', meaning there is no passport control or Police presence. The trains don't stop, and the only indication you've passed from North to South (or vice versa) in a bus/car is the change from miles to kilometres on the road signs.

The Good Friday Peace Agreement was signed in the North by the Government & the Paramilitaries back in 1998 bringing an end to 'The Troubles' and there has pretty much been peace since then with the odd dissident trying - but failing - to ruin things for those looking to build a better future. As part of the agreement all paramilitary weapons were handed over or verified as destroyed. As such you'd be much safer travelling anywhere in Ireland than you would be in many parts of the US.

So no, nowhere is off limits B)

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My Whole30 dream vacation would be to rent a beautiful castle on a lake. I would enjoy each meal being prepared for me and served in different areas of the castle. I could even see myself enjoying an evening cup of tea at the highest point under a beautiful starry night. 

My main focus of my vacation would be quiet rest, relaxation and visualization of my dreams and goals for the life I know I can live as I walk the castle grounds taking in its rich history of days gone by. 

 

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I'd go volunteer the 30 days at the horse riding ranch on Espiritu Santo (Vanuatu). It is divine there!!! Spend my days helping with the horses, riding along the beach and through the blue pools at sunrise & sunset. Swim, kayak and dive.

The local markets at Espiritu are amazing with fresh organic produce and there is great little shacks next to it where the locals cook the produce and fresh seafood caught that day for you.

Exercise, animals, volunteering and fresh organic produce......my dream whole 30 holiday!!!

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