15 April 2009

Spring Break 2009 - Europe or bust!

Last week was spring break for the kids. We were planning to take a trip to Disneyland. Wanting to avoid Disneyland's crowds and heat in the summer, and knowing that the new baby will be here in October, the week of spring break looked like our best chance to make a Disney trip happen in the next two years or so. But two days before we were planning to leave I found out I had to leave for Europe the next day for work. Honestly - no golf clubs or nuthin'.

The trip ended up being a whole lot of work and not too much spare time to goof around, but I snapped a few photos.
First, of course, it's Britain's most well known food: Nachos

Despite being delicious, the preparation was a little odd. The chips were kind of like a generic version of Doritos, seasoned with the cheese flavor. It's not known how often the cook is called upon to prepare an order of nachos, but it might not be that often because a good 30% of my chips came out "extra crispy".

The plate featured two large blobs of mostly-melted cheese sitting atop the pile of chips. The ratio of jalepenos to chips was quite high. The sour cream was a little britishy and the salsa was kind of bland, but the guacamole was nice.

What really made this dish memorable were the environs in which I enjoyed it. Who can say naught of "The Clarence"? This place is an olde world pub that features a lunch and dinner menu in addition to its wide array of spirits. Because this was not my first trip to Europe, I coolly ordered my Pepsi in a pint glass, thereby avoiding the classic American mistake of ordering a soda and ending up with about 4 fluid ounces in a tiny glass. The Clarence is only a short couple of blocks down the street from Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, etc. and I highly recommend that you stop in for a plate of nachos the next time you're in London. In the meantime, please enjoy these photos of The Clarence.

Jeff and I walked back to the hotel so I snapped a few shots of Big Ben and Parliament. We didn't stop to check them out, or visit the other tourist sites close by because, let's be honest, Jeff doesn't care about that stuff one bit.



Most hotels in Europe are terrible. I navigated around that fact quite nicely with my choice of the Sofitel St. James, pictured below. I highly recommend it.


At the end of the week we flew to Zurich, Swizterland for a day and a half. I had never been to Switzerland and I must say it is quite charming. Here are a couple of shots of the cobblestone street and shops outside our hotel:


As you probably know, the main food preferred by the Swiss is, well, nachos. When in Rome . . .


The sour cream was definitely problematic. Surprisingly, the chips were quite nice. I wouldn't put the guacamole in my Top 10 of all time, but the portion was decent and overall this dish wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. Along with these beauties I also ordered chicken fajitas. They were served as two tortillas, filled precisely to the brim with cubed pieces of chicken, glued together with cheese so that the tortillas formed a taco shape that held its form at all times. No salsa, no onions or peppers, but they were actually not too bad.
In the morning I enjoyed a delightful bowl of museli. This was a granola-yogurt concoction infused with fresh apples and nuts. The picture doesn't do it justice, but I have to say it was delicious!

We had a layover at London Heathrow before flying back to the states. I love shopping in convenience stores and snack shops in Europe because they always have the most interesting flavors of treats and drinks. I enjoyed this Gorgeous Cloudy Lemon soda on the plane . . .

. . . along with these chips. The flavor printed on the bag is not a joke. These chips were seasoned with a flavor that tasted exactly like a combination of cajun spices and squirrel. Not surprisingly, I would not recommend these (but I did eat the whole bag on the plane).


I wanted to upgrade my cabin class for the long flight home, but I found out at the ticket counter that the cost to upgrade into Traveller Plus (not even Business Class or First Class) was $4,000. Staying with my economy class ticket seemed like the prudent thing to do.
That's it. Spring Break 2009 - Europe or bust.

9 comments:

ashleyboice said...

i say we head to disneyland on sunday. i know i can get cali on board. prices are still the same.

Allison said...

those sour cream nachos look gross. also the squirrel chips.....seriously, squirrel? Europe looks fun.

Aaron said...

If you go to Disneyland let me know. My brother works at Disneyland and can get great discounts on the tickets.

Supercords said...

Those Swiss nachos look like vomit. I'm intrigued by the Cajun Squirrel chips though. Love the post.

emily said...

Do you really know what squirrel tastes like?

Aaron said...

Well, he did serve in North Carolina. I would just assume everyone out there knows what squirrel tastes like...

Captain Emus said...

Truth is stranger than fiction. I ate squirrel in Marion, North Carolina. A family we knew ate squirrel regularly. At any given time you could find a half dozen skinned squirrels in their freezer.
As I'm sure you could have guessed, squirrel is not that tasty.

Natalie said...

I'm trying not to puke in my mouth.

Lindsay said...

Oh what I wouldn't give for a trip like that to Europe. We have been wanting to go super bad. We almost a trip to Ireland 2 weeks ago for the end of May but couldn't get our passports in time. Only $260 RT/person. Crazy deal.
Oh yes, and you are the only person I can think of who would even purchase, much less eat a bag of anything squirrel related.