Why I Travel

Having traveled over 1500 miles in the car and a few hundred more on a ferry, we’re about to begin the northern swing of our trip and head out of Sardegna.  I’m sporting 2-week beard and have told and heard just about every story known to man to and from my traveling companions.  Still, I’m not sick of them and I don’t think they’re completely sick of me.  I’m not tired of traveling, I’m not tired of hotels and I’m not tired of the beach.

The fact is, these are the two people and times that I wish for every time I am away on some trip to some far-flung, God-forsaken post-communist country.  Heck, it’s not even the travel with my girls that I miss, it’s just them.  (But yeah, the travel is cool.)  So, it’s good to know that when we are all together for an extended period, we don’t totally drive each other nuts.

Things are completely fluid in my job right now so we decided to take this trip and really make it count.  It has.  When we were in the midst of planning, I only had to remind myself that it might one of the last trips we get to take to this part of the world.  That help to put things into perspective and has made it easy to check work e-mail on a non-compulsive basis.  That’s the only way to live.  Besides, it’s really hard to hold a phone in the right hand, scrolling and reading e-mails, while sipping from a Negroni in the left.

Priorities, peeps.  Priorities.

Drinks of the World: Negroni and Aperol Spritz

When I go to Italy, I drink lots of wine.  I also drink my fair share of Peroni and Moretti beer.  But when it’s about 5:00 and I’m perched in an out-of-the-way square in some forgotten corner of town, nothing says “happy hour” like a Negroni.  Negroni is a mixture of equal parts sweet vermouth, Campari and gin.  Served on ice with an orange wedge, and maybe some lemon, it’s an awesome drink for a sunny Italian late-afternoon/early-evening.  Here it is usually served alongside a bowl of salty potato chips and maybe, if things are really going your way, some delicious olives.

When Mrs. NH goes to Italy, she also drinks vino and birra but loves, more than most anything, the cool, mellow flavor of an Aperol Spritz.  Served in a stemmed glass and of a lighter, bubblier, sweeter shade than the Negroni, it’s the perfect drink for all the ladies out there.  It’s a mix of Aperol (a bitters) and Prosecco.  It is also served with the orange wedge (blood orange in Sardegna) and is just a touch more elegant than the gin-sporting Negroni.

Now, I’m sure there are plenty of ladies out there that would say they like Negronis just as much or more than a Spritz – that’s fine.  Just telling you how it works in the NH house.

However, if you ever find yourself in a sunny, secluded corner of an Italian town on a warm Spring day, order a Negroni or an Aperol Spritz.  Don’t tell them NotHemingway sent you because I’m sure they don’t remember me.