It’s the last night of my trip. I just said the last of my goodbyes and am now alone in my hotel in Zurich. A big part of the fun with a trip like this, comes with the months of planning and anticipation. It is always a bit unbelievable when you get to the other side and you are facing your last day of vacation.
I have eaten so much more than I should have, but loved each and every bite! Ellie, Nigel’s daughter, and I had 3 weeks together, a truly wonderful way for a “Wicked Step-Mom” and Step-Daughter to spend time together. I got to visit people who lived with me 17 years ago, and meet their families. We shared bits of their lives, laughed and played with their kids. We spent hours visiting and reaffirming that miles and years apart matter not, the bond that was created all those years ago is still there. Some connections run deep, and usually opening your home to strangers is a pretty good way to create lasting relationships. One of our highlights was going to see Kathrin’s play, and even though it was in French and I couldn’t understand it, it was great! About 9 years ago Kathrin stayed with some of our CSA members, Bob and Pat, when she wanted to attend an acting school in SF. The connections ripple out, like a stone thrown into a lake. The last week and a half we spent with Emily, our former CSA manager, and her husband and daughter.
One of the greatest joys for me was watching Evie, their 7 year old speak Italian and interact in Italian seamlessly. She wooed everyone everywhere we went. Fearless in her embrace of the culture and life in Italy, Evie was an inspiration. We visited an organic winery near Verona, saw how Parmigiano Reggiano is made, learned all about Balsamic Vinegar and visited a Swiss Chocolate Factory. I was thrown from a horse, but then we had one of the most delicious lunches afterwards, so nothing else mattered. We oooed and ahhhhed over majestic mountains, beautiful lakes, and landscapes. As much as I love to travel, I know in my heart that we Californians live in one of the most beautiful areas in the world, and we also eat some of the best food. We are pretty lucky living here.
I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to travel this way, but I must admit it comes with a heavy portion of sorrow. This trip was only possible because my life is no longer tethered to doctor appointments and hospital stays. But everywhere I went, I took Nigel with me, proudly sharing stories about our farm and our CSA. People here are so fascinated by American farms, and it is easy to relate to people who are passionate artisans. There is always so much joy around food. To travel as I have, and to have a home like mine to go back to, knowing that the work I do matters, those are tremendous blessings. Thank you all for playing your part.