Whenever we travel, we pick a town or city as our home base. It would usually be a strategically located hub and we explore the surrounding attractions for the duration of our stay. We look for an apartment or flat to rent. Some of our requirements include:
- A pretty well-kept apartment or flat.
- Preferably not too busy or too noisy.
- Has access to public transport. Or, if we’re renting a car, secure parking would be important.
- If it’s just the two of us, we look for a one bedroom apartment with a kitchen and full bath.
- No pets. We love pets but sometimes, a place could smell like a dog house. Not great.
- Access to markets, small stores, bakeries, cafes.
Once we arrive at our temporary home, I would go to the kitchen and open all the cabinets and drawers to see what a renter has made available. We have been to apartments where the refrigerator is stocked with butter, a few eggs, a small bottle of milk. There is ground coffee, sugar, salt, and pepper. Still others had ice cream in the freezer. There was one apartment where we were greeted with a bottle each of white and red wine, some crackers and cheese. Or, there could be nothing but cutlery and china, a few pots and pans. Whatever! We make do.
I make a list of things we would need. Once we’ve refreshed and it’s not too late yet, we walk around the neighborhood so we could get our bearings on where the nearest train or subway station is, where the nearest grocery store is and what their hours are. We also take in the flavor of the neighborhood, whether it’s full of locals or if it’s a diverse neighborhood.
I like to make breakfast in the morning when we’re on our own. My husband is an early bird. And so, by the time I’m up and preparing breakfast, he’s already gone out for his morning walk. He normally returns with some freshly baked bread, still warm and fragrant!
I make eggs, and the form depends on what we find in the markets to go with it. Sunny side up, scrambled, omelette, poached, etc. We buy local hams, sausages, or whatever else we discover. We also buy local fruits in season. Sometimes we chance upon the sweetest of strawberries, peaches, and raspberries.
Of course, it’s even better when you’re cooking for company, like when we went to Tuscany with friends. As they say in Asia, it’s a hundred-fold enjoyment when you share you discoveries with great company!
On our trip to Italy, I left our stove-top espresso behind. I figured, we’re going to be in Italy. How can there not be stove-top espressos in these homes? I was right. They were everywhere!
After breakfast, we’re ready to explore and discover!
- A Broad Abroad: Italy – The Cinque Terre! (pompandcircumstance.wordpress.com)
- How to rent a private vacation home (matadornetwork.com)
- Remembering My Roots at the Rialto Market in Venice, Italy (jetsettimes.com)
- The Cheapest Places to Live in the World – 2012 Edition (travel.booklocker.com)
- Cooking abroad (dej611.wordpress.com)
- breakfast in Asia (ktlvsq.wordpress.com)