In her ongoing pursuit of living la dolce vita (and keeping her cruise groove going even on land!), missjunebug along with a few lovely friends made a wonderful discovery: Genuine gelato in her local community! Bellissimo!
missjunebug has Paciugo Gelato and Caffè at the outdoor wing of the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks to thank for making her taste buds as happy as they were during her recent trip to Rome! This semi-healthy, mega-delicious concoction of whole milk, sugar, and natural fruits and flavorings is to use a couple of hackneyed phrases: to die for good. Oh. my. yes.
What were missjunebug’s trifecta of choices for her piccolo cup o’ bliss? Vanilla, of course–any ice cream or gelato worthy of its rock salt must have a pure and good vanilla, panna cotta (trans. wedding cake but even more tasty), and Texas Pecan Sea Salt Caramel, an outrageous blend of sweet and savory deliciousness. Well worth the under four buck price but believe missjunebug when she says she was prepared to pay whatever they asked!
This gelato is the real thing not because missjunebug says so but because this is the real thing. The Ginattas, Ugo, Cristiana, and Vincent hail from Northern Italy and brought the family’s secret (of course!) recipes with them to start their first gelato location in a city near and dear to missjunebug’s little bug heart, Big D little a double ll A S and that spells Dallas, her darlin’ darlin’ Dallas where the family and their franchisees have thrived! Sales must be amazing there now what with the 40+ days of 3-digit temperatures torturing the locals.
Although missjunebug has no such excuse for needing to eat this cool treat, she plans to make it part of her weekly regimen. It is a treat that bears a repeat!
If you are in the Conejo Valley, swing by the Oaks Mall 190 W. Hillcrest #65 805-497-4449 and scoop up a piccolo cuppa gelato. At roughly a 150 calories for a 3.5 oz serving you cannot go wrong!
missjunebug knows what you are thinking: Enough with the Case Against Packing Light blog post. It’s been up forever! What a slacker that missjunebug is!
missjunebug has been on Mediterranean time for the last few weeks and then she was jetlagged into going to sleep by 7pm for a few nights (and waking up at 3am!) after she returned. Now everything is all better and she is waking and sleeping at the appropriate times. Sooooo time for a new post!
missjunebug learned many, many things in her recent peripatetic wanderings in the Med. Here are few of her gems of wisdom:
1. Trip planning really pays off. missjunebug put a lot of effort in selecting flights, a cruise line, a particular cruise itinerary, excursions, hotels on the front and back end of the trip, drivers from port to hotel and hotel to airport, and yes, clothing choices! And believe her when she says all the hard work paid off! She even exchanged dollars for euros in advance which really came in handy when she and Mr.JB arrived in Rome. Her advice: Do your advance planning meticulously and you will be rewarded with smooth sailing.
British Airways Business Class (747-upper deck!!!) missjunebug â™¥ her flatbed sleeping pod and endless movie choices and sparkling champagne!
Regent Seven Seas Hellenic Treasures Cruise where each shore excursion topped the previous one and the Horizon Suite view was even better than imagined!
Albergo del Senato Hotel in Rome (right next to the Pantheon…literally!)
Royal Olympic Hotel in Athens where the garden terrace restaurant really did have a view of the Acropolis
Foreign Currency Express in Los Angeles on Figueroa at the World Trade Center which has the BEST exchange rate of all the local money changers.
2. The anticipation of and planning for the Big Vacay is as satisfying as the trip itself which, it turns out, is a lot of work! All that walking! All that eating! All that excursioning! All that meeting and greeting cruisemates! missjunebug is exhausted just thinking about it again! The planning is always done in the comfort of your own home, often in your p.j.s while the actual touring takes place in warm weather and uncomfortable shoes and no matter how comfortable you think those shoes are, after 4-5 hours of walking, they are less so. fo sho. So missjunebug’s words to the wise: enjoy the anticipation with as much present-moment awareness as you can. mjb guarantees it will contribute to your overall trip satisfaction.
3. No matter how well you plan your trip, scheisse happens!
Ex. 1: missjunebug’s hopes to see Positano and the Amalfi Coast were disappointed by high waves that tender boats could not safely navigate so it was off to Naples instead. missjunebug and Mr.JB made the best of the unexpected situation by seeking out the restaurant that originated–really! the Margherita pizza! Yum! Thanks, Pizzeria Brandi!
Ex. 2: And once again a cruise eclipse was crowded out by clouds. ElderJB got a better photograph in Rwanda than Mr. JB did on his Horizon Suite balcony in the middle of the Med.
Ex. 3: Thanks to the Athens Austerity Strike, the port of Piraeus was closed to cruise ships so they rerouted to Santorini to join missjunebug’s ship and several others! Over 10,000 visitors sardined their way through the narrow passageways of Santorini the day missjunebug and her Mr.JB were touring! Hmmm. Not exactly the idyllic refuge pictured in Mamma Mia and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants films. missjunebug repeats: Scheisse happens! Be prepared to do some shoveling!
4. There is nothing like travel to open your heart, mind, and spirit to the amazing people, places, and things on the planet. So missjunebug says (like the commercial), Just get out there!!
5. And there is nothing like the coming home part, back to the delightful little routines of daily life. That’s about as sweet as it gets. missjunebug doesn’t need to remind you what Dorothy said. She knows that you know!
Here are a few random pictures from the well over 2,000 that missjunebug took. More musings and pictures to follow!