November 4 14

My husband’s love of food has introduced a whole bunch of culinary tourism travel into his life, which is wonderful. Trips come up out of the blue and he’s all, “So, I’m going skiing in Utah on Tuesday, wanna come?” If you know me at all, you know that I say no quite a bit. The reasons are many-fold. The kids, my work, my anxiety disorder. I’m just not the type of girl who can just get on a plane and go.

I’ve got a lot of ducks to get in a row before I can travel.

Unless your husband just goes and books your trip without telling you and the next thing you know you are about to go to Italy for a week.

“How was your day?”

“It was crazy. I was slammed with work and meetings and Peter is coming tomorrow to fix our shower oh, and I booked us on a trip for Italy in two weeks.”

This is a thing that actually happened. 

He’s a smart man, my husband, because he knows all of the reasons I would tell him that I couldn’t go on this trip and he cleverly waited until I was unemployed and he made arrangements for the kids so now I have no choice but to get all of those ducks lined up because I’m going to Italy.

I’m going to Italy!

Florence, Sienna, Rome, Cinque Terre.

I’m not sure anything could top my trip to Ireland, but I’m willing to give it a try.

If we’re being honest, I have been spending the last few days fretting slightly a little bit about my shoe situation. What shoes does one wear to travel through Italy in November? Boots? Flats? Converse? Do I wear dresses? Jeans? It’s all very complicated, but not exactly a problem on the spectrum of actual problems. Because I’m going to Italy!

But then I actually had a bit of a giant panic attack because, you guys, I’m legit petrified to travel through Europe with an allergy that could kill meI don’t speak one single word in Italian, and after doing a little bit of research, have realized that outside of the Canadian bubble — nut allergies are super foreign to people.

I had enough trouble just south of the Canadian border where, you know, they speak ENGLISH. “Hon, is it okay if it contains just a little bit of nuts?” “Cashews aren’t nuts, right?” “Can’t you just pick off the pecans?” “Ma’am, we actually don’t know where we get our bread from, so I can’t be sure that it wasn’t manufactured near nuts.”

Apparently there are cards you can buy and present to anyone who is preparing food for you…to remind people of the severity of the situation.

translation cards


But everything about this makes me really uneasy. Fried food is out — it’s all peanut oil. Stuffed pasta is out — it’s often stuffed with nuts. Dessert — forget about it. Pistachios, hazelnuts, pine nuts are basically in everything. And I wish it was a simple matter of just not eating food with nuts in it, but sigh, living with a life-threatening allergy means that I can’t eat anything that may have come in contact with nuts or, say, prepared on the same surface. The chance of cross-contamination is so high in restaurants, especially when there’s a language barrier.

I am going to Italy! I’m so grateful for this opportunity, so thankful my in-laws can watch my kids for the week, so lucky to be able to have this experience.

I just wish I wasn’t so terrified.

  1. The good news: gelato! So much nut-free gelato! Have a great trip, I love Italy soooo much.

    Comment by Daisy on November 4, 2014
  2. No can do. Gelato and ice cream are usually out due to cross contamination and what-not. #suck

    Comment by ali on November 4, 2014
  3. I suppose if I find myself irritated for you, your level of irritation must be out of this world. Regardless, I’m sure you will have an amazing and tasty time.

    Comment by Daisy on November 4, 2014
  4. Oh my God, I didn’t even think of that! Fingers crossed you find all the delicious nut free things!


    Comment by Kristabella on November 4, 2014
  5. I am going with my in-laws, and kids, next summer. MIL has already been, she says flat, comfortable shoes all the way. LOTS of walking! Have fun!!!

    Comment by Jay T on November 4, 2014
  6. You’re going to have SUCH a great time, I just know it. I’ll ask around about how to travel with ease with nut allergies.

    Comment by Alex on November 4, 2014
  7. Italy is my dream trip. It’s going to be AMAZING, even if you live on lettuce. 🙂

    Comment by Angella on November 4, 2014
  8. Best thing we did in Europe was a segway tour in Florence.

    Comment by Jodi on November 6, 2014

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