How To Have A Staycation

Posted on May 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Staycation: A vacation spent at home or nearby(merriam-webster)

Did you know Italy could be in the town right next to yours? And later in the freezer? Italia est mi amor.

At The Colosseum

At The Colosseum

On The Ponte Vecchio

On The Ponte Vecchio

The Vatican On Palm Sunday

The Vatican On Palm Sunday

I’ve been there twice and both times have been pure magic. Looking back at the pictures makes me want to go again. Of course, all of this was pre-foodie days so there’s no pictures  of the mountains of pizza I consumed.

Last night, I decided we’d take a staycation to Italy. Really, do you have to go 1000s of miles to eat good food, overindulge, and open your wallet? Not really. You can do that all at home!



Dinner took place at my favorite Italian restaurant nearby: Tomasso Trattoria. This place is the real deal; I was listening to twitter updates from them all day about how they got a fresh pig in and were roasting it. Heaven.

Roasted Pig With Fennel And Local Greens

Roasted Pig With Fennel And Local Greens

For my Secondi I ordered the special: roasted suckling pig stuffed with garlic and fennel sausage, radicchio in agrodolce, local field greens. With a Contorni:

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Roasted fingerling potatoes with sage. Yes, I am 110% a meat and potatoes person. The fennel was too vinegary for my own taste so I passed those off. I loved how rich and fatty and well cooked the meat was; a little salt and it melted in my mouth. And I think white potatoes are my true passion; these were divine. Another great meal in Italy, err… at Tomasso’s.

Starbucks Sumatra Decaf

Starbucks Sumatra Decaf

All good Italian desserts start with a good cup of coffee. This was to die for. I swear, this Sumatra blend didn’t even need sugar or stevia or any sweetness. I won’t say that about a lot of hot drinks!

Scharffen Berger Bittersweet

Scharffen Berger Bittersweet

For dessert, there was a little dark chocolate. I don’t think I’d tried this one before. Tres magnifique!(yes, I know that’s French). But I think the price and smaller portion will have me not buying this one again.

Talenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean Gelato

Talenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean Gelato

Finally, it was time to get my Italian gelato. I picked up this brand on this blogger’s recommendation. I love how they add a little lemon for a vanilla flavor–so Italian!

Talenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean Gelato

Talenti Tahitian Vanilla Bean Gelato

Dreamy. Creamy. Deliciouso. Do you know the difference between gelato and ice cream? Ice cream legally has 10% or more butterfat, whereas gelato has less. It’s also churned at a slower rate, meaning less air is added into it and the product is denser. That was my Italian history lesson for the day.

Gluten-Free Biscuit With Walnut Butter And Sea Salt

Gluten-Free Biscuit With Walnut Butter And Sea Salt

On the flight home, we had a layover in the South, so I ate one of their biscuits and topped it with Artisana Walnut Butter and sea salt. I hate layovers, but I love these biscuits so I went ahead and ate another.

Oats In A Butter Toffee Peanut Butter Jar, Plain Oikos With Local Honey

Oats In A Butter Toffee Peanut Butter Jar, Plain Oikos With Local Honey

The best part of a staycation? No jet lag. No unpacking. And only a slight sense of “OH, I really need to hit the gym now after that”. Yes, I do believe I’ve found a love for staycation, along with my pre-existing loves for local raw honey and butter toffee peanut butter. Speaking of Naturally Nutty, you can win some in Averie’s giveaway! Let’s recap:

How To Have A Staycation

1. Pick the cuisine. Italian? French? Hell, you could take a whole tour across Europe if you want!

2. Find the local spot. Look for the best “authentic” restaurant. Now is not the time to drive around and stop at the first place called “Georgio’s” only to find it’s a greasy pizza joint.

3. Plan the night out. From dinner to dessert, just have a plan and things will run smoother.

4. Make use of groceries. Now might be a good time and excuse to buy that French wine you’d been eyeing that was out of your budget. Like my gelato, the food frontier doesn’t just have to be in a restaurant.

5. Forget about the costs. Since a staycation is meant to be taken in place of a mini-vacation, treat it like one and let your worries go for the time being.

6. When in doubt, take a rain check. Didn’t get reservations at the restaurant of your dreams? Unless the staycation needs to be taken that day, put it off until you can do it right.

Where do you want to take your next staycation? I think Greece is on the travel plans for me.

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14 Responses to “How To Have A Staycation”

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#4 is totally right… sometimes i buy myself some pellegrino and lemons and steam some artichokes and i’m technically in france, especially when im drinking the lemon water out of fancy glasses.

When my husband and I go on long vacations we always look for condos versus hotels. That way we have a kitchen. To save money we will eat our breakfast and lunch at the condo and then go all our for dinner! My next staycation is Hawaii…the hubs and I are going for our 5 year wedding anniversary next May. I know it is a year away but we are going to be gone for 12 glorious days!!

That’s an awesome idea of a staycation. I’m thinking I should do a girls night with going out to an Italian restaurant then going to the movies and seeing Letters to Juliet. Thanks for the great idea!

Eeek! I’m going to Italy in two weeks, and I’m so excited! Your post just got me MORE excited 🙂

italy is my number one place to visit!! i want to go there more than any place in the world right now. so jealous you got to go!!

ps. in your last post did you imply that PB Loco is no longer in business!? im shocked if that is true!!

Yep. All their shops are closed and they’ve stopped manufacturing their peanut butter 😦

Thanks for the linkback 🙂

And can I just say, what a fabulous segue into the give away. Shows that this wasn’t your first trip to the blogpost writing rodeo 🙂

I love the pics of you in the past few humanizes the blog and gives such a great voice when I can see your smiling face in the posts!

Staycation…story of my Fri/Sat nights. There are no fancy dinners out. We dine in 🙂 We use our imaginations. Kinda like I am imagining that someone can pack 324 boxes for me right now..

Sigh. Back to work.

Staycations are similar to what my mom terms “mini-vacations” where we go out to dinner or something small and fun rather than have a single vacation any one year. We like it better 😀 And Asian/Pacific coffees like Sumatra are the BEST EVER!!!

Can I come on your Greek staycation? I’m very helpful in the kitchen!

A staycation is a fun idea! Not sure where I’d want to go. Hmm… I’ll have to think about this one!

Wow, looks like an amazing meal! I’d like to have a Greek stay-cation:)

Ah, love this post! I’ll be in Italy for the summer starting on Tuesday, and then I can have a really, really extended “staycation.” 🙂

i went to rome during easter – madness!!! still amazing, though.

I went to Italy twice in my pre-foodie days, too. What the heck is wrong with us! We shall go back + be photograph nuts!

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