Monday, April 22, 2013

Have Taste Buds, Will Travel

Wanderlust is a funny thing.

Once you get your first taste of far-flung adventure, it's easy to spend the rest of your days dreaming of new lands to discover, new cultures to savor.

No matter how much you love your hometown (and, boy, do I), we travel bugs seem to have a one track mind.

Words can't express how grateful I am to my parents for exposing me to the deliciousness of travel at a very young age. Ever since those first bites of torte at the Hotel Sacher, I've been dreaming of international travel.

It's almost time to pack my bags, grab the passport, and brace for long haul flying.

Wingman and I are setting off for another whirlwind trip. This vacation is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced - we are traveling to Dubai and Bangkok during the same itinerary. It makes our trek to India look like child's play.

CVG to LAX to DXB to BKK; back through DXB to LAX and then to CVG.

Six flights, 55 hours of flying time, eight hours in layovers - this is the epitome of marathon travel.

We have some fun excursions planned, including a trip to the top of the Burj Kalifa, the world's tallest building, and a desert safari with a barbecue dinner and belly dancers. In Bangkok we'll visit several amazing temples, enjoy a tour of the city's extensive canal system, and try to work in a ladyboy show.

But I'm most excited about some of the edible offerings we'll uncover.

In Dubai, we've booked a culinary flight at the Burj al Arab, the world's only seven-star hotel. Six courses in six different restaurants, this will surpass last summer's dinner at Charlie Trotter's as the most expensive meal of my life.

It better be worth it; I've been dining on a lot of canned soup and spaghetti and red sauce to save my pennies for the occasion.

Along the way, we'll visit the spice souk to buy saffron, frankincense and other unusual flavors.

Bangkok brings us to two meals of extremes.

First, we'll dine at Nahm, recently voted the third-best restaurant in all of Asia. Chef David Thompson is from Australia and regarded as an expert of Thai cuisine. We're excited about the restaurant's adventurous prix fixe menu and the chance to experience some of Thailand's best.

But what I'm really tickled about is the chance to experience Thai cooking in more authentic surroundings. Chote Chitr is billed as one of the best unassuming spots you can find for good Thai cooking. A hole in the wall with dogs running around in the kitchen and surly service, I can't wait to taste every bite.

We've also worked in a half-day class at the Blue Elephant Cooking School. I'm excited to learn more about the vegetables, flavors, and techniques used in Thai cooking; I have a feeling I'll be treating my friends to some more exotic meals this summer.

Some people make their travel destinations based on the whereabouts of prominent museums or historical sites. Those are well and good, but I can't help but let my taste buds lead the way.

Until then, back to my can of black beans and hard boiled eggs.

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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

1 comment:

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