Farecompare.com is a great website for comparing a multitude of fares and also picking up some hand travel tips. Here one about How to Avoid ‘Crappy’ Food when travelling by air.

Farecompare takes over:

A friend once told me, “Food consumed in the air has no calories.” I like the way she thinks but alas, it’s not true. Here’s the question: Can you avoid crappy food and find the healthy stuff while traveling? Sure you can, and here are some ideas. Be sure and see the update below.

Disclaimer: We are not doctors, nutritionists or even restaurant reviewers. If food is an issue, consult a health care professional. This is for those who try to avoid crappy food when possible and might want a little guidance.

1. First, Find the Cheapest Flight Possible

Why? You’ll have more left over to spend on anything from great food in wonderful restaurants to fun events at your vacation city. So start by getting the best flight deal possible and that means comparing airfares. Tip: If you’re don’t have to travel on a specific date, you can often find very cheap flights year-round on the Getaway Map.

2. Eat the Free Food on Planes

Yes, free food is making a comeback – on a couple of airlines anyway.

Delta: As of March 2017, Delta began offering free meals in coach class on several long-haul routes and more are coming. Healthy stuff: Turkey and vegetarian wraps, plus fruit and cheese plates (and certain overnight flights feature a breakfast bar).
UPDATE: One air travel industry insider believes American and United may join Delta in free economy meals, if only to maintain their competitive edge. When this could happen isn’t known.
Hawaiian: Flights from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii also offer free meals in economy. Example: Ginger chicken with peas, carrots, corn and steamed white rice.
International flights: Most offer free food in economy including a wide range of chicken and pasta dishes; Emirates Airlines, for example, serves a chicken and herb-seasoned dish or sweet and sour fish; both come with vegetables.
International flights with no free food: Ultra-discount carriers such as Norwegian and Wow only provide food for purchase but it includes plenty of healthy (and tasty-sounding) options like salmon salad and bags of nuts.
Free snacks: Both Southwest and JetBlue have reputations for a wide array of free snacks that include healthy-ish type items like JetBlue’s dried cranberries and popcorn chips.
3. Bring Your Own Food

Make a sandwich the night before you leave; you’ll have something cheap to eat you know you’ll like. It can be healthy – and filling – and maybe you’ll be less tempted by those overpriced bags of candy and chips in the airport news kiosks. More ideas:

Hummus or peanut butter-smeared rice cakes
Small plastic tub of salad
Granola bars, fruits and vegetables
Remember, no liquids in containers larger than 3.4 ounces through security so bring an empty bottle to fill up past the checkpoint or get a free drink on the plane. Note: You have to pay for soft drinks on most of the super-discount airlines including Frontier, Ryanair and Spirit.

4. Avoid the Crappy Food – Fast Food

Many food-conscious travelers already know this stuff; it’s kind of common-sensical, but it may be news to some.

Fast food burgers: Tasty? Absolutely! But if you’re looking to cut calories, might want to go with a fast food salad and skip the fries. And the milk shake.
Pastries: Yes, sometimes you do deserve a treat and those giant sweet rolls with white icing are delicious. On the other hand, they are not necessarily ideal for dieters. One popular airport-and-mall bakery franchise offers a pecan/caramel treat that sources say is 1,080 calories but these shops also offer donut-hole snacks for 260 calories.
Pizza: What would the world be without pizza? But for the health conscious, it’s all about the toppings. One popular airport pizzeria’s site says a slice of its extra-meat pizza has 600 calories but they also offer a tomato & spinach slice with just 370 calories.
5. Avoid Crappy Food – Airport Restaurants

Most airports aren’t foodie destinations but that could be changing thanks to an explosion of good dining options. We’ve got some examples of good food at good airport restaurants around the world but please not that menus can change without notice. Tip: Click the city to find a cheap flight.

Hong Kong: This award-winning airport has a wide array of Asian and Western options including Chinese, Greek, Italian, French and numerous establishments serving vegetarian dishes. Try the fish balls or get a taste of home at McDonald’s. See more restaurants here.
London Heathrow: So many restaurants but we like the sound of Leon because one reviewer wrote, “Fast food that’s good for you might be a confusing concept, but a quick look at what’s on offer [at Leon] proves it’s not an impossible dream.” Rhubarb sounds good too; it offers “a welcome alternative to the ‘stodgy’ full-English breakfast.” See more here.
Los Angeles: Try Petrossian for caviar; it’s only about 40 calories per tablespoon and heck, how much can you afford to eat? Plus there are lots of salads at Lemonade. See more here.
New York (JFK): Deep Blue Sushi has – well, sushi – and Piquillo is recommended for paella and ceviche. See more here.
Frankfurt: Okay, so maybe Deustch doesn’t top the list of healthy options thanks to all those wonderful sausages (reviewers say they’re really good) but sauerkraut is kind of light. See more here.
San Francisco: Napa Farms Market offers a changing seasonal menu but usually includes a yogurt bar, rotisserie meats and fresh berries, while fans of Cat Cora’s Kitchen love the oysters and artichokes. If you overdo it, you can always visit the airport’s yoga room. See more here.
Sydney: The airport’s website lists a bunch of ‘healthy eating’ options including Little Bok Choy and Soul Origin. See more here.
Safe travels – and savour the journey.

We spotted the spicatum walls outside the Chateau high up near Saint Saturnin-les-Apt.

 

L’opus spicatum – is an ancient method of paving or bulding using stones and interleaving them in a zig-zag fashion. The joints go both horizontal and vertical.

The technique was developed during Roman times as a means of paving roads, but then in the Middle Ages, artisans tried the technique on walls with great success – particularly retaining walls as the interleaving of the stone created a strong structure.

Then, in Medieval times, the French artisans used to clad the outside of noble city houses with spicatum laid bricks and encased them in wooden frames – designs houses made famous in cities such as Carcassonne. Way down in the south-west in the Dordogne, there are many versions of spicatum clad homes.

Carcassonne.

 

An ancient art – sadly practiced no longer.

 

Launching to-day 13th March 2017, Footsteps. Provençal Paradise. is launching on world-wide Amazon sites. This is the Second Edition of the popular Luberon, Provence guide. Now updated; further tours included and many other features. It’s available in print or on e-book via the Kindle store.

To purchase, lend or browse, click here.

Start the fire!

 

The best way to describe the Braserade is that it is a mini-BBQ which you light outside with charcoal and when the doals are glowing and just about white-hot, you bring inside (or to a terrace table) and start the fun.

An Alsace tradition, the Braserade is great for cooking strip of steak or sliced duck breast. A multitude of dipping sauces accompany the meats – we had a special BBQ sauce, horse radish (a nod to the British for the beef), bernaise, mustard, tomato sauce and a buttery lemon sauce. Our plates were garnishedwith a perfectly baked potato and then you cook your own. An Alsatian fondue without the boiling oil! A side salad rounded off the feast.

It’s delicious!

 

An annual highlight !

 

Are they nervous, or bored, or completely oblivious? There’s no one-size-fits-all diagnosis for the airplane seat kicker, but they’re universally annoying.

For the third year in a row, rear seat kickers have earned the dubious distinction of being the No. 1 most offensive type of airline passenger.
They beat out inattentive parents, aromatic passengers, seat recliners and more in the fourth annual Expedia Airplane Etiquette Study, released Tuesday.
Drawn from feedback from 1,005 Americans age 18 and over, the study shows that 64% of respondents find the rear seat kicker annoying. Inattentive parents rank second, aggravating 59% of those surveyed, followed by smelly or “aromatic” passengers (55%).
Rear seat kickers have topped the rankings since 2014. In 2013, the first year of the study, inattentive parents topped the list.
Despite some variations, there’s a common theme from study to study.
“A prevailing theme across all four years of the study is the importance people place on the sanctity of their personal space within the tight confines of an airplane,” said Dave McNamee, Expedia spokesman.
The good news?
“A sizable majority of Americans — 70-80% of people — consider their fellow passengers to be ‘considerate,'” McNamee noted.
Annoying passenger rankings
So how do all the aggravating passengers stack up? Here’s the full 2016 list:
1. The Rear Seat Kicker (cited by 64% of respondents)
2. Inattentive Parents (59%)
3. The Aromatic Passenger (55%)
4. The Audio Insensitive (49%)
5. The Boozer (49%)
6. Chatty Cathy (40%)
7. The Queue Jumper (35%)
8. Seat-Back Guy (35%)
9. The Armrest Hog (34%)
10. Pungent Foodies (30%)
11. The Undresser (28%)
12. The Amorous (28%)
13. The Mad Bladder (22%)
14. The Single and Ready to Mingle (18%)
Commissioned by online travel company Expedia, the study was conducted by GfK, an independent market research company.

Menerbes is having a Carnaval with a street procession – Saturday 18 March. Procession starts at 11h00. In the evening there is a ‘Ball’ at 21h00 – entrance free, with a DJ and snacks and drinks available.

New season Asparagus at  the Apt Market. At 6€ a bunch, you’re paying a premium – it’ll be 4€ or even 2€, in 30 days time!

Les Primeurs – literally meaning, ‘freshness’, are the early season vegetables much sought after by the French. Crowds mass around the market stalls and the supermarkets promote their arrival.

Tradtionally, les primeurs are cooked gently and lightly – no heavily boiled brussel sprouts here. The French want to savour the newness of Spring, the crunch and the flavour.

Pourquoi pas? Why not?

The famous ‘Fraise de Carpentras’ – strawberries from nearby Carpentras.

 

34+3 and counting!

Happy Anniversary, darling!

No New Year’s Day to celebrate
No chocolate covered candy hearts to give away
No first of spring, no song to sing
In fact here’s just another ordinary day
No April rain
No flowers bloom
No wedding Saturday within the month of June
But what it is, is something true
Made up of these three words that I must say to you

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

No summer’s high
No warm July
No harvest moon to light one tender August night
No autumn breeze
No falling leaves
Not even time for birds to fly to southern skies
No Libra sun
No Halloween
No giving thanks to all the joy you bring

Hong Kong – 1983….

The Church spire in Saint Saturnin-les-Apt

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