Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Favorite Things, Volume V

Anything Apple!  Need I say more?

There's a certain elegance to the way one interacts with Apple products which, in my opinion, sets them HIGH above the competition.  Their interfaces are intuitive, their operation smooth and virtually fault-free, they are more-or-less impervious to viruses and malware, and they perform many functions away from the prying eyes of the user (which unnerves many).  The Apple "cloud" is peerless when it comes to distributing data to all Apple products in the user's possession.  For example, I take a photo with my iPhone and it is almost instantly available on every connected Apple device I own.  Whenever I add, delete, or update a contact or calendar event, it is synchronized to all my Apple devices through the cloud (and to my PC at home via Google.)

The three tech devices that accompany me on every road trip are my iPhone, my iPad, and my Zagg bluetooth keyboard.  (I PREFER the Apple bluetooth keyboard but its size limits portability.  The Zagg keyboard is exactly the same size as the iPad, so it fits in the same case.  It's the ONLY non-Apple product that I would consider recommending for this purpose.  In fact, Zagg's customer service is on par with Apple's!)

Together with the virutal universality of high-speed internet worldwide, these lightweight, powerful devices provide all of the computing and communications power I need for the mobile life!

After all of my blogging, posting, emailing and Skyping, I'm usually pretty hungry (how's that for a segue?)!  When travelling, I like to sample whatever food is "local".  In the U.S., much of the food in restaurants comes off the back of a SYSCO* (read "Soylent", in my opinion) truck, so it's a genuine treat to consume freshly-prepared, locally-sourced foods in other countries.

This past week, I enjoyed an exquisite meal with friends at a very picturesque biergarten-style restaurant in Mainz, Germany called Goldstein's.  The quality of the preparation was top-notch, the freshness of the components was unquestionable, the presentation was beautiful and the TASTE.....WOW!  I started with a cream of asparagus soup which featured tender, flavorful pieces of locally grown white asparagus and a garnish of whipping cream.  Decadent!  The main was a "schnitzel" of chicken breast, served with boiled potatoes, more fresh white asparagus and hollandaise sauce (the dish was momentarily placed under a broiler to "finish".)  Let your eyes be the judge...

(obviously, the photo was an after-thought!)

I try to enjoy my "international meals" with a sparkling water.  Alcohol causes WAY too many complications (although I've been known to enjoy a glass of red wine, on occasion) and the bubbles help prepare the palate for the next onslaught of flavor.

Food adventure is at least HALF the fun of travel!

(*NOTE:  I don't think my friends at Corkscrew BBQ even know what a SYSCO truck looks like!  BRAVO for them!)

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