Traveling as a “Meat Avoider”

Like all the girls of my generation, I can recite the basic principals of virtually any eating lifestyle — from the Cabbage Soup Diet to Adkins and all the crazy messed-up fads in between. And, chances are, I’ve tried it (fifteen years ago I dropped three dress sizes eating cream cheese and lunchmeat stuffed celery rolled in crushed pork rinds). David, though generally supportive of my dieting adventures, rarely fails to find the humor in it. He’s one of those “high metabolism” people. Don’t get me started. No really, don’t.

In reference to my current dietary quest, my son has dubbed me a “Meat Avoider.” I suppose the title is apt. I would love to be a Vegetarian–or better yet… CONTINUE READING >>

Veronica Writes

Like all the girls of my generation, I can recite the basic principals of virtually any eating lifestyle — from the Cabbage Soup Diet to Adkins and all the crazy messed-up fads in between. And, chances are, I’ve tried it (fifteen years ago I dropped three dress sizes eating cream cheese and lunchmeat stuffed celery rolled in crushed pork rinds). David, though generally supportive of my dieting adventures, rarely fails to find the humor in it. He’s one of those “high metabolism” people. Don’t get me started. No really, don’t.

In reference to my current dietary quest, my son has dubbed me a “Meat Avoider.” I suppose the title is apt. I would love to be a Vegetarian–or better yet, a Vegan. And for the most part, I almost am.

When I avoid meat and meat products, I feel healthier and holier-than-thou as a person. I hear the angels singing when I use soy milk in my latte. Jesus weeps as I consume a veggie burger. Yet I have learned that the answer isn’t flogging myself when I’m not religiously adherent. And I’m certainly not going to preach to others about what they are permitted to eat. I can’t even convince myself when there are clams to feast on. And then there is this dilemma:

David is an unapologetic, born in the Midwest, top of the food chain, carnivore. He has patiently listened to me about the hormones and antibiotics in eggs and milk. He understands about the severed chicken beaks and the affects of the corporate cattle industry on the environment. He has seen the PETA ads. And he loves him some steak. When David eats, enjoyment of food radiates from his every pore. He literally sits across the table glowing with food enjoyment. It is not possible to deny myself a bite (or three) of David’s entree. I’m not actually ordering the food…it’ll be eaten anyway…just one bite never hurt..

Now, as a strict Meat Avoider, as I am preparing for the journey as a Gypsy Nester, I’m a bit concerned about food. What if we go to Greece? Can I handle the looks of distrust from random carnivores? What exactly does one order at Taco Bell?

But then I thought, “Who better to answer these questions than a Meat Avoider?” I am not a gourmand; I’m someone who likes to go to REAL restaurants, with REAL food (and David would never set foot in a Vegan establishment unless they had really cold beer). I like to try things I’ve never tried. I believe that food is a huge part of travel. I’m a reasonably-priced-wine snob.

So I’m making it a quest. I’m blazing a trail. Meanwhile, take a look at what the Taco Bell website says about Meat Avoider choices:

Are there any items on your menu that are prepared without meat?
Several Taco Bell® items do not include meat as an ingredient. Popular ones include the classic Bean Burrito, 1/2 lb. Cheesy Bean & Rice Burrito, 7-Layer Burrito, and Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes side item (the last two feature sour cream, which contains a very small amount of gelatin which is naturally animal-based). Of course you can also request that any item on the menu be prepared without meat or sour cream. The enzymes used in the production of our cheese, tortillas, and flatbread are not from an animal source.

(Blogger’s note: Okay, the burritos without the cheese might actually work in a pinch, but “Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes” –with sour cream, no less — you can’t get those. Take out the unhealthy stuff and you end up with a cute little box of air.)

Did you know?
(This is my favorite part)
Another popular non-meat item is the Caramel Apple Empanada from the Big Bell Value Menu®. This delicious dessert has received one of the highest number of compliments this year. (Serious? You guys actually sell meatless desserts? That’s CRAZY!)

Are Taco Bell’s beans fried?
(Here is actually — no sarcasm here — a good thing):
No! Our beans are not fried at all! And best of all they don’t contain any lard. So all in all, they’re delicious and more nutritious than you may have thought!

Veronica, GypsyNester.com

The Appy Crawl Philosophy

We take making meals out of appetizers very seriously. Having them at multiple restaurants is even better. For one thing, it forces us to walk off some of the food between stops, for another, we get to try several different places without destroying our credit rating. We’ve dubbed this bopping from eatery to eatery the “Appy Crawl.”

The most successful Appy Crawls involve three or more restaurants. The trick for the novice is to stay relaxed and not plan too much. It’s even better if there is something fun going on–a street fair, a music festival or just a hectic area of town with lots of goings on. Don’t worry about reservations–most busy restaurants will allow the ordering of appys in the cocktail area–a splendid place to be–the people watching abounds! Try to finish up with dessert and coffee–but not ever ever in the same place you had appetizers.

At every establishment…CONTINUE READING >>


see
all Appy Crawls

We take making
meals out of appetizers very seriously. Having them at multiple
restaurants is even better. For one thing, it forces us to walk
off some of the food between stops, for another, we get to try
several different places without destroying our credit rating.
We’ve dubbed this bopping from eatery to eatery the “Appy
Crawl.”

The best Appy
Crawls involve three or more restaurants. The trick for the novice
is to stay relaxed and not plan too much. It’s even better if
there is something fun going on–a street fair, a music festival
or just a hectic area of town with lots of goings on. Don’t worry
about reservations–most busy restaurants will allow the ordering
of appys in the cocktail area–a splendid place to be–the people
watching abounds! Try to finish up with dessert and coffee–but
not ever in the same place you had appetizers.

At every establishment,
be sure to peruse the entree menu, wine list and dessert menu,
even though you are not partaking. An appy crawl may well turn
into a fabulous meal of the future.

see
all Appy Crawls

David & Veronica,
GypsyNester.com

8 Things Not to Miss in Prague

The heart and soul of the Czech Republic, as well as traditional Bohemia, are inseparably wrapped up in the amazing cultural confluence that is Prague.

There has been a settlement on the site of the city for over twelve hundred years, so there is plenty to do!
Here are our favorites… CONTINUE READING > >

The heart and soul of the Czech Republic, as well as traditional Bohemia, are inseparably wrapped up in the amazing cultural confluence that is Prague. There has been a settlement on the site of the city for over twelve hundred years.

Be Enchanted by Old Town Square

Old Town Square, Prague, Czech Republic

It’s like stepping inside a fairy-tale picture book. The plaza seemed especially huge because of the contrast with the narrow streets leading into it. But size alone is not what makes the square so impressive, that task is accomplished by the remarkable architecture enclosing the space. Standouts are the Old Town Hall, with the world’s oldest working Astronomical Clock on its tower, and the Týn and St. Nicholas Churches. More Old Town Square

Bucket list item: Prague! There's a fairy tale-like quality to Prague and, like all fairy tales worth their salt, there are myths, legends, and a good dose of creepy stuff to be found…

Have the “Time” of Your Life at The Astronomical Clock

The Astronomical Clock of Prague

Every hour, on the hour, a huge crowd gathers as this mechanical marvel breaks out quite a conglomeration of characters — including Death, Avarice and Vanity — to commemorate the passing of another sixty minutes. Created in 1410, the clock shows time in four different variations, as well as the date, times for sunrise and sunset, the position of the sun in the zodiac, and the phases of the moon. More Astronomical Clock

WATCH: Inside, outside and topside of the Astronomical Clock!

Eat lots of Delicious Carbs

Delicious Czech Dumplings!

A big part of Veronica’s desire to see Prague was to find the origins of her childhood dinners. Generations of her Bohemian ancestors had passed down traditional dishes, now we could experience the originals, almost all of which include dumplings. Dumplings are the undisputed heavyweight champions of Czech food and we found them answering the bell on almost every plate. More Czech Food

Take the Trip to Kutná Hora

St. Barbara Cathedral, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic

In a bygone era, Kutná Hora rivaled Prague as the main city of Bohemia, and several kings took up residence. Silver was coming out of these hills in massive quantities during the fourteenth century and the town was rolling in dough. And, as we know, kings like dough. St. Barbara’s Cathedral dominates Kutná Hora from a hill overlooking the city and is certainly worth the short trip from Prague. In 1388, miners began an enormous project to build this Gothic masterpiece, replacing their chapel that had occupied the site for nearly a century. More Kutná Hora

Get Chilled to the Bone at Sedlec Ossuary

Macabre Human Bone Church of Sedlec, Czech Republic

Words – not even pictures – can begin to explain what it’s like walking through the doors of Sedlec Ossuary. The bones from tens of thousands of people adorn the walls and ceiling, in inexplicable formations. Stacks, pyramids, signs, crucifixes, candelabras and a coat of arms surrounded us, all made from the skeletons of the long deceased. Strings of skulls and femurs of the dearly departed hang like garlands over the arches and doorways. The creepy centerpiece of this macabre masterpiece, a massive chandelier containing at least one of every bone in the human body. More Sedlec Ossuary

WATCH: You won’t believe the macabre “artwork”

Visit the Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter in Prague, Czech Republic

When the Nazis invaded Prague during WWII, it was expected that they would destroy the Jewish Quarter, known as Josefav, but instead they decided to preserve the cemetery, town hall, ceremonial hall and several synagogs as an “exotic museum of an extinct race.” Fortunately, their plans were foiled. The area has gone from settlement, to walled ghetto, to near extinction, to tourist attraction through the ten centuries of its existence. And then, there’s the tale of the Golum… More Josefav

Hike up to Prague Castle

Prague Castle From Charles Bridge

From its hilltop perch the Prague Castle looms over the city and has been home to Kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman Emperors, and presidents of both Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic since the first fortress was constructed here in the year 870. Heralded as the largest castle in the world by the The Guiness Book of World Records, it feels more like a walled city with two huge cathedrals along with countless palaces and halls within the ramparts. More Prague Castle

Vow to Return to Prague on the Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge at night, Prague, Czech Republic

From the earliest days of Prague, this bridge across the Vltava River has been the focal point of the city. King Vladislaus II built the first bridge in 1170. In 1342, when the original structure was washed away in a flood, King Charles IV replaced it with the version that stands today. More than just a bridge, it’s a history lesson, a performance venue, a shopping center and a place of supernatural phenomenon. St. John of Nepomuk was martyred here and, by rubbing his likeness, you will be certain to visit Prague again. More Charles Bridge

Bonus! Be Blown Away By the Street Performers

Street performers abound in Prague, our favorite was an astounding musician using water filled brandy snifters as his instrument. He played outside the Opera House with the skill of a concert pianist… perhaps he should be inside the hall.

Watch: The incredibly talented (and hysterically funny) Peter! He even performs a special serenade to Veronica!

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

See all of our adventures in Prague!

Want more Czech Republic? Click here.

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You’re Invited to the Going Gypsy Book Party in St. Louis!

Hey St. Louis!
Meet us at the fab Subterranean Books on July 9th!
Click here for more info!

You're Invited! Going Gypsy Book Party at St. Louis's Famous Subterranean Books! July 9, 6:30 PM. RSVP now at http://www.gypsynester.com/stl-event.htm

We had an amazing time! Click here to see photos of the Going Gypsy Party in St. Louis!

Did you miss this event? Find out where your GypsyNesters are headed and how you can meet us!

Thank you St. Louis for helping us become a #1 Bestseller on Amazon!

We had so much fun with the great crew at FOX2 News in the Morning St. Louis

It was an honor to appear on the Charlie Brennan Show at CBS’s KMOX!

Still pinching ourselves! Listen Now

The GypsyNesters on KMOX talking about their new book, Going Gypsy!

Meet and mingle with David and Veronica James, authors of Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All

at

The famous Subterranean Books in St. Louis!

Where: Subterranean Books in the Loop

6275 Delmar, St. Louis, 63130, University City (map it)

When: Thursday, July 9, 6:30 PM

There’s no better place in St. Louis to celebrate the publication of our book, and we want to share our joy with you! We’ll be signing books, too!

Share the party with a friend:




You're Invited! Going Gypsy Book Party at St. Louis's Famous Subterranean Books! July 9, 6:30 PM. RSVP now at http://www.gypsynester.com/stl-event.htm

Excited to see you there!

David & Veronica

Visit the Subterranean Books website!