A Bloodcurdling Buffet – 12 Frightful Foods of the World

How about a terrifying tour of the globe just in time for Halloween?

We’ve consumed these dozen frightening foods from around the world… so you don’t have toCONTINUE READING >> 

How about a terrifying tour of the globe just in time for Halloween? We’ve consumed these dozen frightening foods from around the world… so you don’t have to.

Baked House Pet – Cuy

What would-be werewolf wouldn’t wildly wolf down a cute and cuddly creature? Cuy is Guinea Pig – yes just like the pets. Traditionally eaten in the highlands of Peru on special occasions, but this time of year, when the moon is full… oauooooh, ouh, ouh oauoooooh.

Cuy is Guinea Pig - yes just like the pets - and is traditionally eaten in the highlands of Peru on special occasions.Found grossing out tourists near Machu Picchu

Rocky Horror Oyster Show

What sort of outrageous ogre goes around eating the reproductive organs of innocent animals? Rocky Mountain oysters, considered a delicacy by many Montana mountain folk, are made by slicing and frying — you got it — bull testicles.

Rocky Mountain OystersMore on this delicacy and the Testicle Festival

Voodoo Donuts

Portland Oregon’s breakfast of champions, for sorcerers that is. Nothing hits the spot like a “Voodoo Doll” with a pretzel stick through his heart, bleeding raspberry-blood filling. Our little chocolate frosted supernatural pin cushion was a-dough-rable, and tasty to boot. Best of all, curses don’t cost extra.

Voodoo DonutsMore on Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon 

The Legend of The Footless Chicken

What sort of maniacal monster does this to a chicken? In the lore of dim sum stands chicken feet. There’s not really much to gnaw on, just skin and bones. We won’t be petitioning The Colonel to sell them by the bucket.

Chicken FeetSpotted creeping through Victoria, Canada

The Vampire’s Favorite – Blood Sausage

Warning, may cause the Transylvania Two-Step… even in Spain. True story, when we asked our waitress what it was, she mimicked slitting her wrist. Didn’t make it more appetizing!

Blood Sausage in SpainWe gobbled as many tapas we could get our greedy mitts on in Barcelona, Spain

The Heart Attack – Deep Fried Cheeseburger

This CPR inducting, defibrillating, rib spreading bang for your buck has got to be the Triple D Burger at Michigan’s Gizzard City. A whopping third pound of ground cow topped with onions, pickles, tomatoes and American cheese, dipped in batter and doused in hot grease. Bun and all. Better hope that sexy nurse at the next table isn’t just dressed up for Halloween!

Deep Fried CheeseburgerSee The Unhealthiest Menu on the Planet

Eat Your Heart Out. And Your Lungs.

A meal fit for a zombie. We spotted Beuscherl on the menu, which was translated into English as “Salsburgs Calf’s Lights served with Dumpling.” Without the slightest idea what “Calf’s Lights” might be, we ordered it. Our waitress must have seen this mistake made before, because she immediately asked, “You do understand that this is heart and lungs of baby cow?” Bet she’s grabbed a torch and chased a monster back to the castle a time or two.

Ingested in Salzburg, Austria

Creepy Crawler Trick Treats – Scorpion Lollypops

Every little ghoul’s favorite snack, bugs! Yes, these “suckers” (bada ching!) are edible. The chewy center tastes like chicken… we wish.

Scorpion LollypopsFound lurking in souvenir shops in Arizona

Headless Horseman Cheese

Now we know where ole Ichabod’s head ended up. Head Cheese, meat jelly made from the head, with chunks of meat tossed in. We can only hope it’s not human meat.

Head CheeseCreeped us out on market day in Wangen, Germany

Fee Fi Fo Fum, Dine On The Bones…

Bone chilling, this dish is called “Bone Marrow Pudding with Tongue in Cheek Marmalade” — and it’s exactly what it says it is. When haunting The Riverwalk in San Antonio look for it. We did and were devilishly delighted. Delish!

Bone Marrow Pudding with Tongue in Cheek MarmaladeFor more on our San Antonio Riverwalk Appy Crawl

A Horrifying Blunder – Bacon Dipped in Chocolate

Sweet and salty deliciousness? Crunchy, chocolatey culinary delight? Uh. No. Midwestern madness. Terrifying tummy torture. Watch the video below and PLEASE tell us that this is simply a Frankenstein food experiment that went terribly, terribly awry!

Experience the festival where we found this culinary gem

Platter of Entrails – Argentine Barbecue for One

A meal fit for a monster. We found most of it barely edible, a bit of a ghastly gastric experience. Tripe, sweetbread (which is a fancy name for pancreas or other mysterious glands), kidney, some kind of intestines or something and, udder? Holy cow! Literally, holy cow!

Lots of tricks and very little treat.

Platter of Entrails - Argentine Barbecue for OneCautiously nibbled upon in Buenos Aires, Argentina

YOUR TURN: Got a fiendish favorite?

Which Witch is Which? A True Salem Story

There are plenty of wonderful historical sites in the beautiful seaside town of Salem, including the famous House of Seven Gables. However, we were horrified to see that tourist trap economics trumped the sometimes sordid historical facts…

With All Hallows Eve fast approaching, we decided to revisit this visit to one of America’s scariest cities… Salem, Massachusetts. Happy Halloween!

The Salem Witch Museum in Salem, Massachusetts

We fully admit we were drawn to Salem by its sordid past.

However, we were horrified to find that tourist trap economics trumped the unseemly historical facts.

The House of Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts

There are plenty of wonderful nonfictional sites in the beautiful seaside town, including the famous House of Seven Gables that Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote of (go there — the hidden passage alone is worth the price of admission!)…

Cemetery in Salem, Massachusetts

The Burying Point Cemetery in Salem, Massachusetts

…and the old cemetery where several Mayflower passengers and many of the participants in the witch trails are laid to rest.

Nearby, there is a memorial to the victims of the trials.

The Salem Witch Museum, housed in a church built and used in the 1700s, is one of the few museums in town that actually embraces a factual account with minimal sensationalism.

Statue of Samantha from Bewitched in Salem, Massachusetts

The bulk of the attractions run toward more Halloween-style stereotypes.

The wholesale killing of dozens of innocent men, women and children has mutated into an excuse for throwing up goofy Frankenstein and Dracula “museums,” wizard schools, ghost tours, bizarre street theater and a cheesy statue of Samantha from Bewitched.

No kidding.

Salem, Massachusetts and witches are nearly synonymous but, in reality, it is highly doubtful there was any broom-flying, cauldron-stirring, pointy-hat-wearing witchcraft actually going on back in 1692.

The Puritan: Roger Conant, Salem's Founder
The Puritan: Roger Conant, Salem’s Founder

It seems a few young girls began to act strangely that year. Whether they were sick, drugged by fungus-tainted grain, or just looking for attention — we’ll never know.

The Puritan minds of the late seventeenth century figured that the convulsions they suffered could only be caused by witchcraft.

Time to round up the usual suspects.

On March 1st, a beggar woman, a slave girl and a lady who dared not regularly attend church services were hauled in and charged as witches. These three accused others and before long no one was beyond suspicion.

The historic district in Salem, Massachusetts

Within a few months, sixty-two people had been arrested.

By summer, the God-fearing folks of Salem were hanging folks on no more evidence than a few accusations, coerced confessions, and the good old “touch test.”

By the time September rolled around, twenty people had been put to death. Many more died while in prison awaiting their trials.

The town hall in Salem, Massachusetts

When eighty-year-old Giles Corey was arrested, he refused to enter a plea — as a protest against the court’s methods.

Rather than hang Mr. Corey for daring to point out that the sanctimonious kangaroo court had run amuck, the pious Puritans decided to go with torture.

Rocks were stacked on the octogenarian until he couldn’t breathe. Giles, being a true bad ass, survived for two days.

He never entered a plea.

Salem, Massachusetts

Perhaps old Giles Corey didn’t die in vain. By October, a few voices of opposition had begun to question the proceedings.

By month’s end, the Governor had prohibited further arrests and dissolved the court.

On closer inspection, the real reason for the hysteria and brutality in Salem likely stemmed from a religious squabble between rival factions in the church, and political pettifoggery between neighboring villages.

What better solution is there to solving differences than to hang people as witches?

Salem, Massachusetts

Altogether overshadowed by its infamous witch-related history is the fact that Salem was once one of North America’s main seaports.

The colony’s early trade developed into huge business, mostly with the Far East.

Thankfully, the old harbor is being preserved by the National Parks Service as the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

Many of the buildings are being refurbished and informative signs provide a guide while strolling along the gorgeous bay.

The Bunghole Liquor Store in Salem, Massachusetts

Directly across from the harbor we noticed a liquor store with a name that was a nod to Salem’s old seafaring days — The Bung Hole.

Our only previous experience with the term “bung hole” had been as a slang term for the termination of the alimentary system, you know, the pooper, A-hole, bum, gluteus maximus, OK, OK…. butt.

Cheesy Salem, Massachusetts

But, it turns out the term actually refers to the hole in the booze barrels that the ships used to haul, which is plugged with a stopper called a “bung,” hence, the bung hole.

This fine establishment seemed intent on educating the startled tourists with clever pictorial explanations, showing pictures of barrels and ships.

But their jig was up when we discovered the T-shirts with “I Got It in the Bung Hole” emblazoned across the chest!

Witchcraft school in Salem, Massachusetts

Though there is no evidence that real witches were conjuring up spells way back when, the modern variety have fully embraced Salem and are Wicca-ing away throughout the town.

Dare we say it has become the Wicca Mecca? Sorry about that.

On one hand, this proves the progress of tolerance made in Salem, but let’s hope it doesn’t detract from actual history and overshadow the real lesson to be learned from the Puritan mindset of the 1690’s…

…don’t ever let it happen again.

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

Top Ten Ways You Know Your Kid is Grown Up

How do you know for sure that your kids have actually become full grown? Here’s a humorous look at some of the ways…

Watch out for that boomerang!

10. You have Thanksgiving dinner at her home. You sneak the inedible parts to her dog.

9. He drops the F-bomb right in front of you. With no fear of an Ivory Soap sandwich.

8. You realize that you are sitting in the back seat.
Of her car.

7. He cleans up after himself.
While visiting your house!

6. She absentmindedly pays for her own pedicure.
Even though you are right there with her… and didn’t forget your wallet.

5. He cooks you dinner.
It doesn’t involve tortilla chips, top ramen, pizza rolls or a microwave.

4. She orders a drink that wasn’t made in a blender with ice cream and maraschino cherries.
Then she asks the bartender for one of those cute little umbrellas and plays with it for the rest of the night.

3. You stay the night at his house.
The sheets don’t smell like butt.

2. She actually asks what you’d like to do.
You end up doing what she wanted to do anyway just out of habit. And shock.

1. He takes you out to dinner and offers to pay… knowing you won’t let him.
Hey, baby steps, at least he offered. Next time, let him. It’ll make him feel like a man.

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

Your Turn: Got any more ways to know when your kid was grown up? Let us know below!

From Graceland to Beale Street, Memphis Keeps The Beat

Music flows through Memphis as deep as the mighty Mississippi. As the de facto capital of the delta region, The Blues made its way into town, settled in, and is still hanging around today…

Music flows through Memphis as deep as the mighty Mississippi. As the de facto capital of the delta region, The Blues made its way into town, settled in, and is still hanging around today. I suppose we could mark the official entry at just over one hundred years ago, when W. C. Handy arrived and started playing in the clubs on Beale Street.

The clubs along the famous street had been a hot spot for traveling bands since just after the Civil War, but Handy was the first to preserve the music by writing it down. Those published works went on to be hits all over the country, and Beale Street was on the musical map. Soon legends like Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, and B. B. King were regulars on the little stretch of road.

The Beale Street we found was drastically different from home of the funky nightclubs and juke joints that gave birth to the Memphis Blues, but the history lives on. We could feel it all around us, it practically hangs in the air.  A new generation grew up breathing in that sound, added a dash of hillbilly twang and a backbeat, and Rock & Roll was born.

It was the unique blend of cultures in the Bluff City that spawned Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and The King himself, Elvis Presley. Elvis became synonymous with Memphis, and to be perfectly honest, he was our main reason for coming to town. We wanted to make a pilgrimage to Graceland.

See more about Graceland here.

We were married on Elvis’ birthday. Don’t go jumping to any conclusions, we’re not crazy, it was just a coincidence. We didn’t even realize it until later, but maybe it has given us a cosmic connection with The King. So we took a drive out Elvis Presley Boulevard and pulled up to those famous gates.

We had heard all the stories about the royal residence, and inside was all that we had expected, and more. Every bit is covered in classic 1960s tacky opulence.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a deep appreciation for all things Elvis, first and foremost his music, but we also appreciate good kitsch when we see it.

Stepping into the living room was like, let’s see… what if Liberace decorated the inside of I Dream of Jeannie’s bottle? Across the entry hall, the dining room decor could best be described as early Southern grandma but, hands down, the highlight of these first few rooms had to be Mama’s purple poodle bathroom.

Headed down the hall, past the conventional kitchen, into the heart of The King’s lair, the feel of the house shifted from southern comfort to Hillbilly Cat.

Every living area has a bar — Elvis liked to entertain. The groovy, mod style TV room, all yellow and black with mirrored ceilings, set the tempo, and the Indian-inspired billiard room had us clapping along.

Finally, we couldn’t help falling in love with The Jungle Room. The King went completely Blue Hawaii tiki-tacky, green shag carpet native – even on the ceiling. Rock-A Hula! Let’s call it Paradise, Hawaiian Style.

We finished up in the Meditation Garden that Elvis built for quiet reflection back in the sixties; it now serves as the Presley family private cemetery. This is the final resting place for daddy Vernon, mother Gladys, grandmother Minnie May, and of course, Elvis, along with a memorial to his twin brother Jessie Garon, who died at birth.

From that solemn spot we headed back across Elvis Presley Boulevard to check out the King’s collection of cars and airplanes. Whatever we may have thought about his decorating choices in Graceland, Elvis certainly had good taste in cars.

As Rock & Roll royalty The King had to have a couple of Cadillacs and Rolls Royce Silver Clouds, but he also had a 1971 Stutz Blackhawk (the first Stutz ever brought into the United States), a 1975 Ferrari Dino, and two Mercedes, a limo and convertible 280 SL, bought before most Americans knew what a Mercedes was.

Next we passed through a faux airport gate and “Elvis Fan Detector” security checkpoint, and up the jetway to board The King’s “Flying Graceland” the Lisa Marie.

The interior is less gaudy than the ground-based home, with a lounge area and corporate style meeting room. Even with the mandatory wet bars, things seemed pretty tame, but Elvis’ private quarters stepped things up a notch. The bathroom sports twenty-four karat gold-plated fixtures, and then we realized that gold plating is sort of a theme running throughout the aircraft, right down to the seatbelt buckles and sink basins. Even the required belt across the… wait for it… king-sized bed.

Thank you, thank you very much.

David, GypsyNester.com

See more about Graceland here.

See all of our adventures in Tennessee!

A Plant-Based, Anti-Inflammatory Wellness Option To Help Active Boomers Deal with Some of the Most Common Travel Health Ailments

To travel is to live large, however even short trips can create physical and mental challenges including fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, and muscle and joint pain. These issues gather significance as we age, particularly if they impact existing health issues…

To travel is to live large, however even short trips can create physical and mental challenges including fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, and muscle and joint pain. These issues gather significance as we age, particularly if they impact existing health issues.

I am one of those “Active Boomers” who loves to travel. As a long-time, wellness advocate who strongly believes in preventative health, I co-founded a “do good, do well” natural-products company called Easy Feeling Wellness that, among things can help alleviate some of the challenges of modern travel.

Some forty million Americans currently use hemp-extract oil products to help them “Enjoy Every Day.” However, usage inversely skews to younger millennials versus baby boomers and there remains a lot of confusion around the topic, some of which I hope to clarify.

Both marijuana and hemp-extract products come from varieties of the cannabis plant, however marijuana is psychoactive, (i.e. gets you high), and in some cases, can be addictive. Its cousin, hemp, however is neither psychoactive nor addictive, and has been declared safe for the public by no less an authority than the World Health Organization.

Virtually everybody has to deal with some level of anxiety these days, which the excitement of travel tends to exacerbate. Some people have a fear of flying and others, like myself, worry about more mundane things such as long, steep, suspension bridges. Whatever your issue, a hemp-based gummy or tincture could help alleviate the anxiety. Hemp works naturally with the body’s endocannabinoid system to help you achieve an internal state of balance called “homeostasis.” Think of hemp as your body’s own internal emotional thermostat to help keep you on an even keel. For most people, one or two 25mg gummies will do the trick.

Of course, travel also often creates fatigue and here again hemp-extract can provide a natural alternative remedy. My company, Easy Feeling Wellness (easyfeelingwellness.com), produces a zero-sugar, energy drink mix packed with 667% of the MDR of B-12, and seven other vitamins along with hemp and caffeine to provide the perfect mid-day pick-me-up. All you do is mix it in 12-24 ounces of water and you will be naturally more alert in a matter of minutes. And you don’t have to worry about the caffeine keeping you awake as its stimulation is counterbalanced by the hemp.

Another common travelling concern, especially for the baby boomer crowd, are muscle aches and pains from sitting in cramped spaces or carrying heavy luggage. If this is something that impacts your travel experience, you may be interested in a hemp-based intensive rub that you apply locally and provides relief for hours at a time. This is where hemp’s anti-inflammatory benefits can have the biggest impact. Be sure to use at least 1,000mg of hemp-extract for optimal results. It’s worth noting that The Arthritis Foundation (https://www.arthritis.org) last year did a survey of 2,600 of its members and discovered 29% are already using hemp-extract products for the relief of pain and another 33% are planning to over the next 12 months.

Finally, with time zone changes, early morning departures, and unusual surroundings, etc., getting a good night’s sleep is both imperative and challenging for all travelers. Imagine a dual-benefit hemp-extract product that addresses both the stress of travelling and naturally enhances your sleep cycle. If this sounds interesting consider a softgel capsule with 25mg of hemp-extract oil and a milligram of melatonin, as well as a small dose of chamomile. I take one most nights even when I’m not on the road and find I fall asleep faster, and wake up no more than once a night.

For those of you that are already using hemp-extract products, I hope we have been able to add something to your knowledge base. And for those hemp virgins out there, I can confidently say that the risks here are extremely small and the upside significant for anyone who wants a reasonably priced alternative to prescription drugs. Easy Feeling Wellness (www.easyfeelingellness.com) is dedicated to  serving the 30 million “Active Boomers” out there who want to live well and sprint to the finish line whenever the race ends at age 85, 95 or 105.

Feel free to email me at Stephaniem@easyfeelingwellness.com with any questions and also feel free to enjoy a 20% discount on your initial order by using my personal discount code SM20 at checkout.  And if you have three minutes click on this overview video to see why we at Easy Feeling Wellness are so passionate about what we do (https://vimeo.com/457926842)

Enjoy Every Day

Stephanie McMahon

Co-Founder, Easy Feeling Wellness