Oh, everything. Walking down streets and local spots and landmarks that have been in the majority of the literature that's filled my life. Tesco and the Tube. Banoffee pie. Comfortably imagining a life there. Ottolenghi.
Learning that public sex is legal, but public masturbation is not. Picnic in Vondelpark after Netherlands eliminated Brazil from the World Cup. The adorable canals and architecture. Riding my (rented) bike back alone after a long night of dancing.
Painfully amazing organic mango-vanilla yogurt. The Jewish Museum. Loaves of bread that weigh 5 lbs. Chanterelle mushrooms.
St. Vitus' Cathedral and the Old Town Square: massive, looming, incredible. All the fascinating gargoyles on the Cathedral. Playing with our flat owner's tiny Russian Blue kitten.
The open-air market where we were almost charged 70€ for dried fruit because we were stupid enough to patronize the first stall we saw. Lesson learned: always price shop because everyone has the exact same merchandise.
Surviving a ridiculously chaotic week of work. Evening walks along the water. The charming family who owned the house where we were boarding and who practically welcomed us as though we were two of their own. Makrovega, the vegan restaurant right around the corner from the house. Vegetarian fake-meat sticks.
Our first meal in Italy: a shared bomboloni, Caprese salad, tiramisu. The mozzarella was so good– so perfect— that tears actually came to my eyes when I took my first bite. We never again had mozz that exquisite. (The sweets also made us roll our eyes at the injustice of the general inaccessibility of Portonovo.)
BIKE RIDE! I found a shop that rented out road bikes (they call them "race bikes"), so Noah and I rode from Florence to San Gimignano on sprightly little Bianchis, and I was practically singing the whole way. I loved the endless ancient hills and the beautiful countryside landscapes below (and the medieval structures in the distance). Scootering through Chianti and picnicking by a lake and making friends with three butterflies whom I fed green grapes. Driving to Pienza and discovering a love for Pecorino cheese, all ages but in particular fresh.
5€ sunglasses. Paying admission to visit the most prestigious museum in all of Europe only to discover half the exhibits (read: all the most interesting ones) were closed. (The pizza was okay.)
Gelateria Primavera in Sorrento, every day. Lemon terraces. Lemons the size of footballs. Eating fresh pasta with an improvised arrabbiata sauce on our last night– the only pasta in my life that's impressed me. Walking through the ruins of Pompeii while listening to Rick Steve's audio guide.
Watching "Gladiator" after going to the Coliseum. Randomly wandering into a craft beer store that also sold artisan unifloral honeys and sharing our carrots with the owner. The walnut gelato at the owner's restaurant the next night (which he awesomely comped for us).
Pita bread and hummous, every day. Float-walking through the Dead Sea. Barbecues and picnics and parks. Broccoli schnitzel. SHAKSHUKA.
Realizing I kind of prefer the Las Vegas version.
Again, everything. Fresh bread and pain au chocolat and cheese every morning. Feeling more adept at conversing in French by the hour. Impromptu take-out dinner by the canal. Picnicking in an enormous field at Parc de la Villette and watching "Grease" under the stars with thousands of other Parisians who cheered and laughed at all the right moments and sang along to every song. A boisterous dinner on the last night where we took up half the tables in the back room and constantly passed plates and bottles back and forth.
Leonidas chocolate (most notably: "Africa"). Tasting the difference between a 3€ Liege waffle and a 1.50€ one.