Subject: Re: Euro vs. Dollar - Updates from recent travelers??
We've never favored $100 meals at home or abroad so we didn't economize there.

Ziners, that is one point of view I can heartily agree with. With the exception of an infrequent special meal (usually with a woman of interest) I would not want to travel about eating $100 meals. I suspect most Ziners would rather have a $5 picnic among the locals than the fanciest meal in town where the money spent insulates us from the locals.

One of the best meals I had in Italy, was at the end of a hike in the Parco Nazionale di Abruzzo. An Italian family, seeing that we were obviously tired, stopped us and invited us to their picnic area. They gave us a bit of fruit and some water and asked us about our hike. In my lousy Italian I did the best I could taking with them. At one point I mentioned that both of my parents and all my grandparents were born in Italy.

That did it! The father's eyes got big and his face lit up. 'Lei un figlio d'italia!'. You are a son of Italy! Out came the procuitto, more fruit, and the homemade wine. Our conversaton grew more animated and he called over his teenage son to help with the Englsih. It was great fun. No doubt this free meal was one of the best I ate in Italy.

Hmm.... I am thinking that if Euro ought goes up another 50%, I might have even more fun. :) OK, Just Kidding about the Euro, but not about the Italian family.

Ciao, Paul Near Seattle