I now realize why I've come to Europe. (You know, aside from that soul searching bit.) I've come to eat and wander - to walk around and observe, constructing narratives in my head. There's nothing really, aside from these two things, that I care to do.. except maybe the occasional store or two.
More and more, I recognize that my travel style is simply to walk down streets. Sometimes with a map, sometimes without. Main streets are fun, but back or side streets are even better. Going in and out of boutiques, easily distracted, and sampling the goods at the occasional bakery or street vendor. The less money spent, the better. I don't even need to go into the museums. I'm in it for the local culture.
I'm simulateously infatuated with and sick of shopping. However, I think if I could only shop at the following two stores for the rest of my life: A.P.C. and Comptoir des Cotonniers, I could be happy. Wishful thinking. Oh, and Topshop's fun too.
The food here is amazing. And by food, what I really mean is dessert. Not a day goes by when I do not consume some form of chocolate. Milka, Kinder, Lindt, Cadbury - this is all readily available in all parts of Europe.
And then there are the bakeries.
The local patisseries featuring the most decadent of sweets and confections. From the tortes of Vienna to the postres (notably, the Creme Catalans of Barcelona), I am in a gourmand's paradise. I have indulged in the original Sachertorte at Cafe Sacher in Austria, licked happily at my several cones of panna cotta e fragola gelato in Milan, and sampled Movenpick ice cream on the French Riviera. And there is no stopping this consumption.
Hawaii and its beaches and (gulp) bikinis are less than a month away, but this is too good to resist. Perhaps a one piece is in order.