Since I was young, my dream was to travel to Italy. Finally, after 22 years, my dream has come true. Our first stop was Cefalu, Sicily. We have family there that we had never met, so this was a wonderful opportunity. Sicily is where my family began. It was amazing to visit places where my great grandparents once played as children, and olive trees they had planted many years ago.
This was my first time traveling out of the United States. Therefore, the longest flight I’d ever been on was Dallas to Hawaii, about eight hours. This time, we flew to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Rome, then Rome to Palermo. Arriving in Rome from Atlanta was so exciting (easily amused…sue me), because I had never seen an airport with such delicious food. All the food was displayed behind glass – fresh fruit, meats, cheeses, sandwiches. We arrived in Rome in the morning, so a cappuccino and cornetto were obligatory. My parents had been raving to us about how delicious the cornetti were in Italy since they had gone last year, and I always just thought “looks like a croissant to me”. Wrong. Delicious, flaky, crispy pastries filled with cream, nutella or fruit preserves. The difference between these cornetti and croissants you find in America was obvious. It was like they found a way to make a delicious pastry without drowning it in butter and grease. My stomach was happy.
Along with the snacks I discussed in one of my recent posts, meals on long international flights are provided by Delta. In the midst of my movie-marathon, I was handed a tray with pesto penne, crackers, bread and cheese. I never thought an airplane meal would be good, but I was pleasantly surprised. Another meal and snack for the ten hour flight, and I was good to go.
Six-hour layover. These are words you rarely ever want to hear. However, I was just happy to be in Rome. We didn’t have enough time to leave the airport, so we just hung out until our flight to Palermo. Since we had such a long wait, we had two meals in the airport. Our cornetti for breakfast, and some salami and caprese sandwiches for lunch. Some espresso in between, of course.
Fast forward to arriving in Palermo. Baggage claim, car rental, hour drive from the airport, and I was exhausted. We were so happy to finally arrive to our bed and breakfast, B&B DEA.
B&B DEA is owned by three sisters, Annalisa, Eleonora, and Donatella. When we arrived, Annalisa showed us to our room, “Artemide“. I loved how everything was decorated. So bright and welcoming. I was happy to have a great Wi-Fi connection, so I could share my million photos and spam everyone. (Sorry! Not sorry…)
When we woke up the next morning, we walked into the kitchen for breakfast (offered everyday from 8-10am). Annalisa and Donatella were in there, ready to take our coffee orders (which were much needed). I was so excited when I saw the spread. Cornetti, toast, fruit preserves, meats, yogurt, you name it. I couldn’t believe how fresh everything was. The girls made us coffee every morning. An espresso, cappuccino, they even had caffe Americano. I loved that Donatella told us she loved Starbucks, which ironically can’t be found in Italy.
The girls were so sweet and helpful. They even recommended restaurants and made reservations for us. Our first night we tried Al Gabbiano. Right on the beach and a two minute walk from our hotel, we were able to see the beautiful sunset. We usually chose to sit inside to avoid smokers (which were ubiquitous), but the open windows allowed for us to feel the nice breeze. There was an antipasti buffet which I, unfortunately, never tried. It looked heavenly, however. It was our first night, so I thought I should get some pasta. By dinner time, all I wanted to do was lay down and sleep. But the vino and homemade pasta at Al Gabbiano cured my exhaustion. It made me realize how lucky I was to be where I was, and I appreciated every ingredient and ounce of energy that went into creating my meal.