Last summer my Dear Professor and I, along with other members of the faculty, had the privilege of chaperoning some 50 college students on a trip to Europe. It was a COLLEGE trip. There is a big difference in pace between a COLLEGE trip and a regular trip . . . for OLDER people . . . like my Dear Professor and I.
It sounded like such a wonderful idea, and it was. But as in most things, the devil was hidden in the details. What they failed to tell us was that this was a WALKING trip. It should have been described as a FORCED MARCH through Europe. My pedometer died the first day. Literally. It ran out of numbers.
The shear strength of will required to survive each day reminded me of our family trip to Disneyworld a few years ago. The Zombie like gaze and shuffle of the adults as we boarded the monorail to leave the park after a day of Walt's wonderful worlds is permanently seared into my visual memory, and not unlike how we must have appeared at the end of each day on that college trip.
The students were a delightful group of young people, the European countryside was gorgeous. I'm glad we went while we had the endurance to do so (and I will probably bore you to tears with the details on another day.) But what I really want to share with you now is the secret that helped fortify us for a day of foot torture and visual delight---Nutella.
Nutella is full of creamy, chocolaty, hazel nutty goodness. It is served as part of a continental breakfast, along with tea, wonderful hearty breads, and sometimes cheese and sandwich like meats. And I will admit to slipping a small packet or two into my backpack for our day trips. It was for survival.
Nutella has the power of the Aztecs to revive a faint maiden, er, matron in times of stress. When my steps would falter later in the day, Dear Professor would wave it under my nose much like the ammonia vials of old were used to revive the fainted.
Imagine my delight to discover this precious commodity can be found in your local supermarket (or at Amazon.com if you are into major acquisitions of the stuff.)
In gratitude for this wonderful chocolaty elixir of the European, and as a contrite act of repentance for not appropriately celebrating World Nutella Day on February 9, I offer the following public service announcement:
This is Nutella.
This is Nutella on bread.
Nutella picture couresy of Wikimedia Commons, © Christophe Jacquet, 2004