FOOD FOR THE SOUL
When my sister Kelly and I chaperoned a trip to Europe with my oldest daughter Stephanie, we knew that we were going to face some challenges along the way. I need to preface this by saying that during the numerous pre-trip meetings we were told that we were to bring one small piece of luggage (the size you can store above your head in a plane) and a back pack. Everything we needed for a 3 week trip had to fit into these small bags plus a purse/tote. We thought Mrs. Coons was crazy, but she was a seasoned traveler, so we obeyed. We packed items that could be dried easily on a line that we would string in our rooms every night and only the essentials were allowed. I soon learned to wash my laundry first, so I could get the primo spot on the makeshift clothesline. I will never forget the night Kelly walked out of the bathroom with her freshly laundered underwear, only to find my granny panties taking up the entire line. The look on her face…PRICELESS. We compromised and continued the line out into the balcony and back into the room, to make room for her scoobies.
Once we got to London, we met up with the other group who would be traveling with us for the entire trip. They were from “a southern state” with a long “southern drawl” and the women reminded me of those “belles of the south”. Each adult chaperone had at least 2 huge bags and numerous small bags. I knew at this point that we were going to have trouble. Before we started, The Ten Commandments of Travel were read to us, I think to help avoid any conflicts from the north and the south. These commandments consisted of “Thou shalt not expect to find things precisely as they were at home…., Thou shalt not take anything too seriously…, Thou shalt not let other tour members get on thy nerves…..BINGO….WE HAVE A WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!!!!!!!!!!! We went 2 weeks tolerating being crammed into tiny elevators with huge luggage, waiting for our small bag to be taken off the bus after all of the trunks were removed first, somehow being pushed to the end of the line, waiting while these ladies got all “painted up” in the morning before we could begin, and having to hear over and over in that “twang” how they were teachers and came from well to do families. We were delegated to the back of the bus, which turned out to be quite the pleasure. We often times spent 8-9 hours on that bus, going from country to country, so we loved the solitude that being back there provided. The exit door was in the center on the bus, and the “loo” was there too, so we were happy in the back.
After the end of the second week, they decided that they wanted to be in the back of the bus for the rest of the trip. Now, of course I did the only adult thing I could think of, I stomped my feet and complained. This was just one more thing these women did to get up our noses….but in the end, we moved. We were still honked off when we returned to the hotel that night and we wrote our own Ten Commandments in the back of my journal, and they are as follows (complete with asterisks to block out the unlady like language)
THE NEW AND IMPROVED TOP 10 TRAVELING TIPS
1. All fat a##es to the back of the bus.
2. See the end of the line if your bags are 20 feet wide.
3. Get out of the doorway if you have no clue where you are.
4. If you need to leave the room after lights out, put on some make up. (wowza!)
5. Don’t stomp your feet if you have to stay in the front of the bus. (ok, maybe this one was for me?)
6. If you can’t stand the heat, stay home.
7. If your a## can’t fit between the bus seats, send someone else to the front of the bus for a bottle of water.
8. If you don’t teach past the 7th grade, shut up. (really not sure why we wrote this one)
9. Get the f## off of my foot, I’m not a scale. (that one was Kellys)
10. No you can’t squeeze on the elevator with your big a## bags.
Needless to say, we were roaring by the time we were done writing this childish nonsense. Sometimes adults act worse than teenagers, and this time we were guilty as charged. Just let me tell you, 3 weeks is a long time to spend day and night with someone you love, let alone strangers. Probably at a different time, the southern bells and the northern farm girls could have had a great time….but unfortunatly we will never know ♥
FOOD FOR THE BODY
SHELLYS SWISS STEAK
One large cut of round steak, tenderized
(they will tenderize it for you if you can’t find one already done)
1 large onion
1 large green pepper
1 large or 2 small jars spaghetti sauce (any brand will d0, I like Ragu with meat)
Flour, salt, pepper and garlic salt
Cut round steak into individual serving sizes.
Dredge in flour seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Brown lightly in a pan with a small amount of oil
Slice onion and seperate rings, slice green pepper into strips.
In a dutch oven, combine spaghetti sauce, raw veggies, salt and pepper and stir well.
Add browned meat to above and stir to combine.
Cover and bake for 2 hours at 350 degrees, the meat will be fork tender.
Toss some baked potatoes into the oven about an hour after the meat, and you have a complete meal.