Haiku Sunday – Italian Food

Today’s Haiku Sunday is all about Italian Food. I am almost starving because I went through a pile of food photos this morning and changed my Haiku theme to something I have devoted my life to doing: eating. These photos were all taken on our most recent trip in May. Happy July everyone!

The Blissful Adventurer - Michael Housewright

Fresh Seafood Platter – Venice – La Cantina

a local road leads

to the depths of the sea on

our first day in Italy [Read more…]

True Italy Stories – Out of Gas in Puglia (Part 2)

Welcome followers of Bliss. This is a multi-part series as a test pilot for my upcoming book on Italy travel and life in the boot. I thought this an appropriate final series before our departure to Italy on Monday; where we will be researching the rest of the book. Enjoy! Here is the link to PART 1

Blissful Adventurer

Ristorante Alle due Corti in Lecce

“Meglio non avere una storia che averne una noiosa.”

Better to have no story than to have a boring one – From the label of a bottle of Castello, a Friulian beer

As our blood sugars depleted while we meandered the fleeting shade of Lecce’s not so grand avenues near the station, I knew I could count on a secret weapon to get this birthday celebration started properly and assuage the demise of our collective spirits. My weapon of choice was; the Pasticiotto! This absolutely compelling oval of shortbread filled with pastry cream is essential to any nutritious Leccese breakfast and I was certain that each participant in this day of honor would be well served by ingesting one of these bad boys and washing it down with some of the killer locally roasted Quarta Caffe. [Read more…]

Italy Images – This is Why I am Blissful

A ray of light on the wall of the Pantheon. In this greatest functioning example of ancient architecture I am always amazed that the renaissance genius Raphael is entombed here. [Read more…]

A 20 Year Italy Love Affair – Celebrating My 100th Blog Post

The Pantheon - My Favorite Building on Earth (Photos Property of The Blissful Adventurer - all rights reserved)

20 years ago I boarded a flight from DFW to Rome. I had no idea what to expect as I was older than most of my classmates and nearly missed out on the journey because I had not gone the semester before with my friends.

Just 1 year prior to my Rome departure I had a meltdown semester where I changed majors twice, dropped all my classes, and spent my evenings drinking cheap beer and smoking roll-your-own cigs while pining for a girl who had no interest in me. [Read more…]

Holiday Meals in Colorado (it could have been Puglia)

These Amazing Bigne’ (cream puffs) Came in 3 Flavors

Happy Holidays Blissful Reindeer!

Today I will not bombard you with anything more than images of a beautiful few days of holiday dining with our dear friends from Southern Italy.

As the four of us were fish out of water this Christmas we decided to celebrate together this important holiday; and around this house that means with great food and vino.

Laura Giordano was our guest chef and she along with her partner Antonello Losito own and operate The Cooking School La Cucina at Gelso Bianco in Puglia, Italy. Laura also authors the blog A Pinch of Italy.

Please enjoy the photos (and a slideshow) from a few blissful days. [Read more…]

Snoring in Europe (Part 2)

Near Montecucco

This is part 2 of my existential piece on snoring in Europe and how it enlightened me on Friendship, duty, and following my passion. Keep in mind I was living in Tuscany at the time this was written. Some fine work by my colleagues Alfonso Cevola and Jeremy Parzen have brought the subject of DOCG wines from the Montecucco appellation in Tuscany to light this week, and as I was embarking on a job in this area at the time I penned this, I thought it an appropriate piece for the week. [Read more…]

Puglia in May

View to the Road

Ca’ del Fico is available in May!

Since I have been involved in Puglia my dear friend Antonello’s stunning villa (Ca’ del Fico)in the hills outside of FASANO in Puglia has never been available in May. As my readers know I fell in love with this amazing property in 2006 when I set eyes upon its’ acres of olive trees, orchards of figs, and view of the Adriatic. Now, my first year removed as owner of Southern Visions Travel, I am more enamored than ever by the region and by this stunning piece of property. [Read more…]

Introducing the 140 Character Restaurant Review

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep

The above well-known and immensely provocative quote is 140 characters in length. I am setting out to utilize the concision of language prevalent in Twitter to succinctly review the multitude of restaurants where I dine regularly and have dined on occasion. I am certain that some of my colleagues and friends will argue that any depth or subtlety in my reviews will be egregiously absent. To my detractors I present the argument that I am a professional diner and my reviews are meant for a professional audience. My reader will not glean much from my reviews if dining out is something he/she does infrequently and if the idea of dining out instills any sort of “special occasion” vibe then they should likely be reading reviews from someone else. [Read more…]

Puglia: The Finest Raw Ingredients in Italy (Part 2)

Me in 2006 with BR

In 2006 I left Backroads and moved to Houston to work for SPECs. The surreal 12 hours I worked at SPECs will most certainly be a later blog post. Shortly after those revealing hours I went to work for Jerry Lasco at The Tasting Room and many of you know the details of my life in wine during that time. I met Juliet, opened some wine joints, and lived high on the fat in one of the best places to be fat in America. In 2007 I rekindled my friendship with Antonello  and we began to discuss his exciting ideas for a travel company based in Puglia called Southern Visions. Antonello was also eager to get his beautifully restored villa Ca’ del Fico up and running as a vacation rental and I suggested I could assist him with writing some content on his website. At this point in time I had put my work for TTR on cruise control as I was interminably bored  and I was committed to finding the next page to turn in my life book. I was profoundly in love with Juliet and was poised to propose to her in December after an unreal 17 days in Italy that solidified my passion and hopes for this brilliant young woman. [Read more…]

Vietnam: The Phu Quoc Island Chronicles

I came to Vietnam looking for the heart of darkness and somehow I found the light.  After 3 days going down the Mekong like Martin Sheen and finishing my nights with Chanh Muoi (amazing pickled limes with soda) I was blown away by the kindness of the people and the remarkable distance a few US$ could carry me.

Papaya Salad (Course 2 of Many)

[Read more…]