August 15, 2013

Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture

I love outdoor neighborhood markets! Especially, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of a big city. Like the smell and taste of things long remembered, there's something about them that is wonderfully pleasing. I imagine the farmers bringing their harvest in during the wee hours of the morning before the rest of us wake.
Last Thursday, I happened upon just such a farmer's market while walking along the riverfront. Well, not the "big city" kind, but still a city market. It's wonderful fruits and vegetables, baked goods and flowers beckoned me and my need to investigate such things took over. 
Walking through it triggered memories of other "market" exploration in DC, NY, Napa and Europe. I love the locally harvested and homemade. They're simply more delectable. I think my love of local markets came from freshly harvested food my father had grown and from traveling through Europe. While in France and Spain, most of our meals consisted of wonderful baked goods, cheeses and fruits from traditional outdoor markets. Here at home, many local markets have evolved and now carry organics, finally crafted cheeses, spreads, dips and oils, all the while, still maintaining their homespun feel. Their aromas are as equally wonderful, familiar and comforting as the smells of childhood can be. The kind that give you pause like, freshly mown grass, campfires or salt spray. I don't really need to understand why the mind does this. I just embrace it. 
Travel and outings don't always have to be about the grandiose or the extravagant, sometimes it's the simple things that give us a sense of connection to a place, causing us to feel deeply rooted or immersed in a place. So do a little research of your own and check out your local farmers market or on your next trip ask the locals where and when. Your senses will thank you.

The River District Farmers' Market - Downtown Fort Myers
Thursday 7am-1pm

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