The power behind the EuropeanMarket throne, Ms. Greta.

The power behind the EuropeanMarket throne, Ms. Greta.

Welcome to the 2013 Golden Greta Awards! This is our fourth ceremony, an event filled with glamour, excitement, and bacon-wrapped corn dogs. As many of you, our loyal GG fans know, a GG is not given without great thought and care. This is serious business.

Now, a few words about tonight’s ceremony. We ask everyone to remain seated and refrain from twerking. Thank you! This is a family show. Without further interruption or corporate sponsors, we bring you the 2013 Golden Greta Awards. Take it away, Miss Cyrus!

Most-Delicious French Food Outside of France—Copenhagen, Denmark
When you’ve had your fill of Danish herring and boiled potatoes, make a reservation at one of this city’s fantastic French restaurants and cafes. During our stay we sampled fois grais, ragout of lamb, and a roast duck that would make the folks in Paris proud. Start with Mon Amour, then head to Brasserie Granberg.

Nicest Way to Get Through Airport Security—SAS Terminal—Copenhagen, Denmark
Now, we were flying SAS premium economy, but after check-in, we were sent to the business-class security area. Well, instead of rows of flyers taking off their shoes and shuffling in long lines, we were ushered into a light-filled, wood-paneled room that looked like a Scandinavian spa. Here, friendly security officials looked at our passports and sent our carry-on bags through x-ray machines. The experience was so peaceful and relaxing, I wanted to pull up a chair and order a beer.

A snowy Paris. Where's my shovel?

A snowy Paris. Where’s my shovel?

City in Greatest Need of My Snow Removal Business—Paris, France
While visiting Paris in January, it snowed. Maybe three inches on one day. Then, perhaps two inches the next. The entire city ground to a halt. The amazing thing to a couple of Midwesterners was no one was interested (or able?) in removing the snow. People just walked through it, slipped on it, and slopped in it. I then realized I could make money clearing the city’s sidewalks or selling snow shovels—Monsieur Ellibee’s Snow Busters.

Classiest Bar—Marchal at the D’angleterre Hotel—Copenhagen, Denmark
On our last night in Denmark’s capital, we ventured inside the D’angleterre for a cocktail. Two words—Wow! Wow! This is one classy setting. A sanctuary of style and elegance. The perfect place to sip a glass of Champagne and enjoy a bowl of salted almonds. Try to claim a table with a street view for some excellent people watching.

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Dinner is now served with Air France.

Best In-flight Meal—Air France
On a flight from Paris to Chicago, we pre-ordered the special Tradition Menu for $20. Well worth the money. Here was our lunch:

Starter—foie gras terraine with gingerbread and fig chutney

Main course—veal in blanquette cream sauce served with baby onions and mushrooms over basmati rice

Cheese course—camembert and fresh grapes

Dessert—chocolate lava cake (and it was one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever sampled)

Oui, there was some toile, but the room was perfect.

Oui, there was some toile, but the room was perfect.

Best Hotel Room of the Year—Hotel du Danube—Paris, France
In a country and city known for petite hotel rooms, our room at the Hotel du Danube was more than spacious. I walked in and was speechless (and many of you know that doesn’t happen often). This was a fantastic room with a large bed. Plus, there was plenty of space for all of our luggage. To top it off, the hotel is located in our favorite Paris neighborhood—Saint-Michel.

 

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The ideal location for a cocktail in Florence.

Prettiest View from a Bar—Grand Hotel Cavour—Florence, ItalyClimb the stairs from the top floor of the Grand Hotel Cavour for the best views of Florence. At the hotel’s rooftop terrace soak in the scenery and enjoy a Campari and soda. Friends, I love Florence, and this is the place to see it in all its glory. Amazing!

Tastiest Gelato— Perche No! (Why Not!)—Florence, Italy
Yum! You scream, I scream, we all scream for…gelato. Yes, gelato from Perche No! A sweet shop with the siren song of frozen goodness for everyone to enjoy. Throw your diet out the window and indulge in their homemade gelatos and sorbets. We fell in love with the fig sorbet.

Oddest Time on a Bus—Madison to Chicago O’Hare
Typically, we ride the airport bus from Madison to Chicago O’Hare. On our trip in May, we were on the bus riding along minding our business. Unfortunately, we were seated behind a mother with her unruly and unsupervised brood. One of the darlings went scampering into the bus bathroom and locked himself inside. For 50 miles, there was a lot of screaming, crying, and other passengers trying to convince Junior he could unlock the door. Frankly, I thought it was good for him. Might teach him a lesson to use the bathroom before leaving the house.

Your EuropeanMarket crew.

Your EuropeanMarket crew.

The Best Crew
These are the people that keep things operating around here and make us look good. 365/24/7.

Kathy—copyediting and proofing. She keeps my comma use to a minimum.

Mark—business and marketing. Points us in the right direction. Always willing to listen to my ideas. Then, he develops much better ideas.

Therese—social media. Fun, fresh topics that make me look fun and fresh. Still teaching me Twitter. Am I that old?.

Terry—a little of everything and photography. The Boss. This is the man patient enough to show me how to use a level.

Chere—a little of everything. Married to Terry. Keeps an eye on us. Takes us to the bus. Ensures I behave (no small task).

Best Customers, Vendor Partners, Friends, and Family
The last award is the most coveted and it belongs to all of you. Without all of you and your support, there wouldn’t be a EuropeanMarket or EuropeanMarket Traveler. Thank you for allowing us to do what we do. Now, keep those acceptance speeches to a minimum. I need to get this rented tux back to the shop before 10:30 p.m.