Ode to Food with a View

Food with a view combines two of my favorite things: food and views. It is one of the few things that I will freely splurge on with money and not feel resentful at the extra spending. The reason this combination is so wonderful for me is probably because you can fill pauses in eating with the view-gazing. Both preparation and consumption of food with a view seems to take a little longer. You slow down mentally to give yourself time to appreciate the two. The food tastes just slightly better because you are even happier when you are eating it than normal. The view is colored and enhanced by the food you are eating. Your mind wanders into the valleys and across the ridges that you see. You can immerse yourself in the endless fathoms of the sea. The flowers or trees, the waterfalls or streams, the hoodoos or plains are displayed before you in a vast panorama. Each little portion can take a small amount of your attention, but each is balanced by the exquisite tastes in your mouth. You are usually more comfortable than you would be on such an outcropping because of the miracle of picture windows. They let you take in the beauty before you, but they also protect you from the elements that may make you uncomfortable and eager to move on to the next step. You can gradually move your vision around each item to view just as you gradually roll your tongue around each molecule of delicious taste. You build the two memories together and they intertwine in your mind to make each more poignant. Some of the most memorable food with view experiences I have had include: coffee and cake looking over Qilai Shan, coffee overlooking a bridge on the North Cross-Island highway, tea overlooking Hualien, food and tea at Bilu Shenmu, dinner from the top of the 85 story Tower in Kaohsiung, afternoon coffee and tarts at the Far Glory Hotel, dinner at the North Rim lodge, lunch at the El Tovar, dinner at Kilauea, lunch in Purgatory, lunch in Telluride, snacks at Munds Canyon, and all the hiking lunches perched on some ledge. These add in the added bonuses of accomplishment for getting as far as you have in a challenging hike. Often it is the midway point, so you have reached your goal and now know the trail that leads you homeward.