Vail, March 19, 2017 Amrisi Restauarant

Pictures from last year showed up on my Facebook account yesterday. Since it is more fun to do a quick post and not finish up my last week in Argentina I am going to cheat and recap this day.

While Steve, Shelley and Steve T were out on the slopes I had a lovely massage in the village. As you recall, or might not recall I was diagnosed with a blood clot last February after our trip to Chile and Ecuador. I was put on a blood thinner and told no skiing. The doctors were worried that someone might crash into me and I would suffer a massive bleed. The anti coagulant that I am on doesn’t have a quick action reversing mechanism, so I need to be careful. The drug has better side effects than those with reversals, and as with anything you weigh your choices and pick your battles.

Back to my massage. As expected I did lots of research. Did I want to have my massage at a spa at one of the big hotels? Then I could probably sit in a gorgeous waiting room, pre and post massage and see if I could spy any celebrities in the waiting room. However all those celebs would have their massages back in their rooms or have a private entrance and no one would know that they were there. I elected to go to Yelp and read reviews. Sunshine had great reviews, people especially liked her massage on the floor and the upside down swing cradle massage. Of course I was so there at the idea of an upside down swing cradle massage. I couldn’t wait for this adventure!

So the day before I hopped on the bus, to make sure I could find the massage studio. It was easily found. I spent a lot of time during our stay on the bus. Everyone else was skiing, so I was left to read and window shop. Vail has a free shuttle along Main Street. It was fun to hop on and off.

I arrived at Sunshine’s studio. Sunshine is of course not her name. I can’t remember what it actually is, but no matter. I filled out the forms in the waiting room and we were soon off to her studio. Room one has room to change your clothes, and she has products there to purchase. Room two has one big padded mat on the floor and a swinging harness. Sunshine must have had a cradle of some sort for my head as I usually am quite uncomfortable lying on the floor without one. At one point during the massage I was wondering if someone else was helping her as it felt like I had four body parts pushing my shoulders. I finally figured it out, she was using her feet to push my shoulders while using her arms on my back. You can’t get that action when you are lying on the table!

Sunshine never did put me in the gravity swing. I had mentioned to her that I have low blood pressure and faint easily. She was afraid that I might faint if I was inverted. It’s one thing to totally relax and fall asleep during a massage, it’s something else when the client passes out! Anyway, it was a great massage. I look forward to going back someday. Shelley has a visitor photo shelf of all her friends who have stayed with them. We got a friendly pedestrian to take our picture on the way to dinner. Don’t you love my jacket? We got it back home in a ski shop in Queensbury when Steve was trying to get his boots fixed, prior to my blood clot. I saw this jacket and said “I want this!”. It has matching red pants with silver zippers also. Steve is always complaining that he can’t find me when we get separated. I figured he would be able to find me with this jacket! Plus it looked upscale enough if we ever went to stay at Vail with Steve and Shelley. I hadn’t skied in years, but since Steve was having so much fun skiing with his retired old fart club I might have fun skiing mid week when prices were low, and crowds few. I did in fact ski with Steve once and also one day with the retired old male ski farts.

The jacket and pants were definitely upscale enough for Vail as I saw the pants and jackets for sale at several places in Vail. In fact I saw another woman wearing my jacket, but her pants were a little bit different. Seems she got a pair of basic red pants and not the more expensive pants with the silver zippers that I got. She was not happy that I noticed her pants were not the real thing!

We had dinner at an Austrian restaurant called Amrisi. Steve had soup in a pot with bread. The soup was bouillon with pancake strips. It was almost as good as one from our friend Stella. Stella makes the best soups. Sometime I want to pretend that I am sick so she will make me soup!Steve and Shelley and Lisa and Mike both got the Cesar salad and shared it. To me this looks like a regular salad with a Cesar dressing. I’m not from Austria, so what do I know about Austrian Cesar Salads? I had lamb chops with a side salad for my entree. Lisa had the quiche with another side salad. That Lisa is a really healthy eater. She runs, has an organic farm and an apiary. I got confused for a minute and almost typed aviary. If you don’t know what an apiary is-well then go look it up. It’s always important to expand our vocabulary. Just don’t get stung if you do so! Ha Ha Ha!Steve T was in the mood for spaghetti. He promised the waiter he was under ten so he could order the spaghetti bolognese from the kid’s menu. My Steve ordered the potato pancakes and smoked salmon. I don’t think you would be allowed to serve food this way in New York. I think the wood is too hard to keep clean.For dessert Steve and I shared the Black Forest cake. I didn’t want him to get it as I thought it would be heavy. It was in fact delicious. Steve and Shelley had the deep fried apples. They were very sweet. Mike and Lisa shared the apple strudel. I love apple strudel but only if it is made with stretch dough. Most places use phyllo dough. It’s much easier to make apple strudel with phyllo dough.I still haven’t learned how to make stretch dough from my Mom. As Mom is 95, it probably won’t happen. I am too lazy to learn, and Mom isn’t as strong as she used to be. Now for the really fun part of the evening. Besides Shelley’s sexy shoulders of course. On the menu was an after dinner liqueur called Zirbenschnapps. It is schnapps made from the tender branches of fir trees. It is presented in a little ski boot. It is not available in stores. I looked online for it, I thought it would make a great gift for Steve and Shelley. Steve looked a bit doubtful about the whole thing. In fact he looked quite disturbed. Shelly was all “Let’s go do this!”

Mike really liked it. I was laughing so hard, I couldn’t keep the camera straight. Lisa made a yucky face. Lisa didn’t get her picture taken, she may or may not have slipped me a twenty to destroy all evidence. Here is the picture of the little boot by the time it got to me. It was so cute. I wonder how many people tried to steal the boot glass. We didn’t.

Steve wanted my taste testing to be well documented.

Here I am with my finger cocked! I am such an etiquette expert!

All done! I always laugh with my eyes partially shut. You can tell Steve took the picture, the back ground is in focus, and I am not! Well that’s all from our evening at Amrisi in Vail. I hope to finish up Argentina soon!

A Visit to Mom at Maple Downs, March 11-15

Steve went off skiing with his ski buddies, also known as the retired old farts who like to ski on Tuesday’s. Steve joined the group the winter after he retired. The guys usually pick Tuesday’s, as there are good ski deals then. They like skiing at Jiminy Peak the best. The first year Steve joined he was not invited to the yearly ski trip to Sunday River in Maine, and he was pleasantly pleased that they did invite him the following year.

I guess Steve proved to be a tolerable and amusing companion. I feel that way toward him also. Steve gets this own room, as he finds that he only finds his own snoring tolerable. Some of the guys room together, at the same hotel, one guy likes to go to cheaper hotel down the street. They meet up in the morning, and ski until a late lunch. Then they gather again for dinner and discussion of the next days runs. Of course it is possible that they don’t even ski, since I am not there to observe, but what else would these guy do all day?

So originally I was going to drive to Syracuse, pick up my Mother and we would stay at our house in Lake George. Mom was recently hospitalized with the flu, and had some doctor and therapy visits, so I decided to stay with her. Voila, another Excellent Adventure!

So when Steve left for Maine, I waited until he left and then drove off to Mom’s. I usually wait until he leaves before I leave. I like to make sure that he has everything that he needs and that I am not in his way.

Four hours later I arrived at Maple Downs. This of course, is a photo from the Maple Down’s website. How can you tell? The blue arrow, and the flowers, silly! It’s winter now! I am not sure how many residents there are, it’s not too big, but not too small, I think it’s just the right size.

This is the man in lobby, and the mailboxes are off to the right. Usually there are residents sitting on the sofas. They are generally either asleep or inspecting people coming and going from the building. This is the dining room. People usually arrive 30 minutes before the meals are to start. They like to reserve seats for their friends. Mom always sits at the same table for breakfast. Lunch and Dinner table changes based on the day of the week. That’s because the serving starts at one end of the room versus the other. Mom and her friends like to get served as early as possible. No dementia with that attitude! The only serving clue I picked up was a coffee cup on the side meant “please give me hot water”, cup up meant coffee, cup down meant a pass. There was no soda, wine or booze available. I never did see a resident with a flask.

Let’s do down for dinner. I see Mom’s friend P is sitting at our table already. She’s at the table on the left. This was my view on Sunday night for dinner. I had a good view of the room. I have found that dinner conversation decreases as you get older, so it’s important to have something to look at. Otherwise you can’t pretend that you are with it and you have something that is distracting you.

I just finished a book about the Dutchess of Windsor. The author mentioned that as the Duke and Dutchess would often not talk to each other at dinner as they got older. As they knew that everyone was watching them in restaurants they took to reciting the alphabet to each other so it looked like they had something to say to each other!

There is lots of art work on the walls, they are placed pretty low, I think that’s because the majority of residents are short. My drink of choice was an Arnold Palmer. I could have had water, milk, cranberry juice, cold tea, lemonade, hot tea, cocoa and hot coffee.There is generally soup at dinner. One night there was no soup, and there was a complaining murmur going around. I had bay scallops, rice and green beans. Except for the green beans being canned, I couldn’t complain. I wasn’t sure if they were really scallops. I have read that these tiny scallops are really shark. Chocolate ice cream and sauce for dessert. There was usually no sugar ice cream, regular ice cream, and some puddings.

I was offered my own room, but elected to sleep on a roll away in Mom’s room. This way we could talk as long as we wanted to. The roll away was very uncomfortable. Breakfast the next morning. Eggs any style. Well maybe not any style, I didn’t push it and ask for shirred eggs. Bacon and ham were on a rotation. There was always cream of wheat and yogurt. I am not sure if they offered oatmeal. I am sure that they did I never asked. Here are a bunch of walkers all lined up. There were lots of walkers at Maple Downs. Some people had canes, others had wheel chairs or scooters. Some of the scooter drivers drove a little too fast if you ask me!There was usually a salad at lunch. Lunch for me was a burger and chips. The cheese was not melted and the burger was very thin. I wouldn’t order it again. I love Lemon Merengue Pie, but this pie was not tart at all. I didn’t finish it. Monday night we went out to dinner, That was a beautiful and tasty drink that Mom got. I was driving so I had only a few sips. Mom was thinking “I did a great job matching my drink to my outfit, too bad I can’t take the drink to go, I’ll never finish itMom had a petite filet, with mashed potatoes and carrots. The filet was prepared perfectly, nice and rare. It was well flavored also. I had scallops again, they were with a corn relish and rice. Mom’s dinner was better. I didn’t like mine so much as the corn relish was cold, cooling the dish somewhat. No dessert as Mom is only allowed one dessert a day. Tuesday morning I had fried eggs again. Lunch I started with a carrot slaw. I always love this. Once in a while I will buy a package of shredded carrots with intentions of making carrot slaw. I always forget and find the bag of rotting carrots in my crisper drawer in the refrigerator.

Looks like lunch was Greek shrimp with feta and roasted cauliflower. Lunch is always the biggest meal of the day. Dinner is called supper, and not as heavy.Brownie sundaes for dessert. The best dessert of the week!We went for a drive after lunch, checking out a possible dinner spot. This is Drumlin’s. I learned to ski on this hill. I hated it. We had those terrible lace up leather boots, my toes, hands and body were always freezing. I was afraid of the rope tow. The J Bar was unfathomable. There weren’t all those trees on the slope, they have appeared since the ski area was closed 40 years ago. Dinner time! Mom looks a little bit happier with this drink. At first they served it in a Tom Collin’s glass, Mom sent it back to be placed in a martini glass. She could finish this one. When I looked at the bill I saw it was called “Sex on the Beach”. Not bad for a 95 year old!Mom wasn’t that hungry, but she does like calamari, so that is what she got. I had chicken parmigiana.Wednesday morning I had thought about heading back to Poughkeepsie. However it was going to snow all day, so I stayed with Mom. We did go out to get her hearing aids checked. The roads were not bad to drive on. They know how to handle snow in Syracuse.We went out for breakfast, Mom had the French Toast for breakfast. It looked too heavy for me.

I had the lemon poppy seed pancakes. Definitely gloppy. I think All Night Eggplant is the place to go for Breakfast in Syracuse.

This was the special day for birthdays for the month The manager wears a silly hat, and leads the singing. You are supposed to sit at the special table, and everyone gets to stare at you during lunch.

We started with shrimp cocktail. Then we had roast beef, baked potato and a few stalks of asparagus. I found all the food tasty. Portions could be made smaller for those with smaller appetites. There were always low sodium and low fat options. We went back to the hearing aid place in the afternoon to get Mom fitted for Lyric inner ear hearing aids. They are more expensive, but I think they are much better for Mom. They are not removed at night, so I think it improves the patient safety. Mom even complained the next morning that she could hear me snoring!Dinner started with apple cole slaw. For some reason there were green peppers in it!The chili was definitely too bland, I don’t like spice, but this use some chili powder! As the cook thought chili was similar to soup, he didn’t add soup to the meal choices. People were definitely mad!Dessert was ice cream and chocolate sauce again. Thursday morning my last day was eggs again. Lunch for me was veal Marsala. It was definitely a gloppy mess.Dessert was Margaritaville cake It was really sweet.

Well, I hope you enjoyed you Excellent Adventure with me to the Independent Living Lifestyle. I did hear a couple of people inquire to staff if I was a new resident! They were told that I was Ann’s daughter and visiting for a few days.

Don’t be afraid to visit your aging parents and stay over. It can be an excellent adventure!

I will finish up with the rest of Argentina. Not to worry! I met some very rich Argentinians, a countess and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Hmm, would that be a code name for a movie star?

Friday March 2, 2018 Luma Casa De Montana and at Tinto Bistro

After our boat excursion Steve and I were dropped of at Luma and followed the path to the hotel. We changed our clothes and put on our swim clothes and the fluffy white bath robes that were on the bed the first day. Not thinking about it I grabbed one, tossed the other to Steve and he put his on. He remarked how short the arms were, and how short the robe was. It turns out that there were his and her robes! We quickly switched robes, sorry, but no picture of Steve looking silly!We descended the stairs to the pool area and lucky for me that I was holding the railing because “Boom, boom, boom”. My legs went out from me and I slid down the stairs! I am very nervous about falling as I was put on Xarelto, a blood thinner last February. I was instructed not to cut myself, ride horses or fall. As I was already holding the hand rail, I just gripped it harder, during my fall, praying that I would not go head over heels. This is a picture of those nasty stairs looking from the bottom to the top.

I sat for awhile until I recovered and then we went outside to the pool area. I did tell you earlier I was going to have an unexcellent adventure on the stairs in a prior posting, well this was it!This was my back. I insisted Steve take a picture of my back so we could compare for when the black and blue marks showed up. I sure do have a lot of freckles. Thank God, I got my back waxed before we left. Ha Ha, just kidding. When Elliot and I went to Israel years ago, I surreptitiously took a picture of this guy’s back. It was so hairy, I couldn’t believe it. Elliott scolded me for taking the picture, but I knew it would come in handy some day! There is a reason for my 19,000 pictures in my iCloud storage!Any way, I rested on my pick of the chaise lounges. They were all free, so I was in heaven!Steve and I both went in the pool. The step outside entry looked a little too steep for me, and after my one tumble for the day I decided on the interior entry. So I got to use the magic door. I’m all for creative entries! Hanging out at the pool was a nice way to rest before dinner. We were trying to decide about bringing bathing suits on the trip, and decided to bring them. I’m glad we did. There was a big motocross event in Villa La Angostura, and we were happy that we had made reservations via our travel agent. We had mentioned to Paulo that we were going to for Tinto Bistro for dinner. He highly recommended it. Paulo, besides being an excellent cook, was the sommelier at Las Balsas, the Relais & Chateaux where we had dinner last night. I must admit that I was dying to take the Relais & Chateaux directory from Las Balsas, but knew Steve would roll my eyes at more book weight in my suitcase. I love looking at pictures of nice hotels, but enjoy staying at them even more! We laughed when we saw who our driver was. He was the same taxi driver as the one who took us to Las Balsas the night before!Steve got to take a picture of me! I am always making snarky comments about Steve not focusing on the camera. Here it looks like I am checking out the incoming guest arrivals at the front door! My scarf, that I had so elegantly draped over both shoulders is all akimbo. Kudos for the great lipstick and the natural eyebrows. Thank heaven those pencil thin eyebrows are out of fashion! That is some bar behind me, I probably should have faced that way and watched the bartender at work. Oh well, I got to make goo goo eyes at Steve all night instead!The waitress brought over some nice rolls. Steve had wanted to order baked Brie for an appetizer, but I put my foot down. I thought he should pick something light. We had just seen Kill Bill 2 before we left home, so when Steve saw “Kill My Bills” on the menu he ordered it. Shrimp and Pork rice paper rolls. Viet mini salad, and rosehip chili sauce. For my entree I chose “Argentina Blue”. Beef Tenderloin in vanilla cardamom Demi glacé. Fig and plum chutney with grilled onions. Quinoa, nuts and blue cheese. Done medium rare.

Steve picked “Absolut Pasta” for his dinner. Homemade fettuccini sautéed with prawns and shrimp in vanilla vodka. Spice mix and arugula. My only comment is that I thought prawns and shrimp were the same thing!Dessert was “Nina’s Secret”. Chocolate tasting, citric curd and berry coulis. After dinner we decided to take a walk about the village before we called a taxi to take us back. Most of the stores were closed, but this fishing store was open! Steve needed a “Croakie” lanyard for his glasses, as he left his at home. Steve was lucky enough to get the last one!

We started laughing when we saw the glass case filled with knives.

We headed back to the restaurant to call a taxi to take us back to the hotel. This was the large group of motocross people that were dining together. We couldn’t figure out if they were officials, riders, supporters, fans, or groupies!

That’s it for Friday March 2, 2018. I had a lot of postings for the day. I hope you enjoyed yourselves reading about my Excellent Adventures as I had having them with Steve.

Friday March 2, 2018, Tapas on Nahuel Huapi Lake

After our hike in Nahuel Huapi Lake, and Steve’s first trolling session was over Nico dropped the anchor and the portable table was brought out so we could enjoy our tapas and wines. Paulo covered the table with a fun red and white checked picnic cloth and brought out the silverware and glasses. No plastic cups and paper plates today! This was going to be special! First tapas was a gazpacho shooter with a little olive oil, paired a roasted pepper topped with micro greens and a little bit of toasted bread. This was paired with a lovely sauvignon blanc. Next up was some smoked salmon, with micro greens, itty bitty flower heads, sliced onions, lemon juice, raspberries, mini scoops of avocado and soy sauce with sesame sides to dip the salmon. The salty with the sweet was so good! I was watching Paulo do all the prep work, he took such care in placing everything just so, no slap dash with his actions!

Next was a ramekin filled with toasted bread, sautéed mushrooms, a poached egg, blueberries, and then cheese melted with a mini torch. I joked to Paulo that I didn’t think open flames were allowed on a boat!

A nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon was brought out at some time and we drank the red wine also.

Dessert was slightly charred pineapple, blueberries, raspberries and some slightly sweetened with cream. We enjoyed this with a really nice port. Yes, a lot of drinking went on that afternoon!

Final course was cheese drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

We were both feeling totally relaxed and happy.

We lifted anchor, the fishing rod was brought back out for Steve to troll a bit more as we cruised back to port.

This is the little area where Paulo performed his magic! I am sure he did lots of prep work back home too!

I put my feet up, relaxed and learned about what was next in store on Linda’s Excellent Adventures!

On the way back we saw a kayakers, and people canoeing. They waved and looked like they were having fun, but I know they wished they were relaxing on the boat like we were!

All too soon we were back at the pier, our cruise on Nahuel Huapi Lake was over. This is me with Paulo, and Nico! Paulo had his supplies all piled up to bring back to his house!Steve looked just as happy, but Paulo looked just a little bit happier hugging me!

Our taxi arrived and brought us back to the hotel.

Ciao! Ciao!

Friday March 2, 2018 A boat ride on Nahuel Huapi

This is the brochure for Nico’s boat.

The boat was very comfortable, there was a canopy so we wouldn’t get too much sun, and a cabin with a place to go to the bathroom. We departed from the dock at Manzano, and were going to cruise to Bosque de Arrayanes for a short hike. Here we are all cozy on the boat, ready to take off. I am swearing Steve’s Tilley hat. Although much of the lake was protected as a National Park, there were lots of lodging places near this part of the lake. We were not far from the ski area, Cerro Bayo. This place was a great place to vacation. Summer activities in the summer, and skiing in the winter. Nico said that he gave cruises in the winter also!

This is Paulo’s hand showing up what we would be doing today. He has lots of tattoos!

This map without the fingers gives you a better idea how big the lake is. That is still not all of the lake!

There were beautiful vistas everywhere you looked. More of Paulo’s tattoos. No, I did not ask him how many he had!

We arrived at the dock for our hike and Nico secured the boat. Paulo was going to stay aboard the boat. It was around 11:00, no one else was in the park. It often gets very busy later in the afternoon with tour boats laden with guests who want to explore.

Let’s prove that we were here!These trees are called Arrayans. Some were really tall!They have a smooth bark, that is very cold to the touch. The bark looks a little scaly, but it was not very rough. Some of these trees are 300-600 years old!

There were some pretty flowers. Don’t we make a cute couple? The answer is yes!Nico is trying to tell us something here. There was so much to remember!We saw some lovely fuchsia. More pretty flowers.Steve is demonstrating how big this tree is! Some of the trees had a type of fungus near the top. Nico told us that Walt Disney came here, and was inspired to make the movie Bambi. I will have to go home and watch the movie to see if their are any similarities. Eventually the cruise boats always show up! Our walk is over and we head back to the boat to rescue our cruise. Our walk was the small circle. Ambitious hikers could walk all the way to Villa La Angostura. No thank you!

Nico asks Steve if he would like to troll for fish while Paulo prepares our tapas.

Of course! Steve settles down and assumes the trolling position. There is not much work to do when you troll, you just hold onto the rod and wait for a fish to take the lure. We go by some very interesting rocks. The area looks very much like Lake George. Steve gets to sit with me, enjoy the view and troll for fish. What could be better than this?

Throwing the anchor off the boat and enjoying a nice lunch of tapas would be great! Stay tuned!

Friday March 2, 2018. Breakfast at Luma Casa De Montana

We woke up and looked outside our Juliet balcony, ready to start our day.

We descended the stairs to the main level to see the breakfast buffet. The sun was so strong, it was difficult to take a good picture. No worries for me, my picture taking ability is not the main draw of my blog’s dear readers!

Steve spied a table by the windows, and we sat there. Here Steve is, ready to give our order for breakfast!Here is where the orange juice, coffee, hot milk and water waited for our selection.

The silverware was very dainty. Steve and I each ordered scrambled eggs. I got one, and Steve got two.

The previous afternoon we were met by Nico, the captain of the boat we were going to be taking a cruise on today. He told us one of the options on the cruise was to go hiking for a bit on Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi and then kayaking. The hike was to be only an hour, so I was game for that. The kayaking not so much. We had gone sea kayaking when we were in the Galapagos last year and we hated it. Nico, was thrilled that we had said no kayaking, as the water was quite cool, and we were sure to get wet. Instead offered us the option of some tapas, with wine pairings, presented by his friend Paulo. Then Steve would be able to troll for salmon after our hike. “Perfecto!”, I said.

We were picked up by Paulo and a taxi driver and driven through town.

Here are some of the shops in town, and the roses in the median of the road.We say goodbye to our taxi driver and are off to the pier. Nico’s boat is the Cardinal Sur. We climb aboard the boat and are ready to take off!

Internet seems to be working a little better. I had to rename the post due to the fact that the post was all about breakfast!

Ciao! Ciao!