Thursday March 8, 2018 Off to Buenos Aries, Argentina

I left you yesterday with a trip to Buenos Aries from the airport in Bariloche.

It was quite confusing for us, as the gate was constantly changing. Not only that, but I had lots of people watching going on. From gentleman with serious mustaches, to the man in the denim joggings, there was lots to observe. And, considering that I could probably enjoy watching paint dry, that is not saying much.

We flew Business Class again. This was something that our travel agent advised us might not work out okay. Aerolineas Argentinas is notorious for changing planes and also cancelling flights. Then we would have the problem of possibly not getting a seat in business on the next flight arranged. We were lucky and all flights on our trip worked out smoothly. One again we had the Business class lunch, a ham and cheese sandwich and a very dry Dulce de leche cookie plus some peanuts. We washed it down with warm Coca Cola. Soon we were back to Buenos Aries and the domestic airport. We were picked up by our driver and taken to the hotel we stayed at when we first arrived in Buenos Aries, the Hub Porteno. It is in the Recoleta district, a very upscale part of town. Would you like to see our room? Of course you would! It was the same size room as the room the last time, the linens were a bit different. I was smart this time, and did not leave my sunglasses on the floor when I was unpacking them, and then thinking that I lost them in the car.

Steve and I were going to have a free day on Friday before our evening flight home. I got help from the front desk in making reservations to tour the Opera House. This is where Marcus and his wife had an arranged first date. I told him that it was just like in one of my romance novels! Then we were going to go see the Synagogue.

But first we had dinner reservation at RojoTango.com. I need to get ready for my evening with my handsome husband. Here I am all dolled up, ready for a night on the town, but hoping to be back in the room before midnight. I think the dress showed just the right amount of cleavage and the right amount of leg. I was studying a lot of instagram pictures and was trying to get my arm on hip and feet pointing forward to achieve maximum slimness. Plus, I was trying to keep my eyes open, as usually I am laughing too much, and my eyes squint up. And you thought my beauty was effortless. Ha Ha! This gives you just a hint of the evening ahead of us! Red lights, and madness! Just kidding, it was a just a dinner show! This was a still shot from the website. There are a lot of pointed toes in the tango. Our seats were way up close, the dancers were practically on my toes! Here we are, Steve looks sharp, i look a little shell shocked1. We started off with a glass of champagne, and then a different glass of wine with each course, of course! This was our first course. Shrimp and potato salad with pickled cucumber. A very interesting and tasty choice. Steve had the salmon and goat cheese. I had the beef tenderloin. Steve had the bittersweet chocolate marquise.

Of course I had the cream of passion fruit mousse with almond crumble.

During one of the intermissions I went to the ladies room. Care to take a peak? It was hard to find! These were the doors. I needed help to figure out how to open them! Once inside there was lots of marble and metal! Here I am! This was the door of the stall. Marble, mirrors and silver. I think I won’t copy this style for the new bathroom in our house in Lake George! The room was very red, and dimly lit. What did you expect? The tango show was in a hotel. The hotel boutique had lots of outfits, you might want to buy in case you had your luggage stolen, or just didn’t have the right outfit to wear. We just had friends with us this past weekend in Lake George. It also just happened to be Americade, a big motorcycle rally. I think that my friend M would have looked smashing in one of these jackets!

Yesterday I forgot to ask questions. Today I won’t.

Do you ride a motorcycle?

Have you ever been to a tango show? I know LA, one of my followers has. In fact her hubby MA, even took picture of Carlos, one of the performers. We were expressly told not to take pictures, although some of the other guests at the show did. I BEHAVED!

Do you hate your cookies dry as dust?

Here is one of the performers in the show. Carlos Copello. https://youtu.be/YqIjM8ZkJNc

He was phenomenal, a little bit too old for me, but man did he have moves! I think the Tango is the sexiest dance that there is, how about you?

Thursday March 8, 2018 Good Bye -Arroyo Verde!

Another day and another breakfast, but no picture for you!I forgot to show you this wooden bird carving of a KingFisher. It was in the sun room.

Steve said Good Bye to his guide Fernando.

Tight lines to you Fernando! Steve told me a very funny story that Fernando told him. He was fishing with the famous singer of Margaritaville fame. The gentleman had a big fish on, and then lost it. He was bitching and swearing. Francisco told him “be quiet and cast now!” Well, he did, and caught and landed an even bigger fish! The moral of the story is to shut up, stop sulking and get your line in the water!

Here I am with all my Argentinian friends. On the left is Marcel P, next is his Father Marcus, Moi, Tomas son of English, and then English. I just googled the P family and they are good friends of the father of Maxima, the Queen of the Netherlands! Now if only the internet was fast when I was in Argentina! This turned out to be quite the royal connection vacation after all!

The family was going out on an all day ride and then picnic. The ladies had the most beautiful riding pants. They had roses embroidered along the side. Here I am with Katrina. I think that this is as close to a Tiara as I will ever get! Katrina has a double last name also. I think that means that she has a serious family background! She was telling us at dinner about one of her friend’s houses that she stayed at back in the day. There was a Renoir on this wall, a Van Dyck on that wall, a Ruebens here, you know the type of house I am talking about don’t you? Or rather, castle! Steve and I took another walk before our car service was going to pick us up. We headed toward the pond. Here it is! Have a Labrador with you on a hike, and there will be a swim in the pond!I could get big money with this picture, couldn’t I?I think the other picture is nicer, don’t you?We headed back to the Estancia over the grates. Horses and cattle don’t like going over the grates, that’s why there are the grates. We went to settle up our bill. Here is Steve with a condor feather! They are huge! One last peek in our room, to make sure that we have everything. It is amazing that I never walked into that pole on the way to the bathroom at night! Speaking of forgetting stuff, we ended up having to bring back the ipad of one of our new friends from the South back to the States, so we could mail it to him. I was petrified that at security they were going to make me turn it on. It was an iPad and thankfully the bad guys don’t make iPad bombs yet. Here I am saying goodbye to Marina, one of the daughters of Meme, the original owner. Good bye Marina! I hope we come back again! I hope you don’t sell the Estancia! Steve says that they probably have investment bankers come by every week to make an offer. The fishing when it is right is tremendous! This is a picture of the type of fish that is possible in April. That is a beautiful fish!

Here we are at the gate. Good bye Arryo Verde! Did you know that Jeff Bezos was going to come here? His security staff didn’t think that it was safe enough for him, so he didn’t come. This is the river that Steve took the drift boat along. I didn’t go. It would have been pretty, but trapped in a boat for seven hours is not my cup of tea, or glass of pisco! We stopped near Barliloche for a picture. Isn’t that view gorgeous? Look at my mouth! It looks like I need a cap installed ASAP! Plus, I must weigh an extra 100 pounds in my gut! That’s what that Patagonian wind will do for you!Here is a little video for you of our view towards Bariloche and the mountains! Everytime I see a bunch of luggage lined up, I am so happy that we are on a private trip. We never have to wait for anyone else. We can go and do whatever we want to do. I don’t know what this billboard says, but it has my name on it, so it must be good! This man was sitting across from me in the airport. I think that he spends a lot of time on his looks. The hair was disheveled just so, but the mustache was on point! This guy had the point shoe and tight jean leggings. Aren’t you thankful I didn’t do a frontal view? Good bye Bariloche! Next stop Buenos Aries!

Wednesday March 7, 2018 Last full day at Arroyo Verde, Argentina

We are now getting near the end of our fantastic visit to Argentina. Steve has been able to extend his streak, having caught fish in February and March. After I complete my blog posts, I will add Steve’s trip report, detailing his thoughts and fish numbers. Be prepared to be numbed. ha ha.

I actually had something different, two eggs scrambled with bacon! I don’t have a picture of Steve’s breakfast, he either had scrambled eggs also or an omelette. Here we see the trucks all lined up ready to drive the fishermen far and wide. Steve did a little bit of stretching of his back, and then he was ready to go with his guide Fernando. You can tell how cool it is outside as Steve is still wearing his Pattagucci Nano Puff.

I took a walk while Steve was fishing. I took the fork in the road that headed to the cabana. I wasn’t someplace I was really going to walk to as it is a five minute drive away. I won’t walk that far on a stroll. If I did, this is where I would have ended up.This is a view of the Cabana overlooking Traful Lake. We could have stayed there, but it was a little bit too isolated for my taste. Meals would be taken in the main Estancia and we would have been shuttled back and forth. As it is, I am usually left by myself all day and this just would have been too much isolation for me. I prefer to be able to be where all the action is. So instead I had a lovely walk along the dirt road.
If I rode, the top of that hill would have been an excellent trip! I am sure that the views were amazing! Here is a lovely panoramic of the valley. It was so beautiful and tranquil! Soon it was time to have lunch. We started with prosciutto with melon. Always a favorite of mine!Every meal had the main course served buffet style. I think the Senora though I was a bit crazy with all my pictures! Wiener schnitzel, red cabbage and French fries. Katrina, the manager hated the job of menu selection. I can see getting sick of that part of the job. A lovely salad on the side, and I got my healthy requirements under my belt for the day!We had a fruit salad for dessert. I know you are thinking where is the cake and cookies? Not at today’s lunch!

I took another walk later after Steve had gone fishing. This is a closer view of the statue by the pond. It is by Henri Bouchard. He was a French sculptor, born in 1875 and died in 1960. The owners of the Estancia had four girls, I am sure that the statue had such special meanings to the family.This is a view of the Estancia from the pond that I had wandered to. The patio on the right is where I met Mr. and Mrs. Smith for the first time. We had a good laugh when I told them about my suppositions about their being famous! The middle area is the sun room. I sat here often on the white couches typing my blog up, waiting for the wifi to load all my pictures. On the left under the big tree is where we sat for the Asado. Behind the two white chairs is the dining room where we had our meals. Sprinklers were always going to water the lawns. I walked down to the stream again. You can see here how wide the stream bank gets during the spring. It was very late summer, the stream was warm and quite low. You can see all the brush that got carried along the stream, hurled in one place, and stopped by the rocks. Here is a better closeup. This is as far as I got before I turned around. My walks weren’t long, only about 20 minutes. I had lots of blogging to do! You can play this at night when you can’t sleep. On the way back to the Estancia there is this little grove, with a shrine to The Blessed Virgin Mary. I am not sure if I showed you what the set up for tea was like. Every afternoon there was hot water, tea bags and usually something sweet to eat. As if i needed to eat some more!It was our last dinner, and we had two tables set up for dinner. That is Mr. Smith standing by the door. Here we have the view looking toward the fireplace. Every night we had a different napkin arrangement. I sat at the seat at the upper left. Mr. Smith sat to my right. He was busy talking to Steve who sat across from him. English sat to my left, but he was busy talking Spanish to Marina Larivière one of the four daughters of the original owners. I was a little bit grumpy that last night. This was the salad that we started with. Looks like dinner was out of focus chicken and rice. Always a favorite! Marina and Katrina must have noticed that I was grumpy and gave me the button to clear the table and bring out the dessert. Remember how I told you how hard it is to be the host or hostess? You have to constantly sweep you eye over the table, and keep note of who is talking and who is not. You need to gently move the conversation along if you determine that there is a table hog monopolizing the conversation. This needs to be done in a subtle manner, you don’t want to insult the guest so that they don’t come back. This was our last dessert. It looks chocolatey and creamy!

The wife and daughter of one of the Argentinians did come in the afternoon. I was hoping to be BFF (Best Friends Forever) with her, but she was extremely shy. I think I would have needed more than one night to be best buds with her. Oh, well!

Do you drive a truck?

Do you own any pieces of sculpture?

Do you like to push buttons?

Tuesday March 6, 2018 Arroyo Verde, Argentina

As I have caught up on all my more recent adventures it is time that I finish up on our trip to Argentina. As you recall Steve and I traveled to Argentina in February and March. His goal continues to be to catch a fish each month until he drops dead or can’t jerk anymore fish lips; whichever comes first. Steve is off fishing every day and I am reading and blogging. You need to recall that due to my being on blood thinners due to a clot in February 2017 I didn’t do any horseback riding at Arroyo Verde as the nearest hospital is over two hours away. If I were to fall and hurt myself, well it might be “Goodbye-Linda” and my loyal fans would not like that. Or at least I hope they would not like that! For the superstitious I have just knocked wood and spat three times. I started my day with my normal breakfast of scrambled eggs with two slices of bacon. Steve opted with his usual mushroom omelette.

We said good bye at breakfast to my friends from South in the United States. They were a lot of fun, and the guys caught some great fish. The Crazy Male Argentinians contingent was still going to be here for a few days, and a wife and daughter would be coming Wednesday. I was looking forward to meeting them.

I was also excited as new guests were arriving late in the day. A Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Hmm. Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Now even I can recognize a fake name. Who might our new guests be? Hollywood royalty like Brad Pitt and a girlfriend? You will have to wait until dinner time for the answer to that question!

There was a lot of talk at meal time about a beautiful fishing spot near Kilometer 9. The road from the gate to the estancia was ten kilometers, so this marker was only about a kilo from where we were staying.

Here is my guide, of course I have forgotten his name. He is from France, and had a delicious accent. You can see here how big the rocks were that we had to scramble over. In the spring time the water levels really rise, you can see some of the sticks and brush that have accumulated up the banks of the river.It was very interesting to see the erosion of the rocks due to water over thousands of years.

Ready for a little Zen? This is what Steve sees and hears when he is out fishing. I don’t see any fish do you? The water was quite warm, a little too warm for the fish to be happy. Many of them were in the lake as it was late summer, equivalent to just before Labor Day. We were told that the time to come for the big fish was April. Next time!

We had spied Dennis, one of the other guests, and his guide on the way to look at the stream. They had started to pack up and look for another spot to fish at, as the fish were not biting here. Dennis loved looking the part of an Argentine angler with his cap. The cap has a special name, I don’t think it is just called a beret! This is a close up of the fly box the guide had. And Steve will tell us what the flies are when he edits this post for me. Jump in here Steve! editors note: clockwise from upper left : Zonker, Foam Beetle, Fat Albert, Prince nymph, Parachute Adams, Argentine mystery fly.I had enough traipsing over the rocks by now, and I suggested we head back to the Estancia. Soon it was time to have lunch and look at another pretty place setting. Looks like ham rolled around some kind of spread, with fresh tomatoes. Katrina had to go into town to get her Toyota truck an oil change and service. I was granted the honor to push the button to notify the wait staff that we were ready for the next course! You can only imagine how thrilled I was to push the button. I am being serious here. Those that know me, know that I am thrilled by the simplest things in life. I may like to go to exotic places and meet interesting people, but give me a chance to be the hostess and push a button -Whoa!

I think in my next life I am going to come back as a hostess of a lodge. I love meeting people and entertaining. Unfortunately it’s not all fun and games. You rarely have time off, and sometimes there are difficult guests that need to be entertained or subtlety told to shut up. And sometimes their checks bounce.Here is a picture of our lunch. I can identify the salad, carrots, a grilled onion, and what appears to be a piece of mystery meat.

As a reminder, at Arroyo Verde we had breakfast at about 8:30, and then the anglers would go out for the first fishing session. They would return and then we would have a full lunch at 2:30, followed by a siesta. Around 5:00 the anglers would go out again, and then return at 9 or so. Each evening we had a full dinner at candlelight, with fine china and linens. Those guests who did not fish could hike, ride, read or nap. I did a lot of blogging and reading, with some walking. This was a great place to sit and blog and read. After Steve went fishing in the late afternoon the dogs joined me on a walk. They were very protective of me.We went over a stream and guess what happened? Yes, The Labrador’s ditched me to go for a swim! Soon it was time for me to return to our suite. This is where all the trucks are parked when the guides are back from fishing. No one is back but me! Soon it was evening and time for some canapés. These little hot dogs were difficult to skewer! These guys were much easier to pick up and eat!Soon it was time to sit down for another elegant meal. By this time Katrina had returned and I lost my spot taking care of the buzzer! Here is a closeup of the first plate, it shows flies used to catch the fish here.

This is the dinner plate. They were all hand painted and were from 1953!

Dinner is served! Looks like we had potatoes, salad, tomatoes and salmon. We needed a scrumptious dessert, and here it is! Cheesecake with strawberries!

Now to tell you about Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I was waiting all day to find out if they were someone truly worthy of their own LindaExcellentAdventure post. Well, they ended up with a paragraph. Our mystery guests arrived after I returned from my afternoon walk.

Mr. And Mrs. Smith, were actually the Smiths. They were not famous, just regular people. He had recently retired form the government and they had homes in South Carolina and in Washington State where their adult daughter lived. Mrs. Smith was an executive recruiter. Of course I googled her, and she had about ten jobs in the last seven years. I think people found her difficult to work with. The Smith’s did not like Donald Trump, and alternated between making the sign of the cross, shaking their heads and spitting if the President’s name was mentioned. Not really, they just pouted.

Their financial advisor told them they didn’t have to work anymore and could retire and travel. Sounds like they had listened to Dean Witter years ago! He was an angler, she was not. She was going to go out with a bird guide the next day. Steve thought they were nice, I did not like them at all. She was a bit snooty for me.

They loved South America and were looking forward to renting an apartment in Buenos Aires next spring for six weeks. They felt that you needed that long to truly see the city. That sounded like a lot of walking and museum touring for me. Not exactly my cup of tea. I prefer a little of this and a lot of people watching. The Smith’s were planning on inviting their friends to stay with them in Argentina for a week or two next year.

At this point I started laughing to myself. Remember my post about Tipiliuke and the house by the river? I was entranced by that house along the Chimehuin that was for sale. I was also envisioning buying it and inviting our friends down to stay for a week next year. Then I came to my senses, as Steve and I have problems getting our friends to visit us in Lake George. How in the world are we going to get them to take a 10 hour plus flight from NYC to BA, plus another flight to Tipiluike? No way that was going to happen. Well, I wish Mr. and Mrs. Smith good luck on their adventure next year. Perhaps, they may have friends visit them after all.

Do you like cheesecake?

Are you retired?

Are you snooty?

April 21, 2018 Goodbye Philadelphia Hello Antietam

Our son lives in Charlottesville Virginia, so we don’t get a chance to visit him often as it is a seven hour drive to see him. Not that we don’t like to travel, but it’s a long trip for a short visit. As he is 28, he has to work for a living. Who wants to take off vacation time to visit the ‘rents? That’s short for parents.

So, whenever we go to the Sherlock Holmes Dinner in Philadelphia we either try to drive on to Charlottesville or meet Elliott and his girlfriend, Kanna half way. Kanna is such a lovely name, her sister couldn’t say her given name Katherine Ann so she called her Kanna. It stuck.

Here is Steve perusing the buffet at the Union League at Philadelphia. There were lots of chafing dishes. No omelette station. That would have been nice to have had a made to order breakfast. Alas, you take what you gets. These are some of the pastry selections. Can you guess that J and C had the bagels with fixing? You would be right. Did I have scrambled eggs, bacon and grits? Yes I did! Steve skipped the grits.

We left J and C to go on their adventures and we proceeded south to Maryland. We were going to meet Elliott and Kanna in Hagerstown Maryland, and then explore Antietam Battlefield. Elliott and Kanna have started to explore Civil War Battle sites. They had gone to Gettysburg a few weeks before. As they live in Charlottesville, there are tons of battlefields to visit.

I am a real credit card junkie, and try to master the points game. I really failed it big time with this excellent adventure. As a Hilton Credit Card user I am entitled to one weekend stay per year. I thought, this would be a great time to use my certificate. I called up and made a reservation for the Homewood Suites in Hagerstown and asked if I could use my free certificate for a 2 bedroom suite. That way we could all stay in one suite, we wouldn’t have to hang out downstairs in the lobby, or in one of our rooms. Now, I kind of thought this might not fly as the rules and regulations stated that only a regular room could be used for the certificate. I played dumb on the phone and asked if I could use the certificate for this reservation. “Yes of course!”, the reservation agent from India said. “We just need to know your points number.”

“I don’t want to use my points”. I had looked on line and the two bedroom suite was going for 88,000 points, a ridiculous number. If I booked two rooms, it would be 30,000 points for each room. If I used my certificate it would be only 30,000 for the extra room. So I thought I was getting a great deal. HMMM.

This was the day of the Barbara Bush funeral. On our way to Hagerstown from Philadelphia we listened to it on the car radio. I asked the gang if we could delay lunch until after it was over. Thankfully all agreed to postpone lunch.

I looked on Yelp for a great restaurant near the hotel. Rik’s Cafe was the winner, it was in a strip mall, and didn’t look that appealing from the outside. We entered and it looked very popular, lots of locals and families. This was Steve’s lunch. It looks like a chicken sandwich with lots of glop on it, along with a side order of fries. I think the fries could use a touch more salt, don’t you? I thought that I had a crab cake with salad and fries. However, this does not look like a crab cake to me! All I can remember is that the fries were hot. No time for dessert we had places to go!

We found Antietam National Battlefield without any problems. It was a free National Park day, so the park was going to be a little bit more crowded than normal. The visitor center had a movie that we could see and also a small museum with a soldier’s kit and armaments. We tried to arrange for a private guide, but none were available on such short notice. After having private guides on many of our trips, we take every opportunity to hire a guide. It makes visiting new places so much easier. You can zero in on what’s most important and why. No willy nilly wandering. Well since we couldn’t get a guide we got the next best thing. An audio guide!All we had to do was to shove that sucker in the car CD player and we were good to go!

First stop was to view the battlefield map. It was a twelve hour battle on September 15, 1862. The Civil War began in March 1861 with the Confederate Attack on Fort Sumpter. Lee surrendered in April 1865. During the battle at Antietam 100,000 soldiers engaged in battle. At the end of the day 23,000 were killed, wounded or missing. Our first stop was Dunker Church. It was a house of worship for pacifist German Baptist Brethren. Let’s go inside, shall we? Here is Steve thinking throw happy he is, not to be spending all day Sunday sitting on those wooden pews. Elliott appears to be a little more interested. We just missed a musical performance of Civil War era music. There are a lot of plaques. Elliott was a bit disappointed that I didn’t want to stop and read every one. I had no time for that, there were many more stops on the CD! I would have skipped this, but Elliott and Kanna wanted to go up the path to see the Maryland monument up close. Here we are at our next stop. This is the monument in honor of Clara Barton. The Red Cross was made from bricks taken from the chimney of her house. Clara Barton founded the Red Cross in 1861. She provided assistance to all soldiers in the war, no matter what side they fought on. Here is a little more information about her. Next was Cornfield Trail. Upon this 24 acres field was a horrific battle. The Louisiana Brigade suffered over 60 percent casualties in 30 minutes. Here we have a visual of one of the skirmishes. The Union forces are in blue, the Confederacy is red. While we were at this site, we met a lovely gentleman who was studying to be one of the Antietam private guides. I think you could make this a great side gig if you liked history. He had a dog eared copy of a book about the battle. I wanted to ask him to join us and give us a private tour.

There were a number of upside down cannons. These were markers for Generals who had died during the battle. This is the Observation Tower. I hate heights and was wavering over climbing it or not. I did climb it, and there is our van below. I was pretty terrified during my climb up, while I was up there, and also on my way down. I muttered to myself the whole way, “Don’t jump, you are almost done, you will be outside soon.” Whew!Here is a description about the views. Here are Elliott and Kanna at the William McKinley Monument. Of course you know that he was our 25th President, and was the last President to serve in the Civil War. He was assassinated during his second term. This is Burnside Bridge over the Antietam Creek. Steve and Elliott are checking out where the fish are hiding. Kanna is checking out Elliott’s ears. She doesn’t look like she approves. My last picture of the battlefield. Here we see General Burnside. Now you can see where the term “side burns” comes from!

One thing I noticed when we are at the battlefield was that I didn’t have any feelings of overwhelming sadness or unease. When we were at the Coliseum in Rome I was really creeped out. I could not wait to leave the place. I have an empathetic personality and can feel a lot of people’s emotions. The Coliseum was filled with the souls of unhappy people, put to death for others’ amusement. At Antietam, the people were fighting for causes that they believed in. We found our way back to the Homewood Suites and checked in. This was the living room. Elliott and Kanna got the King size bed. Steve and I took the two queens. According to Yelp, the best restaurant for dinner was the Schmankerl Stube. I made reservations and we were off. My mother was born in Germany, as was Steve’s Great Grandparents. There wasn’t any room in the main room, so we were seated outside in the enclosed patio. Kanna is wearing the fleece from the company that Elliott works for. I was quite pleased that Elliott shaved off his beard. I think that he looks like a terrorist with it. Both Elliott and Kanna seem to have the head tilt down pat! Steve and I were pretty cold even with my snuggling. I don’t think I took off my puff jacket the whole time! Looks like no one gets between me and my man!The waitress promptly brought out our beers. I didn’t see any fruity martinis on the menu so I ordered a dark beer. When Elliott was just born I had problems producing enough milk. At his first check up when he was two weeks old, he had lost weight. The diagnosis was “failure to thrive”. I was prescribed Thorazine and a dark beer every day. My milk came in and all was well. However, Elliott never grew to be as tall as Steve. He topped out at 5 foot ten, which was the same height as my father. I sometimes wonder if it was the genes or the lack of breast milk those first two weeks. I ended up having plenty of milk, and nursed Elliott until I discovered I was pregnant with Sally. We were served a rye bread with a sweet butter and a cheesy butter. The breads was hearty and not soft. I prefer bread like this. This was from Avena, the restaurant I wrote about yesterday. I noticed I had forgotten to put it in my post, I was trying to figure out how I could include it. Well, I just did! Lucky, Lucky!

I didn’t see anything on the menu that really got me interested. I like Weiner Schnitzel, but thought it might be too heavy as we had a long car ride to Poughkeepsie on Sunday. I ordered the trout. Steve had the chicken. I don’t think he expected it to be chopped up, it looked like something you might serve an invalid. Kanna had the beef. It was chopped up also. The spaetzle was very good. You are supposed to type spaetzle with an a and an umlaut over it, and no e. I can’t figure out how to do that on my ipad. Did you know that there are somethings I fail at? Yes, amazing isn’t it? Elliott had the Wiener schnitzel. It was sehr gut! That means very good in German. For dessert I ordered the apple strudel. It was not as good as my mother’s. The German cake came along with four forks. It was fair. Next morning we had dinner at the buffet at the hotel. Nothing like greasy sausage to start your road trip! Here we are ready to say goodbye. It looks like there is a bird getting ready to drop some bird poop on my head! You can see that Elliott is a wee bit taller than I am. I am practicing my chest out, shoulders back, tummy in and butt tucked under. Steve needs to get that memo.

When we got back home I checked my point balance. Hilton deducted 88,000 points out of my account after all. I called them up, and they said that I couldn’t use my certificate on the room that I reserved. They didn’t care that the original representative said that I could. I was mad. I called the hotel a few days later and they said that they would check into the matter. No good results. I thought about canceling my card, but I had already paid the fee for the year in February. I also have 350,000 points that I don’t want to disappear. Not sure where I will spend the points, maybe Steve will take me back to the Maldives and I can use the points there!

Do you like German food?

Do you hate customer call reps from India?

Are you a credit card junky, trying to maximize your points?

Are you a complete klutz at maximizing your points?

Did you notice that today we have five questions, up from my normal three?

May 1, 2018 Pre-surgical Testing and Lunch in Manhattan

I am going through my 20,046 photos and 629 videos and thought that I would use a quick post as a good way to delete some pictures. I am still trying to figure out how I have 629 videos, but I think that might be due to accidentally having my iPhone camera setting on video instead of photo!

Anyway May 1st, Steve and I took the train to Manhattan to see Dr. Boland before the surgery to remove the myxoma in my thigh. He is a surgeon at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. When my thingamajig in my thigh was discovered in February 2017, we were able to get a second opinion with Dr. Boland. Sloan doesn’t just see anyone, we had to have pathology reports and a diagnosis first. My specialness was confirmed with the diagnosis of a myxoma-only one in a million people get them. Surprise! Once I was accepted into the Sloan system it was decided to have my surgery there instead of back home in Poughkeepsie.

After following my myxoma for over a year, Dr. Boland decided to remove it. We just had to stop traveling for a while! So after our trip to The Maldives, Argentina and Abaco, we were finally in one place long enough for me to have surgery and recover. So a date in May was picked for the surgery. I already described the Excellent Surgery Adventure in a previous post.

Pre Surgical Testing was scheduled and we met with the doctor first. We were unsure if I would actually have surgery as the last MRI showed a decrease in size of the myxoma. We were happy that Dr. Boland still wanted to do the surgery, he thought the size discrepancy could have been due to measurement error. He explained the surgery and we were off to get chest x-rays, blood draw and EKG’s. Blood draws are my favorite part. I have great veins for phlebotomists to use. Steve accuses me of suffering from veinity. Ha Ha.

After that was over we were free to go to lunch and then home. We picked Avena on E. 57th Street. We sat upstairs, the first time we were there we ate downstairs. Like most NYC restaurants it was quite small. Upstairs was nice and since it was a beautiful day we could look outside. We picked the prix fixe lunch special. Steve had the Green pea Veloute with roasted flying squid! Hmm, that sounds interesting now doesn’t it! It was a strange choice for Steve as he does not like mollusks. But he does like Green peas. Presentation was the way I like it, except this time it was a little backward. Soup first and then squid was ladled in, unlike the restaurant at The Union League where I got vegetables and then soup was poured on.

Here it is with the squid in it. Now doesn’t that just make you want to gag! Steve says the addition of the squid was not a value add at all! I was SMART and had the seasonal greens with air dried cured beef. A much more sensible choice. However as Steve has a condition where iron is stored in the body he has to limit his beef intake. A real bummer to my diet, as this means we don’t get to eat a lot of steak now. For his entree Steve had homemade Fettuccini with wild mushrooms. Just looking at the dish now, I can understand why Steve had indigestion later in the day. It looks a wee bit greasy to me. Too much truffle oil perhaps!My entree was salmon on a potato galette. Much easier to digest. Steve had two small balls of pistachio ice cream. I upgraded my dessert for an extra $4 and got the semifreddo Tangerine compote with pistachio pralines and warm meringue. It was delicious.

I don’t think we will go to the restaurant again as, the food was a little too rich for Steve. I thought it was great. As long as I gave Steve goo goo eyes 👀 and didn’t look at Steve’s choices I was fine!

Do you have good veins?

Do you think squid 🦑 are disgusting?

How much of an up charge would you pay for a dessert?

Inn at Union League, Philadelphia Friday April 20, 2018

After our visit to the fancy schmancy mall at King of Prussia Steve and I drove to Philadelphia and our hotel. We would be staying one night at the Inn at Union League. Steve and C were going to the Sherlock Dinner and J and I would go to dinner at the hotel. As always there is lot of traffic in the Center Square area of Philadelphia. We managed to find the parking garage the hotel uses without any problems. The parking garage reminds me of the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I kept waiting for a hot sports car to go vrooming out of the garage on a joy ride somewhere.

We checked into our room and I noticed that it was quite small. It seemed we had a queen size bed. I forgot to ask at the front desk if we were assigned a King bed. I’m going to have to remember next time. A queen size bed is too small for Steve and myself. Not that we are 300 pounders by a long shot, it’s just that I like a lot of space around me when I sleep. Steve being 6 foot 3, and 230 pounds requires a lot of space. And I’m not sure the bed was really queen size.The bathroom had a shower, but no tub. Toiletries were from a company I had never heard of. Points for the black face cloths. Makeup can really stain white face cloths.

Steve and I met J and C in the lobby of our hotel and we walked the guys to their Sherlock Meeting at The Raquet Club of Philadelphia. Just last fall The Sons of the Copper Beeches admitted women for the first time. J and I have elected to continue our tradition of walking the guys to their meeting and then having dinner together at the hotel. It’s not that we think that they might get lost (they might), it’s become a tradition to escort them there. It’s their job to make it back to the hotel. Which they do. But not before making a wrong turn.Last time we were there I ordered a really delicious drink. They didn’t have it on the menu, but told me they could make it for me. First try was the new drink on the menu, which I didn’t care for, but the second time was the charm. It’s a good thing that I have 20,000 plus photos on my phone. I was quickly able to locate a picture of the drink I had gotten last year so they could make me what I wanted. This had muddled black berries and rye. It was delicious. Now J did not have a drink. She claimed that the martinis from the night before were so big and so strong she was still hung over from it. What a lightweight!We started with an amuse bouche. This looks like a glop of salmon on a cracker. It went down pretty easy. Here was the bread basket. I tried every type. Both of us especially liked the cracker on the right. I think it is pretty easy to make. You take flour, butter and grated cheese, mix it all up and then drop spoonfuls on a baking sheet, spread them out thickly and cook. Of course I have never made them before, and the recipie just might be B.S. J had a salad for her starter. I had the soup. It was called Artichoke and roasted garlic. I do so love the presentation like this. You see the veggies all pretty with the little bits of pork. Then they pour on the liquid and you have you soup! Did you notice the little pearl onions? Well that’s what my myxoma was like, only bigger. The pathology report described it as a glistening white mass. Yummy! Not! J ordered the correct entree. She asked the waiter his favorite, he said “The Roasted Wild Alaskan Halibut”. I ordered the Poached Spanish Dover sole, pictured above. I don’t think it really was Dover Sole, as it looked a lot thinner in other restaurants where I have had Dover Sole. Next time I am just going to order what ever entree J has! Sorry, no picture of J’s dinner. I can’t always be paying attention.

For some stupid reason we didn’t order dessert. We must have been really full. I am really hungry, we don’t have any ice cream cones in the cabinet and I really want one now. If I would have had the dessert back then, I could be resavouring that sucker and be unhungry. What does that poster say? “Eat dessert first!”

We were seated right next to the window where they made the entrees. It was almost like sitting at a chef’s table. J and I discussed all and sundry. We were there for about three hours. Which is very unusual for Steve and myself, we seem to be in and out of a restaurant within an hour. But there was lots to discuss, lots to observe and the maitre’d hotel kept coming over to us regaling us with stories about the restaurants in the hotel.

Soon it was time for J and I to go to the library where we wait for C and Steve to come back from the meeting. On our way out of the restaurant I observed a woman in a low cut gown, with much cleavage spillage. Not quite poetry in motion, but enough to get my eyeballs in action.

C and Steve finally made it back and C brought out his own personal flask. Well actually someone had gotten him a tri flask for his birthday. It didn’t look like this, it was three vertical flasks in a leather case. So C had three different boozes to try. Now i say boozes, as I think some were scotch and some were bourbon. C had his nested silver cups also to use. No swilling out of the bottles for these high class gents in a high class hotel! At one point the bartender came over to ask if we needed anything. He spied the flask, and I got nervous. Would he kick us out of the hotel? Confiscate C’s birthday present?

None of the above. He noticed the tri flask and said he had never seen such a thing before. C told him what was in each one. I asked the bartender if he tried all of them. No, one he had not. So I suggested C pour our a taste, for the bartender to sample. The bartender didn’t even look around, down the hatch the booze went and all were happy. Shortly after we all headed to the elevators and were off to bed. In our case, our very small bed. In which the room was hot, and we didn’t sleep well at all!

Do you sleep well?

Do you belong to any clubs restricted to a single gender?

Do you belong to a sex club?

Do you eat dessert first?