Another day and another breakfast. I love this arrangement of melons and pineapple.I decided that I would find out when low tide was and I would take a walk on the beach. The water was warm, and if I were a good swimmer I would have gone swimming. But alas, I was by myself, and I am not a strong swimmer, so instead I walked along the beach, looking for nonexistent shells. You can see how private the beach is. Only one house shares our stretch of shoreline. Then it was back up the hill, huffing and puffing as I went along. I am lazy and would rather not walk back up the hill, so I rarely go down to the beach when we stay here. I prefer to just look at it once in awhile and then continue my reading a book from the stack of romance novels that I brought with me on vacation. As everyone else was off fishing, the table was set up for just me. Ipad, book and view in hand I enjoyed my lunch. Lunch was grilled chicken, greens, vegetables and Chinese cellophane noodles. A proper size cup of cappuccino and a leftover mini banana muffin for dessert. First of the two canapés was conch fritters with a dipping sauce. This was followed by hummus on a cracker. We were served crab and pumpkin bisque as our starter. Steve and I both had the mahi mahi with vegetables. It was Jason, the chef’s night off and the breakfast cook made dinner. Dessert was Tiramisu. It was very sweet and I couldn’t finish all of it. Steve decided to hunt for permit today at Sandy Point. He saw four, but the fish did not take his fly. Permit are notoriously hard to catch. They are hard fighters and can weigh over 25 pounds! Steve caught two bonefish for the day. This is a picture of one of last years fish, that I had posted on instagram. Steve looks like a bank robber here, he is just trying to prevent sun damage.
Do you read crime novels or romance?
Do you make fruit and vegetable table decorations?
During the winter Steve found an advertisement for property in the Adirondacks. 523 acres of land in Franklin County. The Salmon River runs through part of it.
I have left all the contact information in case you might be interested. I guess by telling you that you can also be a proud owner of “The Land” you have figured out that we didn’t buy the property. Well, maybe so, but read on, as it truly was an excellent adventure!
Well, that was enough to get Steve interested. His own private stretch of the Salmon River. Since we don’t have access to a snowmobile we couldn’t go to see it until Spring.
We couldn’t go in May because I was having my Excellent Adventure at Memorial Sloan Kettering with the removal of my Myxoma in my thigh. You do remember that Adventure don’t you?
By June, I was fit enough to go for an Exellent Adventure to explore “The Land”, as Steve and I affectionately named the property. So off we went to meet the real estate agent in Saranac Lake, about 90 minutes away from our house in Lake George.
Now you are probably asking what in the world were Steve and Linda thinking about acquiring 523 acres of forested land far, far away from civilization. There is no house on the property, no electricity, no running water (except for the Salmon River), and probably no cell service….
Wonder on, I think Steve was a bit delusional, but I love the man fiercely and thought, “Well, it might make an interesting blog post!”We met Tim in his office and he showed us the map. “The Land” is located right where Tim’s finger is. We needed to drive about another hour to get to the property. Part of the journey would be on unpaved private roads. The property was in the middle of nowhere, a beer run would probably take an hour or so. Walmart? Tack on another sixty minutes at least.
You can see in this picture how far away Lake George is. Our property in Diamond Point is located five miles north of the village of Lake George.
Off we went, following Tim in his big truck. If Steve and I purchased “The Land”, we were going to have to buy a pickup truck. Steve has secretly wanted a pickup truck for a long time, but we have no use for them. We don’t haul anything that can’t fit in the SUV or the van.
Long ago before we had children we stayed at a fishing lodge in Grand Lake Stream, Maine. We saw a 90 year old codger who drove a brand new fire red pickup truck. Steve laughed that he must have just gotten a good health report from his doctor!
We eventually got to the start of the private road and we got in Tim’s truck.
Here is the gate to let us onto the private road. During winter this road is only passable by snowmobile. Remember that factoid, it will be crucial to the tale of this adventure! We slowly drove on the dirt road and started to explore the property. Here we are on a short walk to a pond. Steve is wearing one of his at least twenty plaid shirts. Ten are located in Poughkeepsie, and ten in Lake George.
Tim is wearing a long sleeve version. We aren’t as used to the bugs, so Steve and I both wore long sleeves and doused ourselves with bug repellant.
Here is Steve checking out the pond at the end of our short walk. It was really a pretty view, but the pond was too shallow, all the fish would probably die off during the winter. Steve brought his fly rod in case he saw a fish rise. He never even made a cast.
Here is a little video of the pond. A bit dejected we went back to the truck. We did see some pretty flowers, but that was about it. The trees on the property were not that good looking. The property had a deal with a hunting club. They had access to the property for hunting, and supposedly that paid for the taxes.
By now we had decided that being Lumber Barons was not in the cards for us. We had enough and told Tim, that we had seen enough. We started to head back to where Steve and I had our car parked. Unfortunately we then heard a hiss and a thump thump. Oh, no! A flat tire! It seems that studs from a snowmobile had fallen off during the winter and one was laying face up in the road. Here is Tim at work jacking up the truck.Tim spent quite a bit of time trying to get the wheel off. We looked in manuals, and tried to find out if there was a secret to getting the tire off. The tire just didn’t want to come off the axel. Finally Tim got a shovel from the bed of the truck and whacked the truck a good one. Finally the tire came off! Yay! We were lucky as there was no cell phone reception where we were. Tim did not have a satellite phone. His wife wasn’t expecting him home for dinner as he was coaching a local lacrosse team. So no one would think about looking for missing Tim until about ten o’clock at night! Here is our hero Tim! We were all so happy that the tire got on the truck. We drove back on that dirt road slowly, with eyes looking for any kind of glint in the dirt that might be another snowmobile stud!
We said goodbye to Tim after we finally reached our car. We had never been so happy to be on paved roads! We stopped for ice cream on our way back to Lake George. A soft ice cream twist on a hot day. As our friend Greg says “mmmm, mmmm!”
Yes indeed! Although I think I’m going to have to do something about those age spots before my next hand close up!
Are you a lumber baron?
Does your husband ever have any crazy ideas about buying property?
Do you tolerate his madness with a sweet smile?
Which do you prefer? Soft vanilla, chocolate or twist ice cream cones?
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!
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!
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?
I woke up Thursday morning and Steve left to fish. I usually wait until he is out the door before I get ready to start my day. I don’t want to get in his way while he is double checking his pockets to make sure he has everything that he needs, and applying his sunscreen and bug spray. I trotted up stairs a little after 8 to enjoy my two eggs over medium, bacon and fresh fruit. I love dragon fruit, and was excited to see it on the side board.
One of the guests at the lodge is practicing for a swim in Naples Florida. She is going to swim for about four hours. Her husband (one of the three Steves here!) is going to be handing her power bars, and water during the race from a kayak. Wile Hubby was off fishing Anne asked Max to help her practice. For an hour she swam practicing her food and water bottle grabs. Anne is not allowed to touch the kayak at any point in her swim. You can only see Max in this picture, as Anne is on the other side of the kayak. I am not a swimmer, and just can’t imagine how anyone could think that this would be a fun thing to do! Jane decided to go for a swim also, but she has denied any interest in joining this long distance swim club. Wise choice Jane!
While Anne and Jane were out swimming, I took a walk on the driveway that leads to the main road. It’s a big circle, with one side of the circle less traveled than the other. The less traveled side was supposed to be used for guest traffic, but it was bumpier. Margaret, the taxi driver that the lodge uses, refuses to risk her undercarriage on the guest route. I was going to walk for 15 minutes and then turn around, but somehow convinced myself to just go a little bit further to where the two halves of the circle meet near the turn off to the main highway. Unfortunately that spot met at 19:45 seconds on my stop watch. So the whole walk was a miserable 40 minutes in the sun. I thankfully had a hat on, but foolishly brought no water. I finally made it to the lodge, collapsed on the bed and said “Well Done, Linda!”
I came upstairs to get ice water and checked my email. Lo and behold I had gotten an email from Peter that Steve had caught a beautiful bonefish!It was a nine pounder! Steve’s biggest fish so far at Delphi was at least 6.5 pounds, possibly 7. So this was quite the catch! The fish ran into Steve’s backing four times. This means that the fish ran and used all of his line four times! Steve would bring the fish in, and then the fish would take off again.That’s a big and strong fish! Steve was blind casting, meaning that he threw the fly out willy nilly, hoping that it was in a spot where a fish might be cruising by. He told me later that had he fished directly to this fish, he probably would have never either hooked the fish or landed it as he would have been too nervous!Soon it was 12:30 and time for lunch. I had the roasted vegetable salad with corn and jerk chicken. I also had a side order of French fries. We had a fun debate on whether or not sweet potato French fries were healthier than regular French fries! No cookies or wine for me today, but I am counting the hours until Friday night!
There were lots of sand flies nipping on my ankles at lunch. I was not smart and had not put on bug spray. Jane brought out her Avon Skin so Soft and I applied some, but it was too late. I was beginning to get the itchies. So after lunch I added insult to injury and did something especially stupid. As it was raining by the pool I brought one of the chaise lounge cushions to the lounger by our patio. I was out of the rain, and stupidly thought that I was safe from the sand flies as I was wearing a flyfishing shirt that is impregnated with insecticide. I wrapped a towel around my ankles thinking that I would outsmart the bugs. Alas, I think I was actually screaming “Attend the free banquet everyone!Finally Steve came back from his great day fishing and I went inside so he could tell me all about his day. I put some cortisone cream on thinking all was well.
Earlier in the morning I had worked on Wednesday’s post, but going between different wifi zones I accidentally lost my post and had to redo it. So between my crankiness over the bug bites and my lost post, I was in a bit of a bad mood. Steve had the much better day, In fact while he was fishing he thought”Oh, how wonderful life is” and then felt some kind of strange current go through his body. I routinely thank God for all my blessings, especially when things are going well. I don’t want a tragedy to strike and then think that I had never really appreciated all the wonderful things that I have going for me. I will have to ask Steve when he returns later if he had the weird feeling before or after he caught the fish! After Steve showered we went upstairs to the TV room and Steve watched coverage of the Masters while I redid my post. I got a few chuckles from my friends, so I hope it was as amusing as I thought it was! Our first canapé was fried rice balls with dip. Next was some kind of gloppy cream on a toast round. I skipped both, so I can’t give you a tasting report! Here is a picture of the dinner table. Can you see who is Head of the Table? Yes! It’s our Steve, with the biggest fish of the day! Well done, Steve! I should have made him give a retelling of the story to amaze the table, but thought better of it. Maybe I should have had him give me a toast, for finding Delphi? Well, I did that once. And as they say “Once is enough!” Or is it “Once is never enough!”? I can never get my quotations correct, so we’ll have to leave it as it was. Steve spoke with Jane on his left at dinner, and me on his right. He did talk to Peter and Margaret who were next to Jane and I. The first course was a peach salad. I love fresh peaches, and this salad at Delphi is always one of my favorites! Next was our main, Hogfish. It is a very tasty fish, with a lousy name. For dessert I think that we had a tiramisu. I didn’t realize until I hit the bottom of the dish, that there was cake on the bottom. I thought about not eating anymore, or even just eating the top, but ate the whole thing! Oh well, I did a pretty good job keeping Passover.
My questions of the day:
Do you fish?
How do you like your eggs?
Is it “Once is enough”, or “Once is never enough”?
I messed up big time today. First I realized that yesterday’s post was really Wednesday, not Tuesday, but that was easy to correct. The real bummer is that I labored over an hour for a post that disappeared when I moved from one wifi zone to another waiting for Steve to come back. Well, I will just have to make this post as good or better than the one I was working on this morning. But I must admit that it was really good!
I left you yesterday with a visit to our room. We are in room number four again. Steve and I thankfully have no bad memories in this room!
After we unpacked we went upstairs for lunch on the veranda. Originally I was seated to Steve’s right, but “lemme lemme upgrade Linda”, saw some guests vacating and plopped herself down almost across from Steve. I got to look at the ocean, and Steve got the esteemed pleasure of looking at me. Ha Ha, not really, Steve just hates to move once he is seated. For my birthday I have candle lit dinner parties. I have place cards for everyone and after every course people have to jump up grab their napkins and wine glass and sit someplace else. Steve, as host doesn’t have to move. There is always minor grumbling by the guests about moving. However, as sometime you might be seated next to someone boring, I think that secretly everyone likes the change of dinner companions.
Here is a close up of lunch. We both had chicken Caesar salads.
After lunch we went back to the room. Steve wanted to go fishing, and I wanted to sit by the pool and read. So off he went, and off I went. Unlike Steve, I didn’t put any sunscreen on as I was going to sit under an umbrella in the shade. I bet you think I am going to tell you that I got a horrible sunburn, but no, I didn’t. I finished up the first of the eight books that I have brought along. I have decided to restart the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward, Dark Lover. It was as good as the last time I read it. She had written three new books in the series that I haven’t gotten around to reading. I figured this was a great time to start up all over again.
This was the view of the pool. We don’t have a direct view of the ocean from the pool patio as the wind is too strong, but you do get to hear the roar of the surf. It’s even better than a mood machine!
After awhile I went back to the room, here is a picture of one of the lovely flowers by the pool. A little bit of spring, for those back home in the northeast! Steve did catch a fish while I was reading, his first ever Triggerfish. I posted a picture yesterday of one.
Our canapes at dinner started with a fried wahoo, and dipping sauces. I skipped the fish, as I am still observing Passover. I have had them in the past and they are really good!
Next were beet slices, topped with goat cheese on a rice cracker. There was much discussion about guests not liking beets!
While the other guests were enjoying their canapés and drinks I noticed other guests admiring the double rainbow. The one on the left was merely a sliver of light, while the really beautiful one was on the right!
Here is everyone gathered for dinner. We have been at Delphi when we were the only guests, and at times when there are many. Steve thinks of Delphi as his own home, and doesn’t like it so much when there are a lot of people here. I think he is getting a trifle possessive! Tonight there were sixteen guests, Max, the manager, and Peter-the creator of all this wonderful madness. Jane, Peter’s wife was here also, as I told you yesterday.
First course was tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, basil, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was nice and light.
For dinner Steve and I each had the Osso Bucco. I just skipped the polenta on the bottom on the plate. Steve and I both agreed that although tasty, mine is better. I don’t have an original recipe, I follow the one from Marcella Hazan’s wonderful cookbook!
Dessert was pot de creme de chocolate, and of course, you can’t beat a chocolate dessert. I will have problems if there are cakes or brownies between now and Friday night! I have been abstaining from wine, also. Let’s hope I don’t get really ripped Friday night with a Delphi Punch and wine at dinner!
Now is the time for my pet peeve. I have actually had some of you dear readers ask me “Who is David Gandy?” I fear that I may have to put some kind of vetting process for those of you who are not meeting my minimum standards of knowledge.
David Gandy is the top male model in the world. He’s British. He was one of the first of the male models who has a real body, he was not one of those wimpy skinny guys. He has a campaign for Dolce and Gabbana, he is usually posing shirtless and there is often a babe at his side. He has a very intense look in his eyes. Yeah, that look that the heroes in all my romance novels have! He also poses by himself, his shirt ripped open, his six pack showing along with further down….enough, you can google him yourself! In googling him myself for this blog post I found an article called “you can look like David Gandy also”. The article showed how some people actually go through plastic surgery to get his smoldering good looks. No Steve doesn’t have to worry, there is no comparison. David Gandy is not 61. Steve is.
Now for my questions of the day:
Do you like to travel south during the winter?
Have you ever thought of gettin butt injections to look like Kim K?
Do you close your eyes when you kiss your husband and imagine David Gandy?
I am sure that Steve is giving me the stink eye now!
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!
We had reservations at Las Balsas at 8:00 for dinner.lasbalsas.com
Since our hotel’s restaurant was closed we were going to have to go elsewhere for dinner. This was one of the restaurants that our travel agent had recommended. Eight pm is a little early for dinner in Argentina, but we figured we would be one of the first diners.
Steve inquired at the front desk how far the restaurant was from our hotel. “Not far, maybe a kilometer or two.” Steve thought once, then twice and decided to call for a taxi.
I thought I had a picture of Steve at the front door of the hotel, and here it is!
Our driver arrived a little after our requested time of 7:45, and we were off. We drove into town and then through town. We turned off onto a dirt road. We began to get a bit nervous. Were we being kidnapped? We thought of our friend who knows martial arts, was an Eagle Scout and would probably have a knife strapped to his ankle! He would have been able to handle this situation!
Steve in not quite a panic, scrolled through his iPhone looking for the name of the restaurant, that he had thoughtfully added before we left the hotel. Steve finally found it, and showed it to the driver. “Si, Si, Las Balsas”, the taxi driver nodded.
I was only a little bit relieved at this point. The driver could still have been lying to us, but although he was big, he was a fat big. As long as the driver didn’t have a gun, a knife and a bunch of backup thugs, Steve might be able to protect me. We really didn’t have that much cash on us, to steal, as we had left our tip envelope with all our guide money back home. We also could have dropped the envelope someplace in the airport or Buenos Aires, while we were shuffling papers in our trip folder. We will have a big laugh if we find the envelope at home. We had been able to put the tips on our bill at Tipiliuke. Everyone prefers dollars instead of pesos because of inflation,
Finally we saw a sign for Las Balsas! We drove a little further, and there it was!
This is a picture from the hotel web site. You can tell by now, which photos are mine, and which are the photos from the professionals! The lighting and angles are so much better!
We exited the taxi, laughed with our driver, gave him a big tip, and entered the hotel where the restaurant was. Here is a relieved Steve outside the restaurant! We were deliriously happy. Here is Steve inside the restaurant. You can tell who is taking all the pictures. It’s not that I don’t like to have my picture taken, it’s just that I like to take many pictures. Do you know that I have 19.890 pictures on my iPhone? I need to do some serious editing!The restaurant had a lovely view of Nahuel Huapi Lake. The waitress delivered some delicious breads. We were served oil and also beet butter. Dinner was going to be a three course prix fixe menu. Steve wasn’t that thrilled with the menu. For once, I didn’t check out the menu on the internet.
I ordered still water with ice. I don’t think I have ever seen ice so cold looking in my life!We were given an amuse bouche. It was very tasty. I think it was a broccoli puff with cream.Steve ordered the grilled prawns, mushroom, pumpkin and lemon creamy purée, chives and almond pesto. Lisa A, make sure your son the chef looks at today’s blog post!I had the Cold Tomato soup, marinated goat cheese, basil, black olives, confit tomatoes, cured ham and toasted bread. The tomato was ladled into the bowl. I love it when the waitress does that, it is always such a pretty picture!I had the Patagonian trout, avocado and orange salad, cherry tomatoes, peach emulsion, almond, chives and caper vinaigrette. It was a little too rare for me. Steve’s entree was the skirt steak, sweet potato textures, criollo sauce with roasted peanut and sautéed mushroom. Steve’s dinner was the better of the two. This little dish was on the table, I didn’t realize that it was a salt dish!We had a mango sorbet palate cleanser. I loved it, but Steve hates fruit. My dessert was the passion fruit curd, dacqoise and coconut sorbet. Steve of course, tried none of this!Steve had the dark chocolate and carob cake, stone fruits, and Lunta Malbec wine ice cream. I helped Steve with his dessert also! Here is Steve waiting for the check to arrive. The restaurant was really empty! It doesn’t get happening in Argentina until much later!We wandered around a little bit waiting for our taxi back to the hotel to arrive. You might be wondering how I could remember so well what we ate. Well, I took a picture of the menu!
Back to the hotel, and we were off to bed.I thought this was pretty neat, so I thought I would show it to you. This was the view of the ceiling from my side of the bed.
I left you yesterday halfway through the Asado. We had two more courses of meat. Now that’s my kind of meal, meat, meat, and more meat! I love the little touches here. Even the forks and knives used at lunch have the Tipiliuke mark on them! Dessert was yummy as usual. It will be interesting to see how much weight I gain this vacation. I am a little less active than at home. Of course I could always go fishing with Steve all day, and wade those rivers. That burns a lot of calories. But if I did that, there would be no blog! A beautiful bowl of fruit is passed at dessert for those people who aren’t into the high caloric treats. Or, you could be like me and eat both! In the afternoon there is always a set up of coffee and tea with cookies in the living room. Steve had free time in the afternoon between fishing sessions. I convinced him to come look at River House. Doesn’t he look happy? He hasn’t even seen the stream yet!Steve is checking out the river. The house comes with a mile of river frontage. The sale of River House to the Lants was not to be. It was a fun dream while it lasted! Does anyone have a bridge in Brooklyn they want to try to sell me? This is Kevin’s truck. I got to ride in it a lot. I think they go through tires and shocks pretty often. The roads are very bumpy! While Steve went to his late afternoon and fish until dark session, I asked to go to St. Marin de los Andes. Guess where I went? You got it, a supermarket! There were no doubts that I would get my visit, was there? This supermarket had everything! School starts next week, so all the uniforms were out. In Argentina, the children wear white smocks. Pens, markers, and other school paraphernalia were in the bins. This is the vegetable aisle. Chicken looks like chicken everywhere! The butcher was hard at work. I looked for some of the fancy Pisco Sour bottles that we saw in Chile, but only the Easter Island Brand was available. There were lots of Coke products. Mary Jo told me that this was a mix of ketchup and mayonnaise. I told her that I had never heard of Salsa Golf before!Potato Chips are everywhere!In America this soup is called “Cup A Soup”. There were many brands of Dulce De Leche. Mary Jo said that the cereal aisle was really limited compared to the United States. She was correct! The toilet paper here had some pretty high class names!Mary Jo told me that most of the empanadas are made with store brought crusts. That way all you had to do was fill and bake or fry. While I was at the grocery store Steve caught this beautiful rainbow. He ended up with 26 fish for the day. During the last hour of daylight they hit a Yellow May Fly hatch, and he did very well. This photo was taken at 8:12 pm! Steve finally made it back and we could eat dinner. My time stamp shows that this picture was taken at 9:56! I told you that we ate dinners late here. Back home I would be in bed with a book! Dinner was salmon, green beans and tomatoes. We had a chocolate cake for dessert.
Now might be a good time to talk about the guests at Tipiliuke. While we were here we met people from Mexico, Germany, England, and the United States. In talking to Kevin and Mary Jo, we learned that a former president has stayed here. Within the last year, one of the richest men in America stayed here also. When VIPs stay, they buy out the whole Estancia for their entourage. The President didn’t sleep in my room, so I can’t say that I slept in a Presidential bed or used the same toilet that he did!