Belize Friday February 15, 2019

Good morning! Steve got up early to go fishing. The package we were on included fishing for me also, but I don’t like to get up early If it would be guaranteed that I would catch many fish, and have a non bumpy boat ride, there is a small chance that I might join Steve.

I pushed the button to call the tram to pick me up for the ride down to the dining area.

It arrived quickly.

This is the wheel that the cable for the tram winds around.

Let’s get in and check out breakfast.

Hot coffee, always a delight in the morning. Plus my very own glass of sugar. I ordered the French toast with fruit. They didn’t have any orange juice or butter today. The lady next to me at breakfast asked for butter for her toast, I was surprised when they said they were out. After breakfast I went to explore a little bit. This is the pool for the guests not staying in the canopy suites. The pool looked very nice. It was well shaded, for those who don’t like the sun. Our pool was lovely, but the chaise lounges are all in the sun, and looked too big to move. I went back through the downstairs lounge and bar. I will have to take a picture another day of the bar. I feel I am going to need to pad the rest of my days as there is not much going on here. I pushed the button again to head up to our suite.

I ended up spending most of the morning here blogging about Wednesday and our travel on Thursday. It was cool in the shade. Our two neighbors enjoyed the sun and the pool. They have been here since Sunday and will leave Monday.

While at the pool the Howler Monkeys were howling.

Then it was back down to the dining area for lunch. I had a delicious salad with grilled chicken and pineapple. The ladies next to me were having pina coladas. I told them I was tempted. They told me “We are sitting right next to you! You are not drinking alone!”

It took them a long time to get their drinks, I was happy I stuck with an iced tea.

Dessert was banana and vanilla ice cream.

I hung out at the room all afternoon, switching from our deck, to the pool deck, thoroughly enjoying myself and feeling more and more relaxed.

Steve came back from fishing just after 4. He had a very disappointing nil. That means no fish. However none of the other anglers who went out fishing with the guides from Copal Tree got fish either. Steve did see some permit, and threw out a few casts at them, but none of them took the fly. Let’s wish him better luck next time.

We decided to go down to dinner a little early and get a drink at the bar downstairs. We sat on the lower veranda, but no one came to offer us a drink so we went up to the restaurant. I was a bit overwhelmed, I saw some cookies on an end table and desperately wanted them, but knew I would spoil my dinner. I don’t like sitting at bars, so didn’t want to sit there. The waitresses were much more proactive and offered us a drink menu with all the specialty drinks offered her.

Steve had a Jaguar Pizz in honor of my car.

He drank it very quickly!

I had a Belizean Howler Monkey. I sipped mine.

Here is Steve enjoying the view.

Here is Steve enjoying the view of me. I warned you, that not much was happening and I would need to pad the post!

Our amuse bouche for tonight was a mini taco.

We each had the lightly batter dipped shrimp on cucumbers. It was exceptionally good. It was described as a shrimp and cucumber salad.

We each had the fish. I asked to have mine with rice.

Steve had his served on polenta.

For dessert Steve had ice cream. He didn’t particularly care for it as it was very grainy.

I had the Budino. I only ate half of it.

How do you take your coffee?

When you look at your spouse, do you look at them like you are scared to death of them?

Do you consider cookies a proper cocktail canapé?

Delphi Club, Abaco. January 16, 2019

J was a good sport and let me take a picture of his Eggs Benedict. Not that he would have been able to stop me of course!

Not much was happening and it was soon time for lunch. Today I had the mixed greens with orange and wahoo. Of course I had an ice cream bar for dessert. Soon it was time for dinner and we had fried artichokes for our first canapé. Second canapé was tuna poke.

E and J took the house car to Marsh Harbour where they took the ferry to Hope Town. V and I were most interested in their adventure as we had been staying at the lodge and not going offsite our whole stay. As I expected, it turns out that V and I made the right decision. The park and ride lot was all full, so they had to park a mile away form the ferry and walk to the pier. By this time they had missed the ferry, and had to wait for the next one. The ferry ride was very nice, however. When they got to Hope Town, they didn’t rent a golf cart and instead walked around. The distances were a little bit further than they thought they would be but they had a great time. They went to a cute restaurant and ordered conch chowder, conch salad and conch fritters. I would have been miserable with all that walking. However E and J are young, in top notch shape, and are in love. What other kind of day are you going to have? Plus, they were away from my questions for a number of hours! Steve got head of the table. I wanted him to pretend to toast me, but he refused. At dinner I was suitably grumpy, but then was distracted after I had heard about E and J’s day.

That is J from Lexington at the bottom left of the photo. He is originally from Belfast but now lives in Lexington Ky. Next to him is J from Belfast, he is one of the barristers. Next to him was V from England. You will remember J from breakfast He is married to V. Then there is Steve. Next to Steve is E. She is from DC. Her husband is also a J, must have been camera shy. Then we had two guests at the table. They were staying at an Airbnb south of Delphi. He was from England, and she was from the US. She has lived in England for the last five years, but still eats her food in the American style. Many of the guests here use their knife and fork in the Continental style. I try to switch it up and dine in the Continental style while we are here, it is very difficult to do so! Our starter was shrimp bruschetta. Steve and I each had the grouper with asparagus and crab pilaf. Dessert was a banana tart in with spice ice cream. Steve loved it, which shocked me as he does not like fruit at all. J wanted to get a group shot of the table. Additions to the picture from last time are J in the plaid shirt at the upper right , and V from England via Scotland on the lower right, and Max, front and center. Since Max has refused to propose to Nicole, I am limiting my effusiveness. Once he proposes I will tell you what an excellent job he is doing at Delphi. We had more chocolates after dinner. These were pure chocolate so Steve was thrilled.

Steve caught nine fish, his largest was 3 and a half pounds.

As we were going to leave the next morning, Steve and I stayed up to chat with J, J, and V. The others all retired early. Much was discussed, no problems were solved, but a good time was had by all. A lot of wine was drunk.

What is your favorite fruit?

Do you have a vacation wardrobe different than your regular duds?

Do you follow Continental or American style dining?

Delphi Club, Abaco. January 13, 2019

Doesn’t that look appetizing! I love fresh fruit at breakfast. Sometimes at home I buy fresh fruit that has been cut up but it always seems ready to go bad at any moment. If I buy a melon it is generally not ripe and then I end up throwing it out!Today I ordered ordered a blueberry pancake to go along with my eggs. It was interesting to see a bottle of Crown Maple syrup on the table. Crown Maple is bottled in Dutchess County where our friends C and J live, and also now M and G. Maybe if I plug our friendship they will give me more likes! I had a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich again with my lunch. We had ice cream bars again for dessert. Our first canapé was Mahi Mahi beignets. They were piping hot. Our second canapé was Brie and spiced apple on a croute. Which is a fancy name for a cracker. Our starter was Stone Claw Crabs. I had the wild boar with gnocchi as my entree. Steve had the Hogfish. Since he was sitting far from me, I don’t have a picture for you.

I sat next to V, a retired vascular surgeon from England. He was a little hard of hearing, so I had to speak loudly to get my questions heard. You might see a vascular surgeon if you have high blood pressure, varicose veins, or other circulatory problems. He has been retired for over twenty years now, so when I discussed my blood clot medicines with him he had not heard of it as it is a new medication.

Dessert was a gingerbread auflauf with sour orange anglaise and spiced ice cream. It was very good. An auflauf is a German word for soufflé. You can add that to your repertoire of words to impress people!

Steve caught fourteen bonefish and another barrcuda. That barracuda was not twenty five pounds like yesterday’s fish. None of them big enough for him to sit at head of the table.

We had two departures today, including S who is attending medical school in Edinburgh. He skipped some classes to go fishing with his Dad, J, who is a barrister. We also lost D, the other barrister. D was telling me at breakfast how his wife loves to camp on her holidays. D does not share his darling wife’s love of camping. He does not like camping in the fields in a three bedroom tent with living room among a bunch of Belgians. I asked whether she always liked to camp (thinking that her liking camping would have been a deal breaker from the get go)? No, she just started to enjoy camping in the past five years. They had been married for over 12 years. He especially did not enjoy camping last summer in the south of France in 35 degree Celsius weather. That’s the equivalent of 95 degrees Fahrenheit!

Our new guests were V and J. They are a retired couple from England. They arrived yesterday. They had already spent a week in Nassau and will be spending a week in Delphi and then fly to another fishing lodge in the Bahamas.

Also J, from Lexington Kentucky via Belfast, a friend of J, whose son and friend D, left. J’s wife is from Syracuse, where I grew up! Of course we did not know each other.

Now most of the J’s that are here are really John’s. One J is a Jack. However as I am trying to disguise my guests names I have been using initials. Wouldn’t it be funny if all the J’s were really M’s, and the guys names were Mike and Matt. Could I be doing a double switcharoo and be fooling you? You will never know, now will you!

Does your name begin with a J?

Did you know one time we had three Linda’s here?

Do you like to camp or stay in luxury hotels?


Delphi Club, Abaco. January 12, 2019

Here is a picture of some of the pastries. Steve really likes the cinnamon buns. I really like the blueberry muffins. I often eat at least two each morning!Here are my fried eggs. At home I usually have just cereal or biscotti. Every once in a while I swear off biscotti, as I think it’s pretty unhealthy to just drink coffee and eat four mini biscotti in the morning. Then I stop buying them. That lasts for about two months, and I decide to start buying them again. It’s a viscous cycle. My stomach fat says “No, No!” While my eye balls say “Yes, Yes!’

After a morning binge watching the Tidying Up series with Marie Kondo on Netflix I went upstairs to lunch. This trip we are staying on the lower level of the building. Last trip we were in the rooms above the great room. So it’s now upstairs to meals as opposed to downstairs to meals! As it was very windy today we didn’t eat ocean side. The breeze can be very strong some days on the veranda. When it’s windy we eat with a view of the parking lot and the bushes.

I decided to try the grilled cheese and tomato soup accompanied by a side salad for lunch. A joined me again and we found out how much we have in common. Both our husbands, fish which we don’t care to do. We would rather lay about and read. Although A is energetic enough to walk down to the beach. I prefer to just look down from the veranda and say “Hmm. Yes, a beach lies below. Nice to look at. Perhaps I will go visit it some day. But not today.” A and her husband J, are from Scotland. They came with another friend S. When they get going talking, I find it hard to understand what they are saying. But it is so much fun listening to their accents. I wonder if they find my American accent amusing. I hope so. It would be horrible if they found it grating to their ears!

We both agreed that we are comfortable just staying at the Club. To go off site you need to borrow the house car, and drive about 30 minutes to Marsh Harbour where you can take a ferry to one of the out islands. Then you rent a golf cart to drive around and see the outside of houses. Now if they offered tours of some fancy mansions, then I might step off the grounds. Until then I stay at the club.

Many of you know that I proposed to Steve after we dated for six months. A did one better she waited a number of years and then informed J that they should get married! A bit more pressure than my offer of marriage.

We are still waiting for Max and his girlfriend to get engaged Well, at least I am! I suggested he do it for Christmas, but he declined that suggestion. Then I suggested he do it is a New Year’s resolution. Nix on that. However one night at dinner, Max referred to Nicole as “the missus”. Now I follow the dictionary meaning that “the missus” refers to one’s wife. Max follows the second definition meaning woman. He is wrong, and as the guest I am therefore right!

In December 2017, I did go to Nancy’s in Sandy Point, for lunch. It wasn’t for me. This was inside the bar. The outside didn’t look much better! I asked if there were any cookies or ice cream for dessert at lunch. We hit the jackpot with ice cream bars. Not as good as a Dove Bar, but refreshing just the same. Steve went fishing with Dana, the lone female guide on Abaco. Here she is holding a 25 pound barracuda that Steve caught. Although it was the biggest fish of the day, Steve didn’t get head of the table as only the largest bonefish counts to get that honor. He caught 2 bonefish, both too small to take the honors. Steve has sat at the head of the table many times, so he wasn’t disappointed. Our first canapé of the evening was quail eggs with celery salt. I was nervous eating them last year for the first time, but they are very tasty. Next up were salt cod fritters with a dipping sauce. Our first course was a beet salad. They used to offer a beet salad with lots of greens and feta cheese at lunch. I will have to ask Jason, the chef, if it can be put back in rotations. I had the Osso Bucco for my entree. Not as good as mine, but at least I didn’t have to cook or clean. Dessert was a pavlova with raspberries, mango coulis and chantilly cream. The recommend wine was $150 per bottle, so we passed on a dessert wine. We usually drink about 3/4 of a bottle each night. I have half a glass and Steve drinks the rest. On previous trips I would get a bottle of rose to drink at lunch for the week. However since I am on so many drugs trying to cure my scratching, I am not drinking at lunch. Now that I think about it, if I were in a drunken haze, perhaps I would ignore the urge to scratch.

This dessert is also called “Eton Mess”. Although then it would be made with strawberries and not raspberries. No one at the Club this year had gone to Eton. In December one of the guests had gone to Eton, and then on to Oxford!We finally got our after dinner chocolates tonight. Jason the chef has been quite stingy in sending them out with the after dinner tea and coffee! Steve should have picked the truffle on the left, as it had no coconut on it, and Steve hates coconut!

No crazy dinner stories tonight, as S wouldn’t let me sit next to him! S was the guest who danced with the Queen. Yes, the Queen, for my new readers!

Have you ever eaten a quail egg?

Are you a layabout or an action person?

Have you ever been to Nancy’s?

I am not even going to bother asking you if you have met the Queen. Although I do know that one of my readers has met the Queen several times!

Saturday December 1, 2018 Back to Delphi Club, Abaco Bahamas

Well, my dear readers, we are back to current times. I still have our trip to Iceland this past November to report on and will do so when I finish up this current trip.

We were picked up at the ugly time of 5 a.m. for our car service to White Plains where we would depart to go to Fort Lauderdale and then Marsh Harbour. We had a bit of a delay with the plane, finally after de-icing the plane and paperwork we were off. I had forgotten my ear buds and actually broke down and bought a pair so I could watch the news about the late President George H.W. Bush. Instead I watched Crazy Rich Asians, and adored the movie. I will have to watch it at home on a bigger screen as there was much to see.

We landed in a timely manner at Fort Lauderdale and finally found our departing terminal for our connecting flight. Jet Blue and Silver airways do not fly out of the same terminal. It is always a gamble, do we go left or right upon landing on our search for the Silver Departure Gates? Well, I guessed correctly and we found the correct terminal. As we had a rather long layover, 3.5 hours I suggested we go to the Silver airways counter and get our boarding passes reprinted as ours didn’t say TSA Pre-Check. I hate taking off my shoes and taking out phones and iPads from our bags, don’t you? New boarding passes in hand we were able to go through security quickly and look for a place for lunch.

Last time we stopped at Shula Burger, and weren’t that excited about our lunch, so we tried Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. Steve had an uninspiring burger and I had the Caesar salad. We only heard Margaritaville played once, I was wondering if it was played every hour. It seems I forgot to take a picture of our lunches. Oh, well!

Then we found our gate, and waited and waited. Steve took off at one point, and I began to worry when he didn’t come back. No, he didn’t get lost or collapse, he was talking to one of his brothers on the phone as it was his brother’s birthday. I asked Steve to let me know in the future if he was going to look for a quiet place for a phone call. However as I am always wandering off in the stores, and he can’t find me, I guess that payback is a bitch.

There weren’t any interesting David Gandy posters on the wall this time. Finally it was time to board and we were off to Marsh Harbour Airport on Abaco. We were picked up by Margery, who has a lock on the taxi service to and from the airport to Delphi. We got up to date on the situation of the hospital, which was finally finished, and whether or not Baker’s Bay ,the upscale housing development ,was legit or not. It is, although I still think that Tom Brady and Micheal Jordan have free homes there, or bought with a substantial discount, to give the development credibility.

Finally we arrived at the Delphi Club, where we will stay for the week. It always feels like home. The beach is still deserted as there are only two homes in this area. There is still a bit of seaweed, although not as much as in prior years. Every high tide, more seaweed gets deposited. It is a never ending job to keep the beach clean.

Peter, the Most Interesting Man in the world, is no longer here. He is back in merry olde England where his dear long suffering wife Jane has him hard at work on her honey do list. Max is still here, and his girlfriend is here to keep and eye on him. I have only suggested that Max propose on Christmas about six times already. When we come back in January I will be inspecting Nicole’s hands. Especially the ring finger.

No fishing this afternoon for Steve. I requested to stay in one of the upstairs rooms, although I think we will stay downstairs in the future. The drawbacks of staying upstairs are that you can hear some of the living room noise, when people are still chatting and you want to sleep. Also, there is a step down to the bathroom, and I am petrified that I will miss the step and break my neck. You do remember that I have a tendency to fall down stairs don’t you?

The advantage is that there is a delightful little deck off the bedroom, that is quite sunny and you have a lovely view of the beach. The downstairs bedrooms are a little more shady, and therefore have more sand flies. Boo Hiss on the sandflies!

First canapé of the evening was Pork Tonnato, although I swear it was tuna fish. Next up was calamari rings.

Our appetizer was Stone Crab Claws. Steve had the Hogfish. A terrible name for a very tasty fish. I had the Rack of Lamb. Max requested mint jelly, and the bottled good stuff was brought to the table. Not the mint flavored apple jelly you get in the States. Saturday night Chef Jason likes to serve cheese and fruit for dessert. Not my favorite. I prefer something sweeter. I prefer ice cream, and after whispering in Jason’s ear, he was sweet enough to bring it to me. I think the flavors were vanilla and allspice.It definitely wasn’t chocolate and was a bit zingy. No chocolates with our tea, but biscuits or as we would say in the States, cookies, fresh out of the oven. Mmm, mmm, mmm, as my favorite friend from South Africa would say.

Do you like cheese or cookies?

Do you remember who David Gandy is?

Do you understand the Margaritaville song?

“The Land” June 2018

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?

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday March 1, 2018 Off to dinner, Las Balsas, Villa La Angostura

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.

We go for a boat ride tomorrow!

Wednesday February 28, 2018 Afternoon and Evening, Tipiliuke

After my road trip to Junin de los Andes with Kevin, we returned to the lodge and had another lovely lunch under the pergola. We started with a lovely salad of fresh greens, cheese, some Parma ham and then a light drizzle of Balsamic vinegar.

Next course was a bit of beef, with carrots and potatoes.

Dessert was a delightful mint mousse with a topping of dark chocolate. Very refreshing. I should have switched my dessert with the guest next to me, as her dessert didn’t have a bumpy top!

We had some new guests join us, a couple from Washington State, and a beautiful blonde with great posture who was a travel advisor. The previous day we had a lovely couple arrive from Atlanta. It is always easier to remember new names of guests when they arrive only two at a time! I have learned to use my Notes function on my iPhone. I write the names of the guests down right away and where they are fun. Otherwise the names go flying right back out of my mind.

We relaxed the rest of the day until evening.

Steve had found that the fishing was best the last hour of the day. He is always trying to get me to go fishing with him. When everyone asks me if I fish, I say that “I never want to come between Steve and a fish!”. I don’t want that big fish to take my fly instead of Steve’s.

We found some waders and shoes in the correct size for me and I geared up!

Adrian could help with my casting, and then we would hit the may fly hatch just before dark. Sunset is quite late here, that’s why dinner isn’t until 9:30. Often guests miss out on the best fishing as their guides are in a hurry to come back in. Steve is always “One more cast!”

Here I am in the Chimehuin. Adrian is next to me, explaining the technique and where I should cast. He left me after awhile and went to where Steve was as Steve was catching fish. Adrian wanted to make sure that Steve had the European nymphing technique down pat also! I did catch a little one, and also had a fish jump near me. I lost another fish just after I set the hook. Don’t I look happy? I think I really look like I know what I am doing!Here are Steve and Adrian. The sun has still not set, there is lots of time left to fish.

Fishing slowed down, and my back was starting to hurt. My casting technique was for shit, I would jerk, and hurl my body causing an terrible twist to my body. I am sure it looked atrocious and Steve was probably biting his lip in laughter. I wisely decided to stop fishing until the may flies started to hatch. Adrian had brought a camp chair along, and I plopped down in it and watched Steve catch fish. I must admit that I read a little bit of one of my romance novels on my Kindle app on my phone, I am a multi task type of gal! This picture was taken at 8:29, you can see how light out it is still! Steve has always wanted to fish under a full moon, I think that would be quite exciting!

The sun soon set, and after no action at one spot, we drove to where Adrain hoped the action would be. Steve had been pretty successful the night before, during the last hour before darkness and we hoped for a good yellow may fly hatch.

The water at this next section was pretty deep and hard to wade. I would hold on to Adrian’s arm when we moved and then released my hold, settled my stance and would begin to cast. The fish were on! I caught this beautiful medium size rainbow. He sure was squiggly! I caught a much larger fish also, Adrain thought he was 16 inches, a nice size fish. Of all the fish that day, my 16 incher was the largest. Steve of course had the most fish for the evening.

Steve did catch some bigger fish during the week. We will have to wait for the total numbers for Steve’s fishing at Tipiliuke, in my wrap up posting for the trip. I think he caught over 75 in total! None that were trophy size, but he had a lot of action. The goal was for him to catch a fish in February and one in March, so we were halfway to the goal! All the meals at Tipiliuke were posted on the blackboard. Here is the menu for our final night. The spinach with egg was piping hot, and delicious! Next up was the homemade spaghetti. Final course was the fruit crisp with vanilla ice cream.

Steve and I wished everyone a good night and it was off to bed. Unfortunately I forgot that it was our last night and I did not get a chance to say good bye to Mary Jo.

Kevin and Mary Jo split their coverage at the Estancia. Kevin is there all day long, eating lunch with the guests and guides. Mary Jo has the late afternoon and evening shift, eating dinner with the guests. They are never sick, and never tire of meeting the guests and being with them. They have run lodges for over 25 years, and been at Tipiluke for over 20! During the off season Kevin is a ski instructor at Chapelco in St. Martin de los Andes.

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