Fishing in Argentina February/March 2018

This is Steve’s narrative of our trip to Argentina. You can tell he writes to a different audience than I do. I will add pictures to the post.

Our next trip was to Argentina where I fished the Chimehuin out of Tipiliuke Lodge near San Martin de los Andes on Feb 26, 27, 28 and then after a stay in Villa Angostura, the Traful and Limay out of Estancia Arroyo Verde near Bariloche, March 3-7.

Tipiliuke (tipiliuke.com) is a beautiful old lodge in a very large estancia, with the Lanin volcano, over 11,000 feet and snow capped, visible in the distance.

There are 2 rivers, plus a constructed spring creek, but I fished the main draw, the Chimehuin, all 3 days. My guide was Adrain, a very experienced and knowledgeable guide and fisherman, who is captain of the Argentine national team. The Chimehuin is a good sized river with deep pools, fast runs,and broad riffles, crossable at this low water season. The water temperature was 60-62 and the river was very clear. It is populated with wild rainbows and browns, with some huge browns taken, especially in April. the weather was beautiful every day-cool mornings that warmed to around 60 by the time we hit the water around 10 am, and peaking around 75-80 in late afternoon. It was breezy, but nothing like Chile. The fishing day was 10 am until around 2 pm, then a great lunch back at the lodge and a siesta, followed by an evening session from around 6 pm until dark, which was close to 9 pm even this late in the season. Dinner was at 10 pm. On February 26 I fished the El Cardinal beat and caught 12 rainbows and 2 browns in the first session, with the best a 17 ” rainbow . Most came on Adrian’s fullinguista nymph, a spartan Spanish perigon nymph of thread and UV cement with a copper bead. For the pm session, I fished the Whitestone beat and caught 13 rainbows and 3 browns, none over 13″. Fishing was fast and furious during the last half hour of daylight swinging a yellow mayfly nymph in a fast riffle.

On February 27, I fished the Anquendo beat for the am session and caught 14 rainbows and 1 brown. I caught 2 on the PMX, one on a fly I tied, and most of the rest on another Euro nymph, the blue and orange. (Linda’s comment is “the blue and orange, not to be confused with the orange and blue”) Three fish were 16-17.75″ and three others were 13-14″. For the pm, I fished Andres’ pool and Cormorant Island, and caught 9 rainbows and 2 browns. One rainbow was 18″. Again the yellow mayfly nymph was hot, but I also caught 3 on the dun, a size 8. The hatch lasts only 20 minutes but it’s great fun.

On February 28 I fished the same beat as the prior pm, just a lower section. I caught 18 rainbows and 2 browns in the am session, most on another Euro nymph called the Superman because of its red and blue colors. I also caught 5 on small dries. Again, my largest was an 18′ rainbow. For the evening I convinced Linda to go out for the yellow fly hatch. She caught 3 swinging the nymph in fast waster, one a hard fighting 16 incher, and she was briefly attached to a really big fish. This time we have both photo and video evidence, thanks to Adrian. Adrian had me use his Euro nymphing outfit, a 10 foot, 3 weight rod with a tiny reel spooled with monofilament. I quickly caught 8, none large, in a nice run, then one more on the yellow fly nymph,giving me 30 for the day and 86 for the 3 days on the Chimehuin. I loved both the river and Tipiliuke Lodge, and would like to return some day. Adrian was a superb guide, both enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

Starting on the evening of March 3, I fished the Traful on the property of Estancia Arroyo Verde. estanciaarroyoverde.com.ar. Both the river and lodge are justly famous for their beauty and ambiance.

Fernando Gonzalez was my guide for the entire stay. Like Adrian, he is very experienced and knowledgeable. On this first evening, I caught 2 7 inchers on a PMX. The next morning, March 4, was cool and windy and we fished the upper 2 pools where landlocked salmon are often found. We sighted 5, which I cast to hundreds of times, with no action. In the pm session, I fished some gorgeous water downstream and caught only 3 small fish on the PMX. The water was slow and extremely clear, and a bit too warm, which could explain the lack of good fish showing . I asked Fernando what he thought and he said, “I have many excuses. I just don’t know which one is right”. But I knew going in that the Traful is moody and difficult, with few fish but also some really big ones. March 5 started well. It was a beautiful sunny toning, cool and calm. I caught a 19″ brown on my first cast at the head of a small side channel on a PMX and caught 6 small rainbows on dries. We also saw 3 very nice browns in a willow lined side channel, and marked their lies for the evening session. In the evening I caught only 1 15″ brown on a Fat Albert . The others we saw in the morning did not show.

On March 6 I floated the Limay from 12 Miles upstream of the reservoir down to its entrance. The Limay is big water, even this late in the season. Wading is not really an option. It has a mixture of small to medium sized rainbows and browns that can exceed 10 pounds. The rainbows take insect imitations but the browns eat meat, especially a crab called a Pancora, which is very common. It is 1-2 inches long and very dark. We used a PMX or chubby Chernobyl on a 6 weight and pancora imitations on a 7 weight with a fast sinking tip. The fish were widely scattered, with the best fishing in the shallowest, fastest water. Deep runs and pools simply did not produce, although they do at times produce big browns. I caught 5 browns and 7 rainbows for the day. The rainbows were 10-15″, and only one came to a dry, although I missed 2 nice browns on the PMX. All of the other fish took the pancora or an articulated leech. One of these was a very thick brown, over 21″ that Fernando guesstimated at 2.5 kg, or about 5.5 pounds. But the star of the day was a very fat 18 inch brown that was as beautiful as any I’ve caught. All of the fish that took the pancora or leech crushed it. On March 7, we again tried for salmon in the 2 uppermost pools below the lake outlet. The first had no fish visible, but 3 were sitting on a shallow gravel bar in the second pool. After many casts, I was able to hook and land a very nice 24 incher on an ugly bug nymph. I was very disappointed with the fight, mostly head shaking and a few short runs. Later, I caught a small brown and a small rainbow, giving me the grand slam for the Traful. In the evening, we again went hunting for big browns, but I caught only 4 smallish rainbows on the PMX. However, that evening another guest, Dennis Hall of Calgary, who has fished the Traful for years, caught an incredible 29.5″ brown on a big streamer, besting the 28″ brown he’d caught a few years back. The prior evening, in response to my commenting that the fishing was slow, Dennis remarked “Yes, but always remember that on this river your next cast can produce the fish of a lifetime”. This is why I want to return to the Traful. Fernando emphasized that April is best, when the water cools and the browns begin their spawning run, both from the lake above and reservoir below. Likewise the Limay gives up its best fish then.

Overall, I caught 32 during my 4.5 days of fishing at Arroyo Verde, and 118 for the trip.

I hope that you enjoyed Steve’s trip report and my inserted pictures!

Friday March 9, 2018 Buenos Aires and we go home!

$#%@! It’s already July and I haven’t finished our Argentina Trip. If you didn’t know that I had made it home you are probably wondering if I did run off with a sexy single polo playing Argentinian wealthy hunka hunk of love. Ha ha, just kidding, I enjoy my life with my husband very much thank you!

After our wonderful trip to the Tango show the night before we got up a bit late. We had originally planned to go on a tour of the Opera House (where Marcel and his lovely wife had their first date!) and then go see the Jewish Museum in Buenos Aires. I had even troubled the front desk at our hotel Hub Porteno, the night before to help me order and print the tickets! Even if you have a tour lined up, if you don’t have your own driver and private guide, you are likely to say “Screw it, I just want a lazy last day”.

At breakfast, I had the waffle again, with the Dulce de Leche on the side. That stuff if so sweet, the dentists in Argentina must make tons of money filling cavities! Steve had something with some strange sausage. That sausage looks like short Lincoln Logs! I am dating myself by calling them Lincoln Logs, but you already know that I am 62! If you don’t, well, now you do! We had fun at the restaurant admiring the green ferns growing from the wall hanging. This is the picture of the famous tree in our restaurant. This view was from our suite looking down toward the restaurant. We decided that Plan B would be to go window shopping at the Hermès store and then go to the mall and look for Boca Jr. Soccer jerseys for our dear daughter Sally and her boyfriend Collin. Before we left for our trip to Argentina I had fallen into a forum about high end purses. PurseBlog.com There are all sorts of pretty pictures of high end purses and also jewelry. You remember that I met my new friend S in the Maldives; she had a Birkin Hermès bag, and let me fondle it on our way to the airport. So when we were in Buenos Aires, I figured we would go to the store and have a look see. Here I am proudly holding the bag! S was on a waiting list for her bag for over there years! After her wait, she probably had the privilege of paying over $12,000 for the bag also! We said goodbye to our Hotel, the Hub Porteno, and wandered off.

We passed by the Park Hyatt. This was a former palacio of a rich merchant.We took a peek inside the Hyatt, wouldn’t you? There are some gorgeous flowers available for sale in the Park Hyatt! Wouldn’t you just love to have one of these arrangements in your room?

We found the Hermès store. It had been on another block but moved without telling me. We went inside and looked around. No Birken bags could be found! Phew, saved Steve a shitload of money! The day had gotten quite warm, and we passed by a group of tourists enjoying their walk in the Recoleta district. Steve and I would have loved knowing more about the history of some of the gorgeous old buildings, but we both hate wandering around in the sun. We kept to the shade, and didn’t try to join the tour group. Steve and I found an upscale mall. We were hoping to find soccer jerseys for Sally and her boyfriend Collin. We found the jerseys and then went to lunch. Here is Steve perusing the menu. There were lots of people in the mall. Many ladies were having lunch and enjoying a glass of champagne. A great bread basket always deserves a picture! I asked for a glass of ice to go with my Coke. Steve used to say that my favorite food was ice and my favorite drink was water. That was 35 pounds ago!It’s been 3 months so i have no idea what this was or who had it!This has shrimp on in so it must have been mine. Steve doesn’t eat much shrimp. His must have been a pasta dish. This is a view of the restaurant from the level above. We went back to the hotel where we hung out at the garden patio for a few hours, and then when it got too hot went back to the lobby of the hotel. Finally it was time for our driver to pick us up and bring us to the airport.

There was lots of traffic and our driver was constantly checking his phone for short cuts to the airport. We ended up going through some squirrely neighborhoods. We finally made it to the airport! There were all sorts of cute penguins you could buy at the airport gift shop. Birkin or penguin or neither. If you guessed neither you were correct!Here is our plane ready to take us back to the good old USA and grumpy Steve thinking “Enough with the pictures!”Steve and I sat behind each other. Here he is unpacking his stuff. Although what is my bag doing on his seat? Hmm, what could be in the box? Could it be a trinket or jewelry bauble Steve bought me without me knowing? Of course not! It’s United chocolates given to all Business Class flyers! I don’t like white chocolate (which isn’t really chocolate at all). The dark chocolate was filled with gooey caramel. First map shows the placement of Buenos Aries. It’s going to be a long flight! Good bye Buenos Aries! Hello warm nuts! I think American Airlines serves the best warm mixed nuts! First course was salad. Then melon with prosciutto. Then some kind of chicken. It looks particularly unappetizing. I had ice cream for dessert. An Ambien and several hours of sleep and it’s 4:56 a.m. and time for breakfast! Almost there! Hello New Jersey! We landed and it was off to Immigration and Customs. We have our Global Entry card so all that was a breeze. Unfortunately it was a work day morning and our drive home took us over three and a half hours. It should normally take only 2 1/2 hours from the airport to our house. Remind me not to land in JFK on a work day!

Well the Argentinian vacation is over, I hope you enjoyed tagging along with me.

Thursday March 8, 2018 Off to Buenos Aries, Argentina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you ride a motorcycle?

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

Do you hate your cookies dry as dust?

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

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

Tuesday March 6, 2018 Arroyo Verde, Argentina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you like cheesecake?

Are you retired?

Are you snooty?

Inn at Montchanin, Wilmington Delaware April 19, 2018

It’s just a hop, skip and a jump to the Inn. Well, actually it’s a five minute drive if you get stuck at the light. The Inn has many different room styles to choose from. J and C were staying in a room that we stayed in a few years ago. There are stairs involved in that room, so we don’t stay there anymore. This was going to be our home away from home for the evening. I was hoping for the same room as we had on our last visit. That way I wouldn’t have to do a new post on the room. However, the Inn Keepers probably knew that I had a blog and had subscribers from all over the world! Postings=eyeballs=future guests! Lets’ go into Wittfiel shall we?Some of the rooms are on two levels, and I didn’t want that, especially with all the tripping downstairs that I have done lately. Here is Steve. He hasn’t unpacked yet, but must have been hard at work on something. To the left of the sitting room was the hallway to the bedroom. You can see it and the bathroom way in the back. That’s my gorgeous red Prada satchel. I am in love with that bag. However, if I get in close contact with a yellow one, well, I’m going to buy that sucker too! I got the red one on sale at Saks last year. I do love me a good sale!This was the little hallway leading to the bedroom. Inside the refrigerator were free sodas and water. I do love my free sodas! Although with the room price as high as it was, the soda should be free! We are getting closer to the bed now! You can see my Pataguuci jacket in the back. We got a king size bed. I do love a king size bed. I can either get close to Steve or sleep far away so I don’t hear him snore. He can never get far enough away to not hear my snoring. The bathroom had a heated towel bar. I can never figure those things out. Behind the marble was the toilet. Here is the view of the bath tub and the bed. I tried out the bed, but not the tub. This is the entry to the bathroom at Krazy Kat’s, our restaurant. Looks like it could have been the men’s room, and I was using the wrong restroom!Here are our cocktails. J got a martini, which C doctored up with his own vermouth mixture. I had the Love Martini. Vodka, rum and peach schnapps, with a bit of cranberry juice so that you could pretend it was healthy. That’s C in the back explaining something. We were given an amuse bouche. It’s been over a month, so I have no clue what this was. I think that we all liked it. The rolls were very good. Too bad mine ended up on the floor, but they brought me another one. I think that I had a field green salad with roasted vegetables. J had the Caesar Salad. Steve had the cream of chicken and exotic mushroom soup. No, your eyes are not out of focus, the picture is! Pan Seared Barramundi.Tea Smoked Duck Breast. Someone else had a fish special. I know that C and I had the duck. J probably had the Barramundi as I take pictures left to right, and J was sitting to my left. Looks like someone had a glass of port for dessert. Since that is Steve’s phone to the left, it must have been his. This was one of the desserts. It looks like it was very rich! Here was the chocolate dessert. I bet you that many forks stabbed into it.

Do you like chocolate desserts above all others?

Do you like fruity or dirty martinis?

Do your prefer fish or fowl?

An afternoon at Winterthur, April 19, 2018

It’s been a while, so lets do a little catching up. Steve got a bright jacket when we were up at Saratoga in March. Steve has a zillion jackets, but none as nice as my red Patagucci (really Patagonia) rain slicker. He decided that if he wants to be seen with me, he had better up his game. So after trying on ten jackets, he decided that this one fit him the best. I am not sure that it goes with his coloring, but all he cares about is the fit. All I care about is looking good, but that is my problem, not his. I can easily find him in this jacket, as long as I remember that “If it’s screaming green, it’s Steve!”. We were once again back at Winterthur in Wilmington Delaware with J and C. This is the back of C’s head. If you are lucky, we will see his handsome face. This is also the back side of Wintertur. The home of Henry Francis Dupont. It is the fifth largest house in the United States, 96,582 square feet. No I will not quiz you on that fact later. To put it into perspective the house of Candy and Aaron Spelling is only 56,500 square feet. But you knew that already, didn’t you?We took a tram ride to the main house. The trees were lovely, the grounds are always pretty, it would be nice to live in the area, and see the weekly changes in the gardens. It would probably have been even nicer to have been a guest of old Henry. If I was, I would be dead by now. So on second thought, let’s not wish I was Henry’s guest after all. This year’s special exhibition was the Honus Wagner Baseball Card. Let’s peruse the exhibit shall we?J was on a mission. She zeroed right in to the writing on the wall, explaining the exhibit. I am not quite sure what Steve and C are discussing. I am documenting. Here is the famous card. It’s the middle one on the bottom row. You can see it’s size compared to C’s hand. Originally I thought it was the size of our current baseball cards. It is in fact much smaller. The card is a rarity, only 60 currently exist. Was production stopped because Mr. Wagner didn’t like smoking, or because he wasn’t compensated, or a little of each? I am not sure. Here we have a little more information about the card and it’s value. We also looked at another exhibit. Let’s look at some silver and china shall we?Steve really liked the top on this one, it reminded him of the silver bee at Arroyo Verde, in Argentina. Yes, I still need to finish that trip report. You are probably wondering what happened to me and all those Argentinians! Here we have a very elegant table setting. Look at all the napkins! That is some folding! Look who I found hovering over the bull. I am not sure if that is a soup tureen or a cookie jar! There were lots of animals to look at. Steve and I once had a yellow duck cookie jar. It broke a long time ago. Thank heavens our marriage has lasted longer than that wedding gift! Here is a model of Wintertur. Isn’t this place grand? We got to go on a behind the scenes tour of dining. We were taught about the different serving styles, ala Francaise, ala Russe, and American. Notice I said taught, and not learned. I can’t remember what style this is, nor what the styles represented. I think some of the meals are served on the table and passed, some are presented by wait staff, and some of the food is plopped down in front of you and you only can eat what is near you. Woe is you, if only Liver and Onions is in front of you!Notice I said a “behind the scenes tour’. We got to walk behind the ropes! I love going where you normally can’t go. I just have to remember to keep my elbows tucked and watch where I am going. We got to look at another dining room. This was Mr. DuPont’s dining room. The other room was representative of a dining style in American history. Mr. DuPont had many china patterns. He did enjoy his entertaining! These tankards were made by Paul Revere. Can you see the wires? They are not going to be stolen by a light fingered Larry!

That’s all for now, next post will be our room at Inn at Montchanin and dinner at Krazy Kat’s!

Sunday May 6, 2018 A Pre-surgery Adventure, NYC

A month after our trip to Chile and Ecuador in January 2016 I got a blood clot. We weren’t sure what the reason was, although we did have ten flights in 23 days of traveling. I had a clot 29 years ago when I was given doctor’s orders for bed rest when I was pregnant with our son. We had traveled a lot in between over the years and really didn’t think that it was just the multiple flights last January. While at the hospital I had a CAT scan to see if I had what is called May Turner Syndrome, a narrowing of the veins in the thigh. I was all clear on that, but the doctors did discover a lump in my thigh. It was pretty big, the size of an egg, and really is not something most people walk around with. There was a possibility that the lump was pressing against my veins, causing the disruption of the blood flow and therefore the clot. The doctors in Poughkeepsie thought it was a Myxoma, which is a benign lump that only one in a million people get. Did you expect me to get something normal like a boil or ingrown hair? Of course not, I am special. A biopsy was done, and the reports came back that it was benign. We were lucky to have a doctor at Sloan Kettering think that my case was interesting enough to be seen. So since last March I have been getting MRIs in Poughkeepsie and then traveling back to see Dr. Boland every three months for observation. Meanwhile I was put on Xarelto to prevent further blood clots. I also had a number of genetic tests done and it was found that I do have a gene causing a predisposition for clotting. Was the recent clot caused by the trips, the clot in 1989, the Myxoma, or the genes that I have? We may never know the answer to that question.

In January 2018 we had seen Dr. Boland, and we was a little bit concerned that the Myxoma had grown quite a bit since the time we last saw him in October. We arranged for me to have the surgery to remove the Myxoma in May, after our trips to the Maldives, Argentina, and Abaco. We made sure that we flew business class and that I wore support stockings on the flights. Well, except for the trip to Abaco as we flew Jet Blue, and they didn’t have Business Class. But I did get the seats with more leg room. We had excellent adventures as you have already read most of them.

In late April I had my last MRI. The Myxoma had decreased in size, which was great, and we were worried that the Doctor would cancel surgery when we saw him last week. Although the Myxoma had shrunk, it was enhancing a bit more after I had been injected with dye. This wasn’t so good, and by now the Doctor was getting more frustrated with the Myxoma, and agreed that even though it had shrunk and none of us were able to palpate it ourselves and feel it, it was good bye Myxoma time.

So here I am, the day before surgery. Steve and I had a great morning, he made me great scrambled eggs and we went to the gym, in between my packing and loads of laundry. By late afternoon we were ready to drive to Manhattan where we would stay overnight at the apartment of our kind friends. As we were leaving home, I went to put on my slicker and found out that I had brought the wrong jacket home from the gym. Alas, I had a orangey red EMS men’s medium slicker instead of my bright red Patagucci (Patagonia for those who are not hip like I am) rain jacket. So it was off to the gym we went, hoping that my jacket was still there. It was, and I returned the other jacket, shaking my head over my operator error.

We then drove to Manhattan. There were many traffic jams, due to the five borough bike race and Sunday afternoon traffic. We ended up driving through Harlem, and down 1st Avenue. We finally made it to the apartment, dropped our bags off with the Door Man and drove up to Sloan to find a parking garage. Of course we neglected to look at our phones to find the parking garage nearest the hospital and drove around blindly. We almost parked in another hospital’s valet parking. Finally we found a garage near the hospital, where the car will stay until I am released. Only $60 a day! Steve will probably find a better alternative while I’m in the hospital.

We walked to a restaurant highly recommended by our friends. It is called Neary’s. Here is Steve out front. Neary’s is a favorite of Kathie Lee Gifford. She used to talk about it a lot when I used to watch Regis and Kathie Lee. While we were waiting for our table we saw a gentleman who from the rear looked an awful lot like my Doctor. He got up and headed to the bar. It was him! “Dr. Boland”, I said, “How nice to see you! I am looking forward to my surgery with you tomorrow!” He looked a little confused, and then recognized me. I met his wife, a lovely woman. He told me to eat a light dinner.

Here are the rolls we had. I already ate one before I took the picture. Here I am, beaming with excitement. Looks like George Bush ate here also. Steve was excited about the mayoral proclamation on the wall behind me. Steve does like a good proclamation.I had the trout, with a baked potato. Steve had the barbecued chicken. No desserts for us, as I was supposed to eat lightly, per Doctor’s orders. We met the owner as he came to visit all the tables. That is a job that would be great for me! We told him that I was going to have surgery tomorrow and that Dr. Boland across the room was doing my surgery. He said that I was in great hands, and that Dr. Boland was the best surgeon.

Soon it was time to leave. Good bye Neary’s, Good bye Dr. Boland and lovely wife. Sorry we didn’t get to see you Kathie Lee, maybe next time!We made it up to the apartment. Sorry, no pictures. I know where to draw the line, between public and private. Especially someone else’s private.

Wish the surgeon steady hands, wish me speedy healing and the chance for an upgraded private room. Would you expect anything less if I was offered a chance for an upgrade? It sure will cost more, but after my last two roommates who kept me up all night with the television blaring I am going into the bank account for this one!