Cleveland, Ohio. Tuesday September 1, 2015

As I explained yesterday this is a trip from years ago. Just like everyone else I hope to be traveling again soon. I would say that that’s the reason I have an unpacked suitcase laying in one of the spare bedrooms. That would be a lie however, it’s just not unpacked from my trip to Belize in January! Now that is lazy! Today our plan was to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was an easy walk from our hotel. But first we needed to have breakfast.

As usual, fried eggs for me.

Steve went on the wild side and had an egg quesadilla.

You already saw my picture in front of the museum. Here is Steve. Plan to see a lot of these outfits!

We enjoyed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, although I liked the Country Music Hall of Fame better. I think it would behoove me to watch the Ken Burns Special to learn more about Rock and Roll. I will have to watch Krush Groove the movie about the founding of rap also, as I know nothing about rap! No pictures inside the museum, you will have to visit so you can see what is inside.

For dinner we ate at Muse, the restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton. I tried the Farmer’s Market Prix Fixe dinner. My dinner had a peach theme to it. It started with grilled peaches, Serrano ham, micro basil and dehydrated vinegar.

Steve went out on a limb and got a Caesar Salad.

My entree was pork tenderloin with peach brine, peach wood smoked jalapeño peach tomato salsa, peach moonshine gastrique memo chives.

Steve had swordfish with white beans and escarole.

Steve had cookies and cream ice cream for dessert. Man this picture should have been cropped better! When we were in Chile years ago we met a famous wildlife photographer who went crazy about my picture taking. He kept telling me to make sure that my pictures of food didn’t have any extraneous items in them. I think I have at least 5 faults in the above picture!

Peach crepes with blueberry mascarpone and cinnamon anglaise.

Sorry the day wasn’t that exciting, but not everyday can be like yesterday and meeting my inebriated gambling girl friend!

Have you ever been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

Have you ever been to the Country music Hall of Fame?

Where have you been then?

On our way west! Cleveland Ohio. Monday August 31, 2015

Due to COVID-19 Steve and I won’t be traveling for awhile. So I have gone back to the far reaches of my pictures (over 29,000!) to bring you another recap of a trip. This is an old adventure, but I still considered it blog worthy. If you don’t care to read about my old trips don’t bother to read this one!

Now that Steve and I are retired we have more time to travel and go on more Excellent Adventures. We decided to drive West and see the country, Steve would do a little fishing, and I hoped to see some beautiful sights and meet some interesting people. We were going to end up at some higher elevations and Steve and I thought that by driving to higher elevations gradually I might not suffer from altitude sickness like I have in the past.

So Steve and I loaded up a the van. I love my Toyota Sienna. It has lots of leg room and comfortable seats with great lumbar support. Although it has three rows of seating, we would only use the two seats in the front as we had a lot of luggage. Steve was bringing lots of fishing equipment and I brought everything that I might possibly want to wear!

The second row seats in the van are really nice as they have full up and down foot rests, and you can tilt the back, although they are definitely not lie flat seats! I have a tendency to get claustrophobia, so the second row seats are ideal for me. Unfortunately Steve doesn’t like me sitting in the second row, so for the whole trip I never sat in the back. Of course, the whole van had lots of luggage in it, I don’t think I would have been able to sit back there anyway!

Our first day of travel would take us out Interstate 84, connect with I-80 and we would end in Cleveland for the night. Plans were to spend two nights there and then travel onward. After a long day of driving we finally made it to the Ritz Carlton in Cleveland.

Here is my view from the Ritz-Carlton. Not a great view, but a view of the river nonetheless.

We were hoping to have a cocktail at a local bar called Speakeasy before dinner but unfortunately it was closed.

There were many cute shops and restaurants in the area. We were near the convention center and also a casino was nearby. More about the casino later!

We had dinner at Lola’s. Although it did look charming outside, we ate inside. I usually prefer to sit inside.

I ordered the Kentucky Gunslinger for my cocktail.

Not surprisingly, the drink looked very much like the picture! There was bourbon and some other stuff in the drink. The drink was very good.

I ordered a green salad with peaches, blue cheese and red pepper flakes. The red pepper added quite a bit of zing to the salad!

My entree. I had the salmon, with leeks, peas and potatoes.

Steve’s entree. He had gnocchi. I have no pictures of Steve’s appetizer. Nor do I remember what it was!

Although we didn’t order dessert, we were given chocolate truffles with peach jam inside.

When we got back to the room we found these chocolates. I felt very welcome. Steve not so much. I guess I should have put Steve’s name on the reservation! I think the hotel wants my repeat business.

The lobby of the hotel.

I think that I should get one of these lights for our house in Lake George!

Our first night on the trip and I got to meet my first interesting person on our way down to our dinner reservation at Lola’s. While waiting for the elevator a woman told the desk clerk she would be back again as she had 23 nights left to stay at the Ritz-Carlton. Now I must start out with the fact that she appeared very inebriated. I think that she must have had one too many sangrias at Happy Hour in the lounge. (Of course she had to be back to the hotel as she did not have her suitcase with her!).

You know by now that I had to befriend her so I could find out why she would be spending another 23 nights at the hotel. Yes, it was nice, but an additional 23 nights?

After we got on the elevator she mentioned that she was on her way to the Casino attached to the hotel.

“How much do you gamble, and have you won anything?” I asked.

Well she had gambled $2000 last time she visited on the slots at the casino. The next day she continued to gamble and she won $500. The casino gave her three round trips to Atlantic City and one to New Orleans. The casinos gave her $500 for each trip to gamble and also a flat screen television. (Back in 2015 a flat screen television was much more expensive than it is today). Every time she went her stay was comped at a Ritz Carlton. She told me that night she was only going to gamble the $35 she had in her wallet.

So after dinner on the way back to the hotel, I told Steve I wanted to look for my new friend at the Casino. As she was drunk to start out, I was worried about her getting back to the hotel okay. After looking at almost every slot machine in the casino I finally found her playing her last dollar at the slot machine.

There was a man next to her on the neighboring slot machine. I asked him if he was her spouse, as he was listening to our conversation. He wasn’t, and high tailed it away from the three of us! It was hysterical! We offered to escort her back to the hotel as by this time she was even more drunk with all the free drinks that the casino had offered. I asked her how much she gambled at a time on the slot machines. She told me $25, $40, or $8.88 at a time. Now wonder I am never comped at casinos! I only bet on the penny slot machines!

We also asked her if her husband gambled. She told us that he stayed in the room while she gambled. He would lock her credit cards in the safe. He didn’t gamble as he considered that marrying her was a gamble in itself!

Should the light stencil for the Lake George floor be “The Lant Shack”?

Do you gamble?

What is the most you have ever bet at a time?

Off to South America! Thursday January 5-Friday January 6, 2017

Our bags are packed again, and we are off on a three week trip to South America. Yes, this is 2019 and the date on the posting is 2017. I haven’t blogged this post before, so if you don’t like reading about my old trips, well, too bad. Just delete the e-mails and come back in three weeks to see if I have posted something more current! We were flying from New York to Santiago on Latam Airlines. Here are our not warm nuts and sparkling wine. Our aircraft is a Dreamliner, that has lights that change colors. Everyone was full of smiles on the flight. There were many children on the flight. It is very strange to be on an airplane where the native language is not English. We are off to South America, so we are going to have to get used to it.

The lie-flat seats were great, but very hard. There was nice leg room on the flight. The room color has changed to blue already!

Dinner was some kind of beef. We ate it quickly so we could go to sleep. Eyes shut at 9:30.

Good morning! It’s time for breakfast on the plane. It is 3:30 a.m. NY time, but as we land at 6, we need to get breakfast over with. We are 2 hours ahead of Eastern Time.

Daybreak from the plane!

We landed safely and went through immigration without any problems. We got a little nervous as our guide was not at the pickup area right away, but he showed up soon after and we were on our way.

Maximo, our driver drove us to what he called Sanhattan (Santiago/Manhattan), and to our hotel.

Who doesn’t like staying at a Ritz-Carlton?

Today we would be going on a tour of Santiago. We will be brought to the airport tomorrow morning for our flight further south where we will stay at Coyhaique River Lodge for a week.

This is one of the neighborhoods we drove through. There was lots of street art on the buildings.

First stop was the fish market.

Many stalls of fresh fish.

These clams were still talking to each other!

These scallops look like pastries!

Sheets of giant squid!

Black on one side, white on the other.

Fresh fish is the specialty in the restaurant at the market.

We walked through a beautiful open air market.

Orange juice freshly squeeze before our eyes!

A chapel in the cathedral in Santiago. Pope John Paul II prayed here for peace.

Outside one of the government buildings a group of Mapuche, one of the indigenous peoples , were protesting.

The women wore no tops, they looked like they were daubed in mud.

The man wore an outfit that represented an animal.

This was a building built around another building. There were a number of pop up craft sellers here.

Our guide Juan Pablo (JP) explained how bridges and buildings were made with clay, eggs, and water.

I spied this drink stand with an interesting concoction. It was made with fresh peaches, some type of grain and tea.

The cart and seller making our treat.

It was sweet but tasty! I was nervous that I might get indigestion, but JP told me it was safe to drink!

We took a drive to one of the highest peaks in Santiago, hoping for a great view. Unfortunately it was very smoggy.

Best times for views was in August when it rains.

We drove to a local park for a walk. Here was a young girl feeding the flamingos.

There was an artificial pond with carp. They were humongous! Many people were feeding the carp and flamingo pellets of food from the machines.

This is a view of the Parque Bicentario and the ritzy section of Santiago.

We went back to the hotel and rested before dinner.

We started to walk around outside the hotel looking for a restaurant. It was nice to see flowers in bloom!

After not finding anything exciting we decided to have dinner at the Ritz Carlton instead of wandering around further. Pre dinner snacks and champagne!

Steve is either asleep or in a love fog. It is seven pm and the restaurant is empty. We were warned that most people don’t eat until eight pm. They did have a dining room area outside, but it was too warm for us. There was also what appeared to be a meet and great for a very large travel group. Too noisy and hot for us!

Rolls with melted grated cheese on top and filled with sautéed onions! YUM!

Amuse bouche. Salmon carpaccio.

Steve had the winning dish. Chilean sea bass with beans and corn.

I had the duck. I didn’t like the swirly sauces. Steve’s fish had clams in the broth. As Steve doesn’t like clams, we asked for them on the side and I got to eat them.

Dessert was pound cake and mint tea from the club level lounge. No pictures, but it still happened!

Do you eat street food?

Does it make you sick, but you still eat it anyway?

Are you going to continue to read the blog, even though this is not a current trip?