Poronui, Taupo New Zealand. Wednesday November 18, 2015

Today’s fruit with granola was pineapple and coconut!

My fried egg.

After Steve and the rest of the anglers and guides took off in the helicopter I was going to try to go for a ride. Last time I rode was in New Mexico where the elevation was 9000 feet and I got very tired. Here the the elevation is 2250 so I hope to do better.

This field is where cattle wintered over. Turnips are planted and the cows feed on them all winter. First they eat the greens and then they eat the turnips.

These are our horses for the ride. I had Shelby, the dark horse.

This is where we stopped for lunch. Dismounting was quite inelegant as my hips got stuck on the back of the saddle. When my guide helped me lifted my leg up I fell right to the ground! I landed with a quick soft thud! I can be quite the klutz at times! Years ago when Sally took dance classes I took a summer class with her. We were supposed to dance across the room doing jetés across the room. I couldn’t stop and ended up crashing into the wall! We all had a good laugh at that!

We remounted after lunch and I was able to walk, trot and canter on the ride back.

Dismounting at the end of the ride was a lot easer as there was a mounting block!

After my ride I asked to check out the wine cellar, which was in the building I showed you yesterday.

It was gorgeous.

There was a bottle from 1967 that I wanted to google a price for but couldn’t find it on line. Not sure if it is vinegar now or superb. It’s not mine, so who cares?

Steve’s fishing locations are all pretty much inaccessible unless you chopper in. It would take days of hiking to get to where he goes via the helicopter. Yes, this is an extra fee, but if Steve doesn’t fly to the spots where the water is fishable, he can’t catch fish! Here are some pictures from his trip today.

I went to town with one of the other guests here who is a non fishing spouse. She needed to mail a package at the post office.

Lake Taupo. A former caldera like Lake Tahoe. It is the largest lake in the Southern Hemisphere. In Taupo I bought three pairs of pants as I thought that I had left a pack with seven pairs of pants on the bed at home! Three weeks vacation with one pair of jeans and two dress pants wasn’t going to cut it for me!

A beautiful fish that Steve caught! This fish was 8.25 pounds! The fish was 26 inches long with a girth of 16 inches. This was Steve’s personal record to date, so I would consider the trip a success so far!He fished the Rangatikei and caught five fish for the day. This stream was bigger, but easily crossable at the tails of pools and wider riffles.

The helicopter approach for Steve’s pickup at the end of his days fishing.

This is where it landed!

The view on the way back.

Appetizers after fishing was beef on a bun.

Chicken pate (not raw).

This I never really figured out what it was!

Nor this one!

Beautiful flowers in the lodge.

Romaine hearts with a chorizo creamy dressing.

Roast pork with twice baked mashed potatoes.

A vegetable medley.

Flan for dessert.

How many pairs of black pants do you own?

How much clothing do you bring on vacation?

Steve’s beard looks a lot less white today. Do you think he packed some Grecian Formula to darken it up? Just asking for a friend.

Poronui, Taupo New Zealand. Tuesday November 17, 2015

Today it is supposed to be sunny and 69 F! Since we are in the Southern Hemisphere, that means we are in late spring!

I wonder what’s for breakfast.

The beautiful spread of fresh juices, coffee and granola.

The sandwiches for the guides and fly fishers!

Delicious banana apple muffins.

Cantaloupe with raspberries.

Omelette for Steve.

Fried eggs for me.

After breakfast we met Duncan, Steve’s guide, and I checked out where the helicopter would land.

Steve with Duncan his guide.

Flyagra for flies that sink instead of float.

Steve’s gear ready to go.

Waiting for the helicopter to arrive.

The helicopter lands outside the lodge. Helicopter flights are an extra charge. A very expensive extra charge, but if you don’t fly out, you won’t find fish!

Loading up and they are off!

After I saw the anglers and the guides off I decided to take a walk to find someplace comfortable to read (besides our cozy cabin with comfortable chairs, a coffee table for my feet, a kettle to make tea and a drink stocked refrigerator. Remind me again why I wanted a walk?)

Over the stream that ran behind our cabin I wandered. If it hadn’t have rained so much in the past few days Steve might have been able to fish here.

I found an outdoor pavilion where barbecues were probably held.

Then I wave Hi to the horses, I was planning on riding the next day.

I thought I finally found my perfect spot. Sofas, lots of natural light and a beautiful trophy specimen on the wall. I think that it was a 16 pointer! Although the room was pretty, the chairs all faced inside and not toward the view. Plus there were so many flies buzzing in the room I couldn’t stand it any longer!

So I trudged back to the lodge but by mistake took the upper pasture because I saw the lodge in the distance. Unfortunately I was supposed to take the lower pasture!

So after walking back and forth I finally figured out my mistake and made it back in time for lunch.

A lovely garden salad.

A cheese plate and fresh grated beets.

While I was reading today and exploring Steve was off fishing. Here are some pictures Steve took from the helicopter, some of the places that he fished, and the fish that he caught!

After Steve was done clambering in the streams Steve had to hike to a meadow to wait for the helicopter to pick him up. Steve told me that I would have divorced him if I would have gone along. He is right. I stroll, I don’t do whatever he was doing!

Steve fished theUpper Mangamarie above tree line. He described it as follows: It was super clear, about 200 cubic feet per second. It was tough going due to gorge sections that require scrambling “up and over” cliffs and deep pools. I caught 3 rainbows. Steve has told me since that it was one of the most difficult days fishing that he ever had. Not only were there cliffs, but he had to climb them wearing waders and his fishing boots!

Two of the fish weighed 4.5 pounds, one was 5.5 pounds.

Later in the afternoon the helicopter returned Steve, Duncan, and the rest of the anglers and guides. Then after showering and changing it was time for dinner.

For appetizers we had bacon wrapped figs, they looked too rare for me to eat!

Curry chicken wings.

Green lipped mussels, which are a Kiwi (New Zealander) favorite! Mine too!

Cheese straws.

Meat with vegetables.

Chocolate lava cake (lava was set and not oozing.)

Can you believe how white Steve’s beard was?

Would I have physically been able to clamber all those rocks like Steve did?

Weren’t those bacon wrapped figs disgusting?

Poronui Lodge, Taupo New Zealand. Monday November 16, 2015

You are probably wondering what happened to Sunday as we left Poughkeepsie on Saturday. New Zealand is 20 hours ahead of New York time, so it is very confusing! We totally lost Sunday but will get to relive two Sundays on the way back home!

After landing in Auckland, we transferred to a little plane to take us to Taupo which is located on the North Island of New Zealand.

New Zealand is composed of two large islands, North and South. We would be staying one week on the North Island in Taupo at Poronui Lodge and then take a flight to the South Island where we would rent a car. As Steve is not good with his left and right, clockwise and counter clockwise I have some trepidation with him driving here. (Like the United Kingdom, driving is on the left side of the road.)

The plane was very small. There were less than 15 people on our flight including the pilot and copilot!

But still big enough to fit Steve’s big beard! He did get it trimmed after our trip West during the month of September!

Outside the airport you can see the large Norfolk Island Pines. When I was in college I had a small Norfolk Island Pine in my dorm room. They grow quite large here.

Poronui is a large hunting and fishing lodge. They also have large Manuka bushes and many hives for bees that produce Manuka honey. Manuka honey is said to have many healthful properties. Here are some dairy cows for that beautiful New Zealand butter.

There are also red stags that are raised here, the Chinese use the horns for medicinal purposes. Think aphrodisiacs!

It is spring here and very rainy. The landscape is so lush!

Steve is outside our cabin. Come on inside! The outside is nondescript, but the inside is really great!

The living room, with a gas fireplace.

Looking toward the bedroom.

The bedroom. Steve says howdy! I did not make Steve sleep on that little bed. I kept my suitcase on it!

The bathroom with a heated towel rack.

From the bedroom looking toward the deck. What a beautiful place to read or just relax and enjoy the view!

This was the view outside our room.

I may need to put this on a loop for a relaxation tape!

We had a little fridge with complimentary drinks. Alas, no Champagne!

Lunch was quiche and a lovely salad.

Sunflower seed bread with gorgeous New Zealand butter.

Chocolate cake and chocolate truffles for dessert.

There were also fresh humongous chocolate chip cookies that need more chips!

Steve did not fish today as it was the first day. He will go off tomorrow. Not sure what the fishing will be like as there has been a lot of rain lately. Fingers crossed he will catch some monster fish. That is why we came here! Our package included fishing for me also, but the fishing is supposed to be technically difficult, and the terrain difficult also. So I will likely not go out with him. What else is new? Ha Ha!

We gathered in the main lodge for dinner. Here I am checking my messages.

Chicken mousse that Steve and I did not try as we don’t care for innards.

Mushroom soup.

Fried pork bellies.

Deep fried venison chorizo in a fry basket.

Dinner was roast New Zealand Lamb with vegetables.

We also had tomatoes with peppers, and a gorgeous salad of fresh spinach with shelled peas. You have to look pretty hard to see the peas, but they are there!

Dessert was a lemon tart with strawberries, garnished with whipped cream and rhubarb sauce.

At this lodge wine and alcohol is included in your rate. Sometimes it can make for some very drunken guests. The guests here are all acting appropriately so no chance at any great stories tonight. Perhaps tomorrow? Dinner conversation ranged from books we were reading to the lack of snakes in New Zealand vs the plethora of snakes in Australia to bar code readers and how bar codes are everywhere.

At most of the lodges that we have been to the guides do not eat with the guests. At Poronui the guides eat next to their angler and also serve and bus the tables. I don’t like it so much, as that means that Steve has even less chance of talking to me. I would rather be the center of his attention. Alas, that will not be the case here!

Yesterday there were showers on and off. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be sunny with a high of 69! Steve will be off flying in a helicopter to catch some wily trout. Or so we hope!

Should Steve drive on the South Island?

Do you like him better with or without the beard?

Did you know that 1/3 of adults have ophidiophobia?

Did you know that is the fear of snakes? It is the most common phobia.

Off to New Zealand! Saturday November 14, 2015

I’m back! Have you missed me? My renewal for my WordPress account is coming up for renewal, so I best get my money’s worth and post some memories.

Off onto another recap of a past trip! This trip was Steve’s retirement present and I got to tag along! We were off to New Zealand for three weeks, and you get to come also. Lucky you! For those of you who know nothing about New Zealand, it is comprised of two islands. North and South. Those are easy names to remember, unlike many of the rivers that Steve will fish!

We will stay in Taupo on the North Island for one week and then rent a car on our travels on the South Island. We will stay at three fishing lodges, and one fancy schmancy place that I picked out. Steve will fish from the fancy schmancy place also. Actually it’s not fancy schmancy, just really nice, but how often do I get to write fancy schmancy? How often do you get to read those words? Likely never again, but one of my goals in this blog is to improve the vocabulary of my dear readers!

Dinner on the flight to Los Angeles from New York. This flight was on United Airlines.

Salad greens with butternut squash.

Short ribs.

Gelato with strawberry and chocolate sauce.

Then milk and warm cookies.

Lost Angeles is so pretty at night with all the cars lighting up the road. Side streets look blissfully empty.

This airport has the worst signage. We thought TBIT on the departure board meant To Be Something Something. Instead it meant Tom Bradley International Airport. It was a good thing we asked someone, otherwise we would have missed our plane, and this excellent adventure would never have happened!

Then we needed to find the shuttle, and then the departure area, there has to be a better way! But finally we found the correct terminal!

As we were flying business we got access to a fancy lounge.

Newspapers in so many languages!

The lounge has won awards for nicest airport. I can see why. These are the outdoor fire pits.

Of course I found the chocolate mousse and a decaf cappuccino!

Not looking forward to the 13 hour flight form Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand. Total time form NYC to Taupo, New Zealand our final airport is 26 hours! Ouch!

Here is Steve enjoying his little nook on the Air New Zealand plane.

I forgot to turn the flash back on, but the first course was a lovely tomato and mozzarella salad. The lighting on the plane was a calming purple hue. It was very restful.

I chose the parsnip and spinach soup for my entree. When I have a long plane flight I often just have the soup for my entree.

Can’t skip ice cream with fruit for dessert.

Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean at sunrise.

Breakfast was a fruit salad.

Croissant and toasted fruit bread with orange marmalade.

Then more carbs with the whole wheat waffle with dried fruit and cream anglaise. No pictures of Steve’s food as we were behind each other. I am sure Steve had the omelette!

Here is a map of our flight.

You can see a close up of the Pacific. This is where the tectonic plates are colliding and one is going under the other.

Steve will not be happy with these next two pictures but I don’t care. And since it is my blog, I get to post almost anything that I want. Steve does get to have the edit finger function and remove stuff that I might get in trouble with. Let’s see what happens here!

Anyway, there are certain haircuts on guys that I really like. This is one of them. Steve does not like to wear his hair this long and since it is his head, I let him wear it however he likes to wear it.

The guy changed his clothes before he landed. Perhaps he was meeting someone who liked his hair the way he wore it. Or perhaps his lover would rather he wear his hair shorter like Steve does!

One time a long time ago, I got my hair cut short and my ears pierced. Steve almost cried when he saw me. Now I try to let him know if I am going to do a drastic hair change!

It is strange getting used to the time. It is Monday morning around ten. Back home it is Sunday afternoon around four. We lost all of Sunday traveling but will get two Monday’s coming back!

That’s it for today, or tonight, or tomorrow in that case as we left on the 14th of November her and will arrive in New Zealand on the 16th!

Do you have a dream trip for when you retire?

Or are you already retired and you went on your dream trip already?

Do you wear your hair the way your significant other prefers, or do you say “To hell with you!”?

September 27, 2015 From Lexington to Charlottesville

It’s Sunday morning and we are ready to to leave Lexington. It is now actually five years later, and I don’t have any notes to say where we slept the night before! But I do have pictures of breakfast from my over 23,000 pictures in my camera roll! I seriously need to do some editing some day!

If there are pancakes and fried eggs, then it must be something that I had for breakfast! Steve prefers hash browns and he does like his Moons over MyHammy, so we probably ate at a Denny’s.This looks like their product! Steve and Elliott used to go to Denny’s for breakfast sometimes before they went skiing. Their favorite remembrance was the time they went to a Denny’s on New Year’s Day. They overheard the gentlemen (I use that term loosely-Steve refers to them as losers when he tells the story), had either been working or drinking all night. They were trying to decide what were the best years of their lives. I think that 2020 has not been a very good year for many of us.

Then it was goodbye Kentucky and Hello West Virginia! There were lots of hills in West Virginia, many with steep grades. Then it was off to Virginia.

We met Elliott and his girlfriend Kanna in Charlottesville. They had joined a local winery and we had a wine tasting. It was fun. Primarily because we were with Elliott and Kanna. I don’t really find wine tastings that interesting. Just pour me a glass, and if I like it I will finish it. If I don’t, then Steve gets more!

I think we allowed Elliott to pick one bottle from Steve’s Bourbon stash from the liquor store that we went to the night before. Kanna got nothing.Dinner was at The Local. We had a lovely cheese and fruit appetizer. Looks like I had a green drink. This must have been a Caesar Salad. This could possibly be catfish, or fried mystery meat. I have no clue what this was. Steve’s arm is in the picture so he must have ordered it!

Then off to Homewood Suites to sleep it all off!

Do you like Bourbon?

Have you ever had a green drink?

Do you ever wonder why West Virginia is considered Wild and Wonderful?

September 26, 2015 Mammoth Cave to Lexington Kentucky

I’m back!

I forgot to mention more about the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Springfield Missouri. This BPS attracts more than 4 million visitors a year! The store started by John L. Morris in an 8 foot section of his father’s liquor store in 1972. In 1974 he began mailing out his first catalog. How many catalogs are produced each year? I don’t know, but I think we get one every two weeks!

We had breakfast at the Huddle House in Kuttawa. Huddle House is very similar to a Waffle House.

Steve was really happy because he had ordered a big breakfast. How big?

Now that is a big breakfast! Notice the circular bone in the ham steak? On many of the nights that I cooked dinner I would make a ham steak and boxed macaroni and cheese. I thought it was hysterical to cut out a piece of ham with the bone in it. I called it “the eye”. I would place the piece of meat (really just a piece of bone) on someone’s plate and say “Have the eye!” Well, I thought it was hysterical. Steve, not so much. He thought it was “stupid”, which it really is! Whenever we have one now, I take a picture of the eye and send it to our son Elliott. He enjoys the joke, our daughter not so much.

No meat for me, but I said “Yes!” To the Grits!

Next stop was Mammoth Cave National Park.

This is a three dimensional model of the cave system.

There were 13 different underground tours to chose from. We picked “Domes and Dripstones”. The description of the tour is as follows:

Wind down through deep pits and high domes via a 280 step staircase. Vertical cave gives way to large canyons and underground hill climbs. Visit the Frozen Niagara formation, then pass through one of the caves most decorative drip stone areas. Total stairs was 500, including 280 on the initial descent. The difficulty was considered moderate.

There were a number of strenuous tours available. Chest or hip measurements could not exceed 42 inches , if you are larger you can not physically pass through the crawl spaces. That’s not why we didn’t go on those tours though, by now you know that I don’t do strenuous anything! Not because neither my butt nor Steve’s butt is too big!

After our trip to the museum we had our briefing by the forest ranger.

Then we loaded into a bus to take a ten minute ride to the entrance of the cave. Looks like we had a few people who wanted to be photographed with us!

A short stroll through the woods.

I see the door! Almost there!

No, it is not an outhouse, but the entrance to the cave. Notice the park ranger, he will be important!

I turned around to take a picture of the outside in case we didn’t make it back out! Good bye world! Into the cave we go!

Down the stairs we went. Except we had to stop and let someone come back out. She had claustrophobia and needed to leave the tour. That is why there were two park rangers at the start of the tour. One ranger to lead the tour and one ranger to escort the people who didn’t want to go on the tour. It seemed to be pretty common, that people would panic and need to leave the tour.

Steve had to bend down quite a bit as he is so tall.

We saw all sorts of interesting formations, like these pillars.

Many sections we had to crawl over sharp boulders.

Some parts of the cave were very open.

Here you can see the stalactites and stalagmites. Stalactites grow from the ceiling down. They stay “tight” to the ceiling. Stalagmites grow from the floor up. They “might” reach the top.

These rock formations are called rock draperies.

At one point of the tour the ranger extinguished his flash light and the lights on the wall around us so we could see how very dark it was in the cave. As if we didn’t already know how dark and quiet it would be!

The end of the tour was at the place where the original entrance of the cave was discovered.

It was very cool feeling the cool air rushing from the cave into the warm air outside.

More stairs? Yuck!

I looked exhausted, and Steve looked normal. Well as normal as he can look! You can tell how tired I was, no sucked in gut and my shoulders are schlumped. Wait a minute, that’s the way I always look!

After we reached the top of the stairs from the cave we had to walk on bio security mats to prevent the spread of white nose syndrome, a fungal disease that affects bats. No, the bats don’t get washed, only human feet. The fungus is in the cave and they don’t want it transported out of the cave via human feet that got wet in some of the puddles in the cave. The sick bats wake up when they should be hibernating. It leaves them weak, decreases their flying ability and they starve when they don’t get food during the winter, as none is available.

Then it was back in the van and off to Lexington!

Lexington Kentucky, calls itself the horse capital or the world. I believe it.

That’s a horse barn! There is a lot of money here!

After we checked in to the hotel we checked Yelp and the best reviews for dinner were for the Gratz Park Inn. It has since been bought by Hilton and it known as the Sire Hotel. (Sire as in father of a horse. Cute!) It was a very interesting old hotel, and there was an Pierce Arrow group holding an antique car show going on that weekend. The parking lot was full of very interesting cars.

These are what the cars look like. I was uncomfortable taking pictures of someone’s car. We were wondering if our van was going to get towed or even ticketed! Thankfully it wasn’t!

The restaurant was called Distilled. Since we were in Kentucky, you know that they were going to have a very fine bourbon menu. Here is just a sample of the brands and the prices. No Pappy Van Winkle! Of course back then we had never heard of Pappy Van Winkle!No bourbon for me, but a nice fruity bourbon drink! It was bourbon, lime, strawberry juice and topped with ginger beer. I don’t normally like my drinks with added fizz but went with the waiter’s selection. It was light and refreshing. I had a lovely Hibiscus poached pear and beet salad with Cambozola, walnut vinaigrette, maiche, and fried croissant croutons to start. Steve had the vanilla bourbon roasted parsnip soup with candied peanut, fifteen year old balsamic (!), celery leaf and lemon to start.With the corn bread and rolls we had fresh honey harvested that day from the apiary on the roof, jalapeño jelly and whipped sweet butter. The corn bread and rolls were eaten faster than I could take a picture! I had the pan seared duck breast with Calvados apple purée, cheddar Gougeres, pecan crumble blackberry marmalade and apple watercress salad. Steve had the pan seared Halibut with saffron cauliflower purée, caramelized cauliflower, chick pea country ham fritter, baby Kale salad and cilantro lime sauce verde.

This was the best restaurant of the trip. Others might have been more fun due to our dinner companions, or the people at neighboring tables, but this was serious dining! No dessert for us. I was stuffed, plus I hate paying for a dessert. If I would go back now, I would have picked the smoky chocolate ginger tart. That sounded really good! After dinner we hit the Liquor Barn to get some Bourbons for Steve. What else would you buy in Kentucky in a liquor store? Steve gets his picture outside the store, I get my picture inside it!

No, they weren’t selling cars. It was just for display!

I am not sure if we found any unique brands, but it was fun!

Then it was back to the hotel and lights out.

Have you ever had a bat land on you and then had your Grandmother catch the bat, pour boiling water on it in a coffee can, and then flush it down the toilet? Well Elliott did a very long time ago! He had to get Rabies shots. As a consolation prize I bought him Nintendo 64. I am a very nice Mom!

Who was your favorite villain or villainess in the original Bat Man tv show?

Are you cheap or do you order dessert in a restaurant?

Cow Creek Ranch, Pecos New Mexico Tuesday September 22, 2015

We told the cook that she didn’t need to stop by this morning to cook us breakfast. She had to travel at least 30 minutes for each meal that she prepared for us as she did not work full time at the lodge.

I was never so happy to leave any place that we stayed at . (At least that I can remember!)

Here is Steve letting us through the gate to leave.

And our van approaches the gate to leave!

Boom! One set of gates done. More to go!

Good bye Cow Creek! Not sorry to be gone!

This whole stay at Cow Creek was not quite pleasant, I find it cathartic to relive it’s end!

Good bye burned out forest!

Onto the dirt road.

Then it was onto a stone road.

Some parts of the road were really bumpy.

Then we got to the narrow section with blind spots ahead.

Where a truck always seemed to be approaching, with poor visibility of the road ahead.

The road was so uneven.

With steep drops offs on one side.

And a truck barreling down the road to look for downed wood in the forest.

I told you it was a bad road!

After an hour on the dirt/stone road we made it to pavement. Yay!

The car was a real mess from the dust and dirt!

Now would be a good time to recap Steve’s thoughts about Cow Creek.

A harrowing drive up the worst road I’ve ever seen, a burned over landscape and truly bad food will prevent a repeat visit, but I caught a lot of fish in our 2 days there. Cow Creek is a small high mountain (8800′) stream, about 10’wide and perhaps 20 CFS, that has been “improved” by digging deep holes every 30 yards or so over a 2 mile stretch. This section is divided into 12 beats. They have also dug 7 ponds. The work was done as tastefully as possible, but still feels artificial. The deep pools and ponds hold bookies, browns, cutbows, and rainbows, some 5-8 pounds. They are very wary and tentative due to the concentrated pressure, I enjoyed catching a few big ones of 4-6 pounds, one of which took a mouse against the bank near the inlet of Pond No. A. With a strike worthy of a lunker bass, but I most enjoyed the natural stretch upstream, which is tiny water full of small wild browns, bookies, and a few Rio Grande cutthroat. With stealth and accurate short casts, even bow and arrow casts, the fish rose to small dries, especially a Royal Wolff in size 18.

I found this place for breakfast on Yelp. Chocolate? Yes, please!

The bakery looked very promising.

We were told to sit anywhere, I plopped ourselves in front of the window so we could watch the bakers. “You looking at me?”

While we waited for our breakfast to be brought over, we enjoyed watching how some of the pastries were prepared.

First the dough needs to be run through the machine, several times to create the perfect flaky croissant.

Then it is placed on the slab, ready to be cut.

Here the baker is piping chocolate onto the dough.

On the right spinach croissants are being prepared.

Our breakfast were derived. I had the blue corn blueberry pancakes with piñon syrup. I probably should have had the strawberries and cream waffle. These were a bit dense and dry.

Steve had some kind of Mexican slop. If that isn’t a gloppy breakfast I don’t know what is!

Then it was time to find our hotel. We went from no stars to a five star American Express Fine Hotel with benefits!

We would be staying at The Inn of the Anasazi.

The hotel was right on the courthouse square. We went for a walk. Come along.

We checked out The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

The church was started in 1869 and is designed in the Romanesque Revival style.

It was lovely inside.

Nearby was the famous Loretto Chapel.

Inside is the miraculous staircase.

There is no newel or center pole. The staircase was built without nails. It is held together by pegs and glue. That is why it was called the “Miraculous Staircase.”

The Gothic Revival altar is made of wood painted to look like marble.

While in Santa Fe we also went to some museums. The Georgia O’Keeefe museum was going under renovations so they didn’t charge us to enter. We also went to the Historical Museum. No pictures allowed!

On the way back to the hotel we stopped to window shop at Lucchese boots. We only window shopped.

Our room was very inviting.

This was the special amenity we were given by the hotel. A handful of potato chips, a handful of popcorn and some nuts. We shared.

We had dinner at the hotel.

I love cornbread, as does Steve.

One of us had a salad.

I am not quite sure what this entree was.

This was definitely salmon!

Dessert was flan, ice cream and chocolate. All three of my favorite food groups!

Do you think I was too hard on Cow Creek?

Are you nuts?

Which one these food groups is your favorite? Flan, ice cream or chocolate?

Cow Creek Ranch, Pecos New Mexico. Monday September 21, 2015

Good Morning to you! This is a fish caught on the ranch by a prior guest. That is some fish! And it looks like it was caught a long time ago.

While I waited for our cook to rustle up some breakfast for me I thought I would show you some of the main lodge.

The main dining area.

In the next room there were many animal heads.

Some animal skins.

There were plenty of spaces to sit and chat. However, we were the only guests for the week. Cow Creek has since ceased to exist as a public fishing lodge. Which we thought would happen. There was so much fire damage to the hills, that it was an unattractive place to fish or ride.

My scrambled eggs and bacon came out quickly.

Which were soon followed by berry pancakes.

Steve had already gone out to meet with with his guide for his day of fishing.

While Steve was fishing I hung out at the lodge. A bird watching group from Santa Fe came to search for birds. I was invited but had no energy at this elevation.

They were off for four hours, so I think it was a good decision not to go out with them.

The lodge must have been really something back in the day. It was too bad that there had been so many fires in the area.

A beautfiul fish that Steve caught.

Oopsy!

Nice recovery!

No he did not keep him. Steve realeses his fish that he catches back to the stream. Once in awhile he does keep a few trout when he fishes back home and we eat them, but that is rare.

Here is a closer view of the pond that Steve fished.

Fish in the net.

Sometimes the ending is not so happy!

Then it was time for dinner. More of the salad from a bag with tomatoes and shredded cheese.

Chicken. It’s whats for dinner! Very dry chicken.

For dessert we had pistachio pudding and that same chocolate cake!

After dinner I followed Steve to the pond.

For more fishing.

No, it is not the same fish!

I wanted him to catch me one of the palomino trout, but they were persnickety.

Steve caught 50 fish today. It would be his last day fishing on this trip. Tomorrow we leave for Santa Fe, New Mexico!

Then it was off to bed.

What animal heads are in your living room?

What is your favorite type of dry meat?

Have you ever seen a palomino trout?

Did you that LDR means Long Distance Release?

Are you happy about not seeing anymore fish pictures? Be honest!

Cow Creek Ranch, Pecos New Mexico. Sunday September 20, 2015

After I published last night’s post Steve remarked that I did not embellish much about the road to Cow Creek. I told him that I blocked a lot of it out of my memory as it was such a bad, bad road. Steve said that the road was bed rock in many parts and that at times we couldn’t even tell where the road actually was. Yep. That is why I didn’t remember the road. It was bad!

Here I am at breakfast, reading the literature about the history of Cow Creek.

Please don’t quiz me! This is the view of the dining area from the opposite direction.

I can tell you that Cow Creek was founded in the 1800’s as a boarding ranch for wealthy English boys to learn Western ranching. Generally these would be second sons as only the first born son would inherit the estate. In the 1930’s Cow Creek was transformed into a guest ranch. It’s for sale now, if you want to buy it!

Breakfast!

I love my whipped cream on coffee!

Here is a view of Cow Creek and the valley.

After breakfast I wandered down to the horse barn for my scheduled ride.

Can you see the fish in the stream?