Whalechaser's Musings

No Matter Where You Go...
There You Are
Make the Best of It

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Red Parrot, Newport, Rhode Island

We made it to Newport, Rhode Island by mid-day and checked into our hotel earlier than I thought they would let us. That gave us lots of time to walk the downtown area. While my breakfast was huge and I thought I would never eat again today…we stopped at a restaurant named The Red Parrot and proceeded to indulge in the best seafood I have had in very many years. I think I have to make a bold statement here. You can ONLY get great seafood in New England. It was excellent. I cheated though; I didn’t want to have only one thing, so I ordered the crab cakes appetizer and a humongous bowl of clam chowder. It’s been at least 15 years since I was up here, so you know I a had a lot of time to make up for!

Here are the shots and I think just by looking, the taste comes smashing through! Chuck had seafood alfredo (shrimps, scallops and crabmeat) it was divine.

I think the crab claw in the middle give the whole dish a very special touch

The seafood alfredo had just the right blend of cream and cheese

Ah...clam chowder. This was worth the trip from anywhere!

Here is a shot of the restaurant, very hard to miss and right in the center of the harber area.

Food at the Wedding

Drats...I just remembered that I did NOT take any photos of the cocktail hour...the variety of food served there was beyond belief! I tried a little of a lot of it and thought I better sit down and coast or I will not be able to eat the dinner. So I was sitting there being really, really good and a server walked by and offered me a lamb chop! Imagine it a lamb chop during the appetizer hour...well you know I could not refuse. It would have been so RUDE!!!

Warm Brie in crouette with mixed greens...yum

Filet Mignon and special crisped potatoes and string beans done perfectly

Raspberry sherbet in a chocolate tulip cup, mixed fruit tart and vanilla bean cheesecake
A beautiful wedding cake...yellow and chocolate cake was delicious.

Glen Island Harbour Club

On Sunday we attended a wedding of the son of my very dear friends. It was held at the Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle, New York and without a doubt it was over the top wonderful. Of course the bride and groom were gorgeous and the ceremony was a happy tearful one. Immediately after the ceremony the skies opened up and torrents of rain lasted for about fifteen minutes...just enough to water the new marriage and as:ure many years of happiness!

Here are some shots I got while there:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Andiamos, Haworth, New Jersey

Friday night I got together with some old friends here in New Jersey. Whenever I am with these two people I always have a great time. Since I am only here for a couple of days, I have to stuff a lot of living into them.

We had dinner at Andiamos, an Italian restaurant in Haworth, Bergen County (previously it was Petrillos--a cozy place whose ceiling was covered with hanging straw covered Chianti bottles)The servings are huge but tasty and a bit pricey for my budget. This is the ONLY place I know that charges for a refill of soda...but hey, it's New Jersey!

Here are the shots of the fun and food. Worth every penny!

Shell fish combination with pasta

Veal Parmagiana and pasta

This was the real treat....Lydia and June! Thanks for coming ladies. We will have to do it again sometime soon!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hot Texas Weiners

That's all I have to say for anyone who knows about these things. They are just a little bit of heaven right here in Bergen-Passiac county New Jersey. I have been dreaming about having one of these practically since I left; now that I am here for a few days, I am going to savor (probably my last) these bad boys!

They are skinny hot dogs (likely sabretts) which are deep fried for a very short time, placed on a hot dog bun (which MUST be too short for the dog) slathered in deli mustard, sprinkled with very finely chopped onions and then topped with a secret sauce. The sauce looks like chili sauce without the beans but the flavor is totally different.

Here is how they look fresh out of the fryer. No this is not all MY lunch I shared it with Chuck.

If you want to see heaven on someones face...here it is:

Most of the original places that sold these dogs back in the fifties are now history. But I found one still open and doing a very brisk business, although I have to wonder why anyone would buy a cheeseburger when there are dogs to be had...

It is the Hot Grill and is located on Lawrence Avenue (Just across from the park) and right off of route 21 in Clifton, New Jersey .

Go there, you won't be sorry!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Canoeing Technique

Well, you know how it can get tiresome sitting in the same position day after day, straining the same old muscles?

I thought I would try something new while paddling down the Delaware today

actually, it was very uncomfortable.

Clarion Little Toby Trail, Brockway, Pennsylvania

Before we started the Elderhostel program in Shawnee, we took a quick 20 miler on the Clarion Little Toby bike trail starting in Brockway, Pennsylvania. What a nice trail mostly wooded and along a stream most of the way. There is a swinging bridge and several places to stop and take a hike, if one is so inclined. Here are some shots I got with my IPhone...

A fellow biker decided to take this hike, he just left his bike right here alongside the trail...I saw him 15 miles later when he needed some air for his tire...how did he know I had an air pump? I was changing a flat on my bike.

Here we are at the swinging bridge. Chuck got in front of me and was snapping his own photos...I made do with what I could see in front of me ;-)

See here...? Do you see this little hitchhiker? there is a ladybug sitting there on my handle bar happy as can be..and why not?

Shawnee Inn, The Poconos Pennsylvania

We are enjoying our active outdoor Elderhostel program here at the Shawnee Inn in the Poconos. The hotel is actually a Resort and is well maintained and run. The comfort of the guest is taken very seriously here...I am SO pampered! Yesterday during a break in the program I had a facial and it was wonderful..I look and feel so much better now. After the facial I went to a programmed yoga class and then felt very limber and exhilarated, then it was on to a golf course and garden show...in a golf cart! What fun. Here are some pictures of the route we took...

A fellow hosteler sharing the golf cart with me...this is the first "self" portrait I have taken with my I-Phone..haven't quite gotten the technique down yet
a caravan of 16 carts going over the removable bridge to the main part of the golf course, which is located on an island in the Delaware River. They take the bridge down every year to mark the end of golf season and replace it in April the following year. Really it is so it does not get washed away when the river rises!

This is a greens sod farm...they use this to replace the grass lost when they "re-place the holes" on the greens of the course. That is Wanda looking at the cut-outs used to patch holes on the course.

It wasn't all old people on this trip...she was not too interested in the tour but seemed to like the cart very much!

The Inn also grows a lot of its own vegetables and herbs...here are so elderhostelers looking at the deer protected garden located on the island just near the sod farm.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

KC Bird goes Visiting Julie

Before we started our trip I took KC to Julies. She takes care of the little guy when I travel. This time he was really lucky. He had lots of company. There were 5 other cockateils there...he should be having a ball

This guy here always gives me the ogle eye whenI stop by...I think he wants to come home with me!
Here's KC...is that a smile I see?
Here are 2 of the 5 other cockatiels he will be visiting with.

Something New at Olive Garden

You know how those really great experiences you had lots of years ago stay with you? Well, we had dinner at the Olive Garden here in Cleveland and I noticed that they have a new dessert on the menu called Zeppolies. Ahhhh. Such memories. When I lived in the New York area I always attended the San Gennaro festival that was being held anywhere in the immediate area. Why? Well for the great Italian street food! Sausage and Pepper sandwiches, Pizza, Calimari and of course Zeppolies. These are little "half-finger" sized pinched off (donut) dough that are deep fried, quickly drained and then dumped into a brown paper bag, sprinkled with powdered sugar and eaten while they are still hot. Oh my! The taste is one that stays with you for a long time.

Anyway, Olive Garden now has Zeppolies so of course, I had to order them even though I was already stuffed. Chuck was happy to share them with me (after I told him the above story...he is so cautious with new food (?) ) While they were a LOT bigger than they should have been the taste was the same and I was in heaven. Oh I should add that Olive Garden has added something to the dish...warm melted chocolate for dipping. While you may think this is good; I didn't care for it. Our waiter, Cory, added his own little touch...raspberry sauce. NOW THAT was spectacular! Oh my...Oh my. you absolutely MUST TRY THIS!!

Please forgive the picture of only one and a quarter of the six that they actually served us....I was lost in nirvana before I realized that I forgot to take a picture.

North Coast Inland Trail in Oberlin, Ohio

We are making our way east to New Jersey and points beyond but today we found ourselves in Oberlin, Ohio riding the North Coast Inland Trail. This is a fully paved trail that goes through Oberlin and points south and west including cornfields and lovely treed canopies and northeast to Elyria. Lots of flowering plants and shrubs. It was a very nice find, the weather was perfect and the ride flat; we easily did 22 miles and would do it again on our next time through. Here are some shots I took on the trail

Blackberries in the making

Not sure what these are but they look great

Do you think Chuck is having fun?

You gotta love those sanitation guys!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A "Sign" of the Times?

There I was munching on my taco and I noticed a new drive-thru wash-up combination. Too bad I was in a rush...no time to actually see it in action. I am envisioning a huge dog in the back of a pick-up truck though...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wonderful World

Nothing to do but enjoy...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Kc Bird Makes Friends

For the last almost eight years my pet bird has been pretty much a one person pet; not very friendly to others who may be sharing space for a while. When it comes to shoulders it was usually only mine that he wanted to be on.

My latest trip to Missouri gave him an opportunity to widen his horizons a little, here he has made two new friends in a very short time. I guess he is learning to overcome his fears of strangers!

He is adopting my cousin here
Bobbi Jo is really happy that he has chosen her shoulder to stand on for a while

Aw....mom, can I stay here?

The Stuff You Pick Up on the Road

I was driving from Ste Genevieve, Missouri north towards Chicago last week. After being on the road for an hour or so I heard a weird but forceful thud. Since there was no one in the immediate area, I knew it was not an accident but it was definitely something serious.

I tried the remotely moving my side view mirrors to see if there were any dents on the car but they showed nothing. Occasionally when I crossed the reflectors that are embedded in the road surface I would hear another odd sound, as if a part of the car had come loose and was moving. Still I saw nothing. There was too much traffic to pull over, so I decided that unless it interfered with my driving, I would check it out when I stopped.

So, just over the state line into Illinois I pulled into a rest stop, for, well, a rest. I almost forgot about looking for the damage when I returned but fortunately as I approached the car I looked at the painted surfaces and a little of the undercarriage. There it was. A mangled piece of metal that seemed to be originally about a foot long; now in a tangled mess jammed up in between the frame of the car and the back wheel well.

If this thing had hit tire instead of the frame I think I would have had some serious trouble!