Homeward Bound

8 10 2014

Monday, September 6 and Tuesday, September 7, 2014

LOTS of miles!

Leaving day today.  We have many miles to go before we sleep.

There is always time to gather in the Master Suite.

There is always time to gather in the Master Suite.

We plan to drive to Tulsa today and Albuquerque tomorrow.  The trip home is almost too short to break into 4 driving days and too long to do it in three.  We chose three.

final packing

final packing

Believe it or not, we opted out of breakfast on the Love Boat this morning in favor of getting some miles under our belt.  Besides a stop for breakfast will help to break up the journey.

Bye - we love you!

Bye – we love you!

Driving duties were split between Rich and myself and we certainly made tracks.  The miles clicked by as we made our way through Indiana, Illinois and into Oklahoma.

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Arrival in Tulsa was late so we just walked over to Ruby Tuesday restaurant and had a decent dinner.  Tomorrow we will get up and do it all again.

On Tuesday I manage to hit up the Fitness Room at the Holiday Inn before we take off.  We decide to skip the “trough” breakfast in favor of  driving a bit and making a breakfast stop later.  I start getting hungry for a Pork Chop breakfast (!) so we make a stop at a Cracker Barrel on the road.  We both indulged in huge breakfasts.

Rich chose catfish with his eggs!  It was outstanding.

Rich chose catfish with his eggs! It was outstanding.

My pork chop and pancake feast.

My pork chop and pancake feast.

Time to make some real tracks.  Albuquerque is still a long, long way off.  We trade drivers and keep on truckin’ making it to our destination around 7pm due to gaining an hour in the time zone change.  I already had my sights on dinner at the High Noon Restaurant just like we did on the first night of our trip.  It is a great place and the steaks are stellar.

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High Noon does not disappoint (even though it breaks our rule of not visiting the same place twice).  We have a wonderful, friendly young man for our server and the steaks are as good as we remember.  We walk back through Old Town noticing the preparations for the upcoming Balloon Festival in Albuquerque.

Tomorrow is our final driving day of the trip.  Our heads hit our pillows with the happy knowledge that we only have about 6 more hours until we are HOME!

 

 

 

 

 





Fantastic Last Day on the Love Boat

5 10 2014

Sunday, October 5, 2014
zero Miles

We sleep in this morning.  By the time we venture into the kitchen and look out the window there is already smoke pouring from the Big Green Egg.  Dad got up early and has a huge pork roast slowly cooking away.

Do you think this will wake the neighbors?

Do you think this will wake the neighbors?

A nice long coffee time is whiled away in the Master Suite. The most of the guests move downstairs for typical Sunday activities like reading the paper, checking email, blogging, etc. while Dad and Mom are in the upstairs kitchen preparing brunch.

Rich starts out in Dad's chair and quickly realizes he should move...

Rich starts out in Dad’s chair and quickly realizes he should move…

Uh oh.  Now he is in Mom's chair...

Uh oh. Now he is in Mom’s chair…

Soon we are all summoned upstairs to the dining room for a wonderful brunch of eggs, sausage, Mom’s famous biscuits along with Dad’s sausage gravy.  This certainly should hold us all day until dinnertime!

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We all hang out and relax at home enjoying the beautiful Fall day in Evansville. Alan is picked up early from his home and brought over to attend our planned family “meeting.”  There is a lively round table discussion regarding the Scheffield House and all the arrangements both previously made and yet to be made. After we iron out all the details it is “Cava Time.”

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Janet opens the special  bottle that we gave her yesterday. It was just as fantastic as we remembered.

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All the stops were pulled out for tonight’s dinner.  There was such a feast that there was not even room enough on the table to put it all out at once.  We dined on Dad’s Pork Roast, Mushroom Pasta, Carrot Coins, Cottage Cheese with Pineapple or Chives, and Mom’s Home Made Bread (of course!).  Dinner was outstanding!

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I know that we are lucky to all be able to gather here – it is not often that we get to do this.  Now that Alan is in Evansville, it will be a little bit easier.  We are all looking forward to Christmas when we we all be here again and will be joined by the rest of the family – Janel, John and Dario.  Can’t wait!

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Tomorrow is leaving day for Rich and me and also for Janet and Eric.  We have a long day tomorrow (about 600 miles) so it will be an early morning.  It has been a great Evansville visit and we truly appreciate all the efforts Mom and Dad have made for the benefit of all.  Thank you.





Saturday Activities on the Love Boat

4 10 2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014

zero miles

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I am going to miss waking up to scenes like these.  Dad is busily preparing fried mush (with the leftover grits – if you have never tried it you are truly missing out) and poached eggs.

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Wow.  It certainly doesn't get any better than this.

Wow. It certainly doesn’t get any better than this.

It rained last night and the wind is really blowing today.  We stepped outside to take a peek and it is COLD!  Autumn has definitely arrived in Evansville.  So nice to soak it up before going back to the 90’s in Mesa.  Rich has plans to go to Alan’s house this afternoon to watch the highly anticipated Ole Miss vs Alabama football game.  I think I just might go get in a round of golf.

Helfrich Hills is one of the oldest courses in Evansville.  My only memory of it is from wintertime when we would drive over there with our sleds and join most of the West Side of Evansville in a huge sliding party down one of the large hills on the course.  I have always wondered what it would be like to play here. Now I know.

Beautiful Views

Beautiful Views

There is not a flat place on this course!  You are either shooting down hill (which is great) or straight up hill and usually into the wind.  I am actually wearing two jackets to keep warm…  It is a fun round and I am so glad I got a chance to play here.

Notice the leaves just starting to change.

Notice the leaves just starting to change.

Just a few moments after I arrived back home, Janet and Eric pulled into the driveway.  We spent the remainder of the afternoon sitting around chatting.  We discussed the status of the Hawaii house and looked it up on Zillow.  Janet told us that it has received over 500 “views.”

Checking out the Hawaii home on Zillow

Checking out the Hawaii home on Zillow

Rich texted me to let me know that the Ole Miss/Alabama game was nearing the end and that Ole Miss was up a little.  He texted later to inform us that Ole Miss had pulled out a victory against Number 1 ranked Alabama!  I am sure there was a huge celebration in Oxford.  Go Rebels – Hotty Toddy!

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Tonight we feasted on Beef Pot Pie, Fresh Tomatoes, Cottage Cheese with Chives and Fresh Foccacia (with Dario’s Olive Oil).

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After dinner Rich and I gave Janet a special bottle of Cava directly from our trip to Spain.  It is from Recaredo – a cava cave that we visited. (read about the visit HERE.)

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Fortunately, she has agreed to share this special bottle with all of us tomorrow!  For tonight, we all are tired and are ready to hit the bed.  Goodnight, Sweet Prince.





Just the Four of Us

3 10 2014

Friday, Oct 3, 2014

zero miles

Rich and Jack are up and out early.  When Rich returns he tells us that the airport was dead – no sign of the President as of yet.  Jack got his car and zoomed off to his home in Atlanta.  We waited on Rich for breakfast and he is happy to see there is MEAT on the menu!

Bacon!

Bacon!

Dad is cooking grits this morning.

Dad is cooking grits this morning (with just a touch of butter…)

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We sit down to another great meal: Eggs, Grits, Bacon, Bagels/Cream Cheese:

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We really have no plans for this afternoon so we decide to take a drive around the area.  McCutchanville sounds like a nice place to look around, but it is close to the airport. We know that we don’t want to be stopped by the Presidential barricades so Dad takes us the long way.  However, when we go to cross Highway 41, we see that traffic is blocked.  Our wait was only about 10 minutes and we realize that if we had arrived just a few minutes earlier we probably would have caught a glimpse of the motorcade.  When we drive by the airport, sure enough Air Force One is sitting on the tarmac.  Cool.

Traffic is stopped.

Traffic is stopped.

We messed around McCutchanville and then on to Newburgh (beautiful small town righ on the Ohio River).  This area has grown so much since I lived here that I don’t even recognize it.

By the time we get home, it is almost dinnertime.  Mom already has prepped Stuffed Peppers (peppers are from Eric’s garden) and is ready to pop them in the oven.  We need to wait for a while because they are expecting a call from their Hawaii Realtor regarding the sale of their Hawaii Townhome.  They have a huge Disclosure Form to fill out and he is going to walk them through it.

While we are waiting, Rich and I determine that this would be a good time to present Dad with the special gift we picked up while in Europe.  During our trip we ran all over Barcelona looking for a very special bourbon (made in KY) that you cannot purchase in the states: Blanton’s Straight from the Barrel. (ask us how to pronounce it in Spanish!). Loyal readers may remember our mission to find this spirit in Spain. We finally managed to find a bottle in London and have carefully brought it back from Europe and then all over Florida waiting to give it to Dad.

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Dad is very excited to have this prized bottle and probably will never open it!

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The hawaii telephone conference goes on without a hitch and Mom and Dad are now armed with all the information they need to expedite the sale of the townhome.  Yay!  We all are crossing our fingers that the buyers come through.

Tonight’s dinner is an intimate affair with only 4 persons.  We dine on stuffed peppers, macaroni and cheese and a fresh baquette.  Dinner is both lovely and lively.

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After dinner we retire to the living room for dessert of either chocolate-y brownies or blueberry cake (or both as it turns out!)

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This one’s for you, Trish!

 

 

 

 





Getting Our Golf Fix in Evansville

2 10 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Zero Miles

It is so great to have a houseful this morning.  We all gather in the Master Suite for coffee and conversation (the best part of the day).

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Dad makes a fantastic French Toast with his home made brioche for breakfast in the formal dining room.

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Can you smell this? mmmm

Can you smell this? mmmm

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Jack and Rich are especially happy not to be riding today.

Jack and Rich are especially happy not to be riding today.

View of the backyard from the dining room

View of the backyard from the dining room

Today is a golf day for Jack, Rich and me.  Dad sends us to Fendrich golf course in Evansvillle.  Both Rich and I have played here before, but it has been a while.

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It is an absolutely beautiful day and we have a great time together.  Rich has a fantastic front and an ok back.  Jack and I just limp along (I did have one birdie…).  The wind picks up and we can tell the weather is beginning to change.  Fall is coming to Evansville!

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The tradition for us after golf in Evansville is to go to our favorite watering hole – The Gerst Haus.  We pick up Alan and make our way to Franklin Street where the preparations for the WestSide Nut Club Fall Festival are in full swing.  (The Fall Festival is a HUGE event for the Westside of Evansville and I am sorry that we are going to miss it.  It starts officially on Monday).

Gerst Haus

Gerst Haus

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Enjoying Frosty Fishbowls

Enjoying Frosty Fishbowls

We enjoyed our frosty ones and I am sure we solved some of the world’s problems while sitting at the Gerst Haus bar.  When we bot back home Mom and Dad were relaxing on the patio.

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The weather is definitely changing to Autumn here.  It is getting windy and looks like it might rain. The temps are dropping and it is supposed to be a low of 40 tonight!  This will be a nice interlude before we head back to Arizona.

Another awesome vegetarian dinner is presented tonight.  I think everyone might just get used to this.

Pan-seared Cracker Coated Eggplant, Fresh Tomatoes with Garden Basil and Dario Olive Oil, Macaroni and Cheese and home made bread

Pan-seared Cracker Coated Eggplant, Fresh Tomatoes with Garden Basil and Dario Olive Oil, Macaroni and Cheese and home made bread

Generally, Rich does not really care for eggplant (I love it), but even he went in for seconds tonight.  It was delicious and everyone enjoyed the entire meal.

We took three of our usual “group pictures.” They are supposed to be “normal faces,” Surprise Faces,” and “Soul Faces.”  Can you spot the differences?

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Normal Faces (haha)

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Surprised Faces

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“Soul Faces” (what in the heck is Rich doing?) Linda and Jack have it correct.

This was another great day on the Love Boat.  Jack will leave in the morning if he can make it to the airport to rent his car.  It turns out the the President will be arriving at the Evansville airport tomorrow and traffic will be stopped.  I hope he gets through.

 

 

 

 





The Boys are Back!

1 10 2014

Wednesday, Oct 1, 2014

22 Miles

Steel Cut Oatmeal and Bagels with Cream Cheese/Fresh Raspberry Preserves are on the menu for breakfast.  How much longer can I keep doing this?

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We are looking for an activity to pass the time until we get to go to Henderson and pick up Rich and Jack when they come rolling into town.  The decision is made to take a little jaunt out to the Eastside and do some shopping at Kohl’s.  We make a couple of purchases, mill around a bit and come home to await Rich’s text.

Rich texts me at 1:30 and tells me they are in Morganfield, KY and are on schedule to meet us in Henderson around 4:00pm.  They are not riding all the way into Evansville because the bridge that crosses the Ohio River from KY to IN is absolutely impassable by bicycle.  We decide to leave home around 3:00 and see if we can be there when they arrive at Atkinson Park (our designated meeting spot.).

Our arrival in Henderson is a bit early and we comb the area around the park to see if they are milling about.  They are not, so we drive down Elm Street – the street that we believe they will be coming in on.  We drive for a couple of miles and then “there they are!”

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We tailed them the rest of the way to the park and then waited for them to come zooming in.

Yay!  Here they come!

Yay! Here they come!

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After 870 miles, they look no worse for the wear!  It is great to see them and I am looking forward to hearing some great stories of the road.

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IMG_5276The bikes are loaded up and we take off for home.  Jack will be staying for just 2 nights (he needs to get back to Atlanta for his wife’s birthday on Friday).

Road Warriors return

Road Warriors return

Moving to outdoors

Moving to outdoors

We have a great time sitting around talking story and re-living our separate roads.  I am sure they are starving and fortunately dinner has been prepped earlier in the day.  Mom and Dad have gone out of their way to prepare a vegetarian feast since Jack is a vegetarian. We are pretty sure Rich has been dreaming all day of a juicy cut of some kind of MEAT, but that will have to wait!

We do not know how to have fun...

We do not know how to have fun…

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We all enjoy another awesome dinner of Wild Mushroom Pasta, Wedge Salad and Mom’s Home Made Baguette.  If this is what vegetarian dinners are like, count me in!  I think both Mom and Dad were surprised and pleased with the entire event.

It is so great to have my guy back. We plan on chillin’ in Evansville through the weekend.  Tomorrow is a golf day with Jack before he leaves on Friday.

WELCOME BACK!

 

 

 





Life in Evansville

29 09 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Zero Miles

Ahhh – morning on the Love Boat (Evansville). I wake up LATE to the smell of fresh coffee.  Dad is preparing breakfast.

IMG_5247We are presented with an awesome breakfast of perfectly poached eggs on English Muffins. I have to admit, out of all the poached eggs I have eaten on this trip, these are probably the finest. He has the technique down pat.

After breakfast I take the time to fit in a Fitness Blender workout outside in the back yard.  It is so nice out there that I almost forget I am working.

My studio

My studio

We have a nice lazy morning and afternoon.  It is great just to spend time with Mom and Dad and to chill out at home. Our only plan for the day is to pick up Alan, take him to get his new prescription glasses and have an early dinner at Hilltop Inn. (Yes, we plan our day around meals.  Do you see where I get my food obsession from?)

The other order of the day is to figure out how some of the controls work on the newly purchased Kitchen Aid refrigerator.  This thing has more buttons and dials than a space rocket.  Mom reads the manual out loud and we have a good laugh over some of the features.  It explains how to “turn off the cooling feature!” Wouldn’t you just unplug it if you didn’t want it to cool? Then, there is the extremely useful “Sabbath” feature.  If you somehow put it in that mode it will turn off the lights and dispensing (water/ice) feature on the Sabbath.  I hope they don’t push the wrong buttons.

Finally, we decide that we will all try to calibrate the “Measured Fill” feature.  It actually seems like a great idea. When you just want an exact cup of water you can push one button and it will dispense one cup.  First, you have to calibrate it.  This is where the three people come in.  I wish I had made a video of the 15 minute process of the three of us trying to calibrate this bad boy! We had out a one-cup measure, buckets in case it overflowed, manual in hand, towels to mop up, etc.  It was a riot, but we finally did manage to get it calibrated (we think).

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Later that afternoon Dad put two loaves of his home made Brioche in the oven.  It had been profing overnight and was ready to go.  The smell wafted downstairs and he set a timer after it came out for when it was cool enough for us to sample a slice.  Wow!  Warm, fresh Brioche can hardly be beat.  He made it so that he can use it to make French Toast for breakfast on Thursday.  Doesn’t everyone who makes French Toast make their own Brioche first?

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We left to go pick up Alan and for me to bother Chalice again.  I try to make friends with him everytime we visit.  He still doesn’t really like it, but he has started to let me pet him.

Chalice

Chalice

IMG_5258After picking up Alan’s new glasses (it has been 10 years since he got his eyes examined!) we went to the Hilltop for dinner. The Hilltop is an Evansville institution. It was built in 1839 and served as a stagecoach stop for weary travelers and business men on the route from the Wabash River (New Harmony Area) to the banks of the Ohio River. Now it is known for serving fried chicken (when you are having a “chicken fit”) and Brain Sandwiches (really).

Check out part of the menu:

I am definitely in the Mid-West now!

I am definitely in the Mid-West now!

Alan and I both order the 1/2 chicken gizzards/livers, Mom has the Monday special of Chicken Fried Chicken and Dad orders his usual 1/4 chicken (dark meat).  Three of us indulge in an Evansville specialty – beer served in a Frosty “Fishbowl.”  If you have never had one, you are missing out.  Even in Evansville, fishbowls are becoming a thing of the past.  It is getting harder and harder to find a restaurant that serves both good food AND fishbowls of beer (probably because the glass fishbowls are very expensive to purchase).

Notice the fishbowls (Alan and I have dark and Dad has light)

Notice the fishbowls (Alan and I have dark and Dad has light)

Manliest?

Manliest?

We are there pretty early for dinner (at least for me) 5:30.  Dad assures me that by 6:00 even on a Monday, this place will be packed.  He is correct.  He also says it will be cleared out by 8:00.

Our food arrives and it is just what I wanted.  My livers/gizzards are perfectly cooked and the coating is nice and crispy. (hey – I worked out this morning, give me a break!)

Livers/Gizzards (or as Dad says "Lizzards and Givers"

Livers/Gizzards (or as Dad says “Lizzards and Givers” (Lesia, I think you would LOVE this!)

Alan and I both have to box us our leftovers for him to take home.  He is not unhappy about this.  We drop him off and go back to Westlake Drive.  All of us are tired tonight and hit the bed early. It has been a fantastic day at HOME.

 

 








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