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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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June 28, 2012

My bad, my bad ... (that's such a strange expression!)

Here I've been back home in Huntington for almost three weeks and have not done one new post!  Several excuses for that - I was really dragging when I got home and couldn't seem to get past being dead tired and getting rid of my cold.  It wasn't until probably about a week and a half later that I started to feel somewhat back to normal although still coughing and blowing a fair amount.  And, of course, coming back to Huntington from a trip like that where there's so much to report, one feels that the reports just won't be quite as exciting. :)

I decided when I got home that maybe one reason I felt so bad was because I hadn't been eating real well and maybe needed more protein - I was meat-hungry.  I tend to diagnose and treat myself usually so I went grocery shopping and loaded up with pork tenderloin, chicken, ground chuck for meatballs, etc., and for the next nine nights made myself a nice dinner every night.  And, of course, I also reverted to my normal healthy breakfast and my normal relatively healthy lunches, although I did have lunch with friends several times.  Anyway, by the end of all that I was on my way to recovery and had really enjoyed being back in the kitchen.

There are two new things in Huntington to report on and I've sampled them both. :)  When I left I had been anxiously awaiting the opening of a new wine bar that had originally been scheduled to open in April.  And, before I left, a new "bistro" had opened for business but I hadn't yet tried it.  So, once I was feeling more human, a neighbor and I decided to try the wine bar and what a delight it is.  Just a tiny little place in Heritage Station called "Sip".  They have wine "flights" already planned for you or you can make up your own flight of wines by the 2 ounce glass or just get a glass of wine.  My neighbor and I each made our own flight of 3 individual wines and I certainly enjoyed all of mine.  They also have "small plates" and I had a plate with a small sliced baguette (from our local River and Rail bakery) with a delicious herbed goat cheese and two little dollops of black olive tapenade.  Yummy!  My neighbor ordered the cheese plate which came with nice crackers, three different cheeses, including a fantastic aged Gouda, and two little piles of what looked like maybe pine nuts or something similar with I think some small dried fruits mixed in.  We were both enjoying ourselves so much I forgot to ask her about that.  Anyway, very nice and I'll be going back.  And I just got back from trekking in 100 degree heat to get pictures of these new places - how's that for dedication?!  So, come on in...

and make your selection from an extensive wine list.

The second part of that evening, we went on to the new bistro - Chef Jason's -  (my neighbor had been there twice before) and had dessert only.  I ordered a Grand Marnier chocolate martini - called that because it's served in a small martini glass.  And oh my...I told the waitress that it was a little bit of heaven in a martini glass cause it was.  Absolutely scrumptious!!  I could have eaten another one. :)  My friend ordered a limoncello cake which, presentation-wise, was fairly fantastic - it was a white cake with white icing (they lost me right there...) but sitting on top of it was a puff of pink cotton candy!  But for me, there was no comparison and she agreed that mine was better.  I didn't taste hers cause I'm just not crazy about big, fancy cakes - just give me a Duncan Hines chocolate fudge with chocolate frosting and I'm happy.

The bistro is in with the Third Ninth Deli.  The deli was closed for a couple of months or so while they revamped the interior to make it suitable for both a lunch deli and an evening dining place and they've done a very nice job on it.  I had wondered how it could possibly work for dinner because the times I visited the deli, it was quite noisy - nothing to absorb the noise, I think.  But they've taken care of that and it's really a lovely dining area now.  The menu is very upscale and pricey enough that I won't eat there frequently, but I am eager to try a few of the entrees.  Another friend of mine and I went there after we had been to see "The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel" (a very good movie, by the way) and since we had munched on some popcorn, we ordered just salads and dessert.  My salad was a baked brie that instead of being baked inside the flaky phyllo crust was served on top of a sort of "tray" made with the flaky crust which means the crust stayed very flaky and it was all quite wonderful.  And, of course, for dessert I got the chocolate martini again.  I'm pretty sure that will always be my dessert of choice!  The bistro has a website at http://www.chefjasonsbistro.com/ .

One other place I want to mention is WilliKaye's new-ish shop.  I had visited it back before my trip and didn't think to mention it and then Peggy and I went in when she came down to go to the movie.  It is such a neat place.  The woman who owns it refurbishes some of the pieces of furniture (or maybe all of it?) and does a beautiful job.  And then there are just all sorts of vintage home decor things and other bits and pieces.  So it's really fun to poke around in it.  It's located at 313 Ninth Street and since I normally walk down to Pullman Square on Tenth Street, I tend to forget it's there.   But I very much think it's worth a visit.  She has a website, by the way which I've not visited - www.willikaye.com.

And lest you think all I've done is eat (and such a thought would be justified), I also, at some point, pulled out my cardtable and all the stuff for working on January's roombox and started making little fake books to help fill the bookcases and was happy to be back at it.  I still don't have quite as much as I want for in the bookcases, but am pleased with how it's coming along.  In fact, I decided I would get out all the furnishings I have for it, arrange them in the roombox and see how it was all coming together.  And I was so pleased when I was done with that that I took a picture.  Just in case January doesn't want to see the picture, I've posted it on my miniatures page (see tabs above) along with a little more about it and if you're into miniatures at all, I hope you'll take a minute to go see. 

We're apparently now headed into 7 to 10 days of 100+ degree weather which is kind of daunting to contemplate but thank heavens our condo got the new cooling tower installed!  My granddaughter Sophia is coming for a week-long visit on Monday so she and I are both getting pretty excited about that.  It will be her first trip here by herself and I'm pretty sure it will go well, but am keeping my fingers crossed too.  Would hate to have her decide she just had to go back home...I'll try and post a bit about our visit and a few pictures as the week goes by.


Chinch said...

So happy to hear from you blog-wise. I've been checking every day and sigh to discover that you're still in Germany. :) Your new Huntington places sound wonderful and make me want to hop on the next plane! Have a happy time with Sophia. xoxo

Christopher said...

How neat! Is that Sip wine bar the kind that has several bottles hooked up to dispensers, so they're "on tap" so to speak? (It looks like it.) 2oz pours let you try a fair number of wines, which is nice!
And the bistro looks really nice... quite elegant; I like the nail-head trim black chairs. And, in that last pic---why look, a carpet on a dining table! Who knew?! ;)

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