Thursday, April 30, 2015

Birthday dinner at Metacom Kitchen in Warren

By last Saturday evening my body had conveniently moved to the recovery phase from some nasty respiratory virus that had plagued me for most of the week. Most importantly for a planned birthday dinner, my appetite was back -- as things turned out, I was going to need it.

We arrived at Metacom Kitchen right at 7pm and were seated at the food bar, in the back of the restaurant overlooking the kitchen. For the next 2-and-a-half hours this would be home. . .

1st: Duck Skin Salad

2nd: Chicken and Mushroom soup

3rd: Vitello Tonnato (my request)

4th: Salmon Belly a la Planche

5th: Seared Scarlet Snapper

6th: Torchon on Foie Gras

7th: Moroccan spiced tenderloin of Colorado Lamb

8th: Chocolate Ganache
The food was incredible: creative, delicious, and well-presented. The quality of the food was almost surpassed by the wonderful service. In a world where restaurants abound, many of them outstanding, Metacom is simply and absolutely one of the best.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Podere Casalciccia in Asciano

Our Senese friends Patti and Robert (as in toursbyroberto)  finally have their guest house up and running. We were there at the beginning when it was still just a dream and can attest to how incredibly beautiful the countryside is from their hilltop -- a beauty outmatched only by their kindness and hospitality.



view from their hilltop

Sunday Dinner at D & D's

Another wonderful Sunday evening meal at Dick and Dorothy's -- just as I was fallen into the clutches of some nasty virus that would prevent me from coming to another dinner later in the week.

Carl was visiting from Bangor, Maine

Dorothy getting a kick out of Dick


Dessert by the French Tarte: fresh fruit, with ricotta ice cream and dacquoise
The rest of the week would be a blur of half days at work and lots of naps before we leave for Michigan.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Summer 1972 Susan and Sharon go to Europe

A trip down memory lane for some. . .
visiting Tante Kay and Tante Fenna in the Netherlands

Susan at the Salzburg Salt Mines

Susan and Sharon at the Salzburg Salt Mines


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Family Rendezvous in Portland and one last time on the East Bay Bike Path

Every few months we get together with Susan’s sister Joyce, usually somewhere up in Maine. Dick and Dorothy would drive up from Massachusetts and Joyce would come down from Bangor (OK, Hampden) and we would all rendezvous somewhere in the greater Portland area, usually for lunch. Since these infrequent but very important family outings will soon come to an an end, at least for us -- Michigan’s a bit far for a day trip to Downeast Maine -- we thought let’s make this last get-together a special one.

And so we did.

The five of us met up this past Saturday at the Inn at Park Spring in Portland’s cool west end for an overnight. It was a gorgeous day as Susie and I made our way north up I-95. Traffic was surprisingly light, even as we passed through Boston on I-93 before hooking back up with I-95 for the last push north.

Soon after we passed into Maine we stopped at the Kennebunk rest area and I found myself face-to-face with a bus carrying the Johnson & Wales men’s lacrosse team. They were out in the parking lot practicing their drills, presumably getting ready for a match that afternoon.

Rest area, in case you needed to know
my own personal navigatrix like father, like daughter
We were the first to arrive at the inn and so after we parked and checked in, the two of us strolled downtown catching sight of some of the smaller gems, like a a lawyer's unique take on self-promotion and a wedding.

living room at the Inn; "felt like home," we thought

Inn at Park Spring

We had no sooner returned to the inn than Dick and Dorothy pulled in soon followed by Joyce.

The afternoon sped by as we chatted over glasses of sparkling wine. That evening we ate at a small but tasty little place on the east side of town, the Blue Spoon Cafe. The service was friendly and entertaining but not annoying, and the food delicious.

Joybell showing off photos of Adeline

block fire drill
dinner at the Blue Spoon
After we returned to the inn the five of us walked a few blocks to the Westin Hotel, where we caught the elevator to their 15th floor bar for a nighttime view of the city over an after-dinner drink. It was then time for a leisurely stroll back to the Inn and bed.

The next morning we were joined in the lovely dining room by two other couples also staying at the inn. The breakfast started off with fruit, followed by Eggs Benedict and all the coffee and juice you could drink.

Susie and I had a grand time and sensed that everyone else did as well.

Joybell Dick and Susie

After lots of hugs and goodbyes we packed up and headed back south to Providence. The good news is, we’ll get to see Joyce again in June but in Michigan; Dick and Dorothy will also head out to the wilds of western Michigan,  probably not until August. We hope to have a new home before then but in the meantime we will be living with Susan’s mom. Her condo has plenty of room and will serve as the perfect base of operations as we continue our search for our next home.

After we returned to Providence we changed into our walking clothes and headed out to the nearby East Bay Bike Path one last time. It was a gorgeous day; windy but sunny and we didn't want to waste a minute of it.

a little excitement on the bike path: police recapturing a couple of kids who escaped form a nearby children's psychiatric center

We leave Providence with our first load of goods a week from today, staying overnight in Canada, arriving in Grand Rapids on Monday.And then the fun begins!

There’s plenty more to come, so stay tuned!