Thursday, January 1, 2015

a perfect way to start

the new year brought many wonderful wishes from friends from all around the globe!

I know many people diss Facebook but I find it a great tool for keeping up with some friends who would otherwise be long lost - as time and distance cause separations whether we intend it or not. Hence I can see posts from at least two friends I made in Vernon, Texas in 1990 or 1991 and with whom I have never shared a city of residence but we kept in touch. It used to be that the holiday letters were how I would get updates, now I can keep up with things they do almost instantaneously. Another of my favorite class mates from my Masters program and I had lost touch for years but I found him on FB and now he brightens my computer screen with his wit and fun sense of the absurd as well as the beauty of life in little things...

why do I say this? because many of those wishes for a happy and healthy new year came from FB.

and some came via email - a few ecards and several notes.... but imagine waiting at your mail box to get a note or card for New Year's from even your closest friends- just never happened folks... so diss away- I am a 60 year old fan of social media.

One of our Chicago friends sent a lovely e-card for New Years and it had a theme I am going to plagiarize because it was so perfect I can't believe it never dawned on me before- clocks

in the case of the card it had a number of clocks from around the world including big Ben and one from Sydney and one from NYC at Grand Central and another from Vancouver BC- many of which I have seen but some that I had not- I think it had seven clocks

it got me thinking about how many great clocks I had seen in the years of my traveling- and so I thought I might note the passage of time with a post of some of my own clock photos-

so here we go! I did not go to my back up drive of photos so I know there are probably more but here is a fairly good sample of time fleeting in many places on the globe--- LOL

the first one isn't really a clock but it is located on a clock tower LOL- it is a weathervane in Amsterdam

our own island clock on Anna Maria island in Bradenton Beach-

in Bogota, Colombia-

Bologna Italy

in the Cinque Terre in Italy (a more traditional approach to time)

in Croatia - in the town of Sibenik

the inside of the clock which faces the Seine - Paris - the Musee D'Orsay

a very old fresco clock face in a cloister in Dubrovnik, Croatia

two clocks from Gallatin TN

another Croatia timepiece- in Hvar Town on hvar island in the Adriatic off the coast of mainland Croatia

another from Korcula Town on Korcula island in the Adriatic off the mainland of Croatia

in La Paz Bolivia-

in Lund, Sweden

in Marlborough, New Zealand


On Maui in Hawaii

in Montreal Vieux Port

the more famous Musee D'Orsay clock

from the Peterhof palace in Russia

in the Porto train station - Porto, Portugal

a well known sight in Prague

Riga, Latvia

two from Silver City NM in the US

another from Croatia - this time in Split

the outside of the clock tower of the Marble Palace in St. Petersburg

and the inner works- (we climbed through the attic of the palace to get to this small room and then up onto the roof for a spectacular view of St Petersburg!)

in Stockholm Sweden-

in Tallin Estonia-

Tulsa OK in US in the Philtower or the Philcade... not sure which (memories at not 100%)

in the train museum in Utrecht Holland-

the well known timepiece of Piazza San Marco in Venice

one from Victoria BC

two from the RR station in Wellington, New Zealand-

and finally (at least from the group I came up with from my computer)- Zagreb, Croatia

so happy new year- remember time is fleet of foot and that is why my motto has been and continues to be  GO NOW!!! Make 2015 the best year yet!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

the last day of 2014

so I have been working so diligently on my photo scanning project I haven't had time to mention we have been out frequently before the crowds descend for "season" to some old favorites and to a couple of new places- including two really bad ones-

a taqueria that looked promising and was run by Mexicans - but I could cook better Mex than they were serving :-(

and a stupendously bad pizza place where the sausage pizza came with some weird chipped sausage that tasted like kielbasa--- yuck- we took half of it home and it went directly into the garbage...

then we tried yet another pizza place - because although we have a place we do like it is only open 20 hours a week (shades of Great Lake) so inevitably there are nights we want pizza and it isn't open... so we tried a place nearby called Bella Mia (OK not original but since it is old-timey they get a pass)

We liked the atmosphere and the server was terrific - the pizza not so much- I liked my margherita with pepperoni but Phil's sausage was somehow lacking in piquancy- the sausage needed to be spicier especially to offset the far too sweet red sauce... but they had things other than pizza so we may give it a second chance- especially since you can BYO for a corkage fee- (Neil sponsored the wine!)

excellent fresh garlic rolls-

we also tried Yummy House for lunch - because we had been for dinner and liked it but there is a huge hassle about this place - you have to reserve one week in advance if you want to make a reservation- the dinner was pretty  good but the lunch not so much- still searching for a great Chinese place in the area- something like our Chinese favorites in Chicago- Lao Sze Chuan and Sun Wah and Orange Garden! This shouldn't be that hard - but we might be reduced to PF Chang's - aaaaccccckkkk! but this picture will be a clue why we can't find good Chinese here- check out the clientele- all "round-eyes" - not too discriminating!

we also made it out for sushi - at the island location of Ocean Star---- that was good!

the giant roll at the bottom of the photo is the Hong Roll- and worth ordering!

we got back to Michael's on East for another dinner before the year is out- and had an excellent meal- this time we remembered to bring the wine- LOL

 starters of mussels and a seasonal salad with figs and walnuts-

 entrees of scallops and sea bass

we had Justin again for our server - he is not only excellent - he is knowledgeable enough about the wine to enjoy tasting what we brought- which showed really well...

 they had a deal at Costco for gift cards- so we used a couple of those...

we also had lunch at Moore's before the crowds - and dinner at Harry's where the guy at reception twirled our bottle of 1990 red burgundy Beaune Theurons - like a juggler - after we had it standing up to settle the sediment for about two weeks... so not cool - we had to go back to the car and get our back up wine and bring the wine home to stand up... again --- and the amazing thing is he didn't even comp the corkage!  incredibly bad form- Michael's would have 1. never done that and 2. been a bit more generous having once done it...

and of course we got to Star Fish for lunch along the way-

and google made a nice panoramic photo of the view from the screened porch-

and because we had nothing else to do- we began in earnest to plan our fall trip to Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova (with Transdniestria and Odessa)- not quite done with that and also planned a trip to Cuba for 2015 - a return for me and a new one for Phil (we hope to get Larry to join us)- the below photo is one of the drinks Jennifer and I had while on our Cuba trip in 2012!

so somehow another year has gone by - filled with lots of great times and creating wonderful memories for us. We wish you a very healthy and Happy New Year!!!