So please - forgive the delay in getting the first post of 2018 up online-
might as well start with the last week- our friend Mike came to visit between performing at a couple of shows and the Fort Lauderdale Folk Festival... also friend Neil is in town for a couple of weeks so we made arrangements for dinner at Bern's as both are wine aficionados. We were joined by Elizabeth a long time friend of Neil's. It was a really lovely evening catching up with everyone and having some outstanding wines!
The wines we had were as follows with my choice for the wine of the evening (WOE) starting off- followed by my choices for the rankings- others disagreed and put the Clos Vougeot first and the group was split on the whites as well- I preferred the Chassagne but others favored the Beaune Clos des Mouches.... that's what it's all about!
by this time in the meal the white wine glasses had been removed- LOL
the food at Bern's is better than you might expect because they grow their own and fish their own and slaughter their own etc... but you get a soup, a salad, a potato with garnish and veggies and onion rings with your meat selection. They also have first rate fish but I am sure many more diners choose the steaks which they are known for... Mike, Phil and I shared the Chateaubriand and Neil had veal and Elizabeth had the snapper. We did NOT go to the Dessert Room being too stuffed and sated with wine to even think of indulging in the end of the meal wines and fabulous desserts. Here is the food we did have - or most of it LOL-
Mike and Elizabeth had the lobster bisque and Neil had a TO DIE FOR vichyssoise which I will definitely order next time- it was outstanding!
The night before Bern's, Mike and Phil and I had dinner at Blue Marlin in Bradenton Beach (our favorite local restaurant) and had two outstanding wines - a red and a white Burgundy - the 2005 Corton Charlemagne from Bouchard and the 1996 Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes from Arlaud
I started with the burrata salad and the boys had the scallops with pulled pork -
then i had the black grouper with pecan crust and Mike has a lobster shrimp and scallop scampi dish and Phil had the Grouper Picatta - all YUM!
cake for dessert - chocolate mousse for Phil and me and Coconut Cream cake for Mike
Then working back we had dinner with John and Barb at Kasa Sushi on Monday (only one photo- of the sashimi) and Sunday we had a celebrate the New Year with Jean at Harry's (no photos- sorry)
and since I am working back to New Year's Day - we signed a contract on the condo we are hoping to buy - closing is early in February. The first week of the year was taken up arranging inspections of various sorts and then working out the details of the deal. Finding sources for work we will want done on the new place before we move in. Getting our place all tidy for photos for listing and showing...
Oh and by the way, I also started two classes for this term. A college class at Ringling College of the Arts (the class is about 20% CE students and 80% matriculated students working on degrees there. The class is twelve weeks long and is an Art History elective for the students who have to deal with three exams, a term project, a dozen or so quizzes to be completed online before class, as well as a very strict attendance policy. LOL the CE students have no such restrictions but of course will gain value from the reading assignments. The subject matter is the Birth and Development of the Skyscraper.
The second class I am taking is taught by my teacher from last spring - it is on Chinese Art and is part of the Lifelong Learning Academy here in Sarasota. I enjoyed her as a professor and apparently she has gained quite a following because virtually all the (sold out) class had taken either the class last spring or the one she taught last fall. So I am off to school two afternoons a week. And although it is now Sunday evening I haven't started my homework - AAACCCKKK!
We also went to the Symphony (second of our series of tickets for the season)
But here is a brief report on the BIG event of the first half of January 2018!
Our friend, Barbara, celebrated a full 100 years on the planet Earth and my what she has seen! I posted on her 99th and so you probably already know that she graduated from NYU with a degree in Sociology and worked during the war at a munitions plant (where she met the love of her life, Charlie, the father of her two daughters and her beloved husband of many many years.)
It was a true love match-
dinner party place settings (napkin folding by Allegra- Barbara's granddaughter)
just some of the flowers for the birthday girl
many many photos of people - some of whom we have come to recognize- along with a number of great stories about life at Lake Mohegan. I think I mentioned last year that Barbara grew up at the Mohegan Colony. Her parents - early pioneers in fresh air advocacy and her own mother, Norma being an early adopter of healthy eating and vegetarian lifestyle.
we were lucky enough to hear some funny family recollections - including one where Barbara's nephews went to visit her mother Norma and father and just as they arrived they got a lecture on what they wouldn't be eating while there- no cokes - no burgers - no fries ! They were so traumatized they went down to the local drugstore and gorged on Coke and fries until they were sick LOL
At the bottom of this group below is a photo of Barbara with a mule - apparently taken when she and Charlie were living in Venezuela. Another adventure and some of it pretty frightening. Barbara had two little daughters! The three ladies of the family are shown in the next grouping top center - Barbara with blonde toddler, our friend Barb, (Barbara Jane or "Beege" for BJ) and baby Beth...
I know it is not considered PC to comment on people's looks these days and I know that many of these photos will not be all that clear to the readers of the post, but trust me- this woman was so beautiful with the most amazing clear blue eyes -
Barbara with her granddaughter Allegra and Allegra's husband Sparrow.
LOL they reused the sign from 99 and we hope to have it re-used for many years to come!
So you can see that while I haven't been keeping up with posting I have been busy with life- and really isn't that the way it is supposed to be? And there will be more of course... so stay tuned.