Thursday, July 12, 2018

keeping up...

so last night we went to another of the Publican wine dinners held at Publican Quality Meats- this one focused on South African wines.  You may recall that we have visited both South Africa and in particular some of the wine country there.

perhaps a little bit of travelogue is called for - LOL

What did we do in South Africa? In all we were there a bit over a month- we spent a little over two of those weeks in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe on safari which was possibly our favorite trip of all time... 80 countries and visiting the animals in THEIR home was so overwhelming emotionally, and brought me to tears several times... such magnificence! But in South Africa our focus was on a range of activities - so we went to the southern Cape where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet -

we saw penguins - cute little ones!

we went to the elephant sanctuary and the cat sanctuary and the monkey sanctuary - all wonderful things to do along the Garden Route...

we visited wineries and wine country- and ate a lot of seafood-

we visited many sites related to one of my personal heroes Nelson Mandela - including Robben Island and the place he gave the long walk to freedom speech

we made several visits to Table Mountain and we had tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel-

so we really liked our time in the area immensely - and that was why we signed up for the South Africa wine dinner at Publican that we attended last night.

no photo of the bunny chow because Phil did not want the curry and in the machinations of getting him something else to eat I forgot to take a photo- LOL- otherwise these follow along with the menu above

a very nice evening made better by several really nice table mates - a lovely couple (her family was from South Africa) both in the food and beverage industry... and on our other side  two guys who love food, one of them knew a ton of people at the event and the other was from Chandigarh in India where our friends Mac & Niti and their family live! It is such a small world.  Brian (who knew everyone) had just come back from a dining trip in Denmark and Holland and London.... which parallel travels of Noah and Cara (London) and Beth (Denmark) at the very same time...

next up a party for a few old friends and colleagues and then Bastille Day--- with a fun menu of French things and we dug out the wines for that one today .... coordinating with others attending - so we are on "red duty" LOL

a 1977 Graham's Port and these wines -  from the 90s for the courses where we will need a red...

so we managed to keep busy as retirees LOL - and we are marshalling all our travel gear in prep for the East Africa trip for the Great Migration! Cue the wildebeests!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

soon but not yet

it seems like forever since we have traveled anywhere - if you have an extraordinary memory and read the posts closely you will recall our last trip was last fall... we had two trips for the wedding festivities and of course being a partial sponsor of those took an early summer trip off the books this year.  And we might hasten to add - it was well worth it to see daughter Angela and hubby Lee so happily married in such a wonderful ceremony and delightful reception. 

but now we are looking forward to getting out in the whole wide world again...... and it will be soon- at the very end of the month we leave for a safari in East Africa... for the annual "great migration"!

but of course before that comes around in roughly three weeks we have plans - many plans - many social plans... and plans for packing and getting everything done that needs to be done before the trip- for instance today I had my second Hep B vaccine (third one due in 6 months) - niggley details of travel to places far flung and less developed...

however in the ultimate display of civilization LOL we dined last night with friends Sheila & Mary at our favorite the award winning Michelin 2 ** Oriole.... another fabulous meal which had a few changes since our last visit in May... the most beautiful new course shown first followed by the entire menu and photos of all-

still an awe inspiring place- worth a visit by every traveler to the Chicago area... these folks really know how to host people in the most warm and welcoming way as well as serve food that causes swooning noises at the table LOL

We paired the meal with wines from Sheila & Mary's cellar and from ours- a 2000 Noble Cuvee from Lanson (champagne) and a 2013 Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet Embrazees and then a terrific 1996 Arlaud Gevrey-Chambertin Les Combottes and a wonderful 1995 Berardenga Rancia Chianti Classico Riserva which was so silky smooth it reminded us all of why we wait while the wines cellar to this level of perfection! And to top off the evening we had a 1988 Rieussec Sauternes - at 30 showing well!

All in all a really fun evening with the folks at Oriole! 

And while not quite the other end of the spectrum - we did go out for burgers from Bad Apple on Sunday night after Phil came back from the Irish Music Fest and Pizza on Monday night at my personal favorite Fat Chris's Pizza

our pizza wine! LOL

so a wine dinner tonight at Publican Quality Meats featuring South African wines and then a gathering of friends here on Friday evening and another gathering of Chaine friends on Saturday at the condo of one of the officers (a celebration of Bastille Day for some Chaine des Rotissuers members - fitting as you can see from the name, the organization began in France)

so on we go- stay tuned for at least nine more (currently scheduled) dinners before we leave and you get to see something besides food photos....