Thursday, February 28, 2019

Salz Und Pfeffer

On the day we did laundry in Budapest, we ate at a great little restaurant located right across the courtyard from the laundromat.

Antré Étterem offered an inexpensive and varied breakfast buffet.  The restaurant was clean, modern, and well attended.
At one point during breakfast, I was looking for the salt and pepper shakers.  I touched and moved everything on the table trying to find them.  I eventually had to resort to calling over a staff member - who wound up being the manager - to ask him if he could provide me with a set. 

Imagine my surprise when he pointed out that they were right in front of me.  These were the salt and pepper shakers.  Boy, did I feel stupid.
I had seen them but immediately dismissed them.  My mind was telling me they were other things - a microphone (Why would they have a microphone on a table?), a set of speakers (Why would they put speakers on the table?) - and since I wasn't really looking closely at them because it never occurred to me that they were salt and pepper shakers, I didn't see the "S" and the "P" on the side of each shaker.  That would have been a big clue.

I immediately wanted them and asked the manager if they sold them.  He said "No.  People usually just steal them."  So I asked where I could find them and he told me they were made by a company called 
WMF (Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik) - a German company founded in Berlin in 1880, and the same company that made the coffee machine I loved on the cruise ship.

I needed to find a store.

We looked in each town we came across after that and saw more than one WMF store but due to countrywide holidays, they were closed.  Rats!  I figured I'd have to hunt them down online and pay a crazy price to have them sent to me once I was back in the United States.

But then, as luck would have it, my friends Marlaina and MacG were out on an excursion one day and came across a place that sold these very salt and pepper shakers and picked them up for me!  They now sit on my kitchen counter at home.

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Hot And Sweet

2017: My Kind Of Salad
2016: In Disguise
2015: Hawaii Five-O
2014: I Like Big Boteros And I Cannot Lie
2013: The Young Never Have Trouble Screwing
2012: Making Tracks Across The Country
2011: Eddie Is The King Of The Dome
2010: Do It For Half An Hour A Day
2009: Sipping In Nyack
2008: The Tink Tink Tinkle Of Recycling
2007: Ralph’s Service Station
2006: The Isle Of Capri
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Tucked In

On a cross-country trip from the Southeast to the Pacific Northwest, we finally hit snow! I was in heaven!

On the way out west, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho had the most snow.  Some flurries, some steady snowfall, and then...some ice.  The ice was bad enough at one point through Montana that we shut down for the night.  We delivered our load without incident, picked up another one and headed back across the country.

On the night I took this photo, we were headed east through Oregon and stopped to assess our trip.  We were sitting in the parking lot deciding on whether or not to tackle Cabbage.  Cabbage, also known as Emigrant Hill, is hairy when there's no weather.  On the sunniest day with bone dry roads, the hill is challenging.  So when we check the road conditions on Oregon's Department of Transportation website, we were concerned.  The website said it was heavily and steadily snowing and that there were patches of black ice.  The chain law was also in effect, which meant we'd have to pull over on the side of the road and Ed would have to put chains on the tires.

Ed decided to sit it out.  I was very happy with that decision and a little selfishly, I knew the scenery would be much better during the day.  It's been a long time since we've been in this part of the country during winter and it was definitely something I wanted to see.

Stay tuned for photos.

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This Is Who I'm Meant To Be

2017: No Chickens 'Round Here
2016: Piquing Interest
2015: Not Your Average Hula Girls
2014: Some Links Are Sexier Than Others
2013: Who Says I'm Spoiled?
2012: So That’s How It’s Done
2011: Sunny Bright Yellow Moments Ahead
2010: Loaded
2009: C’mon, Just Do It Already!
2008: Counterproductive
2007: If You Need A Reason To Cook More Often, I Think I Have One
2006: Warning: May Contain Traces Of Nuts
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, February 25, 2019

A Church Near A Castle

Located on Castle Hill in Budapest, Hungary, Matthias Church was a church of kings, a mosque for Ottoman Turks, and a place of worship for Franciscans and Jesuits.  Today it's a Catholic Church that balances holy masses with masses of tourists.
It was originally built in 1015, but there are no remains of that original structure.  The current building was built in the late 14th century and has a traditional Gothic-style exterior.  The colorful roof tiles are a unique feature.
The interior of the church was decorated in golden hues.  From a distance, the designs looked like mosaic tile. 
 The patterns were intricate and I assumed they were tile, like many other churches I'd been in.
But upon closer inspection, I noticed that the interior was just painted.  Everything, painted!  There's so much detail, it's hard to know where to look.  The colors, the patterns.  Everywhere, every inch, covered in paint. 
This post from Travel Past 50 has some AMAZING photos of the interior.  You'll really be able to see the rich colors and intricate patterns.  Daydream Tourist also did a post about the interior that includes some great pictures showing the detail of all the painting.

The gold and the bright colors were present in the gift shop, also.  
I found a few trinkets to bring home for family and friends.

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Sock It To 'Em

2017: Linked
2016: Stop And Pray
2015: Stateroom 342
2014: The Higher The Hair, The Closer To God
2013: My Two Cents On Oscar Fashion
2012: A Little Nip Of A Love Affair
2011: It’s A Serious Addiction
2010: Why Play Fantasy Football When You Can Spend Your Time Making Lists For The Halle Experiment?
2009: I Hope There Isn’t Going To Be A Quiz
2008: Sunglasses Required
2007: Golden Eye
2006: Making A List And Checking It Twice
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Country Calling Code 420

I came across this wonderful relic in Český Krumlov, Czech Republic.

There are kids alive today who don't even know what this is let alone been inside one.  

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Skull Rider

2017: Winter Nuts
2016: Taking A Surf Break
2015: Not So Fat Tuesday
2014: Dinner And A Show
2013: Everything You Need To Live A Bountiful Life Is Inside Of You
2012: From A Bodyguard, To Men Of Honor, To Good Deeds
2011: Just What I Need
2010: Waterfront Dining
2009: The Best Is Yet To Come
2008: It’s Not Just A Medicinal Oil After All
2007: Tracy Hilltop
2006: Calming The Flatulent Tiger
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Soaking In European Bubbles

It doesn’t matter where I am in the world, I seem to get stuck doing laundry. Even on a European vacation!  My first foreign laundry experience took place in Hungary.  
By Day 5 of our vacation, I needed to wash a few things.  Luckily, on one of his walks through the city of Budapest, MacG found a cute little laundromat.  It was called Bubbles.

Great little place.  Colorful, modern, seemingly easy to use.  
Hungarian is an impossible language to decipher.  Words don't even resemble English words.  Luckily, using a washing machine and dryer is fairly straightforward once you figure out where the coins go.  
This place had a change machine with different language options which made things a little easier.
Prices were pretty standard for laundry - 1,400 HUF ($4.90 USD) for a wash, 1,200 HUF ($4.20 USD) for a dry. A HUF is a Hungarian Forint, the currency of Hungary. 
They even had a comfy little lounge area.

The laundromat was clean, well-lit, had nice big folding tables, and is open 24 hours.  We were there in the morning so enjoyed breakfast at a great little restaurant right across the courtyard.

Total win.

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2018: Roasted And Tossed
2017: Only A Boob Drives Into A 'Boob
2016: A Citrus Oasis Awaits Me
2015: Ed Travels Light
2014: La Ventanita
2013: Big Fat Proof Of Your Weight
2012: This Could Be Very Confusing For Men
2011: The King Of Thrift
2010: Dances With Sheepskin
2009: The Seat You Offer Your Arch Enemy
2008: The Man With The Silver Handbag
2007: Silver Snowscape
2006: Let Go Let Flow
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Trucks Bring It To Them, They Bring It To Us

A couple of weeks ago, Ed and I tried grocery delivery to our home.  It was our first time and we weren't sure what to expect, but it turned out to be a great experience. 

This past weekend, we tried it again.  Except for this time, since we're on the road, we had the groceries delivered to us at a truck stop!

We were in Atlanta.  It had been raining for two days.  We were in our pajamas.  And we needed food.

We planned on going out to shop for ourselves over the weekend, but laziness took over and when the rain came, neither of us wanted to go out in it.  So Ed started looking into grocery delivery.  We found a Publix (one of my favorite grocery stores) a few miles away who offered delivery.

Ed placed the order and waited to be contacted by the delivery person.  Publix uses Instacart as their delivery service and they keep you updated during the entire process - "Your order has been received", "Your basket is being filled", "Your order is complete", "Your order is on its way".  They gave us the name of the two women who were doing the shopping and delivery and provided a time frame for the delivery.

When Ed received an ETA from the driver, he got dressed and met the driver at the main building of the truck stop.  He thought it'd be easier to meet her at the building rather than her trying to navigate a sea of semi trucks in the parking lot.  He took our two big tote bags so he'd be able to carry everything back to the truck.

Minutes later he was knocking at the back door.  I opened it to find him standing there with two bags, his raincoat falling off his shoulders.  He looked adorable.  But more importantly, he had our groceries.

This, my friends, is a total game changer.  Grocery delivery to a semi truck??  Awesome.  Not having to navigate parking lots that aren't truck friendly?  A big plus.  Ordering groceries in our pajamas?  Heaven.

Our original plan was to either take an Uber to the grocery store or drive the truck over.  Bobtailing (driving without the trailer) meant that Ed would have to drop the trailer, which he didn't really want to do, and driving the truck and trailer meant we could lose the parking spot we'd been in all weekend.  And, although the parking lot appeared to be able to accommodate our truck, you never really know until you get there.  No Truck Parking signs are a familiar sight.

It was a deal, too.  The delivery fee is waived if you order over $35 worth of product, which we did, so all we had to pay was the $3 service charge.  The Uber would have been over $20 plus tip for the round-trip.  The only thing better?

I didn't have to get out of my pajamas.  

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Cloud Cover

2017: Vintage Sip
2016: Amateur Arborists
2015: Sea Day
2014: Art Deco Color
2013: Formed Around A Grain Of Sand
2012: Pinwheels, Cartwheels, What’s The Difference?
2011: Maybe You Left It On Mars
2010: The Art Of A French Cooking Friend
2009: Eddie Supervises Friday
2008: Squeaky Clean
2007: Rushing No More
2006: My Constant Gardner
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ring The Bell For Tips

I'm always reading about cooking online.  I love finding new recipes (even if I don't make them, which is often), watching cooking shows, listening to cooking podcasts (The Splendid Table, America's Test Kitchen), and finding new tips and tricks. 

Here are five links that I found offering a multitude of tips:

57 Things You Can Do to Be a Better Cook Right Now

101 Simple Cooking Tips

21 Cooking Tips That Will Change Your Life  (#15 actually works!)

26 Cooking Tricks to Steal from the World’s Best Chefs

15 Secrets from Top Chefs That Every Home Cook Should Know

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Snacks & Bar

2017: So This Happened Today
2016: Agrarian
2015: Tied Off
2014: Seek And Ye Shall Find
2013: Frantically Trying To Get Back To Indonesia
2012: I’d Like Some Snow For Dessert
2011: Getting A Little Carried Away
2010: On A Need To Know Basis
2009: Something Has Gone Terribly Wrong
2008: Flying Into The Sun
2007: Riding The Rails
2006: Keeping Me Quiet With A Chocolate Snap
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Slow Skate Slow Jam

Last week when Ed and I were in Atlanta there was an R & B concert (Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and Keith Sweat) on Valentine's Day that we almost attended.  We wound up not going, but talking about the artists got me thinking about the music I listened to growing up.  I was a hardcore disco and R & B fan.  Babyface and Keith Sweat were only part of my collection.  

While perusing YouTube for slow jams,  I found the video above - "Always and Forever" by Heatwave.  I loved this song.  They always played it for during the slow skate portion of the evening at the roller rink we went to. 
They were known for two other songs around the same time - "The Groove Line" and "Boogie Nights". 

According to Wikipedia, after Rod Temperton, one of the founding members quit the band, he "continued writing songs for them but became better-known for his songwriting for other artists.  He penned award-winning songs for some of funk's biggest names, including Rufus, The Brothers Johnson and George Benson.  He also wrote for Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones, but his most famous partnership remains the one forged with Michael Jackson, writing three songs for his 1979 Epic debut Off the Wall – "Rock With You," "Off the Wall" and "Burn This Disco Out", and three songs for the 1982 Thriller LP, including the title track."

For me, this song will never die.

"Always and Forever", always and forever. 

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Running Through Hollywood In The Desert

2017: Demo Day
2016: What? This Is Perfectly Normal.
2015: Inside The Walls
2014: What A Difference A Day Makes
2013: The Inner Path To The Outer Banks
2012: The Greatest Love Of All
2011: Step It Up
2010: It May Not Be EVERY Day You Learn Something New, But It’s Certainly True Of THIS Day
2009: Dreams Of Do-It-Yourself Dolloping Come True
2008: Rest In Peace Sweet Green Eyed Beauty
2007: George And Ira
2006: Zip It Up!
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Parade Of Light For The Year Of The Pig

Last weekend, Ed and I took part in the Parade of Lanterns in San Antonio, Texas.

The press release for the event reads:

"The Chinese New Year tradition of observing a parade of lanterns dates back to 221-207 BC. The Parade of 
Lanterns event on The San Antonio River Walk will carry on the tradition by featuring ten enchanting boats carrying large illuminated lanterns, each featuring different scenery.

The breathtaking display will float 
throughout the 2½ mile downtown stretch of the River Walk. This free event runs nightly from February 9 to February 23, 2019, from 7:00-9:00 p.m."
"Each Chinese New Year celebrates one of twelve animals representing a different Chinese zodiac sign. 2019, the Year of the Pig, is one of the twelve animals. The pig is lucky and connotes carefree fun, good fortune, and wealth while displaying energy and enthusiasm. Many of these characteristics reflect the makeup of the River Walk and experiences encountered when visiting.

Each float will feature lanterns ranging from three to seven feet in length or height. Themes include a Texas setting complete with cactus and a longhorn, pandas surrounded by luminescent trees, a dragon that looks as if it were gliding on water, and more. This year the event will unveil four new themed floats." 

Asian-inspired music wafted softly through the air, as paper lanterns hanging from the bridges gently swayed above the river.

The San Antonio River Walk Association, who organized the event, were selling square lanterns and lotus flowers, each with its own battery-operated votive candle.  They had decorating stations set up along the River Walk for people to put messages on their lanterns before they launched them into the river.  There were couples, children, families, and groups of friends writing messages for loved ones, wishes for themselves and others, and sending them off into the night.

Ed and I bought and launched a lotus flower.  We watched it drift toward the illuminated group of lanterns and move wherever the current took it.  Eventually, we lost track of where it went and just took in the beauty of the colors floating by.

There's still time for you to catch it.  If you're in the area, go see it!

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Three Hippie Chicks And Me

2017: The Fanciest Digs In Town
2016: Moon Rising
2015: Almost There
2014: Winter Water Running Through Watertown
2013: The Pretty Pink Sailor
2012: Many Thanks To Those Of You Who Come To Peer Through My Window
2011: And I Thought My Feet Were Big!
2010: ABC. Easy As 123. As Simple As Do Re Mi, ABC, 123, Baby You And Me
2009: Under The Black Palm Tree
2008: The Zoo In Stateroom 7377
2007: Pillars
2006: Fiori Di Como
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Discover The Magic

 A couple of shots of the San Antonio River Walk.  This is the first time we've ever been to the river walk and I was very impressed.  It's pretty, serene, lush, colorful.

There are barges available for narrated tours.  Restaurants, shops, hotels.

It was cold when we were there, so I was surprised to see so many flowers still in bloom.  They must still be having warm days down in south Texas.

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Garlic Is Life

2017: The Queen Of Copper's King
2016: Working The Land
2015: Pre-Columbian Toothlace
2014: Who Needs Sochi? We've Got Watertown.
2013: On The Brink Of A Duel
2012: Cheap And Accessible
2011: What’s In A Name?
2010: Missing The Day
2009: Shameless Self Promotion
2008: Dwarfed By A Behemoth Of The Sea
2007: Ditched
2006: Hudson River Solitude
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Winter Tree Warning

There was a bird in this tree, but I couldn't see him.  I only heard his squawking.

As if the tree was trying to tell me something.  A warning, perhaps?

It was kind of creepy.

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The Dog From The State Of Sonora

2017: More Like A Submarine Sandwich
2016: Good Stuff, Maynard!
2015: Spiky On The Outside, Sinfully Delicious Inside
2014: The Most Awkward Descent Down A Snow Covered Hill. Ever.
2013: At The Top Of My Favorite Cities List
2012: Not Looking Anymore
2011: There Is Hope
2010: Where The Bunnies Of The Desert Hang Out
2009: The Marion County Shirt Factory Incident
2008: Eddie Roams The Mayan Ruins Friday
2007: Self Service Antiques
2006: Begin At Once
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Be Anything, But Be Mine

I saw The Dressmaker a few years ago and although it wasn't what I was expecting, I liked it.  Kate Winslet and Judy Davis were wonderful but the movie was a little strange.

It did, however, 
have great music. This Sarah Vaughan track - Be Anything (But Be Mine) - was one of the songs in the movie.  It's perfect for Valentine's Day.

Here are the lyrics:

Be a beggar, be a thief
Be sunshine or my grief
Be anything, but darling, be mine

Be a wise man, be a fool

Treat me tender or be cruel
Be anything, but darling, be mine

Climb to the top of the ladder
Be master of all you survey
Fail and it still doesn't matter
If you love me ev'rything is O.K.

Be the angel of my pray'rs
Be the devil who cares
Be anything, but darling, be mine

Be the angel of my pray'rs
Be the devil who cares
Be anything, but darling, be mine

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Remember...there is someone out there who LOVES you!!

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Comfortable Love

2017: I Heart Cats
2016: Sweet And Undefinable
2015: Grand And Important
2014: Winter Is A Table Set With Ice And Starlight
2013: The Romance Of The Road
2012: Celebrate With A Wild Desire
2011: Powerful Stuff
2010: Falling In Love With Ugly 
2009: A Love Like This Can Know No Death 
2008: Peace To This House
2007: The Sultan Of Love 
2006: It’s Even Better Than Arbor Day
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!