Tag: dining

Hump day

Trouble focusing on tasks today for some reason. I’m getting things done but not as much as I hoped. Maybe part of it is the bright blue sky I can see just out my office windows. The weather cooled off a bit today. It’s in the 70s and absolutely beautiful out.

Had Chinese food for lunch which is incredibly rare for me.

Forgot to mention a strange coincidence yesterday. I sent off a handwritten letter to Trevor and thepopeswife because I owed them one from months ago. Later in the day, I got a call from Trevor saying that they were coming out Virginia in early October, so I’ll get to see them soon, which is nice.

I’m halfway through The Reagan Diaries (my reading has slowed down this last week for a variety of reasons), but it is still an interesting read, even if I still don’t think much of Reagan.

A mini happy-hour after work today at 6 PM. I was staying late anyway for a meeting at 4 PM.

God, I need to get back to the gym!

Talk about a slump! A month without going to the gym. I feel it. I’m lazier. I have less energy. I eat poorly. Case in point, tonight:

I got home from work, plopped down on the couch, and read for an hour. I dozed off every 5 minutes or so. Then I spent about 20 minutes debating in my head if I should go out and get something to eat (I have nothing in the house). I’m still not feeling 100% and I have a headache and I didn’t feel like leaving the house. Truth is I just want to shower, get into bed, read, and sleep. But I need to eat something.

That’s when I remembered the giant Hersey’s bar in the kitchen drawer.

I pulled off a hunk of chocolate and that was my dinner.

Really, started on Monday, I’m back to the gym. Seriously. This is ridiculous!

Morro Bay, day 3

I woke up early in the morning and I was sick. A full-blown cold with “extras”, the extras being things like fever and chills. It was in the upper 80s in Morro Bay and I wasn’t going to allow something as annoying as a cold to ruin my weekend so I sucked it up. We headed out, stopping at the drug store so I could get some cold medicine, then we headed for breakfast.

After breakfast we decided to go to the beach. We packed up some stuff and headed off to the beach, where we sat basking in the sun for a couple of hours. I did a little reading and Dan and I got into our usual philosophical debates for a while. I managed to get burned a little on one side of my face. Megan slept through most of the beach time.

Dan and Megan on the beach.

Lunch–or, “linner”, rather, was quite possibly the highlight of the trip. We were on a mission. It had been over 18 months since my last partaking of In-n-Out and, sick as I was, I sought an end to that particular streak. So we had In-n-Out for lunch. I couldn’t taste much, but I still enjoyed my Double-Double and fries. So sick, was I, however, that I couldn’t finish my burger. It was the first time I’ve ever desperately wanted to eat something sitting in front of me and simply couldn’t. Just in case it ends up being another 18 months before I have In-n-Out again, I took this picture prior to starting on my lunch:

We spent the rest of the evening in, watching a few more movies, hanging out talking, joking around. Megan made me some vegetable soup for dinner which was just the ticket for me.

Morro Bay, day 2

[Written on 9/4/2007]

I was up at about 7 AM. I had started The Reagan Diaries on the plane yesterday and continued reading it this morning until Dan and Megan were up. I figured that I’m so biased against Reagan as a president that I needed to read something that might alter my opinion of him. However, so far, his personal diaries have only reinforced what I suspected. Still, it is an interesting read.

We had a quick breakfast and then headed out. First, we went bowling. That was fun. I won the first game easily and then grew majorly overconfident. I bet Dan on the second game, and so confident was I that we bet big. I’m sure you can guess the results. I lost. Both Dan and Megan beat me. I did make a comeback in the last few frames, but it was not enough. Fortunately, Dan, sweetheart that he is, didn’t hold me to the bet.

We had Mexican food for lunch in San Luis Obispo and then went to see the movie Superbad, which Dan and Megan had already seen twice, but which they insisted I had to see. It was pretty damn hilarious, but I think they may have raised my expectations of the movie. I don’t think I’d pay to see it three times, although I’d gladly watch it again on DVD.

Later in the afternoon, we went to Avila beach and saw a couple being married right there on the beach. We wandered around the pier for a while and then headed back to meet some of Dan and Megan’s friends for dinner at an Italian place. I had a meatball sandwich that was excellent.

That night, we rented some movies and watched one of them before going to bed. The weather was super all day long. I’ve really missed hanging out with Dan and Megan and it was great to be back to visit them.

Burgers, beers and soups

Dad is in town this weekend. He got here late yesterday afternoon, and then got to spend the evening with me at the animal hospital in Annapolis. We went back there this morning to collect Zeke, who, by the way, is supposed to be drinking more water, and is not only drinking more, but is now playing in it!

Once Zeke was home (and I was relieved), we decided to get out of the house for a while. First, we headed to Silver Spring for lunch at Five Guys. I’d never been there before, but wanted to go, since people have said that Five Guys is a lot like In-n-Out. I have to beg to differ. The burger was good, I’ll grant that, but it was no In-n-Out burger. For one thing, the buns were different. For another, there was no thousand island dressing or whatever it is they put in their Double-Doubles. And the meat wasn’t seasoned the same way. And forget the fries! Although Five Guys creatively posts the type of potatoes being used that day for their fries, they were no where near as good as In-n-Out. Don’t get me wrong, the food was good. It just doesn’t compare to In-n-Out in my opinion.

Later in the afternoon, we headed downtown to walk around for a bit. The weather cooled off today so it was only in the upper 80s, which was a pleasant change. We walked to the National Air and Space Museum and browsed around there for half an hour or so, and then continued walking around until we ended up at Austin Grill, where we had some beer and where I had chips and guacamole.

After that we headed home and relaxed for a while. Zeke got into a playful mood and I was overjoyed to see him happy and not uncomfortable. We played for a while and then both Zeke and I dozed off (with his chin on my arm) for a little while.

We went to Franklin’s for dinner. I wasn’t hungry, but Dad wanted the crab cakes. We also got some of their special microbrews, which were pretty good. I found an outstanding Cheddar Beer Soup on the menu. I think it was new because I don’t remember seeing it before. It was delicious! When we got home, we watched about half of Road to Bali and by then I was pretty tired so I decided to head off to bed, read for a while, and then head off to sleep.

I got a very nice thank you note from vickyandnorm in the mail today (thanking me for their wedding gifts). There’s a very cute picture of Vicky and Norm and two of their friends on the front of the thank you card–but, alas, it is not the picture that I suggested they use. I suspect they were too self-conscious to use that one.

Bourne to be wild

I left the house at noon and headed down to Washington Circle to meet A.J. and Denisse. When I got there, A.J. was not yet back from getting his hair cut and Denisse was in the shower, so I waited patiently out front, absorbed by Up From Dragons. A.J. arrive shortly thereafter, and we sat around chatting for a little while before heading off to the movies.

We saw The Bourne Ultimatum, which I had been looking forward to and by which I was not disappointed. It didn’t exceed my expectations, but it certainly met them and that’s all I hope to get out of my $8.50. It was fun and entertaining and even–for a wonder!–not too long. (Movies these days seem to go well beyond the 2 hour barrier, often unnecessarily. This was was 1:50 and just perfect at that.)

After the movie, we stopped briefly back at A.J. and Denisse’s place so that I could get my book and also because A.J. wanted to show me a few scenes from the movie Kung Pow, which he had on DVD. They were, as kruppenheimer would say, “um, interesting”. After that we headed over to Austin Grill. I was craving their chips and guacamole. We killed a few hours there, eating, drinking and talking and in general having a great time. A.J. and Denisse even insisted on picking up the check which was extremely generous of them. After dinner, we walked to the Mall, chatted for a little while, and then headed our separate ways home.

I’m anxious to get through more of Up From Dragons. In fact, I’m finding that a lot of what it talks about is useful in one of the stories I am (attempting) to write. I’m thinking that up next will be another attempt at Steven Pinker’s book, How the Mind Works, in order to keep up the momentum on this fascinating topic. On the other hand, I received Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday and I don’t want to wait to long to read that as I have been wearing myself out to avoid hearing any spoilers about how the saga ends.

Stony Point, day 3

The food-fest continued this morning as Vicky made some excellent blueberry muffins. Maddie began to come out of her shell and was less shy and more playful this morning as well. After breakfast, I convinced Norm and Vicky that we should take a walk somewhere and Norm led us to what was supposed to be a nearby hiking trail, but what turned out to be some kind of dead-end utility road. On the way back, however, we found the entrance to The Long Trail and decided to hike it for a short distance (spraying ourselves with bug spray to avoid the myriad of insects that seemed to enjoy the oppressive heat and humidity).

We played a little more Scrabble and then Norm and Vicky prepared lunch and I helped–a little. Vicky made an excellent BBQ sauce, and hamburger patties. Norm grilled those patties, along with corn on the cob, and I helped by pouring olive oil on the patties, and adding some salt and pepper. My BBQing experience has thus been tripled. There was also bacon and the burgers with Vicky’s BBQ sauce turned out to be excellent. So did the corn, which Norm had buttered and then grilled in the husks. It gave the corn and deep yellow–almost golden–color and it was delicious. Once again, I felt spoiled.

It started to rain just as we finished our lunch, which we ate sitting out on the deck in the backyard. And shortly after lunch, it was time for me to head home. It rained pretty steadily for at least half of the drive home and it was a long drive. Having left Norm and Vicky’s at about 2:30 PM, I didn’t get home until after 8 PM due to quite a bit of traffic on I-95.

Tomorrow, I go back to work. I’m getting up at 4:30 AM to head to the gym. After work tomorrow, I pick Zeke up from the vet.

Stony Point, Day 2

Last night was my first night sleeping in the JRMBR (Jamie Rubin Memorial Bedroom) at vickyandnorm‘s new house and it was a very comfortable night indeed. There was even a sound machine that I could have used to listen to crickets, or the sound of the ocean, or white noise, but I didn’t need any of that because the room was so comfortable.

This LJ-CUT is sponsored by Norm and Vicky

Albany day 2/Stony Point day 1

I was up at about 7:15 AM this morning, in time to see strausmouse head off to work for a little while. I hung around the house with rmstraus and little Damian until Eric got back. We went for lunch along the Hudson River at a nice riverside cafe. There was a great breeze blowing and it was not too humid out either. After lunch, we headed back to Eric and Ryane’s house and I got my picture taken with Damian. Then it was time for Damian to head to the doctor’s office and time for me to make the drive down to Stony Point.

It took a little under 2 hours to make the drive and toward the end, I was going against traffic, which was kind of nice. vickyandnorm live on the edge of Harriman State Park, and the drive down Palisades Parkway was a nice one. I arrived at their house just before 5 PM to find their cars parked on the street–apparently, there was some work that still needed to be done to all of the curbs in the neighborhood, and their driveway still requires it’s final surfacing as well.

And their street doesn’t exist yet. At least, as they explained to me, they have to go to the post office to pick up their mail. Until their street shows up on some map, I guess it simply doesn’t exist. I wonder if they could get away with temporarily being their own country?

It was nice to see the house completely finished and furnished and it looked great. In fact, I was jealous and I decided at once that I’d never be able to buy a house because I’d take one look at the places that I would be willing to pay for and picture Norm and Vicky’s little kingdom and be disappointed with what I had. I got the full tour, of course, including the long awaited “Jamie Rubin Memorial Bedroom”, which was done up in a beach motif, like the other “beach room” in the house.

At 6 PM, we headed out to the Palisades Mall in order to go to Tu Tu Tango for dinner, which is a kind of tapas joint. Very, very good, especially thanks to the spring roll recommendation by strausmouse. Vicky had gotten us tickets for the 9:30 PM showing of The Simpson’s Movie. We finished our dinner with plenty of time to spare and so we wandered over to Coldstone for some ice cream. By the time we got in line for the movie, it was just being let into the theater.

The movie itself was hilarious and I really enjoyed it. I’ve only ever seen a handful of episodes of the cartoon, but I could imagine myself seeing more. It’s the kind of movie which, when released on DVD, could be watched over and over again, with something new being discovered each time.

Tomorrow, we pick up Norm and Vicky’s new kitten.

A visit to Albany, day 1

Yesterday, after dropping Zeke off at the vet, I got on the road to head up to Albany to visit strausmouse and rmstraus. I was on the road by 8:20 AM and made surprisingly good time. In fact, I’d covered the entire 360 mile drive in under 6 hours and arrived at Eric and Ryane’s at about 2:15 PM. The new GPS worked great. I didn’t use Eric’s directions, and instead, followed what the nav unit told me and it got me to their house without trouble. There was no traffic at all, which helped.

Once there, I met little Damian for the first time, and what a cutie he is! He is energetic, but quiet. He smiles and laughs. All told, he is very much the way Eric describes him. I got to see Cali, too, who was her usual calm self. Ryane and Damian and Cali and I hung out until Eric got home from work. Once Eric was home, I helped him out with some computer-related stuff (like setting up his webcam) and then we headed out for dinner. We went to a Vietnamese place that they like and it was terrific. I don’t remember the name of what I ordered, but it was the same thing that Eric had and it was great! Especially the spring rolls and the sauce that they use. It was also way more than I could eat so there were plenty of left-overs.

We have about half the day to hang out today and then I head down to Stony Point, New York, to spent some time with vickyandnorm.

Early morning

Tried as I might, I couldn’t sleep much later than 7 AM, and for all practical purposes, I was really up at around 6 AM. I woke up around 4:30 AM at one point and the sky was already filled with daylight, another reminder of just how far north I am. (I am also reminded that my longitude at the moment is easy to remember: I’m very close to 0 degrees of longitude, being close to Greenwich.)

I cleaned up the room a bit, showered and had some laundry sent out. It is incredibly expensive to have laundry done here in the hotel (more than it was on the cruise ship), but I just have to take a deep breath and go with the flow. Besides, I need some clean clothes to last me the rest of the week. After that, I headed down to breakfast at Bracewells, the hotel’s breakfast restaurant. For 21 pounds, I had an overwhelmingly large breakfast and it was quite good, but it’s the last time I’ll do it. I just can’t bear to spend $45 on breakfast every morning. I very much liked the English-style bacon, which is a kind of American/Canadian bacon hybrid.

When I finished breakfast, I asked where I might find a pharmacy and was directed up Piccadilly a block or so past the Underground. There, I looked for plug adapter that had a level, instead of indented face so that I could plug my camera charger and cell phone charger into it. They didn’t have any U.S. to U.K. adapters, so I continued up the street until I came across an small Indian bodega. They had exactly what I was looking for: a “tourist travel adapter”. I brought it back to the hotel and it works like a charm. Now I don’t have to stress about my phone or camera.

I’m about to plan out what to see today, and then head out for the day. It’s beautiful out at the moment, by the way, although it looks like it may rain later on in the day. I’m hoping to get some good pictures.

Dinner at the Crown Grill

Written at 8:21 AM local time, July 12

Last night, Jen, Jason and I had dinner reservations at the Emerald Princess’s other specialty restaurant, the Crown Grill. The Crown Grill is known for it’s steak and its lobster, but since we had already had lobster (and discovered it was prepared the same way at all places on the ship) we opted for the steak instead.

Our reservations were for 8 PM, we were seated right away and proceeded to have a leisurely dinner that lasted nearly three hours. I think we all got a little silly too, probably from our drinks–certainly I did. After my massage yesterday evening, I went straight to one of the pools, ordered a hot dog and a Dos Equis and ate and drank quickly. Add to that the fact that I had the biggest margarita I’ve ever seen in my life at dinner, to say nothing of the glass of red wine and you will get an idea of why we were a little silly. But it was a lot of fun.

I started with the black tiger prawn and papava salpicon, with mustard seen aioli. The soups also looked good so I had for my soup dish the “black and blue” onion soup. This was like a French onion soup, but was called “black and blue” because of the Jack Daniels and Roquefort cheese in the soup. For my main course, I had the 8 ounce filet mignon, medium rare. It was served in a wine sauce with butter on top. (Jason, more daring than I, had the 22 ounce Porterhouse and managed to eat the whole thing, too!) We had several side dishes, which we shared, including garlic and herb French fries, grilled asparagus, creamed spinach, and sauteed, wild mushrooms. And if that wasn’t enough, I had a delicious dessert: a molten Dutch chocolate fudge obsession served with double chocolate ice cream.

When we finally left the restaurant (quite giddy and making rather crude jokes amongst ourselves) it was nearly 11 PM. I decided to make it an early night last night. Jen and Jason wandered off and I headed up to my stateroom.

We’re in Rhodes, Greece this morning and I am going to do a little site-seeing today. This stop represents the easternmost point in our trip, as well as the farthest east I have ever been.