bex77: (Cutlery)
Welcome to my personal wake for Foodler this evening.  

Tonight is the final night before my favorite restaurant delivery service ceases to exist, having been absorbed by the more pedestrianly named GrubHub during some corporate shenanigans.  So I went for a little cruise around their website for the last time.  After 904 personal orders and 104 for work, I will be headed elsewhere the next time I want to order in.   

We've been together for nearly 10 years - my first order was from Cinderella's in Central Square on November 9, 2007.  My final order was October 9, 2017 from Beantown Taqueria in the same area.  

I ordered from restaurants around the corner and across the river, from places I know to places I learned about on Foodler and have never been inside.
 There are lots of places long gone - Pu Pu Hot Pot, Dolphin Seafood, Snack Bar, Spice & Rice, Alfresco, Lady Siam, Cambridge Coffee & Pizza, Potato Freak.  Some places we placed one order and decided never again, others we ordered over and over... and over.  I never lost the thrill of not having to call to place an order or read my credit card - just click on "repeat order," tweak it a bit and hit SUBMIT.  

I remember the breakfasts, lunches, dinners, late night snacks and random indulgences like ice cream or chocolate cake.  I've had all sorts of food - pizza, burgers, omelettes, muffins, rice, noodles, mashed potatoes and home fries and fries and chips, wraps, subs, gyros, wings, smoothies, sushi, dim sum, turkey dinners, dumplings, soups and even Cream of Wheat!  I enjoyed Thai, Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, Korean, Mexican, Indian, Japanese, Greek, Swiss and more!  

I learned all the tricks to maximize the points earned for each order, and ended up with hundreds of dollars in free food over the years.  I am so sad to see that benefit go!  

I adored their "Best Bets"
 sectiontelling me what they thought I'd like to eat, based on my past orders.  I especially like the little green check marks telling me I'd ordered it before.  I often look for those on menus in restaurants and then slowly realize why they aren't there!  

It wasn't all good times - we had delivery drivers who wanted us to go out in the street to meet their car rather than coming up to the fifth floor, a few who "got lost" and made us wait 90 minutes for them to appear, wrong items, missing items... but the nice folks at always made it right.  I wonder what will happen to them.  

It seems just my luck that I tried a number of delivery sites - Doordash, GrubHub, AllMenus, BeyondMenu, MixMenu - and decided I like Foodler best, so of course, they are the ones who are disappearing.  *sigh  I may have to... cook more.  Argh!  

So Farewell Foodler. Thank you. It's been delicious!  

bex77: (Default)
I had my own version of restaurant week surrounding my birthday! 

I made the most of my birthday, stretching out the celebrations to several nights, with several friends and family!  I indulged my passion to explore new restaurants and cherish old favorites in six different cities and towns!   

1) Tango Argentinian Cuisine in Arlington

They're famous for meats - steaks, sausages, lamb and pork chops - but I was most impressed with the special cold soup - gazpacho - and the polenta with parmesan and malbec mushroom sauce!  I had the mile-high pork chop with a delightful side of mashed butternut squash and sweet potato.  

2) The Loading Dock in Belmont

We had Sunday brunch at this beautiful new Mediterranean bakery, deli and restaurant.  We ate well in a quiet corner of their dining room, and brought home prepared foods like curried cashew chicken salad and soups! 

3) Texas Road House in Everett

We went late evening and found a quiet corner table for their delicious chili, house salads, steak and ribs.  Basic American food with country music and dancing servers!  And fun non-alcoholic drinks!  I
 had the red raspberry lemonade. 

4) Lobsta Land in Gloucester

My favorite place on Cape Ann with a lovely view of the salt marsh just off Rte 128. I had lobster for lunch!  They make a delicious lobster chowder!  I was tempted by the lazy man lobster or paella but went with the combo appetizer of crab cakes, coconut shrimp and calamari.  

5) Nichols Candy House in Gloucester

This is the best old-fashioned candy shop! It's run by a cheery group of older ladies who walk around the displays while you point at your favorites and they fill a box of handmade chocolate.  You can pick up lobster lollipops, jelly beans, poppycock, Boston Baked beans, molasses puffs and more!  

6) S&S Deli in Cambridge

This deli in Inman Square is on my way home from work but we rarely stop.  I was starving so we ducked in for dinner.  They have a huge menu of deli favorites and basic American breakfast, lunch or dinner choices.  Choosing is tough!  I ended up with the gazpacho and the most delicious chicken pot pie!  Oh... and blueberry blintzes.  Mmmm.... they were good at breakfast the next day!

7) La Casa de Pedro in Watertown

We enjoyed the Venezuelan treats at this restaurant with the fanciful tropical interior.  I adore their tapas menu!  Another place where it's tough to choose.  I got to taste the shrimp ceviche, sweet plantains, "Pedro's Old Times with Vargas" - a spicy pork nuggets dish, fried cheese sticks and then the paella - an immense mixture of seafood, rice, and snap peas in a cast iron wok.  

8) Oleana in Cambridge

I was blown away by this place!  It's spectacular!  I can't believe this was my first time.  I tried to make a reservation a week ahead, but ended up on the wait list with little hope.  The universe smiled on me - they finally called at 2:30 pm the night I wanted to go saying they had a 6:30 pm table!  Perfect!  We got an outdoor table in a quiet, covered corner of their magical patio, next to an open plug where I could charge my almost-dead phone!  This is another "lots of tapas with a few entrees" place owned by award-winning chef Ana Sortun.  If she puts ingredients together, you know they will coordinate to delight your palate!  I got to taste several tapas:

Deviled eggs with tuna,
Sultan's Delight of tamarind beef short rib with smokey eggplant puree, 
Fatteh- Caramelized Onion, Romanesco, Crispy Mushrooms, Pinenuts, Yogurt; 
Swordfish special meze

Sister's Lemon Chicken with Za’atar, Turkish Cheese Pancake
Hubby's Beef Shish w/ Pepper Relish, Fried Green Tomato, Tomato Brown Butter, Yogurt
My Softshell Crab with Saffron-Almond Skordalia, Heirloom Tomato, Couza Fries w/ Olive tapenade

Pistachio Ma’amoul Cookie w/ Lemon Verbena Peaches, Olive Oil Ice Cream
Sweet Corn Ice Cream w/ Blueberry Spoon Sweets, Corn Puff, Sumac Kettle Corn
My first ever Baked Alaska - Coconut Ice Cream and Passion Fruit Caramel

My companions enjoyed their creative cocktails. I enjoyed the festive drinks without alcohol!  I adored the hibiscus iced tea.  And the rooibos hot tea with dessert.  

Our server was a friendly, efficient younger woman with a way of asking how things were going that encouraged us to gush compliments to the chef.  

It is pricey but worth it for a special occasion! 

I recommend all these spots to you for happy eating!  


bex77: (Default)
I've been sick with a wretched cough for nearly 2 weeks.  I have eaten so much soup and want to remember them for the next time the germs catch up with me.  These are from restaurants that deliver via Doordash, GrubHub or Foodler, or available by sweet-talking Hubby into picking up for me.  

Greek Corner - Avegolemono chicken lemon rice soup
India Palace - spicy chicken soup
Au Bon Pain - chicken noodle soup
Pandan Leaf - Thai chicken coconut milk soup
Asian House - Thai rice chowder
Mary Chung's - suan la chow show - spicy pork wontons soup with bean sprouts
Panera - French onion soup
Flour - beef chili (do not buy this again) 
Genki Ya - Miso soup 
Dumpling House - chicken corn soup 

Just Crust in Harvard Square has soups but I didn't make it there this time. 

Other soothing concoctions: 
The Neighborhood - The Cream of Wheat is soupy and comforting
Mary Chung's Yu Shiang Eggplant with shredded chicken has a spicy sauce that feels great on a sore throat and opens the sinuses

Here's to better health in the days ahead! 


bex77: (Default)
 Neil and I had a fantastic time with gambling, dinner and the Barry Manilow concert at Foxwoods on Saturday!  

Read more... )

What a special adventure!  

bex77: (Default)
A year ago, in one of my mother's last gasps of rationality, we sat together in her room at the assisted living community and she earnestly read me this psalm and commented on its applicability to the presidential primaries.  I need to hear its message even more today.  

Holy Bible, New International Version

Psalm 37
     Of David.

1 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.
16 Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish: Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be destroyed.

23 The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.
27 Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish.
29 The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.
30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.

32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, intent on putting them to death;
33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
34 Hope in the Lord and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.
37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.
38 But all sinners will be destroyed; there will be no future for the wicked.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

This psalm is an acrostic poem, the stanzas of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

bex77: (Default)
Amazing news!  I managed to cancel my Comcast account in less than 5 minutes today [Yes, I know... a sign of the apocalypse!] and turn in my equipment easily thanks to an article I found at

Here are my notes:

1) Call to cancel - Speak to retention

Hours M-F 7 am - 8 pm 
Sat 8 am - 5 pm 

1-800-XFINITY (1-800-934-6489)

Have your account number ready
Say "Cancel Service" when the robot asks what you called for

When you get to a person, ask if you’re talking to Retention

2) Have your excuse ready

Say you are moving to where there is no Comcast
[England is a good answer]

[Will cut short them trying to convince you to stay]

3) Stay firm and be friendly

You don’t want to piss off the rep who can do bad things like
make it look like your account is closed but it’s not and you
won’t see a bill until you hear from the collections company

4) Ask what they think you have in terms of equipment

I cable box, power cord
1 Modem, power cord 
1 remote (optional) 

Anyone can drop off equipment at their store. 

They said I can continue to send and receive emails, as they offer free email like Yahoo or Hotmail now.  

5) How to return equipment 

Check for locations on their site.  

116 Beacon St - Store hours 9 am - 6 pm M-F

Ask them to verify what equipment they think you have in their records
Take a photo of what you turn in sitting on the counter at their store
Get receipt with name and ID of person who processes your returns
Save the receipt in a safe place

6) Call back after you pay your final bill
to confirm your account is closed and has no balance

Adapted from:

bex77: (Default)
Following through on my resolution to post and comment more often, here's my first Dreamwidth-only post.  Whee!

Hubby and I had tasty Spanish tapas at the Dali Restaurant in Somerville!  

I keep forgetting to go there. I think it's been over two years.  Every time I go, I wonder why I am not there more often.  It is unique and delicious! And on my way home from work.  I have only been for "occasions" in the past, but hope to go more often.  

We had that secluded 2-top tile table tucked into the window well in the corner of the beautiful dining room.  I adore their eclectic decor!  It was empty when we went in at opening time (5:30 pm) but was almost full when we left a couple of hours later. 

We shared small elegantly displayed plates of seafood, spices, cheese, meats and fruity sauces:  
1) Ceviche - salmon, scallops and shrimp (served on a scallop shell nestled in a bed of fresh seaweed!) 
2) Garlic soup 
3) Fried Cheese with honey and sweet onions
4) Beef turnovers with olives, raisins and egg
5) Lamb chops in peach sauce 
6) Duck in berry sauce
7) Lamb meatballs
8) Beef tenderloin with dried fruit and creamy brandy sauce
9) Dessert - we shared churros with chocolate and dulce de leche sauces 

My favorites - #2, #5, #6 and #8!  The cheese was a little strong for my tastes, the beef turnovers unremarkable and I've had better ceviche (but it was a wonderful start to dinner on a warm day).  

The most amazing part was the non-alcoholic sangria!  This was the most festive, delicious drink option I've seen in a long time - a deep purple, fruity mix of flavors that was the perfect cold libation on the first warm day of spring!  They also have a creative cocktail list and wines and beers.  

If we're connect on Facebook, you can see 9 photos posted over there. 

The hostesses and servers are so pleasant!  Their pacing is perfect.  

If you want vegetarian options, almost half the tapas menu is creative veggie choices!  I need to explore more of those next time.  

They also have three versions of paella that are tempting but I never get past the tapas part of the menu.  

The parking meters around there run until 8 pm but have that new app thing, so you don't need quarters.  

It is on the pricey side, but well worth it for the creative cooking, beautiful interior and pleasant service.  


bex77: (Leaf)
Dear LJ friends,

It's time for LJ and I to part company.  This will be my last entry to show up on LJ.  It's been an amazing 12+ years but it is time to go elsewhere due to moving of the servers to Russia and their criminalization of LBGT materials.  I am exporting everything to Dreamwidth - you can find me over there under the same name.

I plan to post about once a month and I am definitely reading what you write.  Hope to see you there or on Facebook or even in "real life" one of these first days!  Au revoir!

bex77: (Default)
Dear LJ friends, 

It's time for LJ and I to part company.  This will be my last entry to show up on LJ.  It's been an amazing 12+ years but it is time to go elsewhere due to moving of the servers to Russia and their criminalization of LBGT materials.  I am exporting everything to Dreamwidth - you can find me over there under the same name.  

I plan to post about once a month and I am definitely reading what you write.  Hope to see you there or on Facebook or even in "real life" one of these first days!  Au revoir!  


bex77: (Default)
Hubby and I made the best use of a rainy afternoon with a trip to Watertown to see the Flat Earth Theatre production of  "Silent Sky" by Lauren Gunderson.  I always enjoy seeing other theaters and folks I know from Theatre@First in a different setting.  The play was performed on a simple yet elegant set in a black box theater with 80 seats in 5 rows ramped across the back.  This matinee was sold out, so they started right on the hour.  

I adore plays that teach me about important overlooked women in history, entertain and make me think about life.  Theatre@First produced a great example - "The Margaret Ghost" - and "Silent Sky" provided that in a "Hidden Figures" with astronomy way.  Go look up Henrietta Leavitt, Annie Jump Cannon and Williamina Fleming who worked at the Harvard Observatory in the early 20th Century charting the stars.  They were portrayed by talented actresses who made it easy to know and like the characters.  I went to see the always fabulous actor Juliet Bowler, and she rocked this role as a feisty Scot. 

There are a few tickets left for the added matinee at 2 pm Sunday, March 26.  Go!  

We walked across the courtyard to La Casa de Pedro, a Venezuelan/Spanish restaurant, for an early dinner.  It has a huge menu of drinks, tapas, appetizers, entrees and desserts!  We started with two small plates - the shrimp ceviche and the pork Vargas, then moved on the shrimp enchiladas and pork loin.  The sides were special - plantains, jicama fries - along with the more usual sour cream, salsa and guacamole.  We finished with the coconut flan!  Such a treat!  

bex77: (Default)
Do you need a laugh? or a lot of laughs? Seems like we all do these days! 

I have just the thing - Theatre@First, the community theater I have fun with in Somerville, is presenting Moliere’s madcap comedy “Tartuffe” this weekend and next. Pop over to Davis Square for a meal in a funky restaurant, then make your way to a church basement turned into a theater! It’s 4 quick blocks up College Ave. from the Red Line Davis Square T stop.

Tickets are only $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors

Performance dates: 
Friday February 24, 2017 8 pm Opening Night
Saturday February 25, 2017 2 pm matinee and 8 pm
Thursday March 2, 2017 8 pm
Friday March 3, 2017 8 pm
Saturday March 4, 2017 2 pm Closing matinee

Get more details and buy tickets:

bex77: (Default)
I cooked four nights in a row this week and ate leftovers the fifth night!  I don't think that has ever happened before, and may never happen again. The stars aligned with work being relatively quiet and Hubby out at rehearsals every night, so I took the time to use up supplies on the shelves and satisfy some cravings for dishes I can't delivered!  

Monday - Hormel Chili with onions, franks and melted cheese on top 

Tuesday - Dinty Moore's Beef stew with garlic, onions and fresh mushrooms over egg noodles

Wednesday - Annie's spiral macaroni with parmesan cheese and diced ham, with a side of buttered sweet peas 

Thursday - I turned on the oven!  Betty Crocker scalloped potatoes with diced ham and a green bean casserole 

Friday - Leftovers from Thursday

Here's hoping that writing it down here will give me a head start if I decide to cook again! 

If you have an easy dinner favorite for me to try, please point me to a recipe URL or jot down the details.  Thanks!  

bex77: (Default)
Some quick notes for the record so I'll remember what we did to celebrate our 20th anniversary!

We started early and ran late, spreading the festivities out over more than a week!  

Sunday, October 23
We had a wonderful day in RI!  We had a delicious German lunch at Redlefsen's in Bristol, then headed off to the South Shore Beach in Little Compton.  It is so beautiful there!  We stopped at a farm stand going down, then at a farm coming back and another farm stand.  I found a yummy chocolate chip cookie, a honey crisp apple, caramel apple sauce and a wonderful butternut squash apple bisque at the farm.  I got a cucumber, a tomato, fresh corn and a pumpkin at the farm stand!   We had dinner at our favorite restaurant in the world - The Boat House in Tiverton.  I feasted on the raw bar sampler of oysters, clams and shrimp, then the baked stuffed lobster.  We shared the cranberry creme brûlée for dessert.  Yum! 

Wednesday, October 26 (the day)
I was off work.  We had breakfast delivered from The Neighborhood via Foodler.  We had the installation team in from NetBlazr, making real our year-long campaign to get away from Comcast.

We headed out about 6 pm to VOTE EARLY!  We went to the Police Station on 6th Street.  It was fast and easy, and such a relief to have it done.  We took the requisite selfies and posted them to Facebook.  

We had a special dinner at Helmand, the Afghani restaurant.  The service was it's usual lackluster thing but the food is so special I overlook it.  We had the pumpkin, which is, as a friend put it, "the best thing I ever put in my mouth."  I had the aushak soup and the quabalee lamb and rice dinner, had the ferreeeney for dessert.  

Thursday, October 27
I was off work again.  We went to MGH for the last of my five-year check-ups with the radiation oncologist.  He said I look fine and don't need to see him again.  YAY!  I visited the Healing Garden one last time, and had my arm measured for the lymphedema study.  

We went off to Lake WInnipesaukee!  We headed to Shipley's in Alton Bay, but they were already closed for the season.  Argh!  We drove on the Patrick's Pub in Gilford. I had the onion hooks and the shepherd's pie and pumpkin cheesecake.  It's a pleasant place but the food is not that great.  I don't need to go back there.  

We went over to Weir's Beach to Kellerhaus, the candy and gifts store.  I got some cashew turtles, butter crunch and two bracelets!  Bling!  

We went to the Belknap Point Inn to check in and crash.  Despite the rain, I could still see the lake from the balcony!  I got to nap for a couple of hours, then we made our way in the rain and cold (40s) to Laconia for dinner at Tavern 27.  We shared tapas.  The Scotch eggs with the mustard mayo sauce was the stand out.  I had a great hibiscus iced tea.  We made it back to the hotel and turned in early.

Friday, October 28
At Lake Winnipesaukee 
We slept late and made our way back to Laconia in the pouring rain for the $6 buffet at Pizza Hut!  I was surprised how many choices there were - a salad bar, a pizza bar and desserts!  I especially enjoyed the dutch apple pizza dessert!  

I drove around "downtown" Laconia, trying to get the lay of the land up there, but it was too cold and wet to get out and explore.  So we went back to the hotel for another nap. 

We had dinner at the Lyons Den, just down the road from the hotel. We had a prime waterfront table with a view of the lake and the brand new marine patrol station.  I had the crab cakes to start, then the baked stuffed shrimp with peas and rice.  We shared the pumpkin mousse cake for dessert.  

We made our way to Meredith to the Lake Winnipesuakee Playhouse, an amazing refurbished barn turned into everything a theater should be!  We saw a staged reading of "War of the Worlds" with great foley work and wonderful actors.  

We checked out the spiffy new Cumberland Farms convenience store near Weirs Beach.  It is huge and had lots of different candy and munchies.  We went back to the room to nosh.  

Saturday, October 29
It was time to pack up and go off to our favorite breakfast place, Kitchen Cravings, near the airport in Gilford.  I had kielbasa!  We went on to Walmart to stock up on basics at low prices with no taxes.  We picked up coffee for Hubby at Dunkin then an iced chai for me at the Starbucks in Tilton, then hopped on I-93 and whizzed home in no time!  

I was amazed that we managed to have such a lovely retreat in the cold, wet weather, but the food and the play and the lake still made for a great time away! 

Monday, October 31
We had one last blast of anniversary treats with a trip to Malden to our favorite Asian restaurant, All Season Table.  I had the hot & sour soup, crispy honey ribs and a scallion seafood pancake!  So so good!  

So that's the story on our 20th anniversary!  Here's to many more! 

bex77: (Default)
Neil's dad died this morning after a week in hospice care. I didn't see him many times, but he was always nice to me.  There was always a funny card and a check on my birthday and at Christmas.  And terrible puns (Neil's comes by that trait honestly) with a twinkle in his eye and a little knowing chuckle as we all groaned.  He was tremendously generous and good-natured about paying for our rehearsal dinner at the Chinese restaurant despite me turning it into dinner for 80 people (all the out-of-towners) instead of just the wedding party.   When Neil had surgery, he and his wife flew in and helped see him through it.  They hosted lovely dinners when we visited and invited the entire family so we didn't have to go multiple places to see them all.  They clued us in to things that have meant a lot such as "The West Wing" and Harry Potter books!  

This makes the FIFTH death in my close family in the past six months - Neil's brother Tim, my dear friend Lois, Mom, her brother - my Uncle MG - on Monday and now Neil's dad! *sigh All senior folks, all expected... but *sigh
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bex77: (Default)
We went to Lake Winnipesaukee!  Overnight! After 17 months of seeing my mom through her final days, jousting with calendars, and weeks looking for a lakefront room, the stars finally aligned to get us out of town to NH!  List of wonderful businesses we frequented:


Kitchen Cravings - breakfast and lunch place
Tavern 27 - tapas and piano bar
Kellerhaus - ice cream buffet, candy and gifts
Walter’s Basin - lakefront American restaurant


Belknap Point Motel

Boat tour
U.S. Mail boat Sophie C 

Our trip started a little rocky.  We got on the road at 9:30 am and 5 miles out of town it started to rain.  It got so bad I thought about pulling over!  It was totally not forecast.  It hasn’t rained all summer and we’re in a drought emergency and the one day I can be away, it’s raining?  Hard not to take it personally, but I soldiered on and re-thought our plans and it slowed down to a drizzle by the time we got into NH.   
We made it to Kitchen Cravings for a late breakfast at 11:30 am.  We often have to wait but they seated us right away.  It was my best breakfast of the year!  The people are nice and the food is wonderful and it’s got this great decor with historic photos and maps of the region!  I had the "Trainer" breakfast with a side of kielbasa and a unicycle - their french-toasted cinnamon roll delight! 

We finished at 12:30 pm and there was a showing of “Star Trek Beyond” at the cinema across the street at 12:35 pm so we dashed over there and made it in to see it for a second time, only about 3 minutes late.  It was even better the second time, as I didn’t have to puzzle over the story and could hear more dialogue and appreciate the special effects.
We went over to the Belknap Point Motel. It was a low key place - perfectly fine for our purposes - with a spectacular view of the lake and mountains!  I’ve attached a photo.  There are a lot more on my Facebook page if you'd like to wander over there. 

I went directly to the balcony, put my feet up and sat staring at the lake for over an hour.  It restores my soul.  While I was out there, the weather cleared up!  There is always something to see… boats, runners, noticing different islands and mountains and trees.  And a chipmunk!  
Hubby brought in the luggage!  He was being so good. 
We went in to Laconia and back out into the countryside to an old farmhouse to Tavern 27, a tapas place with a piano bar.  Neil’s mom played piano in restaurants in Indianapolis for 40 years, so he had a grand time talking with the pianist and remembering her heyday.  We shared the most amazing array of small plates - sweet potato chips with white bean dip (free starter), Scotch eggs with a creamy dijon sauce, French onion soup, lobster bisque, spicy grilled shrimp, duck confit egg rolls, and beef bourgeon on toast!  
There was a Dairy Queen on the way back.  We don’t have them around here so we drove through for a little dessert. 
The motel beds were quite delightful so I collapsed and slept hard.  
I woke up early and went back out to watch the lake scene.  It is so peaceful!  We hemmed and hawed about whether to stay another night.  Neil decided we should go home after dinner, so we packed up and headed out for another delicious breakfast at Kitchen Cravings.  I tried their hash with an egg and a side of kielbasa.  The hash was more like pulled pork but still tasty.

We drove over to Weirs Beach.  We got tickets to the 2 pm sailing of the U.S. Mail boat Sophie C then wandered around the arcade, found 4 t-shirts for $20 for Neil! It was beastly hot, so we bought water and sat in the car with the a/c on for a bit.  
We had a lovely two-hour ride around the lake.  The captain is a great storyteller and historian.  We sat on the lower deck out of the sun.  There was a great breeze when we were moving.  We stopped at five islands - Bear, Birch, Sandy, Cow and Jolly!  There are summer camps at a couple of them, and the kids come down to get an ice cream or buy stamps.  As we leave, they climb up on the pier posts and dive into the water!  
We went to Kellerhaus, the big ice cream buffet/candy/gift store up the hill.  They have a/c and lovely bathrooms.  We grabbed a few snacks then headed up the road to Squam Lake.  I had not been there.  It's gorgeous!  We found a beautiful restaurant right on the water overlooking the marina - Walter’s Basin.  We had a window table and watched the boats going and coming while we ate a great American meal.  They bring out warm bread and butter, then I had French Onion soup and a juicy piece of swordfish with jasmine rice, green beans and carrots.  I heeded the siren call of the chocolate truffle mousse cake.  
I was surprised that places weren’t more crowded.  With all the hotels booked, I thought we might run into lines and crowds.  Don’t know where the people were but we had no trouble getting in places, there were only 10 people on the boat that seats 40… yay!  
From there it was a quick hop onto I-93 south, and home in less than 2 hours with a quick pit stop at the NH border at their fancy new rest stop.  We were only gone 36 hours but it felt like a real vacation!  We had a great mix of visiting old favorites and seeing new places.  I hope to get away again soon!

bex77: (Default)
Have you been to the North Shore Music Theatre?  You should go!  

My mom's cousin in CA sent me a check after her death and asked me to use it to "give your niece joy!"  So yesterday we adventured to Beverly to see the "Mary Poppins" matinee at the North Shore Music Theatre.

That movie was one of my favorites as a child.  I saw it EIGHT times in the theater, including once in French in Paris at age 7.  Heh.  I know most of the songs by heart.  

I hadn't expected much, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it is only 30 minutes away, right off the highway, with easy parking, no line at the Will Call window, a gorgeous performance space with amazing stagecraft, talented singers and dancers and air conditioning!  The afternoon crowd was mostly senior citizens and well-behaved children.   Ms A was enthralled!  The story is different from the movie but I could see why in most cases.  

The tickets are pricey, but less than downtown Boston theaters, and there is not a bad seat in the house!  They're doing "Singing in the Rain" next "with actual raining on stage!"  And later on there will be "Spamalot," "West Side Story" and the annual favorite, "A Christmas Carol."  They also do concerts like Broadway for Life, Doo-Wop or the Magic of Rock n Roll and Motown.  I urge you to go up there!  



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smh obituary photo.jpg

Sara McKenzie Hunter of Arlington, died at 90 on June 15 at Winchester Hospital of complications from heart failure.

Born in Laurinburg, NC in 1925 to Murphy Grady and Mitt McKenzie, Sara grew up on their tobacco farm.  She was a graduate of Orrum High School, and East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.  A long-time home economics teacher and community volunteer, she was predeceased by her beloved husband of 60 years, Rev. Richard Dowling Hunter.  

Sara’s joy in life was service to others. With Rev. Hunter, she served churches in Michigan, Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts during their lifelong ministry.  She was the first woman elected to the School Board for the Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Central School District in NY where she served for many years, and was President of the New York State UCC Women’s Fellowship.  She was an active member of the Park Street United Church of Christ in Arlington, MA since 2007.  

She is survived by her three daughters: Anne and Rebecca of Cambridge, MA and Elizabeth of Somerville, MA, and their spouses: George Young, Neil Marsh and Jason Merrill; and her beloved granddaughter Alice.  She is also survived by her brother, M.G. McKenzie, Jr. of Lumberton, NC;  her nieces Barbara McKenzie Tervo of Wilmington, NC and Julie McKenzie Jones of Greenville, NC; and their children Ashley, Benton and Caroline.  

A celebration of Sara’s life will be held Saturday, June 18 at 2 pm at the Park Avenue Congregational Church, 50 Paul Revere Rd, Arlington, MA with a collation following at the church. The Saville Chapel of DeVito Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Park Avenue Congregational Church in Arlington.

bex77: (Default)
 Want my dear departed Dad's desktop computer?  

Hubby downloaded the contents and wiped the drive. Before I hand it over to the computer recyclers, I want to see if anyone has a use for it.  

2005 Compaq Presario PC with Windows XP Home, keyboard, monitor and trackball mouse. It's kinda like that car that the little old lady only drove to church on Sundays... he wasn't a big computer user and it hasn't been "driven" much in 5 years, but we got it running over the weekend and it still works. If you'd like it, or more info, let me know by Monday night. Thanks!  

Compaq computer

bex77: (Default)
2016 claims another icon, dead too early. Prince was subversive and a pervert in the best possible meaning of those words. I felt naughty listening to him, which I needed to do as I was altogether too good a girl back then.

It's odd how a musician and movie star become so firmly entrenched in a moment in my life. There was a good boy who needed to break out... get away from his abusive father... and his idea of "THE MOST SCANDALOUS THING" was to go see "Purple Rain" so I took him to the movies and bought him a Members Only jacket. It was so 80s. And Prince is in the middle of the memory.

RIP dear man. Thank you for leaving behind so many songs to keep us bopping along.


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