Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Myrtle Beach - Day 3

I couldn't believe that it was warmer in NH this morning, where Nadine lives, than in Myrtle Beach.

Somehow or other, I haven't cooked a meal yet!  Can't say that we've been eating great dinners, but with wine receptions and tonight we had wine tasting we just aren't hungry for much more after that.

We managed to be pretty busy today just hanging out around here.  I never did make it to the exercise class.  It was just too cold to go out so early and walk over to the building where it was being held.  But we did go down to water aerobics which is held at the indoor pool in the building next to ours.
It turned out to be water yoga which was too much standing around and not enough motion so that even though the water temp was 85 it felt much better getting into the hottub at 103 after we were done.

I wanted to go in the steam room but the ladies locker room had been cleaned and it was shut off.  I didn't want to wait for it to warm up so I went back to the room to eat breakfast and watch The View.

We decided to take a walk on the beach, but on our way we decided to have a putting contest at the putting green.  We went to the car, grabbed our putters and balls and on the way stopped at the basketball court when we saw 2 balls on the court and the court was in the sun.
 Larry's shot is going right in the basket!
And mine probably did too but I was more impressed by how thin I look in this picture!
After shooting lots of baskets and getting nice and warm we moved on to the putting area.
 And then finally the walk on the beach.

 At the other end of these little islands is the area where you need to cross barefooted - at low tide.  Needless to say, this was not a barefoot day.  More like sweaters, jackets and sneakers.

Looks like Larry is the only one on the beach!

When we came back it was so warm we decided to go to the outdoor hottub which was so nice and I didn't even feel cold walking back to our building with just a towel around me.
At 5:00 we had wine tasting and then back to our rooms.  Two glasses of wine (or more) make me so tired.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Myrtle Beach - Day 2

This morning it was really cold, only in the 40s but we still had sun and no rain.  We had our owner update this morning where we learned more about the Destination program in which we graciously declined to increase our ownership.  But then the third person we saw offered us a deal we couldn't refuse.  A week at the resort, a cruise and 45K points.  What a deal!!

We took another walk on the beach in the afternoon going south this time.  The pools on the way to the beach were deserted.

The beach was pretty deserted too.

It was cloudy when we started out and the wind was coming right at us.  Coming back the sun came out and all of a sudden we were really warm.  Not too much of a need for beach toys this week.

At 4:00 was the owners cocktail party and we met one of the couples from last night's newlywed game and enjoyed talking to them.

Back at the room we ate something and Larry took a quick nap.  (I won't post that picture - just like I didn't post the one from the other night when he nodded off.)

Tomorrow my plan is to go to "Morning Stretch with a twist of Yoga"  and then to pool Aerobics.  We'll see how good I do.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Myrtle Beach - Day 1

We woke up to a beautiful sunrise as we watched the horrors of Sandy on TV.
While they were talking about evacuations it wasn't at all surprising that Greta needed to evacuate.
I knew Aunt Harrie was in Zone C, but gave her a call to make sure she was doing OK.  She assured me she was fine.  Friends got her fresh batteries and her cupboards were stocked.

There was a beautiful sunrise, even though it was cold.
We took a walk along the beach after the tide went out and saw a lot of washed ashore horseshoe crabs and my favorite pelicans.

Later on we went to the Tanger Outlet Mall on Rt 17.  The two stores we wanted to go to was the Timex store for Larry and the Naturalizer store for me.  Neither one was there anymore.

On our way back we stopped at Subway for a sandwich, we got their new Tuscan chicken melt.  We had a sliver taste of it but weren't hungry enough to eat it.  At 7:00 we went to the Not So Newlywed Game planning on being part of the audience since you had to call by 2:00 if you wanted to be a contestant.  We had no desire to be contestants so we just showed up.  As it turned out, they didn't have enough contestants so we became them.  We had a lot of fun playing with the two other couples that showed up.  One guy and his two daughters were the audience.  It was a very tame version compared to the ones we've seen on cruise ships.  We played a second game but lost in both.  Larry knew better than I that my answer for favorite non alcoholic beverage should have been coffee but I said Fresca.  And he shoud have known that my favorite food was ice cream. not oatmeal, even though I eat it every morning.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Leaving Virginia

We got on the road before 9:00 and should be in Myrtle Beach around 3:00. According to the weather forecast we shouldn't have any rain from Sandy but 3 days of winds.

This pumpkin was a decoration at breakfast this morning.

On the drive down we saw so many Davey Tree trucks as well as other tree companies heading north a well as warning signs about the storm but we never ran into anything.

Unlike last year, after we got into our room we headed to the grocery store for some breakfast things since we had our leftovers from the night before for dinner. 

While the storm was heading north, we guiltily enjoyed a sunset.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

On the road

On the road to Myrtle Beach. First stop Fredeicksburg, but instead of the Fairfield Inn where we usually stay we're going to the Residence Inn for a change of scenery. We're using a free night from the Marriott credit card.
We've been on the road for an hour. It's very gray and we have driven through 2 fog patches.
Our first stop was @ 11:00. Can't believe I lasted so long after 2 cups of coffee - large ones!!
We had lunch as we drove and stopped again @ 1:20 for gas. Walking through the store. I realized I forgot to pack the homemade banana bread and oatmeal cookies.

Now at 2:30 we're getting some sun through the gray clouds.

We arrived at 4:20, and it was 70 degrees and sunny. After checking in to our one bedroom suite we walked across the street to the Spotsylvania Towne Center Mall.
We had dinner at the Cancun Margarita Bar & Grill. I restrained and didn't get a margarita but I had a taste of Larry's and it was perfect. We started with chips and salsa and then ordered our dinners. We each got a burrito and boxed more than half of each!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Carrot-Ginger Soup

Just saw this on GMA. We're leaving for two weeks tomorrow, if I get my things packed this morning maybe I can make this for dinner tonight. It looks really easy and healthy!

Carrot-Ginger Soup

4 sliced shallots
2 lbs slices carrots
2 oz. knob ginger, grated
¼ cup basmati rice
5 cups chicken broth
Pick of chopped parsley

Sauté the shallots in butter; season with salt and pepper.

Add carrots, ginger (grated), rice, and chicken broth.
Simmer until the rice is tender.

Add chopped parsley; puree.

This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.
Recipe courtesy Fabio Viviani.

Creepy Jell-o worms

Alongside the sauerkraut and smoked salmon pizza and the five-spice roast beef tenderloin was this recipe for Jello worms.

I found the recipe and the picture at this website


2 packs (3 oz) Raspberry jello
1 pkg unflavored gelatin (for extra firmness)
3/4 cup whipping cream
3 cups boiling water
15 drops green food coloring
100 flexible straws (or enough to fill your container)
Tall container (1 quart or 1 liter carton of milk)

1) Combine gelatin in bowl and add boiling water.

2) Let it cool to lukewarm and then add the whipping cream and 15 drops green food coloring.

3) Gather your straws (don't forget to flex them out) and put them in the container. It's important that the straws have a tight fit so the jello stays in the straws. For this reason, a 1 liter carton may be better; you will probably get longer worms since there is a tighter fit. If you have a bigger container, a rubber band around the straws is helpful. Or you could just add more straws to fill the container.

4) Add the gelatin mixture to the straw-filled container and let it set until firm.

5) There are multiple ways you can remove the worms from the straws. You can roll a rolling pin over the straws and squeeze them out or you can hold the straws over warm water. The worms will slip right out.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ribollita Soup

I turned on Dr. Oz today and Valerie Bertinelli was making this soup. It looks like one to try.

Valerie Bertinelli’s Ribollita Soup

Serves 6

1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, preferably with leaves, chopped
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
1 28-oz can of whole tomatoes, cut up
3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
¼ tsp dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch Tuscan kale, center stems removed and discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
1 10-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 large slices peasant bread, cut into chunks
Freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Saute the onion, carrot, celery and a pinch of salt in the in a large dutch oven or soup pot, over low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft – about 7 minutes.

Add tomatoes (with juice), broth and thyme and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the vegetables begin to become tender – about 15 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add the kale and simmer, covered, until kale is soft – about 15 minutes.

Add the beans and bread and simmer on low until the bread starts to soften – about 5 minutes.

Serve bowls of soup with drizzles of oil and cheese.

Nutrition information per serving: 232 calories, 10 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 11 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 5 g fiber, 520 mg sodium 

One Dish at a Time

Recipe reprinted from One Dish at a Time: Delicious Recipes and Stories from My Italian-American Childhood and Beyond by Valerie Bertinelli

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Roasted Beets

Last night we played dominoes with Audrey and Steve - should I mention that I won?  Sure, why not.  I usually never win.  In fact it was so long since we all played we had t read the rules and agree on which rules to follow since everyone plays there own version.

Before we played we had a wonderful dinner and Audrey made a new recipe of roasted beets.  They were so good that I'm going to buy some beets today and make it for us.  It comes from a Williams Sonoma cookbook, but I will always credit Audrey, especially for her addition of the sauteed onions.

Roasted Red and Yellow Beets with Balsamic Glaze

Most beet varieties are available in markets in late spring. Although the most common type sold is deep garnet-red, you'll also find golden beets and even ones with concentric red and white stripes reminiscent of a candy cane. To insure freshness and tenderness, choose small or medium beets with their greens still attached. Remove the greens as soon as you get home, as they will leach moisture from the roots if stored intact over long periods. Garnish the dish with fresh parsley sprigs, if you like.


  • 1 1/2 lb. red beets, with greens attached
  • 1 1/2 lb. yellow beets, with greens attached
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Sauteed onions


Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Trim off the beet greens and reserve for another use. Wash the beets well but do not peel, and place in a shallow baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil and water. Pour the mixture over the beets and toss to coat them completely.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until the beets are tender when pierced with a skewer, 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven, uncover and let cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir together the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil until reduced by one-third, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Peel the beets by slipping off the skins, then cut them crosswise into thin slices. Place in a warmed serving bowl and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Season with salt and pepper, add the sauteed onions, toss to coat and serve immediately.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Spring, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997). 

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 10 - 15 (a little late)

Lots of Visiting Before Leaving for Myrtle Beach

It was two weeks from the time I got back from visiting everyone until we left for Myrtle Beach but I never got a chance to post my pictures so while I'm watching The View and just relaxing I can catch up with that. (today is 11/2)

I drove to Old Greenwich and met Nadine at the LaQuinta where we were staying.  We went to Greta's and exchanged gifts that we brought and went out for dinner with Greta at Baang.
The next day Nadine and I took the train into the city then walked down 7th Ave on our way to Aunt Harrie's.  It was a brisk day and with the high buildings we didn't get too much of the sun on us.
 We were happy to get here and stop for a cup of coffee and way too much of sweet stuff!
 The symbol of the Fashion District

 The fashion walk of fame.
 Our photo op with Aunt Harrie
We spent about 5 hours visiting, probably the longest we ever have since we didn't have any other plans for the day and we never ran out of anything to talk about.  We took a break and walked over to the White Horse Tavern for lunch.  They're famous for their hamburgers and Dylan Thomas.
When we got back to CT, after a brief rest we met up with Greta's book club at The Beach House where we discussed Gone Girl amidst other topics and glasses of wine, etc and some snacks.  It turns out that 2 of the gals used to live in Aunt Harrie's neighborhood and one in the same building.  Fun, fun day and night!

On Friday Nadine and I were very lazy, watching TV and chatting until it was time for her to leave to visit Em and me to start my grandkid activities.
My first stop was to watch Tucker play in his school soccer game.  It was a practice and these were all kindergardeners from his school.  Tucker scored so many goals for his team that the coach switched him and another boy to the other team so they could have a chance too.
Then it was off to the Y where Hunter had swim team practice and everyone else just went swimming, including Mom but not me.

 Tucker got to take Poquito home for the weekend because he was good in Spanish that week.
 Greta and Charles went to the movies that night and I stayed home with the boys and watched a DVD - I fell asleep but they insisted I read a story after it was over.
The next day it was time for the Old Greenwich Pumpkin Patch.  I was Greta's assistant to collect and replenish tickets for the games and prizes but first a stop for hot coffee.
Myles and friendsg

Hunter had a little Ying and Yang face painting.
I delivered Hunter to his flag football game and watched the end of Tucker's, then brought Tucker to the Pumpkin Patch

I took over Greta's duties with the tickets when she took Myles to his flag football game.  At the end of the event I almost lost Tucker when he went outside while I was trying to figure out what to do with all the tickets.  But we found each other, which was a good thing since Greta warned me before she left "not to lose him."  Tucker and I went to see the end of Myles game but Tucker was happy to sit in the car and play a game on my iPhone.
The next morning we painted some mini pumpkins.

Tucker and I played lots of games of Yahtzee Hands Down while I was there.

A quick game of hockey to start off the outdoor activities.  Greta and I were getting ready to go to Laura's.

The first thing Greta did when she got to Laura's was rearrange her furniture in the living room.  Now she has a good walkway to the kitchen.
We took a walk/run on the Minuteman Trail.

Stopped at Laura's office to print out Greta's boarding pass for Amtrak and we went out to dinner where we ate way too much but it was oh so good.
The next morning Greta and I left before 6:00 AM to go to the station and then I continued home.  Since we didn't have any coffee it was 3 hours before I made my first stop and it was a rest stop in New York with a Starbucks!!