Blog Archive

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Guilford, CT: Kape Kohn

 This past weekend, Kristen and Mike invited me up to Mike's families beach house in Guilford, CT.
Oliver and I had been up a few times before and were looking forward to having a wonderful and
relaxing weekend! The train ride up from Grand Central was a close call, we almost did not make
our intended train however, with one minute left, we were able to hop on and head to Hogwarts!
By Hogwarts, I mean Yale. Our train to New Haven was delayed and therefore we missed our
connector train to Guilford. Mike's Dad was gracious enough to pick us up from New Haven
and since it was later in the evening, and they all just realized I had never been to Yale before,
the decision was made! 

Mike had mentioned Louis Lunch to us while waiting for his Dad to arrive. Little did I know
this place was a landmark in New Haven, and also featured on some Food Network show.
My favorite kind of place! The burgers were made in these teeny tiny ovens where the burgers
were stacked vertically. The large burgers were sandwiches between two pieces of white
bread topped with the works, onions, tomato and cheese. It was delicious and gone quickly!

After dinner, Mike's Dad who is a professor of dental surgery at Yale and chief of 
dentistry at Yale-New Haven Hospital, gave us a wonderful night tour of the Yale
campus. We were extremely interested in seeing the secret societies! The campus
really makes you think back to your own college experience and wonder if it would
be much different on a campus as prestigious as this. 

After our tour of Yale, Oliver and I were ready for bed. I crashed quickly and thankfully
so because bright and early the next morning the little dude woke me up to go out way
too early! At least there was this view at 6:00am. 

The neighbors have this stunning tree in their yard. I cannot help myself from 
staring at it all the time. I was thankful enough to get this awesome shot of it!
The sun was still rising in the sky, the water was so calm it looked like glass
and the temperature was spectacular! No humidity at all! 

Once everyone was awake, we cooked a delicious breakfast with some of the
most delicious oven baked potatoes with onions and red peppers I had ever had!
Kristen recently became the owner of a brand new paddle board and let me take
it out for a ride! It was my first time and although I was a little shaky at the start
it was a lot of fun! My sides were also extremely sore from a nice 20 min stroll.

After laying out at the beach house for a bit, we decided to head over to Mike's
Uncles pool for a dip. It was beginning to get hot and we needed some fresh cool
water. It was exactly what we needed! Later that evening, Mike's parents and Uncle
came down to the beach house and cooked dinner. They made veal chops, gazpacho,
fresh green beans and my new all time love, Salted Caramel gelato. I fell in love too
quickly and have had cravings ever since. 

The moon that evening was a big bright beautiful harvest moon which lit up the ocean
top. We were all in awe and couldn't stop looking out the windows. Truly awesome.

The next morning, Oliver let me sleep in a little bit longer, after all he was exhausted from
all the weekend excitement as well. We waited on the screened in porch for everyone to
wake up and then we headed on a 2.5 mile walk into town for Breakfast. I had a yummy
strawberry, cinnamon and brie crepe. We walked through the town and stopped in some
shops before heading back to the beach house. Eventually, we cleaned up, packed and
headed back to town for Mike's Dad to drops us off at the train station after picking up
some sandwiches for the train. All weekend we caught a glimpse of the Potterhead 
weekend on ABC Family so it was just perfect when Severus Snape was on our train
back to the city! 

A huge thank you to Mike's family and Mike and Kristen for the wonderful
weekend! I can't wait to come back with Leif sometime soon! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

4th of July 2014: VRV

This 4th of July, like every year, we headed upstate to Vesco Ridge Vineyards to spend 
some quality time drinking wine, hanging out with the family and enjoying nature while
camping and relaxing. Thankfully, I got to take off work on Wednesday and have a nice
five day weekend. It really is worth it because the drive alone eats up half a day. 

We arrived Wednesday evening and Aunt Nancy and Uncle Dan were outside on the
brand new deck outside of the tasting room having a glass of wine waiting for us. She 
had prepared this delicious bacon wrapped chicken in an apple BBQ sauce in the
crockpot and was awaiting our arrival for dinner. We were both so hungry and it was
very tasty. So tasty, we asked for the recipe! 

Bacon Wrapped Apple BBQ Chicken

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Cup BBQ Sauce 
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/8 Cup Lemon Juice (Fresh or from a Bottle)
5 Small Gala Apples (Peeled and chopped)
8 Slices of Bacon


In a small bowl, combine the BBQ Sauce, Brown Sugar, Lemon Juice and Apples 
(peeled and chopped).

Wrap each chicken breast with two slices of bacon and place in a greased
slow cooker.

Pour BBQ Sauce/Apple mixture over the chicken and cook on low for 6-8 hours 
or until chicken is done. 

After dinner, we headed to good ole American Walmart to pick up some
final camping gear. That evening we had planned to camp out along 
Lake Champlain. The evening was cooling off nicely but still fairly humid.
However, we thought, when in West Chazy. Aunt Nancy had found this
great little spot located directly on the waterfront for us through a friend.
They were more than willing to let us crash for the night or four and we
couldn't have been more thankful. We set up camp and except for Lucky
panting all night, everything else was fine! I even woke up to the most 
beautiful sunrise! 

The days are all kind of a blur from there. I know we stopped by the school to
say hello to Nan. We also went and got breakfast at the Happy Pike. Actually, it
 turned out to be lunch. But, it was still good! We also spent a lot of time relaxing
the next day. We ran into town for some groceries for our family cookout that
evening. We also stopped by an old family friends camp down on Lake Champlain
to check it out. It was pretty awesome. We both agreed we would love to clean it
up and come stay with friends for a long weekend.

Later that night Kim, Lee, Deb, Herb, Nan, Dan, Leif and I gathered on the front
 porch of the vineyard while it poured to have a nice little wet family BBQ. Uncle 
Dan grilled the dogs and burgers while Kim brought over this amazing bean salad. 
I finished us off with strawberry shortcake. It was delicious! That night, we slept 
indoors with all the rain! 

The next morning we were all pretty lazy. It was the 4th of July and we were in no mood
to do anything. We spent the day relaxing. Leif picked up the tent from the lake and set it
up in the vineyard to dry out. He also practiced with his bow in the back fields. We also
made it to McSweeny's and picked up Michigans for everyone. I'm pretty sure he loved 
them as much as the rest of us. I guess he's a keeper! That evening we visited Sam's with
Deb to pick up some items I wanted. We also picked up some new umbrellas for Nan 
and Dan's new deck to thank them for us staying with them.

We also picked up some pre-made pizzas for dinner. Leif took the toppings completely
off of the pizzas, added more cheese and seasoning and added the toppings back on 
before popping them into the oven. We sat around the large table drinking wine and 
eating pizza for the rest of the night. Unfortunately the fresh air kicked our butts and 
we were in bed in the tent before any of the fireworks. We both slept great that night.

The next morning the whole family went to the Happy Pike for breakfast. Nan and Dan
drove us around Point au Roche to show us the hiking trails for later with the dogs. We
spent a good two hours hiking and taking in the beautiful views on Lake Champlain. 
It really is quite beautifully calming up there. Plus the dogs loved it! Lucky even got
to go for a little swim in fresh water for a change! 

When we got back, Oliver was done. He spent the rest of the day napping and hiding. 

We on the other hand had no chance to rest at all! We arrived back to a fully packed 
vineyard. There was live music and about 30 people. Nan and Dan needed all the help
they could get. We went right to making meat and cheese platters to helping guests with
their tastings. Around five, the guests cleared out and we had time to relax for a little bit.

That evening, Nan, Dan, Leif and I went out to dinner in Plattsburgh at Anthony's. From
the fresh warm bread to the delicious wine and desserts, the dinner was wonderful. Leif
was in the mood for some sort of game meat. I guess the woods were rubbing off. 
We were all exhausted after a long day and really enjoyed being able to sit down and
have a wonderful meal not on paper plates! 

The next morning, we packed up the car, Leif had time to take a scooter ride,
and possibly a four wheeler ride, and headed back to big bad New York City.
It was a pretty easy drive with little to no traffic. Somehow we managed to enter 
NYC without any traffic at all which is near to impossible. We were both 
exhausted after our relaxing weekend.... I'm not sure how that happens, but its true.
Thank you family for such a welcoming and wonderful weekend! Love you all!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Edison, NJ: Harold's New York Delicatessen

The last weekend in June, Leif and I were hungry and spending too much time trying to decide
what we wanted for dinner. Then he remembered Harold's. We have been talking about Harold's
for some time now and just haven't managed to make it over the bridge to New Jersey with
our crazy busy schedules. Well, it was early on a Sunday and we were both in the mood for
some matzo ball soup and pastrami and corned beef sandwiches!

It was a very quick 15 minute drive from Staten Island to Harold's Deli in Edison, NJ.
It was an odd time of the day, early bird dinner I guess you could call it. We had been
out and about running errands, hiking with the dogs and kayaking all day so we had worked
up a good appetite and did not care if it was 4:30pm and we were ready for dinner.

We were seated immediately although we were nervous when we arrived because the
parking lot looked full. The place was huge and not as crowded as we had expected.
It took us no time at all to decide what we wanted to share, the pastrami and corned beef
sandwich. The great thing about Harold's is their pickle bar which includes roughly five
different kinds of pickles, sour tomatoes, cabbage salads and four different types of
breads and rolls. Leif was in the mood for pastrami and I corned beef. This way,
we each got to have our own, for days!

In the end, we also decided to get one matzo ball and a side of chicken noodle soup. The
actual matzo ball soup was so large we needed 8-10 people to finish it off. We couldn't
even finish off one ball. I think this look explains it all...

Shortly after our sandwich arrived. This photo does not do the size of it justice.
However, it making 6 sandwiches and lasting me for 4 days after does. Lunch
for the next three days was easy!

In the end, we hardly made a dent. We were both so full we had to pass on dessert.
But, we ended up visiting the pickle bar one last time, grabbing some to go pickles
and bread for the rest of the week.

My parents would love this place! I can't wait to take them!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pocono, PA: Whitewater Rafting

Last month Sara and I were invited to go white water rafting in Jim Thorpe, 
Pennsylvania with our scuba diving friend Johanna. It was part of the 
Pocono Whitewater Rafting dam release which means, more fun! Unfortunately,
 as it was whitewater rafting which has much to do with water, we left our phones 
in the car and have no photos at all to document the day. However, there is this 
clip from their website!

Sara and I both woke up extremely early because we had to be in PA by
8:30am. By 6:00am we were on the road, in Leif's truck (thank you again!)
and headed towards a day of fun in the sun! Because it was earlier than
we would have liked, the traffic was nonexistent and the drive was easy
and beautiful. We met our large group and all signed in. Within the next 
hour, we were all surrounding the instructors listening to the rules and
regulations and ready to hit the river. 

We were on the river for five hours with one 30 minute lunch break. 
The river was completely in the sun, which was fantastic as the water
was fresh water rushing and freezing. All I can say is we got one hell
of a workout. We cannot wait to go back with our friends and have 
a blast! It was a little difficult steering the raft with people you do not
know because you really can't tell them what to do. With our own 
friends, that would be different and probably more successful! 

The bus picks you up where you finish on the river and drives you
back to the lodge. On the way back you learn all about Jim Thorpe and
the interesting story about his life and why this particular town became
after him! Over all it was a great experience and fun summer weekend activity!


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