Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cool Pic of the Day


I was taking pictures of Alex to document her sunbathing on a 100F day when a grasshopper swooped in.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mad Men Season Six Explained

Here’s a smart explanation of the Vietnam symbolism used in the recently concluded sixth season. 

There are potential spoilers if you haven’t seen the finally and definite spoilers if you’ve never seen the show.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Walkabout 2013 Day 18: One Last Day in Prague


No more beer fests or absinthe binges.  Just a day of walking around and soaking in the sites – the rainy rainy sites.  Today’s highlights include a trip to the National Museum and the Communism Museum which, ironically, is located in the same building as a casino.

And so ends my postings for Walkabout 2013.  I hope everyone enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed providing them.  But that seems doubtful since this was the greatest vacation/walkabout I’ve ever experienced.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Drinking Prague: Absinthe Time

We like to call it “Saturday Night in Prague”
-- JT

A bar so nice, we went their twice.
So here’s my theory about how absinthe makes you crazy.  I’m not buying it.  Not because it didn’t make me crazy, but because I genuinely think you have to already be crazy to like this shit.  Van Gogh would have cut off his ear if he had been drinking Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  So stop blaming the absinthe.
But thanks to our fine Bartendrix, Natalie (aka The Fake Arya Stark), I did grow to appreciate absinthe to a limited extent.
On our second trip to Absinthe Time, three of us ordered unusual drinks.  JT accidently ordered a drink that had a bug chaser.  So that’s the bug in the pictures people are playing with.
I ordered a Witches Brew that was easily the most horrible drink I’ve ever had.  But the presentation was spectacular and I wanted to video it.  So I ordered one.

Before drinking, you’re supposed to inhale the vapors produced by the fire for an added buzz.  But by this time, I was sufficiently buzzed to not register a difference.
It turned out The Fake Mila Kunis, who made it the night before and not our beloved Natalie, didn’t know what she was doing.  This night, the Witches Brew was lovely.
And Jason ordered some shot where you have to snort a line of fine sugar first.

Absinthe Time == Good Times

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Eating Prague: U Fleků

Oh, U Fleků, what’s happened to you?  Or maybe it’s what’s happened to me.  Four years after my first visit you seem so touristy and brightly lit.  And please believe us when we say we don’t want any shots.  And what are those other shots?  In the good old days four years ago there was just one shot, Becherovka.  Oh well,  the pork knuckle was still great and the beer flowing.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

San Marino Panorama

This didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.  I panned way too fast.  Maybe someday I’ll slow it down and repost.  But for now, enjoy the view of Italy from high atop San Marino.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Walkabout 2013 Day 17: Prague Beer Fest Part Dva

Day 17 was so epic it’s going to take at least three blog postings.  So stay tuned.

The first posting will consist of more beer fest hijinks followed by a tram ride back to the hotel where we encountered a band of locals heading to a football game and who led us in cheer.  “Let’s go Praha” or some such.  Many liters of beer had been poured down my face at this point.  So specifics are cloudy to mostly cloudy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Area Man Looks Forward to Album Release

Walkabout 2013 Day 16: Plzen and Castle Karlštejn

We take a break from the beer fest for a road trip to the birthplace of Pilsner beer, Plzen, and then on to a castle.  On a sadder note, both meals today were very unspectacular and thus not worth blogging about. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Don’t Get Discouraged During Disgorging

Disgorging is the process of removing yeast sediment from a champagne bottle.  It didn’t occur to me to video* one of the many examples of manual disgorging until we were at Champagne Daniel Etienne.  Unfortunately, his first attempt failed. 

So he tried again.


* My new camera has HD video capabilities that I had forgotten about.

Eating Prague: U Pravdu


Yuuuupppp,  more beer.


It’s been a long day of drinking.


Garlic soup in a bread bowl


Sausage with fresh grated horseradish.





Saturday, June 8, 2013

Walkabout 2013 Day 15: Prague and the Czech Beer Fest

This was the first of many rainy days in the Czech Republic.  On our way to the fest, we stopped off at Bavarian Bagels for a ridiculous bacon, egg and cheese bagel sandwich.

I’m not sure how much beer I drink this day, but it has to have been around five liters, maybe more.

And that thing that looks like a cinnamon roll is really a smoked cheese spiral.

Eating Düsseldorf: Kitzbüheler Stuben

Day 13’s highlight was dinner at an Austrian* restaurant featuring a variety of fine Austrian wines.








Schnitzel with a white asparagus underneath and a like a liter of hollandaise sauce in the background.


Onion quiche.


Cheese strudel.


Strawberry fritter


*G’day Mate!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I Am Now Accepting Applications to Help Me Drink All This



My last three travel adventures along with a more prolific than usual spring brewing season has left my booze fridge almost full.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Walkabout 2013 Day 12: Finally a Sunny Day in Düsseldorf

It’s mostly been rainy, cloudy and cold here in the ‘dorf.  But finally the sun broke through and I got to walk around the city a bit.  And could there be a better way to end a day than with copious amounts of altbier, schweine haxe, some blutwurst and then more altbier?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Inventing Second Dinner

Sometimes the food options are too numerous and the only alternative is to have a second dinner.  That was quandary presented in Faenza.  After having had an amazing lunch at Manueli’s we were presented with the opportunity of eating at both Spinetta and at our hotel.  So why not both. 

First dinner was at Spinetta and was only a plate of local salumi and cheeses.  I forgot my camera so no pix. 

Second dinner back at the hotel.  It was BBQ night.  They fired up the grill and served an assortment of meats.  Is there a better phrase in English than “an assortment of meats”?


Bolangese.  Seeminly everyone at Manueli’s was getting a big bowl of Bolagnese and it made me want some.


Obviously some kind of stuffed pasta.  But I don’t remember much of them except they were delicious and had a strong rosemary flavor.


Homemade sausage, pork belly and pork loin.


Steak, medium rare.  At this point I’m about to explode.  A glass of grappa helped ease the pain but I could eat no more.


To celebrate winning the day food and wine-wise, the day was finished with a bottle of local sparkling wine. 

Eating Santa Lucia: Manueli’s

Practically the whole town was here for lunch in this very large restaurant.  They must be doing something right with the whole town there and dish out great dish after great dish.


Veal scaloppini with asparagus.


Zucchini ravioli with stuffed zucchini flowers.


Coffee semifreddo


Lemon gelato




I have no idea why Bill Gates was eating here.


Walkabout 2013 Day 10: Faenza

I may have found my new favorite place on Earth.  The food and wine here are amazing and amazingly cheap. Wines I could easily see paying $30-40 a bottle for are selling here for 8-10 €. 

Wineries Visited

  • Spinetta – fabulous wines. (5 bottles bought)
  • Ancarani – they were ok, nothing special.
  • Leone Conti – also very good (3 bottles bought)