Friday, October 2, 2015

Buffalo: Canadian wine and all the Wright Stuff, Part 2

Continued from here

Saturday morning we started out to the Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries for the Niagara Wine Festival.  the concept is pretty cool.  Each winery has a wine and food pairing.  It gets people it to spend some money.

We went to the following in Niagara-on-the-lake:

Colaneri winery.  Amazing in person!
  • Strewn- to pick up some wine (they have a wine club membership there)
  • Rancourt- Lobster Bisque and Charonnay
  • Colaneri- Vegetables and pasta and Sauvignon Blanc
  • Reif Estates- Italian Sausage and Riesling
  • Pillitteri-Chicken quesadillas and Viogner
Then we made our way to Twenty Valley
Mike Weir had diet wine

Look at that view!!
What did I learn?  Go with the wine pairing with food.  And LOVE late harvest wines!  And Cabernet Franc Icewine is AMAZING!

Sunday brought us out to the Greycliff Estate.  My dad and his partner are super involved there, so I did the in depth tour!  It's is an amazing place.  Sadly, the cliff is crumbling away, and there's still a lot of work to be done.
Can you imagine spending your summers here?

Monday we did the other Wright designed estate in the area.  The Darwin Martin house is in a word: amazing.  As for the size of it, it's not the biggest, but the design of the place is amazing.  (sadly, no pictures of the inside.  Click the link!)
I now have decided that I need a Prairie Style home
On our way to the Darwin Martin house, we stopped by the Forest Lawn cemetery.  I'm hoping for a tour when I go back to visit!
Frank Lloyd Wright designed this for Darwin Martin, it wasn't built until recently 

seriously, it's a couch....

And a chair!

And an AMAZING monument!
I was in the Buffalo area for 6 short days.  On my last night there we discussed what we'd so when I come back next year.... and bring the Spousal Equivalent!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hurricane Joaquin

According to various weather types... the storm could hit us and flatted Hampton Roads...

or it could miss us completely...


As I'm writing this the forecast models are moving more and more eastward.  Which is good!

But this also means that we need to do some hurricane prep at home.  And that we also need to do a bunch here.

I have wine to drink.  Books to read.

And a dog that is SO over all of this rain!

Stay safe everyone!

Buffalo: Canadian wine and all the Wright Stuff, Part 1

This past weekend I visited my father and his partner in sunny Buffalo, New York.  Yes, it actually was sunny!  We had two objectives:  Wine, and Frank Lloyd Wright.
 First up was the Frank Lloyd Wright Fontana Boathouse.  

The structure and design was amazing.  And even more amazing, the building (built in 2007) is actually a working boathouse for a rowing club.

the side.  Wright loves his cantelivers
it's also rented out for parties.
reproduction furniture.

Love the windows!

We hit the Anchor Bar for lunch.  The original home of the original Buffalo Wings!

That night we went to the Skyline Social.  it was held in the Mid Day Club, which is inside the Liberty Building.   Yes, the building has miniature statues of Liberty on the roof.  (that picture was taken form a doorway).

The views were spectacular!!

The next morning we joined the All Wright, All day tour to see the Frank Lloyd Wright Filling Station in the Pierce Arrow Museum.

We got the the museum early, and had a blast looking at all the old cars.

look at the detail!!  steerable from the front or back!

Did you know that they made cars marketed towards women?  Pierce-Arrow has a huge collection of the lady cars!

But the masterpiece of the collection is the Frank Lloyd Wright Filling Station.

it was designed for company in Buffalo in 1927, but never built.

Well, it's built now!
The station from the outside.

Sculpture that echos the spires

The waiting room.  it has an open fireplace.
Later that evening we crossed the border into Niagara Falls, Canada.  We stayed the night at the Sterling Inn and Spa.  The room was amazing.  And breakfast comes right to your door!

We then went to some wineries.  (As you do...)  We tasted some at Jackson-Triggs, Sadly Peller Estates was a bit bought out.. before going to a tasting and dinner at The Trius Winery.

The Menu

I had a bruscetta... sadly, the dandelion pesto was gross...
It's a strawberry and icewine Popsicle....


with Red Wine!


A great time was had by all!

I had more wine to drink than I've ever had before!

And more was to come!!!

Friday, September 18, 2015

The spiritual crisis.... again....

I went to choir last night.  This should not be a radical move.  But it was the beginning of the end.

It all started when the choir director mentioned something about choreography with the song for Sunday.  I started saying No.. no no no no.  I could feel the panic rising.

About 20 minutes later, I mentioned that practicing this might be difficult, given that the sanctuary was set up with tables for a dinner.  The Religious Education Director, who set up the tables, got upset and left.  Great.... she's upset with me.

On the way home I chatted with my carpool buddy about this, and our own spiritual paths.

I realized

  • that many of the problems in my last spiritual crisis are not resolved
  • I'm about as deep as a puddle
  • with push comes to shove, I prefer things of the religious nature to be done alone.
  • that the 3 calls and emails about my church absence give me the INTENSE desire to not go back.  basically it's having the opposite effect.
I'm not awfully surprised about the being a deep as a puddle.  I get my spiritual inspirations from movies for crissakes!  How deep can I be?!?

I'm also not surprised about the being alone thing.  I've always been a "back of the church" person.  You know, the people that want to get in, worship, and get out.  I was a solitary when I tried the pagan thing.  I know that church should be all about the beloved community.  I get that.  I respect it.  I endorse it.  But I don't know if that's for me.

I still believe in everything that Unitarian Universalism stands for.  I admire the environmental crusading and the social justice.  I admire the community they foster.  I also know that the crusading and social-justice-ing are too much for me to do.  I also am not 100% comfortable in the community.

I guess I have some soul searching to do.

or it could be PMS....

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Three's not enough wine to deal with today.

At 7:30 I received a call.

Furniture delivery is here at work.

Great!  Except one thing.  I get to work at 8.

I then run around like a maniac and proceed to set stuck behind every school bus in Christendom!

While at work I'm alerted that there were issues printing a confidential document, and to keep an eye out for it.

it was found.

In Chemistry.

Then I get a call from campus police.  My car was in an accident.  Yes, it was parked at the time.  

The damage is just cosmetic, but there is a mountain of paperwork involved to get it fixed.   
A grad student hit me.  Poor thing was terrified that I'd be mad at her.

Then I went to go eat my lunch....  I forgot the salad dressing in my haste to get out of the house.

I'm off to go buy lunch.  Is it too early for wine?

Friday, September 11, 2015

My physical, emotional and spiritual self-help plan.

Labor day has come and gone.  That means that I have a month until my next race.  What does that mean?  I have to get back to work.

My Physical Well being plan:

My fitness plan for the next month is based around the 21 Day Fix program.

I'm using their Upper and lower body fix.  I also plan on using the Pilates, alternating with Hip Hop abs and doing some sort of yoga.  I especially need to remember the yoga.  I've been lax on it and I can feel it.

Instead of the program's cardio days, I'm going to run.   I'm really enjoying the program.  It makes me feel powerful and successful.  I'll never run a whole mile without walking.  but this program plays to my strengths.

I'm also using their eating program.  I REALLY like the eating portion of the 21 Day Fix program.  It forces me to eat a more well balanced diet.  I also have Shakeology back in my kitchen.  (I know it's vegan..... but trust me, they just taste better!!)  It may be expensive, but I love having a smoothie for breakfast on the weekends.  (Maybe after Disney I'll be able to afford it more often.)  It fills me up and if I have a washed takeout cup in the house I can take my smoothie with me when we run weekend errands.

Here's a recipe I wish I had the Shakeology for!  I'll have to print it out so I have it on hand for next year.

My Mental Well Being plan:

First:  I have new books.  More importantly, I have books I'm excited to read.  (Or in this case, listen to)   I'm currently listening to this book.  I LOVED her last series.  This book is more suspenseful than the last.

I also have Carrie Hope Fletcher's book and The Bloggess's book is pre-ordered.

The Dark is Rising books are also on my phone.  I love those books!

Second: It's Pass member appreciation day at Busch Gardens tomorrow.  Depending on the weather, we might hit the park on Sunday as well.  I want to ride of rides, even if the roller coasters are too scary.

Third:  I cleaned the downstairs last week.  A clean house is good for my well being.  I need to keep it that way.  This week's plan, vacuum both upstairs and down and keep the downstairs picked up.

Fourth:  I'm trying to keep myself from getting over-extended.  This is happening with varying success.

My Spiritual Well being Plan:

I've decided to start collecting quotes, pictures, and passages that mean something to me.  Make sort of a personal bible of sorts.

More on this later... I'm still working on it.

But today's Friday.  Happy Weekend everyone!!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Damn! I'm productive today!

This morning, I was up by 7.  The kitchen disguested me so before I ate breakfast I:

  • rearranged some things on the counters
  • emptied the dishwasher
  • refilled the dishwasher
  • cleaned the sinks, counters and stove
Then I had breakfast.  And because I decided that the house needed to be decluttered (mainly because it was gross, also because kittens get into EVERYTHING) I:
  • swept and mopped the kitchen and dining room
  • gathered up a HUGE bag of random trash
  • washed a load of delicates, including every bra that I own.
  • changed the sheets on the bed
  • hand washed the rest of the dishes
  • tidied up my sewing and the living room
  • put away the PILES of clean laundry that I've been avoiding forever.
  • planned my workouts for the week.
And I haven't even had lunch yet!
Later on the agenda:
  • Make a cake
  • Cook other food for dinner (we're having company tonight)
  • eat lunch
  •  if the upstairs toilet replacement hasn't happened yet, dye my hair
And maybe a nap!

Happy long weekend everyone!!!!