Books Read in 2017

by Wendy
One of my resolutions was to read 24 books in 2017. I reached the goal and look forward to aiming for it again in 2018. The list of what I read over the past year follows. It’s an assortment of American, French, English, Russian, Norwegian, Swedish and Spanish writers. Some are classics, some were recently published, and some I’ve read previously and wanted to revisit. I actually love to reread books, which is a good thing because we have an extensive collection and it helps save money.  Continue reading

Philadelphia Follow Up

by Wendy
I have a few more tips to share since my last post on the fabulous city of Philadelphia. Jack and I spent a couple of days here after the Thanksgiving holiday and our fondness for Philadelphia continues to grow. Continue reading

Banff and Glacier NP – but Where Do I Eat?

by Joe
My lovely wife and I just returned from a road trip through western Canada and northern Montana which was a most scenic adventure as you might expect. We love the West but had never explored this state or been to Canada. We enjoyed the Alpine look and feel of the Banff area and the great northern Rockies. Since we went in September the mountain peaks were getting snow already and we had a couple of days when we saw a little snow at the lower elevations. The weather overall was quite good temperature-wise (although my shorts were the only piece of clothing I didn’t bring out of the suitcase). We saw the sun at least part of most everyday so it was all good! The glacier and mountain lakes were the most spectacular we’ve ever seen. The color was a blue we hadn’t seen before and they were cold and clean.

Great hiking and beautiful scenery everywhere, but where to eat? This was not a problem and in fact was, as usual, a wonderful part of the journey. Both locations are big on big game meat such as buffalo, elk, and AAA Alberta beef. But salmon and fish were very prevelant as well as poutine. This is the West and cowboy country. Here are some of our favorites and the locations: Continue reading

O Canada, O Montana

by Joe
My wife and I anticipated a trip to the Canadian Rockies and Glacier National Park for several years. Seems like every time we got close, something else kicked our interest. We just completed this trip in September and were amazed at the beauty, the food, and the international appeal of the area surrounding Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. This was the end of the season for many of the lodges and great park hotels in Glacier and Banff. However, we had great cool weather to hike in and a little taste of snow in the upper elevations of the mountains. It just added to the beauty of the scenery.

The trip was twelve days and just about right for us. You could scale up or down the number of days to fit your taste but no matter how many days you spend you will not be disappointed. I would suggest you try to avoid the mid-summer months as we were told the crowds are quite large. At the major attractions in Banff we still saw buses loaded with tourists. Continue reading

Hello Huckleberries

by Cindy
Huckleberries! This is a berry that is unfamiliar in the area where I live, but apparently very popular in the Northwest part of the country. I remember being introduced to this berry in Wyoming a few years ago and reintroduced to them recently in Montana. Huckleberries are everywhere and in so many products.

This is a very versatile berry. I saw them in syrup, candy, jelly, lotion, and food. I tried a “Huckleberry Palmer” mixed drink with those berries and purchased some lotion that smelled really nice. We also purchased some jelly, but haven’t tried it yet. Saw lots of road side “hucks” stands in Montana, but most closed for the season. I thought it was amazing that such a little berry could do so much.

The Scent of Glacier National Park

by Cindy
Do you smell that? You breathe in and you exhale with aaahh! The scent of Glacier National Park was amazing. All those pine trees smelled so wonderful.

That fragrant aroma of evergreen trees was so fresh and clean smelling. It brought back memories from my childhood, when Dad would bring home a fresh Christmas tree to decorate.

We bought souvenirs to bring home to remind us of our great trip, but that smell is something that can’t be put in a suitcase.

Madrid Restaurants, Rooftops and Ordering Rueda

by Wendy
Spending an evening in Madrid? Lucky you. Jack and I would prefer at least one date night here every week. Here are some of our recent finds.

Sidreria El Escarpin– We enjoyed a drink here during a previous stay in Madrid and made the right call to order dinner this time. This restaurant features cuisine from the Asturias region in the north of Spain, including the refreshing fizzy cider (sidra). We discovered the appetizer of our dreams: fries topped with chorizo and fried eggs. This beauty pictured above, along with hearty entrees (fish for me, oxtail for Jack) and two bottles of sidra were perfect and also reasonably priced at around $70. Continue reading