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COVID Diaries: Day 374

The weekend has arrived again!  I had to work yesterday on my day off, as one of my employees had a family emergency, so it was nice when the workday was finally over! 

I had a friends dinner date on Thursday night at a new pho restaurant in town.  So simple and so delicious!  It’s so nice to be able to eat in a restaurant again.  We followed it up with a walk to the University, since it is now light out later in the evening. 

Friday night I took a long walk in the Arboretum, and then back down through the University.  It’s so nice to have this wooded park just a few blocks from my front door. Afterwards, I tried a new Raspberry Lemonade canned wine.  It was ok; not great, not terrible.

Today I had to do the unpleasant task of buying a new washer.  Why are these things so expensive and why oh why can they not make quality things the way they used to?  In my first house, the dishwasher was 42 years old and still worked fine.  You are lucky if you get 7 years out of an appliance these days.  But I am now the proud owner of a brand new Speed Queen top loading washing machine with exactly no bells and whistles, which is exactly how I think it ought to be.  Hopefully it will last… 

To reward myself for getting this chore done, I went to the Lost Giants cidery and got a 6-pack of their new Passionfruit Guava cider.  It is soooo good! 

I hope you are all having a fantastic weekend!

 

Circus Trip 2018: Birthday Lobster

Day 52, Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Beal’s Lobster Pier, SW Harbor, Maine

When you are alone, holidays can be hard…  So I wasn’t sure what to expect from my road trip birthday.  Did I want to mark it in any way, or just let it slide by unnoticed?

Being in Maine at my birthday was fortuitous.  I had always wanted to try whole lobster, and what better place to experience it for the first time than Maine, where I could have fresh whole Maine lobster right at the source!

I asked around that morning and learned that Beal’s Lobster Pier was recommended as the place to be for Maine lobster.  It was near Acadia National Park, so when I finished my days’ touristing, I headed over to check it out.  I arrived fairly early; if I remember correctly it was just before 5, and it wasn’t too busy yet.  I let the man at the counter know I had never had whole Maine lobster, and he set to work picking out a good one for me.  And the sides, you can’t forget the sides…  Coleslaw, corn on the cob, and cornbread…

After I paid, I wandered out to find a table with my glass of Vinho Verde, and had the most incredible view of the harbor from my seat.  It was a warm evening, and I felt so at peace on the water, seeing the occasional boat come in.

My lobster came with instructions on how to crack and eat it, and I was so grateful!  I made sure to take a photo so I could have it in case one day I needed them.

My meal was amazing!  So fresh, and so simple, and easily one of the best meals I have ever had.  It was delicious, and I felt like it was a birthday dinner done right!

Note: For those of you in the know, this was the day before my actual birthday.  It still counts!

Oh What Fun!, Day 9

Day 9 in the Wine Advent Calendar was a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.  Chile was where I learned to love wine, sampling the local selections when I lived there so long ago.

This Sauvignon Blanc was made from grapes from Chile’s Valle Central (Central Valley) and was crisp and acidic, with flavors of pineapple and nectarine.  It had 12.5% ABV and was a very nice, dry white.  One of my favorites!

Cheers!

Oh What Fun!, Day 8

My wine for Day 8 was a Merlot from Chile’s Valle Central region.  This is the only international wine region I’ve been to, so I knew I was in for a treat.  Chile was where I learned to love wine, and they have so many good ones for affordable prices!

I don’t drink much Merlot, and I thought this one was relatively soft and fruit forward, despite the bottle description saying it was full bodied.  I tasted black cherry and ripe raspberry, with medium tannins.  It had 13% ABV, and it was delicious!

 

Oh What Fun!, Day 7

I love Rose – I was excited to see a rose included in my wine advent calendar!

Unfortunately, this was not the dry rose I have come to love.  This California rose was more reminiscent of the syrupy, overly sweet White Zinfandels that were a staple of the 1980s. Honestly, I drank this one very slowly, and had a hard time finishing it.

The description on the bottle was of strawberry and juicy watermelon, which seemed accurate, but it was like drinking a runny, strawberry syrup.

You can’t win them all – it still looked pretty in it’s picture!

Oh What Fun!, Day 6

Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t my favorite grape.  Or maybe the grape is fine, but it’s what most winemakers do with the grape.  I’ve found that so many Cabernet Sauvignons are aged in heavy oak, and the wine leaves you feeling like you just chewed on a 2×4…

So I wasn’t that excited to find this little bottle, but I was pleasantly surprised!  This Cabernet wasn’t over-oaked, and had nice flavors of black cherry and tobacco.

At 13% ABV it was a fairly light Cab, and one I would certainly drink again.

Oh What Fun!, Day 5

I know, I know… I got sidetracked!  But this just means we get to enjoy my Wine Advent Calendar into January!

Day 5 was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  It had that crisp minerality that a good Sauvignon Blanc has, with flavors of lemongrass and lime.  I loved this one! 

The grapes were grown in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, and it clocked in at 13% ABV.  Delicious!

Oh What Fun!, Day 4

Our Day 4 wine was a California Zinfandel!

Immediately upon opening, we were met with bold, rich, berry flavors.  We both loved it!  Zinfandel is often a robust wine and this one was no different.  It is a fairly heavy hitter at 14% ABV, but the balance of the fruit flavors and a light oak made this easy to sip.

It was an excellent representation of the grape!

Oh What Fun!, Day 3

My mother, as my most loyal reader, pointed out that I must not have liked the advent calendar’s day 2 wine… The Shiraz… Cardboard? I mean, I didn’t like it at first, but thankfully it opened up after 20 minutes or so and redeemed itself!

Unlike Day 2, Day 3’s Pinot Grigio was delicious right from the first sip.  Golden delicious apple flavors at first, finishing with a tart lemon on the finish.  Both Tiffany and I really enjoyed it – a definite crowd pleaser!

It was 12.5% ABV and a product of Italy, from the Terre Siciliane region.

If only we could take a trip to Italy!

Oh What Fun, Day 2

Yesterday evening’s Advent Calendar wine was an Australian Shiraz.

My girlfriend accidentally locked her keys inside her house, and had to track down a spare pair, so I had to wait a bit longer than anticipated to get my drink on… Soon enough though, it was on!

We poured our mini-bottles into the glass, and smelled…  What’s that smell – cardboard?  Black cherry?  Not much of a nose…

We tasted.  What’s that taste?  Cardboard?  This wine was not giving us much…

Quick – let’s aerate!  We swirled the wine in our glasses for several minutes.  This was taking too long, considering the day we both had!

After several minutes the wine started to open up, giving us black currant or black cherry flavors with just barely a hint of black pepper.  That’s better…

This one clocks in at 13.5% ABV, and was also bottled by Paul Sapin and with the reference to La Chappelle de Guinchay, but this one is a product of Australia.  I’m confused…

In the end, a perfectly acceptable Wednesday night wine, but be sure to decant it first.