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Archive for November 2011

St. Augustine, Florida – Part One

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We arrived in St. Augustine before Noon on Thanksgiving Day. We were early for check-in at our bed and breakfast but our host was very obliging since our room was ready. The room was a quaint bedroom with attached bathroom on one side of the B&B. It was a bit on the tiny side but it was sufficient for our needs.

Since it was Thanksgiving, there were not a lot of options for food until later in the evening but we hadn’t really eaten any breakfast so it was time for something. Sadly, we should have waited until dinner.

We stopped at Sara’s Crepe Café mostly due to the wonderful aroma wafting out of the kitchen. It was an odd little café with seating outdoors and inside. We chose to eat inside based mainly on the fact that all those flies inside must have been on to something! Why we didn’t run I will never know. Even more curious is why we didn’t order the crepes; they smelled wonderful and watching the man make them was very entertaining. I cannot recommend avoiding this café enough!

After that disappointment, we wandered through the shops on St. George Street for a bit before returning to our room for a quick nap before the better restaurants opened for dinner.

We heard better things about Scarlett O’Hara’s so we headed there for beer and wings for dinner. Oh hey, I had forgotten about the Cowboys playing. The wings were hot, the beer was cold and the ‘Boys won the game; how ‘bout them Cowboys! Another walk after dinner to get our bearings for the rest of our trip and it was back to our room after a delicious dessert of coffee and a pumpkin cheesecake bar from Crucial Coffee.

Up next: our B&B and one of my favorite restaurants ever.

See you next week!

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Written by David A. Ufer

November 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Posted in Florida, Friends

Thanksgiving

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Peanuts characters are © Charles M. Schulz

Thanksgiving has always been a wonderful holiday. Our families would gather together at my grandparent’s house for a day of eating, singing, game playing and the after dinner walk around the block. There was a houseful and we kids sat at the obligatory kid table. We never really minded because we were still part of the action.

The tables would be covered with platters, casserole dishes and plates as all that delicious food made its way from the kitchen. My grandmother would cook the turkey and stuffing and my mom and aunts would make side dishes or desserts. My grandfather would mix drinks before dinner and then seemingly spend his time running up and down the basement stairs for chairs or whatever we needed at the table.

More often than not the back door to the porch would need to be opened slightly as my uncle would make mention as to how hot it was. LOL, he never did like the heat. Funny how things never changed from year to year.

However, over time we grand kids grew up and family life got more hectic. Some of us drifted away to other states and the family Thanksgiving gathering ended. We all spend time with our own immediate families or loved ones but the memories of those wonderful gatherings will stay with us forever.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Written by David A. Ufer

November 21, 2011 at 7:07 am

Posted in Family

Tarpon Springs, Florida

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What a beautiful Florida Fall day! And what better way to spend it then to head up to Tarpon Springs for some wonderful Greek food and tourist-type shopping.

Parking is never a problem as there seems to be more parking lots than shops and restaurants lately. It’s a shame how the economic troubles in Greece have affected the people of Tarpon Springs but everyone seems to be making the best of it.

After parking and doing a quick once-over of the shops on the South side of Dodecanese Blvd, a visit to Hellas Restaurant and Bakery was in order. The hankering for a Greek salad has been with me all week so in we went. Of course no trip is complete without yelling “Opa!” once, so we also ordered the Saganaki (flaming cheese). Mmmmmmmmmm, delicious!

After our cheesy appetizer, we ordered a Greek salad for two. It could easily have fed four but hey, no lettuce leaf was left behind. I love the Feta cheese and the potato salad surprise at the bottom of the salad. And no Greek salad is complete without the lip smacking dressing. Again, mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

After lunch we wandered over to the connected bakery. All the baked goodies reminded me of my neighbor, Mrs. Karras, when I was growing up in New Milford. Anytime we worked in our yard, she would bring us homemade cookies. Anytime we worked in her yard, she would bring us homemade cookies. I think she either just liked to bake or she was just happy we were doing something productive. Either way, it was a win.

No baked goods were purchased or eaten today but next time for sure.

Written by David A. Ufer

November 14, 2011 at 7:04 am

Posted in Florida

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Off the Couch and Back to Work!

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Today as you read this I will be back at work after a 7-week unemployment stint. After 11 years at my former job, our duties and responsibilities were outsourced to an Indian firm. Tata, job! Granted we were given notice that our jobs would be gone at this time due to a relocation effort but the outsourcing was an added wrinkle that we didn’t count on so any possible moves within the firm were pretty much gone.

However, that loss turned into a major gain. During my down time I was able to take care of some items that had been dogging me for a while and set myself up for hopefully a less stressful future. The dark cloud truly had a silver lining.

I am looking forward to this new opportunity and the heavier responsibilities that come with it. I usually keep the same three New Year’s Resolutions from year to year; perhaps this is the year that all three come to pass during the same year. I’m used to having a rotation of a couple of them during any given year but never all three. Fingers crossed this time.

I bought some new clothes for this new job, something I haven’t done in years and I have to say, I was impressed with some of the sales I managed to find. Who says the malls aren’t good for anything? But oh my goodness, parents, what are you thinking letting your teenage daughters go out looking like they do?! Holy cow! Between the outfits on the girls and the behavior of the boys, I remembered why I had forsaken the malls for so long.

So while I was enjoying my time off, seven weeks was too long and it is definitely time to get back at it.

Wish me luck!

Written by David A. Ufer

November 7, 2011 at 7:07 am

Posted in Me