Sue and I were so happy to have Chuck come Saturday 06/22/19 to visit with us for a whole week!
Chuck taking a picture of us at Walters Basin Restaurant in Holderness, NH.
He had decided to drive out, and said that the 2 day trip was just spectacular. The first day was the long one at about 11 hours, stopping for the night in Syracuse, NY. But that only left him about 6 hours, and he was so taken with the beauty coming across Vermont and into New Hampshire.
He arrived at our house just before 4:00 pm, once again to Beau acting like the Huns had just crested the ridge. He was awful for about 5 minutes, and then just wandered around after that, even sitting blandly on the floor next to Chuck out on the screen porch.
Chuck took 2 days to drive out in his Audi. It was great to finally see him coming up the walkway!
We had a great visit, but he headed out at 5:30 pm for Marissa's so that he could have dinner with them and see Mia.
Marissa and Chuck getting the party going!
We caught back up with him at Marissa's for Mia's 4th Birthday party Sunday 06/23/19.
Mia's 4th Birthday Party at Marissa's house.
What a great party that was, and the weather couldn't have been any better. We left about 4:30 as we had to let Beau out, but heard that Chuck and the kids stayed up almost to Midnight having a great time.
Monday 06/24/19 late morning Chuck drove over to our house for coffee and to visit for the day. Before he arrived, I had scooted out to the store to do food shopping as we were having a special dinner for Chuck. He had picked up this "PIP" t-shirt for me as it reminded him of our discussions about currency trading.
Chuck's "PIP" t-shirt gift.
Just around 4:00 pm, I poured out glasses of a Revolution Cabernet, Sue put a snack tray together, and we headed up to sit up on the hill by the screen house. Chuck got a couple of really nice pictures of the yard.
Sea of clover
We didn't stay up there too long because not only did I have to get on with the cooking, but the sun was really hot. We did sort of a final "Toast To The Hill", and headed back to the house so I could start getting dinner ready.
A final "Toast To The Hill" before heading in to make dinner.
While I was cooking, we finished off the Cabernet, and so I opened a bottle of Revolution Chardonnay. Both of the Revolution wines, though reasonably priced, were really, really good. We had a great time, and dinner — a wonderful cilantro and ginger root based shrimp dish with a side of yellow and green squash sauteed with scallions, and sweet red peppers on top of a bed of rosemary all served over Arborio rice cooked in a basil broth — came out really good; I mean really good!
Though Chuck's birthday wouldn't be until Friday the 28th, I had a special gift that I wanted to share with him privately during our quiet dinner tonight.
Happy 50th Birthday, Chuck!
Chuck opening his birthday card.
My gift to him was an album to hold all of the pictures that I had saved of his mom.
After dinner, we just relaxed into the living room to watch a movie. Because Chuck loves sailing, I thought he'd enjoy the wonderful true story of The Dove. Sue served up a raspberry mango tart with rich vanilla ice cream on top, and then later brought out small demi glasses of Limoncello. It was quite the evening by the time Chuck headed back to Marissa's where he was staying.
Tuesday 06/25/19 Chuck, Sue and I had a wonderful chat out on the screen porch before he and I headed into the library for awhile.
Deer walking through the yard.
Sue gave us a shout around 1:00 pm for sandwiches and soup out on the porch, and then he left about 4:30. He was meeting up with Gary and Marissa at the shop to get the tour, and then Colin was going to join up with them to go out to dinner with them somewhere.
Chuck, Marissa, and Colin at dinner Tuesday night.
Colin had taken the day off Wednesday 06/26/19 to hang out with Chuck, and so we didn't see him again until Thursday. They went out on a boat to tour the Portsmouth area coast and harbors, stopping for lunch at BGs Boat House.
Colin and Chuck out in the boat.
Colin sent this shot of Chuck faking a hangover as an excuse to use in the morning so he could sleep in.
While they were off for the day, after dropping Beau off at Cathy and Steve's house Wednesday 06/26/19, Sue and I headed out to pick Lucas up at the airport for a several week visit. Though that was our ultimate destination, his flight wasn't arriving at Logan International Airport in Boston, MA until 8:30 pm from L.A., we had decided to leave in the early afternoon to take a nice drive down along the coast, winding our way into Massachusetts. Once we got to the coast, however, we ran into a pretty thick fog.
Fogged in along the coast on the way to Boston Logan airport to pick up Lucas.
The further south we went, the heavier the fog along the coast became, though inland on Route 95 it was bright and quite sunny. We stopped to have dinner at The 99 Restaurant in Saugus, MA before heading to the airport. The flight was just a little delayed, but it wasn't a long wait.
Thursday 06/27/19 Chuck and I took a leisurely drive in his Audi around Lake Winnipesaukee. We drove up the west shore through Alton Bay, Gilford, and down to see the Wiers Beach area. Since we were running just a little behind, we just drove through Meredith, and on toward Holderness, stopping at Walters Basin Restaurant for lunch. We got such a great table overlooking Squam Lake that we just sat there for well over an hour enjoying the views and just chatting.
The docks at Walters Basin where one of the scenes from the 1971 movie, On Golden Pond, was shot.
Chuck just had to get this picture of us with the dock in the background.
The view from our table in The Basshole Pup at Walters Basin Restaurant.
After lunch, we headed toward Sandwich on Route 113, turning onto Route 109 down to the Moultonboro Country Store on Route 25. I always enjoy stopping here and just browsing, and figured Chuck would really like the rustic feeling of it. He certainly did, and I had to pull him out of there so we wouldn't run too late getting back home.
We came down the East side of the lake on Route 109 through Melvin Village and then Wolfeboro. Sue had made a Mexican Enchilada Pasta Salad for dinner, and then we did the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie, Play Misty For Me (Eastwood not only acted in it but it was his directorial debut). Been years since I'd watched that, and it was the first time for Chuck. Terrific movie.
Friday 06/28/19 was Chuck's 50th birthday, and Colin and Marissa had organized a night out in Portsmouth at the Ferry Landing. Super surprise for Chuck, and us as we didn't know about it, was that Marissa had been conspiring with Chuck's wife Denise to fly out Friday morning from Illinois to be with him on his birthday. So, while we were sitting out on the deck at the Ferry Landing, in she walks! He was speechless for sure.
Happy Birthday, Chuck!
Chuck and Mia.
Settling in just before Denise surprised him.
He couldn't believe that she was actually there!
Picking out dinner choices.
Marissa trying to organize her, Mia, and Gary's orders.
Gary, Colin, Sue, me, Denise, Chuck, Mia, and Marissa.
Waiting for space at another deck bar.
Denise and Chuck by the river.
With the tugboats in the background.
Heading out from The Ferry Landing.
We had a great time at The Ferry Landing, but when we came out to hop to another deck based bar, Martingale Wharf, for a night cap, it was an hour and a half wait! There were literally thousands of people all over that area of the Portsmouth river area. Gad! We went to a nearby bar and had a drink thinking we'd go back to that place as Colin had put our name in; they told us they'd text us when a spot was opening. I had little faith in that, but we went back and they had just put a huge party out there, and were saying it'd be another 30 minutes.
And there was no gate control to the area; all of the restaurants along the river had outside decks that were connected so people could just walk wherever. Screw that! We hoofed it back up to the Dover area to Castaways, a nice little place with an outside deck overlooking the head of the Cochecco River. We just sat there and had a wonderful time chatting around one of the deck fire pits.
Me, Colin, Denise, Marissa, Gary, and Chuck at Castaways on the river in Dover.
Saturday morning, 06/29/19, Chuck and Denise, who had stayed at Marissa's, came over to our house in the morning for a marvelous quiche that Sue had made for brunch. We hung out for awhile on the screen porch until Chuck had to run her back to the airport for her flight home.
Though there had been some early rain, the sun had come out, and it appeared that the grass would be dry enough to cut. I got the rider mower out, and went to it for about an hour or so.
Grass came out great!
I joined up with Chuck, Marissa, Gary, and Mia at The Loft for dinner, and then to Marissa's to watch the 2016 movie, Star Trek Beyond. We were having such a great time that we grabbed another beer and watched the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy. A tremendous rain, lightening, and thunder storm hit just as I was going out the door; driving was sometimes 30 mph on the highway.
Sunday, 06/30/19Chuck and Marissa spent the day together. They drove up the coast to York, had lunch up there, and then came back for dinner in Rochester. They had a great day, and Chuck was really taken with the beauty of the area she had taken him through.
Chuck and Marissa on their day out.
Chuck and Marissa enjoying lunch on the deck.
When Chuck came over Monday morning, 07/01/19, he met Rachel who had come over Sunday with Lucas. Sue fixed a great late breakfast of fresh homemade lemon muffins with fried eggs over Rainbow Swiss Chard. We all enjoyed just sitting out on the screen porch chatting over a couple of cups of perked coffee. But, Chuck and I had work to do in the library, and so we disappeared until 4:00 pm.
Chuck chatting with Rachel and Lucas out on the screen porch Monday morning.
While Sue and the kids chatted for awhile out on the porch, Chuck and I went into the library for our work. We had - well, I thought we had - a wonderful, though busy, discussion. But at 4:00 pm it was time to "Raise The Flag", as my brother Alan used to say, and get on with the party that we had planned for Chuck's final dinner with us before heading home in the morning.
I had bought a couple more bottles of the Revolution Cabernet-Merlot blend that we had enjoyed the first night Chuck had been with us, and popped one of those open. We just sat out on the porch and enjoyed the wonderful weather, sipping the wine and munching on some snacks that Sue had put out. Sue and I raised our glasses in celebration of our final dinner with him for this visit.
Toasting to our final dinner for this visit.
We all transferred into the kitchen at 5:30 so I could get going with dinner prep work. I didn't have too much to do as far as chopping, but the recipe did have a lot of moving parts and steps. Doesn't seem to matter what I cook, could be boiling water, but it always takes me an hour and a half, even the complex meals.
Regardless of not having a lot of prep work to do, it still took an hour and a half for me to get to plating and serving it. I made a really tasty Moroccan chicken over a bed of couscous. The recipe called for cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, cilantro, crushed black pepper, fresh ginger root, sherry (my addition, among others...), and who knows what else, but it was spectacular.
Somewhere during all of the cooking, Chuck and I got to talking about martial arts. The topic of reaction time came up, and I though I would entertain him with a little test of skill: a "Fast Hands Reaction Time Exercise".
The object is to see if the person can prevent me from touching their nose, even with their guard hands up by their face. I made it just a little more interesting by holding my hand down at my side rather than up by my chest. Just to be sporting about it.
Well, look, even with a few glasses of wine and 70 years old, I still got him 3 out of 5 times. Just sayin' so that in a few years when he gets dotty in his old age he can't say, "Ya know, the old man was pretty good in his day, but that night at dinner I clocked him pretty good." Sorry, Chuck, but even at 50 I may put you in for Honorary F.O.P.
After dinner, Chuck hadn't seen the wonderful 2000 Ed Harris movie, Pollock. We didn't get that late a start on it, but I keep forgetting how long it is; Chuck didn't get out the door until after 11:00 pm to head for Marissa's to sleep.
We said our final good-bys out on the walkway after gazing up into the star studded dark sky that we so much enjoy. And then he was off.
Tuesday morning, I texted him: "Happy trails to you, until we meet again... — Roy"