We did a lot of really fun stuff Monday 10/21/19 to celebrate Sue's birthday.
Chuck arrived from Marissa's around 10:00 am and took some opening day pictures.
Because it was such a beautiful Fall day, Sue wanted to hike up Pine Mountain in Alton. Last time Chuck was here, Denise had gone with Sue, but he and I had stayed behind. So this was going to be a real treat for him. We tossed Beau into the back of Sue's car, and off we went!
Starting out up the trail.
The Beau Dog with his orange hunting vest on.
I seem to be impeding Sue's progress here....
So she blows by me and presses forward!
It's not a race, and so she waits patiently for me to cach up. But she still keeps the lead for the rest of the hike. That's just as well because otherwise Beau gets underfoot. He constantly runs off, and then comes flying back to circle around her, and then he's off again.
I had figured that it would be really windy and chilly at the top, but surprisingly it was quite mild. I kept my stocking cap on as the wind was sometimes brisk, but I pulled my windbreaker off.
Sue is off to explore. Beau was straining to follow, and so I let him go after Chuck took this shot.
Chuck and me with a terrific backdrop.
The foliage and view of Lake Winnipesaukee were just spectacular from the top of Pine Mountain!
Heading back down.
After loading back into the car, we stopped off to show Chuck The Silent People of Alton. It's just an amazing display tucked way back in the woods.
Sue couldn't resist this pose with the Silent People.
The Silent People of Alton are a recreation of the The Silent People in Finland by the versatile Finnish artist, Reijo Kela. The display was inspired by the thousands of Finnish soldiers who were killed defending their homeland in the Russo-Finnish War of 1939-40.
Leaving there, we stopped at the Alton Circle Store and picked up lunch. We introduced Chuck to their terrific chili, which is what we had served at our wedding 10/13/17.
We're always up for an adventure, and so we hopped back into Sue's car — without The Beau Dog — and headed off for a scenic drive up to Wolfeboro.
Sue took this picture of Chuck and me sitting on a bench down at the town docks overlooking Wolfeboro Bay.
This is just too much fun!
Chuck got this picture on our way home. It's off one of the back roads in Alton that we sometimes take as it's so pretty.
A chill was quickly settling over the mountain as we got home, and so I thought a fire in the wood stove would be nice. We just sat for awhile and had a nice chat over a wonderful bottle of 2015 Primarius Pinot Noir.
Chuck's cute coasters birthday present for Sue.
That bottle of 2015 Primarius Pinot Noir.
Sue and Chuck chatting for awhile before coming into the kitchen to assist me with the dinner work.
Around 5:00 pm, I pulled myself away and went into the kitchen to finish off the dinner prep work. I was fixing Cider Braised Short Ribs With Cranberries, but had got the ribs and sauce made earlier that morning and into a slow cooker. That had been cooking since we left to hike up Pine Mountain, about 7 hours before.
The ribs, which had been cooking in a broth of apple cider, garlic, beef broth, wine, onion, horseradish, dark brown sugar, tomato paste, and apple cider vinegar had about 40 minutes to go, and were smelling sooooo good I could hardly stand it!
I served that over basil infused couscous, with a side of wonderful squash that Sue made. We topped the evening off with some great apple crisp Sue had made that morning, covered with vanilla bean ice cream. Happy Birthday, Sweetie!!!
The birthday girl!