Yesterday’s delightful get-together with long term readers…

Tom’s Chicken Pot Pie, which he ordered at City Fire. He’d had this on another occasion, and he liked it. It was covered with dough but included a piece of a baguette—lots of bread.

I regret not taking photos of us with Tracy and Nancy when we got together at City Fire American Oven & Bar late yesterday afternoon. We had such a great time together that the thought of taking photos of the four of us slipped away. I didn’t realize it until after we were back at the house.

It should have entered my mind when I was attempting to take photos of our food, two of which were blurry and I later deleted. Thus, the only photos I have today are Tracy’s flatbread and Tom’s chicken pot pie. Nancy ate a bun-less cheeseburger while I had a nutty salad with overcooked chicken breast. I won’t be ordering that again.

This was Tracy’s flatbread.

No words can express how delightful our few hours with Tracy and Nancy were. As often is the case with long-term readers, they knew everything about us, and it was fun to hear about this mother (Nancy) and adult daughter (Tracy) team who both live in The Villages. Not only were they very attentive and loving to one another, but they were also with us, and we felt like we’d known them for a very long time. We’ll never forget the precious time with the two of them.

Fortunately, Tom had taken the two photos of the signs he spotted outside the restaurant with historical information about Brownwood that is fun to read. As we know, Tom doesn’t take the best photos, but I decided to use the two he took today, albeit lopsided. (There are plenty of incidences where I take awful photos, too).

Their food isn’t that great, although none of the food at restaurants we’ve tried in The Villages has been excellent, except for the Chinese takeaway we ordered when we first arrived. We’ll certainly do that again some evening. We’re cooking our meals five nights a week and eating out on Friday and Saturday nights, as we did in South Africa. It’s a hard habit to break, but we enjoy getting out.

Tom took these two photos outside the restaurant.

We’re staying in tonight and having burgers on the grill (no buns), topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, tomato, and onion. Soon, I’ll make our favorite homemade low-carb ketchup. I like to wrap my burger with all the fixings in lettuce leaves and hold it in my hand, so it feels like eating a regular burger. Tom eats his burger with a fork and knife.

We’re excited to watch game three of the Stanley Cup (hockey) finals on TV at 8:00 pm with the Florida Panthers and the Las Vegas Golden Knights. As residents of Nevada, we are rooting for the LV Golden Knights, who won the first two games. We’ll see how it goes tonight and again on Saturday. If they win the next two games, they’ll take the trophy. That’s exciting.

This morning we walked, but unfortunately, I am not finding it any easier each day. My legs hurt when I walk any distance, even our relatively short 15-minute walk around the block. I’d hoped I’d see some improvement by now, but there is none. I suppose I need to face the fact that my legs were permanently damaged when they became seriously infected after the heart surgery; veins were harvested from both legs from my ankles to about 14 inches above my knees.

Interesting tidbits about Brownwood.

I will be fine as long as I can walk on the upcoming ports of call visits on our upcoming cruises, including our cruise to the Galapagos. Surely, the tours provided by Celebrity Cruises will be guided, and we will be made aware of how rough the walks will be. We’re hoping I can manage it. Surely, as always, I’ll tough it out and do as much as I possibly can.

Today, I’ve been busy making dinner, doing laundry, and doing a little cleaning around the house. We both slept well last night, and we’re feeling chipper and upbeat, as we often do.

Have a great day and evening. We’ll be back with more tomorrow.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 8, 2013:

Views of the port in Naples, Italy. For more photos, please click here.

Part 1…What fun at Brownwood Paddock Square with friends!…

Last night it was fun going out to dinner with Carol and Mark at the Blue Fin Bar & Grill in Brownwood Paddock Square in The Villages.

When it was raining hard mid-afternoon, we were concerned our plans for the evening would be dashed since we’d planned to be outdoors for part of the time. Much to our delight, the sun returned shortly before we were ready to leave, and we were off for our plans.

Arriving at Brownwood Paddock Square with the sun shining, we found a good spot in the parking lot and walked several blocks through the square to easily find the restaurant and four open barstools at the outdoor bar. We plopped down comfortably, ordered drinks, and enjoyed lively conversation and people-watching.

Our friends from Boca Raton, Mark, and Carol. They are visiting us for three nights. We’re having an excellent time with them.

For the first time in four weeks, I had white wine, a crisp Pinot Grigio, always one of my favorite white wines. I always prefer red but had decided to start cautiously, not knowing if I’d react and my heart would race. Nothing happened. Checking my pulse on my Fitbit every so often, I noticed that my pulse stayed in the 60s. Slowly I sipped the wine and ended up having a second glass with dinner.

The outdoor bar at the Blue Fin Bar &. Grill. We had a great time enjoying our drinks.

The only problem I ran into drinking the wine was that it caused me to have a fitful night’s sleep. Maybe I should take that as a warning that wine is no longer for me. I can have a fitful night’s sleep without wine. We shall see how it goes in the future.

A couple sitting beside us at the bar ordered this sushi and the other appetizers below.

The dinner was delicious but not perfect, but the service and ambiance were excellent. Indeed, in the next few months, we’ll return for dinner or drinks at the bar. The atmosphere outdoors was lively and friendly. Tom suggested we try new further locations in The Villages while we have a car (until May 30). I agreed that was a good idea. Even after dark, we can always use the golf cart to get to and from Brownwood Paddock Square.

Their bowl of clam chowder.

There were tons of golf carts everywhere in the square, many of which would return to their houses in the dark. It feels incredibly safe here, and we’re not worried at all.

A small rib appetizer was ordered by the people next to us.

With Carol and Mark still here this morning, I made another breakfast of cheesy scrambled eggs, onion and bacon bits, and a big side of bacon. I assumed they ate somewhat like we do for some goofy reason, so I failed to buy bread, jelly, pancake ingredients, syrup, and orange juice. When I’d asked if they ate bread or potatoes with dinner and they said they did not, it was the basis from which I assumed they were keto or low carb.

Tom’s dinner of fish and chips. He said it was good, but the chips were a little overdone. I had grilled ahi tuna atop a Caesar salad without dressing or croutons (no photo shown).

Next time we have houseguests, I will be more specific about the foods they prefer with meals. We haven’t had a lot of overnight guests in the past several years, so I’m a little rusty at this. We always want our guests to have access to the foods they enjoy.

Carol and Mark left an hour ago to go to a car museum about a 30-minute drive from here. I was busy doing the post and preparing all the toppings and ingredients for tonight’s pizza and salad dinner. Thus, I was unable to go with them. Tom decided to stay with me offering help with the time-consuming process of preparing this big meal. We had to change our bedding and go to the local post office.

Carol’s dinner of grilled ahi tuna and bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts.

Snail mail from the United States Postal Service doesn’t necessarily come to the house here. There are some items that we need that I am ordering from Amazon. If the Amazon truck typically delivers packages, no problem. They will deliver to us. But, some products at Amazon are sent via other sellers by USPS, which are delivered to the local postal service centers. This was a problem for us since we couldn’t access the mailbox at the service center.

A few days ago,  I contacted the owner, and she agreed to let us use the mailbox as needed for any packages sent by USPS. After Carol and Mark left for the museum this morning, we went to the postal center to inform them that it was okay to receive mail for us. Then, if a package comes, we can pick it up, or they will deliver it to the house between 12:00 and 2:00 pm.

Mark’s ahi tuna, rice, and bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts, with sauce, on the side.

It’s required that patrons speak to the postal people through the mailbox opening. Quite peculiar. I’d found the key where the owner said she left it and talked to the person through the hole, explaining we’ll receive a few packages while we’re here until the end of July. Now I can rest easy and place my waiting Amazon order. Ah, the little things…

More photos will follow tomorrow from our outing last night.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 22, 2013:

There were no photos posted on this date. For the text portion of the post, please click here.