Back from the Dead?

Not really, not dead, just got busy with life, travel, weddings, family, cycling, church, video…who said retired life is boring? My last post was on March 20th, can’t believe it…so I am thinking the best way to catch up is to post a few pictures from each month till July. Warning, there are quite a few pictures as I am consolidating several months in this one post. Here we go!

Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in the US a lot more than in Ireland or so I am told. New York City is supposed to have the largest Saint Patrick’s parade and celebration in the US. Greenville, not as much, but there is still a good rowdy bunch that gets together downtown and have a good time. This gentleman is enjoying himself with a cold pint.


One of the fun things for us to do was to read the many t-shirts with curious or funny graphics. Greenville closes a portion of Main Street for this celebration, it was really well attended and people had a great time listening to a band and visiting the many bars along the Main Street.


One of the yearly events in Greenville is the Annual Running with the Bulls. No, you are not in Pamplona, but the event coincides with the real running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain. The event proceeds go to a charity; this year’s proceeds went to support the family of Officer Jacobs who was killed by a punk that had just got out of prison. Real sad story, but honored to support such worthy cause.


Red bandanas are on and the bulls are ready for the stampede!


Danger is real, these bulls will stop for no one.


We finally decided to visit the brand new Sierra Nevada Brewery in NC. A huge compound really well done. I wonder how it compares to the original in Chico, CA.


We did not go on the guided tour as there is like a two month wait for it. We settled for the self-walking tour instead. You do not get to see the whole operation, but what we saw was really impressive. Here we see some of the mash containers (left) and two copper brew kettles. The place was spotless.


We decided to have a beer sampler with some really good appetizers; must come back.


In April, we had a very important visitor for a couple of day – meet baby Hazel; my wife had that smile for two solid days.


No question about it; Hazel is a beauty!


April was a very busy month for events in Greenville. Greenville hosted the USA Cycling Criterium National Championships – that is a big deal in bicycle circles.



The pro race is about to start.


Took hundreds of pictures as I walked around the whole course. Tough to choose the best ones though.


My wife decided to race her first 5k race ever. She trained with her friends Janice (middle) and Nancy (right) for a few weeks and did a very respectable 39 minutes. Way to go honey!


As you can see, my wife is having fun and she is already beating many runners.


Our adopted Chinese daughter got married to a fine young man in late April. I walked her down the aisle; it was an honor to do so as her parents were not able to travel from China for the occasion.



My wife and I went on a Miata Club ride; we have not done many of those lately. Forgot how much fun they can be. As usual, the ride took us up the mountains and the views were simply amazing. We stopped in a few places, this being – Dry Falls – my most favorite that day.


Memorial Day in Miami with the Briatore’s 


Lucia, Luca and Francesca having fun at the Miami boardwalk.



Meat of all types…all delicious and cooked by Master Asador Leandro; truly yum!



At the pool with Leandro and Mike. We decided to jump into the pool with clothes and all…why not.



Our youngest daughter Jocelyn got married to Kyle Nelson…YEAH!!!

Meet the new Mr. & Mrs. Nelson!



Can you tell they are happy?



The whole new family!



Our two daughters with their two gentlemen.



Their first dance. It was truly a perfect day for all, but a magical day for our daughter. We are very happy for her and Kyle. May God bless you always.


In Warsaw, Indiana with the Till’s

Tom and Danette invited us to a retirement party of a dear mutual friend; Julie. We got to see the Till’s new residence – it is really a beautiful home in a perfect place.


Party time! Julie was really surprised; she was happy to see so many of her friends come to wish her a happy retirement. Here is the whole gang.


Tom, Danette, Julie and Larry.


On our way back home we stopped at a brand new attraction in Kentucky – The Ark Encounter – A real life size Noah’s Ark replica. The interior has amazing detail and there are several exhibitions showing most likely the way they took care of daily needs. We enjoyed it.

Thanks for visiting and your patience on such a long post.

La Familia!

Without question, the highlight of our recent visit to Peru was seeing members of my family I have not seen for just about 11 years. Sure, we communicate here and there over the internet or an occasional phone call, but nothing beats seeing them in person! Below I am posting a few of the pictures I took of times with some members of the family. For more pictures click HERE.

Sin lugar a dudas, el más destacado de nuestra reciente visita a Perú estaba viendo a los miembros de mi familia que no he visto por sólo unos 11 años. Sin duda nos comunicamos aquí y allá a través de Internet o una llamada telefónica ocasional, pero nada como verlos en persona. A continuación estoy publicando algunas de las fotos que tomé con algún miembro de la familia. Para obtener más haga clic AQUÍ

My cousin Toya (center) invited us for dinner at her home. We had a great time with her and my cousins Lalo and Natty (couple on left). Of course, the fact that the main dish was Lomo Saltado…you will see pictures of that succulent dish later, was a thrilling point for my wife.

Mi prima Toya ( centro) nos invitó a almorzar en su casa. Tuvimos un gran tiempo con ella y mis primos Lalo y Natty (pareja en la izquierda). Por supuesto, el hecho que el plato principal era lomo saltado … se va a fotos de ese suculento plato más tarde, fue una gran sorpresa para mi esposa – es su plato favorito.

My nephew’s daughter Mia trying out her brand new roller blades!

La hija de mi sobrino Lalo Jr.,  Mia,  probando sus patines nuevos.

One of the favorite things you do in Peru is eat; it is almost the national pastime. The food is simply amazing. We ate a lot of homemade foods in my cousin Lalo’s home, but we also went out to some amazing restaurants. Here we are at Isolina’s, a great restaurant for traditional Peruvian food.

Una de las cosas favoritas que haces en el Perú es comer; es casi el pasatiempo nacional. La comida es simplemente increíble y bien variada. Comimos muy buenas comidas hechas en la casa de mi primo Lalo, pero también fuimos a varios restaurantes increíbles . Aquí estamos en Isolina, un gran lugar para comida tradicional peruana.

My nephew Lalo Jr. and his kids – Mia and Dennis, having a good time while they wait for their favorite food.

Acc tenemos a mi sobrino Lalo Jr. con su hija Mia e hijo Dennis pasando un buen rato mientras que esperan sus platos favoritos.

Peruvian breakfast is great. However, we decided to treat our hosts with some traditional American breakfast. It went very well…especially the bacon…surprised?

El desayuno Peruano es muy bueno. Sin embargo, un día decidimos cocinar  para nuestros anfitriones desayuno tradicional Americano. Fue un Hit!!! … especialmente el tocino … sorprendido?

Mia voicing her approval!

Mia diciéndonos que estaba muy rico!

So what do you do when the temps get to the high 80’s? Enough said.

Por lo tanto, ¿qué hacer cuando las temperaturas llegan a la alta de los 80? La foto te lo dice todo.

Lalo Jr. with Mia and Dennis.

Spent my birthday at my cousin Lalo’s home. We had a little party with my cousin Lourdes, husband Pepe, friends Walter (we have the same birthday) and his wife Carmen.  Thank you Natty and Lalo for a wonderful birthday lunch and games till late evening. We really had a blast.

Pasé mi cumpleaños en casa de mi primo Lalo. Tuvimos una pequeña fiesta con mi prima Lourdes, su marido Pepe, amigo Walter (somos de la misma fecha de nacimiento) y su esposa Carmen. Gracias usted Natty y Lalo para un almuerzo de cumpleaños maravilloso y juegos hasta la noche . Nos lo pasamos de maravilla.

Great friends are family in my book. Here I am with Claudio, we have known each other and have kept in touch for over 50 years. Great seeing you Leviatan. Hope you come and visit us soon.

Grandes amigos son como familia para mi. Aquí estoy con Claudio, nos conocemos y nos hemos mantenido en contacto durante más de 50 años. Muy bueno verte Leviathan; espero que nos visites pronto.


I have not seen my friend Rafael for 40 years. It was great to see him again and meet his lovely wife Giannina. Hope we will not wait too long to see each other agian Rafael!

Rafael y yo no nos veíamos por 40 años. Tuvimos una reunion muy linda y por fin conocimos a su linda señora Giannina. Ojalá que no pase tanto tiempo para volver a juntarnos Rafael!

For sure my super highlight was to visit with my Uncle Eduardo and his wife, my Aunt Cucha. He is the last uncle from my mother side actually, he is the last uncle I have left. I have so many good memories of things we did together when I was a kid. He is the last of 16 brothers and sisters…wow. He was really happy to see us and we had a nice time remembering old times together. God bless you and your family dear Uncle Eduardo and Cucha.

Una de las mas grandes alegrías de este viaje fue el visitar a mi tío Eduardo y su esposa , mi tía Cucha. Él es el último tío de parte de mi madre, en realidad él es el último tío que me queda. Tengo tantos buenos recuerdos de cosas que hicimos juntos cuando yo era un niño . Él es el último de 16 hermanos y hermanas … wow . Él estaba muy contento de vernos y nos lo pasamos muy bien recordando viejos tiempos juntos. Dios usted y su querida familia tío Eduardo y Cucha bendiga.

Picture with my uncle, his wife, daughter Milagros and cousin Lalo, Natty and us.


While the US winter was in full swing we were enjoying summer temps in Lima. My cousin Lourdes and her husband Pepe took us to a club they belong to – El Regatas. Beautiful place with amazing facilities and options for every kind of relaxation and fun. Took this picture of them with Lalo, Lourdes, Pepe and my wife at the pier.

Mientras que era invierno en Estados Unidos, nosotros estábamos disfrutando de temperaturas de verano en Lima. Mis primos Lourdes y su marido Pepe nos llevaron a un club al que ellos pertenecen – El Regatas. Hermoso lugar con impresionantes instalaciones y opciones para cada tipo de relajación y diversión. Tomè esta foto de ellos con Lalo , Lourdes, Pepe y mi esposa en el muelle del club.

Wifey and I in front of the pool at The Regatas.

Bethe y yo con la piscina del Regatas detrás de nosotros.

I really like this picture of Mia and I. Miss you Mia!

A mi me gusta esta foto de Mia y yo mucho; te extraño Mia!

Mrs Isolina (Natty’s mom) and I enjoying a cold beer. Mrs. Isolina and I had our daily beer and had great laughs together around different topics. We really miss her laugh and fantastic disposition on every topic we spoke about. She was a very close friend with my mother; still misses her a lot and shared many fun times they had together. Hope to see you again soon Mrs. Isolina.

La señora Isolina (mamá de Natty) disfrutando de una cerveza fría. La señora Isolina y yo nos tomábamos una cerveza todos los días y teníamos grandes risas juntos en torno a diferentes temas. Realmente extrañamos su risa y disposición fantástica al rededor de los temas que hablamos. Ella era una gran amiga de mi madre; todavía la extraña mucho y compartió muchos momentos de diversión que ellas tenían juntas. Esperamos verle de nuevo pronto la señora Isolina.

Getting together with family is such a fantastic feeling. Here we are at my cousin’s Perli and Hugo’s beautiful home. We had a great dinner with so much reminiscing and sharing of what is going on on each of our lives. Miss having them all as physically close as they are to each other.

Reunirse con la familia es una sensación fantástica. Aquí estamos en la casa de mi primita Perli y de Hugo. Nos dieron una gran cena con tanto recordar del pasado y el intercambio de lo que está pasando en cada una de nuestras vidas. 

Of course, there was amazing food again. My cousin Perli cooks great and had a couple of Peruvian dishes I never tasted before we are now fan of them. Thank you Perlita y Hugo!

Prosupesto, si la familia se reúne, tiene que haber comida rica. Fue super delicioso todo. Gracias Perlita y Hugo por tan agradable y memorable noche.

You had to be there, but we had such a great time. Looks like I am only taking pictures when we are having a good time; well, we had a good time throughout the evening.

Era muy difícil tomar fotos cuando alguien no estaba en plena carqueajada. Acs mi primo Hernan casi remiendos la panza de risa.

Saying goodbye after a great evening!

Despidiéndonos después de una grande noche.

Picture before we go into Panchitañ one of the best Peruvian restaurants in Lima.

Visitando a Panchita, uno de los restaurantes mas famosos de Lima ‘ super bueno!

A month went by very fast. It was time to return home, but not without having one last homemade luncheon. The food was so good it was really difficult not to over eat – gained 8 1/2 pounds in a month. Back to the bicycle for me as soon as I land. Thank you Natty and Lalo for your wonderful hospitality; you made each day very special to us.

Un mes paso muy rápido. Era el momento de volver a casa, pero no sin tener una última comida casera juntos. La comida era tan buena que era muy difícil no comer más de lo normal- gané 8 1/2 libras en un mes. Volveré a la bicicleta tan pronto como llegamos a la casa. Gracias Natty y Lalo por su maravillosa hospitalidad; usted hicieron cada día muy especial para nosotros.

Bruce Schlein - March 21, 2016 - 9:04 am

Nice family px and the second image and swimming pool image ar excellent photographs for me.

claudio rios - March 21, 2016 - 7:55 am

Querido Cosmo ,me alegro grandemente verte ,me da muchisima alegria que estes recontra bien y sobretodo bien cuidado por tu querida Bethe , y ahora colectando innumerables Momentos Kodak que en realidad…. is what life is all about ,you made it ! dear Cosmo : ) , ya te vere por tus dominios sometime next year ,cuidate y say Hi to Bethe .

Mendoza, Asado Master Class

Since we were going to Lima, Peru, to visit family after an 11 year gap, we decided to add Argentina (Mendoza & Buenos Aires).  While in Mendoza we came across a tour titled Asado Master Class. It was basically a class where one learns how regular Argentinians cook their weekend BBQ’s – something I am told is a sacred rite for most. What follows are a few pictures of this informative and fun class.

Ya que íbamos a Lima, Perú, para visitar a la familia después de 11 años, decidimos añadir Argentina (Mendoza y Buenos Aires). Mientras en Mendoza nos encontramos con una gira titulada Asado Master Class. Esta era básicamente una clase donde se aprende cómo los Argentinos cocinan su famoso BBQ de fin de semana – algo que me dicen es un rito sagrado para la mayoría. Lo que sigue son algunas fotos de esta clase informativo y divertido .


Our first stop was a small family own Olive oil store. The family has had their olive grove for many years and they sell their oil at a very competitive price out of their own neighborhood store.

Nuestra primera parada fue en una pequeña tienda de aceite de oliva propia de familia. La familia ha tenido el olivar durante muchos años y que vender su delicioso aceite a un precio muy competitivo fuera de su propia tienda de barrio.


The young man attending us is the son of the owner. He gave us a good breakdown of their process, types of olives the family grove has and his desire to someday own the whole thing. His English was very good and the pride of what he was telling me evident.

El joven que nos asistió era el hijo del dueño. Él nos dio buenos detalles de su proceso, tipos de aceitunas de la arboleda de la familia y su deseo de poseer algún día todo el negocio . Su Inglés era muy bueno y el orgullo de lo que me estaba diciendo fue evidente.

Part of the tour was to taste five different oils and select two as our favorites. They all tasted very nice. The first four were made from different types of olives and the fifth was from a blend- the flavors were quite different. Quite enjoyable plus we took two half liter bottles of high quality oil with us.

Parte de la visita era para gustar cinco aceites diferentes y seleccionar dos como nuestros favoritos. Todos tenían un sabor muy bueno, pero como los primeros cuatro que probamos fueron hechos de diferentes tipos de aceitunas y el ultimo de una mezcla de dos aceitunas los sabores eran diferentes. Bastante agradable y además nos llevamos dos botellas de medio litro de aceite de alta calidad con nosotros.

Next stop was the neighborhood bakery. A very small bakery that had the wonderful aroma of fresh baked breads. I did recognize some bread shapes that are also popular in Lima. The shelves did not look because we arrived just after breakfast and a few hours before lunch. For the most part, people buy their bread for that day or particular meal in the day.

La próxima parada fue a la panadería de barrio. Una muy pequeña panadería que tenía el maravilloso aroma de pan reciéntemente horneado. Yo reconocí algunas formas de pan que también son populares en Lima. Los estantes no parecían tan completa ya que era después del desayuno y un par de horas antes de la almuerzo. En la mayor parte, la gente compra su pan para ese día o comida en particular en el día para asegurar pan fresco cada comida.

We love bread, but are eating a lot less than usual. We did make an exception as it really was fresh and tasty. One thing we noticed is that they do not sell it by the unit, but by weight. That is different.

Nos encanta pan, pero estamos comiendo mucho menos de lo habitual por ya bastante tiempo. Tuvimos hacer una excepción, ya que realmente estaba fresco y sabroso. Una cosa que notamos es que no lo venden por la unidad , pero por peso . Eso es diferente.

Vegetables, fresh at the corner stand where they seem to pick it locally. Angelo is sharing with my wife some of the options unfamiliar to her. This reminded me of when I was a kid and my mother would shop for groceries each day. Very little was saved for the next day.

Hortalizas frescas en el stand de esquina donde parecen que lo cosechan a nivel local. En esta foto, Angelo está compartiendo con mi esposa algunas de las opciones que ella no esta familiarizada. Este kiosquito me recordó cuando yo era un niño y mi madre hacer compras solo para lo que se iba a cocinar ese dia . Muy poco se guardaba para el día siguiente.

It does not get much fresher than this!  Clearly these vegetables did not see much pesticides as they were not as perfect looking as some we see in the US, but tasted great. These stands are common around some of the neighborhoods we drove by in Mendoza.

Realmente no hay nada más fresco que esto. Es evidente que a estos vegetales no les ponen pesticidas, ya que no eran tan perfectos como algunos que vemos en los EE.UU. , pero estaban buenísimo. Estos kioscos son comunes en muchos de los barrios que pasamos en Mendoza.

Our last stop before going to Angelo´s place was the Don Santo butcher. Argentinian beef is regarded as one of the very best in the world. I am convinced the great distinctive taste it has is because most of the herd is grass fed. I say most of it because unfortunately corn is starting to be used as it is cheaper.

Nuestra ultima parada, antes de ir a la casa de Angelo, fue la carnicería Don Santo.  Carne Argentina es considerada como una de los mejores en el mundo. Estoy convencido de que el gran sabor distintivo que tiene es porque la mayoría de la manada se alimenta de grass. Yo digo la mayor parte de ella porque, por desgracia, el maíz está comenzando a ser utilizado ya que es más barato.

In this great looking place, they make their own sausages, chorizos, blood sausages, Jamon Serrano (similar to Prosciutto). Here we see one of the butchers moving around some of the Jamon Serrano legs…yum.

En este gran lugar hacen sus propias salchichas, chorizos, morcillas , jamón serrano ( similar al Prosciutto Italiano ). Aquí vemos uno de los carniceros moviendo unas piernas de jamón serrano … que rico!

I used to eat a lot of Argentinian salami when I was a kid. One of my cousins used to be a flight attendant and frequently brought many home. I remember the taste still. Hoping once we eat some later on it is just as good as I remember.

Solía ​​comer una gran cantidad de salami Argentino cuando yo era un niño. Uno de mis primas solía ser un auxiliar de vuelo y con frecuencia llevaba muchos a casa; recuerdo el sabor todavía. Espero que tengan tan rico sabor como el que tengo en mis recuerdos…ya veremos.

A view of the store from the street.

Una vista del portal de la tienda.


We arrived at Angelo’s home. Of course, if there are pets, they all come to say hello to my wife. She is a pet magnet. Angelo’s backyard was setup very nicely for his class. Comfortable and surrounded by plants, a nice brick grill, and the weather? Sunny and warm, but not too muggy.

Llegamos a la casa de Angelo. Como de costumbre, si hay animales domésticos en cualquier casa que visitamos, todos ellos vienen a saludar a mi esposa. Ella es un imán para mascotas. configuración del patio trasero de Angelo muy bien para su clase. Cómodo y rodeado de plantas , una buena parrilla de ladrillo, y el clima ? Soleado y cálido , pero no demasiado húmedo.


We start the class with some appetizers. From left to right…cheese, two types of a sweet & tart fruit that has been prepared with a soft but firm consistency, green olives from the olive oil store we visited, a different type of cheese and salami from the butcher shop.

Empezamos la clase con algunos aperitivos. De izquierda a derecha … queso, dos tipos de una fruta dulce (una era dulce de membrillo)  y agrio que se ha preparado con una consistencia suave pero firme, aceitunas verdes de la tienda de aceite de oliva que visitamos , un tipo diferente de quesos y salami de la carnicería.

A view of Angelo’s yard from the grill. Like I said, perfect spot to do this.

Una vista del patio de Angelo desde la parrilla. Como dije, lugar perfecto y muy acogedor para hacer esto.

Getting the fire started…Angelo mentioned that he knows of many ways of doing this, and usually, once you find one that you like you stick with it. Contest between Bethe and Angelo as to who will get a nice fire going first. Here we see two approaches. Angelo on the left issuing the square/flat model, while my wife Bethe is using the “tent” approach.

Empezamos por hacer un fuego para cocinar la carne … Angelo mencionó que él sabe de muchas maneras de hacer esto, y por lo general, una vez que encuentre uno que le guste que se quede con ella. Contienda entre Bethe y Angelo de quién va a obtener un buen fuego encendido primero.  Aquí vemos dos técnicas.. . Angelo usando una técnica chata, mientras que mi esposa Bethe está utilizando técnica de ” tienda de campaña “.

While we get the fire going, we start making empanadas. The dough was bought as it is super easy and good. Angelo told us that we could find it in Publix or Mexican markets in the US…we did.

Mientras le damos tiempo al fuego, comenzamos a hacer empanadas. La masa se compró, ya que es muy fácil y buena. Angelo nos dijo que podíamos encontrar en Publix o mercados Mejicanos en los EE.UU. … si lo conseguimos.

Angelo shared the meat filling recipe as it is best to make it the night before. Filling and folding the empanadas can be tricky, but we got the tricks down pat.

Angelo compartió la receta relleno de carne, ya que es mejor hacerla la noche anterior para que este bien fría cuando de rellene la empanada. Llenando y doblando las empanadas puede ser complicado, pero Angelo nos dio unos trucos muy buenos.

Our master pieces!

Nuestras obras de arte!


Baked and ready to eat.

Horneadas y listas para comer.


Thumbs up for the empanadas! Hot, juicy, tasty and the crust very nice.

Empanadas salieron esquisitas! Calientitas, jugosas, sabrosas y la masa perfecta.


Being in Mendoza, having a very nice Malbec is a must. We enjoy red wine and every Malbec we had while in Mendoza was very good. Being locally produced and having a very favorable exchange rate, prices for very good quality were a steal.

Mendoza es la capital del gran vino Malbec. Malbec es una tipo de uva que crece muy bien en Mendoza. Estar en Mendoza sin tomarse unas cositas de Malbec seria un crimen. Que bueno que el cambio de dollar es muy positivo, pues tuvimos unos grandes vinos a precios de ganga.


Chimichurri – the must have Argentinian salsa with any meats. We are fans of chimichurri, but never made it. Having Angelo teach us how to make a very tasty one was a great deal for us. Here we have the main ingredients, heavy on the parsley.

Chimichirri es una salsa tipica de Argentina usada en toda clase de carnes. Chimichurri le da un sabor ecepcional a las carnes. Acá tenemos todos los ingredientes menos el aceite de oliva.


Parsley, oregano, red roasted peppers, fresh garlic, chopped onion, olive oil, wine vinegar, lime juice, kosher slat and red hot pepper flakes. Wallah!

Perejil, orégano, pimientos rojos asados, ajo fresco, cebolla picada, aceite de oliva, vinagre de vino, jugo de limón, sal kosher y picadillo de ají rojo seco. Wallah !

Angelo told us about the many cuts that are popular, taste great when grilled and will not break the bank. Here we have a nice piece of Flank Steak. A very nice piece of meat that comes out great on the grill. Simple condiments…. fresh lime juice and salt.

Angelo nos explico de los cortes populares que tienen un gran sabor a la parrilla y no rompen el banco. Aquí tenemos un buen trozo de vacío. Un muy buen trozo de carne que sale muy bien en la parrilla los condimentos simples …. jugo de lima dulce y salada .


Here we have the blood sausage, chorizo, and the three different cuts of meat we grilled. Note that the grilling is done with ambers that have been broken into very small pieces. On the side, Angelo kept larger pieces red hot for when the heat needed to be ramped up. It is a slow carefully choreographed dance of flame, meat and asador (grill master).

Aquí tenemos la morcilla, chorizo, y  los tres diferentes cortes de carne que fueron parrilladas. Tenga en cuenta que el fuego debajo de la carne se hace con trozos de ámbar que se han roto en pedazos muy pequeños. Al costado de la parrilla  Angelo mantuvo piezas de madera dure más grandes para cuando se necesitaba aumentar la temperatura. Es un proceso lento con linda coreografía entre la danza de la llama, la carne y el señor asador.


Here we have all of the meats served with chimichurri and a simple and super fresh salad. Simply delicious. We had quite a large amount left.

Acc tenemos la muestra de nuestro plato. Las carnes servidas con un poco de chimichurri and una ensalada super fresca y rica. Disfrutamos cada bocado.


What to do after a very nice meal? Well, if you are in Argentina you drink mate. A tea made from leaf of Yerba Mate. It is a caffeine rich hot drink. Yerba mate leaves are dried, chopped, and ground into a powdery mixture called yerba.

¿Qué hacer después de una comida muy agradable? Bueno, si usted está en Argentina tienes que tomar mate (the national drink in Argentina). Mate es un té hecho de hojas de yerba mate. Es una bebida caliente rica en cafeína. Hojas de yerba mate se secan y después son picadas, y se muele en una mezcla en polvo llamada yerba. 

The preparation of mate is a very simple process which consists of filling the gourd with yerba, pouring hot but not boiling water over the leaves, and drinking with a straw, the bombilla, which acts as a filter so as to draw only the liquid and not the yerba leaves.

La preparación de mate es un proceso muy simple que consiste en llenar la calabaza con yerba, echar agua caliente, pero no agua hirviendo sobre las hojas, y beber con una cañita o bombilla, que actúa como un filtro a fin de extraer sólo el líquido y no la yerba.

So it ended a great time filled with new learnings and flavors, drinks and awesome conversation. Thank you Angelo for a very memorable class. We will be grilling a lot differently from now on. You can bet we will think of you every time we build a fire. Thanks to your lovely wife for her hospitality. If you visit Mendoza we highly recommend a class with Angelo or one of his “Close Doors‘ experiences. We are clearly not the only ones that enjoyed Angelo’s offerings, see more on TripAdvisor.

For more pictures of this class please click HERE

Asi acabamos nuestra clase de asador. muchas gracias a Angelo por su atención y tantos detalles que hizo esta clase muy memorable. También, muchas gracias a su linda señora por la acogida tan simpatice que nos dio. Angelo, asegurase que cada vez que perdiéramos un fuego, nos vamos a acordar de ti y esperamos seguir tus reglas para tener un super fuego rápidamente. Si visitan Mendoza les recomendamos una clase con Angelo o una de sus comidas de Puertas Cerradas.

Para mas fotos de esta clase hagan click ACA

admin - March 3, 2016 - 7:33 pm

It was really good Linda. Will need to make some empanadas for you soon.

Linda - February 28, 2016 - 8:45 pm

Thanks for the awesome tour. That is one class I would have LOVED to be in with you! My mouth is still watering 🙂

Thanksgiving 2015 – Miami

Ah, Thanksgiving! Getting together with family, thanking the Almighty for all the blessings He bestows upon us – mostly undeserved to say the least; now that is grace!  We spent Thanksgiving in Hollywood, Florida (about 14 miles North of Miami). So, we enjoyed wonderful November weather in Florida; temps in the high 70’s and low 80’s with very low humidity – best time to visit Florida in my opinion.

This year we had several missing from the usual family that has gathered the past two years. Our oldest, Sarah, in Missouri with Jeffrey and his family. Our youngest, Jocelyn, with her fiancé, Kyle, at a wedding in Indiana. We also missed Rafaela, deployed in Egypt and Victor…could not make it this time. We hope all will be able to join together  next year.

So what does a Thanksgiving, where most meals were as untraditional as you can get look like? See below for a sample of what it looks like…

Dinner Before Thanksgiving Day

Chupe de Camarones – or seafood chowder Peruvian style. All I can say is Super Yum! The taste is unlike the familiar New England chowdah we all love. This is a great and tasty variation, rich and full of fish, shrimp, potatoes and each plate gets an egg that has cooked in the broth. I have not had this dish for many, many years. Natalia outdid herself with this one!!



In addition to the chowder, Leandro cooked a simply delectable octopus. He had a very specific way to cook it in boiling water and then on the grill. He added several spices and finished it with smoked Spanish paprika and some olive oil sprinkled on top. It was very WOW! Even my non-seafood eating wife enjoyed it!


My wife does not eat fish so she had to dip into the Spaghetti sauce we brought for the day after TG. This sauce was made following Maria Spera’s recipe…the best sauce we have had – ever. It came out very good and very close to Maria’s, but not quite there. We cooked it with a 4.5 lbs. shoulder roast that simply did not need a knife to cut through it. It got very good reviews.



Natti having some octopus; the tentacles can be a challenge sometimes, but they can offer some good picture opportunities. Salvador Dali like look here…lol.


Francesca the Magnificent entertained us with some magic tricks. The kids were simple amazed!, Well, Victoria was not convinced as you can see.


The kids having some good fun and laughs.


Thanksgiving Day

Many things depend on how you were brought up. Some would really have a hard time seeing a young pig (lechon) opened up and on a roasting surface~not us.  Leandro loves to grill and cook meat in a variety of ways. He could not wait to start this years main dish.


Slow roasting takes time and close attention. You must keep an eye on the coals and add as required to assure even heat under the lechon. Leandro  kept a large clay pot with hardwood charcoal ready to be added under the lechon as needed.


Natti was the official salad cook, variety was great. Here she is teasing us with her mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and pesto salad.


My wife having one of the many hugs Valentina was giving everyone.


Turning the lechon a couple of times was required activity. So, here we go!


Nobody just sat down and did nothing; everyone pitched in.


My sister making an old potato salad recipe that has been a staple in our family for quite a long time. Will keep the recipe in the family for now…sorry.


Our hosts this year; Natti and Leandro; thank you guys!


It never hurts having a swing when there are kids around. Actually, this picture shows a rare moment when the set was not mobbed by all of the kids.


What we are calling the 2015 official Thanksgiving Family picture. We were getting close to eating so we decided to take this before we were too full to move.


Leandro testing the doneness of the lechon; done is the verdict! Luca seems to agree and wanted a piece right then and there.


So here we are, ready to feast on our version of Thanksgiving dinner. Delectable cream of pumpkin with a very flavorful roasted kale and toasted sesame seed garnish, roasted pork, tomato salad, carrot salad, potato salad and red wine. Ah, almost forgot…two choices of hot peppers. Can you say…lets do it again!


Once again, our gracious hosts Leandro and Natti.


The Day After Thanksgiving

After a nice light lunch, we took a ride to a relatively new area in Miami called Wynwood Walls. What must have looked as an abandoned or unkept area near Miami, it is now a vibrant artist art gallery and trendy restaurant vortex area. My quick research indicates that this area was filled with warehouses, and in 2009 a gentleman named Tony Goldman decided that the many walls without windows would make excellent canvas for street artist to use and hopefully revitalize the area. Looks like that vision has now become a reality; we saw many people looking around and enjoying the art and restaurants.


Just about every walls in an area covering several blocks, were covered with colorful and sometimes mind twisting art.


A good example of a colorful portion of a wall. This section being about 7 by 12 feet.


Some Anime looking art.


Photo opportunity for all the kids.


We did not tour the whole area and what seems to be the official Wynwood Walls gallery was closed, but we could still see some of the wall art within their center court.


I previously said that some of the art was mind twisting. I think this is a good example of that. Still have no idea what this represents. You might.


Not sure if this artist is practicing an image she will eventually add to this wall. Regardless, we saw several artists working on the many open walls available in the area.


This may not be the best place to bring little ones, but our tykes did well considering the walking we did. I think they wished they could have driven this contraptions as by the end of our self led tour they seemed pooped-out.


As with many other similar areas, the main attraction is well-defined, but here is always something unexpected. This young man gave me a good reason to cross the street and chose the best angle to capture his “artful” hair style.


Ok, not wall art, but came across a real A.C. Cobra which is art in my book. Just a closeup of the hood plate.


Wynwood Walls, as reported in their website, …”has become a must see destination and it has been featured in the New York Times, BBC News, Vanity Fair and Forbes. Fifty artists representing 16 countries have so far covered about 80,000 square feet of walls”.


There is a huge variety of art being displayed; and many methods/tools used to complete them.


Some wall art depicted the theme of the store they covered.


This wall seems to have the name of all countries in the world. The girls concentrated on the hearts.


On our way out, we noticed a familiar character sitting on the roof of one of the buildings. Judging by his nose, looks like he has been sitting there for a long time.


How to best end out visit? Well, have more food and share it with others. Leandro’s brother Juan and family joined us for our last dinner in Miami.


Maria’s Spaghetti meat sauce over thin spaghetti, greek style salad, and the tastiest ever Aji de Gallina (chicken in hot pepper sauce) cooked by my sister and ending with my wife’s carrot cake (salivating thinking about it) rounded up the food enjoyed by all. Of course, we settle into a spirited conversation on Syrian refugees; good chat with at least three divergent views on how to best handle their current challenges.


Frederico and Francesca having some fun in the magic disappearing tube.



We stopped by to say good-bye as we readied to drive back to Georgia and to Greenville. We found the girls helping dad clean his car; they were doing a great job on the wheels; from black dust to shiny silver. Great job girls!!!

Thank you for visiting with us.

summer - December 1, 2015 - 8:41 pm

I’m always wondering how American families celebrate the thanksgiving day, I understand more now, thank you Carlos for great sharing. Nice and sweet family time!!!

Bruce Schlein - December 1, 2015 - 6:08 pm

Looks like a great time in Miami, especially the dining. I love the graffiti area and have perused it myself.

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