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 .

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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.

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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!!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

Summer Made it to Greenville!

I know is fall, the title reflects the visit we got from our friend Summer (a.k.a. Liping Xu); a colleague I worked with while in Suzhou, China. Summer loves to travel and has been in several countries, but this was her fist visit to the US; she loved everything about it, she said. We were really happy to host her for a portion of her trip and look forward to seeing her again on her next visit to Boston.

Sharing with you some of the great times we had with Summer…

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We took Summer to Downton Greenville and we stopped at a new art gallery (Greenville has so many great galleries). Summer enjoyed most of the art and struck a good conversation with the owner.

 

For a couple of weeks before Summer’s arrival, Greenville had several days of very hard rain. The falls shown here had so much water you could barely see the rocks. Luckily, Summer had great sunny and dry weather during her visit.

 

One of Summer’s favorite pictures…us three in the reflection.

 

The three of us again…cannot beat a dry sunny day in Greenville!

 

Summer was amazed at the wonderful exposed root system on this amazing tree. I can hear Summer say….you must come visit Greenville!!!

 

We had Summer going most of the time, here she is taking a well deserved break in our patio.

 

Summer cooking my favorite Chinese soup, yum. It came out so so good. Thank you Summer!

 

酸菜鱼 Simple and delicious, with a nice tangy flavor that is really amazing. Yum, too bad my wife does not like fish…or maybe not…more for me…lol.

 

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One of Summer’s favorite was the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Must admit never saw it before.  We were all a bit surprised by it, and judging by Summer’s mouth wide open, she was also, but really enjoyed it as it was an interactive play. Summer got to participate with the crowd and the actors. We had a good time and laughs galore.

 

On our way to Looking Glass Falls, we stopped before reaching Caesar’s Head summit. Amazing views of the Smokey Mountains on this spot. Summer really enjoyed them.

 

A view of the valley from Caesar’s Head summit.

 

We had to take Summer to Pretty Place. A very popular spot for amazing panoramic views. We are facing the chapel where many weddings take place; simple a majestic setting for a wedding.

 

Summer has not shrunken, she decided to climb on an oversized chair for another photo-op. Must say, Summer enjoys the little things as much as the big things. Great way to approach life.

 

Looking Glass Falls, one of 120 or so waterfalls in North Carolina.

 

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This nice Harley Davidson caught Summer’s eye so she asked the owner if she could take a picture with it. The owner had no problem at all obliging. When Summer sets her mind on something she wants, watch out!

 

Summer having her first Mexican food ever. She wanted to try all sort of foods and we did our best to meet her wishes. She really enjoyed her Burrito, new place for us; Don Quijote in Brevard, NC.

 

What? Not made in China??? Yep, not everything is made in China.

 

White Squirrels are the bomb in Brevard…there are many theories about how this unusual types of rodents come to Brevard, but one thing is certain they are not albino squirrels as they eyes are dark and not pink. This one is a big one and tried to get my wife.

 

Took Summer to the Flat Rock Bakery, our most favorite place for pizza in the Carolinas…actually, probably anywhere. It is that good!! There is a BBQ place next to it with several neat metal sculptures, here is Summer posing with Mr. Frog.

 

Ah, it does not get better than this for me…a delicious spinach, goat cheese, artichoke hearts and sun dry tomatoes pizza. The bakery uses a brick oven to cook them and the flavor/combination is awesome! So awesome that Summer had to freeze the moment for eternity.

 

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Summer visited us at the tail end of apple picking season. She had never been apple picking so guess what? Yes, we took her to a great apple grove near Flat Rock with many acres of apple trees covering several delicious varieties.

 

Summer did quite well picking some delicious ones we later enjoyed later.

 

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Had to give Summer a ride in the Miata. Of course, she had to take a picture of it.

 

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As we were zooming up Paris Mountain, guess who was taking pictures?

 

What a fantastic coincidence, the Fall for Greenville Festival was on during Summer’s visit…of course we took her to it. This festival showcases over 40 restaurants and several bands playing in six different locations. Here is Summer posing with a NASCAR type car…not sure who the driver was.

 

I think no caption is needed on this one.

 

Summer took hundreds of pictures, this is just one of them.

 

As I mentioned earlier, the three day festival features several bands that play in six different venues. We chose the TD Stage to listen to a great Army band that played some great Rock n Roll music.

 

We had a great time with Summer, we were happy that the weather was great and we had time to share with her many of our favorite places. We hope you visit us again!

 

All things do come to an end however. Summer toasting the good times and wishing us all a great life! Cheers back to you Summer!!

Sophie LIU - November 8, 2015 - 8:06 pm

It is so cool, nice pictures~ Hope to join you!!!

camerapacker - November 7, 2015 - 7:39 pm

Some very nice px

Summer - November 7, 2015 - 5:46 pm

Really happy that I made my trip to US finally. I enjoyed every moment with you, dearest couple in my world, you are family to me!!! Looking forward to meeting you again next time in Boston. Cheers to our great life. 🙂

Massachusetts

Always great to visit Massachusetts and the many friends we have there. September is a perfect month to visit as the weather is usually very nice – sunny, passing showers here and there, very comfortable temperatures. While always great to visit old friends, we had a full agenda with our youngest daughter (Jocelyn) recent engagement to Kyle Nelson – very happy for the two of them. We also visited and helped Maria with some doctor visits and, on our way back (we drove this time) we stopped to see our good friends Jason, Christa and family in NJ. As always, I think pictures tell a better story so here we go……!

Family Camp

The church we used to attend while in Massachusetts holds an annual three-day end of summer event called Family Camp at a place called Camp Clear in Carver MA. We used to attend when we lived in MA, so going back after many years was a real treat for us. Here you have a panoramic view of the Sunday services. We had such great weather!

 

The camp has several buildings that include dorms, chapel, kitchen and a very good indoor dinning area. It also has many great outdoor areas such as this one where you can relax, eat, pitch a tent and spend the night.

 

What would a camp be without a body of water within it boundaries. Needless to say, the young ones could care less if the water maybe a bit cold; they have great fun regardless. Swimming, jumping off the platform, fishing and kayaking are the memory making activities most get into.

 

Church in the Pines is often called the “eating church”, yes, as many other churches, food and potluck luncheons are very popular. During Family Camp food variety and availability is kicked up a few notches. Friday night (official start of Family Camp) there is usually a big dinner. On Saturday, a hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner and large snack selection in between each meal is available to all. Here we have the Sunday cookout, another favorite – hey, this time they even had vegetarian patties that tasted really, really good!

 

Outdoor eating always seems to bring the flies out in force; good thing we have professional fly fanning gentlemen always at hand to keep the flying pests away from the food. Good job guys!

 

One of the true highlights on Family Camp is the baptisms on Sunday. Our daughters were baptized here and many other good friends also. Good seeing the tradition continues.

 

Here we have those who are getting ready to be baptized with their mentors and Pastor Joel on the far left. This is good old-time baptism in the pond.

 

Fireman Horse Shoes Tournament – an annual highlight of Family Camp. Talking about seeing very competitive individuals playing for the coveted trophy and t-shirt. Here we see Kim giving final instructions to the players ready to go.

 

Scoring is recorded on home-made tablets such as this one. Each family has their own customized scoring tablet and discs used during the game.

 

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen – the highly coveted CIP Firemen’s Horseshoe Cup!! Just like the Stanley Cup, the winner will keep it until next year, then turn it to the next champion.

 

You can only get the real intensity of what this game means to most by being there. Competition is fierce and Kim (right) show us how much concentration and precise style it takes to have a good chance to win the cup.

 

The road to the cup! My wife and I made it through four rounds before being beaten by Linda and Heather. Good job ladies! We will be back.

 

Hi there!

 

These young ones are playing some sort of games were they bet candy…not my thing, but hey.

 

Weather was cool and often wet. Missing South Carolina’s warmer weather a bit. This lady had a great getup to keep dry.

 

Jocelyn, our youngest daughter, got engaged and my wife and her spent a lot of time planning the upcoming wedding. Here they are checking out venues on-line. My wife a bit less high-tech, loves her paper based list. Must say, the media you use to keep the list takes a back seat as to how disciplined you are at completing it. Hard to beat my wife on that point.

 

We visited several wedding venues in a very short amount of time. This one was closed, but at least they could peek inside: it did not make the cut.

This was one of the favorite venues we visited. An old mill that has been converted into a very nice venue with a Navy motif. Hanging over most of the main hall are some of the crew boats that won the Rowing gold medal in the 1952 Olympics. Really cool place.

 

Many will not know what Jocelyn is looking into in this picture or have used one before; do you?

 

While in Massachusetts, we visited our good friends Carl and Ilda. Happy to see their new barn is almost done. Carl has a problem thinking or doing anything in a small-scale; this barn is no exception. But, it’s the berries!!

 

Carl loves his toys…sorry, tools. He had to show us how high this lift was. Good thing he has such “tool” as it would be really difficult to replace any of the overhead lights with a ladder.

 

One of Carl’s favorite toys…sorry, tools. Carl designed a custom-made finger to do some funky lifting and rearranging he had to make. It is now offered by JBC heavy equipment as an option…that is Carl!

Jocelyn & Kyle Engagement Party

Some of the many picture I took during the event… Great job Lynn Nelson putting this party together; it came out great!

Bride and groom to be. Congratulations!

Bride & Groom to be and parents.

 

Our oldest daughter, Sarah, could not make it to the party, but through the wonders of technology (Face Time) she was able to participate at least briefly.

 

The rain held out until just about the time all the guests had left; thank you Lord.

 

We visited Maria (Maria is like family to us, she has known me since my first day on this earth). We were happy to help her during her eye surgery. So far so good, but more surgery will be needed.

 

While in Cambridge MA, we took Maria to a great Indian restaurant. Maria was not sure if she liked Indian food, but that changed quickly as soon as she tried her Tiki Masala. Actually, she loved everything she tried. A new Indian food fan!

 

Just a building in Boston I have always liked.

 

While walking around in Boston we went through China Town. We felt like we had traveled back to Suzhou for a few minutes. Check those eye brows!

 

China Town main entrance.

 

On our last night in Boston, we decided to have dinner at the oldest pub in the city. This pub has been in continuous service since 1795. Many of the surrounding building date from those olden days.

 

On our way back to Greenville, South Carolina, we stopped to visit our good friends Jason, Christa and family. They have a beautiful house and we had a great visit sharing what is going on in our current lives, and also remembering many of the good time we had while in China.

Until the next post!

Summer - November 4, 2015 - 9:19 pm

Great photos and articles always, miss you and Bethe a lot!!!

Vicky - October 29, 2015 - 10:17 pm

Congratulation to Jocelyn. She looks great and happy. Glad to see recent Jason from your picture. :)

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