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About jpalbny

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Albany, NY
  • Interests
    Adventure travel, wine, food
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Silversea, Oceania, Uniworld
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Wherever I am going next!
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    http://jpalbny.smugmug.com, https://www.blogger.com/profile/01909358205846920309

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  1. Yes! Wine on the Alte Mainbrücke! We're in! Cheers to that.
  2. Very doable. Chris and I have done three land trips through these areas. The first time was 2013 when our River Cruise was canceled due to the crazy flooding of the Danube in June of that year. We went anyway, since we had bought our own air tickets. But suddenly we had nothing planned for the better part of two weeks! So we spent the time using trains and rental cars, and made it up on the fly. It was one of the most fun trips we've done. In 2014 and 2015, we went back with Audi, through their European Delivery program. We bought the cars in the US, then went to the factory in Ingolstadt to pick them up. We drove them around wherever we wanted for a week then dropped them off in Frankfurt and flew home. I did blogs on all of these trips but the website went defunct and I haven't bothered to transfer them to my new blog site. I am gradually working on that...one way to cope with the lack of travel is to reminisce about old trips. We would go back for another trip like those in a heartbeat. So many great places to visit. I hope you get to make such a trip and that you enjoy it as much as we have.
  3. Awesome, Fletcher! I love raptors. We have hawks all over the place here. The way they soar is majestic. We have seen a bunch of turkey vultures around the neighborhood this summer. They have quite the buffet of squirrel carcasses to choose from. Problem is, I only see them when I'm just carrying my cell phone. So, no good pix like yours. Chilly mornings this weekend. I captured this cold bumblebee, warming itself on an eggplant leaf. So much pollen!
  4. Yeah, the lack of independent excursions would probably be a deal breaker for us. Watching with some interest; have May and November booked in the Med but will certainly reconsider if we have to take (and pay for) ships' tours which may or may not really be of much interest to us. In the Med we almost always DIY in ports. Masks, social distancing, etc - we can live with that. We're from NY where (like clo et al) we have been doing this for a seemingly long time. If we don't cruise, we'd try to do something independent and land-based, and we'd expect to wear masks then. I don't expect that requirement to go away for a long time.
  5. Beautiful pictures, @MHF. We have so many fond memories of our trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons, now 13 years ago. We also went just after Labor Day, and enjoyed fewer crowds, beautiful weather, and amazing scenery. Lois, these areas are best experienced in small groups. Though I can certainly sympathize if you don't want to go it as a party of one, there is something to be said for getting away from it all and enjoying some solitude. I clearly remember one hike we did there, around String and Leigh Lakes in the late afternoon, all the way out to Bearpaw Lake. We were quite certainly the only ones (or the last ones) out there. It got a little creepy, once we got to thinking about whether or not the bears were watching us...
  6. I did as well. I have no idea why. I have started to read your review, and enjoyed the pictures as well. My German is schwach but it is coming along. I was able to understand enough to follow most of the report. Thanks for allowing us to travel along with you!
  7. Hi all, has been a decent weekend so far. The house next to ours finally sold, after a few years of being on and off the market. We met our new neighbors last weekend; turns out he's one of my counterparts at Albany Med (same department, different hospital). Small world! So we had them over for a socially-distanced welcome lunch on our deck. Was nice for a few hours until the sun dipped behind the trees then we got chilly and went home. I made some chicken wings with a few tasty sauces - one with Shiro Miso and the other with Gochujang (Korean chili paste). They went well with some local wines - a Chardonnay and a Lemberger that we'd picked up in the Finger Lakes last weekend. QueSeraSera, I lost count on the wine, and that was all before the G&T I'm sipping now (Hendrick's Midsummer Solstice Gin, with Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic, if you are keeping track). But it's the Cooler so I think we're all OK with that! Lola's and Jeff's posts certainly made me think. Both of us feel in a bit of a funk with these never-ending travel bans. We lost our 25th anniversary trip to China and now we've lost the November cruise to Borneo (hiking to orangutans) and Komodo. And on the one hand, we are both lucky to still be working full-time...BUT we are working nonstop with no break and no light at the end of the tunnel, and just waiting for New York to surge again. It really gets to us some days. We are going to take a few days off in 2 weeks and we have no idea where to go, or where we can even go. We will probably stay local, again. So how are we coping? We are doing a few things around the house to make it more pleasant. We planted more of a garden this year than ever and are enjoying lots of fresh veggies. We are supplementing that with some nice takeout meals when we feel like we are sick of cooking. We are trying some nicer wines than we often do, and sampling some different interesting Gin and Tonic combinations. It's all still cheaper than one cruise would cost. And we are exercising much more regularly than we have in the past ten years. Last year it was a struggle to get to 10000 steps a day and this year I feel lazy if I have less than 12000. We've been doing some strength training as well which adds to the positive effects of aerobic training. So watch out when we get to travel again, because we might take off and never come back! The pandemic also has got us thinking about how much longer we want, or need, to work full-time. We realize that we (somewhat) like what we do, but not enough to do it without a break. Since we are both on the wrong side of 50, if we don't need to work full-time, should we really keep doing it? What would we gain? MIght it be better for our health and sanity, to work part-time? It seems a no-brainer if we can make the finances work. We have been playing with different scenarios involving reduced hours and if the numbers work out as I think they will, we might just cut back on our work burden in the next year or two. We can't retire fully because we need to be a little older to get full retirement benefits, but with some creativity I think we will be able to strike a balance that can make us happy until that day comes. So that's how we are trying to cope. Usually I spend every spare moment planning vacations. Now I'm thinking about how to have more time off so I can plan even more vacations. Do you sense a theme here? 😄
  8. Thanks for posting! You remembered how much we like Würzburg. 😄 I enjoyed the pictures. Where did you have your meal? We liked Juliusspital very much. At that restaurant, I was able to try a Schwarzriesling. Very unique! Now I am a little sad, because I think it will be some time before I can visit again. I hope that is not the case.
  9. What we've been eating. Sunday I bought a pork loin roast and braised it in an orange sauce. It was accompanied by one of the Rieslings that we brought home on Saturday. And Spätzle. Yum! Looking forward to the leftovers (the pork, not the Riesling, of course). Today I had another eggplant from the garden that needed to be used. So I pounded out some chicken thighs into cutlets, then breaded and fried them. Then I topped the cutlets with eggplant, tomato, and mozzarella slices, and baked the whole thing in the oven to finish. I had leftover arugula and basil pesto to put on top which was a great finishing touch. Served with pasta, dressed with olive oil and garlic. Oh, and some rosé of Nebbiolo. Have a great night all, and best wishes to Bob and Terry for rest and recovery.
  10. You beat me to it! LOL. It probably does - Stumbles!
  11. We both certainly have that! Second the Portugal recommendation. We spent a really fun week there last November and would go back any time (well, any time that they will have us...). It is so easy and rewarding to DIY there. I could see spending much more time there in the future. Food and lodging is quite cheap there and the countryside is gorgeous. The wines are an amazing value for the price and luckily, between my bad French and Chris's Spanish, we can read a far amount of written Portuguese. Speaking it, however, is another kettle of fish. That would take some serious practice - but a sacrifice I would be willing to make. 😄 Chris, we are also going stir-crazy with the lack of travel options. It is really getting to us. We have been racking our brains for the past several months, watching out previous plans (China in June anyone?) disappear. Ponant just canceled our November 2020 cruise as we knew they would, but now we have more unused vacation and nowhere to go. It's definitely contributing to our sense of Pandemic Fatigue as described above. And for the record, I do not think you are wrong either. I think this is going to be a long haul and that just adds to the fatigue.
  12. Hi all, lots to catch up on! First, @Emtbsam, best wishes to Bob on his upcoming surgery. Hope all goes smoothly! Second, regarding genealogy, my uncle had the family tree traced a few years ago. It's fascinating. One branch goes back to medieval England and a few royals appear in the line. Neat to think about but who knows if any of it is real. I have to digitize it some day. We did an overnight getaway to the Finger Lakes last night. Our view last evening. Now off to taste some wine!
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