Rocky Mountain High – Colorado

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This story is an excerpt from Ed’s Book, “A Casual Traveler

I had been following a storm in the middle of Nebraska, so the roads were a still a bit wet in spots. I came upon a barricaded bridge that was impassible. The problem was I didn’t recall seeing any previously posted detour signs; I had no choice but to turn around.

I retreated all the way back to the previous town and took the first crossroad, figuring I’d out flank the bridge by crossing the river further west. It was a lovely detour through cow country, but it brought me right back to the same closed bridge. Crap!

I formulated plan B and headed east along the river until I found another crossing. The road eventually veered away from the river, but then I came across a good road heading in the right direction that looked big enough to have a bridge on it.

Before long the road took a few turns, going into the middle of nowhere. Then I saw a sign that said, “Paved road ends ahead.” No biggie I thought, as I slowed to the appropriate speed and continued on the gravel. I thought I could see the river ahead and I hoped for a bridge.

 Just when I was getting comfortable riding on the gravel, it disappeared and the road became dirt. It had been raining earlier in the day; you know what happens to dirt gets wet—it becomes mud.

I’d never ridden on a mud road before, but I had little choice. I immediately tried to gear down, but dared not brake; I was already sliding in the mud and doing a low-speed wobble. The front wheel only plowed and the wobble got worse. I knew I was going down; it was only a matter of how hard and where.

I slid closer and closer to the big creek on my left; that’s the way the road sloped. There was a grass shoulder, where I thought I might get some traction, or at least have a softer landing. I really didn’t want to crash in the creek.

Continue reading “Rocky Mountain High – Colorado”

KOMA – A Hidden Taste Sensation

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By: Cathryn Gagnon

This month the Dining Divas discovered KOMA (Kitchen of Michael Anthony) Restaurant – at 3090 Dougall Avenue, in Windsor. It’s nestled behind Taco Bell.

Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised at how beautifully decorated the restaurant is.  Luxurious red, accompanied by black accents with lovely furniture and great little bar.  The place is small – perhaps twelve tables, but it’s the perfect size for Chef Michael Anthony to shine.

The menu presentation isn’t fancy, a printed sheet of paper – but the appetizers and entrees certainly are. Windsor-20160420-00149

Once all Divas arrived, we chatted among ourselves and reviewed the deliciously described menu choices – most of us kept changing our minds on what to order as each tantalizing item was discussed.

After much discussion and input from our server, about the menu items, we finally decided.

Our starters in included:

  • Tempura Vegetables smothered in roasted carrot puree with soy honey dressing
  • Rice Balls laid over pulled pork tenderloin with san marzano tomato and guincale
  • Braised Lamb atop seared bacon corn bread, caramelized onion and blue cheese
  • Panko encrusted Calamari with dill soy honey ginger dressing and red curry cream.

Continue reading “KOMA – A Hidden Taste Sensation”

Criminal

MV5BMTg0ODc4Mzk2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDk2MDkyODE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_Does anyone else think Kevin Costner makes a good bad guy? In his latest movie, Criminal, he plays a bad guy with a good guy’s memory.

The fact that the story is a bit futuristic must be what turned all the critics against the movie. And the memory implant involved was nowhere near as ridiculous as the the Hunger Games type of movies we are bombarded with.

Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman play excellent supporting roles and the new Wonder Woman – Gal Gadot gives a strong performance.

Reviews are all over the map for this movie, but Cathryn and I thoroughly enjoyed it. For anyone looking for a spy thriller, this is that type of movie. The action sequences were well done with no over the top Tarantino type blood and guts. The pace was quick; there was no time to get bored.

Cathryn rates the movie a 10 and I give it 9. There were a couple little what I call flukes, but most people will not catch them. C didn’t. Two thumbs up.

 

DoCK 21 – Harrow Pit Stop

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We had nothing to do on this beautiful sunny Sunday and all day to do it so we jumped on the Harley and headed to Riverside Drive. I drove west along the water, through downtown Windsor, LaSalle and Amherstburg. While it was sad to see an old watering hole like Abar’s down and out it looked like something new is going on at the Sunnyside, in LaSalle.

After a spin through Colchester my gas gauge told me it was time to get gas. Cathryn said her tummy was growling and she was on empty too. We rode into Harrow in search of gas and grub. On the way to the gas station I noticed a new pub on the main drag, where the IMG_1161Pie Lady used to be. It’s called “DoCk 21 Fine Pub.”

We were looking for a light lunch, late in the afternoon – something to hold us over till dinner. DoCK 21 was the perfect pick.

The dining room was empty at that time of day, but we love to belly up to the bar and chat with the staff and locals – two of whom said the seafood chowder was good.

They weren’t exactly correct. It was awesome and not something out of a can…lots of seafood and not filled with potatoes. A perfect creamy texture. Cathryn had a the cranberry spring mix salad with chunks of chicken almost the size of golf balls. It was fresh and crisp with just the right amount of dressing.11701225_1459598907698989_7545775035711729447_n

The only thing that was disappointing was that I didn’t get to sample any of the inviting draft beers they had on tap.  I strictly limit my alcohol consumption when riding on only two wheels.

A woman near us had the chicken quesadilla and gave us the thumbs up and two other patrons left with a doggy bag so I figured the food must have been plentiful and good enough to take it home. We give DoCK 21 a 4 out of 5 stars on their Facebook page.

 

The Kingsville Krawl

IMG_1151The town of Kingsville is about a forty minute drive from our house in Windsor. It boasts a handful of unique pubs and restaurants as well as several wineries that are just outside of town. Cathryn and I have visited and/or stayed in Kingsville on many occasions.

It can be a bit quiet in the winter, but that’s when places like Lakeside Park come to life with their beautiful Christmas light display.

On this occasion, Cathryn scored a Groupon for $90 that gave us accommodations in a beautiful century-old home, above Jack’s Gastro Pub. The deal included $35 in food or beverages of our choice.

Jack’s is a hot-spot in Kingsville, with it’s open veranda and shaded patio dining areas. The menu is ever changing, but always has delicious choices. We like to hop around town to try different places, eating and drinking as we go. IMG_1155

After dropping off our bags we walked down the stairs to the little bar, right below our room. Too handy. We got into the craft beers, starting with an Okanagan black lager that tasted like more. I had another.

We wanted to try something different to eat so we ordered the bacon cheeseburger spring rolls. Then went perfectly with the dark beer.  I had to share the appetizer and I wasn’t quite full so I decided to try a Belgian craft next. It was like having dessert before my meal. Continue reading “The Kingsville Krawl”

“The BoneYard Bar-B-Q”

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Look at the picture – Need I say more?

Cathryn wanted me to go shopping in Detroit with her so I insisted on a trip to the BoneYard for my reward. It didn’t matter that we were shopping for me, I requested a spare rib feast regardless. There are two locations in the Detroit area; we went to the Telegraph location because it was closer at the time.

IMG_1145We arrived early so there was no wait to be served and our waitress was very attentive. The decor is nothing to brag about and most of the tables are booths. Once you lay your eyes on the food in other peoples’ plates the only place you need to look is at the menu. They have soups and salads, chicken and seafood, but that’s not why we were there. We chose the full slab (14-15 bones) dinner for two, with a coleslaw side for me and a salad for Cathryn. The dinner also comes with a two chunks of garlic bread and crispy golden waffle fries that we had to say no to.

I was given two heaping dishes of slaw instead of the starch and Cathryn’s salad was almost dinner size. The Princess said is was crisp and fresh with a lovely assortment of veggies. The ranch dressing is always better in the U.S. for some reason. They also give you a whole green onion as a garnish – it just happens to go perfectly with the ribs.  IMG_1143

They don’t put too much sauce on their ribs, which is fine by us, but they put a bottle on the table for you. The ribs were meaty and juicy and just a bit crispy. Even without the fries, we were both quite satisfied with the amount of food we shared.

If you’re looking for a simple place for tasty ribs The BoneYard is the place to go.

Even better than the ribs was the amount of our bill when it came. For the full slab and sides and soft drinks our total was $28.00.

We give them a 9 out of 10, nobody’s perfect.

“Floating Junk” Ha Long Bay, Gulf of Tonkin, Viet Nam

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This story was taken from Ed’s book, “A Casual Traveler

Hanoi, Viet Nam was not kind to me during my stay, but it served me well as a base while I visited other places in the area that I wanted to see. I was told there are 50 million scooters in the country of Viet Nam and 6 million people in Hanoi. I believe the majority of the scooters were in Hanoi.

 Considering the crowds and vehicular noise, I decided to get out of town. There are always plenty of options when you travel on your own with no set agenda. I decided on a no brainer mini-trip, where I set my own itinerary. I booked a four day tour that combined two days on a boat in Ha Long Bay with two days of trekking in the mountains near Sa Pa, near the Chinese border.

After booking the trip and wasting the day wandering around Hanoi, I chose to have dinner at a restaurant right across the street from my hotel. Nothing else had caught my eye. A place full of locals is usually the sign of a good restaurant. Continue reading ““Floating Junk” Ha Long Bay, Gulf of Tonkin, Viet Nam”