Lovely Los Gatos

“Where do you want to go?” “I don’t care. Where do you want to go?” “To the winery?” I suggested in a high-pitched, pleading tone.

When my younger daughter decided that she was considering going to college on the West Coast, my first reaction was “Oh, no.” My second? “Road trip!” I encouraged each of the kids to test drive the schools that accepted them before making final decisions to avoid sobbing phone calls and thousands of wasted tuition dollars. We flew into San Jose, picked up a rental car (a sensible Ford Focus despite the siren call of a yellow Porsche 911 Cabriolet), and headed south on Route 17 through the redwood groves toward Los Gatos.

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High Times on the High Line

Tsq_green_chairs_jehWhen NYC does something wrong, it does it really wrong. For example, the pedestrian plaza in Times Square. Closing midtown blocks to vehicular traffic so tourists can gawk at the neon signs must have seemed like a good idea to someone. I’m sure visitors enjoy it but New Yorkers regard the area as they would a toxic waste site. Continue reading


Brigadoon_(french_poster)I’ve been searching for Brigadoon since falling in love with the film (and Gene Kelly) when I was a wee one. It’s an entertaining musical about a mysterious Scottish village that appears for one day every 100 years and then vanishes in the mist. Gene hooks up with Cyd Charisse and considers chucking his glamorous NYC life and pal Van Johnson to spend his life in kilts. To date, Cazenovia is the closest I’ve gotten to finding Brigadoon. I forged the two together years ago after dining in the local tartan-wrapped Brae Loch Inn. Located on the eastern fringe of New York’s Finger Lakes, this picturesque village has a charming mix of Gothic, Greek Revival and Adirondack-style residences and wonderful spots to sip and shop. And, best of all, it won’t disappear when you turn your back. Continue reading


Gauging the responses to last week’s giveaway post, I believe we’re suffering from collective high winexiety. I had an attack on Thursday.

Tilia MalbecMy college roommates crossed the Hudson by ferry to join me for dinner at Union restaurant (I believe this was the start of a Ferry Supper Club, with alternating dinners in Haverstraw and Ossining.). We asked for a table on the patio since it was one of the few warm nights we’ve had this spring. The waiter asked for our drink orders; 3 of us wanted the Malbec, so my friend suggested a bottle. When the waitress returned, she asked for a taster. They pointed to me with a swiftness that made me quite nervous. If we were to get hauled in for police questioning, I now know they’d rat me out in a NY minute. I gulped and nodded. The waitress showed me the label of the Tilia Malbec. I nodded. She turned her back and I heard the unmistakeable hiss as the screw top was released. At that moment, I relaxed and smiled as I sipped the proffered taste.

The wine was fine; dinner was delicious. And the company? Excellent. Would a “better” wine have improved the night? I certainly don’t think so.

The giveaway for the BottleWise Rollups ends on Tuesday. Enter by leaving a comment here or on the original. And, please check out this week’s Budget Travel. It features my post about a visit to Emily Dickinson’s house.

Calling All Wannabe Winos

Author’s Note: This post includes a giveaway; details in the final paragraph.

Can you really enjoy something if you’re utterly ignorant about it?

I think you can. I like playoff hockey even though I don’t know what icing is. I often go to museums with only one Intro to Art History class in my arsenal. And I enjoy wine. I know for sure that I prefer red to white and don’t like ones that cause you to smack your tongue against your lips. That’s the extent of my oenology.

pinot noir St. Barts Continue reading