Todd Family Blog

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

I'm too old for this....

Whew! After having fun in Boston, Vermont, Chicago and having a party for a late-night Colts game all in the past three weeks, I can feel my 32 years! Here comes a long enough post to wear you out too, haha.....Happy Fall!

Miriam and I took a trip to Vermont to visit my Mom. (Dad had already gone back to Florida to take care of some things and Brad couldn't take time off, so the boys missed the fun.) We flew into Boston with just enough time for a quick sightseeing walk and dinner.

We had a fabulous dinner at Erbaluce (the chef kept bringing us samples of things - we had to roll ourselves out the door!) and then drinks at a nice bar. Fun night out.

Paul Revere's grave! Kinda cool.

It was 95 degrees as we walked around seeing the historical sights. We found this fun, locals-only kind of bar on the harbor where we could cool off. As you will see below, they serve Oreos with the drinks. Not a bad idea at all.

It's hard to even know where to start with Vermont! We had such a fabulous time. Great, great vacation. Let's start with the beautiful scenery:

We all did a lot of hiking/walking and Miriam did some running in preparation for Chicago's Mini Marathon the next weekend. She was very, very excited to find an entrance to the Appalachian Trail in walking distance.

Looking down on Mom and Dad's house as we come down their side of the mountain.

Having coffee on the patio at a nearby bakery.

The river outside one of our favorite restaurants/stores, Simon Pearce.

And the sightseeing! We took Miriam to Hanover, NH, the camp where I spent 2 months every summer, huge antique stores, stores featuring local artisans (some pretty good wine!, beautiful glass blowing, and silver work), and, naturally, cheese and maple syrup tastings. Here are just a few highlights:

These pics may look random, but they are from inside Dan and Whitts General Store. There are almost no large chain stores in Vermont, and certainly none near Mom and Dad. So, you get most everything at general stores (or by driving into New Hampshire, haha). In this one aisle of Dan and Whitts we have cooking utensils on one side and office supplies across - including fair tickets, incase that's what you are looking for. Their motto is, "If we don't have it, you don't need it." True.

Antique malls are always fun. This one has booths that are rented by anyone who would like one. This person has an unusual article for sale:

Aisle after aisle of random stuff. Here, Miriam looks through prints.

Some of the general stores even serve breakfast. A favorite is the Barnard General Store.

We love going to Simon Pearce, a famous glass blower headquartered in VT. Everything is generally outside our price-range for a casual shopping trip, but the beautiful show room never disappoints. You can also watch them blowing the glass downstairs and eat in their fabulous restaurant (see the view above!).

And, of course, cheese and syrup tasting. A favorite is the low key, but fabulous, Sugarbush Farms. You taste in the same room the ladies sit and wrap the cheese. Seriously, may be the best cheese I've ever had, and I've eaten A LOT of cheese! They have tons of locally made condiments, too. You could spend a good afternoon tasting them all.

Man, we ate well whether at home or out. Here we're sitting down to a Mediterranean-inspired meal complete with marinated lamb, chicken, and homemade pita and hummus.

Mom treated us to a wonderful last dinner at Prince and the Pauper in town (Woodstock). We all raved about the spicy noodles that came with Miriam's sesame crusted fish. I wanted a whole bowl. Such a nice evening. Thanks, Mom!

Here's what I didn't expect on our Vermont vacation. Wild times in Woodstock! Ha!
We found out that Bentley's has a dance party Friday - Sunday nights. We may have (literally) been the only ones on the floor, but little did they know how much we LOVE to dance.

Miriam's Woodstock boyfriend, Andrew. He works at the sporting goods shop in town and is SO nice (despite the red eyes in this picture, I promise). Now we have a friend when we go back.

We met the nicest couple our first night there. Below are Lisa and her husband, Kevin, who had just moved there from Indiana and was a football coach at Catherdral. Crazy! Note his T-shirt - Central Indiana Football Camp.

Cutting a rug Friday night. How unexpected and funny. We closed that place down three nights in a row. Brad, having been to Woodstock a couple times himself, thought that was the funniest thing he had ever heard.

After all the fun in Vermont Miriam decided she better go run a half-marathon the next weekend. (Crazy.) So, Brad and I joined her in Chicago for the weekend.

Tyler and Adrianne recommended this great Mexican place in Lincoln Park. Yum!

We always have to stop by our favorite hole-in-the-wall, Richard's.

On Saturday we went to Shedd Aquarium. Lovely view back to the city.

The Baluga Whales were a favorite.

The day was beautiful when we got out of the aquarium, so we walked back into the city along the lake.

All dressed up for a nice night out. Highly recommend Otom.

Yay Miriam! She finished the half-marathon in the time she wanted.

Sunday was the first Sunday of football season. We all met at a great sports bar, Timothy O'Tooles, to enjoy brunch, lunch and the game.

Nate, Ryan, Joy, and Amanda

Elizabeth, Keith, Me, Miriam and Brad

Miriam was understandably a bit tired after her run that morning.

Now that we have a new TV we can finally have Colts viewing parties! Tyler, Adrianne, Bill, Abby, their son, Lincoln, and Miriam joined us for the Colts/Giants game (a.k.a Manning Bowl II). If you live in Indy you MUST get some brats from the German butcher downtown, Claus's. We grilled up some of those along with some marinated chicken, everyone chipped in a dish, and we enjoyed watching the Colts get a decisive wine.

The dogs get their own spot in the garage for the evening. Their favorite part of the night was when Abby brought Lincoln out to see them while the dogs had treats. They LOVE little kids and gave Lincoln, who is very brave, some sweet kisses.

This is what happens when your team plays late on a Sunday night. After the post-game interviews this is what Brad looked like, still holding the remote. (Sorry Brad! Great picture.)

After a busy summer for everyone Supper Club is back on! The evening culminated in S'mores over the fire pit - a classic.
Brad, Kyle, Tim, Steve and Lexa

There is never a problem having enough food at our gatherings. The best part is when we pass around the to-go containers at the end. Food for the next few days!

One of my wonderful voice students, Kirstin, was down visiting SMU recently, my alma mater (where I did my Master in Music). She may go there for undergrad in voice. Loved these pictures she sent me. Go ponies!

What I'm not too old for? Eating, of course! Here's a whole food section for this month's blog. Grab a snack so you don't get hungry....

Jen, Miriam and I love having themed dinners at Jen's. I wanted to know which of my pizza dough recipes tasted best. So, I made all three and took them over. Jen and Miriam provided interesting and fun toppings (pesto with chicken! gruyere with apples! ground beef and peppers!). The winner? A light wheat with the perfect springy consistency.

One of my last big tomato pickings of the summer. Also have tons of jalapenos. Making lots of tomato sauce to freeze!

I've also made a lot of pies this summer - blackberry, blueberry, and this is red raspberry. (Thanks for the fabulous crust recipe, Ellen! Definitely my favorite out of all I've tried.)

A new summer favorite I came up with as I try to use all the garden gives me: panko "fried" green tomatoes with Ethiopian berber spice and lime. Yum!

My latest project? Pasta! I'm bringing fresh pasta for our next themed dinner at Jen's. The weekend of the 24th I worked my way through 9 recipes and chose my favorites. I've made it all now - fettucini, angel hair, ravioli, tortellini, pasta sheets. Way too much fun with my new pasta roller!

One night's tasting with homegrown tomatoes, basil, and homemade meatballs, too!

And another night's tasting. The basil ravioli (stuffed with crab and goat cheese) with browned butter and crispy sage was a favorite.

Whew! Hungry? I am just after writing that. Going to go grab some pumpkin pie Brad made the other day....Feels like fall!