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June 2, 2011 / coalstovesinkguest

How to appreciate the simple things in life

I enjoyed visiting my [anonymous] friend and be hosted at the guest’s house. This visit happened during Memorial Day weekend that coincided with my wedding anniversary (7th) with my wife Suzanne, so it was a nice way to celebrate it together with my host and his family. I particular enjoyed the time we spent all together especially the food and the wine.

The chef on staff  knew what he was doing: the herb crusted, farm raised pork tenderloin was the best I ever had along with wonderful pair of Malbec wines from Argentina (a rare label could not find in the States). The tray of cheeses and “melone” before dinner was also a nice treat for me, a perfect exploit of my Italian tastes.

I also had the opportunity to drink a very special bourbon cocktail at the bar (the chef is also a quite essential barman) that trained my tastes to a new level of drinks: vintage spirits and forgotten cocktails.  Among them, the “liberal” was my favorite cocktail, a mix of Kentucky bourbon + Italian Vermouth, orange bitter and a very rare Torani Amer. My senses got so exploited that had my brain disengaged for most of the night, frankly do not remember anything I said or hear besides what I drank and eat.

The night spent at the guesthouse was wonderful, waking up with a little of hangover with pleasant birds singing in the background (too bad my tinnitus cannot make me appreciate that 100%) it was nice to have a sustaining breakfast with a charging double espresso to get jump started for the day.

As myself, my wife and the host got engaged in farm work (I guess we tried to pay our deeds of so much guest luxury) I felt that as improvised gardener I scored pretty low. My job was to clean the veggie garden from weeds and I clean up [raspberry] plants that were planted instead. This was almost a flash back on several years ago, when I remember I tried to trim a pine tree to get a spiral looking shape that tuned out so ugly that had to be replaced. In essence, it was a confirmation that my green thumb is not very green, maybe more a greasy one more appropriate for car repair work. Anyway, as good friends do, this was forgotten after an humorous reprimand of being fired on the job. To try to compensate for the damage, I offered myself for cheap labor such as cutting and carrying logs for the fire. It was after all a very good sweat.

The highlights for the trip for me, were the time spent together at dinner and at the bar  in good company or friends and family, the walks to the Shenandoah River followed by four nice dogs, among them [Sophie] the basset hound was my favorite. It was also a very inspiring trip for me, because make me appreciate the simple things in life. My only regret, is that I did not engaged in any software security conversation with the master of the discipline (what a miss). [ed: ah but you did Marco.  I believe the liberals fogged your memory of that!] I hope to pay back my host with bourbon served at one of the Kentucky distilleries in the future.

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