Friday, April 29, 2011

Home Again

The calendar may not say it, but summer arrived at Gunflint Lodge today. The horses arrived! Mandy and Izzy were there to put halters on and get them into the pasture. Right now they are all munching on hay, rolling in the dirt, and drinking water. On Monday the staff will be going out for rides to reacquaint the horses with the trails. We only have two new horses so they all pretty much know where they are going.

Bruce and I had a great trip down to the Florida Keys. As always we stayed with our friends Ron and Pat Malina. They have a beautiful porch that overlooks the open water. We ate every meal out there in 85 degree temperatures with a gentle breeze.

Well, there were several meals that we ate in restaurants. We have two favorite restaurants that we always visit when in Key West. One is the Raw Bar at Land’s End. I dream about Oysters Rockefeller and Conch Fritters. Bruce lives for Conch Chowder. Figuring out what comes next is always a problem. Our other must stop is El Siboney, a Cuban restaurant in a residential area. You have to know it is there to find it. Bruce always starts out with a big bowl of their homemade soup – every kind is good. I like the roast pork and he likes the fried pork cubes. Both come with warm buttered Cuban bread, yellow rice, black beans and plantains. Even without the soup it is more than either of us can eat.

Once we get past these restaurants, then it is time to try some new ones. As usual there were plenty of good ones around. The best one, however, was in the Malina household. The day we arrived Pat greeted us with steamed and chilled Key West Pink shrimp and stone crabs. Another night we ate Pat’s Key Lime Pie. I refuse to order this in a restaurant because no one makes it as well as Pat does.

Several nights we relaxed playing canasta. It is always the men against the women. Both sides managed to hold their own. Bruce and I also learned bowling via the Wii. Every day we were out walking around. We did a little shopping, or rather looking, at some of the Key West stores. For looking you can’t beat Fast Buck Freddy’s. If I had a house to decorate in the Keys (and unlimited funds), I could buy out that store.

Of course, all good things must end and we are now home. Business is looking good. More staff are arriving. Spring projects are getting done. The snow is basically gone. The ice on Gunflint Lake is pretty black this afternoon. The new dock is now floating in the water. We can’t get it back into the summer home bay yet but there is a boat and motor sitting on the shore ready to go in the moment we can.

I looked at my garden today. Hopefully tomorrow I will get started cleaning that up. I could see a few tiny strawberry leaves poking out. Then there is the rhubarb to get going. Beds have to be cleaned for basil and parsley. Chives will also be coming out soon. My iris need a tablespoon of bone marrow on them. The grass also needs fertilizer. The flower beds need to be weeded.

All of a sudden it is an endless list. I am ready to start tackling everything.

No comments: