Thursday, December 26, 2013

Looking for a new dog kennel...

If we go on this military hop next month, we will need a new place for our dogs to stay while we're gone.  When we lived in North Carolina, we used Sandhills Pet Resort, which was a great place for them.  The people who worked there took great care of our dogs.

Now that we're in Texas, we have several places to choose from.  I have sort of narrowed it down to two places.  One is Four Paws Inn, which is near where we live and economical.  The other place is Camp Bow Wow, which is a franchised place.  It's more expensive, but appears to be more comfortable.  It's also near the airport, which may be a good thing if we stay here, because I don't think we're going to keep living where we live right now.  But we will always be going to the airport, right?

I'm actually feeling kind of nervous about leaving them, even though they usually do fine when we board them.  Mother-in-law has offered to take care of them, but I think that may be a tough thing for her to handle.  She has told us she plans to quit her job, since they have pretty much told her they want her to quit and she's not making much money there anyway.

Really, all she would have to do is let them go out, feed them, clean up after them, and make sure they don't run out the front door or counter surf something dangerous.  But she lives on the other side of the city and has her own cats to take care of.

I really want to take a trip, but I don't feel ready to go anywhere yet.  I'd rather put the dogs in a kennel for a brief stay before I leave them in a new one for a couple of weeks.      

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Five star cruise ship food porn...

At the risk of sounding trite and using the now somewhat cliched term "food porn", I am inspired to post about some of the fantastic food we've enjoyed on SeaDream I and Hebridean Princess.  These two ships are both five star all inclusive vessels.  For the most part, the food offered on them is outstanding.  SeaDream's menu tends to be Asian influenced and includes raw items for those who are into raw food.  Hebridean's menu is very traditional and British and not quite as extensive as SeaDream's is.

I liked the food on both ships and have had the chance to tour the galleys on SeaDream I and Hebridean Princess.  I am amazed at what the culinary staff is able to do in such small quarters.  I especially enjoyed Hebridean's kitchen staff, who tried to tell me a story about hunting haggis… to which I said, "Bollocks!"  They thought that was funny… or maybe I thought it was because I was high on scotch after trying haggis for the first time.

Anyway, I often wonder about the stories cruise ship employees pass around after their guests are safely out of earshot.  On luxury ships, I'm sure the standards are high and they run into their share of tough customers.  The beauty of luxury cruising is that there are fewer tough customers than what they would have on a large mainstream line like Carnival and Royal Caribbean.

So, without further ado… here's a parade of food I have enjoyed on my five luxury voyages…


Minute steak on SeaDream I


Salad!  SeaDream I


Prime rib on SeaDream I


Looks like fish and risotto...


We were presented with this cake after dessert and chocolates… Never did really get to eat it.


Thai satay style lunch on SeaDream I.


Pasta on SeaDream I.


Dessert!


Eggs benedict made with regular bacon instead of Canadian.  I requested that.


Smoked salmon scrambled eggs and caviar...


Not sure what that is… looks lovely, though.


Pear sorbet in a candy dish… Yes, the dish is made of sugar candy and is completely edible.


Hmmm...


This was part of the tasting menu.  I think it was filet.  Excellent beef!


Grand Marnier souffle!


Caviar and champagne...


This was the day of the Champagne and Caviar Splash… There was lots of food.


Dessert extravaganza!  The pastry chef insisted that I take that huge piece of sugar candy that was part of his display.


A nice simple dessert.


Raw food.  This was actually very good.


I think that was duck.


Raw panna cotta!


Breakfast on Hebridean Princess.


Colorful!


Fish!


Smoked salmon and shrimp!


Eton mess… very yummy!


Lovely rice pudding with raspberry.


Looks too good to eat...


Mmmm...


Salmon and potatoes...


Beef and asparagus...


French toast!


Haggis.  It was not bad at all, especially when washed down with scotch.


Fish!


I think this was lamb.  Must have been Bill's dinner.


Scallops!



Duck


Fish!


Gelatin with berries… 



A fruit and ice cream surprise...


Lemon pudding...


Roast...


Burritos! SeaDream style...


Chicken breast!


Strawberries and chocolate

I think I have the itch to book another cruise.  Unfortunately, I don't want to do that until we know if Bill is going to have a job after June.  For now, I think I'll have to gaze at all these photos and be inspired by the creativity of some very talented chefs.


Lobster on Hebridean!


Pork...


Pear...

This is making me hungry...