Thursday, October 18, 2007

Isle of Man Holiday -- No. 01, Arrival at Douglas

We arrived at Isle of Man at about 1:30 in the afternoon. We caught a taxi to downtown Douglas where we had a nice hotel booked.

After we settled in our room a bit, we went for a stroll which turned into about a two mile walk. We walked from our hotel down the promenade to the Sea Terminal building.

[A note here, we are at Alexandria, Louisiana, today and I am posting this using the motel's WIFI.]

Merle, especially, the Fairy Bridge and the Fairy Garden are here. (link)

This is the Promenade. I thought you might like to see it lit up a little later in the evening also. My picture doesn't do it justice as it is very impressive all lighted up.

When we tired of the sidewalk, there would be this pretty flowering garden to walk in. We just didn't get as far as fast. But we could 'smell the roses' there. It was sunken so as to not interfere with the drivers line of sight.

We could see the "Tower of Refuge" out in the harbor. The plaque on the promenade explained why it was there. Life boats are a big deal in Isle of Man because of this fellow, Sir William Hillary. Google him, why don't you?

A typical teenager setting all around the world. Contemplating their world here, and hanging out.

Finally we got to the Sea Terminal. This was our primary destination as it housed the visitor center which was open until 7:00 p.m. Our taxi driver called it the world's largest orange juicer.

We picked up some maps and planned our BIG DAY, the next day. We decided to go from Douglas north as far as the Electric Railway would take us. And visit the island's highest mountain on the way. [Do you smell a future blog here?]

I asked one of the two ladies if she knew any Corkills. Corkill was my grandfather's family name, and it was my mom's maiden name.

The lady really surprised us when she said that her maiden name had been Corkill also. FOUND, A DISTANT COUSIN!! At the hotel, I looked in the phone book, there was a page of them in there, three whole columns and a smidgen more.

A marker in honor of Queen Victoria's visit during the 1887 Jubilee.

The phone worked but I never saw anyone use it. Cell phones have pretty well made these things obsolete.

What follows are a group of commercial ventures we passed on the way back. We took a different route, even visiting a grocery store.

In the front part of the store there was a Subway sandwich shop.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

The View From

Our Breakfast Room Window Yesterday Afternoon:

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[click right here for supersize]

These guys had lost what?

And they could not find it.

So the fellow who lost it
finally dropped another.

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Our Dining Room Saturday Night:

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We had our 'Gourmet Dining Group' over for super. That was three other couples and us. Mrs. Jim cooked up a storm, as did these others.

Ready for Jim to say the blessings before dipping into the soup, from the left, clockwise are, Wayne D, Carla M, 'the other' Jim M, Mrs. Jim, Diane C, Bill C, and Diana S. Not shown was me, taking the picture.

The menu, with a Fall theme, in pictures follows:

First Course - Carrot soup with Ginger
Second Course - Pear, Arugula, and Pancetta Salad
Third Course - Granite burgundy sorbet
Entree - Pork rib roast with cranberry-apricot stuffing
... . . . . .Green beans with button mushrooms
... . . . . .Provencal tomato potato gratin
Dessert - Caramelized apple crepes

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The soup. It was prepared by Diana.

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The salad was prepared by Carla and 'the other' Jim.

After the salad we had a tongue cleansing sorbet prepared by Diana.

[click right here for supersize]

The entree [main course] was prepared by Mrs. Jim.

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Here Mrs. Jim and 'the other Jim' were dishing out the main course on the breakfast room table.

The apple crepe dessert by Diane was delicious, there were no leftovers. Unfortunately I did not take a picture of these.

Come to think about it, there weren't any doggie bags either. We ate it all. The cost? $52.48 per couple, including some wine.

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There are nine groups of four doing this three times a year. All live in our Bentwater subdivision. Each group uses the same menu and the groups are rearranged every time.

At the end of the year there is another meeting in one member's home, a Christmas party. All the participants attend and each brings a dessert or hors d'oeuvres dish. Before we leave the ladies have a short meeting to elect new officers.

For these last two years, Mrs. Jim and two other ladies from the Bentwater Ladies Organization are the directors for Gourmet Dining. Each is on a menu committee along with three other ladies. Mrs. Jim was on the committee that came up with the menu for Friday night.

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