Nine months and some misplaced notes later, the Okanagan trip report finally finishes up @VinAmiteCellars!

Vin Amité, one of the last wineries you will pass as you drive North out of Oliver, is one that you might drive by if you don’t know anything about it. Don’t. I mean, seriously, don’t.

It’s certainly not the only boutique, family run winery in the Okanagan, but I have yet to visit one that makes the guests feel like part of the family as much as this one does.

Sometime in the past couple of years they started up a wine club. No heavy commitments here. One case, of anything, at any point during the year. That’s it and that’s all.

We visited them on our way out of town last summer, and tasted their new releases. Not a bad wine in the bunch, as usual. Let’s get to it!

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As a little bonus review, I already ordered my 2020 case which arrived a couple of weeks ago, featuring some of their three new varietals: Merlot, Viognier, and a Rosé. I tasted the latter last night. It’s my least favorite thing they’ve ever done, but still shows some promise for future vintages.

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So, nine months later, this Okanagan trip report is finally wrapped up. And talk about good timing, in a matter of hours we are off to Vancouver to begin our four-day-long extravaganza at the Vancouver International Wine Festival.

As I did last year, I’ll try to update the blog every day or two with as much content as I possibly can. If all goes to plan this will start tomorrow, with a full report on tonight’s Ventoux Tour de France dinner at Chambar!

Until tomorrow……

The penultimate stop on our Okanagan trip took us to one of our favorites, Rust Wine Co! @rustwinery

If you haven’t been to Rust Wine Co, you must go. They have a lovely tasting room, excellent staff, and a terrific spot outside to sit and enjoy a little BBQ (although the BBQ closes for the winter so check with them if you are going in off-peak season).

Oh, and the wine is damn good too, top to bottom.

Rust Wine Co 2018 GewurztraminerRust Wine Co 2018 Pinot GrigioRust Wine Co 2018 ChardonnayRust Wine Co 2018 RoséRust Wine Co 2018 GamayRust Wine Co 2017 Cabernet FrancRust Wine Co 2017 Zinfandel

They also have two Syrahs and three Merlots, all from different vineyards, and all are so different. We didn’t taste them on this trip but have in previous visits, and it’s an exciting opportunity to really understand the difference that terroir can make in a wine.

 

Next up: One more winery to go, and it’s a little family winery that should be on everyone’s radar: Vin Amité!

 

They’re Young, they’re Wyse, and we made our initial visit there last year. @YWCollection

Our first visit to a winery I was almost completely unfamiliar with. We had tasted and enjoyed their Black Sheep blend in other tastings, but I had never tasted anything else from them. Let’s see how it turned out!

Young & Wyse 2014 AmberYoung & Wyse 2016 GewurztraminerYoung & Wyse 2017 Amber RoséYoung & Wyse 2013 ZinfandelYoung & Wyse 2016 MerlotYoung & Wyse 2016 Cabernet SauvignonYoung & Wyse 2015 Black Sheep Blend

We had a nice experience here, tasting room staff was friendly and efficient, and I am sure we will stop in again on our next visit to the area.

We are finally into the home stretch of this 8-month old trip, and next up we hit a perennial favorite, Rust Wine Co!

 

 

The 92nd Academy Awards, and a crime in the very near future.

Dispatcher: “9-1-1, What’s your emergency?”

Me: “I’d like to report a theft”.

Dispatcher: “A theft in progress? What is the location”.

Me: “Not in progress yet. It’s going to happen in a few hours. And it’s at the Dolby Theatre, in Los Angeles”.

Dispatcher: “Sorry? You want to report a theft that is going to happen, hours from now, at a theatre in Los Angeles???”

Me: “Yes. Renée Zellweger is going to steal an Oscar”.

…………..silence

Dispatcher: “This isn’t funny.”

Me: “I’m not joking. It’s going to be one of the greatest heists in movie history.”

Dispatcher: Hangs up.

 

OK so here they are, my picks for who is going to win, and who SHOULD win, at tonight’s 92nd Annual Oscar ceremony. In each of the major categories, I will also mention how many of the nominations I have seen, which is most but not all.

BEST PICTURE

 Ford v Ferrari
 The Irishman
 Jojo Rabbit
 Joker
 Little Women
 Marriage Story
 1917
 Once upon a Time…in Hollywood
 Parasite

 

I have seen all of these, and liked eight of the nine. Only Tarentino’s bloated, boring OUATIH winning would really upset me. Since the best two movies of the year, The Farewell and Rocketman were both omitted, I’ll have to give this award to my third choice.

Should win: Marriage Story

Will win: Parasite

Yes, I’m going to call for the upset here, as Parasite’s late momentum makes it the first foreign language film to win Best Picture, edging out 1917.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

  Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
  Leonardo DiCaprio, Once upon a Time…in Hollywood
  Adam Driver, Marriage Story
  Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
  Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

 

I have seen all of these performances, and each was brilliant in it’s own way. I think this one is obvious, as Joaquin Phoenix has won everything he possibly could up to this point. If there is one award that would make me jump out of my seat for joy tonight, it would be this one, if there is a major upset.

Should win: Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Will win: Phoenix

If I am not mistaken, this win will be the first time in Oscars history that two actors have won Oscars for playing the same role (Heath Ledger, 2009)

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

  •   Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
  •   Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
  •   Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
  •   Charlize Theron, Bombshell
  •   Renée Zellweger, Judy

I have seen 4 of these (not Bombshell), and there is going to be a serious crime committed here, as the Academy is going to overlook the best performance of the year, male or female, and hand an Oscar to a well-liked industry veteran who chewed up the scenery playing an industry Icon. MY GOD, I hope I am wrong. (Editor’s note: I would actually take Scarlett Johansson or Cynthia Erivo over Zellweger too).

Should win: Soirose Ronan, Little Women

Will win: Zellweger

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  •   Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  •   Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
  •   Al Pacino, The Irishman
  •   Joe Pesci, The Irishman
  •   Brad Pitt, Once upon a Time…in Hollywood

I have seen all of these, and all are deserving nominees except Hanks, who I never really bought as Fred Rogers. Having said that, it’s still Tom Hanks who never really gives a bad performance.

Should win and will win: Brad Pitt

I hated the movie, but it wasn’t Pitt’s fault, and he really sold his character. A well deserved tribute to a fine actor. If there is an upset here, it will be Hopkins, who offered up his finest performance in years, but I think this is Pitt’s all the way.

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  •   Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
  •   Laura Dern, Marriage Story
  •   Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
  •   Florence Pugh, Little Women
  •   Margot Robbie, Bombshell

I have not seen Bombshell or Richard Jewell. This one also seems like a lock, as Dern has won everything she could, but I’m going to go in a different direction, and choose an actress I was totally unfamiliar with (I didn’t even know which character she was playing when I saw the movie yesterday) but am really looking forward to watching her career progress.

Should win: Florence Pugh, Little Women

Will win: Dern

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

 Corpus Christi
 Honeyland
 Les Misérables
 Pain and Glory
 Parasite

I am only including this category to “up my win rate”, as this is the absolute lock of the night. Pain and Glory (the only other one I saw) was very good, but you don’t get nominated for Best Picture and lose this one.

Will win and should win: Parasite

DIRECTING

  •   The Irishman
  •   Joker
  •   1917
  •   Once upon a Time…in Hollywood
  •   Parasite

This might be the place that the Academy honors Tarentino, but I am going to go with my gut and say that 1917 is just too good not to be honored somewhere.

Will win and should win: Sam Mendes, 1917

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

 The Irishman
 Jojo Rabbit
 Joker
 Little Women
 The Two Popes

It’s a crime that Greta Gerwig wasn’t nominated in the Best Director category, but I feel like the Academy has a chance to make it up to her here. The Two Popes would be my second choice.

Will win and should win: Greta Gerwig, Little Women

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

 Knives Out
 Marriage Story
 1917
 Once upon a Time…in Hollywood
 Parasite

I don’t believe that Brad Pitt is going to be the only winner from that Hollywood film, the Academy loves to honor films about itself, so I’m going to predict in that direction.

Should win: Parasite
Will win: Once upon a Time…in Hollywood

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  •   The Irishman
  •   Joker
  •   The Lighthouse
  •   1917
  •   Once upon a Time…in Hollywood

I have not seen the Lighthouse (nor heard of it, actually), and I think this is a total no-brainer.

Will win and should win: 1917

 VISUAL EFFECTS

 Avengers: Endgame
 The Irishman
 The Lion King
 1917
 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Yes, yes, the Academy generally hates superhero pictures, but COME ON, this one should be easy.

Will win and should win: Avengers: Endgame

ORIGINAL SONG

 “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” Toy Story 4
 “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” Rocketman
 “I’m Standing With You,” Breakthrough
 “Into The Unknown,” Frozen II
 “Stand Up,” Harriet

 

I haven’t seen all the movies but did listen to all the songs. There is nothing iconic here, but they are all decent little ditties if nothing else.

Should win: Stand Up

Will win: (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again

I mean, they can’t send Rocketman home without a single award, it was just too good for that.

FILM EDITING

 Ford v Ferrari
 The Irishman
 Jojo Rabbit
 Joker
 Parasite

This is as far as I am going to go into the more technical categories, but I think all those scenes at Le Mans, which were impressive, require some seriously good editing.

Will win and should win: Ford v Ferrari

 

Ok that’s it, let’s see how I do. Enjoy the show!

 

 

Well guess who just found his notes from last year’s Okanagan trip??? Up first, @MoonCurser !

OK, OK, this trip is about 8 months old, but I moved something on my desk and voila! Found the notes I had been looking for since the trip ended. Since we are still early in 2020 and nobody has released their new wines yet, these should still be the current vintages in most case, and a lot of them should still be available. Let’s get right to it!

 

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As always, lots of good stuff from a winery that is very consistent vintage after vintage. And I’m going to have to find a bottle of that 2017 Syrah and give it another chance.

Up next for the Okanagan trip, we head off to a winery we had never previously visited: Young & Wyse!

But first, tomorrow night is the Oscars, and I’ll have all my picks and predictions before the big show. Still have a couple movies to see today and tomorrow.

And……stay tuned, as we are just over two weeks away from the biggest event of the year in wine, the 2020 Vancouver International Wine Festival! As always, we will be there hitting it way, way, way too hard.

Until next time!

SuperBowl LIV – What a day it’s going to be!

Seriously, who gets to see their two favorite teams play each other in the SuperBowl??

But man, did it take a lot to get here.

I began following the NFL sometime in the very early 80’s. I have memories of watching Pittsburgh beat the Rams in 1980, and the next year I recall cheering on the Eagles as they lost to those damn Raiders in SuperBowl XV. At that point, I didn’t have any rooting interest, I just knew that I didn’t much care for the Raiders.

Everything changed just one year later. January 24, 1982. My Dad invited me and a friend over to his apartment in Burnaby to watch the SuperBowl. I was twelve. Honestly, if you ask me how many good memories I have of spending time with my Dad in my adolescence, I could count them on one hand and have fingers left over. This happens to be one of those memories. It’s not that he did anything spectacular….I mean, we went over, watched a football game, had some cold appetizers, and that was it. But there was nothing negative about the day, as far as I remember. He didn’t get drunk. He didn’t do or say anything to embarrass me. He was just Dad, watching a football game with his son and his son’s friend. That was as good as it got for him.

Oh, and this was one of the few periods in his life that he lived alone. My Dad hopped from woman to woman like a kangaroo in a jumping bean factory. And, sorry Mom, he had some fucking terrible taste in women. That was just another reason that spending time with him was so unpleasant most of the time.

None of that applied on this day. It was the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Cincinnati Bengals. I had no allegiance, but I decided I wanted one; so I chose the Niners. No particular reason that I remember, other than thinking the Bengals uniforms were silly. The Niners had cool unis; bright red with white and gold trim.

Uniforms. Can you imagine if I happened to be attracted to the black and orange of the Bengals that day?? I’d be a BUNGLES fan?!?! Oh, the humanity.

The 49ers were really never threatened in this game, opening up a 20-0 lead, mostly on the arm of  Joe Montana, throwing to the likes of the late-great Dwight Clark and Freddie Solomon. This was the rookie season for all-world safety Ronnie Lott, but it also pre-dates a lot of the names that you might associate with the great 49ers teams. No Jerry Rice, no Roger Craig. The Bengals would rally and score late to get within 5 points, but an onside kick attempt would be unsuccessful, and the 49ers were World Champions, winning 26-21. Joe Montana was game MVP for the first time (not the last).

I should actually call him “GOAT Joe Montana”, because he’s the best that ever played the game, and it’s not that close. And Tom Brady fans can kiss my you know what, he’s not even in the discussion.

Anyway, my love for the Niners had begun, and grew only stronger with each passing year. Through Montana’s other three SuperBowl wins (against ZERO losses….gee can you really be the best if you LOST three SuperBowls???), through the eventual passing of the torch to Steve Young and Young’s only victory, a trouncing of the Chargers in 1995, and even through the darker days when the team was a shell of it’s glorious past. And as every year passed, one other thing grew and grew: My hatred of those damn Seahawks.

Wait, what? Where did THAT come from?

Well, try being a 49ers fan in the 80’s, before the internet, before NFL Sunday Ticket, before you had choices. If I wanted to watch the NFL, I had to watch what games were on TV. And despite the fact that the 49ers were generally a top draw, and usually kicking the bejeezus out of whomever was unfortunate enough to be their opponent that week, I rarely got to see them. Why? Because of the fucking Seahawks, and the NFL’s rules forcing blackouts of games up against local competition.

Given that those two teams were in the same time zone, they usually played at the same time, meaning that we would only get the Seahawks game. So instead of seeing Montana, Rice, Lott, Craig…..we got Jim Zorn. Dave Kreig. Nesby Glasgow. Jacob Green. And whatever bunch of ragtag misfits they were putting out there this week. They won more than 9 games exactly TWICE in the 80’s. TWICE. And except in the rare case where they played the 49ers (remember, they were not in the same conference back then so it was once every four years), watching them gave me only one pleasure: Cheering for whomever they were playing.

Unless it was the Raiders. Then I wouldn’t watch at all, I’d just go and have a nap or something. I even recall cheering on the Chargers a few times. I generally had to go shower afterwards.

There HAD to be something I could do about this, right? Since there was no way to get less Seahawks games on TV, well, I’d just have to find a team to cheer for that I’d get to watch more often. Let’s see, who is in the Seahawks division?

The Raiders? Yeah, no.

Chargers? Hard pass.

Chiefs?

Hmm.

The Kansas City Chiefs.

Hey, nice red uniforms. Crazy loyal fans. And they kind of suck, so there is nowhere to go but up. And, most importantly, they play the Seahawks twice a year. And they aren’t the Raiders or Chargers. Sign me up.

The 80’s weren’t so great, but in the early 90’s the Chiefs made some headway, making the playoffs six straight years, and seven of eight. They were lead by future Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, the late-great Derrick Thomas, the Nigerian Nightmare Christian Okoye… and, for the last two seasons of his brilliant career, Joe Montana!! Montana took them to the AFC Championship in 1993, losing to Jim Kelly’s Buffalo Bills. That was a great time to be a fan of these two franchises.

So I guess I have the Seahawks to thank.

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The G.O.A.T., Joe Montana, and the author, Vegas, 2012

Someone asked me if this is my idea of a “perfect” SuperBowl. I said yes, although I will feel bad for whomever loses. I guess a truly “perfect” SuperBowl would be the 49ers kicking the living shit out of the Patriots, and next year the Chiefs beat the Seahawks by about 75 points. THAT would be perfect…..but this will just have to do.

So, who’s gonna win?

Looking at this as objectively as I can, it’s a really tough call. Nobody can stop Patrick Mahomes. But…maybe this 49ers defense can? They should be able to generate enough pressure by rushing just 4 guys to make Mahomes’ life miserable. Perhaps they can force him into an interception? Maybe a strip-sack?

Can the Chiefs run defense stand up to San Francisco’s ridiculously dominant running game? Can they make Jimmy Garoppolo throw the ball more than the 8 times he had to throw it in the Niners last game? And if they do, can they stop him?

It says here that they can’t. The Niners defense will hold up enough to force the Chiefs into field goals, and limit their big play ability. Mahomes throws in the direction of Richard Sherman only three or four times, but Sherman intercepts one of them and scores a defensive TD. Their three-legged-monster of a run game will combine for over 230 yards, and Garoppolo, despite having to throw only around 15 passes, will throw 2 TD’s as the Niners shock just about everyone with a double-digit win.

San Francisco 31, Kansas City 19

Next year, Chiefs. Next year.

(There is likely a stampede of bettors who just read this prediction placing bets on the Chiefs, and on the over).

Before we ring in 2020, let’s recap the great wine that 2019 brought us!

I hope all my readers had a fantastic Holiday season, whichever holiday you may celebrate. And if it’s Festivus, well, you have a special place in my heart.

A quick recap of 2019: The top 10 bottles (plus ties) that we enjoyed this past year.

T-#7:

96.696.5

96.496.396.296

T-#5:

96+

96+

T-#3:

97.2

97

#2

97+.png

#1, as we still chase that elusive perfect bottle of table wine:

99

Here’s to 2020, and here’s to finding that perfect bottle sometime in the next 365 days!!

Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho, it’s off to home we go…….

But what a trip it has been.

9:45 AM – Made a concerted effort to stay up later last night and hopefully sleep later this morning as we transition back to Pacific Time. I guess it worked. Today is gonna be a long day, as it will be around 2 AM by the time we get home, which is gonna feel like 5 AM. Will be interesting to see just how late we sleep in tomorrow morning (or afternoon).

Looking at the weather forecast we are clearly leaving the best place in the country right now, traveling to one of the few other places not experiencing a bunch of crappy weather. Travel is going to be a nightmare for a lot of people today, but unless something unexpected happens, it should be fine for us. It’s really windy in Seattle this morning, but by the time we land tonight it should have dissipated enough to cause us little to no grief on our descent. Fingers crossed.

Dean doesn’t like turbulence. Turbulence and Dean kinda clash.

2:00 PM – Packed up and ready to go, and just finishing up this beautiful bottle of wine.

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We get to the security lines, which don’t seem particularly long. There is a fork in the line (and a sign that says “use both sides please”). What the sign should have said is “Hey, Jackass, if you take the left line, it actually splits into four more lines that you can’t see right now. If you take the right line, it’s just ONE LINE and there is only ONE SECURITY POINT for that line. Choose wisely!”.

I chose poorly.

Oh, and did I mention that the damn security machine broke down for 10 minutes when I got close to it???

Getting through security took a half hour. If I had taken the right line? About 7 minutes.

Good times.

Anyway, luckily we were a bit early and we had lots of time to hit up one of the lounges, have a bite to eat and a bevy or two, and relax before the flight.

Another smooth boarding process, and very enjoyable flight. Our meal tonight consists of warm salty nuts, carrot and ginger soup, spinach salad, braised beef with mashed potatoes and a roasted carrot medley, and a multigrain bun. Oh, and ice cream for dessert. First Class is the bomb.

OH OH OH speaking of bombs, I got a little extra security on the way through as my carry-on actually had some bombs in it. Bath bombs. I guess that triggered some extra screening.

8:15 PM (Pacific Time) – About an hour more left in the flight and I’ve been watching Netflix most of the flight. Love it. Service has frozen a couple of times but given that I am on a plane, I am not going to bitch too much about that. Great way to kill a few hours.

Nothing else to report. Smooth end of flight. Smooth drive home. Smooth pickup of parcels waiting for us in Sumas. Smooth border. All went well.

2:00 AM – In bed and ready to sleep, but the cats are not down with that scenario. I can’t remember when I have seen them so happy. We are home, AND we didn’t bring the damn dog home. I am picking up the dog in the morning. For now, going to SLEEP IN!

7:30 AM – SIGH. Not exactly my definition of sleeping in. Oh well, I guess I’ll go get the dog and do some grocery shopping.

That’s it for this vacation. Hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as we enjoyed having it!

Until next time.

 

 

 

The last full day in Orlando – shop ’til you drop is on today’s menu, along with some absolutely spectacular wine!

8:15 AM – That’s pretty good sleeping for me, and it comes at an important time as we prepare to transition back to Pacific time in a couple of days.

Today, we are totally winging it. Off to Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) for the day, as much shopping as our wallets and feet can handle. We also might pop into the Magic Kingdom for the last time, that totally depends on how the day goes.

11:15 AM – Off to Disney Springs, not totally knowing what to expect. We know there has been a ton of construction, and we probably won’t recognize the place…but we have no idea how much it has changed. We do a ton of browsing and shopping, and then it seems like it’s time for lunch.

WINE BAR GEORGE.

Gee, that sounds like a place we might enjoy to have lunch. Sorry that it is sideways, but this is the wine list, most of which is available by the glass, and a bunch of the really special stuff by the ounce.

We order a cheese plate, some meatballs, and a ridiculous amount of wine. Three ounces of some, double that for a couple. Wow, what an experience.

Not often do you get the chance to have a bunch of First Growth Bordeaux by the ounce, or by the glass, and how about a 20+ year old wine from Lebanon???

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It’s probably a good thing we leave tomorrow, or we’d be broke if we were here much longer. Our lunch bill was just under $400….and we barely ate lunch!!!

5:15 PM – Back at the resort to have some dinner, a little more wine and start to pack up for tomorrow’s trip home.

With our fettuccine and meatball dinner, we had this one, the last red from the case that we had shipped here.

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Well, that’s it for today, and that’s basically it for the trip. But not so fast, true believer, we have some time tomorrow to relax and still have a couple of bottles of wine in the fridge, so there will be at least one more report.

We never did make it back to the Magic Kingdom, but that’s OK.

We have seen it all.

We have done everything.

We are no longer traveling during Thanksgiving or Black Friday.

We are very, very sad to be leaving tomorrow, but are very, very glad that we are leaving tomorrow.

Until tomorrow……

 

 

Back to Epcot for the last time, our penultimate (maybe last?) theme park appearance as the trip begins to wind down

4:00 AM – Oh good grief.

So it seems like I got bit by something at the Magic Kingdom the other day. I count four distinct bites, three on my ankle and one on my inner thigh, suggesting I got bit by more than one something….or one something that was really pissed off at me.

It was irritating yesterday, but it went to a whole new level of itchy overnight, actually waking me up to scratch it.

Unfortunately it also woke up the wife. Luckily for me that it did, as she knew where to find the creme and bandages that she so smartly brought along on this trip, just in case.

After patching me up, we both went back to bed, hoping to get another couple hours of sleep.

10:48 AM – Say what??? “Couple hours” became more than six??

And if you sleep for, like, 10 hours during the night shouldn’t you wake up feeling at least slightly rested? I could barely drag my ass out of bed.

Wife is still asleep. Good thing we have no plans today until heading back to Epcot for the evening.

11:30 AM – I have to go in and wake her up so that she has time to get it together for breakfast (and, actually lunch!).

I get an Email from Alaska Airlines confirming our flights for Friday morning; it comes with a link asking if we want to move our flights to earlier?

Wife and I look at each other…..hmm. We have already had a spectacular trip. There is not a ton left on our itinerary for this week. We had planned on spending some time in the pool, but it is getting cold enough at night here that the water is pretty damn cold. So maybe we look at leaving a day or two early, and having a nice long weekend at home instead? AND, most importantly…avoid traveling on Thanksgiving or Black Friday.

………

Done! New flights leave late Wednesday night, instead of Friday morning. Fantastic. Now to rearrange the things we still have to do……….

Done!

Exciting! Now we just have to find time to drink all the wine we have left 🙂

That got a bit easier when one of the big reds we opened up this afternoon was corked. We are down to one red, which we are going to have with pasta and meatballs tomorrow, so we moved over to a favorite rosé.

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5:30 PM – Time for our dinner at Monsieur Paul, the fancy French restaurant near the France pavilion. The proprietor of this restaurant is Paul Bocuse, who some consider The Godfather of French cuisine. We are huge fans of Anthony Bourdain and his show Parts Unknown, and Paul Bocuse was like a God to him.

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Paul Bocuse and Anthony Bourdain, filming an episode of Parts Unknown in Lyon, France, in 2014.

Bocuse passed away in early 2018, and of course it’s no secret that Bourdain also passed away, just 5 months later.

Tracey orders from the a la carte menu, I go with a Prix Fixe menu, which starts with this lovely chilled beet soup.

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As appetizers, Tracey had a fingerling potato salad with sausage and cheese, and I had an Oxtail broth with black truffles in puff pastry. Sorry I missed those pictures.

As our main courses, Tracey had Strip Loin with potatoes and fried pearl onions and I had Lobster Thermador. Both were outstanding.

Given our food, there was really no wine on the menu that would have paired perfectly with everything, so we decided to order a beautiful white and Tracey ordered a glass of a  red Bordeaux blend to go with her steak.

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I also forgot to take a picture of my dessert, which was something along the lines of an apple crisp, served in a glass cup with a sheet of sugar on top of it. The waiter then poured warm caramel on top of the sugar, melting it and blending the flavors. Beautiful.

Another wonderful meal, punctuated by great wine. This has been a hell of a food and wine trip. Oh, and theme parks too. So many theme parks. 🙂

We also got to see the Xmas version of Epcot for the first time this trip. As with the other parks, they put up a gigantic tree.

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A ‘trick shot’ in front of the tree, where the ornaments all look like little Mickeys

8:15 PM – Back at the resort to wind down, watch a little TV and prepare for tomorrow, our last full day in Orlando.