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i will begin again
I spent New Year's Eve with welfy at Niagara Falls this year. We drove up Saturday afternoon and checked into the hotel. I had procured for us a "romance" package deal. In addition to the nice hotel room complete with fireplace, we also had vouchers for dinner at the adjacent restaurant and two breakfasts. There was also a nice gift bag for us containing an Australian (?) Chardonnay, wine glasses, and chocolate truffles.

For dinner, since I had the voucher, I decided to finally try escargot. I've always been an adventurous eater, and I even worked in a restaurant in college which served escargot, but I had always had a bit of a problem getting past the idea that it was snail. It turned out to be rather tasty.

After dinner, we drove around on the Canadian side for a bit then came back to the hotel where we caught a shuttle down to the falls for the New Year's festivities. It was cold and snow was spitting from the dark skies, but the atmosphere was lively and warm. Holiday light displays were abundant, most notably upon the Falls themselves.

Promptly at midnight, the fireworks began...

...but it was brief and underwhelming. I guess I'm more used to the all-out fireworks shows on the 4th and New Year's back home. The Niagara Falls fireworks show apparently begins in early November and they shoot them off over the gorge every Saturday night, which probably has something to do with it. By New Year's Eve I guess thy're using whatever's left over. But you'd think they would put a little extra oomph into it for the New Year wouldn't you?

Welf and I went back to hotel and stayed up entirely too late enjoying the warm glow from the fireplace. I woke-up around 11am, and while Welf slept-in a bit longer, I went to breakfast. When I came back to the room, she was awake. So we spent some QUALITY TIME TOGETHER.

That afternoon, stormodacentury and his wife dsptchrgal came down from Rochester to visit with us. I hadn't seen Stormo since I had trained him last summer. As you may recall, he was with me the night I first met Welf. I had only met Angie one other time, very very briefly in Boston. We went out to eat then hit one of the local casinos. Welf had never been to a casino before. I had never been to one... um, in Canada before. AFter goofing around on the blackjack table for a little bit, I was even at $100 CAN. I put all the chips on the two hands I was playing... and won both hands. So I walked out with an extra $100 in my pocket.

We all went back to the hotel room and hung out for a bit, playing with cameras and talking.

We blew that popsicle stand the next morning and headed home with a sawed-off .410 on my lap. Through the badlands of Wyoming, we killed everything in our path.

No actually, I had to be in the truck and back on the road no later than 10am so I could be in northeastern Connecticut by that evening, so we struck out from Niagara Falls around 6am and headed back to Dorksville.

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I preferred the QUALITY TIME that we didn't photograph. :^) Holy bed-head, Batman! I'm rockin' the reverse mullet.

And thanks to you, I want to learn how to play blackjack now. I caught the gist of it while watching but I figure there's more to it than that.

You'll hafta come to a casino with me some more then. There's two near where I live that I've never been to, yet :)

Sounds like a hot date to me!
You might have to get me drunk though. :^P All the bright glitzy things and the people were fun but made me nervous.

Great "quality time" picture, man. :)

Uh, snails. Do they taste like what they look like they're going to taste like?

Is Blackjack your sole game of choice at the casino?

Not at all. Then again, I don't know what you think they look like they would taste. For some reason I thought they would have a salty taste with a slimy texture... but it wasn't like that at all. It was actually, very close to other sea crustaceans, like clams/mussels; kinda rubbery, but not as "fishy tasting".

Yes, bingo, salty/slimy. How do they cook them?

Everytime I've ever seen escargot served in a restaurant, they're in this dish with little holes....

..filled with drawn butter, the snail meat, and I guess whatever seasoning the chef chooses. I assume the entire dish is then baked. This restaurant basically did this as well, but the snail was actually stuffed inside a mushroom cap and then placed down into the little compartment of butter. It was rather yummy.

I was kind of disappointed they weren't as gross as, say, vegemite. :^) The snails were confusing because they were served in mushroom caps so they tasted like an extension of the mushrooms in a way, with about the same consistency.

Oh yeah.. I do prefer Blackjack. Occasionally I'll play some of the more exotic card games just for shits and giggles... I play Roulette a bit because I tend to do well at it, it just bores me to death. I can't get my head around Craps.

I like the player chatter and game-flow of a Blackjack table. It's fun.

I wonder if player chatter is similar across card games, like blackjack and poker. I'm more used to poker chatter. It's agreeably self-deprecating and threatening to others.

Have you ever tried baccarat? I've always been interested in the attraction.

Never played Baccarat... mainly I've been too lazy to learn. For some reason I feel like I should be wearing a tuxedo and drinking martinis if I'm going to learn that game.

I can't say I'm sorry for the things that we done.

At least for a little while, sir, me and her we had us some fun

That sounds like a wonderful way to ring in the new year! Great pics.

Happy 2006 to you both!

It was fun...

...but I bet Russian River the Zoo was fun, too. It's places like that that can make me homesick for a place I don't even live. :)

sounds/looks like a nice New Years.
if they are made with enough butter and garlic, i love escargot...haven't had them in a while.

On a totally unrelated note, do you know what happened to doranosaurus?

did my curt, uninformative yet accurate response excite you?

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