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January 2019



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Jude and Becky Came to Visit Me!!!

I thought Jude told me they would be here Monday and Tuesday. But Sunday at 6:24pm Jude called me from outside my front door. I was sleeping. But I quickly got dressed. I have known Jude for about a year but it feels like I have known him forever. I don't have as much contact with Becky, I'm friends with her on Facebook but this is the first time I met her in person. She feels familiar. Maybe I knew her in a past life, or maybe she reminds me of my cousin-in-law Karen Wald. They are both intelligent cheerful women with quick wits. That would explain why I called her Karen at one point.

We went out to dinner at Spicy Asian, my favorite Chinese restaurant. I told them to order from the Szechuan menu. They ignored my advice and Becky ordered the Chef's Special Shrimp w. Walnut. I had never seen that before. It was giant shrimp in a cream sauce with candied walnuts. Jude ordered some kind of tofu and vegetables in a brown sauce. I ordered the Fish Filet w. Special Tofu In Hot Pot. Which is my favorite.

Looking at this picture, Becky looks like she could be one of my Corcoran relatives.

After dinner we went to Wegmans for coffee. Unfortunately the coffee shop was closed! We hung out in the cafe for a while until we were kicked out. I'm going to write to Wegmans about that. There is no reason to close the cafe or close the coffee shop. The store is open 24hrs and if they sold hot coffee people would come in sit in the cafe, and buy food out of the coolers.

We retreated to their hotel room and hung out some more and looked over tarot cards. Then Jude took me home. I had a hard time falling asleep I was so stoked from hanging out with them.

Monday we went to lunch at Istanbul Turkish Kitchen. I ordered the Adana Kebab. Becky ordered the Urfa Kebab. And Jude ordered the Sebze Kebab. Jude doesn't like lamb, because of a bad experience. And every restaurant I took them to had lamb on the menu. There are only three entrees on the menu that don't include lamb. Jude chose the vegetarian option. I also ordered a Turkish Coffee. Where else can you get real Turkish coffee! Jude tried to order the Turkish coffee with artificial sweetener but they didn't have any artificial sweetener. Which became a theme of the visit. LOL. Jude and I split some homemade Baklava, and Becky had the Sutlac (rice pudding).

Then we went to the Foundation of Light to see the Stone Circle and the Labyrinth. We could not find the Labyrinth. I think they have not mowed it yet this year. But we saw some chickens at the little red school house.

After that we went to Phoenix Book Store, only to find they were closed and going out of business. :( We hung out on the porch and picked up some free books.

Then we went back to my house and they broke down some boxes for me so we could take them to the recycling center. I had been meaning to do that for a while. But it is hard for me to handle the big sheets of cardboard. They took care of it in a couple of minutes. After the recycling center we went to Wegmans for coffee and so I could pick up some medications. Then they took me home so I could take a nap.

For dinner we went to Tamarind. They were very crowded. In fact traffic was very heavy all day. Becky ordered the BBQ Pork over wonton and egg noodle soup. Jude had the Green Curry with firm tofu. And I had the BBQ Pork over rice and I got to have my Thai Tea. Jude tried to get a plain tea with artificial sweetener. But they didn't have any artificial sweetener. His Green Curry was so hot he ended up ordering a sweet tea, they brought him a Thai Iced Tea.

For dessert we had the Roti with Sweet Condensed Milk. Which is exactly what it says it is two flat pancakes with a drizzle of condensed milk. We also had the coconut custards, six tiny cups of hot coconut custard. Jude and Becky had never had it before. They were surprised when I told them they could keep the little ceramic cups because the restaurant would just throw them out. But the waitress agreed with me and brought us a container to take them in.

Then we tried to go to a bookstore but everything was closed so they took me home.

Tuesday we went to Hawi Ethiopian Cuisine for lunch. I had never been there before. It is on the Commons and parking is difficult for me. Jude dropped me off in front of the restaurant and parked the car in the parking garage. Which is all I really needed in order to go there.

Becky wasn't very hungry so she ordered the Avocado Salad. I ordered the Yebeg Alicha, which is a lamb dish. And Jude ordered the Doro Wat which is a chicken dish. I also tried the Sesame drink and the mint lemonade. The sesame drink tasted like halva, which I enjoy. A bit bitter, but since I'm used to halva it didn't bother me. The mint lemonade was green. I think they just put fresh mint in a blender. It was very good. They don't give you silverware at Ethiopian restaurants. The food is served on a giant sourdough pancake with a basket of extra pancakes cut into bits to use to scoop up the food. I had no problem with it. Jude asked for a fork. My dish came with Shiro, mashed chickpeas with Berbere spice. It was hot. And Yater Kik Alicha a mild dish of yellow split peas. Jude's dish came with Misir Wat, a lentil dish with red peppers. And Yatakilt Alicha, fresh carrots, potatoes and cabbage cooked with garlic and ginger. I also ordered the sweetened cream cheese wrapped in fillo dough and fried. Jude tried to get tea with artificial sweetener again, which they did not have.

We went around the corner to Autumn Leaves Used Books. Jude finally found one of the books he was looking for. He also found an anthropology book that had was very influential for him, and gifted it to me. I sat on the couch in the children's section and Becky read me a Dr Seuss book, "You're Only Old Once!: A Book for Obsolete Children". It is one of her favorite books. I considered buying it for my dad, but it might be to on-the-nose for him.

Then I took them to Taughannock Falls, and The Ithaca Children's Garden. They took pictures of themselves sitting on Gaia the Turtle. Then we took a drive around the new Namgyal Monastery: Institute of Buddhist Studies. It's not finished yet so we just drove around and waved at some monks.

Inside Ithaca's new Tibetan Buddhist monastery (pictures)
Buddhist Monastery rises on Ithaca's South Hill (text)

Then they took me home and left to return to Texas.

I was totally exhausted and I'm still sore. But they were very kind and considerate of my needs. If Becky hadn't been opening doors and taking care of my cane and hat the whole time I would be much worse off. I would not have been physically or emotionally able to do everything we did if they hadn't been so kind and helpful to me.

It was a great visit. I hope I was a good host and showed them a good time.

I swear Ithaca should hire me for the tourism board. I really love this town.

Now I need to sleep for another 24 hours to recover.

I hope Jude posts his pictures. He took some really fun pictures.


Tracy had heard about a wonderful Turkish restaurant in New Paltz, so we went there for dinner. WONDERFUL FOOD! And I had the Adana, which was delicious.
This sounds like a really great trip. Plus I don't think I've ever heard you use the word "stoked" before in reference to yourself. Makes me love you more.