Bits & Pieces: Food

(Photo by Robin. May 2007)

We’re back in Sabbaticalville where the apartment did a fine job of heating up while we were gone. It was stifling in here. Thankfully it cooled off a little overnight and it’s not nearly so bad.

I uploaded all the photos I took on our trip home. Rather than hit you with them all at once, I thought I’d do a few small entries.

On our way home to the Bogs we stopped in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania for lunch. If you ever find yourself in Centre Hall, stop by the Whistle Stop Restaurant. It’s a cute little place that serves great food. The restaurant is housed in a Victorian train station built in 1884. They serve traditional fare (steaks, seafood, etc.) along with chef-inspired specials (such as yummy black bean cakes with a fresh salsa). The service is good and I’m told they have fantastic, made-from-scratch desserts. I can’t vouch for the desserts because I’m always too full to have dessert. Someday I may start my meal with dessert so I can be too full for the main course.

During the warmer months, the Whistle Stop has a covered (and screened-in) porch where you can sit and enjoy the breeze. Since it was such a nice day, M and I did just that. He had a vegetarian melt (mushrooms and artichoke hearts covered with melted cheese on some sort of hearty bread). I had their lunch special, a prime-rib french dip sandwich. Both lunches were excellent.

It doesn’t appear that the Whistle Stop has their own website so I’ll leave you with their address and phone number:

Whistle Stop Restaurant
104 E. Wilson St.
Centre Hall, PA 16828
(814) 364-2544

I’m not very good with titles

(Yesterday’s sunset from the 5th floor. February 2007. Photo by Robin)

It’s true. I’m not good with titles for these things. I sometimes think I’d be better off just numbering my posts to the blog. It would save me the time and trouble of thinking up something brief to describe whatever I’m rambling on about.

We’ve been having some gorgeous sunsets here in Sabbaticalville. The view from the apartment is marvelous. From the fifth floor we can watch the sun slipping behind the trees on the far off horizon. The sunsets have been coming in all different colors, an impressive array of blues, purples, golds, oranges, reds, and pinks adorning the sky.

There’s not much new to write about these days. M and I have pretty much settled into the routine of sabbatical life. While he gets ready for work, I start my day in the gym, hoping to go home in better shape than when we arrived here. I did an easy 3.26 miles on the treadmill this morning. Yesterday I decided to try one of the programs on the treadmill. The “5k run” would’ve been too much. The “9 holes of golf” would’ve been too easy. So, like Goldilocks in the house of the three bears, I decided on the one that seemed just right: Weight Loss. I tapped the button and the treadmill responded by asking for my weight and the amount of time I wanted to work out, as well as what level. I had no idea what level I should pick so I went for level 2. Somewhere hidden in that treadmill is one badazz personal trainer. I’m convinced of it. The Weight Loss program, a series of intervals using both speed and incline (in other words, going up and down hills, usually at a good clip), kicked my butt. The sweat was POURING off of me. I can’t remember the last time I had such a good workout. Probably never. I don’t usually push myself that hard.

The challenge was good for me. I did have to slow it down a little in the very beginning because there was very little warm up time. My body needs about 5-8 minutes of warm up time. The Weight Loss program only provided 2 minutes worth. Once I was warmed up, I kept up with the program, even somewhere in the middle when I wasn’t sure I would make it. It helped that someone else showed up to use the gym. Spurred me on, it did. Not that the guy was even paying the remotest amount of attention to me. Still, it’s easier to push myself with someone else there.

M tried the same program yesterday evening and didn’t find it nearly as challenging because the top speed he was given based on his weight and time was 3.0mph. That program had me going at 3.5mph. This disparity, even though we’d both picked the same level, is what has me convinced there’s a badazz personal trainer (BPT) hidden in there. The BPT must have taken one look at my weight when I entered it and decided to whip me into shape.

While M is at work I spend my days doing a variety of things. I take walks around town when the weather is nice enough for a walk. “Nice enough” to me is pretty broad. As long as it’s not raining or cold enough to cause immediate frostbite, it’s usually nice enough. Even then, I’ve gone out and taken some short walks either in the rain or blustery cold.

I’ve been reading a lot. It’s nice to have the time to read again. I used to be a voracious reader, gluttonously devouring two or three books a week. My reading speed has slowed a bit. One book a week is about my upper limit these days. Perhaps it’s the bifocals, but my eyes get tired and I can’t read for as long as I used to.

I’ve been drawing, collaging, and painting. I’m currently working on something that I thought would be simple. It seemed simple when I thought of it. But the actual doing has turned out to be more work than I anticipated. I’ll post a photo when I’m finished. In the meantime, I’m keeping it to myself.

I continue to have Mormon sightings. M and I went out for a walk on Monday and there were the Sisters, wearing long, black capes, walking towards us. At least it didn’t turn out to be another laundry discussion.  (Is it just me or this beginning to sound a little like Seinfeld and Newman?)

M and I are going away on another weekend trip. This time we’re going to the Washington, DC area to visit with friends. It should be fun.