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About jpalbny

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Albany, NY
  • Interests
    Adventure travel, wine, food
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Silversea, Oceania, Uniworld
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Wherever I am going next!
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    http://jpalbny.smugmug.com, https://www.blogger.com/profile/01909358205846920309

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  1. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Jeff, your dinner looks easier to make than mine was. But it really wasn't that bad now that I think about it. We ordered a bunch of fish from Alaska over the weekend. It arrived today via FedEx, packed in a Styrofoam box and still nicely frozen solid. This is our second order from this particular dealer, and the quality looks even better this time. You may recall the picture I posted a few months ago, of Chris holding a pair of King Crab leg that were just huge - same place, another order. We have two more for a special occasion. 😄 So I used one of the halibut portions to make dinner. I heated some olive oil over a very low flame, with a bunch of crushed garlic cloves, lemon slices, and a few pieces of sage and rosemary. The herb garden was picked clean last night before the killing frost hit, so the herbs are now safely stashed away in plastic bags, in the accessory refrigerator. I miss the garden but I don't have to put on shoes to go pick herbs now. I cooked/poached the halibut over low heat in the seasoned oil, then added a splash of wine, lemon juice, and broth. The fish was served with the cooking liquid, over roasted potatoes. I fried a few sage leaves for garnish. We had haricots verts for a side dish (from Trader Joe's, Lois, in case you need another incentive to go back). Even though it sounds fancy it was less than 30 minutes from prep to table. It went very well with a heavy Rias Baixas Albarino. Very glad to enjoy this and not be on call!
  2. jpalbny

    Athens to Muscat - The Middle East with a Muse

    Finally had a chance to catch up on the pictures. Great stuff!
  3. jpalbny

    Silver Muse vs Seabourn Encore

    Thanks for the time and effort you put into this comparison. I found it very helpful. I've never been on a SS ship as large as Muse or Spirit but some day we will have to do that.
  4. jpalbny

    night time cruise of Budapest

    A bit non-standard, but there are public ferry boats in Budapest that run up and down the Danube. If you have a public transport card (the same one that you use for the trams and Metro), then journeys on the ferry boats are included in that ticket. You could look at their schedule and just hop on/off to cruise up and down the river for free (for no additional cost, that is). You could ride them both ways, or ride them one way and take a bus, tram, or Metro back. They are not fancy, but they are comfortable and have nice windows so the view would be decent. We rode one to our embarkation pier before our river cruise because it was the easiest way to get to the dock. We did this same trick in Hamburg a few months ago when we got in too late to catch a nighttime harbor cruise. We just got ourselves a public transport ticket and rode the ferries around the harbor for an hour.
  5. jpalbny

    Toll roads in France and Spain

    On our 2010 cruise, while out touring on our own, we unexpectedly encountered a toll road outside of Bordeaux. Luckily I had change to throw into the machine, because it was a dinky entry ramp with one lane and an unattended booth! When we had to drive from Nice to Paris at the end of the cruise, I made sure I had tons of cash and just paid with that. But I got caught with only an €50 note at a place that had a small toll of €3, and the machine wouldn't take the big bill. So believe it or not, my (then non-chip) AMEX card worked in the machine, but not my Visa or MC. Next time I will make sure I have all options available, and of course I will try to see if my chip cards work... Haven't tried this in a while but thanks for the reminder.
  6. jpalbny

    Lucerne extension after Rhine cruise

    We have taken the train to Zurich airport (from Geneva, not Lucerne) and we arrived at 11:40 for a 13:20 flight. We were flying business class so we had ample time to check in and clear security before boarding. It might be less stressful with more time, but we didn't feel pressed for time. It is Switzerland, after all, and they are fairly organized and orderly. 🙂 One tip - find out ahead of time which terminal your airline/flight is departing from. We had to search a little bit upon arrival to find the right terminal for the Delta check-in desks. Didn't add more than five minutes to our routine, but would have been easier to know where to go from the beginning. It's not a huge airport, but we had a harder time than usual finding the monitors listing exactly where the check-in gates were for each flight. They seemed less prominent than at other airports.
  7. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Terry, have a great trip! The 787 is a gorgeous plane; we flew in one to Easter Island last year and loved it. Here is a view of "our" 787 coming in for a landing at Easter Island while we watched from a restaurant just a few hundred meters from the end of the runway. Oceania had great food when we cruised with them back in the day but we haven't been on one of their ships since November 2008. Hard to believe that it's been 10 years. Let us know if it's as good as we remember. Enjoy Egypt. It's a magical place. My little sister is currently in Morocco for the week. Scenery looks similar but fewer high-impact archaeological sites.
  8. jpalbny

    Newbee Question - what to wear?

    We are, Phil. No worries. As long as you dress appropriately... 😉
  9. jpalbny

    'My Silversea' Page Problem

    Glad to hear!
  10. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Davey, I think you are right. But it all needed to get done. Had our first dusting of snow last night and nightly temps are starting to dip below freezing now. Didn't want the water to freeze in the lines and have an expensive repair job come springtime. I have to pick the remaining herbs tomorrow, as Tuesday night will be cold enough for a killing frost. Tonight the temp will be low enough that I am pushing my luck, but I am not motivated to do it now... Lois, we have a Fresh Market too and it's really quite nice. It was the first high-end grocery in our area and was insanely popular. But TJ's and Whole Foods followed so it's not as mobbed now. But each of the stores here seems to have its strengths and weaknesses. For us, Fresh Market is better for high-end stuff. We get our fancy tonic water (for Gin and Tonic) there as they have nice brands that nobody else carries. And their fresh meat counter is one of the best in the area. They have an awesome cheese selection. When we first went to TJ's decades ago, we tried a bunch of their prepared stuff and agree, we were not impressed. But now we focus more on basic ingredients and they really shine here. They have interesting produce for reasonable prices and it's a great supplement to the regular grocery store. Their produce items tend to be smaller which we like better anyway. I don't need an apple the size of my head, etc. TJ's also has a great assortment of whole grains. And I am addicted to their "Inca Corn" which is the huge kernels of Andean corn, puffed a little and baked to a crisp, then salted. It is so good! Their cheese selection is also pretty nice. We may swing by tomorrow to grab a few things, if work allows. Might wander by the hot tub tonight after all of that work today! Here's a picture of the snow this morning... Which reminds me, the patio furniture needs to come in tomorrow. More work! And Friday night's dinner. Pasta with capers and mint. A quick little Food & Wine recipe where I cooked onions, garlic, and bacon together then added tomatoes and capers. The mint went in at the end and it was all tossed together with pasta. Was pretty and very tasty, but ended up being a nice snack as we were hungry within an hour. Next time I need to make a little more, I think!
  11. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Kind of like what happens to us at Trader Joe's. Even if they don't have what we came for...they have lots of other stuff! Finishing up some beef stew in the instant pot. Made chicken soup yesterday. Has been a productive weekend so far despite being on call. Winterized the lawn sprinklers and fixed up some areas of the front walk yesterday. The latter is a pain. I have to pull up the pavers, and then cut the tree roots out from underneath, then recompress the base layer and replace the pavers. Lots of trees along the walkway so its it's a yearly task. At least I have an air compressor for the first job! Today I put snow tires on one of the cars and left the other for tomorrow. After dinner we will clean the fish tank. Sounds like more work than I signed up for!
  12. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Happy Birthday Mysty! A day to remember for sure, for both reasons. Have we learned much? Unfortunately as resources shrink and shift with climate change, we will have to figure out a way to keep everyone securely fed and watered. That, or much more conflict over water, food, etc.
  13. jpalbny

    Newbee Question - what to wear?

    All good, Rocchi! I can understand you perfectly when you type...: D All kidding aside, one time we rode the train from Edinburgh to Greenock. It was interesting to try and listen to conversations because it seemed like I was listening to a language that wasn't quite English. I could get a few words or a sentence here and there but large parts of the dialogue were foreign to my ears. It is hard to describe. It was like how I feel when I listen to Italian. It sounds a bit like French and I feel like I should understand it but I can't. I recently read an interesting piece on the Scots language. I had no idea. Now I wonder if that's what I was hearing? https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/scots-language
  14. jpalbny

    Newbee Question - what to wear?

    I have been LOLing at this thread for days. I agree, Pashmina! I love conversing with English speakers the world over. The subtle differences in the meaning of words, and the accents, are so colorful and interesting. On average, I have the hardest time understanding the Scots though. And sorry for the "revolting" slang, SS. Just need to keep up appearances by speaking badly! 😛 No offense (or offence) taken. I am laughing too hard to get upset.
  15. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Sounds yummy either way, mysty. Happy Friday to those who have the weekend off. Chris and I are both working the long weekend. And then the whole next week. Oh well. It's ok, less than 2 months until the big birthday extravaganza in Patagonia!