Tag Archives: BLTs

Summer in the city: Airbnb and BLTs …


Since neither Ellen nor Reid gave me grief about the idea of their dad as an Airbnb host, I signed on the dotted line – although no one has yet to contact me about the spare bedroom. But the silver lining is it gives me more time to savor tasty BLTs on the front porch. 


June 26, 2017

Ellen/Reid: Well, I bit the bullet this morning and signed up as an Airbnb host. It’s sort of an experiment to see if there will be any takers and if I can end up being a suitable host. If nothing else it’ll make sure the guest room and adjoining bath will be kept clean. There was a little surprise in the pricing arena. Airbnb lets you set the pricing and then, before you take your listing ‘live,’ it weighs in via a price meter as to whether or not what you are asking is realistic. It knocked me down from $79 to $59 per night. And that includes a morning breakfast and coffee. The whole shebang is kind of a slick process that allows you to set dates you want the room to be available or, conversely, not available. I opted to keep quite a few dates open to guests – no kids or pets, however – but can scale that back if need be. We’ll just have to see how it goes. It does mean I’ll have to put in cable TV again since it makes sense to have a small TV in the guest room.

The first sizable tomatoes are coming off the vine so my daily consumption of BLTs is on a rapid upswing. There is nothing like a home-grown tomato. More than half of my production to this point, however, has been given away.

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This is how summer evenings ought to be spent – BLTs and roasted brussels sprouts on the front porch. As for a slice of the fresh baked bread that should be shown in the left hand corner of the plate, well, it was already gone.

That’s how gardens ought to work. In your case, Ellen, to bypass the poison of black walnuts, you and Tim might think about a raised bed that would allow you to steer clear of the toxic soil in your back yard. It’s a thought. I still think your rooftop has container vegetable potential, Reid. At least plant some easy care herbs like basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary. You’d enjoy those in your cooking.

Really looking forward to the trip to St. Paul and Minneapolis for the wedding. I’ll still plan on a rental car to share you guys the hassle of toting me around town. Ellen, no biggie that Afton will be in town at the same time. That’s cool. If construction of the deck is in full swing I’ll be glad to pitch in with manual labor and/or at least dispense invaluable advice for Tim.

A friend has invited me to golf in the mountains this weekend and it should be a fun weekend. He’s a good stick and is fun to play with. He has a home up somewhere in the hills. I might even lug along a fly rod if there’s fishable water close by.

The saltwater fishing has been nothing short of abysmal. I have not boated a literal game fish these last few trips and it is really deflating. Of course, the guides have been killing ‘em and that just makes me want to try all the harder. There is a strong chance I’ll head for the day on Wednesday to give it another shot. What’s particularly unpleasant is that I tend to do the same thing over and over; hit the same spots with the same baits. A guy was taking his kayak out of the water last week at the same time I was stowing mine and he had been exploring the flats and tidal grasses – none of which I’ve ever put much time in – and he thought there were great possibilities for tailing redfish. I have never seen a fish tailing. Instead, I sit for hours and hours in one spot in the kayak, catching rays (12 – 15 last week) and little sharks (a half dozen or so) and not much else. Tripp the guide didn’t have time for me this week, and this’ll be my final excursion for six weeks or so owing to Minneapolis and Wyoming. I find the lack of fish depressing.

Still have not secured my ticket for Spain. Got to do that pronto. Very confused by all the promotional fares out there – prices that come with ‘strings’ attached. Looks like $1,000 is the floor for tickets all the way up to $3,000 and more. Since I’m a budget traveler I’ll gravitate toward the cheapest options even if it has a couple of stops. But the planning continues and that’s a good thing. My packing list won’t be all that extensive. Everything has to fit into an 1,800 sq. in. pack. Most everything is already secured except for a few odds and ends. But Wyoming comes first.

Love, Dad

 

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My pad as an Airbnb? Maybe, but is washing sheets and scrubbing a bathroom really for me? …


One of the chief reasons I bought a three bedroom townhouse was the potential to lure the kids to visit the South. That’s been somewhat unsuccessful and that owes to them living their own lives with a limited timeframe to trek to Charlotte.

That doesn’t mean others might not find my third bedroom palatable for short rentals. It might be farfetched, however, to consider myself a hotelier. I’ve asked Ellen and Reid for the advice. No counsel from them as yet.


June 19, 2017

Ellen/Reid: I’ve enjoyed from afar each of your travels these past few days. Reid, NYC sounds liked great fun, and Ellen, you and the girls seemed to have a great time in California (even though it was blistering hot). Both of you guys just seem to get around. I texted Tim a bit ago and he reported the fishing has been slow owing to strong winds. Those would play hell with a fly fisherman. But the winds will die down and he’ll land tarpon. I’ll head to Charleston early tomorrow. I’m suspicious about the fishing due to warmer water but I can’t go down for the count without swinging. Reid, Cap’n Tripp the kayak guide said they’ve been killing it. But how? He’s been using a bait fish called menhaden that he nets from a boat but I don’t have that facility on the kayak. Otherwise, I’ve been mystified about where the fish are and how to catch them.

There was a nice article about Air B&Bs (sic) in the Sunday New York Times, and it got me to thinking about renting out my spare upstairs bedrooms. How would you two counsel me on the prospect of my pad as an Air B&B?

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I’m mildly intrigued at the idea of my place as an Airbnb. There’s more homework to do, however, before I agree to the idea of washing sheets and scrubbing bathrooms for others.

It sounds like something of a lot of work in terms of changing sheets and buying a TV for the spare room, and maybe cooking breakfasts, etc. But it sounds marginally interesting, and possibly profitable. Of course, the Times wonderful reporting lists both the good and the not so good (rude and demanding guests, etc.). I would appreciate your thoughts.

I’m having a tough time shaking some of the holdover weight gained from before the operation. I mean it’s not critical but it would be nice to stay in the same size pants for a while. It would also make it easier to hike next month. The pint of ice cream I wolfed down last night and today won’t help matters much.

Ellen, in two weeks I’ll be in St. Paul. I’ll still plan to rent a car so you don’t have to haul me around all the time. One question I have for you is: what are people wearing to weddings these days? I’d like to wear a coat and tie but if that’s not the norm, then let me know what you’d suggest. My golf clubs won’t make the trip. There should be a lot of Des Moines people there and it will be fun to catch up. (I just saw an article that lavishly praised Des Moines as one of the top cultural spots in the country.)

And then scarcely 10 days later, Reid, I’ll be with you for a day in Chicago (and hopefully on the way back, too). My workouts have been bruising but the gym work has to be done. There’s no way I’ll head into the hills in as good a shape as last year when the hike was a relative breeze. The knee feels pretty good for a change.

The lettuce out back is kaput. I’ll pull it up later this week. But the container tomatoes are going gangbusters and just this night I had a couple of BLTs, along with a beer. It was too hot to sit out on the porch. It has really been steamy here but that’s what you expect in the South.

Had a pretty good Father’s Day, capped off by talking to the two of you (and the girls). Those two little lovies just sound so refreshing and energetic. I played golf and started out fairly strong but collapsed like a house of cards on the back nine. Just can’t seem to keep any sort of concentration. Maybe that’s an age thing. I cursed like a sailor at some shots.

Here’s some news; Jane and Dave H. may walk a few days of the Camino de Santiago with me. Due to their schedule it may push my departure back a couple of weeks to mid September to accommodate them but that is fine. We’ll probably iron things out at the Furstenau wedding in Minneapolis. I actually think it would be great fun for those two to join me for whatever length of time. One thing I do know, Barcelona will be the likely landing spot for me since it costs so much less than London. The other thing I know is it’s gonna be here before you know it.

Love, Dad

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The dog days of summer and a lethargic effort …


Fishermen know them as the dog days of summer, that hot spell period during a sweltering August when the water is too hot, the fish too lethargic and the beer too warm.

Letter creation might suffer a similar seasonal fate. It was everything I could do to get last week’s single page out the door after letting the prior week’s letter slide altogether. I can’t recall another such energy-less stretch of weeks in the 15 years of writing to the kids.

To play on the fishing analogy, perhaps my beer was too warm. We’ll never know.


August 22, 2016

Ellen/Reid: I’m not sure what I was thinking, but for some reason there was no letter last week; you each got an envelope, but nothing was written. It would be easy to dismiss it as an age thing but it’s likely that I’m just plain addled.

Spent a chunk of the week in Myrtle Beach. It’s a nicer place than a lot of us give it credit for. You just have to get away from the 3-for-$10 tee shirt stores and water slides and other goofy attractions. Once you get off the beaten path – Hwy. 17 – then it’s a much more civilized place. But man it was hot and humid. It just drains your energy if you spend any appreciable amount of time outside. Walked over to the beach one morning about 6:30 with a  cup of coffee in hand and already there were thousands of people out strolling and looking for shells. The entire strip is something like 60 miles long and huge portions of it are wall-to-wall people and at 35-45 miles per hour, it can be daunting, and slow, to get from point A to point B. I broke my friend Kurt’s Loomis rod and will spend part of today looking at how to replace it. Ellen, I thought of calling Tim to see if he has any Loomis contacts that might take pity on me. Those are expensive rods.

The ceilings are now painted and looking good. Not sure if any more painting is necessary. Now it’s on to sealing the garage floor as well as the ever-constant battle against clutter. A relatively good job has been done on that score but there’s still a lot more stuff that can be jettisoned. I’m a little concerned

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I didn’t invent bland living rooms, but I’ve apparently perfected hum-drum decor.

about the lackluster downstairs living room since there’s not a lot of art on the massive blank walls but it is what it is. I’m trying to complete at least one house-related thing every day. Ellen, you mentioned staging ideas so I’m all ears.

The Harley ad was in this morning’s paper. Since the Craig’s List effort went utterly belly up, we’ll just have to see how good, old fashioned Continue reading

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