Thursday night, we had dinner with Jonathan and Marjorie, who are staying in South Beach. We went to Casa Juancho, a highly-rated Spanish restaurant in Little Havana. The food was fairly bland, but the wine was amazing. Flushed with the joy of being alive, with my hernia no longer hurting, with the purple hue of my organ fading into the sunset, with three generations of Ingalls all together, I ordered two different Riojas, one of which was better than the next--I can't remember which. A 1985 Conde de Valdemar and a 1985 Marques de Murrieta. Some of the best wine I've ever had.
The place was very touristy. A strolling mariachi band was awful. The usual "Ay...ay, ay, ay."
But there was terrific strolling accordion player who was a real virtuoso, who sang Neopolitan street songs. When I asked him if he knew "Passione," he played it, and offered me a solo, which, of course, I took. The applause was tumultuous. Momento glorioso in mi vita.
Bess was amazing. She's 86 years old. The din was cacaphonous to her. But she is full of adventure. Marjorie and Carol keep kosher, and Jonathan and I will eat every living thing that crawleth upon the face of the earth. We shared octopus in garlic and I had goat. Bess tasted both, and even took home the leftover goat for the treasurehouse in her freezer (in case of nuclear attack).
I rented a bike, but it was just too windy to ride. But it's been warm and sunny, and our hotel is right on the sand. (Living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom for $95 a night).
Sid and Sadele were in Florida and we all had lunch at Bess's on Friday. Great deli from Schwartz and Heimer's. They look great (I mean Sid and Sadele, not the whitefish).
Friday night, we ate at Mark's Las Olas, a chi-chi restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. The food was exquisite, and the wine very good.
Saturday afternoon, we took Bess to the Fort Lauderdale Museum, where there was an exhibit of Judaica from the Library of Congress. We all loved it. Amazing stuff from all over the world--Bibles, Talmuds, letters, ketubot, etc.
Saturday night we went to La Paloma a new restaurant that Bess had heard about, but had never been to. She was the last Jew in greater Miami to learn about it. The rest of them were there. Still, it was superb. The food was not fancy, but top quality, beautifully prepared, good service. I had three jumbo stone crabs--food of the gods. Not The God, but the gods. For dessert, we had fruits flambeed at the table. Yum.
Carol and I woke up this morning at 5:30 AM, took the Tom's binoculars, and walked out into the sand to look at Comet Hale-Bopp. Spectacular. Looks like a comet. You can see it at 5:30 AM tomorrow, two fists above the horizon in the north-northeast.
Today we went grocery shopping with Bess, and we'll swim in the pool.
Tonight Marjorie and Jonathan may join us for dinner.
Home tomorrow. Lovely weekend.