New York Wine On Ice

Casey surprised me last weekend with a trip to Elmira, NY and tickets to the 2011 Wine On Ice Festival.  I had heard of this even, but never thought I would be attending it.  Essentially wineries and vendors from the fingerlakes region setup booths inside the Elmira First Arena ice hockey arena.  The ice rink is covered and the entire event goes down on top the rink.  ”Wine on ice” get it?

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Bunk Bed Restoration

When I was a kid I had a hand me down bunk bed that was my dad’s when he was a kid.  The bed is made of solid oak and can be configured as two  separate beds or as on bunk bed.  The bed also has a ladder that simply hangs over the edge of the bed rail. The bed has a simple light colored finish (semi-transparent).

I have had the bed in storage in my garage for the past few years and I knew I ultimately wanted to eventually restore the bed for my son.  Well, Tyler is definitely ready for a big-boy bed, so I started the process of restoring this bed two weeks ago. Continue reading


Tyler’s Finished Dresser

This is a Woodcraft Industries dresser that I bought unfinished.  I spent about a week and 1/2 finishing it.  The finish is a shaker maple water-based stain with semi-gloss water-based polyurethane (3 coats sanded between).  It was fun to complete… unlike the rocking chair you see beside it.


Gluten-Free Chicken Quesadilla

Last weekend, Casey and I enjoyed one of our favorite quick lunches, chicken quesadillas. I have been meaning to take a photo or two of these in the past, but I never remember until its too late and they are gone.  Luckily this time, I remembered before they were in my belly.

Gluten-free chicken quesadilla, up close and delicious

These are really easy to make, I make mine on the gas grill, which really melts the cheese and gives them a nice charred look. I also took the time to make us a margaritas.

Chicken Quesadilla with drink.


State College Celiac Support Group with Anne Roland Lee

Casey, Hailey, and I attended last night’s Celiac Support Group Meeting featuring guest speaker Anne Roland Lee from Schar Foods.  It was great to see such a huge turnout for this meeting too.  Thanks to all those that helped get the word.  Anne brought lots of free Schar Foods samples for the group to try out too.

Anne Roland Lee spoke about, “The Nutritional Aspects of the Gluten Free Diet”.  She spoke about some really interesting topics that Casey and I haven’t thought about, such as the topic of how a celiac might not be getting the nutrition that they need.  I didn’t think about it, but she mentioned how many of the gluten-free flours aren’t fortified like the glutenous ones, which are regulated by the FDA to be enriched.  This might be one reason Casey is still often fatigued… maybe Casey needs additional supplements to counter the less nutritious gluten-free flours… we’ll see.


Anniversary at Cayuga Lake

Casey surprised me this year with a trip to the finger lakes in NY for our 8th anniversary. This time she found a lovely B & B located in Senaca Falls, NY.

The B & B was VanCleef Homestead owned and operated by Carol and Brent Gibbs.  The B & B was very clean, relaxing and inviting.  Carol served up an unbelievable spread of delicious breakfast foods, including several items there were gluten-free.

Before hitting the trail and sampling wines, we ate lunch at the Ginny Lee located next to Wagner Vineyards.  This is a great place to catch a bite to eat, the food is great and the price is right!  Its also a great place to pair a Wagner wine or beer with some food.

Casey wanted us to visit some different wineries on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail.  We visited the following wineries on this trip:

For dinner on our first night in the NY finger lakes region, we ate at Suzanne’s.  This place is great; beautiful view of the sunset, excellent food, and great service (including staff that knows what gluten-free means).


Virginia Beach

One benefit of my job is that I often travel to Virginia and stay within 20min of Virginia Beach, VA.  So this year, while I was on business travel, Casey and Hailey came to visit me!

This was Hailey’s first trip to a ocean beach!  She had the greatest time playing in the sand, waves, and looking for sand crabs that you can dig up when the ocean waves go out.

Casey loved the fact that we go to go out and eat at one of her favorite (and gluten-free) restaurants, P.F. Chang’s.  Hailey was less impressed with their food, even though their chicken nuggets for kiddos were delicious!

Below are a few photos from VA Beach.


Baltimore Aquarium

Casey and I took Hailey and Tyler to the Baltimore Aquarium in the inner harbor.  It was Hailey and Tyler’s first visit to the aquarium.  Casey and I were shore that they the kiddos were going to have a great time seeing all the sea and wild life!  Well that last statement was about 65% true.

Hailey had a great time and wanted to see everything, but Tyler didn’t want to walk, didn’t want to be held, and didn’t want anyone telling him what to do.  He was running into people, telling people to move, and generally not a happy camper.  I guess it is to be expected when you coupe up a 2 1/2 year hold for a 3 hour drive.

Anyhow, once we got away from the crowded areas, Tyler seemed to do better.  He liked seeing the fishies swimming around and around in the huge circular fish tank, and liked the turtles in the rain forest displays.  Below are a few photos from our trip.


Hands-on House Children’s Museum

Casey and I took Hailey and Tyler to the Hands-on House Children’s Museum in Lancaster, PA.  We had a lot of fun visiting this time, it was a weekday and we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  As you can see below, Hailey enjoyed face painting.  Tyler enjoyed make believe land and the factory.