Love Divine shipwrecked in the Caribbean off Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in 2012.
Rolf’s Restaurant Address
Three of us stood in line to get in Rolf’s German Restaurant at 281 Third Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010, in the Gramercy Park area of Manhattan. Rolf’s is renowned for their Christmas decorations and “October Fest” spectacle.
Rolf’s New York City Christmas
About 100,000 lights are twisted around garland and poles. Thousands of ornaments and icicles hang from the ceiling and walls mixed with Santas, sleighs, angels, and hundreds of dolls. Its screaming decor creates an ambiance that makes it one of the best Christmas restaurants in New York City.
When Does Rolf’s Decorate for Christmas
Rolf’s Christmas decorations are up from September to the end of May.
Rolf’s New York Reservations
Rolf’s is open every day from 12 p.m. until 10 p.m., and they accept reservations.
Our Experience with Rolf’s German Restaurant
We went to have a drink with our friends who were eating lunch inside. About 20+ people stood in line ahead of us. While we waited, it appeared that more people exited the restaurant than entered.
A man, who was waiting in line, approached the front door and announced that no one seemed to be manning the door and seating people.
Our friends inside noted to the host that a table next to them, that could seat six, was vacant. The host responded that the table was reserved. Ironically, our friends had partied for over 2 ½ hours while the table remained empty.
After 20 minutes in line, we decided to leave. Before we left, I ducked in and snapped a photo. I may be mistaken, but I wonder if Rolf’s German Restaurant keeps a line outside for appearances.
Manhattan New York
Union Square Holiday Market
Union Square Holiday Market is an Urbanspace project in Manhattan New York. Vendors sell holiday merchandise including Christmas ornaments, accessories, art, specialty food, and more. Stalls line the stone mortared paths at this world-renowned Christmas market that runs from November 16 to December 24.
My daughter and I tried on wool hats and scarves, smelled sprigs of lavender and perfume, handled jewelry and Christmas ornaments, and laughed at the pet outfits on display. Though we bought a few gifts, the vendor that we liked best was Squish Marshmallow, and it wasn’t because of their marshmallows.
Squish Marshmallow sells hand torched marshmallows that are tan on the outside and warm and gooey inside. Flavors include gingerbread, jelly donut, peppermint bark, chocolate dipped and more. We tried the chocolate dipped donut flavor that crunched, and the taste reminded us of s’mores. We enjoyed them and liked the unique concept.
But what we loved best was their hot chocolate because it tasted authentic. It consisted of cream infused with Dutch cocoa and chocolate blended with vanilla and a touch of sugar. The decadent dark drink was bursting with cocoa.
We split one, and it tasted delicious. We passed it back and forth several times, and it lasted only a few minutes. Our gluttony made me forget to photograph the drink. However, you can find Squish Marshmallow in Manhattan’s East Village.
Union Square Holiday Market
Visiting Union Square Holiday Market is an excellent opportunity to find something for everyone. If you didn’t make it this year, put it on your must-see list for 2018.
Visitors head to Mt. Washington in Baltimore, Maryland, to shop in a relaxed atmosphere, attend art workshops, and experience fine food.
Locals and savvy visitors stroll the village and duck in boutiques looking for that must-have. Shopping in this genteel town is like a vacation from the city and busy malls.
La Chic Boutique
La Chic Boutique sells consignment clothing and accessories including designer brands.
Something Else https://www.facebook.com/SomethingElseMtWashington
Check out Something Else for uniques styles and accessories for women.
Pasha’s Hammam Herbal Soaps http://www.pashashammamsoaps.com
If you are searching for herbal soaps, oils, cosmetics, shawls, or scarves, Pasha’s is your place.
O’Malley’s Antiques sells beautiful antiques dated from the 18th to the 20th century.
Art parties are big in this area. Children celebrate their birthdays creating arts and crafts, and adults attend “girls night out” events and bring their chosen beverage.
The studios run art workshops that accommodate the novice to the artisan. These workshops include painting, glass art, hand building with clay, and using the potter’s wheel. Instructors guide students through steps to create one-of-a-kind pieces.
The Painting Workshop http://www.thepaintingworkshop.com/location_mw.shtml
The Painting Workshop schedules classes and parties for children and adults.
The Painted Palette https://www.paintedpalettebaltimore.com
The Painted Palette holds classes for children, but they are billed as “Baltimore’s best venue for art and wine entertainment.”
Baltimore Clayworks http://www.baltimoreclayworks.org
Baltimore Clayworks teaches design, clay building by hand, and the use of the potter’s wheel.
Amazing Glaze throws pottery painting parties and workshops for children through adults. They teach glass fusing, canvas painting, and mosaics. Adults can bring their own beverage.
Local restaurants serve Chesapeake Bay seafood and multicultural specialties in a casual atmosphere. Foodies can feast on Creole, Japanese, French, and American selections.
The Nickel Taphouse http://www.nickeltaphouse.com
The Zagat-rated Nickel Taphouse features pub food, craft beers, and oysters.
The Mt Washington Tavern https://www.mtwashingtontavern.com
The Mt. Washington Tavern serves lunch and dinner, and the bar is a great place to mingle and grab some oysters, a burger, or a salad.
Woodrows Bar-B-Que https://www.woodrowsbbq.com
Woodrows Bar-B-Que specializes in Texas barbecue that is hormone and antibiotics free.
Le Bistro Du Village https://lebistroduvillage.com
Le Bistro Du Village is Zagat rated and family owned. They feature traditional French cuisine.
Ethel’s Creole Kitchen http://www.ethelscreolekitchen.com
Ethel’s Creole Kitchen creates Chesapeake Bay, Louisiana Creole, and Cajun concoctions.
Chiyo Sushi: Japanese Restaurant http://www.chiyosushi.com
Chiyo Sushi offers Japanese specialties like sushi, tempura, and teriyaki.
While in Baltimore, if you have a few hours to spare, take a trip to Mt. Washington. Whether shopping, attending classes, or dining, you will find that the locals make you feel at home.
When I learned about the Leonberger dogs’ loyalty to their owners and fondness for children, I convinced my husband that– it was not a bean-brained-paid boondoggle– it was worth flying to purchase a Leonberger puppy because none were available near us when our Labrador retriever passed. Anyway, we had sufficient airline points to pay for our flights.
I joined the Leonberger Club of America and found a breeder in Seattle, Washington, who had mated her female. Prospective buyers were often selected when the vet confirmed the bitch’s pregnancy. I submitted an application, and the breeder approved it, convinced that I would train the dog and not return him when he weighed 140 pounds.
The puppies were born, and the breeder picked mine based on temperament, knowing that I had two young children. Though some in the dog business ship puppies in cargo, I felt that it was cruel.
My daughter, who was nine, and I flew to Seattle to pick up our new family member the weekend that he turned eight weeks old; a pet can fly on a plane if it can fit in a pet bag under the seat in front of yours.
No one had told me how to fly with a dog. While I anticipated the adventure, “what if scenarios” revolved through my mind like a spinning top. I learned that traveling with a pet causes perspiration. Though we had flown out to Seattle with the Sherpa bag under the seat, I wondered what would happen if Fido was too tall or bulky to fit. Would they confiscate him and send him to cargo?
When we picked up our puppy from the breeder in our rental car, my daughter held him on her lap and spoke softly as she ran her hands through his coat. Separation anxiety caused him to yelp and yap during the forty-five-minute drive to the airport.
Though I paid his air fare, I worried that passengers might suffer from dog allergies or complain to the airline personnel about traveling with a pet in the cabin.
After passing through airport security, we took Fido to the restroom and filled his water bowl. He wouldn’t drink, and we headed to the gate that was two gates past our boarding zone, hoping to hide him. We placed his carrier on the floor, and high-pitched screeches erupted from within. I unzipped the top so that Fido could stick his head out. We slipped him ice cubes and puppy kibble from between our fingers; his teeth pricked our hands like tiny thorns. We hoped that food would distract him, and the breeder’s soft blanket, scented by his littermates, would soothe him.
He was asleep when they called our flight, and I had slung the bag over my shoulder and placed my hand over the black mesh end to prevent anyone from seeing the contraband. Only the airline staff knew I lugged invaluable loot. We boarded, and I slid the sack under the seat in front of us. When the plane departed, I took a deep breath and exhaled. I celebrated with a glass of wine.
The aroma of chicken and beef drifted through the cabin and Fido stirred. When the stewardess served our dinner, my daughter had taken her retainer out of her mouth and rolled it in a napkin placing it near her plate, After eating, the flight attendant removed the tray, and five minutes later, my daughter noticed that her retainer was missing. We jumped out of our seats and hurried forward to alert the attendant, who pawed through the trash with plastic-gloved hands and found it.
When we returned, I checked the pet bag and noticed that the zipper was open; Fido had crawled out of his prison. I heard the lady behind me say, ” Where did you come from cutie?” I knew where the fugitive had fled.
I rose and edged sideways out in the aisle, and I turned around and grinned at the woman behind us who had an escapee sprawled across her Nikes gnawing her shoestrings. She picked up the dog, petted him and handed him over. I apologized and returned to my seat. When I placed the absconder back in his bag, his soprano shrieks pierced the cabin. Sweat beaded my hairline. I wasn’t allowed to remove Fido, so I brushed my foot against the side of the canvas and hoped that I could calm the criminal.
The grey-bearded man who sat next to me crossed his arms over his potbelly and said, “I had no idea that you had a dog in there, what kind is it?”
I flashed a smile and said, ” He’s a Leonberger puppy.”
“Hamburger? Hamburger puppy? I eat those especially if they are noisy when I am trying to rest.”
I twirled my hair around my index finger and placed it behind my ear and said, “Sorry.”
The man leaned back and closed his eyes. A few rows behind, a baby screamed. I watched the hamburger-eating man open one eye and furrow his brow.
Though I had regretted disturbing everyone around us, I learned a valuable lesson on that flight: We had traveled six thousand miles in two days to discover that Fido didn’t fit. We changed his name to Harry as in Harry Houdini.
Though it sounds bazaar to fly cross-country to purchase a dog, I wouldn’t trade the two days that I had spent with my daughter exploring Seattle, or our decision to adopt Harry. He was great with children and became one of the best dogs that we have ever had.