Dean Clough

March 28, 2021

Portico Darwin: Tupper Lake Trip Wrap

The last few days in Tupper Lake and The Adirondacks were warm and sunny, in the upper 50's most days.  I had a great last dinner in town with Bulleit Bob and his lovely wife Betty at the Tupper Lake stalwart Little Italy.  Great way to wrap up a great trip.  The food was actually quite impressive - I'd say Textbook, but it didn't have the vibe necessary.  Not Killer either, but approaching that.

For the many looking for a photographic summary of the trip, here it is.  Some you have seen, many you will have not.  I hope you enjoy the photos and videos - be sure to check out the impressive snowmelt run-off in two videos I shot on the grounds of The Manor.

The big Tupper Lake trip ended Friday with a close look at my quasi-dream home and then a foggy drive down from the mountains and a return to my home town of Albany.  Ah, the charms of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Tri-City Capital District.   It was 72, muggy, with gale force winds.  Just like California.  Said no one.

Upon my noon arrival, I checked into a hotel at which I've never stayed - surprising given the ridiculous proliferation of hotel brands.  The chain is Tru by Hilton and can you guess the target market?  Well, I can confirm there were foosball tables in the lobby, but the fact is, my room at Tru was the epitome of a modern hotel room.  Clean, simple, and attention paid where you want it (bedding, towels, workspace).  I can certainly recommend a one or two night stay at a Tru by Hilton should the opportunity present itself.

Next, it was on for something critical:  real Buffalo wings.  Ranch dressing?  Not in Albany, folks - it's the correctly-served blue cheese.  I reached out to fellow Albany wing aficionado, Steven Simon, for guidance, and I ended up at The Little Horn, which some fool had renamed Lanie's Cafe for a lunch of two beers and 10 wings.  Killer, and I'm not sure if I've had better wings before or since.  As with every other indoor venue I visited on the trip, I felt safe in terms of the virus - plenty of social distancing and uniform mask wearage.   

But now the big trip down memory lane:  drinks and dinner with first love Sadie Borger at Albany fave D'Raymond's.  In fact, I found my shrimp cocktail rubbery and veal piccata soggy - Serviceable is the rating, and definitely not Textbook (which they should be) - but no matter.  It was wonderful reconnecting after almost 35 years with Sadie.  We covered funny stuff and serious stuff, but we go way back, so it was like it had been more like 35 days rather than 35 years.  Thank you, Sadie - I can understand my attraction to you all those years ago.   

So - as I write this inbound to SFO - trip over.  I really started missing my superlative better half Julie late in the trip, but on the whole - amazing.  Thank you specifically to Dr. Shelly Murphy for my visit to her Manor.  Yeah, I did some Casa Integration work, but not too much and The Manor is a special place from which to hide out independently for two weeks.  Thanks, Fave - another special one for my already-overloaded memory banks.

News Flash:  Julie and I get our first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination this Friday in SF (big shout-out to Louise for getting us the info!) - on our way out of town to the next Portico Darwin adventure:  2 weeks in Palm Springs, followed by 3 nights in Montecito.  Get ready for a Portico Darwin unchained by a global pandemic - is the world ready?  I sure hope Louise and Byron are - they're joining us for the first 7 nights in the desert!

Nothing but crickets regarding my Guns blog - but that's OK.   Perhaps you were petitioning your legislators for rational gun safety regulation.

But it wasn't complete silence - not one but two kind readers loved my sunset photo on the ice from earlier in the week.  Both the esteemed seen-it-all Dr. Doreen Downs and the modern day Ansel Adams Dallas Money weighed in - Doreen thanking me "for sharing the gorgeous photo you captured near The Manor," and Dallas with the simply stated "That picture is awesome!!".  Anyone that has seen Dallas Money's own stunning photography -  often from exotic, global locations - knows this to be high praise, indeed.  If only he'd put his portfolio online - but I guess he's too busy meeting locals.

And wait - I'm not the only one out there having fun.  Fi and Hunter Deuce, A.K.A. The Jax Deuce, and inveterate visitor Ol' Purple Label headed to Carneros Resort, after a Bogus first stay resulted in Fi Deuce requesting and getting deep discounts for a return stay.  They asked the newly automobiled Ol' Purple Label to join them and the party was on.  Here are a couple of photos they shared - one is Purple's dog-like appendage, Frilly, poolside, the other of Hunter Deuce.  We all think he's trying to live up to his namesake, Hunter S. Thompson - there are not a lot of other explanations.

As always, I appreciate you reading this blog and especially appreciate your feedback, good or bad.  Just reply to this email, and yes, perhaps you, too, can join the ranks of those that have had their names devilishly twisted and their stories told right here, in America's most fun and informative blog (one can dream).   

After seeing Sadie, I'm definitely in a nostalgic mood.  As such, let's dust off Peter Frampton's seminal live album, "Frampton Comes Alive", and go deep into the past.  Yes, there was stagflation and tacky clothes, but no social media and much less division as a country.  Seems like a great tradeoff.

About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.