One week from right now, we will be on the train to Niagara Falls. In fact, we will almost be there, having just shuffled past Buffalo. Other than a drive-through this past summer, I haven’t been to Buffalo since 1994 – 10 years after I opened the Hyatt there. Victor made his first trip to Niagara Falls this past summer and we decided to come back in the snow for the Festival of Lights. If the weather gods are listening, we should get just the right amount of snow to make picture-taking fun. Not to mention lots of holiday shopping! The added benefit of train travel is being able to bring more baggage and not have to worry about breakage like with the airlines. And no TSA.

I am really looking forward to spending mindless hours on the train – we have lots of books on the Kindles, lots of music, and even a movie or two if we’re feeling so inclined. This ain’t the travelling of my youth – we’re doing this in comfort and style! I even splurged for Business Class seats from NYC. Senior Discounts! Total relaxation.

Slower travel really is the way to go. I looked into flying and yes, we could be there in about 1 1/2 hours by air – for more money – and have to deal with airports, traffic to and from, rental cars… The hassle just isn’t worth it. We have the train right here, and we’ll have a cab waiting in Niagara Falls to take us over the bridge. Most of what we want to see is within walking distance of the hotel, and if we need to venture far, there’s Uber.


Being gone for four days does pose a few logistical issues, here. We have to make sure Nonna has everything she needs, so we don’t have to send her sitter out searching for things. I made an extra-long trek to the store, today, to make sure her favorite things are here. I’ll probably have to do a brief shop on Friday, but most everything she’ll need is in the house.

Spending lots of time in the store meant I had to buy a couple of things for us that I don’t get every week – like a trek around the Olive Bar. Fortunately, both of us love olives in all of their various flavors, brines, and cures. I tend to just grab an assortment of them and then toss them into a pot with some other stuff and call it dinner. It’s amazing how versatile they are.

Tonight, it was ground pork, onion, red wine, assorted olives, garlic, diced tomatoes, peperoncino, and orecchiette pasta – salt & pepper. That’s it. As simple as simple can be.

I sautéed the onion and garlic, browned off the pork, added the wine, the olives, and the tomatoes. Brought it all to a boil, added the cooked orecchiette, the crushed red pepper, and then a bit of salt & pepper.

Dinner was served.

No need for any other herbs or spices, although you could add anything and it would be excellent.

A week away. Can’t wait!