andTisfor Too long….

Yes, it’s been too long since we last posted on this blog, mind you we have had quite a lot going on just recently! Since our last post back in August 2013, I’ve moved from Gainsborough, England to Columbus, Georgia. We got married just over a year ago (January 13th, and No I didn’t forget!!!!), then we had the celebration in April (more on that later!). Tara got offered a great opportunity to work in Cincinnati,Ohio, so in August we temporarily moved into an apartment in Cincinnati. Devon joined us for a couple of weeks to help us with house hunting. At the start of September, Thomas came across to join us.  Both Sean and Thomas started studying at Cincinnati State. At the end of September, we moved into our new home in Morrow, Ohio . Then it was Thanksgiving, with the invasion of the Dilda & Smith clans and then it was Christmas. So, quite a hectic 2014!

Who would have thought that when we started this blog back in …. and called it “andTisfor Travel, Tomorrow, Tony & Tara“, that we would end up going To Morrow. I’ve being dying to type that! Every now and again, I’ll try and get the phrase “I’m going to Morrow tomorrow” into a sentence. Little things ….! Funnily enough back in 1898, a guy called Lew Sully wrote a song entitled “I want to go to Morrow“, and even better, The Muppets performed it on one of their TV shows, back in 1976.

While I’m on about Morrow, it’s in a township called Salem! How cool is that? I feel a horror story coming up!

And, get this, we’re a few miles away from a small town called Kings Mills, which is located on an area of land that was, back in 1820, originally called Gainsboro! And where did I live in England? Gainsborough! Coincidence, I think not!!!!

Anyway enough of the history and geography lessons, this is just a short post to say that we’re back, so no doubt you’ll be seeing more links to these posts on your Facebook & Twitter feeds, or any other social network we might try.

Oh, and there may be a few posts relating to gardening as Tara has been ordering Trees, Bushes, Flowers and Seeds, Seeds and even more Seeds! This could well turn out to be the American version of The Good Life!

The Good Life









Please note that bloke has a spade in his hands, while his wife is sat down. Just saying!

But before we get onto the gardening, one thing we need to do, now things have quietened down is put some wedding photos up on our wedding blog and get some Thank You cards sent out. No we haven’t forgotten!

Talking of photos, I’ll finish with this shot I took this morning of two of the many birds flocking to our garden now that the words out amongst the Morrow bird community that Tara’s a soft touch when it comes to refilling the bird-feeder!

IMG_2073 (1)




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09/20/13 – Americana Honors & Awards Show

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And T is for Three months since our last post!

I can’t believe it’s over three months since we last posted on here, but we have done a lot in those three months, so we have got a good excuse!

I’ve now been in Columbus, GA, over fifty days and in addition to spending a lot of time (and money!) on getting the house back into shape, we’ve had quite a few excursions, gigs and road trips, so as things start to settle down we’ll be posting on a more regular basis.

Our most recent outing was to Callaway Gardens last Sunday, August 18. We took Tara‘s son Sean, and her two nieces Tori and CC. After a brief visit to the Discovery Centre, we took a walk to The Butterfly Centre. On route, Tori took on the role of cameraman(girl) for the day, here’s my favourite of the photos she took during the walk










Once we got to The Butterfly Centre, Tori was in her element, taking loads of photos, but never capturing a shot of a couple of elusive blue butterflies, which I’m sure were deliberately teasing CC and Tori as they tried to catch them. Tori did manage to take these:


So with Tori using the camera, yours truly had to use my iphone, and here’s my favourite:










And here’s one of Tori taking one of hers:










We then headed back to the Discovery Centre, via the Pioneer Log Cabinwhich was manned by two lovely lady volunteers. As we were heading back we had to walk over a bridge to cross part of the lake. And we all know what a bridge over water means, Pooh Sticks! So we all grabbed a stick, dropped it over one side of the bridge and waited for the stick to appear on the other side, and waited and waited, but alas they didn’t reappear, but Tori and CC spotted a baby turtle:










We finished the day with a visit to Country Kitchen









where we had some good old Southern food, including for me Country Fried Steak and Fried Green Tomatoes, but the highlight was an awesome Key Lime Pie with Muscadine Ice Cream. No I had no idea what a Muscadine was either! Well they’re a type of grape native to the American South. Having found that out, it seemed appropriate, in the interests of research, to buy some Muscadine Wine. I’m not sure what the reason was for buying the  Blueberry Wine, oh I remember, I love Blueberries!

So a good time was had by all, and here’s a few more photos from the day:




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Andtisfor cross the English Channel

So it’s Sunday morning and we’re in Bruges, on our first full day of our vacation. We arrived here late yesterday morning, after taking the Eurostar from London to Lille and then driving from Lille to Bruges.

The journey from Lille to Bruges was pretty uneventful, although we did have a little trouble locating the car rental offices, we now know have in depth knowledge of Lille railway station and its immediate surrounding areas!

Driving through Bruges proved to be quite a challenge with narrow streets, a weird one way system and cyclists and pedestrians seeming to have right of way! The highlight of the drive through Bruges was Tara’s bout of road rage at the, and I quote, bitch tailgating her through the city. She proceeded to tell her to go forth and multiply, that’s not what she really said, but I’m sure you get the picture (this may be read by kids you know?)

Anyway after checking into our hotel and parking the car we took a walk into Bruges. As it had been a good few hours since our breakfast on the Eurostar, food was the order of the day. One thing was certain we wouldn’t go hungry in Bruges, there were loads of restaurants to choose from.We ended up a restaurant called Brasserie Raymond, which turned out to be an inspired choice, all three courses were amazing, but the Shrimp Croquettes were out of this world!

After the drive and the hearty meal we were well ready for an afternoon nap, following which we headed back into town for a beer or two. The first bar we went in was named Cambrinus, who apparently is the patron saint of beer!

We then had a walk along one of the many canals in Bruges, prior to returning to the hotel. A word or two about the hotel, the Hotel Biskajer. Firstly we’d highly recommend it, the owners were very friendly and welcoming, the rooms clean and spacious and the breakfasts delicious, something I never thought I’d say about a continental breakfast!

The other thing about the hotel was that it was situated just twenty yards from the Chocolate Museum, coincidence I think not, but you decide, Tara books the hotel, Tara loves chocolate, need I say more?



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The Ale Trail goes European

It’s been a while since my last update on the Ale Trail and as I’m sat in a hotel in the beer capital of Europe, I thought it would be good to log the beers I’ve knocked off the list of 1001 Beers to Taste Before I Die.

I keep a record of the beers I drink using the Untapp’d app on my iPhone, so here’s those on the list that I’ve drunk since I last posted:

Tanglefoot by Hall and Woodhouse
Brooklyn Lager by Brooklyn Brewery
Honey Dew by Fullers – I had a pint of this last week at The White Swan Hotel in Stratford Upon Avon
ESB by Fullers – this was at the same place
Brakspear Bitter by Brakspear Brewing Company – I have this quite a lot at the pub in Headington, just down the road from my digs when I’m working at Oxford Brookes University
Anchor Porter by Anchor Brewing Company
Blue Moon Belgian White by Blue Moon Brewery

And bringing it right up to date, last night I had a bottle of Goose Island India Pale Ale by Goose Island Brewery and earlier today I had my first beer in Bruges a Brusges Zot by De Halve Maan.

I make that 9 different beers, which brings my total up to 16 beers gone and 985 beers to go, some of which will be going tonight!

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Tony’s Tart Marmalade….a little booze, a little citrus

Hey ya’ll.  A while since I posted so I thought I would share a latest recipe with you.  I have been cooking non-stop lately after taking a cookery class in fish that Tony had bought me as a Christmas gift.  (Smoked Salmon cheese souffle anyone?)  This recipe is an adaptation of a Nigella recipe, made a little more tart and a little more flavorful with one or two additions.  I strongly encourage a canning thermometer as the first time I made this I used the cold plate from the freezer technique and we could have cut the marmalade with a knife, it set up so hard.  And by the way, this really tastes incredible and is very pretty in the jar so would make a great gift!


2 Large pink grapefruits

500 grams caster sugar

1/3 cup honey or agave syrup

Juice from two limes

1 shot cointreau

1 shot jack daniels


Pierce each grapefruit a couple of times with a skewer. Place grapefruit in a saucepan and add enough water that they float.  Bring to a boil then simmer gently for two hours until grapefruit are very tender.

Drain the water and gently move the grapefruit to a large bowl (they are hot!).  Use a large knife and or a pizza cutter to slice the grapefruit as thin as you want it. Pick out any large pips.  Move the grapefruit and juice back to the saucepan, adding the sugar, lime juice and agave syrup (add more sugar or agave syrup if you want sweeter marmalade, we like it tart).  Simmer gently until the sugar dissolves then bring up to a medium high heat and cook for about 10 minutes.  Add the shots of cointreau and jack daniels.  Continue cooking until marmalade reaches the set point of 220 fahrenheit or 104 celsius. This should only take about 15 to 20 minutes more, stir frequently so it doesn’t burn.  Ladle into jars (makes about 1 liter of marmalade) and store in the fridge.  You can water bath and can if you like but we like to just eat it 🙂


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The Ale Trail hits the capital!

Three more beers from the 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die book (The Beer Bible) were crossed off the list earlier this week. On Friday Tara had to call at the Brazilian Embassy to drop off her documentation for her visa, so we arranged to meet at Kings Cross Station on Thursday evening. Tara was travelling by train from York and got in at 7, I came by tube from Ickenham and got to Kings Cross ten minutes later. Guess what time we met each other, twenty minutes later! Not blaming anybody, but it wasn’t Tara‘s fault!

After dropping our stuff off at the hotel, we went off in search of food. Eventually we came across The Balfour Italian Restaurant and well worth the walk it was too! Not only did we have excellent food, starting with an amazing Shrimp and Avocado Bruschetta, I noticed that there was London Pride (4.7%) on the drinks menu, which I felt sure was in The Beer Bible, so I had fine beer as well!

According to The Beer Bible, London Pride was officially launched in 1959 on St George’s Day, but apparently there’a recipe for the beer dating back to the 19th century, or possibly earlier.

So that was beer number 5 off the list. The following morning we walked back to Kings Cross to drop our cases off and while we were there we came across Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter series.


Needless to say there was a Harry Potter shop nearby, so of course Tara had to pay a visit. Whilst there she tried the various wands and she picked one out (or did it pick her out?) and it turned out to be Voldemort‘s. Read into that what you will!









We had an awesome breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien (by the way that’s a French website, let it not be said this blog is not informative!)at St Pancras station. As we were walking round St Pancras and looking at the various destinations of the Eurostar, we both instantaneously decided that our honeymoon would be in France. So I’d best brush up on my French!

After moseying around St Pancras for a while, we hit the underground again and headed towards the Park Lane area. We had a bit of time to kill before Tara’s appointment at the Brazilian Embassy, so we went in search of a beer. Not wanting to take out a second mortgage we gave The Grosvenor a miss and came across The Audley Pub

And it was in The Audley that I came across two more beers from The Bible. I had a pint of Tribute (4.2%), brewed by St Austell Brewery. Tribute was originally called Daylight Robbery, named after the first total eclipse of the sun visible in Britain for 72 years in August 1999. Cornwall was the place to be as that was where totality was achieved. (History, French, Astronomy, does this blog give value for money or what?).

The other beer we had was Doom Bar (4.0%) by Sharp’s BreweryApparently it is named after an infamous sandbank at the mouth of the Camel Estuary in North Cornwall, to quote from the brewery website “Sailors respect the Doom Bar knowing it to be unforgiving if met with haste or arrogance” remind you of anyone?

And that was beers 6 and 7 off the list!

Once we’d downed our beers, it was onto what we thought was the Brazilian Embassy, but in fact was the Residence of the Brazilian Consulate, not the same building! There then entailed a swift trek across central London to find the embassy. Tara was taking no prisoners pulling her suitcase, so I’d like to apologise to the old bloke who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, I’m sure he’s getting used to the crutches by now!

Anyway we arrived at the Brazilian Embassy only ten minutes late and were out of there in less than thirty minutes, so all in all a successful trip. Visa all set to be processed and three beers ticked off the list!


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Weekly Photo Challenge:Unique

A bit of a belated entry into this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge,the subject being Unique. You’ll look at my photo and think what’s unique about me drinking a beer? A common sight I hear you say! Well yes, I do like a beer or two, but this beer is especially unusual in that it is the only beer in the world made with whole roasted pecans!

Weekly Photo Challenge - Unique









The beer is called Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale and is brewed by The Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company.

Southern Pecan






The photo was taken at Countrys Barbecue in Columbus, Georgia.

We spent three weeks in America last year and I sampled numerous real ales on our travels, but of all the beers I drank,this was by far and  away the best!

While we were on our vacation,we searched high and low to find some bottles of this beer, with no success.


But,get this, Tara‘s just come back from a week in Georgia, and in her suitcase were two bottles of  Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale. That’s my girl! , soon to be my wife!!!!



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The Ale Trail gets religion!

Today I got to tick another beer off the 1001 Beers to Taste before I die list. I had a bottle of Trappistes Rochefort 10, we bought four bottles of this beer at the 2012 York Beer and Cider Festival, and somehow they remained unopened after the christmas festivities!

It’s a strong ale, with an 11.3% ABV, so it’s not for quaffing in a hurry!

The 10, in the beer’s name, comes from their density in Belgian degrees. 10 is the equivalent of an original gravity of 1100. Original gravity refers to the amount of dissolved sugar present in the wort before fermentation, the higher the original gravity the stronger the beer, Get In!

Ok, that’s enough science for the day,now onto history!

Apparently beer has been brewed at Rochefort in the Abbaye Notre Dame de Saint Remy (not only science and history, but French as well!)  since 1595. As with other Trappist breweries, the beer is sold in order to financially support the monastery and their charitable works. Well excuse me, but this monk looks as though he may well have undertaken more than a sip!










This is one of only six beers in the world authorised to bear the “Authentic Trappist Product” label.

With all this talk of religion, and what with it being the day of the Sabbath, it seem fitting that I should be drinking a beer brewed by a monk!

Anyway,that’s  4 down and 997 beers to go!

Trappistes Rochefort 10



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Weekly Photo Challenge:Love

It’s the fourth Weekly Photo Challenge of 2013 and this is only my second that I’ve posted on time!

This photo was taken earlier this year on 2nd January, just a few minutes after I’d proposed to Tara. (She did accept my proposal by the way!) We’d taken a bottle of Champagne with us and what better time to drink it then to celebrate our engagement!

Weekly Photo Challenge - Love


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