Recent Ride to Raleigh

Recent Ride to Raleigh

I 95 South–day before Thanksgiving (no one was hurt)

Claus and Franklin family at the Thanksgiving table.

The day before Thanksgiving, on our ride to Raleigh, this wasn’t the only incident causing a mega traffic mess. There were other accidents, and thousands of cars and trucks going south. We were in the middle, our muddle, should have left before sunup. Our kids, coming from Atlanta had similar traffic. Never before have I seen such a mess, and never again. I will always leave before the sun has risen. We passed a billboard that said, Would you rather fly?

Nah, flying isn’t the answer. The airports have their own messes. My best, stay home, at least on the biggest travel days of the year. Home is our favorite vacation spot. Like right now, by a cozy fire, roasting marshmallows, and

Grandma’s veggie soup specialty

delicious hot soup on the stove filling the house with aromas to make your mouth water, me writing my book and Tom writing science. It’s toasty in this place. A perfect place to be.

Our Thanksgiving home away, the Raleigh Renaissance Hotel, is surrounded by high-end shopping. Just walk out the hotel door, and you have scads of shopping choices, even Target, in the middle of all these gorgeous shops and boutiques. We saved the shopping for the day after Thanksgiving, which couldn’t come soon enough. I have some of the shopping in pictures.

We found a delightful men’s shop that’s also right here in Greenwich, Bonobos. Anthony was adorable while helping us, he fell in love with my green bling jacket, and here he is modeling it. Everyone in the store stopped and stared. Now showing off his bling shoes, me hiding behind. Anyone know where we can find Anthony a bling jacket?

Anthony showing off his bling shoes and Gail in her bling jacket

Renaissance Hotel lights not on yet.




Print book, eBook, Audible

‘Tis the Season For Hot Toddies

‘Tis the Season For Hot Toddies

Image from Wikipedia

It slides down my throat with the greatest of ease. Ha! Who said that? That’s a fallacy. Mom made me drink it whenever I got sick. Yuk. Her recipe was unique, hot water, tea, honey, whiskey, and milk. It was the worst. I got better fast. I had no choice. If I didn’t get better fast, I had to drink another and another. Horrors.

Here are the details, without milk, according to Wikipedia:

It’s called a hot toddy, also hot totty and hot tottie as well as hot whiskey in Ireland. It is typically a mixed drink made of liquor and water with sugar and spices and served hot. Hot toddy recipes vary and are traditionally drank before going to bed, or in wet or cold weather. Some believe the drink relieves the symptoms of the cold and flu — in How to Drink, Victoria Moore describes it as “the vitamin C for health, the honey to soothe, the alcohol to numb.”


Traditional Scottish preparation of a hot toddy involves the mixture of whiskey, boiling water and sugar or honey. Additional ingredients such as cloves, a lemon slice or cinnamon (in stick or ground form) may be added.

The Irish version, hot whiskey, generally uses Irish whiskey, brown sugar, a lemon slice with cloves, and hot water.

A common version in the Midwestern United States uses Vernors Ginger Ale, lemon, honey and Bourbon whiskey. In Wisconsin, brandy is often used instead of bourbon.

A common version in Ontario typically consists of heated ginger-ale, honey, and either whiskey or brandy. It is often recommended to heat the ginger-ale before adding the whiskey or brandy, otherwise, the heating process will reduce the alcoholic effects of the liquor.

Image from Irish American Mom

Hot Irish Whiskey

“My best friend who just happens to be Irish made this drink for me one cold night in Chicago and since then, I have been hooked! Warning: it is very potent, just one of these will warm you up and basically make you good for nothing afterward – what a treat! It is super to drink at night if you have a sore throat. My friend said this is what the Irish drink if they don’t feel good but don’t wait until you have a cold to try this recipe!”

Ingredients for one drink

Recipe by Trinka G

8 whole cloves
1 (1/4 inch thick) slice of lemon
1 tablespoon white sugar
3/4 cup boiling water
1 (1.5 fluid ounce) jigger Irish whiskey

I did not know that whiskey, when heated, reduces its numbing effectiveness. Did you?


  1. “Definition of Hot Toddy”. Princeton WordNet. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  2. Nigel Slater (March 13, 2011). “Nigel Slater’s classic hot toddy recipe”. The Guardian. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  3. “How to make a Hot Toddy”. January 3, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  4. “Wisconsin Winter Toddy”. Princeton WordNet. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  5. “Glossaries: India”. Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie Archive. Macquarie University. 2011. Retrieved December 16, 2012. Toddy: palm wine made from the sap of the palmyra palm.
  6. “Hot Toddies”. Conan’s Pub. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  • MacKay, Charles. A Dictionary of Lowland Scotch (1888)

Chicken soup made with love or hot toddy made with liquor . . . What’s your pick when you have a cold?

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in spring 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.

A work of art




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