Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wooden Rhino

The "Blakie" Langlais estate has been left to Colby College in conjunction with the Kohler Foundation, that is cataloging, restoring, repairing and conserving his art. Many of his whimsical sculptures are scattered about his 80 acres of overgrown fields and woods in Cushing. Soon in 2014, the estate's sculpture park will be open for public viewing. Graveling around the state, they seem to pop up just about any place. I do believe this piece used to 'live' on the USM campus in Gorham. Right now, the Portland Committee on Public Art is searching for an indoor home for his 10 foot standing bear. I hear there are well in excess of 3,000 pieces of his wooden art.
Where did he get his inspiration?
His father was a carpenter.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wood Work

A short trip south...
The Ogunquit Museum of American Art is indeed a hidden gem. Although I have visited the Barn Gallery in Ogunquit many times, yesterday's trip to this museum, sitting at the edge of Perkins Cove, was a first for me. Many of the pieces found within  highlighted artists from the once thriving Ogunquit art colony. There is a small collection of Wyeth's here, however Andrew's watercolors are a favorite of Elenka's, and they caught her eye. For me, the wooden sculptures of Maine treasure, Bernard Langlais (1921-1977), was the centerpiece of the exhibit. I recently watched a video and read an article about the monumental undertaking of cataloging all his work, in wood and on paper. Exciting news too. The grounds of his home and expansive studio in Cushing, Maine is going to be opening to the public this fall. It has always been exciting to drive by his home and scan the grounds for all the animals and humans. 
He even has captured President Nixon, with arms extended high above his head and both hands showing the 'V for victory sign'.
Kind of Churchillian.
"I am not a crook."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lobstah Colors

Know any good lobstah puns?
Do you know how to tell lobster buoys from lobster girls? Well, if you're looking for DownEast lobster joke this morning you're going to be going away disappointed. I've never heard this joke, let alone the punchline. In all my years living in Maine, I've never stepped foot in a lobster boat. Seen 'em. Heard 'em. Smelled 'em, but never been in one. Here in Maine find a tucked away harbor or just a small inlet and you're bound to see the surface of water literally covered with hundreds of lobster buoys bobbing away. If you are making your way among them, you better have your wits about you. Tangling your motor in a bunch of lobster gear can ruin your whole day! Now, if you're looking at a small harbor loaded with buoys, are you thinking how do I find mine?  Not the design. They are all basically the same shape. It's the coloring, Margaret! These look to be green, white with a single red stripe. The lobsterman also needs to have one of these buoys clearly visible near the wheelhouse. Tampering with another's lobster gear and traps can bring a large fine or worse. Like a lot worse... like the 'end of your life' worse.
Moral of this story:
Come to Maine this summer.
Get on the water and enjoy the sights of lobstermen hauling their traps.
Journey to the docks and watch the men and women unloading their catch.
Enjoy the iconic crustacean with lots of butter.
But don't even think of messin' with a trap that's not yours.
Know your colors!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Clothespins

Elenka is heading to Florida in a couple of weeks, and I'll have to fend for myself for a week or so. I'll manage. I always do. I'll do mostly mundane activities like hang the wash, tend to the garden and probably a little project or two. Or sure, I'll be handed a couple of 'work orders' from the boss that will or not get completed. I'll have excuses lined up. Don't worry. One thing that I won't do though is go out to a restaurant and eat alone. Stopped by The Muddy Rudder, after the Maine State Music Theater show yesterday, for dinner, and the gal next to us was eating alone. She looked kind of bored with her meal although, with the help of her cell, she photographed her entire meal, the marsh out the window and even the menu. I told you she seemed bored. Didn't I? Now, I do like my 'alone time', but eating out alone at a pricey restaurant is not my way of enjoying a summer evening. I can grab an early morning joe or an afternoon pick-me-up, as long as I can find a newspaper or a magazine handy. I know. I know. Some of us out there can pull it off. Many people do it daily. I see them all the time. But not me. So, if you're in Portland in a couple of weeks, and you happen to see a gent at a table by himself enjoying an evening's repast. 
Don't ask... 
"Could that really be Birdman?" 
"Should I go and introduce myself?"
Hurry along.
I'll take the pressure off.
It's not me.
I'm home manning the grill, taming a couple of cheese burgers with onions.
Enjoy your meal though.

REVIEW-
Yesterday's show at MSMT was a 'Don't Miss'! "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" was so entertaining! WOW! The dancing! If you find yourself near Brunswick in the next couple of weeks, check this one out. 
Better than"Buddy", by a little.
Better than "Chamberlain".
Best of the season, so far!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Book Sale

I like books.
I'm at home around them.
I like the smell of new books.
I like the smell of old, musty books.
I like to open books that haven't been opened in years.
I look for stuff.
I make no excuses.
We went to the Yarmouth Clam Festival on Friday afternoon. To save ourselves the hassle, parking fee and traffic, we parked at the Delorme Map Store on Route 1 and took the short shuttle bus ride to Main Street. If you can get away, Friday's a good day to get there. It's a work day, so crowds and families are at a minimum. Lots of sights, music, art, crafts and of course clams, crabs, lobster, mussels, bar-b-que pork and more and more and more. Let's not kid ourselves here, the food is the big draw. If you are lookin' to gain some lbs this summer, this is where you should have been this weekend. 
Back to books. So the bus dropped us at the flea market tables, and we did a quick look. Believe it or not, but most of the stuff I saw amid the tables, we have and are trying to get rid of too. You see, we're on this cleaning the house of crap kick these days.
Next, we ventured over to the used books' tables. I told Elenka that I was 'heading in' and I'd catch up with her in a while. Over my shoulder, I think I saw her roll her eyes. At home she's busily dumping books and assorted clutter, and I'm happily still in a collecting trance. She already seemed restless, so I didn't stay at the tables long. If she's waiting, I better move right along.
Believe me.
We make a good team.
But don't ask me to explain it.
Some mysteries are still unsolved. 
Don't Blink!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Say Poult

I like Saturdays. Don't ask we why. I just do. Always have been special, whether I'm working or not. Fun, like this flying ferris wheel, high in the sky. Ok, wait a minute two wild turkeys just walked through the back yard dragging along 15 baby turkeys. Fifteen! So I scrambled to the Internet. What do we call baby turkeys? They are called poults. I, as many do, often curse the time I spend on my computer, but I've got to say it does put the world, we live in, at our fingertips. It took me less than 10 seconds, literally, to find the word poult. Without this machine in my lap, I would have been digging through an encyclopedia (remember them) for 10 minutes or so and would be lucky to decipher anything. I read about flocks and herds all the time but poults? That's a new one for me. In five minutes time, they had moved diagonally through the yard and were gone.
See Saturdays are special.
Why?
I'll tell you some other time.
Today, I'm going to relish this new word.
Poult.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Apple Wagon

I love apples, but in July I'm not thinking apple orchards and cider.  However, if you grow apples for a living, I bet you 'thinking apples' every single day. The farm up in Lisbon was an apple farm with hundreds of acres of trees. I've visited quite a few times but can't remember when wagons like this one rolled through the orchard  stacked high with wooden bushel crates. Growing up, when the bushel crate of apples got low in the darkened closet off the dining room, we'd all pile in the station wagon on a Sunday afternoon and head to Terison's Orchards in Cumberland and spend the afternoon climbing the trees and picking apples.
I always favored the Golden Delicious.
The bushel baskets we brought home were always filled to the brim with Macs, but Mom always made sure there was a peck bag of the goldens.
Just for me.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Kid Among Books

Here's some side banter back and forth, overheard between mother and child at a recently opened bookstore in the Old Port. A young girl, maybe ten, is sitting on a front counter in the afternoon sun. 
"Mom, I know what I want. I need to get one more thing. You promised."
Mom mentions, "Did you see those  silver, trinket bracelets in the back?"
The young girl kicking her feet to and fro, with a look like she's lost in another world says, "Mom, I know what I want."
Her mother returns with, "So, what do you want? Have you seen a book? We've gotta go. We're late now."
Nonchalantly, she answers, "No, but I'll know when I see it."
Promises and tired kids just aren't a good combination, when you're on vacation. 
I'm experienced in this.
Aren't we all?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Five Strong.

We've got a pretty symbolic tree here. If you were to walk around this tree, you'd see that there are probably about 8-10 of these main shoots heading up from the base. It resembles, to me, a true family tree. Take our family, for instance. There are five of us kids. All, for the most part, coming from the same base. Like most families, we're not the cookie-cuter variety. We come some different shapes and sizes. We have our likes and dislikes. Some have said, looking at us five, "Oh you're a lot like her, oh you and him have so much in common." When I look back to Mom and Dad, I see qualities of each of them ingrained in me and the others. Some so positive, it makes me so proud. At other times, some non-flattering aspect will show its head, and I just try to look away. But it's who we are; where we've come from. 
Pretty simple really. 
Five different.
Five unique.
Five strong.
Mom and Dad, good work.
Five, still reaching for the sky.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kids Today

"The Kids Are Alright" by the Who

Don't think adults have a big influence over kids today? This photograph will probably disprove your theorem.

On my Birthday, I'm taking a look, over my shoulder at some of what I left behind. A little bit more about me today... revealed.
Definition: bittersweet- both pleasant and painful or regretful: a bittersweet memory.

On another note, Elenka and I had a wonderful evening last night at the Salt Water Grille with Brattcat and SCreech and their husbands.
Now, I'm off to enjoy my day.
YOU enjoy it too!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afam2nIae4o&feature=kp

Monday, July 14, 2014

Back Door

An afternoon trip to Lisbon yesterday brought me here. The front of this classic New England barn seems newly painted, sort of a soft, weathered yellow. Walk to the rear, and you're faced with this, tall weathered boards with a ramp covered with moss and weed growth. This was a little surprise. A view not seen from the farmhouse itself. My sister Connie from Lakeland (Lakeland checking in) and her husband Irv are visiting Maine for a few weeks. They travel in a 35 foot camper and make the trip in 2 days, 14 hours the first day and 10 the second. I'm sure it has most of the comforts of home, and for someone who likes the 'adventure' of the open road, I'd like to think that I'd enjoy the motoring around. 
Factor in the gas and upkeep though...
The jury's still out on this for me.
It was a wonderful afternoon of 'catching up', and Amato's Italians were on the menu.
Marchin and his wife Donna and Elenka and I ventured together to Lisbon.
I even got to meet Max, a Yorkie.
Family time is time well spent.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bike Trail

There was a time...
This is a piece of the Back Cove bike trail. You can jump on it many places. For example, you can park your vehicle just off Marginal Way and take a spin around Baxter Boulevard, over Tukey's Bridge,  along the Waste Treatment Plant, down a slight hill, and enjoy the view of open water to your left. You traverse this quarter mile stretch to East End Beach and the then it is a straight-a-way to the Old Port, with stunning views of forts, lighthouses, islands, the Portland Yacht Club and Maine's Narrow Gauge Railroad train and museum.
All these views are free, except the train ride and museum.
What a deal!
Lunch in the Old Port!
Shopping!
Sightseeing!
Downside for some?
You need to pedal back to your car.
Boo hoo!

My J.C. Higgins, with silver fenders, would have made this trip in no time!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Trestle

Saturday night was often a 'night out on the town' for our family. Usually, it was a quick trip over to Starfford Farms ice cream stand in Scarborough ( I was on an orange sherbet kick) and then the cream-colored with red trim station wagon headed back to the city. Our destination? Eastern Prom. And what was the immense highlight of our Saturday evening? That was easy... looking off to the left and waiting for the thick black smoke of the Mountain Division locomotive to appear, as it made its way across the black trestle near Burnham and Morrill Baked Beans Company (see chimney to left of trestle) to the Grand Trunk Station.
Watching that approaching black smoke. 
Now, THAT was an exciting night out!
The trestle's still there, albeit turned side ways to discourage trespassers.
I heard there's an osprey nest out there somewhere.
In younger days, I would have headed out.
Thought better about it this morning.
These days, I'm foolish, not stupid.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Paddling

We stopped by East End Beach yesterday early. It was warm already, and Casco Bay was almost glass-like calm. Perfect conditions for a morning adventure upon the bay. Portland Paddle operates out of this area. They have a large selections of small craft to rent, but they really cater to sea kayakers and paddle boarders. I have never kayaked, but could see me taking a chance with this activity, however I just don't understand standing on a surfboard and paddling around. Sounds and looks like an activity invented for lazy surfers.
Hahahahahaha! 
I better not say anything further.
Oh well, we took about a mile walk along the water.
It's an area of the city that I had never investigated before.
Nice little adventure.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Garden Wear

I like hats. If you are a follower of this blog you know this. I like new hats. I like hats that show a bit of age. At a vintage clothing store, I'm game for all kinds of headwear. Well, I like to try them on and make stupid faces. Here, up at the garden, is my latest fashion foray to fight the sun while working the weeds. I can't recall where it came from. I think it might have been something J- picked up along the way in HS, or perhaps a item pulled from some seventh grader to wear on a Halloween version of a Friday morning in-house TV show that I've been affiliated with over the last 20 hers or so.
LockerTalk? 
Do you really want to know?
Maybe someday...
For now, it'll suffice as garden wear. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Justin

You're A Big Boy Now!

When I look back on these last 28 years, I'm totally amazed at where and how fast you have progressed to today. I remember leaving MMC sometime after 11PM back then, in some controlled state of euphoria. The night was a typical July night for Maine, warm and muggy. I walked around the Bramhall area and wished I could head to West Street and see my Dad, but he was, believe it or not, off on a Canadian camping trip. After a brief walk to nowhere to work off some adrenaline, I headed back to the parking lot for my car. When I reached it, I do remember searching out lit windows in the large hospital behind me and wondering if that was, indeed, the room that held my new born son. I picked out a window and said that had to be it. I felt the widest grin coming across my face. I do believe it remained there, in some state, the duration of my trip back to Gorham.
It WAS a night that will remain with me forever.
Two songs are etched in my mind about July 9, 1986.
One, that night, was John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy".
It brings me to tears each time I hear it to this day.
And today, the melodic sounds of the Lovin' Spoonful's "You're A Big Boy Now" echo about the room.
... and Justin, you are.
Love always, Dad.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brL7h6O7mhw
What do you think?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

4th Floor

Here's something a bit different from me. This image was taken with my cell, out a dirty, 4th floor window looking towards Tukey's Bridge, off in the distance at the upper left. Can you see a fog bank moving in from Casco Bay? This picture was taken from what we call the West End off towards the East End or the Eastern Prom area of town. I'm teaching myself a little bit of history this morning. I always thought Tukeys referred to 'two keys' that came together, fusing the neighborhoods of East Deering and Munjoy Hill. I was very wrong! The bridge, built in 1960 is named after Lemuel Tukey, a tax collector from the Back Cove neighborhood of the city in the Eighteenth Century. 
Shows you what I know.
Two keys... Sheeeeesh!
What was I thinking?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lily Pads

Well, if each of these pads has a couple of frogs associated with it, and they all went a walking, that would be one thing. But if these "Froggies All Went A-Courtin'", there would be one heck of a crowded frog pond here in less than 21 days. The traditional English folk tune"A Frog Went A-Courting" dates all the way back to 1548 and has many alternate titles and lyrics. As you might imagine, it is also found in many different countries and languages. Mom taught it to me as "A Frog Went A-Walking". My guess is that she just didn't want to bring into the conversation the added vocabulary exercise that would have surrounded the word 'courtin'.
Outta of sight; outta mind?
Who was she kidding?
Did anyone one else have it among their kiddie soundtrack?
Heck, even Dylan has a version on one of his albums. 

"...And what do you think they had for supper?
 A fried mosquito and bread and butter! 
A-hum, a-hum."

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Arbor

There was a band called The Arbors in the Sixties that had some cover songs, even a minor hit with something called "A Symphony for Susan". They sounded a bit like the The Association, no instruments, just melodic singing.  Anyone remember The Arbors? Didn't think so. Why do I?

Arbor Day is the last Friday in April every year. Go plant a tree! Most people think tree planting is a good idea, but we plant trees anytime we get the urge these days.  We don't need to be directed. Once my Dad brought over two small pine seedlings he got from a local bank. We planted them Easter Sunday morning in 1978. They were both 6 inches high. Today, they stretch, just off the deck, to about 60 feet. Amazing!

My grandparents had a white picket fence with an arbor situated in the middle of their backyard. I used to climb and swing on it in my more energetic days. Looking over my shoulder at her, my grandmother would just smile and shake her head. Her little monkey...
One small word 'arbor'.
Remarkable, where it takes you.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Open

... for insults!
If you were 'attacked' over a few brews and hotdogs yesterday, you should have been prepared with these comebacks to fire.
All with a Shakespearean slant. 
"You are but a mountain of mad flesh."
"Light of Brain."
"Thou art a boil."
" O gull, O dolt, as ignorant as dirt."
"Roast meat for worms."
"False of Heart, Light of Ear, Bloody of Hand."
"a Lump of foul Deformity."
"All Eyes and no Sight."
"Bolting Hutch of Beastliness."
'Thou Art a Boil."
"Long tongued, babbling Gossip."
"An Infinite and Endless liar."
"Quintessense of Dust."
"Beetled-headed, flap-eared Knave."
"Canker-blossom."
"The Soul of this Man is his Clothes."
"I do Desire we become Better Strangers."

Hopefully, no real  fireworks erupted.
All in good fun, my pretty.



Friday, July 4, 2014

Beach Fries

Happy 4th of July!
I'm staying clear from this scene today. Too crazy!
Heading to Bon and Paulie's for their annual cookout and fireworks soiree. Always fun to be with them and their friends from their large ballroom dancing contingent. Peter, Marchin and Donna will make the scene with us, along with J- and Yelena. Should be interesting. The last time we were there, Rescue had to be called. Not for us though. There was a 55-something 'jumper', who thought it a wise act to jump from a second floor deck to catch a shuttlecock (aka birdie) mid-flight in an intense badminton game. For him, it WAS fueled by 'demon alcohol'. That evening, one of the 'Apostles' almost fell in love with a young EMC gal, while she was checking vital signs. In Peter's world, it was a 'love story'.  
On a side note, the group from school who did all the cooking at my retirement party is doing the grilling. 
Yes, that night, they even had deep fried, french fries!
Not REAL beach fries but close.

Bulletin Bulletin-Bulletin-
*Barbecue pushed back a day until the 5th.
Happy 5th!
Thanks, Arthur!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Willard Worries


So, why the long face buddy?
Let's see. You're at Willard Beach. It is July. The temperature is hovering close to 85. The sun is out. A gentle breeze is blowing. Your wife or girlfriend is by your side. No cost to park your car. There is a snack shack dispensing food nearby. There are restrooms. The tide is coming in. I hope there is a book in your lap, because if not you are ruining a perfectly fine beach day.
Now, I could speculate.
I have lots of ideas on how your day went off the rails.
I'll keep positive. 
Probably just dwelling on the latest installment of "Orange is the New Black" 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fifteen for Two

"Fifteen for two..."
Whenever my grandmother's brother, Howard, and family ventured down, summers, from Prince Edward Island (PEI), two things were a given. There would be loud dancing on the linoleumed kitchen floor to fiddle music and boisterous cribbage games long into the night. When I was about 10, my grandfather taught me the basics of the game, and we played many 'open' hands, as he attempted to teach the 'counting' of the cards. While in IA class at Lincoln Junior High School, I made a cribbage board, along with the guidance of teacher, Willis Hancock. Later, working at Evergreen Cemetery to earn college tuition, lunch breaks were filled with games of cribbage with the old-timers. I sat, watched and asked questions. I really learned and played the game there and got quite good. Many days, I played and played and never opened and ate lunch. The game is captivating to say the least.
Alas, I haven't taken to the board in years, but...
I plan a return 'visit' to the game this summer.
I hear there are very cool 'free' cribbage apps for my phone too.
Got a great traditional board also, at the ready.
Set to play... well, relearn.
Now, don't get me going on Hearts.
"Go"

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Theme Day: Celebrating Summer

Today, July 1, 2014, is Theme Day across the citydailyphoto(CDP) community. It is a world-wide photo blog that I joined in 2008 and have posted on every day since. I haven't missed a day. I'm pretty proud of that. Today's theme was too easy. If you live in Maine from June to September, you are always 'celebrating summer'. At least, I am. They call it Vacationland on our license plate, but I just call it HOME.
There's got to be a reason.
Discovered it yet? 
S. Creech has.
To Summer!

Location: Dolphin Marina Restaurant, Harpswell, ME

Monday, June 30, 2014

Brigadier General

We attended "Chamberlain: A Civil War Romance" at the Maine State Music Theater yesterday afternoon. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (1828-1914) was quite a guy. I'd have to say he was Maine's greatest military hero. He volunteered and joined the Union army and rose to the rank of Brigadier General, after his gallantry at Gettysburg and especially the skirmish at Little Round Top. Along the way he was awarded the Medal of Honor, served four one year terms as the 32nd Governor of our grand state and was a faculty member and later President of his alma mater, Bowdoin College. Oh yes, just as an aside, he was fluent in nine languages! 
Now, as for the musical, I thought the complicated love story between he and his wife Fanny was intriguing and kept my interest, however the score was forgettable except for a couple of songs.
MSMT's home is in the Pickhard Theater on the Bowdoin campus, and we pass this sculpture, by Swansville artist Joseph R. Query, of the man on each visit. If you've read the 1974 book, Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, you know all about Chamberlain. 
He was a central figure in the historical novel.
The man's life was amazing.
A challenge at every turn
Me?
Today, I'll mow the grass.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Carousel

I've always liked carousels. When I hear that calliope music playing, I'm drawn to them like a moth to a flame. I think my love of these rides can all be traced back to our family's day trips to Palace Playland at Old Orchard Beach. I remember those first few years when my interest concentrated on all those kiddie rides like swirling teacups, the miniature cars and trucks that went round and round and maybe my favorite, the small boats in real water with bells you could ring constantly. Those days, long before I took on the challenging bumper cars, tall slides and the scary funhouses, recall fond memories. Marchin and I were reminiscing about them just yesterday.
Do you like merry-go- rounds? 
Want to be reminded of them all day?
One of my favorite bands, the Hollies, had a hit with "On a Carousel".
Love the Graham Nash stuff.
Try getting this 'brainworm' stuck in your head all day.
Ah yes, we were innocent.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XRjp7vClT8&feature=kp

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tomb Run

Summers, the cemetery was one of our playgrounds. We spent a lot of mornings and afternoons taking on the challenging project of catching frogs in any of the five  ponds. Leo was good at it. I wasn't. I was much more adept when it came to racing our homemade buggies down this hill next to the Shaw tomb. Why we called them buggies boggles my mind to this day, but we did. Wood was easy to find. Wheels off a discarded baby carriage worked well. You needed a large bolt that went down the middle at the front to control the wheels, allowing then to pivot right and left. I must admit that we did pattern them after the soapbox derby vehicles that we so detested. Looking back, I do believe we really hated those things, because none our parents would 'foot the bill' that was needed to get the materials, directions and specs to build the carts.
Anyway, we boxed in the front, painted them up, added a number, and we were ready to fly!
This hill was a favorite spot.
Why?
'bout 50 yards down there was a wicked left turn.
Then an immediate right.
Then a fast 75 yard downhill straightaway to the ponds.
This 'run' really tested the maneuverability and aerodynamic construction of your buggie.
Winner take all!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Glass Houses

I've ventured on the eighth grade trip to Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore many times in the past. It's my last few days to spend with these friends and the end of hectic years. The five day trips often fall mid-summer or even in August. This year though it commenced three days after school got out. I find the adventure therapeutic in some strange odd-ball way that really can't be justified or explained to the uninitiated in the middle school game. The last day is always the same: a straight shot from outside Philly. Wake up, pack, eat, head home, arriving in the school parking lot around 5. This year though, starting from day one, it was anything but rote. Heading to NYC, you expect traffic. This year, however, it seemed worse than ever. It threw Day 1 off completely. We always head to South Seaport, under the Brooklyn Bridge, for a beautiful cruise aboard the Zephyr and then dinner. Easy. Not this year though. We fought traffic all the way. Everyday. So yesterday, it was back to New York for our cruise at 11:15. Traffic reared its ugly head, but we made it with but 15 minutes to spare. Now, if the story ended here and we headed back north at 1, everything would have been rosy. Arrival would have been pushed back a bit, maybe until about 8PM, but workable. I'll just say this. Someone offered the idea that a swing to Times Square would be the 'cherry on the top' and just a super-memorable way to end the kids' look at the City.
Wrong!
So very WRONG!
I've bored you enough, but let me just end with this.
Buses pulled into the school lot at 12:15 AM.
It ended up a six day adventure, not 5.
Happy Friday!

ps Hated the traffic; loved our kids!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Yellow Suit

Well, Elvis lives on the boardwalk. 
We spent the afternoon at Seaside Heights, NJ taking in the sights along the boardwalk. It still isn't back to its pre-Sandy condition by a long shot, and the devastating fire of last September didn't help either. Seaside seems to be back with its large pizza slices, sausage and onions subs and the squealing of the rides. However its sister city, Seaside Park, down the boardwalk hasn't been as lucky. To the right about 300 hundred yards or so the 'fun and games' and food shops end pretty abruptly. It seems to be in need of some TLC and maybe a dose of 'critical care'.
In another summer, let's hope all is well, with the boardwalk stretching as far as the eye can see.
"Don't Be Cruel"

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Metal Umbrellas

The clouds in the background look ominous, but the sun broke through and everything turned hot, hot, hot. We spent the first part our day at Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari. A couple of mocha coffees and walks through the park got me through the heat. No, I did not take a trip along the roads of the safari adventure. I've taken that in more than a few times and have had my fill of giraffes licking bugs and crap off the windshield and animals copulating everywhere. Nuff said. In the evening, we were off to Citizens Bank Park and a game between the hometown Philadelphia  Phillies and the Florida Marlins. Final score 7-4 the 'good guys'. It wasn't an exciting game... and I thought the Red Sox were struggling this summer. How far this franchise has fallen since the glory years and their World Championship in 2008. I still recall that summer of '61 when they were on the losing end of 23 straight games, still a major league record. 
Back at the hotel at 11:30ish, the kids crashed.
The relentless heat, less than nutritious food all day and 9 innings of the ol' ballgame had taken it's toll.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!