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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Our trip to New York City, via Amtrak, was fun and interesting and very tiring.  We did the usual touristy things: toured the harbor to see the the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, took bus tours and saw museums.  We did as much as we could in the six days we were there.  One museum a day is about all we could manage.  Bruce loved the Museum of Natural History so he could see the dinosaurs and “Lucy”.  Poor Lucy only had about 10 bones left.  We expected more since the magazines always show a “reconstructed” version of Lucy.  I guess the world is lucky to get that much, considering her age.

I love medieval art.  I always enjoyed teaching that time period in British Literature.  We explored one full gallery of the Metropolitan Museum where I would read every placard if time allowed.  Dear Bruce was patient with me and let me wander.

The subway was easy to ride. Snagging a taxi wasn’t quite so easy.  I just wish my body liked walking as much as my mind does. I took my cane with me which was helpful on uneven pavements.  The weather was cooperative.  Cool and breezy as one would expect in April.

The train was more comfortable than the last trip as we upgraded to business class which gave Bruce more room for his long legs.  We even had a steward for our car who pampered us on the ten hour trip.  He brought drinks and pillows and newspapers.  Nice.

Our friends’ studio apartment in Brooklyn Heights was in a comfortable neighborhood with lots of restaurants, a near-by grocery and easy access to a subway station.  To have a kitchenette was perfect at night for a quick supper and simple breakfast each morning.  We were quite comfortable.

Bruce and I are ready to go back again.  There’s still lots of museums to see.  Much more to taste.

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Heart Healthy We Hope

Ahh — only one day in the hospital this time.  Good.  In and Out.

My third cardiac procedure went well.  The cardiologist  also implanted a loop recorder, a monitor, to see how I do.  Right now,  four days later, it’s the only thing that hurts.  The probe insertion sites are fine.  Guess they’re used to it, huh?

So, I’m a bit tired as can be expected, however, I was glad I didn’t have to be in the hospital over Valentine’s Day, our anniversary.  The card and roses and Whitman’s Sampler and spaghetti dinner were better at home.

I’m planning our next big trip.  Look out, road, here we come!

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Boston

Boston was cold, the train ride was bumpy, and the view from our time-share apartment was spectacular!  The sun rose over the harbor which we could see from our bedroom window.  Wonderful!

It was our first trip so we did all the touristy things.  We took the Hop on and off tour to see the high spots.  One day we decided to go out to Harvard to the natural science museum.  Unfortunately, we got lost that day and walked waaay tooo much.  By the time we got home we were really dragging, and sore.

Thanksgiving was interesting at Plimouth Plantation.  The 2011 “pilgrims” and Indians were all extremely well-fed, contrary to the 1620 versions.  No one looked like they were starving.  (smile.)  They had had a fire in one of the houses just a couple of days before.  The thatch was gone and the main beams were charred.  I asked one of the “pilgrims” about it and he made it sound like they had hauled buckets of water from the creek.  ???  They don’t have any modern fire codes??  And fire equipment nearby?  I doubt they can risk anything so dangerous.   Even the Globe Theatre in London has a fire resistant roof under that thatch.  I mentioned it to the taxi driver and he too scoffed.   However, the pilgrims aren’t supposed to talk about anything outside their realm.  So there we are.

The train ride was interesting but long.  Next time we go on a train trip, we’re taking an express train and upgrading to business class.  Maybe there won’t be any crying babies there.  I also now know where Kingstree SC is located (in addition to a dozen other little towns).  I didn’t used to know that.

It was good to be home and, as always, the dogs were happy to be back in their own beds, as were we.

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Home Again

Except for new, yet cranky, tire, our reunion trip was uneventful.  Hugh went with us this year so we met him in Asheville and, therefore, had a new route and new scenery.  Bruce and I decided we like it better. Anything to avoid Atlanta traffic . . . .

The sidewall of the tire gave out about 10 miles west of Evansville.  At least I had two fellas to change it.  We limped into Fairfield 30 miles away on the baby tire and headed for the local Wally World for a replacement.  It was the only tire place open on a Saturday afternoon.  I would think tire shops would be rather busy on a Saturday — but what do I know?  We thought the tire guy was going to cry when he saw the amount of tread still on the relatively new tire.  However, stuff happens and we just bought a new tire and drove across the road to the motel.

Needless to say, our cousins were absolutely delighted to see Hugh as it had been some years since he had attended and no one knew he was coming.  We enjoyed the lively and humorous conversations!  There’s nothing like a hearty belly laugh with people you love.  The weather was even not too hot — a rare occurrence in August.

A surprising discovery was that there are several variations of Grandma Hubble’s  famous ham loaf recipe. Who knew?  Now I won’t rest until I try the new versions.   Then I can make an educated recommendation next year to the cousins.  Oh, if only we could ask Grandma.  Better yet, I wish she could just bake it for us.  Hers was always the best.

 

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Switcheroony

Several years ago Bruce bought me an ipod for my birthday.  He loaded it up with the kind of music I enjoy.  I was all set up.  Except — I seldom used it.  Truth is I like my music in the room with me.  And I do mean — in the room — surround sound style.

I think I’ve seen too many shows and movies where someone sneaks up on another person because they weren’t “tuned in.”  I grew up with a deaf mother who jumped when she didn’t know you were there.  I’ve even tried to vacuum facing the middle of the room since I too hate finding Bruce in the room when I haven’t heard him coming.  It just creeps me out.  Really, the only time I want to be tuned out to the world is on a crowded airplane.  Then I’d do anything to get the coughing, the crying babies and the yakking and giggling to go away so I don’t have to think about how many humans are actually crammed into that plane.  Music in my ears and some Zen meditation or a good book are perfect.

Consequently, the ipod sat in the drawer and I felt guilty.  Then one day he asked if he could use it and since then, it’s been on his desk, not mine.  Awww, end of the guilt trip.

On his last birthday, after much deliberation, he asked for a Kindle.  We had already picked David’s brain about its pros and cons.  He-who-likes-electronic-devices dutifully loaded it up and used it.  For about two weeks.  Then he admitted that it gave him a headache and eye strain.  It sat deserted on the coffee table.  I eyeballed it every once in a while.  Finally, I realized that there was a solution to the huge hardback book I was struggling with.  I was loving The Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, but the physical book weighs several pounds — it’s enormous!  Usually, I try to buy the long historical fiction that I love in paperback version.  They are simply easier to handle.  However, Bruce had this one from his book club and had heartily recommended it.  Once in a while, that gigantic book would fall on me — and it hurt!  So — going against my usual frugal adage — don’t buy another version of anything you already have — I purchased an electronic version of The Fall of  Giants.  Now I curl up with “my” Kindle, set to a nice easy to read font and away I go to Fictionland.  I even use a clip on reading light — just like on an airplane.

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That is the question.  We’ve been to Edisto many times.  So when we rent a condo at the beach, which has a kitchenette, we have to bring some items from home.   Obviously, there’s no reason to buy new plastic wrap or tin foil or seasonings, when we have plenty at home.  The problem is this: some things are there one visit and not there the next, even though we rent the same condo.  One year there would be lots of coffee filters, this year there were none.  One year there is dishwasher detergent, this year there was none. Last time the condo had a rubber mat in the slippery tub/shower, now none.  Rather important for a knee replacement veteran.  See the problem?

The solution is to buy more or do without.  The dilemma is to decide which.  How much do we really need something?  Or is it just more convenient?

So — I bought coffee in filter packs, purchased more Finish detergent (which I always can use) and asked a friend to loan us a tub mat.  It worked.  Next time, I’ll just bring it all and hope the truck will hold it!

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How Accessible?

It took only one day of pushing Bruce in a wheelchair to discover that “handicap accessible” isn’t necessarily so.  Even though there are many places we’ve gone to repeatedly, we discovered we didn’t have any idea where the handicapped parking was even located!  One good aspect is that those areas have a flat access that can actually accommodate wheels.

The tag was easy to obtain.  I went online and found the form for Georgia, printed it out, presented it to his doctor, got it notarized at the hospital, and went to the tag office and received the hanging tag within a matter of minutes.  However, maybe because it is so easy to get, it seems everyone and his uncle has one.  The handicapped section at the Family Practice parking lot out at Eisenhower Medical Center is always full and that lot alone has 17 slots — I counted.  Granted this is a place where sick people go, so I shouldn’t be too surprised, I guess.  The last time we were there, I didn’t dare go look for tags or license plates on all those cars because I knew I’d find some with no designation and I’d be tempted to call the MPs and make trouble.  Life is too short.  The MPs can do their own policing, can’t they?

We’ve found extremely steep ramps that make pushing uphill a challenge.  Sloped areas right at the doorway are equally tricky.  Especially challenging are the doors.  Try hanging onto a chair that is trying to roll away and open a door at the same time.  (His model has brakes like a ten-speed bike.)  Whew!  Fortunately, someone usually sees me struggling and comes over to help.  I decided yesterday that if no one is available at a restaurant, I am going to go inside and ask one of the chirpy greeters to come help hold the door.

Since there is nothing wrong with Bruce’s arms, he has started helping me lift the chair up into the trunk.  Man, that is really helpful.   The chair we got for Bruce is not as bulky as it could be — however, bulky enough for one semi-old lady to manage single-handed.

Best if all are the stores with automatic doors and the electric carts.  Look out, Bruce just might mow you down as he flies by!

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