Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah

Come light the menorah....
We are in Boston and it is cold, brrrr! Staying with my sister Carol while Brian is lodging at cousin Jon's along with Laura and Larry. Have only ventured outside once to go to dinner on Tuesday night. Good Italian food is worth braving the weather.

Yesterday was the first Hanukkah candle and we spent the day quietly reading and doing laundry. Sharon and baby Brielle are still in the hospital and we will see them today. So nearing dinner time we arranged the menorah, presents and started the latkes. I declared myself the latke queen and shooed everyone out of the kitchen while I did my magic with the potatoes.

Voila! Five pounds of potatoes fried to perfection.

Now to feed the hungry masses.

With everyone seated Carol and Jon lit the menorah.

Now to eat and then exchange presents. A perfect family holiday.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

These Boots Are Made For Walking

Wish I had brought boots as it has been cold in New York. Today it is gorgeous so Brian and I strolled through Central Park on our way to see the Chagall Exhibit at the Jewish Museum. We left West 72nd Street, got our Starbucks tea and coffee and entered the park at Strawberry Fields with the "Imagine" mosaic on the ground. Headed north and east through the Rambles and climbed to the top of the Belvedere Castle. Behind us is the Delacorte Theatre.

We walked around the reservoir and arrived at the museum in time for lunch. They have a great cafe with delicious onion rolls! We explored the top two floors which house the permanent collection and then wandered through the Chagall paintings. I love his work with people floating in ecstasy and the vibrant colors. He tackles lots of difficult themes too. On the first floor we viewed the Art Spiegelman exhibit featuring his book "Maus" and his comic books, etc.

We took a taxi home and rested for a few hours. Later we had Chinese food and saw the movie "Hunger Games: Girl on Fire."

Monday, November 25, 2013

Siman Tov, Mazel Tov!

It's Monday and I have just become a Great Aunt!  Mazel Tov to me, the proud parents. Sharon and Jon Charwick and my sister Carol Liff who is now a Grandmom.

This little darling is Brielle Hailey Charwick born this afternoon and weighing in at 8 pounds,15  ounces. She is 22 inches long. We are driving to Boston tomorrow and will meet Brielle. Very exciting for our entire family.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Going Out of My Head

Stopped by the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery on our way out of Tarrytown. Saw some graves from the late 1700's and lots from the Civil War era. Washington Irving is buried here in a family plot which is a National Heritage Site. He set many of his writings here is Sleepy Hollow, land of Rip Van winkle and Ichabod Crane.

You Oughta Be in Pictures

Unity Church in Tarrytown with large Chagall window.

With friends at Jason and Jackie's wedding.

Judee and Albert

New York, New York

We are staying in NYC at Brian's apartment on West 72nd Street. I just got home from the Vermeer Exhibit at the Frick where I saw "The Girl with the Pearl Earring." It is cold today, only 29 degrees and I had to wait outside for about 15 minutes to get in to this small museum housed in an old mansion. Lovely venue and amazing art collection including three Vermeer's and much more. 

We got to New York on Tuesday after stopping in Trenton to visit our parents and families at the cemeteries. Spent a few days staying with Brian and saw the Billy Crystal show, "700 Sundays." Friday I got to do some shopping and exploring on my own and that night we had dinner with my cousin Meryl, her husband Rich and their older son, Matt. On Saturday we headed to Tarrytown for the wedding of Jason Algazi and Jackie Cohen. All my closest Yardley friends were there and we had a great time being together. It was my old Mah Jongg group so we have lots of history. One gal had grown up in Tarrytown and she took us touring and we saw the Chagall windows at the Unity Church. Today Jeff and I explored the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and then drove back to the city. Tomorrow Brian and I are planning to go to the Chagall exhibit at The Jewish museum. I will have my fill of culture for a while.

We are driving to Boston on Tuesday and will spend Thanksgivukkah with Carol and all her kids. She is expecting her first granddaughter any day now so we are all excited.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Boy From New York City

Staying in NYC with Brian for a few days. We are in town for a wedding this weekend and enjoying the New York scene and Brian 's apartment on the upper West Side. Arrived yesterday and ate at Shake Shack for lunch. Last night we scored at TKTS with seats at Billy Crystal's "700 Sundays." A fabulous night at the theatre with lots of laughs and sad stories too. He is as good as ever and so much energy.

Today we had lunch at Katz's Deli on Houston Street. Food is as delicious as ever. Afterwards we walked on Orchard Street. Not many stores remain of this old shopping area. Tonight we are meeting my cousin Meryl and family for dinner.

Who Let the Dogs out?

So proud of Sirius. He became a Canine Good Citizen after passing his class sponsored by the AKC. After six classes held at a local assisted living center he learned to walk among the wheelchairs and walkers, sit to be petted and walk without pulling. On his way to becoming a therapy dog.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Black Dog

This title is a Led Zeppelin song and so appropriate to be about Sirius. After our tour and lunch we went back to the campground and took Sirius to their wonderful dog park. It is huge and has a big lake for the dogs to swim. Sirius did really well and chased his ball into the water. He even brought it back a few times.

Sirius made a few new friends and really enjoyed himself. Afterwards he allowed us to hose him down and dry him. What a good boy!

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Another hot day and we are off to do some sightseeing this morning. Our destination is Fort Sumter and we drove to Patriot's Point to catch the tour boat. On the way we drive over and then sail past the beautiful Talmedge Bridge.

The fort was built after the war of 1812 and was originally three stories high with five foot thick brick walls. it was built to hold 135 guns and 650 men. At the start of the Civil War it had only 15 cannon mounted and ready. A Union army regiment moved into the fort after South Carolina seceded from the Union and five other states joined them to form the Confederacy. When the Union refused to abandon the fort the Confederates attacked and drove them out within two days. This was the beginning of the Civil War.
Today the fort has been restored from the rubble that was left after the Civil War. From 1876 to 1897 it served as a lighthouse station. During the Spanish-American War it was set up with 12-inch rifles and a battery building was built on the parade grounds. A small garrison manned the rifles during WWI and Sumter was reactivated during WWII when 90-mm antiaircraft guns were installed. After the war the fort was transferred to the National Park Service and in 1948 it became a national monument. Outside was a monument to the original Union troops and all the flags that have flown over the fort.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Back in the USSR

You don't know how lucky you are..... We are back in South Carolina and just seeing the Spanish Moss hanging from the Live Oak Trees is uplifting. We drove all day and arrived in Charleston at four o'clock. We are now settled at the James Island County Park Campground. Unfortunately we were greeted by mosquitoes and I have not missed the biting bugs this summer. It is also very hot and we have no air conditioning except when we are driving. We have literally limped home. Our a/c is gone, awning cannot be used and now we have lost one of our windows. There is a small crank window in our bedroom and it was left open and blew off somewhere today. Hope it doesn't rain as we will have to duct tape plastic over it.  In addition our electric system is shot. But we are so happy to be close to home and everything can be fixed. Our site is spacious and shady and the park is a great place to walk and enjoy nature. The TV works and we have several channels we can watch. We feel wonderful and Sirius has turned out to be a terrific travel companion. For dinner we went to the Charleston Crab House right on the water. I had a Carolina platter with crab cake, fried shrimp and snow crab legs with melted butter. She Crab soup to start made it a perfect meal with a great view.

When we got back to the campground this big owl greeted us at the entrance. The park has a huge XMAS light display each year and they are getting ready.

A few days here to relax and some doctor's appointments and we should be home on Wednesday. Yeah!

Saturday, September 07, 2013

These Boots are Made for Walking

Saturday night and we are staying overnight near the top of North Carolina. Here is what we've been up to since leaving camp. We spent Tuesday with Carol, Sharon and Jon as described in the previous post. Wednesday was a real shock to my system as I had a mani/pedi and got ready to reenter the real world. My toes are now light purple and my nails are a pretty pink. Carol and I did a little shopping and then had fun cooking together in the afternoon. Jeff came down for dinner along with Jon and Megan. We had a lovely holiday meal and then I stayed overnight. Sirius was invited for dinner and he was very well behaved. Poor Pepper, Carol's cat, came down to say hi and when she saw a dog she made a hasty retreat. When I was ready for bed we searched for Pepper and finally found her under my bed. After shooing her out I had a good night's sleep.

Thursday was Rosh HaShanah and Carol and I went to services at Temple Emunah where Carol has worshipped for over 30 years. Services were uplifting and we talked with lots of old friends. Later we hung around and Jeff came to get me late afternoon. Carol took us to a great Italian restaurant and then we went back to the campground. Friday morning we rolled out and headed south. We drove over  500 miles and spent the night outside of Washington, DC. We stayed at the same place we had been on the way up. This morning we woke up to hot weather and Sirius and I took a very long walk and saw two deer. We packed up and started driving just across the river to Virginia where we stopped to visit nephew Larry and his wife Laura. They just moved into a beautiful new home and have already unpacked and decorated.
They took us to a new shopping area where we had lunch outside. Sirius is with us and such a good boy. It is very hot for him and we are anxious to get back to the RV and air conditioning. We continue our trip leaving DC and the terrible traffic behind. By 6:00 pm we have passed Richmond and crossing the state line into North Carolina. Parked in our campground we have time to relax and have dinner. Our entertainment tonight is a favorite movie, The American President with Michael Douglas and Annette Bening. This is one of the movies we watch every summer along with RV, Moonstruck and all the Harry Potters.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

So Long, Farewell

This title from The Sound of Music is perfect as we set off and work is done! Our last work day was Labor Day and we packed up and were ready to hit the road this morning. One hitch as our awning decided not to retract. After talking nice to it and prodding we got some assistance from Paul and his ladder and it was rolled up manually and secured. We drive off just before one o'clock and got to our new campground in Massachusetts two hours later.

At dinnertime we headed to Franklin to visit my niece Sharon and husband Jon in their new home. We loved it and they are fixing it up beautifully. The rooms are large with great windows and all on a fantastic one acre lot. Best of all they are expecting a little girl in a few months to share their life. Carol met us there and we all went out for a delicious Italian feast. Yum!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lightning Striking Again

Today started out with beautiful weather and is ending with a raging thunderstorm. Rick is here visiting and we picked him up at his hotel in N. Conway and drove north through Bartlett and past Mt. Washington to show off all the beautiful scenery. Our destination was the Flume Gorge in Franconia Notch State Park. This is one of the main attractions and we have been waiting all summer to get here. We were here about 20 years ago and remembered walking the beautiful trails and the water flowing through the gorge. Today we also saw many wildflowers, moss, ferns and lichens.

Along the paths and steps we enjoyed seeing the beautiful rocks and sounds of the falling water. After climbing to the top we walked along a wooded path and across a covered bridge.

I was intrigued by many trees growing out of rocks with their roots stretching to find dirt for sustenance.
Finally we passed giant glacial boulders weighing over 300 tons and back to the visitor center. We drove south to N. Woodstock and had a leisurely lunch at the Woodstock Inn. Drove back on the Kancamagus which is always a magnificent ride. After dropping Rick back at this hotel we went home to nap.

I found a few minutes to take Sirius to the dog park. He is getting very good at chasing balls and almost brings them back. Later Rick drove down to us and we did a quick tour of the campground. We went out for a light dinner and then to Tamworth for the last show of the season at the Barnstormers. We saw The Spitfire Grill, a small musical with a different style of music. As always the cast was extremely talented and we enjoyed the show. Only problem is you can never see it again the first time. It started to pour when we were at dinner and continued with thunder and lightning during the show and is still raining as we get ready for bed.

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Summer is winding down and talk around the campground is about when school starts. We have our final work schedules through Labor Day. Weather has been beautiful and a bit chilly. I need to wear a jacket or polar fleece during the morning and evening hours. We work Friday through Tuesday and are off on Wednesday and Thursday. Work involves putting in hours in the store and also the recreation program. We have to wear khaki pants or shorts with the official KOA yellow shirt.

The store is small and chock full of food and stuff that campers need. We sell lots of candy and ice cream and also wood and ice. Outside is the campfire ring and gem mine where we spend lots of time. We also do a few campfires each week with singing and marshmallow roasting. On Saturday nights we go on several hayrides and sing with the kids.

This past week we returned to our lovely lake beach at White Lake State Park.

Poor Jeff was so tired and I snapped him taking a nap. I posted the photo on FaceBook and it took a few days until he saw it which is pretty funny.

We returned to the Barnstormers Theatre and saw an Agatha Christie play. As it started we looked at each other and realized we had recently seen this same play on Hilton Head and didn't care for it. This week we will see their last show of the season, a small musical The Spitfire Grill. Rick has arrived tonight and staying in N. Conway. We will pick him up tomorrow morning for a day of touring, eating and theatre.

Nothing much more going on. Just enjoying the beautiful scenery with mountains in every direction. We use any time off to drive around or sit outside and read. I am totally hooked on Candy Crush. At least it has cured me of playing Bejeweled Blitz. Started cleaning and throwing out newspapers and brochures that have been collecting. We need to be cleaned up and packed over the long weekend so we can pull out early on Tuesday morning.