Tuesday, May 26, 2015

West Texas Depot

This is the 1929 Burlington Route Depot in Abilene, Texas.

Abilene was founded by cattlemen as a shipping point for livestock.  It was named after Abilene, Kansas.  The town is literally divided by the railroad tracks and the south side of the tracks, where this old depot is located, is noticeably more run down than the north side.

When I see building like this, I often think, "Coooool.  I'd live there."  Of course, these buildings are almost always in towns like Abilene - abandoned, in the middle of nowhere, too far from civilization - but they have so much potential.  It's a shame they're left to deteriorate.  Side note - did you know Jessica Simpson was born here?  Yep.

Anyway...we narrowly escaped an "almost tornado" here yesterday morning.  I woke to the truck shaking significantly from side to side.  Ed slept through it.  The sky was dark, with low stormy clouds, and then the rain started.  Torrential, with lightning.  And more wind.  Then, just like that, it cleared up and the sun came out.


Crazy Texas weather.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Plymouth Trawler

2013: Miles Of Sky And Some Reading Material
2012: Calling All Questions
2011: Rolls-Royces, Sun Kings and Teardrops
2010: Less Is More
2009: A Look At An Oil Baron’s Lookout
2008: Spring In The Maritimes
2007: Evisioning A Huge BLT Sandwich
2006: Eddie’s New Passion Friday
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Burst Of Color In Texas

The prickly pear cactus are blooming in Abilene, Texas.  Yellow and orange and pink.  We have the same cactus in Arizona, in our yard even, but I haven't seen the orange or pink flowers on ours, only yellow.

Purty, as they say around these parts.




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: It Really Is Just A Rock

2013: Lattes And Love Stuff
2012: If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get
2011: Feeling Great About Hands And Breasts (Even If They’re Drooping)
2010: It Pays To Blog About Life On The Road
2009: Bringing A Little Tropical And Some Pretty In Pink To The Trucking World
2008: My Kind Of Festival
2007: Happy Memorial Day
2006: Closing The Age Gap
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

It's What's For Dinner

Texas is definitely the place to get your meat on.  Yesterday we had amazing steaks and today we had hand-formed burgers.  I say "hand-formed" because it's like the kind your mother would make - no shape, mushed together, thrown on a bun.

The place was called Heff's Burgers and their burgers have been rated the best in the area for five years in a row.  I can see why.  The meat tasted like meat.  Old-fashioned burgers, like we had as kids, not a fast food burger.  

This is our first time in Abilene, believe it or not.  We've been through here but have never had an opportunity to explore the area.  I was surprised to see how run-down it is, a lot of abandoned buildings and wide open parking lots.  It looks a bit desolate, like a forgotten town, even though it's a decent size.  We did find a few cool places, and it does have a bit of history.  

And beef.  Which sort of makes up for the lack of culture.   



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: The House Was Nice, But The Tree Was Amazing

2013: Doubling The Gold In Wyoming
2012: Down Louisiana Way, Where The Blue Dog Resides
2011: Crossing The Park To 5th Avenue
2010: All Work, All Play
2009: Was My Mother Hot, Or What???
2008: The Fiddleheads Of Maine
2007: Fifteen Dollar. We Make Nail Nice. No Probrem.
2006: Road Testing The Girl
2005: Ed Time

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Until We Meet Again

I found out on Monday, via a Facebook post by his sister, that my friend Greg was in the hospital.  I was immediately concerned because it had been a while since I'd heard from him and this news was a shock to me.  The tone of her post sounded ominous.

And it was.  Because today, Greg died.  He was only 52 years old.


I met Greg 21 years ago when we worked together at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson, Arizona.  We immediately hit it off.  He was down-to-earth, extremely funny, witty, intelligent, and snarky.  We quickly became good friends, spending days at the pool, going out for dinner, meeting for coffee, sitting around on Sundays reading the New York Times.

Greg at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

Unfortunately, over the past few years we had grown apart.  I'm on the road over 300 days a year and although we still emailed and texted, neither of us made a great effort to get together in person when I was in town.  We really should have.

Thursday, Greg had been moved from the ICU to the hospice wing of the hospital. Hospice. Holy shit.  Everyone knows what that means - death is imminent.  I just couldn't process what I was hearing.  It felt very weird to me.  I felt like it couldn't possibly be true.  I mean, this was Greggie.  In all the years I'd known him, he'd never even been sick. But this was bad.  From what I was hearing, something went very wrong.

Me and Greg, in a blurry photo circa 1996.  I remember the year because I went to L.A. to pursue plus-sized modeling and they tweezed the hell out of my eyebrows.  They were the skinniest things on my body!

I was talking to my aunt about Greg and she commented about how some people say they have "lots" of friends, or that they still have friends from the second grade and we think "wow, isn't that nice".  But like the old saying goes, quality matters over quantity.  She agreed that it doesn't matter how many friends you have, but that you have a handful of quality friends in your life. To have known them and to have been part of their lives, to have interacted on different levels and to have shared different experiences, that's a gift.  And she's right.  I have a lot of acquaintances, but only a handful of quality friends.  Greg was one of those people.  Greg was a gift. 

Yesterday I talked with a friend of his in Tucson who told me he was getting worse.  I was planning to visit him when I got home next week, but he didn't make it.  He died this morning at 2:45 am.  His parents, in from New Jersey, were at his side. 


In my life, I've never had a friend die.  Grandparents, great aunts, my father, my step-father, yes. They're all gone.  But they all lived well into their sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties.  The lived entire lives.  And you kind of expect your grandparents to eventually pass.  But not your friends.  Not the ones you hung out with, laughed till the wee hours with, shared experiences with.  Not the ones who are as young as Greg.

Some of my best memories of Arizona include Greg.  We shared inside jokes, silly hand gestures, and code words to describe people.  We were cohorts in workplace pranks.  He was the first person to show me how to use a computer.  In fact, I still use the AOL email he created for me, sitting in his apartment. He bought me thoughtful gifts. We attended the first ever Lilith Fair concert together. He was a voracious reader and introduced me to the New York Times Book Review. And when I moved to L.A. and then got sick shortly after, he was the one who drove out to get me and bring me home. 

It was on one of our L.A. trips that the photo of him I love most was taken.  I'm a 5' 9" plus-sized woman.  Greg was a 5' 4" pint-sized man (although he claims he wasn't small everywhere).  This is that photo - him, wearing my favorite University of Arizona sweatshirt.  I smile every time I see it.  And I always will.

See you on the other side, Greggie!

Gregory Douglas Niemsyk
April 1963 - May 2015




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2013: Pinged
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

This Steak Caused A Buzz

While in Abilene, Texas on a trucking-related stopover, we had one of the best steaks we've ever eaten.  We read about the Beehive Restaurant and Saloon and since we were bobtailing knew we'd have no problem getting around downtown, so we headed there for dinner.

The interior of the restaurant wasn't much too look at so I didn't take any pictures of it, but the meal was absolutely delicious.  The restaurant is owned by two Iranian immigrant brothers - one of which we saw delivering several of the entrees directly to guests in the dining room - and I've gotta tell you, they're doing Texas real proud!  We will definitely be back.  

On the way out of town, I snapped this picture of the Paramount Theatre, an Abilene landmark.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014:  There Was Gold Everywhere

2013: Two Telephone Poles And A Cloud
2012: I’ve Yet To Make Lemonade
2011: Alien Ribs Of The North
2010: White’s Bastard Cousin
2009: Jake
2008: I Might Have To Be Put In Restraints For Our Next Conversation
2007: People Who Are Happy To Help You Drown In Debt
2006: I, I, I
2005: Sorry, no post for this day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Perhaps You Should Have Hired An Airplane, Not A Truck

So, this week we took a load from Connecticut to Florida.  Apparently, the agent and their customer thought our truck had wings.  Because they called us several times wondering why we weren't there yet.

Really??

Let me give you the basics about the trip.

The number of miles we drove, from our pickup in Connecticut to our delivery in Florida, was 1,430 miles.

At our average speed of 58 miles per hour, if we weren't to take ANY breaks whatsoever and calculate pure driving time, it would take 25 hours.

But, because we have to make stops, inevitably extra time is going to be added to the trip.

One of the biggest time suck is the required load securement check we have to do every 150 miles.  This is a giant pain in the ass, but it has to be done, and has to be logged.

On this trip, we made 10 stops to do load checks.  It takes about 10 minutes to do the check, which meant 100 minutes or 1.66 hours, so about 1.5 hours worth of stops.  Legally we have to log those stops in 15-minute increments, so it would actually be 143 minutes, which translated into 2.38 hours (or 2 hours, 45 minutes) of our log time.


We have to take three mandated 30-minute breaks, which came to 1.5 hours of break time.

And we made one fuel stop, which took only 15 minutes.

So, not counting traffic (we went through NY, Washington DC, Baltimore), stops to pee, getting a snack, making a cup of coffee, or just stretching our legs - which are all perfectly normal and not considered lollygagging at all - the amount of time to make this trip, if you added up all of the above, would be 28.25 hours.

We did it in 29.

I'd say that's pretty damn good time management.  So it would be nice to not be bothered by someone wondering when we're going to get there.  Especially when we gave them an arrival time and arrived within 15 minutes of that time.  Hell, I can't even get my friend to meet me for dinner on time and she only lives 10 minutes from my house.

It always makes me wonder what's going on in the head of the agent that continues to "check in".  Sure, anything can happen along the way (which we'd call and report) and sure, we could goof off and take more time than we should, but generally it's just simple math.  They have mapping programs and a calculator.  They know the minimum time needed to make the journey.  They can make several calculations to figure slower and faster driving times, and give their customers a range, "They should be here in 24-29 hours."

But instead, they interrupt my late night Beyonce jams to find out where I am.

We do everything in our power to deliver on our promises, and have an excellent record of doing so, but sometimes agent and customer expectations are unrealistic.  And until we sprout wings, the only way I can think of to get their freight there sooner, is to put it on a plane.

Here are ten they can start with.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Another Good Reason For Time Off

2013: I'd Follow Him Anywhere
2012: Yes! We Have No Bananas
2011: Investing In Your Investment – Part One
2010: A Tank Full Of Freightliners
2009: The Sad, Sad Future Of Our Young People
2008: Sighting The American Idiots
2007: Orbiting Out Of Control
2006: Passing Through Life
2005: Texas Pride?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fair Winds!

When we arrived at Fort Adams park in Newport to attend the Volvo Ocean Race event, we didn't expect to see this when we crested the hill from the parking area.  Crap.  I thought in Newport we'd be away from big rigs for a change!
I don't know why, but it didn't at all occur to me when I saw the name Volvo, that there'd be actual trucks here.  I mean, you don't expect to see shampoo at a Proctor & Gamble sponsored event, right?
Thankfully it wasn't an event geared toward trucking.  There were a few references, but I don't think most of the crowd had much interest in it.  They were there to see racing boats.

Inside the Volvo Pavilion they had a few truck-related interactive displays, boating stuff, and some games for the kids.  In two other locations they were showing off the Volvo self-parking driverless car, in addition to having a few other Volvo car models available to look at. The last truck-related item was a display truck that was also at the Mid-America Trucking Show.  There was a guy inside babbling about all the cool stuff their new engine does.  Yawn.

It seems like that guy and us were the only people on the premises who knew a thing about trucking. This was not a trucking crowd.  This was a boating crowd. BIG difference. 

The event made it possible for attendees to see the 65-foot, carbon-fiber sailing yachts up close, with their crews. Not something most people have the opportunity to do. We were very lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

I'm not really into boats, but I have to admit it was kind of interesting to learn more about the race and see the boats these people take out into the open ocean. Ed was in heaven. Personally, I think they're crazy.

Weather, waves, floating debris, icebergs, reefs.  And did you know that they don't eat any real food during the race legs?  They only eat freeze-dried food when they're at sea. Talk about dedication to your sport.
One of the display areas had a cross-section of a boat so you can climb around the interior.  No thank you.  It may look big from the outside, but the interior is tiny.  And you're in there for nine months with ten people on board. After a while the boat starts to smell - not just because there are so many people in such a small space, although I'm sure that plays a part - but because they keep all their garbage on board with them while they're at sea.

The team boats are very colorful - and each team prances around in team color clothing - my favorite was the women's team, SCA.  That bright pink and blue really stood out.  

It's Pink.  It belongs to the women's team, SCA.
The teams leave for Lisbon, Portugal today.  It's the seventh leg of the race, 2,800 nautical miles.  We'll probably never see this kind of event again in our lives.  It's not something we follow or seek out, but I'm happy to have been in Newport while it was taking place.

Trucking allows these kind of amazing opportunities to just drop in our laps.  It brings us places we love, and places we've never been.  This was a great one, a yacht race of all things.  It's a big deal that happens once every three years and we were there for it.  

We're heading to Florida next.  Who knows what we'll encounter there.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Over Fifty Years In The Making

2013: Boom! Color.
2012: Little Dragonflies Alighting Upon My Ears
2011: Snuggling On Hold
2010: Confessions
2009: There’s Nothing Like The Humor Of A New Yorker
2008: Anne’s Land And Beyond
2007: Butter Me Up
2006: Master Backer Or Master Bater?
2005: Not By The Hair Of My Chinny, Chin, Chin!!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Harnessing The Power Of The Wind

A kiteboarder tackling the waves at Second Beach, which is considered one of Newport's beaches but is actually located in neighboring Middletown, Rhode Island.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Listen And Learn

2013: Escape From Texas
2012: Like Cattle In A Penn
2011: Another Day In The Trucking Life
2010: Ed Prepares For The Italy Trip
2009: Strolling Along The Atlantic
2008: Eddie Chatting It Up Friday
2007: The ABC’s Of Me
2006: After The Storm
2005: The Essence Of Me

Friday, May 15, 2015

Kites And Kajillionaires

Before we left Newport, we went to Brenton Point State Park to fly Ed's kite.  The wind was abundant and the day was beautiful.  It was our last outing before we headed to Florida.   

This little park, where they actually hold a kite festival in the summer, is situated among the millionaires.  Of course they're probably out flying private planes while we're flying kites, but the thrill of having something fabulous in the air is likely the same, right?

The park is just off Ocean Avenue and has lots of grass and plenty of benches, and wherever you plop yourself, you have spectacular water views.  

This area is where you'll find today's mansions, not the ones from the Gilded Age of the past. These places are magnificent.  And some are for sale. 

There's Seaward, which although the house itself isn't all that big, sits on a huge chunk of property which allows it to command one of the highest prices in the area - $45 million dollars.

Also on Ocean Avenue is this fantastic place.  It's 15,851 square feet, has 8 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms.  It's priced at a cool $19 million dollars.

Nearby, along the famous Cliff Walk, sitting on Ruggles Avenue is another spectacular mansion.  Even bigger than the last, and boasting almost 25,000 square feet of space with 15 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms, has a price tag of $16.9 million dollars.

What I like about this town is that there are people with money everywhere you go - restaurants, shops, events - and although it seems like you can spot some of them by how they carry themselves or how they're dressed, you don't always know.   The area just has a very distinct feel to it, and I like it.  It's old money, not Kardashian money. It's understated, not overtly flashy.  People have style and class.  And million dollar boats.  But thankfully, there's not a Kardashian-like celebrity in sight.

Once again I've enjoyed our week here and can't wait to come back.  Next time we'll do Rough Point, Doris Duke's estate. And eat more seafood. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The World Races To Newport

The exciting event taking place in Newport this week is the Volvo Ocean Race, an around-the-world yacht race that takes place every three years, covers 38,739 nautical miles, and takes nine months to complete.

The race starts in Alicante, Spain, stops at ports in Cape Town, South Africa; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Sanya, China; Auckland, New Zealand; 
Itajaí, Brazil; Newport, Rhode Island; Lisbon, Portugal; Lorient, France; The Hague, Netherlands, and finishes in Gothenburg, Sweden.  Newport is the only North American port.  See the route here.  

This is a photo of Race Village, where the yachts dock and where you can see the boats up close and the crew members coming and going .  There were seven teams, but only six of them are pictured here - one of them got hung up on a reef in the Indian Ocean - the following team descriptions are from the brochure we got at the event. They are listed in the order the boats appear in the photo above, from left to right.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing:  Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing is the form-setter in the race, having won two of the first five legs and holding the overall lead in Brazil.  Led by Briton Ian Walker, the Emirati Syndicate sailing aboard Azzam (Arabic for "determination") has the experience, talent, and drive to win the Volvo Ocean Race Trophy.


Dongfeng Race Team:  The Volve Ocean Race's first Chinese team, led by French skipper Charles Caudrelier, faced their biggest challenge when the boat's mast broke west of Cape Horn.  The race team retired from the leg and was forced to motor to Itajaí on an extra long journey.  Don't count out this strong and spirited team to be back in the race and a fierce competitor.

Team Brunel:  The race's Dutch entry is led by veteran skipper Bouwe Bekking who has six Volvo Ocean Race campaigns under his belt.  He's supported by a strong and consistent crew and won Leg 2 from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi.

MAPFRE:  Spanish entry MAPFRE took top position on Leg 4 from China to New Zealand and second place from New Zealand to Brazil.  Skipper Iker Martinez is leading Spain's eight entry in the Volvo Ocean Race alongside Xabi Fernandez who helped him win gold in the Athens Olympics.

Team Alvimedica:  Considered USA's and Newport's "hometown" team with Bristol, Rhode Island's Charlie Enright at the helm and Newport native Nick Dana on the crew.  Newport's Amory Ross serves as the Onboard Reporter.  The team sails under the US and Turkish flag (Home of sponsor Alvimedica) and is also the youngest crew in the Race.  They've captured a pair of third-place finishes, won an In-Port race and led the fleet around Cape Horn on grueling Leg 5 from New Zealand to Brazil.

Team SCA:  Team SCA is the first all-female team to compete in the race since 2001-02. Many crew members have already circumnavigated the globe but they've battled a series of equipment setbacks due to violent weather conditions and collisions with unidentified ocean debris en route to Itajaí, Brazil.

And the team that's not pictured in the photo is the one that had problems earlier in the race,


Team Vestas Wind:  The Danish boat is led by experienced competitor Chris Nicholson but became grounded on a remote archipelago in the Indian Ocean during Leg 2 from South Africa to Abu Dhabi.  The team's goal is to sail again starting with the Lisbon leg from Portugal to France.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Every Time You Open Your Mouth Diamonds Come Rolling Out

2013: The Real Way To Save The Planet
2012: Lunch At The Park
2011: I’ve Got A Crush On You
2010: The D’Angelo Bros. Outfit The Navy
2009: One Day A Revered Indian Chief, The Next Day Wagon Train Eye Candy
2008: Not Exactly The Best Way To Reach Out To Your Community
2007: Carny At The Junction
2006: Mother Superior
2005: Great Expectations

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cash Only Seafood

Today we dined at Flo's Clam Shack, a Newport institution since 1936.

We didn't have clams, but I can vouch for the peel-n-eat shrimp, baked scallops, and baked salmon.

We were looking for quick, inexpensive seafood, and Flo's fit the bill.

If you decide to visit, bring cash.  It's the only form of payment they'll accept.




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Exactly

2013: Cottage Industry
2012: The Whole World
2011: Weekend Retreat
2010: I Might Even Give It An Academy Award
2009: Two Poles, One Man, No Fish
2008: When You Don’t Have Time To Make More Than One Trip
2007: A Mother Of A Mother
2006: Could You Love William Perry?
2005: Herding The Blogger Sheep

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Pond Is A Lot Smaller Than You Think


Today we met and had dinner with one of my blog readers from across the pond.  Mick, and his wife Ali, pictured here, are visiting the United States, all the way from England.

They came here just to see me.

OK, I'm kidding.  They're not here just for me.  Alright, dammit, if I'm going to be completely honest with you, they're not here for me at all.

BUT....they did make time to meet, so that's gotta tell you something, right?  They love me, right?  C'mon, people, work with me here.

Anyway...

They've been touring famous east coast attractions like the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, and Niagara Falls.  Mick is a HUUUGGGEE baseball fan so he really enjoyed Cooperstown, and when they got to Niagara Falls, they quickly discovered the best view of the falls is from the Canadian side.

When I found out they were going to Newport, Rhode Island - Mick emailed me to ask which my favorite mansion was - I was hoping to be able to arrange meeting them because we were delivering a load not far from where they were staying, and we'd be there at the same time they were.  Turns out, even though we couldn't figure out how to call each other on our cell phones (WTH??) and had to use Facebook messenger to communicate, we eventually made a time and place to meet.  They were going to pick us up at our truck and we'd go out to dinner.

When they met us at the truck, they came bearing gifts from their hometown.  They brought candy from a company located in their region of England - The Lakes District - and a tea towel depicting the attractions in the same area.  The fudge will be gone in no time at all, but the tea towel will stick around, it's definitely something I'll make use of in the truck.

I've gotta tell you, I was really touched by the gifts.  I grew up in a family and a culture that believed it was impolite to show up empty handed to someone's home (or 18-wheeler).  You're supposed to bring flowers, Italian pastries, wine, a houseplant.  Anything.  Just don't walk through that door without a gift in your hand.  Sadly, it doesn't seem as if many people do that kind of thing anymore.  And even though they weren't invited to dinner at my house, or a BBQ in my backyard, the fact that they brought something was astonishing.  To me, it shows a proper upbringing, thoughtfulness, and regular old-fashioned courtesy.  

We had dinner at Sardella's, a local Italian place, and spent several hours talking and getting to know a little bit about each other.  Ed and I had a great time.  They were both interesting, easy to talk to, open-minded, intelligent, and I didn't feel any of those awkward silences you sometimes have with people you're meeting for the first time.

Of course I talk a lot and they probably had more to say - I had a lot of questions and probably asked them quicker than they could answer - but they did a pretty good job of keeping up.

They eventually drove us back to the truck, where we took a few pictures (don't know why we didn't think to do that while it was still light outside) and said our goodbyes.  They're off to Salem next to see witch-trial-related attractions, and the House of Seven Gables.  The weather is beautiful and I'm sure they'll have a great time.

I feel so fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to meet in person the people I've met through my blog.  And to have them come from another continent is even more exciting for me.

Eventually, Ed and I will get over to England.  And when we do, I know whose door we'll be knocking on!

Thanks, Mick and Ali, for a really lovely visit! 



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: You Can't Sleep Here But You Can Get A Fruit And Veg Fix
2013: Mommy And Me Kickin' It At The Yacht Club
2012: Dinner At The Diner
2011: My Guitar Hero
2010: The Competition Is Getting Fierce
2009: A Little Smooch Makes Everything Taste Better
2008: The Greatest Spectacle In Racing
2007: Jalapenos Basking In The California Sunshine
2006: Millions Of Miles Of Knowledge
2005: Midnight Snack

Monday, May 11, 2015

Completely And Utterly In The Pink

We've done several loads to Newport, Rhode Island in the past year and it's quickly become one of my favorite locations.  Last May we visited most of the mansions, had an opportunity to tour the surrounding area, and even took a sail on a schooner.  It's a really beautiful place that works for us - we've been able to find excellent truck parking and even a convenient car rental agency for when we want to explore.  

In less than three weeks, Newport will be swarming with vacationers celebrating the official beginning of summer, which is why I'm even happier we're here now enjoying the pink trees and gorgeous weather without the crowds.


On this visit we'll be having dinner with one of my readers and his wife, who are visiting the states all the way from Keswick, a town located in northwestern England.  Yes, the country.

I'm really looking forward to getting their opinion about Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Hammer Down Thrifting

2013: Does Anyone Have One Of These I Can Borrow?
2012: Built Like A Mack
2011: Luxor-ious Seating
2010: Sharing A Moment
2009: When Sunny Gets Blue
2008: Putting The Friendly Back In The Skies
2007: White Squall
2006: Free As A Bird
2005: The Heat Is On

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Tower Of Sheer Evil

Passing through Dallas this week, I was reminded of the worst day of my life when I saw the Superman ride at Six Flags.

Never again.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Bird Shadows

2013: Bike Shopping Part Deux
2012: Well Worth The Mess
2011: Reading Time
2010: A Mother Of A Flood
2009: Hail To The Driver
2008: Eddie Shows His Good Side Friday
2007: Go Bananas!!
2006: Shmuley Says
2005: Fangboner

Friday, May 08, 2015

There Are Vacation Links In This One

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni on Lake Como in Bellagio, Italy
All the neighborhoods in one of my favorite places are worth checking out.  

For novice photographers like me, this is a big help.

Ice cream with only two ingredients?  Any fool can make this.  


Interesting, but a little too permanent for me.  

I needed this pronunciation guide.  I've been saying Prabal Gurung the wrong way all along.

Maybe if we hang out in the neighborhood, we'll run into the Clooneys.  


Wow.  Beautiful choices.  Even one in beautiful Le Marche, a place I can't wait to get back to.

If TED says it, it is so.

The "after" of this cute little cottage is beautiful.

So that's where they disappear to.

Greece, Austria, Croatia?  Yes, yes, and yes.  





~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2014: Remains In A Gold Field

2013: In The Shadow Of Al
2012: Uphill Semi-Battle
2011: Happy Mother’s Day!
2010: Back On The Road And Sleeping Like A Baby
2009: Peeping Ed Friday
2008: It’s Obvious Where My Sense Of Style Comes From
2007: End Of Season Snow
2006: At Least She Isn’t In The Cubicle Next To YOU
2005: Mother Lode