Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Side-Trip to Teddy's

So on Tuesday, I went to the gym for three hours in the morning and then took a trip over to Teddy Roosevelt's home - Sagamore Hill - in Oyster Bay on the Long Island north shore.  A beautiful place.

I went to the Visitors Center and tried to buy a ticket to go into the house, but I was told they were Sold Out for the rest of the day, so I went to their museum - in a separate building from the house - and saw some interesting stuff there. . . .

A lot of people don't know that Teddy's first wife, Alice, died a day after giving birth to her namesake, Alice. . . .  and on that same day in the same house her mother-in-law, Teddy's mom, also died. He came rushing back from his job as a State Assemblyman up in the state capital, but was too late to be at their bedsides.  His diary entry for that day - a big X and the words "The light has gone out of my life" was the last one that he made for many, many years. . . .  until he married his second wife, Edith.  I thought the placard for that was interesting:

After "going into seclusion" and living alone as a rancher in South Dakota for many years he DID marry Edith, "the girl next door" from his childhood.  They had four MORE kids. . . .  all of them very rambunctious. They say the White House was like their personal playground.  And the Oyster Bay home was where they REALLY cut loose. . . .

Tho Teddy was a hunter, and John Muir was a "tree hugger" they had a lot in common:

So after he went camping with Muir, the High Society of San Francisco gave Teddy one of California's best products. . . .  formed into a cup. . . .

It was a lot of fun to go there.  Hadn't been there in about 45 years!
It was a very good visit. After which I drove out to my cousin Patricia's and her Ray.  Had dinner with them and "caught up on things". We yakked for hours!  Stayed overnight and then went to church the next morning where I met sis-in-law Ruthann and the "old crowd" from St. Thomas More Church.  I ran a bit late getting there (STILL unused to how bad the traffic around here has gotten)!  After church, I took the mile or so trip over to Queen Of All Saints Cemetery to visit someone special. . . . .

From South Carolina to New York, on Monday 8/29/16

So I toodled off to Charlotte Airport, NC, from son Michael's in Columbia, SC on Monday morning. 

I had to drive 82 miles to get there, mostly on Interstate 26. . . .  Near the end of the trip I got in a traffic jam and started to worry I might not make the plane in time. Tho I thought I'd be cutting it close, I really had nothing to worry about:

So I had plenty of time to walk around the airport and take a few photos of some interesting stuff. Old Billy is still alive and kicking, they say. . . . and approaching 100.  God is good to his Preachers.

Took some photos from the plane.  I think this is the best one of them all.  Robert Moses State Beach (with the orange brick water tower) and the Fire Island Lighthouse along side of it at Fire Island National Seashore. I had volunteered as a docent at F.I. Lighthouse in 2012 to 2013 and I'm planning to pay the folks there a visit this Wednesday. . . .  The water tower is circled in RED by me, and the lighthouse (blinking at me - THAT is a well-timed photo!) is in the oval in ORANGE.

How lucky a shot can you get?  Well, actually, my luck was only BEGINNING. . . .  You'll see why I say that in just a bit. 

I got out on the curb at JFK, and admired the old 1960s era TWA terminal across the street, still "lying fallow." A really cool bit of architecture, designed by one Eero Saarinen.  In it's heyday it was THE airport terminal to beat them all.  I recall taking son Mikey there when he went on his exchange student trip to Spain.  I think it was spiffed up a bit and used for parts of the movie "Catch Me If You Can" too.  I read in the newspaper just a few weeks ago that plans are now being made to convert it into a hotel.

 So anyways. . . .  About my luck that day:  I got to the car-rental place and told them I had reserved a Toyota Yaris. . . .  a car that seems to be even smaller than a Volkswagon (only because on my budget I couldn't afford anything much bigger at the notoriously high NEW YORK PRICES).  The guy at the counter tells me "We're out of Yaris's, but we will upgrade you to a Camry."  Ooooooh-KAY!

I get in the Camry, turn the key and the CHECK ENGINE light comes on.  So NOW they upgrade me AGAIN. . . .  to an SUV!  Sheesh! Golly! and Hokey Smokes!
Here's my ultimate ride:

So I rode out to my hotel in the suburbs. . .  Bethpage. . .  Just about the only unlucky part of the day.  I'd hit Rush Hour, and the traffic was at a crawl.  Got to the hotel about 6:30, checked in and asked "Where's your pool and your workout room?"  The answer was "Sorry we have neither. There are NO Extended Stay America hotels that have them."  

"Okay", I say. . . .  "Do you know any nearby gyms that have daily rates?"

"I'll phone Planet Fitness for you right now and find out if they do."

He calls them and finds out they have a special going on for the next few days: $5.00 for the first month with no "initiation fees."  Cool!  I'll go there first thing in the morning and sign-up, and workout and use it till I leave back for California next week.  Such a DEAL!

Of course, I will cancel the membership day before I leave.  I asked Ian - the fella at the desk at the gym on Tuesday morning if I could do so, and he said "Sure. There won't be any more charges if you notify us of your cancellation before September 7th.


I'm feeling VERY welcomed at the gym. . . .  

To be continued. . . .

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

To Be Continued. . .

I only have a very slow-speed Internet connection here at my hotel in New York and can't download any of the photos from yesterday.  I will continue taking photos, tho, and maybe go to the local public library to download them to this blog - if and when I have time to do so - OR just keep on "saving them all up" until I get back home on September 7th, and update this blog all in "one fell swoop" at that time.

I know how disappointed you, my gentle readers, must be.  But as Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, don't worry, "I'll be back."   ;-)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

24 Hours in Myrtle Beach

So Mikey and I hit the road for Myrtle Beach and my timeshare at the Sheraton Broadway Plantation resort there on Saturday morning.  (He'd gotten home from work on Friday too late, in my opinion, for us to leave then. So I postponed our departure till Saturday.)  It was a two and a half hour trip. . . .  We left at 8am and got there at about 10:30.

On the way we kept seeing huge billboards for a "Beef Jerky Outlet" store. Seemed like there were about 100 of the billboards. . . .  When we finally got to the store, it was just a little "hole in the wall" but I just HAD to see what it was all about:

They weren't even open yet. But they sent one of their employees - John - to the door to see what I wanted. I told him that I was just curious about the store since they had so many billboards. He said if I wanted to stick around another half hour they'd be open then. I told him no thanks, but in admiration of his tee-shirt (sorta) I asked him if Mikey could take my photo with him. . . .

Okay, so anyway, we continued on our way. We checked-in, looked over the suite (nice balcony overlooking a pond out back). . . .

After walking thru the clubhouse we checked-out the swimming pools. . . .

. . . . and the pool table next to the indoor one of the pools. . . .  

Also went for a swim (actually "tubing" in the Lazy River section of the outdoor pools).  I thought the Pirate Ship in the kiddie pool was a great thing.  I'd never seen it before; it was built after my last stay at the resort, a long time ago. . . .

Then we went to the huge Shopping and Amusements Mall down the street from the resort, Broadway At The Beach. . . . 

There's tons of Miniature Golf courses in Myrtle Beach, but the one at Broadway At The Beach is a stunner. . . .  A huge castle, with a fire-spewing dragon that pops out of the top of the castle tower once every 20 minutes.

Mikey took my photo near the castle, singing "If I Ruled the World". . . .

 We walked across the boardwalk that spans the lagoon that's in the middle of the Mall.  The same fish (carp) that we'd seen in 2007 when we were here are STILL hanging around the boardwalk nearest the vending machines with the food-pellets.
A fine kettle of fish!

Across the lagoon is a nice hangout - Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville."  I thought the "hamster wheel" clear plastic thingies in the lagoon outside Margaritaville were a nice little touch.  I can imagine some of Jimmy's patrons in them after having had a few drinks.

This - my wharf - was just outside where we ate. . . .

This is where we ate.  Joe's Crab Shack.  I like crabcakes!
 The food was very good, and the "ambience" was very "authentic". . .


Here's another shot of "my wharf" out back of Joe's, but with Mikey blocking my "ownership" sign. . . .

We drove around a bit after that, going up to North Myrtle Beach to try to find a good fishing spot on the Intercoastal Waterway.  Had no luck, so did some souvenir shopping and found a Dunkin' Donuts store with PEANUT donuts!  A treat.  Haven't had a peanut donut in YEARS.

 After that we went to the beach back in Myrtle Beach. . . .

And so ended our first day of the two in Myrtle Beach.

This morning, I was up at the crack of dawn. . . .

 I convinced Mikey to go to church with me. A really packed-crowd, and the singing was nice. It's great to have the familiar "sameness" no matter what catholic church you go to. Me, having had my recent medical problems, feel like my reason - sorta - for going to church again is that "There are no athiests in foxholes." But it is, really, for me a very soothing and calming thing.

After church we went back downtown, but this time to one of the ocean piers so Mikey could try fishing THERE. 

There was a REAL shark swimming around at the far end of the pier, but Mikey had to settle for "catching" this plastic one.

It was a really nice day, but hot and humid.

There were a few "para-sailing" customers out in the ocean.

Tonight's show has been brought to you by our sponsors:

Our next show will originate in NEW YORK.  Bye for now!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Any Visit to The Deep South Should Include THIS. . . .

. . . . A visit to a peanut store!

Went to the renown Columbia South Carolina establishment, Cromer's, after my morning gym workout. To pick up some souvenirs. No visit to Columbia, South Carolina is ever complete without a stop at Cromer's.

Then I returned to Tranquility Base. . . .  Took this pic of Mikey's backyard from an upstairs window.

Mikey and I are going to drive out to Myrtle Beach for the weekend, and maybe do some saltwater fishing. It'll be a good father-son "bonding experience" before I have to leave for New York early Monday morning.

Maybe I'll add some photos of Myrtle Beach to this later today or tomorrow.  This posting definitely won't be anywhere as long as yesterday's tho, I promise.