Wednesday, September 14, 2016

We're coming to the edge, running on the water, coming through the fog. . . .

I took the title to this blog posting from Carly Simon's "Let the River Run," one of my favorite songs.

Here's the photos from my last two days back East, in Connecticut and Long Island.  Tho I got home nearly one week ago, it took me until today to finally "catch up" and finish posting the last photos of the last two full days, Monday September 5th and Tuesday, September 6th.

On Monday, I was up before the crack of dawn at Beth and Greg's to make it to New London and catch the 6:30am ferry from there back to the eastern end of Long Island, at Orient Point on the northern "tail" of The Island. . . .

Still waiting in line to drive the car onto the ferry at sunrise:

The trip out of New London harbor was interesting. . .

We were "outbound" and crossed paths with another ferry that was "inbound". . . 

Went past the old Submarine-building company, General Dynamics, in the harbor, on the way out. Dunno if that one "in two pieces" was under construction or just there for display.  It looked a lot smaller than the really BIG ones I remember I used to see inside the building when going by and the doors to the building were open. . . .

A "tin can" as sailors call them, was docked in the harbor. The nemesis of all submariners! Maybe the destroyer was there to practice dropping some depth-charges on the subs???

Looking to the west as we exited the harbor, the lighthouse there. . .

And looking to the east as we got outside the harbor, the little island lighthouse there. . . .

Being that it was Labor Day, there weren't many other passengers or cars on board:


It was a little rough when we got out to "open seas". . . .  

Here's some video clips of it:

Click HERE to see HOW rough!
https://goo.gl/photos/ziyXLmMYBCqm6fuY8

And click HERE too!!
https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipO4QYJ7W93eU4aVTvNxvluxxhWTRDl9oAiSXWo

Saw plenty more lighthouses on the way. . . .
Out in the middle of Long Island Sound:

Over on Plum Island. . . .

Out in "Plum Gut," the strait between Orient Point and Plum Island:

Pulling in to the Orient Point ferry terminal was exciting. . . .  Like watching Star Wars' Death Star swallow up a smaller planet!

Click HERE to see "The Death Star" in action.
https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipPdzjFp2p6GbIXwIIw5KLMM-99LyZ8fjuZSQTg

When we pulled in to port, it was very interesting to see the good ship "Cape Henlopen" alongside of us.  Her original name was "LST 510" and her first purpose in her long life was to land marines and soldiers on one of the beaches in Normandy on D-Day of World War II.  Many veterans have had reunions on her over the years.  After the surrender of Germany she was scheduled to go thru the Panama Canal to go help finish the war against the Japanese, but by the time she made it to the Caribbean the Japanese had already surrendered, so she went back to the East Coast and was used as a ferry in a few of the places there, including the Cape May, New Jersey to Lewes, Delaware ferry run. . . .  before she was sold to the Cross Sound Ferry Co. - where she proudly serves even today.

Some of her history is given on the Cross Sound Ferry Company's website:

After driving off the ferry I felt very welcomed back to New York . . . .

and it's *ahem* big wine-growing region on Long Island's "North Fork". . . .

Passed thu the Oyster Ponds on the causeway there. . . .

And the interestingly named town of East Marion, NY. . . .  named after South Carolina's "Swamp Fox" - Francis Marion - of the American Revolution, by the first settlers of this area. . . .  folks who moved here from South Carolina way back then!  I didn't have time to take photos of that little town as I passed thru it. Like they say, "Don't blink!"

Here's a sample of Long Island's competition for Napa and Sonoma, California. . .


I drove thru the little town of Mattituck, on it's famed road:

Stopped by one of my last homes on Long Island - before my move to California - at Towne House Village in Islandia:

And my last house, on good old Genesee Drive. . .
They both look like they're still in pretty good shape.

Continuing my "homes tour" I decided to drive by the old home of 29 years in Huntington Station. . .
Still looking pretty good, too.  And with the Magnolia tree out front having grown to humongeous size.  It must look very beautiful when the blossoms on it are in bloom.

And Grammy's house, two blocks over. . .

The old neighborhoods haven't changed much.  Even the local "taverna" down the street from our old house in Huntington is still there.  The name of it now reminds me of some friends I have out here in California in a town of the same name. . . .

I then went downtown to Huntington to see if our favorite diner, Golden Dolphin, was still in business.  I was surprised to find it not only in business, but having been rebuilt and expanded another storefront. . .
Had my lunch there. . . .
Wow! What an improvement over the way it used to look!

I met good old Teddy, who told me his brother Peter had "dropped out" of co-ownership with him when they made all the changes to the old place.  I look like Teddy gave me an extra glass of wine in this photo (something he used to do - besides offering free dessert to Eleanor and me back when we were "regulars" at the old place).  I swear I didn't touch a drop this time.  I'm off liquor completely these days!
He's looking pretty good.  Told me he has slimmed down a bit. He has. Never trust a skinny cook!

After lunch at Golden Dolphin, I stopped by friends Bob & Mary and spent the afternoon yakking with them, then went to dinner with them at the Chinese restaurant in Commack near "Ciao Baby". . .
the Italian restaurant.  I didn't get any photos of us. . . .  I guess we yakked so much about what's been going on in our lives for the past year-and-a-half that I just didn't think to take any photos!

Got back to my "digs" at the hotel in Bethpage around 9pm and continued packing for my trip back home (still sounds funny, calling California my home) to take place on that Wednesday.  But I got up early the next morning  - Tuesday -to take one more trip to Connecticut. . . .  a shorter one, to my cousin Jimmy's and to see his dad, my Uncle Paul, that Tuesday in western Connecticut.

I hit the road on a cloudy morning, listening to radio reports of the hurricane that was NOW hitting the eastern end of Long Island. 

Crossed the "FROG'S NECK Bridge". . . .  Well, that's what my KIDS used to call the Throg's Neck Bridge. . . .


Took the good old Hutchinson River Parkway, stopping by "the Sequoia tree" at the good old rest stop near the north end of the parkway. . . .
A cleverly disguised cell-phone tower. 'Cept for the fact that any people who live LOCALLY know there's no other Sequoia trees in New York!

Anyways, got my coffee and donut and proceeded onward. . .

I reached my cousin Jimmy's at 11:30 and went with him to visit his dad, my Uncle Paul, at the nursing home.  He seemed happy and talkative, but Jim told me that he's not that way all of the time.  I think Uncle Paul was glad to see me and we did talk for over two hours.  I hope he keeps his spirits up and puts on a few pounds.  I had a nurse take a photo of the three of us, but would rather keep it for my personal use.

Went back to Jim and Karen's place after that and Jim showed me around.  They've got a very nice place out in the country.  We went out to their garden and Jim fresh-picked the veggies for our salad for dinner there.  His flower garden alongside the barn there impressed me. . . .

Karen fixed a wonderful dinner that I enjoyed.  She always makes me feel right at home whenever I visit.  Thanks Karen!

Again, we talked a long time and I forgot to take photos!  But I did exchange a jar of my son Jamie's honey for a jar of Jimmy's.  Both my James and my cousin Jimmy are beekeepers, so a comparison of California honey versus New England honey was something I had to take the honey for!

I drove back to my hotel on Long Island that night, finished packing, and was on my way to the airport by 8am Wednesday for my 11:30 flight back home.  It was pretty much uneventful, other than that we sat on the runway for what seemed like an eternity before getting into the air.  I joked with the fella across the aisle that "I think we've used up all our fuel just 'idling' on the runway."  He agreed.


Got back to Oakland airport on time, and had dinner then hitched a ride home with a certain-someone who shall remain unnamed here.  It was a great trip.  I felt a bit more like a tourist this last few weeks on this trip than I did last year when I made the same three-week-long trip.  I was glad to see so many of my old friends and relatives on this trip tho!

THE END
(aren't you glad?)

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