Rainy day in Connecticut…

Today was a quiet, rainy day in Connecticut.

We drove over to Clinton, CT to mail a package and then on to Old Saybrook for lunch at The Log Cabin restaurant.

After lunch we headed to Walmart and then the grocery store.

And then home in a driving rain storm.

This evening Jan and I spend some time mapping out our path for the next month or so.

Looks like we’ll be taking two ferries between Nove Scotia and Newfoundland and back, and it will probably take us about two weeks for the roundtrip to and from Maine.

We’ll see.

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Eastbound and down…

Today was a travel day.

After having breakfast at a local restaurant, we headed east toward Clinton, CT a little after noon.

We were only going about 130 miles, but it took us about 4 hours due to all the traffic on I-95.  A good part of the time we were only doing about 40 mph.

The only ‘highlight’ of the trip, if you can call it that, was the fact that it cost us $23.75 to cross the Tappan Zee bridge which spans the Hudson River about 25 miles above New York City.

And traffic across the bridge was very slow due to what a flashing sign said was police activity on the bridge. We could see police lights in the distance and a helicopter hovering overhead, but by the time we got to that part of the bridge everybody was gone.

Jan jokingly said “Maybe somebody jumped!”.  And it turns out she was right.  A 66 year old women from NJ  jumped from the bridge and was killed when she hit the pilings at the base of the bridge.

Apparently this happens enough that they have installed phones all along the bridge that connect directly with the Suicide Prevention Hotline.

More tomorrow…

Last day in New York…

Today is our last full day in New York.

And besides going out for lunch at a local deli and running some errands,  we just hung around the rig and got ready to travel tomorrow.

We went by the local True Value hardware store after lunch to pick up some shipping tape and a toggle switch for a upgrade I want to do to our Electrical Management System box.  It was interesting to find that this was more of an old time General Store, than just a hardware store.  They sold clothes, shoes, and other general merchandise, too.  It was a neat place to just walk around in.

On to Connecticut tomorrow.

Up, Up, and Not Away!

Today was to be our last day here in Florida, NY,  but we decided to stay an extra day, so we won’t be leaving until Thursday now.

In the morning, I installed the latest board that my Electrical Management System company sent me, and this one seems to have fixed the problem.  We’ll see.

After having lunch at Chumley’s, a local BBQ restaurant, we drove about 40 miles over to West Nyack, NY to see the animated movie ‘UP’.  We drove that far because it was the only theater in the area still showing it.

We both really enjoyed ‘UP’.  It was very well done, and not predictable. And it will bring a tear to your eye.

The mall where we went to the movie is called Palisades Center, and is the 10th largest mall in the US.  I think it’s the largest mall we’ve seen.

It’s 4 stories tall, 5 if you include the underground parking garage, and contains a lot of stores you don’t see in an enclosed mall, but usually only in standalone buildings, like Best Buy,  Burlington Coat Factory,  Target,  Bed Bath & Beyond, and Home Depot.

It also has a 21 theater cinema, an IMAX theater, an ice skating rink, a Ferris Wheel, and a double-decker carousel.

We got back home about 5 pm, only to have the park power go off about 30 minutes later.  Apparently a car hit a power pole down the road.

The power was off for about 45 minutes, and even when it came back on, the voltage was only about 105 volts.

Hopefully it will be better tomorrow morning.  This low voltage can be hard on the AC’s.

Later…

Where’s the Big Monkey?

Jan and I spent our last day in New York visiting the Empire State Building, having lunch, cappuccino, and cheesecake at Junior’s in Times Square, and fulfilling a major item on Jan’s bucket list.

We caught the 8:45 am train into the city to Penn Station/Madison Square Garden and then walked the 3 long blocks (New York’s blocks in Manhattan are rectangles, not square. They’re about 1000 ft x 250 ft.) over to the Empire State Building at 5th Ave. and 33rd St.

ESB from Penn Station

ESB from Penn Station

We got to the ESB about 10:30 am, hoping we were early enough to avoid the large crowds that can be there.  Apparently,  it can take as long as 3-4 hours to get in on some days,  but we lucked up.

ESB Lobby

ESB Lobby

It was easy to see the 1930’s Art Deco influence in everything from the murals to the floor.

ESB Floor

ESB Floor

After going thru security (just like the airport, except you can keep your shoes on)  we got on the first elevator about 11:00 am.

It takes two elevators to get to the 86th floor observation deck.  The first one takes you to the 80th floor and then another one takes you to the 86th.

ESB Queue LIne

ESB Queue LIne

It was easy to see that they were set up to handle really large crowds, so I’m glad we got there early.

The view from the 86th floor is amazing. There’s just a wire fence separating you from thin air.

ESB Observation Deck

ESB Observation Deck

All the New York landmarks were visible, like the Chrysler Building,

Chrysler Building

Chrysler Building

the Flatiron Building,

Flatiron Building

Flatiron Building

and Central Park.

Central Park

Central Park

Looking down, it looks like toy buildings on the model railroad layout.

Toy Buildings

Toy Buildings

I then paid extra to take another elevator up to the 102th floor, but it was a disappointment.  It was small and completely enclosed. You also had to dodge the large metal beams that support the tower on top of the ESB.

102th Floor

102th Floor

Here’s Jan and I on top.

High Atop The ESB

High Atop The ESB

We were out of the ESB by noon, so we made good time.  I tried to take a picture straight up from the street, but this is all you can see, due to the inset of the top floors of the building.

ESB From the Street

ESB From the Street

From here we took a cab over to 45th St and Times Square to have lunch at Junior’s ,  a place famous for their cheesecake in the Theater district since the  1950’s.  Their carrot cake cheesecake is probably the best pie or cake of any kind I have ever eaten.

Walking back over to Broadway, Jan got her picture taken with a world-famous New York celebrity, The Naked Cowboy.

Naked Cowboy 1

Naked Cowboy 1

Naked Cowboy 2

Naked Cowboy 2

Naked Cowboy 3

Naked Cowboy 3

I think she was enjoying this entirely too much.  And why isn’t there a Naked Cowgirl, anyway?

And the Naked Cowboy is also running for Mayor of New York.

Naked Cowboy for Mayor

Naked Cowboy for Mayor

He has a bevy of beautiful blondes running around handing out campaign literature, but could I get my picture taken with them?  Nooooo!

A recent article says he makes between 3 and 4 hundred dollars an hour doing this and only works between 11 am and 2 pm each day.  There are pictures of him, dressed just like this,  standing in 6 inches of snow.

I think I’d worry about frostbite myself.

We then sat on the lawn chairs on Broadway and watch the world go by for a while. 

On Broadway

On Broadway

Looking up, we could see the New Year’s Eve ball resting at the bottom of the column for 2009.

Times Square Ball

Times Square Ball

It sure seems like the column is taller on TV.

About 3 pm we caught a cab back to Penn Station to start the journey back to Florida, NY where we’re parked.

It’s a two part train ride. First we catch a train from Penn Station to Secaucus Junction, in Secaucus, NJ. 

Although not as big as Penn Station, Secaucus Junction is really a very beautiful station.

Secaucus Junction

Secaucus Junction

Then we catch the 4:18 pm Port Jervis train out to Harriman, NY where we left our truck at the Park and Ride, finally getting home about 5:30 pm.

Not bad, but I’d hate to have to do it every day, like many people do.

More tomorrow…

Weeerrreee Baacckk!

Today Jan and I just rested up from our week-long fling in New York with Brandi and Piper.

We put them on the plane in Philadelphia yesterday afternoon and they arrived safely back in Houston last night.

About noon,  Jan and I drove over to Middletown to get more ‘stuff’ at Walmart and Sam’s, and have lunch at Cosimo’s again.

Tomorrow,  Jan and I will travel back into New York one last time to visit the Empire State Building and have lunch at Junior’s again. 

We didn’t go with Brandi and Piper when they went because it was pouring down and Jan didn’t want to traipse over there in the wind and rain.

So tomorrow, it’s our turn.

They’re Gonnnee!

Well, we drove down to Philadelphia today,  had lunch at Famous Dave’s BBQ before going to the airport to put Brandi and Piper on a plane back to Houston.

We had a great time seeing the sights of New York together and look forward to seeing them, and Chris and Linda, again in November when we get back to Houston.

Over the next few days,  I’ll be catching up the blog on all the things we did while they were here.  We were leaving so early and getting home so late, that I didn’t have time then.