Wednesday, August 5, 2009

East Coast Trip - days 5-6

Carl waiting for the ferry going to Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty from Jersey City, NJ. Was a very warm day with lots and lots of people going via ferry every 30 minutes. Couldn't get a ticket to walk around the pedestal base of "The Lady". Earliest anyone could get the "free tickets" was to reserve them for sometime in November! Amazing to listen to all the people around us and the various languages, etc. Really emphasized the American melting pot.

This was looking back from the ferry to the old train station on Liberty Island Park where the ferry from Jersey City, NJ leaves for Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty. Was a little hazy out & the air quality was poor, so I had to really pace myself while walking.

This was NYC skyline we saw while on the ferry. There were several sailboats in the harbor as well as several large vessels waiting to enter the harbor.

This was inside the harbor of Ellis Island where all new immigrants were taken to ensure they were healthy, had enough money to sustain them while they procured living and working arrangements. They came with everything they owned & had to pile it up in the luggage area before going to the waiting area before advancing to the registration area where the ship's manifest with their pertinent information on it was compared to the vocal information each person would give to those examining them (the registration desk was up 3 flights of stairs where doctors could watch each person as they climbed them to see if they were healthy...if not they would marked with an "x" on their coat & pulled aside for further examinations.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

East Coast trip days 3-4

8/1: Navigated our way to Valley Forge National Park after late rising (10 a.m.). Went thru the Welcome Center first, checking out what was available for touring the park. Tickets for the trolley tour were sold out until 4:30 p.m. so decided to get the self guided tour CD.

Went to bottom parking lot to purchase hot dogs, Combos and something to drink.......drove to shady spot in parking lot (about 90 degrees out) to eat our lunch & dessert (apples).

Started the Encampment tour CD stopping when told to do so & listening to the narration before starting again to the next stop........was okay until Carl decided to take a "shortcut".....then had to backtrack via oneway lanes......finally got back on track with the CD (he finally listen to me when I said to stop or turn). Saw several deer near the paths including two fawns.

Anyone coming this way should take the time to visit, there are biking/hiking/walking trails throughout and many people were doing just that.

The recreated cabins (huts) were strategically located and it was amazing to find out just how many people were encamped at Valley Forge though no fighting was actually done there. Over two thousand died while here from disease, poor food, lack of clothing and pneumonia. There were hospitals set up in nearby towns where the ill were taken to get treated (only problem was once there they were stripped of their outer garments which were given to an active soldier, so even once well many could not return to their units because they had only their skivvies!

There were approximately 3000 women & children in the encampment (many officer's wives & children) including Martha Washington in February 1778 when she baked a cake & had troops put on some entertainment for George, which was the first time the US celebrated his birthday!

After completing the tour we headed back to our motel in Exton, PA & the temp had risen to about 92 degrees in the shade. I wore blisters on the soles of my heels so needed to change shoes & put on some low socks to help protect them.

Once back we read (me) and watched some TV before heading out by foot to Cheeseburgers Paradise restaurant near the motel. Carl had their special Pina Colada and I had Mango iced tea. Had their guacamole dip & chips which mixed with the salsa provided for a little more kick to the guacamole proved to be quite good. Both had the cheeseburger paradise with sweet potato chips & dill pickle......very filling and delicious. Walked back to the motel taking a short detour through the shopping center parking lot. Watched the news & weather before turning in for the night.

8/2: Woke up during the night to thunder & rain, seems like it rains every other day so far on this trip, so will do something inside today (maybe laundry). Use this as a relax day before heading out tomorrow for Mt. Tabor, NJ where our friends Jeff & Sharon live with their family to visit then on Tuesday @8 a.m. we will catch the ferry from NJ for the trip to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (couldn't get tickets to climb up to the torch......the first available tickets are November!).

Friday, July 31, 2009

East Coast Trip - days 2 & 3

7/30 found us in Intercourse, PA where we spent the night @Best Western (not good, very musty smelling & strong odor from horse & buggys passing by). Checked out the town & some of the shops.......okay, if you like lots of people shopping and most shops carry close to the same items. Carl decided to go play golf at Honeybrook up the road aways - got to play with a father/daughter/son threesome, thoroughly enjoying himself. I stayed at the motel and finished reading the second book I brought on the trip. Ended up going out Rte 30 to the Texas Road House ordering a very good ribsteak dinner.

7/31: appeared to be a sunny day by the time we got up moving for breakfast. Decided to spend the day around Harrisburg after eating at our favorite breakfast place "Cracker Barrel". Wanted to visit the state capital and the National Civil War Museum. Starting to rain, then really rained so good thing we wanted to see the museum. Great museum showing both sides of the Civil War, well worth the 2+ hours we spent reading & watching their displays. Spending the next couple of nights in Exton, PA at Holiday Inn Express. Will check out Valley Forge tomorrow and whatever else catches our fancy...may go check out Hersey, PA as well.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

East Coast Trip - July/August 2009

Wednesday: July 29th:

Left home @9:30 a.m. (1/2 hour later than planned). Hit rain most of the day as we traveled across Ohio, West Virginia and on into Somerset, PA. Started listening to a Carolyn Hart book on tape " Yankee Doodle Death" before arriving at our hotel for the night. Will have dinner with Greg & Cindy Butterbaugh (Carl use to do business with Greg when Carl worked for BEI so when we are in the area we try to give him a call). We will meet them at Ruby Tuesdays.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Old Lahaina Luau

Here we are at the Old Lahaina Luau in Lahaina across from the Cannery Mall. Got our first leis and they are gorgeous. Probably about 200+ people in attendance. All the drinks you want from the listed menu and lots of luau food that included Kalua Pua'a (roasted pork), poi (starch with no taste), Ahi Poke (raw yellow fin tuna), Sweet Potato (purple in color, tasted great), Pulehu Steak, Chicken Long Rice, Island Style Chicken (too greasy & cold), Mahi Mahi, Stir Fry Vegetables, Maui style Fried Rice (very good), Island Crab Salad (quite good), Taro Salad (taro & spinach in coconut sauce), Phole Salad, Lomi Lomi Salmon (okay, but not something we would care to have again), and for dessert: coconut pudding squares, macadamia nut tarts (yummy), macadamia nuts shredded atop chocolate brownies, dark chocolate micro-tart filled with passion fruit creme (quite yummy).

The island hula performance was about 1.5 hours long & WOW could they dance & tell the story of the Hula and the island. It was very entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable (even though the wooden chairs did get just a little old!).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Maui - Sunday Jan 25, 2009

The sun was bright when we finally got up... temp was about 75 degrees.. spent the day trying to layout our program for the week. Set up tours for Blue Hawaiian Helicopters for this afternoon.

This was a great trip. Our pilot "Joe" was great and knew all about the island and where the celebraties live including Opra. We flew over her Maui property. Joe set the helecopter down on a cattle ranch on the island where we spent about 20 minutes looking at the area. We shared a bottle of champaign and toasted our anniversary, plus another couple with us was getting married in two days on the island we also toasted their upcoming wedding. We saw the cinder cone craters from about 10 thousand feet and flew all around the island. What a great ride. Shirley really enjoyed the flight especially getting to see the whales, waterfalls & Kona, pineapple & sugar cane plantations. Got a DVD of the ride for "FREE" because the camera in the cockpit wasn't working properly & the 6 of us were all washed out!

When we got back to our condo, Shirley fixed some guacamole & chips and we shared our favorite sherry (Harvey's Bristol Creme) then I had a margarita as well. Watched a couple of TV programs that included the "Bob Hope Classic".