Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Monday, September 29, 2014

Roller Derby!

On Sunday I attended another birthday party for Justin, this one for his school friends.  We all met at a roller rink in Hyde Park, and the kids skated along with any adults who wanted to try it.  Adults could walk along with their kids who were a bit unsteady on the skates.  About midway through the party the rink served a lunch of pizza and lemonade, and Mike & Sandy provided a beautiful birthday cake.  Then it was back out on the floor for more skating. 

I gave it a lot of thought - mostly as to what could happen to me if I fell - but I really wanted to try it.  I believe I've only skated in a rink one other time in my life, and that was back when I was in high school.  I didn't really care for it, and ice skating was my thing.

I decided "what the hell, go for it!".  I was wobbly the first time around the rink and kept pretty much to the railing around the perimeter.  The second and third times I got a little better (although by no means ready to leave the safety of the nearby railing).  I think if I had skated a few more times I would have felt more natural at it, but I figured I should act my age and stop before I caused myself any damage.   I gave myself a mental "big girl pat"though!  (Click to enlarge photos)

Thanks to Sandy's Aunt Liz for holding my hand as I got started.  It was enough to carry me through to the stage where I felt I could do it myself.  The last picture is of Josh and Justin who were complete naturals at skating.

Today (Monday) Liz and I met a friend of hers in Newburgh and had a loooong lunch at a nice restaurant on the Hudson River.  It was so pleasant and the food was the best.  I even had New York Cheesecake for dessert!  Liz dropped me back here at Mike and Sandy's, and then drove to her home in New Rochelle.  

This has been a wonderful 3 weeks for me, with a lot of totally different things to do.  I had a wonderful visit in Northern Virginia, a great excursion to NYC and the Intrepid, and then a roller skating event - something I never thought I would do.  The best part was all the interaction and fun with family.

I will be traveling tomorrow, but I hope to be blogging more regularly after a few days of rest.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

More of Intrepid

First I need to correct my post that wrongly identified a cruise missile as a Harrier jump jet.  I think they were in the same area and maybe even side by side, but that's no excuse!   Thanks to my brother, Bill, for letting me know.

Rather than try to identify anything else on the ship I will just post some photos.  

Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club

Mike's dad was a medic in Korea in the early 1960's, and this is a medical chopper from the Korean War era.

Please click on a photo to enlarge.  All comments welcome, and I would especially like to hear from those of you who are personally familiar with the ship or any of the planes, helicopters, etc.  

The guided tour was definitely worth the time and cost.  We had walked around most of the ship, but having a guide explain and tell stories about it was priceless.  We also saw a film about the history of the Intrepid, ending with personal accounts of those who fought, American and Japanese.    It was a powerful experience for me.

Although it rained all day and it was difficult to take pictures on the deck, it sure kept the crowds down, which made it easier to take our time exploring everything.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Yesterday we all piled in the van and drove into New York City, to the pier where the aircraft carrier Intrepid is berthed.  Although traffic was definitely lighter than normal due to the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana, there were still a lot of cars on the road and we drove in a light but steady rain.   Mike had reserved our tickets to tour the Intrepid plus the Growler submarine.

This is taken while driving along the Hudson:  (The best photo I took on the drive along the Hudson and which showed New Jersey in the background, will not load.  It's a shame because it is a great photo!)

We arrive at the pier but the Intrepid is too long to get in one photo:

On the Growler sub:

On the deck of the aircraft carrier is a Harrier jet:

And the Concorde:

 I can see already that I have too many photos to include in one post, so I will describe and show most of the pictures taken in and on the Intrepid tomorrow.  (Click on a picture to enlarge.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

More walking

I was back on the trail this morning and covered two more miles of the 13 total, although I actually walked 4 miles today.  The first thing I'm going to do when I get back to Sacramento is visit the shoestore for athletic footwear and buy myself a good pair of walking shoes.  I should never have thought I could buy inexpensive Fila's and walk very far in them.  I think I have blisters today.

There are a few trees that are beginning to turn red, but most are just waiting for a frost .  I also got a shot of the mile marker that I will begin with the next time I'm back on the trail - possibly next June.

I got all turned around leaving the parking area as I'm not familiar with the roads in this particular area.  I wrote the directions to the parking lot I wanted, but just indicated left and right turns.  I thought about drawing a map but didn't think I'd need it.  

While walking this morning I was passed by a man on a low slung 3-wheeler, and he was using his arms to turn the big front wheel.  He went by so fast that I didn't get a chance to see if he was an amputee or otherwise unable to use his legs.  He also passed me as I was walking back to where I started, which means he went a lot further than I did.  He probably didn't whine that his arms hurt and I feel bad that I'm whining about my feet and legs hurting.  (My legs don't hurt as much today, though, so I guess the trick will be to keep up the walking regimen.) 

It looks like rain is forecast for tomorrow and we may not be able to take our planned excursion.   Tomorrow is the Jewish feast of Rosh Hashana and the schools are closed, so Sandy and Mike both planned to take  off work.   Time will tell.  I think it is supposed to be raining in Sacramento as well, and I hope my roof repair holds up.

I'm trying to catch up on the blogs I read and am doing fairly well at it although I'm not always leaving comments.  Things will get back to normal when I'm home and rested up, and get used to the 3-hour time difference.

I believe a commenter asked me a while back what kind of camera I use.  It's a little Canon Powershot A-1400.  I can't say I'm crazy about it, but it's easy to carry around.  If I could find a place to buy film that I know is fresh I think I would go back to using my film cameras more often.  The only thing I like about digital is quick access to the photos.  I have never used the video or the delete photo options with this camera, yet they take up two spaces on the camera housing that  could either be used for something else or just left blank.  Does every bit of it have to be filled with some option?   And because most cameras don't come with an instruction booklet but rather you must access a 350+ page online booklet, I don't know what all the options are and probably won't ever find out.  Oh well, I know I'm greatly outnumbered where this issue is concerned.

I don't know whether to take a quick nap or find something else to do, but the nap sounds appealing!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Back on the trail

I parked my car at a lot a few miles further along the trail and walked about 2-1/2 miles, which is 5 miles round trip.  My legs are hurting, and I can't understand why they should  since I walk a lot to begin with.  

The sun was extremely bright today which makes the shady spots that much darker - not great for picture taking.  Also, I discovered that the distance from one end of the trail at Hopewell Junction to the other end at the Walkway over the Hudson (Poughkeepsie) is only 13 miles.  The person who told me the mileage thought it was 26 miles one way, but that would be round trip.  I wish I had started walking it sooner and could have done the entire trail, but as I only have 1 week left with other plans for some of those days I might not be able to walk to the other end.  It is slow when you have to walk for a distance and then double back.

(I tried to add a couple of photos but for some reason they look cockeyed and slanted on the page.  I can't figure out why that would be, but I think Google/Blogger doesn't like me at all.)

Most days since I've been here I haven't seen the deer, but they were out this morning.  Several were grazing in the back yard while one juvenile was running around in circles and leaping in what seemed like joy!  I also saw some on the road when driving out to the trail.  I will miss them and maybe I should start walking on the American River Parkway when I get back to Sacramento.  There are lots of deer there (as well as signs that mountain lions are in the vicinity).

The leaves are just barely starting to turn, and I should see a little more color during the coming week.  Some trees have leaves that turned to yellow, but I want to see the beautiful reds of the east before I go.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekend trip

We boarded Amtrak at the New Rochelle station in NY and headed for the Baltimore airport stop (BWI).  From there we picked up a rental car and drove to our hotel nearby.  Ara joined us on the train at the Philadelphia stop;  Katy & Stephanie took a bus from NY, and Steve picked them up at their stop.  We finally all joined up.  Mike and his family had one room, and I shared with the 3 girls.  It was fun, and certainly a lot of giggling went on.

The train trip was great.  The longest stop, although in actuality a fairly short one, is Penn Station in NYC.  I always loved that station and caught my train there many times.

Waiting at New Rochelle.  I would have had to stand on the edge of the platform to get a head-on picture of the sign.

 On Saturday morning we headed for Annandale, VA in two rental cars.  Mike had thought about having us take the train to DC and then the metro to VA., but on Saturday the traffic was fine and I was glad to enjoy the view.

I had a wonderful time visiting with family that I haven't seen in years.  This is Stephanie and me with my Aunt Lenora.

We sat and brought ourselves up to date with what's been happening, while eating and drinking from a delicious spread Lenora provided.  I'm so grateful to have had this opportunity to visit my aunt who has meant so much to me throughout my life.  She served as a mentor in much of my growing up and into my working life.

Here are most of the group.  I believe Sandy took the photo, so of course she's not in it.


After we left my aunt's house we drove into Washington, DC so the boys could see the White House and the Lincoln Memorial.  We split up into two groups, and son Steve, Katy, Ara and I didn't really want to do a lot of walking so I snapped a couple of photos and then we headed off to a sidewalk cafe for refreshments.

The other group managed to see the World War II Memorial, the Korean Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial.  I've seen the Vietnam Mem. many times but never the WW II.  Maybe the next time in DC I'll manage to see it.

We also managed to drive past the condo where I lived in Northern VA.  The condo bldg. looks pretty much the same although the area has grown so much that I could hardly recognize it.  We had dinner at a favorite restaurant in Falls Church, VA - called Ireland's Four Provinces, or the 4 P's as we've always referred to it.  Everyone was happy and content with their selection, and I sure enjoyed my pint of Guinness, although the Guinness is much better in Ireland than when it's imported.  (I think they  have to pasteurize it in order to import it into the U.S.)

Just before catching our train back to NY we ate at a seafood restaurant recommended by my cousin, and I had the best crabcakes I've ever eaten in my life!  You have to get them in Maryland to get the best.

The weekend sped by and we all had to eventually say good-bye to each other.  Steve caught a flight back to Sacramento, Katy and Stephanie returned to NYC, Ara got off the train in Philadelphia, and we finally made it back to Dutchess Co.  I slept well last night.

I would like to have taken more photos, but many of them didn't turn out so well.  I took quite a few through the window of the train, but couldn't use any of them after all.

We have another side trip planned tentatively for this coming Thurdsday.  If so, I should be able to get some great photos!   (If I remember to turn my camera on and point it at something.)

(NOTE:  I have no idea why the font keeps changing in this post.  I think Blogger is a piece of crap, although it's probably the easiest of all the crappy programs to use for blogging.)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rails to trails

I walked today, about 3 miles which took me an hour.  That's about what Ara and I did earlier in the week.   I had intended to walk yesterday and then visit the depot which is only open Wed., Sat. and Sun., but I had driven halfway to the trailhead before realizing I was wearing Birkenstocks, so I just skipped it.

It was a beautiful day and there were quite a few folks out walking as well as biking.  Even so, I had stretches of trail all to myself and it is a very peaceful walk.  I've been told it goes all the way to the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie, and I'm not sure but would imagine that is 40 or 50 miles of trail, round trip.

I took several pictures:  (click to enlarge)

The pond winds around and I couldn't see either end of it.  The stuff floating in the water is lily pads.  I thought the box on the pole might be a birdhouse but I got close enough to read the sign, and these are bat boxes, a sustainable way to keep the insect population down.

More pictures of the woods on either side of the trail as well as the pond.  

Back at the depot.

I remember as a child riding the train to my grandparents' farm in Kentucky and every little station we pulled through had those old wagons ready to pile on the luggage and freight for that stop.  They were usually pulled by one person and sometimes the luggage seemed to be stacked sky-high.

That's all I've done for today, and no doubt all I'm going to do except to pack for our weekend trip down to the Washington, DC area.  We will visit my aunt who lives in Northern Virginia, one of my mother's sisters, who just turned 86 a week ago.  I have always been close to her but in the last few years just couldn't do the drive into the metro DC area.  My son arranged for us to take the train from NY, and we will be joined first by two nieces (Katy and Stephanie) at Penn Station, then Ara at Philadelphia, and on to Baltimore near the airport.  My son Steve is in for a conference near the Baltimore airport (BWI) and we will be joining up with him tomorrow evening.  We'll stay at a hotel in that area and will all take the train into DC and Northern VA on Saturday.   It should be a noisy and loving gathering, and I'm so excited about it.  My oldest son, Mike, has arranged the entire thing as well as my own trip to NY and back.  He is one of the most generous and thoughtful people I know!