Sunday, September 06, 2009

WORLD AND PERSONAL HISTORY TOURS

MOVIE REVIEW: If you are old enough to remember WWll, I’m sure you have often wondered about how different the outcome of that war might have been had the attempts to assassinate Adolph Hitler been successful. In the new movie “Inglourious Basterds” (sic) Quentin Tarantino, the film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and actor uses that hypothesis as the theme for this raw, violent and graphic movie. Being a card-carrying Hitler Hater, I couldn’t help but cheer for the main character Lt. Aldo Raine, played by Brad Pitt even though I had to close my eyes during most of the many brutal and sadistic scenes. Even Phil, a Viet Nam veteran admitted the violence was beyond his comfort level and a bit overdone in his opinion. However, mark my words, the actor that played Nazi Colonel Hans Landa … Christopher Waltz will be nominated for an academy award. He is that good! If you can handle this type of movie, we give it a definite thumb up.

Normally, since we do not have a washer and dryer on board our Penny the Pace, we have to find a clean and hopefully modern coin laundry when it is time to do the dastardly deed. In this particular instance, we are parked right next to the parks laundry room and decided to do our washing in place. It took two days ;) instead of two hours. Single load, top loaders made the chore a bit more involved but Phil performed the bulk of transporting the loads, filling the machines with soap, etc., adding the fabric softener during the rise cycle, transferring the wet clothes into the dryers and folding splendidly. If you know me you know I have lots of obsessions but my most well known is my laundry fetish. You cannot believe how difficult it was for me to turn over my control of this chore but I survived, Phil did the job very well and the task is done until next time. Another example of how all things can (and probably will) change … sooner or later.

We’ve been food shopping a couple times and cooking quite a bit this past week. The closest Wal*Mart Supercenter is 12 miles away (and we have gone there) but we have actually been making a few purchases at the local Giant store. Mostly produce as in my opinion, that is where Wal*Mart drops the ball. I made stroganoff with leftover pieces of cooked meat I had been saving in the freezer; Phil grilled steaks and I decided I would try my hand at steak fries from scratch. Even though we were positive we knew how to make them perfectly, we were disappointed with the results and have decided to go back to baked potatoes with our steaks. We also made chiliburgers with our favorite chili, Nalleys Hot that we stock up on and carry aboard. Once we leave WA that brand is really hard to find and once we move east from Arizona, it is nonexistent. We have also had breakfast at home every day eating lots of fresh fruit (yummy!) with eggs thrown in for protein either boiled or scrambled once or twice. Pretty exciting stuff, right?
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One long day trip we traveled northeast to Long Island, NY. My ELLISON ancestors settled in Hempstead on Long Island in the middle 1600s and I have wanted to go there for years once I found the connection. Phil with our GPS, Carmen Garmin as his right arm (not to mention my following along with a paper map) did a magnificent job dealing with the traffic, the toll roads and bridges, and driving through the unfamiliar narrow, one-way streets on the island that seem to be the norm unless you prefer the freeways. We chose the surface streets once we arrived and found an I-Hop (thanks to Carmen) for lunch (where we waited nearly an hour to be seated as the place was packed … now what was that we’ve been told about a recession and lack of discretionary spending?). However, once we were seated, the service and food was perfect. The drive took us across Staten Island and two beautiful bridges then into Brooklyn. We followed a scenic drive on the Belt Parkway that took us by exits to Kennedy Airport and Coney Island. We drove to the village of Hempstead and I got the lay of the land and then cruised through the inner city of Brooklyn on our way home. The parks and streets were filled with families enjoying the beautiful weather and I must say, I did not feel the least bit fearful and saw no signs of gangs or gang activity. Is that good news or what?

Then later in the week, another big adventure was crossed off my bucket list! Phil had visited there when he worked in Philadelphia for nearly three months back before he retired but I had never been there. We spent half a day at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and really enjoyed our visit. Taking a one-hour, whole building tour and having the tour leader all to ourselves made the visit (although speedy) very enjoyable. The PMOA is a world-class museum and in the main building's sweep of 200 captivating galleries and exhibitions, there are striking Renaissance master paintings, elaborately carved stone altarpieces, and entire period rooms and architectural settings from around the world. My camera did not do the interior shots justice so I have added a link so you can look for yourselves if you are interested. Of course, I had to see the panoramic staircase made famous by Sylvester Stallone in his “Rocky” movie. They are formidable but Phil walked down to take pictures and back up without breaking a sweat … I did not :) … We highly recommend this stop in your travels and the new parking garage, although a bit spendy ($10) makes arrival and departure easy as pie. They have a fine dining restaurant available for lunch (we checked the menu and passed) and chose the café down the hall for a delicious and fresh turkey salad for me from the salad bar and a meatball sandwich from the grill and chips for Phil at a very reasonable cost.

Thanks for stopping by …
Until next time,












4 comments:

  1. Hi Joy! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I did sign up as a follower of yours.....my husband and I have a dream to someday fulltime, so I'm reading up on all the different experiences you 'pros' are having so that we'll know what to expect--and give us ideas on what to do once its our turn. I like your blog set up with posts and photos....

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  2. You guys are really getting a lot of great siteseeing done... Loved all your pictures too...

    Have Fun & Travel Safe
    Donna

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  3. Your wonderful trip continues, thanks for sharing with us.

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  4. Joy, Love you pictures in Philly. I was there - at least the airport once when our son Steve lived in Delaware. Your other pictures were great too. Am glad you are having fun and seeing all these new places.

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