Saturday, September 29, 2012

I'm not some world traveler but I have been to a few different places in my life. The last time, 2006, I flew anywhere was to California to see a very dear lady friend. With Massachusetts roots. The time before that was 1986 to the Baltimore/Washington area. Loved Washington Baltimore, similar to Boston. Then back to the 70's. In 1979 I went to California to visit a friend who went into the Air force right after high school some 10 years before. I forget the name of the base he and his wife were living on but I do remember it was in the Mojave desert. This trip also included a drive through Death Valley to Las Vegas. He liked living in the desert or so he said. As for me I don't think I would like that kind of heat all the time. Call me crazy but at some point I probably wouldn't mind some cold. You can only take so many clothes off. You can always add another layer when it's cold. In 1977-76 I went to Ft. Lauderdale for a week each year. Spring break kind of stuff though I was a little older than most of the people there. Maybe I'll dredge some of those pictures up. Then back in 1965 my dad took my sister and I to Italy. We went to Rome then to Sicily. Jump back to 1956, when I was quite young, we made, as a family, the first trip to Italy. We were there 3 months. I was sick for for almost 2 with scarlet fever.

The upshot of all this is I'm not getting any younger. I'm positive about this. I just checked yesterday. I have been working for the same company for 40 years, through many different owners, and I am still in good health. I do like to travel every now and then but I am not really up for nor could I afford a 3000 mile plane flight plus spending money. On the other hand I almost completely ignored my own area until I got a camera. Then there's the entire New England area. I 've only been to Vermont once many years ago. It was not a good time and memorable for all the wrong reasons. I've been to New Hampshire many times. It's very easy to get from where I live. You have to love the slogan on their license plates, "Live free or die." I've been to Maine twice, Rhode Island twice. And at this point I can't think of any reason to go to Connecticut except to go to New York City. No disrespect to Connecticut intended. Then there's my very own state. For the longest time I just ignored things that were a half an hours drive away. Even my very own city with It's early ship building to "Over the river and through the woods" and "Jingle Bells" being written here, had things to offer. Granted in the grand scheme of things the last two items are not high on a list of achievements.
Then there's Cape Cod. I've been there many times. And the Cape is a lovely place however in the summer it's crawling with people. This brings me back to Martha's Vineyard. Which has the same summertime crowds as the Cape. This is why, after I gave a thought to Martha's Vineyard, I decided I would go either in late Spring/early Summer or Late Summer/ early fall. The latter being my favorite. I'm still having a hard time putting into words why the place is so appealing to my lady friend and myself. I'm sure it's appeal is helped by having to board the ferry to travel 7 miles in 45 minutes. It's a tiny, mini, cruise, then you are on an island. Some of the architecture is similar to Cape Cod and the rest is pretty unique. Oak Bluffs, the city we stay in, has cottage style houses some more regular New England style houses, then there are the Gingerbread Houses. And there's a lot of them. As you walk around you half expect to hear munchkins giggling in the bushes.

There are much less tourists about and it is quite a relaxed atmosphere. There's a charm and a funkiness to the place. Then there are just simply beautiful places.

Strolling about Oak Bluffs one afternoon, we stopped for some liquid refreshment.

I have gone there 5 times in the last 2 and a half years. It's getting away without being all that much away. It's not real expensive and it's still my home state. I think I have at least one more trip in me before I break the cycle and choose some other destination preferably within a 3 hour drive of home. I have thought about Nantucket but that is a much more expensive place. But you never know. Mostly day trips but once again, you never know if I will find another special place.
Here's part two of the slide show I originally wanted to upload as one piece but it was not to be so I had to cut it in half. I think the problem is with my computer.

I am trying to enjoy my life before I'm too old to enjoy much of anything. I am lucky in many ways and I am slowly learning to appreciate what I have and not what I want.

Thanks for putting up with my Vineyard obsession. I am totally charmed by this place. I wish you could all spend some time there. It's good for the soul.

I'm outta here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I had a wonderful time on Martha's Vineyard last week. The weather was picture book perfect. The folks at the hotel have come to know us and the wonderful Dierdre (if that's how you spell it) upgraded us to the best room in the place. She said she will always do this if she can. We had a wonderful large room on the top floor with a king size bed and a cathedral ceiling.

I took my new camera with me. There is good news and bad news. I still don't fully understand this thing and the disc that came with the camera has disappeared. I had to find a way to open the picture files as the old way didn't work. Some pictures I still can't open. Others came out fine.
My computer has been acting up and it mostly seems to stem from the pictures from my camera. If I don't find the disc I suppose I can find the information online.

I did take my car this time. Not that it's all that hard to get around. At it's longest the island is about 15 or 18 miles. The bus service is quite good. We were able to catch the sunset over the ocean for the first time. In a little coastal place called Menemsha. This is the first sunset over the ocean that I've ever seen. I've been to California. I was in Newport Beach, Venice Beach and Laguna Beach but never at sunset. Duh!

I had two collapsible chairs in the trunk and we found a spot on the beach. This it seemed wasn't an original idea on our part. Other people had secured spots with blankets and chairs. We heard the sounds of corks popping. People had food. This is apparently a regular event. I took pictures but at this point, unfortunately, I'm not sure of the whereabouts of those pictures. Anyway it was a pleasant evening and when the sun finally slipped below the horizon everyone broke into applause.     

Anyway I have been writing this blog over the last couple of days. In between I have been trying to upload photos then I tried to upload a slide show I made to YouTube and it was painfully slow. According to the minute estimate my upload was going to take 2665 minutes. I cut the slide show in half (a little over 3 minutes each), managed to get the first half uploaded. I will now try to insert it into the blog.
Now I hope it works. Well I've gone on long enough. It's taken me quite a while to write this but I think I will end it here.
Time for supper.
I'm outta here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The weather could not be better

What can I say. One day several months ago I picked a week in September to take off. Boy did I luck out. I am back on Martha's Vineyard. I arrived on Monday and will head home  on Friday. I took my car this time. On Tuesday we went to Edgar town and it was sunny and 71 degrees. This place is definitely for the well healed when it comes to taking up residence. Gas on the Island is over $4.00. Fortunately I have enough gas to get around and get home. I also contemplated, for the second time,  going to the infamous Chappaquiddick. As close as I got was getting close to the ferry.
Part of the Oak Bluffs harbor. (Were we stayed. Not actually in the harbor, though that might have been cheaper.)

As I mentioned the weather couldn't be better. Today, Wed. We are planning to drive to other side of the island back to the clay cliffs. I want to catch the sunset. This morning I went out for some more sunrise shots. I'm afraid I still don't fully understand my new camera yet. I got better shots with my Sony point and shoot. I know it's me. The camera is just more complicated and as luck would have it I have misplaced the cd that came with it so apart from an incomplete booklet that came with the camera I am flying blind.
Apart from all that, it has been wonderful so far. This is the earliest September trip we have made and there are definitely more people here than previous times though the summer crush is definitely over.
At the hotel I'm staying at there are licence plates from Canada, all the New England states, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and a few more that I can't remember. And as often times happens, the lady at the desk when you walk in is from my hometown, just north of Boston which is where I still live. I realise that it really isn't all that far away from here but what are the odds going away and the first person you speak with on arrival knows where the CVS store is located in the square of your hometown.
Soon it will be time for lunch and a road trip to the other side of the island. So far I have not hurt myself this trip. My leg is holding up well though it still isn't 100%. I can't kneel on it but I can walk well and I've done a good deal of walking so far. So apart from having some fabulous clam chowder (pronounced chowda) I have stayed on the straight and narrow eating wise. I 'm saving the cheeseburger for the last night here. I have mostly been a good boy food-wise save for the chocolate ice cream I had yesterday.
As I said before, if any of you ever get the chance to come to Martha's Vineyard come in the late spring/early summer or late summer/early fall. The big crowds are gone and you feel like you have the island to yourself.
Okeedoke it's time for me to sign off. Thanks to all who have visited me.
I'm outta here.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pretty soon...

...I will be going on vacation. Officially It begins this Saturday. I usually work on Saturday but I was given the day off so it appears that they gave me an extra day off. Actually you can't fool me, this was strictly a payroll move but at this point I don't care. For some reason I feel a bit of guilt. It's not like I haven't had a vacaction. My last week off ended June 2. Of course that date was also around the time I hurt my leg. Two more weeks off. Then, two half weeks. That was pretty much June. I have also gone  longer than three months between vacations. I do have the potential for 8 weeks off a year. I have absolutely no complaints about this benefit. Eight weeks is pretty good. On the other hand I only have one day of work left, then I'm off for 10 days. Almost five of those days will be yet again spent on Martha's Vineyard. This will be the 5th time in two years. I haven't had my fill of this place yet. I am not some world wide traveler. I have  flown in 2006, 1985, 1979... and so on. So Martha's Vineyard is in my back yard and theoretically I can lock my door and be on the island in 3 hours. At least in a perfect world.

This time I'm bringing my car to the island. Not cheap, but it gives us a chance to explore the rest of the island. That being said, you can get around the place quite nicely with  public transportation. I want to go back to the clay cliffs on the opposite side, so I can witness the sunset with the clff pictured below.
I am chomping at the bit for this time off. The weather looks to be very good and we might even get some big wave action due to a storm near Bermuda traveling up the coastline. I will also be on the lookout for sharks. There have been several sightings off the Cape Cod coast and the Vineyard is only 7 miles away from the mainland.

I caught some of the Democratic Convention last night. I have to say Bill Clinton was great. Love him or hate him you have to admit he is a master politician. It was a great speech. Now at the opposite end there was Boston Mayor Tom Menino. I can understand wanting to hear from somebody who dealt Mitt Romney for four years, but why did it have to be this guy? He comes across as a mush mouthed moron. He's obviously not a moron. He's been in office since 1993. I did not get to see the mayors speech last night but I saw it on YouTube just a bit ago. He's hard to understand sometimes, like he forgot to swallow his mashed potatoes or his tongue is too fat for his mouth. He also mangles words. In all seriousness he tried to evoke the name of the great  civil rights leader, "Martha Luther King." He mumbled something about Romney not "binging jobs to the state". The man should travel with sub titles. "Martha" still has me in stitches.

Once again I have been absent from these cyber pages for a bit. I do feel a little guilt over it. I've known some of you out there for four years. Going back to the days at Spaces. I had a lot of fun there and I miss a select group of people who I got to know on the phone. Speaking to someone opens up the friendship much wider. Do any of you ex-Spacers remember Dawn? A young lady, maybe 30 years old now, who lived in Singapore? We emailed a lot. I spoke to her on the phone a few times. What a sweet, brilliant, talented, beautiful woman. She wrote and performed a piano piece called "My Winter Sonata" I just found the tune on my old desk top. I'ts beautiful. I am going to try and make some sort of photo collage just so you can hear her playing solo, her own composition.

As I was saying before I mentioned Dawn, I do feel some guilt that I haven't been around much. Life has been hectic. Nothing really bad. Just hectic. My sister is moving and blah blah woof woof. But I'm here now, so after I eat, I hope to take a visit to the Blogger world and see what's up. I will be checking in from "Martins", I mean, Martha's Vineyard next week.

That's all for now.
I'm outta here.