Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Vineyard wrapup. Aquinnah, The Clay Cliffs.

First of all I want to say sorry for posting some of the same pictures two blogs in a row. I didn't take many this time around because I have so many over the last five years. I even find it hard to believe that we have been going there for five years. I casually mentioned that maybe some time we could try a quick trip to Nantucket for about three days. She wasn't keen on the idea. She said that she got bad vibes from the place. I don't exactly know why or what she means by that. All I surmised from doing a little checking on the web was that it's a little further away, a little more expensive than Martha's Vineyard, a little more exclusive, but apart from that it looks pretty much the same. I only wanted to go for three days. Then she was talking to someone about our trip and they mentioned Nantucket and told her how nice it is and she began to change her tune.

The various ferry services have a nice racket going. You can't take a ferry from Martha's Vineyard to Nantucket. I suppose you could hire a private boat to do it but hey I'm not Bill Gates. You have to travel from the mainland to get there, either from Hyannis or New Bedford. I am not enamored with driving to New Bedford. Hyannis isn't so bad. It's actually a bit closer than Woods Hole (whatever that means) where we catch the ferry to the Vineyard. I know saying "the Vineyard" sounds so pompous, but as I near the complete end to my working life next year, I want to enjoy living a more leisure life. I will be approaching year number 46 with the same company and my working life began in 1968. I have saved some money and want to start spending it. Well actually I already have started spending it. I have been lucky to maintain the same job over all these years. I now work three days a week instead of five or six. Semi retirement agrees with me and fulltime retirement seems even more agreeable.

Below is a minute video of the Clay Cliffs in Aquinnah. It was a beautiful day, as they all were, and the area is just stunning.

So this will be the end of our Vineyard exploits for this year. Still I think in my heart and head that we will be back there in about eight months. This magical little island has us under it's spell.
I'm outta here.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

We're home.

Yes we made it safely home. We were blessed with near perfect weather. Around 80 degrees and low humidity until the last two days. The nights were practically cloudless unless you were looking in the direction of the setting sun. It was as if the clouds were placed there just to put on a nightly show with the setting sun.

We can't go to the island without visiting here every time. It was a beautiful day and though I have many shots of the clay cliffs I can't resist taking more when I'm there. I thought about going down to the shore as I did a few years ago, but Arlene wasn't keen on the idea. It is a long walk just to get half way to the tip. I did it once, down a rocky path then another long walk along the shore. You get so far and realize you have to go back. Still I love going there. It's so beautiful.

Then there was Chappaquiddick. A really small island, a stones throw from Edgartown. Two small ferrys that holds three cars max continuously go back and forth. It's about a minute ride. There's only one paved road that eventually turns into a sand road. There wasn't much to see as we drove. All there were, were little winding dirt drive ways with a mail box, some time several. Occasionally you could see a house through the trees. There are about 179 year round residents. There are no stores or hospitals. I suppose you would have to have a lot of money and crave solitude to live here.

After driving a ways and seeing nothing of interest we turned around and went to the parking lot near the ferry and sat at a little beach off to the right. Some people were surf casting but there weren't many people at all. Not a great beach but the view was wonderful. We sat on the beach for about an hour.


And of course this little island was the site of the notorious incident involving Ted Kennedy driving off a small wooden bridge into some water, drowning Mary Jo Kopeckny.

Here's and incredibly exciting video of our quick trip to Chappaquiddick. Well maybe not that exciting, but it is a video. 

Well that's it for now. I think there will be one or two more entries on this trip. I didn't take many pictures this time. I took some video and that's about it. I'm back to work on Tuesday and I have to shave off eleven days worth of facial hair. It looks ok, but it's at the itchy stage now. Maybe I'll grow it out to a proper beard after I completely retire.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sunset M V Sept 2015

Boy did we luck out with the weather! When we arrived on Sunday it was cloudy, interspersed with a light rain however the rest of the week looked about as perfect as it could be, and so far it has been. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Wonderful food, except for an alleged Italian restaurant, which was akin to opening a can of Chef Boyardee. Very disappointing. I'll get right to the pictures. The sunrise pictures are ok, but there weren't any clouds and they are what really make a sunrise or sunset pictures pop. The sunsets on the other hand have been spectacular. Here is a small video of some of the sunsets.

Here are a few stills from the same area. Just spectacular.

The Clay cliffs at Aquinnah.

Our hotel at night.
So as I write this we are approaching our last evening here as we will be leaving the island at 10:45 on Saturday morning. I don't know how many more times I can swing this trip in the near future but I will always come back to this special, magical place. There are people from Europe, Norway in particular. I have seen license plates from Minnesota, Alabama, California as well as the more common New England states, New York and New Jersey. Everybody feels the same way about Martha's Vineyard. Many can't put their finger on it exactly but they all love it.
Arlene and I love it. You can keep Disney World, Las Vegas and all the rest as far as I am concerned, this place is special.
See you when I get back to the real world.
I'm outta here. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Greetings from you know where

Aside from a slight misstep driving down to the ferry, we still arrived early enough to grab the early ferry and set foot on the island by 9 a.m. The first day was cloudy with a bit of rain, but as predicted it cleared up Monday and it looks just about perfect for the rest of the week.

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Where we have our traditional first morning breakfast.

A couple of shots from Monday.
 Below a couple of shots from Monday evening at sunset.

Sunrise this morning.

Well that's about it for now. We have a whole lot of nuthin' to do yet.
I'm outta here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Hot hot hot!!!

Yes it has been hot. On Tuesday it hit 96 f. Well it hit 96 at the airport. That's where they record the official temperature for the area as it probably is recorded in most metropolitan areas. However I don't know anyone who lives at the airport. Still it was hot and sticky on Tuesday, more of the same for Wednesday. For our little trip next week it looks to be cooler with some rain though we really don't care. We'll be there not here. I don't know if there is anything on the island that we haven't seen yet. This will be our 11th trip in the last five years. I don't know how long I will be able to afford two trips a year but one thing is for certain, if we cut it down to one week and maybe skip a year, we will always go back. That little island has captured our hearts. The hotel has been wonderful to us.
The Pequot Hotel.
We almost feel like minor celebrities when we go there because the manager and the staff all say hi and welcome us back with smiles. Maybe they think we have more money than we really have. As I said before I haven't even paid for the last two trips. We are lucky to have such a place so close to home. If the earlier ferry is not full they ask us if we would like to board instead of waiting for our scheduled time, and we are on the island in three hours from pulling out of my driveway at 6 a.m. and arriving on the island by 9 a.m. When we arrive they always say, "Your room won't be ready until 3 p.m." and we say, "Not a problem!" We go for our traditional first day breakfast at Linda Jeans. The rest of the week we have breakfast at the hotel because it's included in the price. Linda Jeans has become a favorite of ours. The breakfast menu is fabulous. And the food for the rest of the day is not too shabby. We have learned to economize as far as lunch is concerned we either bring some food and drink with us in a small cooler and there is a Stop and Shop on the island. Stop and Shop is a large supermarket chain here in New England and a few other northeast states. They are also the main competitor of the company that I work for, now part time. And though things are more expensive on the island buying lunch items there is cheaper than going out to lunch in a restaurant. Supper is different. There are many restaurants within a five to ten minute walk from the hotel including a couple that the President ate at. They are far from cheap but I will never forget the sea scallop dinner I had when we ate right on the harbor as the sun went down last spring. I know I've posted this picture a zillion times but it was incredible to eat the wonderful sea food while watching the sunset over the little harbor in Oak Bluffs.
I have yet to start gathering all the things together for the trip but at this point, after having done this 10 times it's not a concern. It's all casual clothes. A couple of hoodies, shorts, a couple of jeans, a waterproof jacket, lots of t-shirts and that's, about it. Oh yeah some money. The weather looks iffy for the first day with rain. It clears up on the second day and looks picture perfect for the next several days. There may be rain when we leave but who cares, we'll be leaving. Then it will be back to reality. Odds are I will be reporting in a couple of times while we are away. Here's a shot as we approach one of the two bridges over the Cape Cod canal. It marks the end of the first third of our trip. We then travel to Wood Hole where we take the ferry. And after a 45 minute cruise we are officially on vacation.
We can't wait!
I'm outta here, in a few days.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

We're Number One!

Yes it's official we are once again the worst drivers in the country. I'm not here to dispute this either. And not only is Boston the worst place to drive with the worst drivers, Springfield, in the western part of the state, is number two. Now I have been through Springfield a few times but that was on the highway. Though there are many things to be proud of living here, the road layout and the drivers are not among them. Just the other day as I was driving home from work I am traveling down a fairly busy road nearing home. On the left is a supermarket and a few auto repair places. On the right is a mall and a few more varying auto repair places. I am in the left lane because I am going to take a left. A guy in a van is in the right lane behind me. All of a sudden he is right next to me wanting to cut in front of me. He had plenty of opportunity to get behind me for a left but he decided to try to get in front of me. I wouldn't let him just on sheer principle. We come to the light and the screaming, yelling and swearing began. Now I am normally not given to such behavior but this guy really angered me. This wasn't the first time I have been cut off but this guy waited until we approached the light then sped up and tried to cut me off. If I let him in it could have triggered a rear end collision with the car behind me and possibly some kind of crash with the car in front of me. In fairness this is not an every day occurrence, but you really have to be diligent and on your guard. On my drive to work through Cambridge I am seeing many out of state plates as about 100,000 people come to the area for school. I even saw a plate from Alaska. Every time I see one I think, "Those poor people driving around the area must be so confused and terrified." I mean a stop sign sometimes can be just a suggestion. So we deserve being number one.

As you have probably guessed Arlene and I are looking forward to our little trip next week, well actually this week. I don't know how many more times we can do this. I don't think it will be the last time but you do have to pay for this stuff and I still have to pay for the last two trip, but that's not bad considering this will be our 11th trip since 2010. This time of year most of the crowds are gone and though we are only about 100 miles from home, it seems like a million miles. I am really enamored with the sunsets. We were looking at some of those pictures the other night and I decided to make a slideshow with a song by my favorite musician, Jack Bruce. He just died this passed October. He could play or write anything. He was in the highly successful but short lived group Cream back in the '60s, selling 35 million records in a little over two years. He was a classically trained cellist and vocalist, but played rock, jazz, and classical. I did get his autograph when he played Boston in 1980. It's a personal treasure. There's this beautiful Latin flavored song on his second solo record in 1971 called "The Consul at Sunset" and it just matched the sunset pictures so nicely. I mistakenly wrote sunrise instead of sunset at the top of the video. Here he sings, plays the piano and bass as well as writing the song. He was never in the limelight again but those who know music know Jack Bruce.

You don't have to watch this next video but it's just an example of one of the hits Cream had in 1968, played here at the reunion concert in 2005. He had just recovered from a liver transplant.

So that's about it for now.
I'm outta here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fall, Canon Mountain New Hampshire, October 9, 2008

OK this is another stroll down memory lane. It was October 8, 2008. Arlene and I took a day trip to Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire. It was the height of Fall in New England. I know I rail against certain facts about living around here but despite all that, I have to honestly say, that I love living in New England. This area will always be my home. Oh sure there's the winter. There was last winter in particular, but hopefully this year won't be as bad though you never know. As the old saying goes, if you don't like the weather wait a minute.

Yes we are chomping at the bit to go away. In less than two weeks time we will have been there for a few days. I certainly hope the weather cooperates but it's almost more of a state of mind than going to the beach or seeing the sights. Though there is one thing we do want to try and accomplish and that's going to the other end of the island to catch the sunset by the cliffs. People were sitting on the beach watching, as we were, on a beautiful evening watching the sunset. It was spectacular and all it cost was a bit of gas and a bottle of wine.
As is my habit I have made a slideshow of the sights we saw in New Hampshire, which is quite rural compare to where I live in Massachusetts, so it's a welcome breath of fresh air. It's also quite beautiful. I did make one goof in putting the pictures together. The very first one is not from New Hampshire but Cape Cod. Oops! I spent enough time looking through all the pictures which I do enjoy, but I got a bit bleary eyed the other night and it happened. Well I guess it's better than being poked in the eye with a pointed stick.

So there isn't much else to report. It was a beautiful day today though it will heat up in the next couple of days. The long range forecast looks pretty good for our vacation but I won't believe it until I see it. It's all part of living here. At least it's not boring. OK it's time wrap up this little extravaganza, but before I go, can anybody tell me what this is?
I'm still checking out pictures from Salem Ma. They should be all set by the next time I attempt a blog entry.

I'm outta here.