Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Big Apple - Redone

After logging back in to start on a new post, I discovered that Blogger had deleted the majority of this post except for the opening paragraph! I am beyond pissed! It took quite a bit of time to get this posted and I am NOT happy to have to do it again. It was saved various times as Bill was able to bring it up on his laptop and I had to do quite a bit of spacing editing. This seems to be a commonplace problem with Blogger and I am not sure why Google does not address it! I will be using Microsoft Live Writer in the future to avoid problems such as this.
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/blogger/thread?tid=55355e11a41acf3a&hl=en

Bill's next Target store was in Stamford Connecticut which is only across the Long Island Sound from New York City so we decided to take a day and get an idea of what the city offered and if we would like to come back at a later time to explore an area or an attraction in more depth. As we are not really into the art or museum locations we were able to ignore a very large amount of the typical tourist destinations.

Our day began with a commuter train ride from New Haven, Connecticut to Grand Central Station. Grand Central was, to be honest, quite grand. I was amazed at the sheer size as well as the rather ornate ceilings and walls. http://www.grandcentralterminal.com/index.cfm We then had to walk a short distance to the northwest side of Times Square to meet up with the tour bus. Our tour guide, Faith, was a native New Yorker currently living in Brooklyn and boy did she have the accent to go with it!
http://www.allnewyorktours.com/Body.asp?tour=NYC-B0045&Page=TourDetails

We made various stops including Strawberry Fields, the 2.5 acre part of Central Park West that is dedicated to John Lennon as he lived across the street.



The Dakota Apartments where John Lennon lived and was shot and where Yoko Ono still lives today.
The tour continued with drives near the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and Trump Towers.
We visited Wall Street and saw the preserved part of the original wall that was used as a stockade. Maybe if it were still in use today the brokers and bankers would have through twice about screwing us over and almost bringing the country to its knees! It was also the only place where we saw armed police in commando type gear -- they started after 9/11 when Wall Street and the surrounding blocks were closed to vehicle traffic and I'm not quite sure if it was to protect us from the stockbrokers or the stockbrokers from us!




There is also a statue of George Washington on the steps of Federal Hall as that is where he was inaugurated and not in Washington DC. I am not quite sure why the stopped the practice as it is painfully obvious that more than ever the shots are called by Wall Street and the rich!
I would like to spend more time exploring nearby Trinity Church and it's cemetary which is to the left front of the building. http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/
Part of the tour consisted of a boat ride around New York Harbor. We saw Brooklyn and Manhattan as well as the Brooklyn and George Washington Bridges and the New Jersey side of the harbor. Of course, the tour took us by Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The next time we are here we will be taking the boat ride and tour of both Ellis Island and hopefully go up into the Statue also.
http://www.nywatertaxi.com/



All in all it the visit turned out to be much like our visit to Disney World. It would have been awesome about 20 years ago as New York has a vibe that I really can't say I have felt anywhere else. But now with the traffic and people everywhere it is a nice place to visit - once in a while or course - but we definitely would not want to live there! Here are a few video scenes from our visit with the sounds of who else but Ol' Blue Eyes...

video

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Being Home Part II

It was very difficult for both of us to be home for so short a time and then have to leave. It wasn't as hard the first time we left in October of 2009 as we knew winter was coming and it is something we both dislike rather intensely. It was not even as hard when we were back last March before Bill started this job with Prime as we didn't know what would come of it and we hadn't been so many places. It was harder for a couple of reasons, one being that summer is coming and I wanted to garden and Bill wants to fish. Also, now that we have traversed the US a couple of times and visited 26 of the 50 states we have a somewhat different view of traveling. Do we still like it? Absolutely. Do we like moving every week or so? Absolutely not. Do we like staying in Walmart parking lots or at truck stops to save money? Again, we would pass on this if we could.


Right now we are sitting in the truck section of a service stop on the Connecticut Turnpike because there are no Super Walmarts nor campgrounds near to Bill's Target in Stamford. Space is such a premium around here that the Target does not have a parking lot but rather a parking garage. I am getting tired of the loud and dirty truck stops -- Bill couldn't sleep very well this afternoon due to the noise and there were two large piss bottles left lying next to the rig from some trucker overnight.


On the other hand we are seeing and doing things that many people will never have the chance, or perhaps take the chance, to do. I know I should feel grateful that we have this opportunity but sometimes I just want to have the quiet of my woods and to wake up knowing exactly where I am in the first few coherent moments. Sometimes I actually have to remind myself where we are in the morning. I should let it go and go with the flow more but the organized part of me is frustrated at not being able to plan ahead more than two weeks or so. For example, we know this Sunday he has to be in Montgomeryville which is a northern suburb of Philadelphia. After that? He talked to one of the project managers at work today and he said that there may be work in Minnesota after that. Great! But we just spent $1000 on fuel coming home and now we have to head back that way again? And then after that Atlanta? I am not sure how we are going to be able to swing this with the fuel costs if they keep zigzagging us around like this. It is not very easy for me to find work to help out when we are in large areas like this where I don't know where I'm going and if the area is safe to work either. Plus the way they drive on I-95 is absolutely nuts. Connecticut even had to take out the toll booths as there were too many accidents on the turnpike!


Sometimes this life feels almost surreal, like we have been doing it forever and that it is "normal".