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Showing posts from September, 2017

Tourist destination report

Here is a list of the tourist destinations Matty visited in his last two days in town. Remember that Washington, DC, has a lot of great museums and tourist attractions, many of which are free.
     -The outside of a garage at 15th and H Northwest whose ramp continues through the garage and continues underground  the four blocks to the White House. No wonder there is a guard out front.
     -The Cairo Apartments, the real reason Washington has severe building height restrictions. The Cairo was built in 1894 to a height of 164 feet near 16th and Q Street Northwest. The uproar it caused coupled with several senators' concern that 164 feet was too tall for firefighters to fight fires stirred congress to pass legislation in 1899 that limited building heights to 110 feet, which restriction was raised to 130 feet eleven years later.
     -The DuPont Underground. There are nine graffiti laden stairways that descend to areas under DuPont Circle once used for railroad storage. In the pa…

Tourist destination photos

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"and we're here to help"

Coming in to DC I had to pull off the highway to attend to some business. We were consulting the map to see how to get back on course when a police car pulled up with lights flashing. The driver asked where we were heading. When we told him he told us to follow him back to the highway. Turns out we had pulled off near the headquarters of the National Security Agency. Oops.
    Matty had more governmental contact today when he went to the capital with a senate visitor's card and sat in the gallery for about an hour. He heard Durbin of Illinois speak about the health care bill which was pulled a couple of hours later, Schumer of New York report on the needs of Puerto Rico, and Sasse of Nebraska rail against the democrats for lying about the health care bill and comment on how weird it is to conduct debates by having individual senators speak in an empty chamber. Not a bad point. You can tell a lot about what is to happen in the chamber by following the water glasses. Shortly be…

Tourism and the generation gap

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With a friend,  Matty and I drove up the Hudson Valley Hyde Park and visited the several buildings dedicated to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. They included the large house where FDR was born, his presidential library, the hilltop house where he entertained world leaders and his girlfriend, and the house where Eleanor lived and worked. I have always found it fascinating that as two of the most privileged people on the planet he became the hero of the working man and she became a champion of civil rights. The folks taking the tours were all Matty's age-mates and if you're wondering where the younger tourists were I can tell you.They were hanging out two blocks from where we are staying in the West Village, at Grove and Bedford, taking pictures of the exterior of a six story apartment building which was the setting for the Friends tv show. Now, the fact that the show was filmed in LA and the actors probably never set foot near the place in no way diminishes the historical…

A couple of photos

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I don't even like seafood

We are coasting backwards uphill. Be amazed. Here are some photos for those of you who have asked for more photos. Enjoy. Tomorrow, the big apple, unless Jose has other ideas.  Precious                 

Soul sisters

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Apparently this is a soul boat made by a group of women friends from around the country who meet annually and that Kathy was a part of. They made it this past weekend and apparently cast it into the Pacific Ocean at sundown in her memory. She would have been so pleased.
      Matty and I are taking a well deserved break at a friend's beach house in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Last night we hung out with our hosts and two Portland friends who have been living in DC the last few years and are heading back west. Tonight it is just us two. I like houses better than motels and tentsites combined and am pretty much in heaven. Tomorrow I head to New York for the first time. I've heard a lot about the place, but refuse to be intimidated. The accents may be different, but I bet the smells are the same.





Tourist traps and history

Tonight is our next to last in Canada. We have a reservation on the Yarmouth- Portland ferry Friday morning. It will take six and a half hours and Matty will enjoy every minute of it. Who knew he was into ferries?
    After two scenic, but not particularly touristy days in New Brunswick we have more than caught up on our tourist duties the last couple of days. We went to Magnetic Hill where you coast down a hill that looks as though it goes uphill. From this one trick of the eye they have built an impressive tourist attraction with a zoo and water park. It is billed as Canada's third most popular tourist destination. It took all of ten minutes. Then we went to see a 42 foot tide at high tide. The next morning we went back to see it at low tide. Even better than the magnetic hill. Then we went to Joggins, our first stop in Nova Scotia. It has fossil beds on the beach of the Bay of Fundy. It was cool, somewhere between the tide and the Hill.
    Today went to a historical site …

Where is my stuff?

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If you ever travel with Matty you need to know a couple of things. One, he tends to leave things behind. He left behind a few small things early in the trip, but in Toronto he left everything I own except for two toys, two bowls and a leash. Everything. Right there on the floor of my friend's kitchen. The upside is that he went to a fancy pet store to buy food and it is really good. Now I know how the other half eat.
    The other thing to know is that he gets lost a lot. He has several strategies for this. Two were on display driving to Quebec City. He likes to get relief from the highway by driving several miles into the hinterland to some random small town. He did this in Quebec, got turned around and drove in larger and larger circles until we got back on track. But he pulled off his favorite ploy in Quebec City when he missed the exit that would have taken us seamlessly to our hotel and got stuck in Friday rush hour traffic. I suppose it's a nice unhurried way to see…

There's the right way, the wrong way and the Gananoque

When Odysseus sailed  past the Sirens he had his men plug their ears with wax and tie him to the mast so he could hear their song without succumbing. After four nights in Toronto I finally tied Matty's hands to Emma Peel's steering wheel and we headed east. After leaving Duluth the week before we camped two nights in a row. I do not much like camping. One night I got so uneasy I panted like it was the Fourth of July. We arrived in the Toronto area Sunday night and landed in the northern suburb of Newmarket, a charming town with a charming downtown surrounded on four sides by the malls from hell. If you go to Toronto stay either in town or out of town. Traveling from one to the other is a nightmare. The daughter of my host leaves for work downtown at 6:30 and works late to avoid gridlock. She often fails.
    The best part of travel is the unexpected. Last night our host took us to visit her ex, an artist who achieved impressive fame and a bit of fortune at an early age in…

Yoop Yoop

For the first time this trip I sensed Matty's sadness. We were driving through North Dakota
and he was chomping at the bit to express his opinion that ND is much more interesting geographically and otherwise than it is given credit for. The only other being in the car was me. Terrifically cute and companionable, but hardly a great conversationalist. I detected a glint of a tear in his eyes, but in my opinion he has been listening to too far many country western stations.
    A good way to take you out of yourself is to spend three days in a household with three kids whose average age is under 54 months. So we went to Duluth to visit a family of five people and one shih tzu, named Stella. When we arrived Stella tried to intimidate me with a bit of barking and nipping. I gave her the deer treatment and simply stated at her. Eventually she realized how ridiculous she was acting and we happily ignored each other for the rest of the visit. It is quite a life raising the three littl…