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The Day the Pilot Died

It’s a Saturday, September 1, 2018, and I have to plan my day wisely. I’m going off on a trip. I must ensure that Ben, our two-year-old Standard Poodle will be looked after later today. I shall be off to Philadelphia International Airport, shortly after noon. My wife and daughter will be arriving from their ten-day trip to Germany, via Dublin. I call Granddaughter Abby, she will be around she says, and will tend to Ben’s needs. Dang, she’s a good one, that Abby.

 

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Pinterest Photo

 

I do all the routine housekeeping chores, dishes, laundry, trash, and load it in the car for deposit at the refuse station on the way out. I dig out the vacuum, use it to clean, all is in order. The bed is made, a beautiful bottle of Chardonnay is on Ice, and the favorite glass is being chilled in the freezer.

Around 12:30 I head over to the daughter and son-in-law’s and swap cars, mine is a bit small, comfort and luggage storage are paramount for these two travelers. I transfer the bag of trash to drop off and head out for PHL at 12:45.

After dropping off the trash, I give a quick check to Flight Aware, a great App if you’ve never used it. You can check on a flight, and it shows you where it is on a map, departure time and ETA. I learn the flight is due to land in exactly three hours, thirty minutes early. I don’t need to fly, no pun intended, but I hope traffic moves well as I go up the road.

 

It’s smooth sailing up the Delmarva Peninsula to Dover, DE where I get on Route-1, a toll road, and once again traffic is rolling along quite well. Route-1 is a posted 65 mph roadway, and I hang with traffic moving at 75 mph. No problem I think, I’ll arrive in plenty of time.

Route-1 merges with I-95 in Christiana, DE, right at the massive traffic area of the Christiana Mall. There is also a lot of construction going on affecting the merge onto I-95. All northbound traffic comes to a complete stop. A plethora of ramps and roadways ahead and to the right, show bumper to bumper traffic, inching stop and go style.

95 split

I check my watch, 35 minutes until the plane is scheduled to touch down. I’m 29 miles from PHL and the GPS, after five minutes of inching long says it will be 35 minutes to PHL. After 5 or 6 minutes of this, I’m now onto the merge ramp for I-95 north; At this junction, there are lane closures to the far right. Things are not looking good.

If driving north, you can pretty much do three things at this location. You can go over the Delaware Memorial Twin Span Bridges to New Jersey, keeping to the right to do so. If you stay center to the next split, the right will take you up I-495 along the Delaware River, and this is what the GPS tells me to do. Being quite familiar with the area I choose to ignore the GPS and take the left fork, thanks, Yogi Berra. I’m going right through the center of Wilmington, Delaware. “Bingo” — I’m flying along once again, I’ll get there in plenty of time.

I-495 and I-95 merge outside of Wilmington at the Pennsylvania state line. The traffic slows down a bit here, and there is a left merge that comes into I-95 and slows things a bit more not too far up the road. I clear this point without incident and arrive at the airport with eight minutes to go. I smile at myself and say “Rooster, you done good.”

95 495 road sign

I find the well-marked Cell Phone Lot and slip into a Parallel parking spot. This will turn out to have been a good move. I roll the windows down, take out the key and put it into my pocket. I grab a book, I’ve just started to read, “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Gramm, and exit the car, a 2013, Honda, Pilot. I do a few exercises to loosen up an ailing Hip. Sitting for the past two-plus hour just did the body no good at all.

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My first alert on the phone comes in shortly after exercising, “landed” it says. I send a thumbs up. I check “Find Friends” I’m a Tech addict my wife tells me, she’s right of course. They are still sitting at the gate, and I set the little Who’s-E-Dingy that will alert me when they move. I go back to the book.

“Ding,” they’re moving. I can follow them as they move through Terminal A toward the Baggage Claim area. After a pause at the Lady’s Bathroom, they’re on the move again. It’s another fifteen minutes until I get the “Come get us” notification. I close the book, grab the keys out of my pocket and hop into the driver’s seat. I’m like a kid on Christmas morning; I’m getting my friend of 53 years back.

 

 

I fasten the seat belt, put the key into the ignition, put my foot on the brake, turn the key, turn the key, turn the key, Nothing!!!! The car is deader than the last squirrel that tried to make it across the road in front of me. What the? Ok, check everything, nothing on, I’m doing everything right, I know I am. Try again, again nothing. I work the horn, lights, windows and there is no power in the car, The Pilot is Dead, Dead, Dead.

Parked a few slots to my rear is a gentleman in a new Dodge pickup. I approach, ask if he has cables, and can give me a jump. Yes and yes he says. He saddles up inches from the driver’s door. I pull the hood latch, climb over the center console, no small feat for this seventy-five-year-old geriatric and exit the car. I pop the hood, and we hook up. I give it a few minutes to pull some power from the big Dodge. I return to the passenger’s side and once again climb the mountain that is the center console, and I return to the driver’s seat.

 

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Wimpy Jumper Cables

 

Into the ignition goes the key, I say a silent prayer, turn the key, and nothing happens once again. I’m thinking the big guy up above can’t hear me over all the noise from the big jets landing and taking off. I hit the horn, dead as a doornail. I holler out to the kind owner of the Dodge, let’s just let it charge for a few minutes. He gives me a thumbs-up. I sit for what seems a good five minutes. I get a text from the girls, “?”. I ignore it, try the key one more time, still nothing. “Crap,” I say.

I exit over Mount Console once again; I jiggle the hook-up on the Pilot, my new-found friend does the same on the Dodge. We chat a bit with the hope that more time will make things right. I learn he is from Lancaster, PA and picking up friends from the Mid-West. I’m all set to get more info on him when his phone rings. His guests have arrived, he must leave. He tells me he’s sorry, we unhook his cables, and he’s gone.

I call the girls and explain what’s been transpiring. I suggest they grab a cab and join me. They do and are with me in a matter of minutes, and fifteen dollars poorer. We hug, it’s so good to see them. I feel inept. These two have been up since ever, riding in a three-seat across airplane and are now standing in a parking lot in the ninety-degree heat with no promise of getting home any time soon.

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I make a useless call to AAA. It’s a holiday weekend you know. Philadelphia is always busy. I’m told, even more so over a holiday. William, very nice, very apologetic, very unhelpful dispatcher tells me the bad news. The best we can do sir is have someone there between 7:00 and 10:30 PM. It is now 5:45. I get an incident number and am told to cancel if something works out.

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I call the airport to inquire if roadside help is available. After some cockamamie story, I’m told NO, not to the cell phone lot, sorry. I murmur unprintables under my breath while daughter Kathryn rummages through the storage box under the rear seat. She brings out a set of heavy-duty jumper cables. Now we need to find a savior to hook up with.

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Heavy Duty Jumper Cables. I taught this Lady properly!

 

The daughter is entertaining the idea of getting a hotel room for the night. I’m going to try one more thing. I call the airport police. The dispatcher says she will check if one of the cars has a set of cables. If so she will send one to my area if they are available. Is this hope, I wonder.

I’m holding the cables, and I see him, a man in “Black.” He is a Black man, with Black Button down shirt, Black Pants, Black belt, shoes, and socks. He has a Black pencil mustache. “Need a jump,” he asks. I explain the previous attempt by the other good samaritan and his having to leave. My new friend says, “let’s give it a shot.”

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He returns to his vehicle, a Chevy Suburban, of course it’s Black! Once again as the previous Dodge owner, he pulls within inches of the driver’s door. We hook up the heavy-duty cables, and life once again begins to trickle into the Pilot, I hope. After five-plus minutes I climb once again over Mount Console and assume my position as Pilot of the Pilot. I turn the key, nothing. There is hope though, dashboard lights in all the colors of the rainbow come on, this is a first. I shout out the good news. Let us wait a bit longer my Man in Black says. I exit once again.

We chat, “a member of the cloth,” I ask. He chuckles, “no, Real Estate,” he says. I learn he’s from Pennsauken, NJ just down the road from Willingboro, where I went to High School. I reminisce about days gone by, fifty-six years worth to be precise. Time passes, the girls leaning on the guardrail close-by. After what seems like an eternity we agree to try once more. I’m feeling right about the life-blood that has been flowing into the pilot.

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Once again I climb over the console and assume the position, I’m feeling really good about a start this time. I make sure AC, radio and any other electrical draining devices are off. My foot is on the brake; I turn the key,——ignition, it starts! Thank you Lord, there is a Savior, and he is, All Black. There is a Rugby team from New Zealand of the same name, in case you didn’t know. They bought a beer for the wife some years back in Ireland, during the World Cup.

 

I leave the Pilot running, exit once again, over the mountain and through the door. We unhook, his phone rings, time to go he says, my pick-up is ready. I give this kind sole a massive hug of thanks, and we say good-bye.

Daughter Kathryn returns the cables and loads their luggage to the back. We call the Police and AAA and cancel future service calls. We are off to Eden, how appropriate is that name on this night. Eden, Md, God’s Country on the Eastern Shore, here we come.

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elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

A Trip to the Nutmeg State

Last week the Mrs. and I headed to Connecticut for a visit to our son’s home in Tolland. His family is involved in a supporting role with CLCC, The Creative Living Community of Connecticut. On Saturday evening we would attend CLCC’s 5th Annual Farm to Table Dinner at Arrigoni Winery. 1297 Portland-Cobalt Rd, Portland, CT 06480  This is the 5th dinner and the first we’ve been able to attend.

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Norwich Patch photo

 

The festivities begin with a welcome glass of wine, music, and appetizers. Under the big tent on the vineyard’s open grounds, guests will enjoy locally sourced foods, live music, a six-course dinner, and wine served throughout the night! Dessert and a silent auction will complete the evening. The Mrs. has been making Quilts for the event every year. Were I an Arteest of one sort or another I’d make something also. All I can do is write about the event.

It was a great evening, the weather cooperated, and over a hundred guests helped support a group of people who do so much for the Developmentally Disabled. We also got to socialize with our son’s extended Connecticut family. Thanks Dave and Jan for riding along with us. (Son’s in-laws)

I’m guessing wine was the theme for this trip. We made a stop on the way up and purchased wine in good old no-tax Delaware. “Shh,” the Tax Police might be listening. Then on Friday night last, it was the Cassidy Hill Winery with music the feature for two hours by “Take 2.”

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It was a trip down memory lane with these two men. The crowd was appreciative, the wine was favorable to the palate and the evening couldn’t have been more pleasurable.  Should you ever see them on an upcoming activity billing somewhere, they are worth a visit., especially if you can enjoy them with fine wine.

On their Facebook page, “Take-2” explains their selves like this:

Rick and I have been performing musicians for over four decades. We have done everything from solo work, performing with other collaborations such as “The Tomglen Band”, “Seventh Dawn”, “Big Party”, and “Impressions of Sound” as well as session work with groups such as “Turkey Foot” and “Still Kickin’ & The Big City Horns”. Our latest Hartford based classic rock group is called “In The Groove” and we are still active and performing in CT/MA venues. In 2015, Rick approached me to collaborate on a duo project focusing in the area of classic rock acoustic artists as well as some select contemporary performers. Take 2 was formed.

Take 2 focuses on many of the more acoustic artists of the Classic Rock era including James Taylor, Van Morrison, Cat Stevens, Harry Chapin and Jim Croce. Through their melody and lyrics, these songs were the “stories” that we grew up to and all know and love. That’s not to say classic rock is the only genre that Take 2 plays. We also include contemporary artists such as Zac Brown, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and some select country material. Take 2 prides itself on musical diversity to bring something for everyone in every performance.

While most of our performances are in public venues through CT and Western MA, we also love to play private events. From casual picnics and club events to weddings and other formal occasions, Take 2 blends music and energy to bring every party to life.

We want to thank you all so much for your support and we look forward to seeing you at our shows…       Rick & Glenn

Where in the world is JB

Son-In-Law Jeff is currently on a trip for Dept. of State to Indonesia. Apparently, from his Facebook pictures, it’s not all work and no play. He’ll be off to Aucland, New Zealand after this stop. Jeff and work partner Matt never go anywhere that there isn’t some fish story of one type or another.

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The crew with their catch.

 

Sam and Zed, “The Crazy Davies,”  are at Maxwell, AFB in Montgomery attending Squadron Officer’s School and Aunt Rachael is tending the four wee ones. “God Bless that girl!” Granny, Mary Agnes, and G, Kathryn  are counting the days till they fly off in “Big Bird’ to meet the family in Germany to help in the transition from Stateside assignment to Foreign assignment. Thanks for your service young’ns.

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The Crazys traveling with Aunt Abby. No Mini Cooper for this crew.

 

While in Connecticut my Brother-in-law John entertained us with a cookout. . My brother Richard (Rick), his friend Tina came from Rhode Island, and John’s grandson Tim and girlfriend Lauren came from western Connecticut with their Rhodesian Ridgeback Luna in tow.  As always when you live a great distance away, there was much to catch up on. We look forward to them coming south for a visit prior to it being too cold to hit the beach.

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Tim & Luna

 

So, I’m thinking the Rooster has crowed enough, don’t want to bore y’all. Someone once said, “Brevity, Brevity, Brevity.” It’s an Element of Style” thingy.

“Be sincere, Be brief, Be seated.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

 

Foreign Lands

I am a subscriber to https://wordsmith.org
Each day I receive a new word with meaning, uses and the like as well as a thought for the day. Today the thought for the day was:  There is no foreign land; it is the traveller only that is foreign. -Robert Louis Stevenson, novelist, essayist, and poet (13 Nov 1850-1894) 
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Older US Embassy, Moscow

My sometimes segments of “Where’s Waldo like “Where in the World is Jeff Berthiame” came to mind when I read today’s post. As is only fitting in today’s world, the update on our families world traveler, he’s in Moscow doing what it is that he does. Obviously he is not with President Putin, as Mr. Putin is way across the Pacific with President Trump. Does strange bedfellows sound about right?
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I shall forever more think of myself as the strange man in a not so strange land.
From Anu Garg:
A.Word.A.Day

with Anu Garg

Luggage? Check. Passport? Check. Travel guide? Check!
Looks like you’re ready for the trip. But we can leave all this behind, because we are traveling to the land of imagination. The land where places such as El Dorado and Xanadu exist.

We’ll visit places that started out in fiction, and live on in the English language.

This week we’ll see five toponyms (from Greek topos: place), words derived after names of fictional places.

grimgribber

PRONUNCIATION:
(GRIM-gri-buhr)

 

MEANING:
noun: Jargon of a trade.

 

ETYMOLOGY:
From Grimgribber, an imaginary estate, discussed in the play Conscious Lovers (1722) by Richard Steele (1672-1729). Earliest documented use: 1722.

 

USAGE:
“Cracking speech, William: it was a fine specimen of grimgribber.”
Philip Howard; The Lost Words; Robson Press; 2012.

 

Just as a closing note, if I don’t write this stuff down, at my age I’ll forget it. Thanks again for stopping by.                                   What was today’s word again?  Oh yes, grimgribber!

A Friend Has a Reunion

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While herself and I were up in Canada, a good friend was traveling in Italy with a group of old friends from Kansas. Yes Dorothy, that Kansas. While I was busy posting our Canadian adventure she was posting her Italian adventure. I asked if it was OK to share her postings and she said yes. Thank you Nancy.

On 4 September, 2016 she posted:

Good morning.

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Our flight over went well, although no sleep for the gals.  We arrived in Rome, took a cab to our hotel, dropped off bags and hit the streets running.
Our hotel is very nice, rooms big, we took over one section of the building.  Changed our clothes and headed to the open market.  What fun. Found a curb side restaurant-free percheco while awaiting our table.    Delicious pizza.  And sat next to couple where hubby works for state department.  Got lots of inside scoop re mother Teresa canonization.  Then walked to Vatican to meet our guide Valerie.  What an experienced docent.  Got us by the long lines and our education began.  What a wealth of info and art work.

Came back to the hotel and 4 went out to dinner.  Some of us stayed in the hotel for dinner of choc chip cookies.

Had a good nights sleep and will meet Valerie again.  Hitting the coliseum, forum, Trevi fountain, Bernini fountain of the 4 rivers.

We have filled our days full and will be ready to rest when we take our train tomorrow to Florence.

Cia

View from hotel, St. Peter’s,  A special group coming into service.  I vote nurse nuns

Hi, another great day in this beautiful city.  A 7 hour walking tour including the forum, the coliseum, the Spanish steps, trevi fountain, the Jewish city and may other locations.
Gilato for an afternoon snack.   Happy hour in our room.  Then out for a fabulous pasta dinner.   Our carafes of house wine were delicious.
We train to Florence tomorrow where we meet up with Ann, the 7th of our group.


We left from Monterosso and walked to Vernazza.  My 60 year old friends and I are in good shape and it was a bear for sure.
We are at cinque terra on the Mediterranean. Quite the entrepreneur we encountered on the trail, gloves and all.

We took an in villa cooking class that resulted in 3 course meal-delicious.   We are all going to take naps now

Needless to say, Nance and the girls had a great trip and reunion. Once again thank you for sharing. Your’s is my 101st post on Word Presss Nancy.

T Shirt Contest

Our trip north has ended and we are back home after XXXX number of miles. How many miles did you put on that Subaru of yours you might ask. Well, thats why we’re having a contest and the winner will receive a Maryland Flag “T” Shirt.

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Six years ago my brother in-law Bobby and I made a cross country trip together to Colorado, we were delivering a car to my granddaughter at the Air Force Academy. I blogged our trip through the Ohio River Valley, the bread belt of Illinois and Kansas and up to the Rockies of Colorado. We had a T Shirt contest for that adventure as well. Our winner was Della Baird of Wilmington, NC and her photo in her winning T Shirt was posted on a later blog.  Uncle Bobby is no longer with us, but whenever we go on a trip his spirit for adventure lives.

So, here we go.

You must email the Rooster @ elfidd@gmail.com no later than midnight on September 30, 2016 with your guess on the # of miles driven on our trip through, CT, RI, MA, NH, ME, NB, PEI, NS and back. The person who comes the closest without going over the actual total mileage is the winner.

The Itinerary

Departed Eden/Allen, MD, 21822  on 21 August and drove to Vernon then Tolland, CT. We hung out in CT for six days taking a few side trips to Mystic, CT,  Westerly, RI for one and to our daily walking path in Vernon and breakfast there a few times also. We went to Stafford Springs, CT for my State Police Troop “C” reunion also.

Back on the road 28 August we would leave Tolland and head to Bangor, ME. We pretty much drove a direct route to Portland, ME and then the all back roads to Bangor began. We tried to stay parallel to I-95 but we got off the beaten path more than once.

After a nice evening in Bangor, ME we headed out to cross the Canadian border on 29 August at the Calais/St. Stephen crossing and drive to Moncton, NB for the evening.  Rt 1 was our road for that trip. We drove around some to see the tide change and have dinner while in Moncton.

On August 30th we arose well rested and after a great breakfast we were off to the home of Lucy Maude Montgomery, the Author of “Anne of Green Gables.” Garmin got us there directly. Now you must do a bit of detective work and locate the site. After some time at Lucy’s homestead we headed to Charlottetown and our hotel. Oops, the rooms not ready. To kill some time we would drive to Brackley Beach and have some great fish and chips. After much it was back to Charlottetown and the hotel right down town.

We arose on the 31st and after some walking about town we drove semi directly to the ferry located at Wood Islands where we would cross to Nova Scotia and the city of Halifax. We would drive directly to Halifax via Garmin and park our car for two days in the garage of the Residence Inn. Our feet would be our transportation for this stop.

We would hop back into the car once again on 2 September and drive via Garmin to Saint John, NB. We did take a side trip to Fundy National Park along the way. More figuring for you readers out there. Once again our feet and a Trolly tour were our transportation while in Saint John for two days.

On Sunday 4 September we departed Saint John, made the border crossing at ST Stephen/Calais once again and followed Garmin’s direction to Bucksport, Me. Once checked into the Bucksport Motor Inn, highly recommend it by the way, we were off on a drive along Route 1 south to Bayside, Belfast and the Young’s Lobster Pound. If ever in Belfast try it out, you will not be sorry, provided you like Lobster that is.

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Labor day, September 5 we headed south to Portland, Maine, we ignored Garmin once again and motored along Route 1 south. We saw old haunts along the way, Lincolnville and it’s ferry to Islesboro where we ventured with family for a beachside picnic many years ago. Going through the town of Bath you pass the Bath Iron Works, a neat view as you cross the Kennebec river.

We made a stop in Camden, a must if you ever travel Route 1. Slow down people, get off the Interstate. Entering Camden I had an “Epiphany.”  “Wallack” I shouted out as my wife glared at me like I was some crazy man. Ever since heading south from the border I had been trying to remember someone’s name.  I’d gone through the alphabet over and over. Have you ever done that? I knew his first name was Mark and when he retired from the CT State Police he had moved to Maine. I had known this man dating back to 1981 when he first applied to the department for a Troopers position. I was working in the Selection Unit back then.

So I remember a name, the man possibly living in Camden from a contact I had back some ten years ago about him retiring to Camden, ME. No address, no phone number and no internet to go searching. “Dang” says I to myself as I ease into a parking spot right in downtown Camden. The little lady want’s to walk the shops, “$$$,” visit the waterfront and just take a nostalgic stroll, we’ve been here numerous times over the past 51 years.

She sees an eclectic souvenir shop and enters. I stroll ahead totally oblivious to her disappearing act which is commonplace. Many times I’m thankful she has her phone with her, “where are you I ask?” On this occasion I recover from the alone feeling quickly and trace her back to the said store. I mean I was a Detective, right?

The Mrs. searches the shelves for something to take to Oklahoma to the great grandkids in October and I think, this place must have a phone book. I borrow the book, peruse the “W’s” list of names and no Mark Wallack, “damn” I mutter to myself. No luck I say to the store owner. “Who are you looking for,” he asks. I explain who, and the connection going back thirty-five years ago. “Mach” he exclaims, “I know Mach.” You see, there are no “R’s” in the Maine vocabulary. The man goes into a lengthy explanation of how he knows him and how much a part of the community he is. I get a phone number and address from him, he lives just one mile out of town. We’re out of the store, $58.95 later, and we head up the street to see an old friend.

We find the house, an adorable Cape on a lake, kayak with fishing rod rigged to the side, (every man’s retirement dream) just waiting at the dock. A feisty Aussie Mini Collie, (could be something else, but that’s close enough) is greeting us on the porch. I find out later the dog’s name is Frisbee.  I knock, Mach answers, we recognize each other after all these years and it’s Man Hug Time.

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We pass an hour’s plus of time, take a few remembrance photos and say good-by. I shall MACH this epiphany in my journal. It was great seeing you old friend.

We continue south, stop and get a Subway, grinder in hand, New England for Hero, Sub, Italian Sandwich, or what ever. We have ourselves a roadside lunch stop in Rockport and continue south to Freeport, home of L. L. Bean. You can not go through Freeport without stopping at the store, I think it’s a law or something. I have my picture taken in front of the customary boot, spend a few dollars and we’re off again.

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We will spend the night in Portland, take a side trip to Windham to have dinner with old friends, Gilbert’s Chowder House was the venue for this last taste test. This time a Bread Bowl of Fish Chowder.  Great to see you Shirley and Ray. Shirley and my sister Donna were best of friends, having first met as student nurses back in 1963. Shirley was part of the family at my sisters bedside when she died on July 1st. Thank you Shirley for all you have meant for so many years. The few, the proud, the Pie Maker. Too short a visit, we will make it longer next time. Back to the hotel on Mall Road in Portland for a good nights sleep prior to leaving for Tolland, CT the next AM.

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Herself on the left  with good friends Shirley and Ray

Garmin would be happy with us on Tuesday, September 6. No U-turns were suggested as we cruised the speedy interstates the entire way. We did continue past Tolland to Vernon Pizza for a great Grinder, Capiccola for me, Pastrami for herself.

We lay over one night with the son and family, say good-night and are out the door by 0500 the next morning. Our last day on the road was an easy one, Garmin is not needed at all, I drove this route for the first time 57 years ago. I’ve varied the route countless times, often going far out of the way just to do something different. I’ll keep Garmin on in case a detour is needed at some point but not for directions.

Here you go, last bit of mileage to calculate, Tolland, CT via I-84 to I-684 Brewster, NY to I-287, to Garden State Parkway in NJ. NJ Turnpike, cross into Delaware ( She wore a Yellow Ribbon by the way) Rt. 1 south to Dover, DE to Rt.13 to 21810.

OK you readers out there, get calculating, googling or what ever. Make your best guess and submit it by September 30, 2016 by 2400 hours to elfidd@gmail.com

If you win and want the shirt, please state size and your mailing address. I shall not flood you with junk mail, only a “T” shirt.

Just a little FYI, we got four new hens last night, 15 weeks old and our first egg this afternoon. Six hens now and one very happy Rooster named Casper. The girls are Mary, Hillary, Donna, Linda, Bobbie and Marie. Hillary by the way is a liar. Always spending time in the layer box, squawking like she just laid an egg and no egg to be found. Liar, Liar, pants on fire.

Thanks for stopping by. Plenty of links for you this time, enjoy. We have now traveled every mile of and touched touched both ends of  U.S. Route 1.  Can you say Xylophone?

Rooster LogoSemper-fidelis

 

Bucket List Fulfilled

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The Campbell home, that L.M. Montgomery called the “wonder castle of my childhood”, was built in 1872 by her Uncle John and Aunt Annie Campbell. The first Campbells’ settled here in 1776 and it is still in the Campbell family after over two hundred and thirty years. Here, L.M. Montgomery, author of the world-famous novel Anne of Green Gables was inspired to write many novels and it is the setting for Anne’s Lake of Shining Waters. * From the website http://annemuseum.com/

Notice the cat, the Mrs. has always said ” A house without a cat is not a home.”

On Tuesday we broke out the Bucket List and checked off my girl’s #1, PEI and the setting for L.M. Montgomery’s inspiration for “Anne of Green Gables.” I’ve been told we have to purchase the CD of the entire series, 70’s era and watch it. You’ll love it she says. Will not be watching Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays or Monday Nights. My on-going Bucket List of Pigskin frolics (Football) will be on the big screen over the fireplace.

I am quite impressed with our adventure to the Maritime Provinces. It all started when leaving the USA at Calais, ME and being greeted by the Border Security ambassador. The roadways have been wonderful, the scenery superb, the homes well cared for and litter non-existent. The people we have come in contact with are congenial and quite forthcoming when engaged in conversation. And just to let you know, I’m an engager. I have realized I must get a new business card promoting the Rooster and his Blog. I’ve got to hand my contacts something when I approach them and ask, ‘Hi there, do you mind if I ask you a few questions.”

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Upon leaving the house that Anne was realized in, we headed to Charlottetown, PEI and our hotel for the night. With the room not ready for a few hours we headed out to explore what PEI had to offer. We headed out to Brackley Beach, a Provincial Park on the Ocean. The entry, much like back home in Assateague, MD was staffed by what I shall call Park Rangers. The fee for Seniors is $6.80 each. However after asking directions off the park for a restaurant, we were granted free access. It seemed that a ways up the beach there were several restaurants, Richard’s being one of them. The Ranger says, and I quote ” free enterprise you know, we can’t charge you for going there.” We had the most tummy filling Fish and Chips meal of fresh caught Cod that morning.

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64f, nice breeze, no flys, a glass of Chardonnay and the smell of the ocean. As Uncle Bobby would say, were he here, “Leroy, that’s what he always called me,” It don’t get much better than this.” Of course now he would have had a Coors Lite, which they have up here. Miss you Robert. We talked on the phone almost every day for a lot of years, What’s going on time we called it. They were usually lengthy calls after an Eagles loss.

So this young lad, Ben was his name, eight years of age and a nonstop jump off the bulkhead 10 foot high kind of kid, swim to the beach with a rushing tide and do it over and over again. An amazing young man.

 

Just a gorgeous place to be on a wonderful trip with my best friend. Good-by PEI.

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We made it to Nova Scotia on the Ferry from Wood Islands, PEI.

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Hello Nova Scotia

Thanks for stopping by. We cant wait to see what Thursday brings as we continue our adventure. Dinner tonight at Five Fisherman, it’s a keeper. Mussels, Blacken Halibut for me, Fish Chowder and Lobster Linguine for the lady.  It’s like being in Pittsburgh without the bridges.

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Thanks for following the Rooster.

Moncton, BC & the Bay of Fundy

Low Tide in the Bay of Fundy

Everything you need to understand the Bay of Fundy is right here. If you’ve never observed this tidal change, put it on your bucket list.

http://www.bayoffundy.com/about/highest-tides/

Our ride from Bangor to the East was wonderful. The crossing into Canada from Calais, ME to St Stephen, BC was so different of our border crossing two years ago at Niagara Falls. The Canadian border official was so welcoming, some minor chit-chat about Anne of Green Gables,” longest running play in Canada by the way,” he says. We’re fulfilling one check off from the Mrs’ Bucket List,by the way. We were the lone vehicle crossing at the time, far different from the 40 minute bumper to bumper trip at Niagara. I’m awaiting the finish to this experience on the cross back to the USA on the return. That was a disappointing experience two years ago. Our contact that time was a miserable ass and an embarrassment to our border guards.

The ride on Route #1 was a delight. A smooth and beautiful highway with little traffic and wonderful countryside to view. It was one of the most relaxing trips I’ve ever driven. No trash along the roadway either, which is something I’m embarrassed about when people travel to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I wonder what the Canadian’s do to occupy a day with their work-release prisoners.

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Note the jacket, a blustery wind, high 60’s and a delightful lunch venue along Canada’s Rt. #1, cleanliness everywhere.

We checked into our Hotel, a Hampton Inn and I’ll let the pictures speak to the accommodations.

The nicest room we old farts have ever stayed in, a true Honeymoon Suite. We are blessed by some great children who provided this night. Thank you girls. Had a chit-chat with the owner, Mr Murphy at breakfast. When we drove in from the looks of the grounds and building we thought this was a new house, not the case, eight years old. A #1 stay should you ever find yourself in Moncton, BC.  Just plan a night or two at the Hampton Inn at 700 Mapleton, Rd. Tell Murph, the Rooster sent you. Don’t pass up breakfast either, first class all the way.

The Mrs. had the best fish chowder she ever had at a place called Skippers. I feasted on Fish Tacos. We shared some great Calimari, washed it all down and headed to watch the water run out of the Moncton downtown.

It’s amazing how the water rushes out so quickly. The Bay of Fundy has the greatest tides in the world. Check out the following web site and learn all the particulars.

http://www.bayoffundy.com/about/highest-tides/

 After a brief walk, gotta get some steps you know, we walked the isles of Cabelas.

She found her moose, I found my chair.

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Thank you all for stopping by, off to Anne of Green Gables next. So glad to greet you all from Canada, à bientôt.

 

A Date in Mystic

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On our way to Connecticut this past Monday our first stop was the Elmwood Cemetery.

PBS once did a History Detective special on Cemeteries. Our personal history dates back 51 years and we are forever exploring final resting places when traveling. I know, it’s a dying interest, but we try to keep it alive. Join us on this grand day in August as we travel east for the day while celebrating our 51’st honeymoon.

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Married in 1965, and the #1 song of the year was, “My Girl” by The Temptations.  Here she is standing in front of the famous “Mystic Pizza.”

 

I went out for breakfast with my brother in-law John yesterday morning after dropping my girl off at the Rails to Trails for her 10K plus step morning. She’s a walking fool, ask anyone in Allen. Over an old-time favorite of Corned Beef Hash, two eggs sunny side up, home fries and toast we roasted the world of government and politics. My goodness, do we have all the answers. A combined 141 years of experience, way more than either candidate this year.

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Oh, if the nutritionist/Dietician at Cardiac Rehab could see me now. Hey, I’m on a honeymoon remember.

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By the second cup neither of us could name a worthy candidate. We did conclude that one’s a Liar and one’s a Bozo.

After Breakfast

I said good bye to John and headed out to find my girl an hour and a half later. Thanks to the Technocrats for https://www.roadid.com/

I knew right where she was, picked her up and headed back to our accommodations to plan our us-day. After a quick thought of a place or two we decided on Mystic,Connecticut, located 53 miles to the east on Long Island Sound.

Our first stop was AAA, we exchanged some US money, for Canadian and then continued east to the Sound. We have a new Garmin GPS to get us around but the old familiarity of living and patrolling the roads of Connecticut quickly returned to this aging soul. What was that old movie, “Somewhere in Time.”

Unlike the science fiction movie, this was the real thing and we were feeling romantic and nostalgic. Since this was the Honeymoon we never had 51 years ago, romance was in the air. On our first date, coffee and a donut in a diner in Pennshauken, NJ with another couple, we had our first kiss behind a tomb stone in a cemetery. It was a beautiful venue, small ponds with ducks swimming about,  grassy meadows and those around us remaining ever so quiet, go figure.

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Thanks Google for giving us  a visual  back to the place of that first kiss.No cell phones or IT back in those days. I’d line up quarters, dimes and nickles at the pay phone to call her from Camp Lejeune, NC. Those were the days

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Just moments prior to the recreation of that first kiss, only this time in Mystic, CT. Nope, no pictures, it was a private moment in the Elm Grove Cemetery.

 

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The drawbridge.

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We would have lunch up in the trees at the Oyster, Club.

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Foxwood’s Casino and Resort loomed large in the distance as we ventured back to Tolland.

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As the sun set on this grand re-creation of a first kiss and a trip to Mystic, , thank you Lord for 51 years with a grand lady, three children, nine grandchildren and 3 1/2 great-grandchildren. It doesn’t get any better than this.

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Off We Go

Day Two

It is day two of what we are calling 51st honeymoon. It will be a two week travel adventure through DE, NJ, NY, CT to start.  I write this on day two of our trip, we are at our son’s home in CT,  we shall be here through Saturday when we attend a reunion at my old State Police troop in Stafford Springs.  A bunch of old retired farts telling past war stories, another lol.  This Sunday  we head to Bangor, ME, Monday Moncton, BC then on to Charlottetown, PEI, Halifax, NS, Saint John, BC, Bucksport, ME, Portland, ME, CT, and finally home on the 7th of September.

Who was that just asking what 51st honeymoon meant? Did you ever see 50 First Dates?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_First_Dates

Take a gander at the trailer, a really cute movie. https://www.amazon.com/50-First-Dates-Adam-Sandler/dp/B00190L018

Now we have not experienced brain trauma, we are up in our years, were married 51 years ago, and a lot has flown right out and over heads. So, we are just following the script that I somehow programmed into my Garmin Express. I’m going to make a concerted effort to post early and often, kind of like voting, and to keep you all up to date on who, what, when, and where the Rooster and his bride are.

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Awoke to 47f/54%rh this AM, already a great first day wake-up.

Today our son and daughter in-law head to Boston with their oldest child, David. David is a college senior and heads out late today from Logan, IAP to Dublin, Ireland and begin his senior year with a semester abroad. He’s already completed one semester out of the country having spent it in Montreal, Canada.

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Learning to speak Irish with an Apple

Yesterday

After a quick tidy up of the house we were out the door at 0615 and on the road in our Subaru Forrester for a 360 mile trip to Tolland, CT. We will R & R there until Sunday when we head to Canada.

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We had a Golden Arch breakfast in Bridgeville, DE, Got cheap gas at a stop on the NJ, Tpk ., Gave the attendant a $2.00 tip, you can’t pump your own in Jersey, and ventured across the Hudson river via the Lincoln Tunnel. I usually take the George Washington bridge but travel warnings were predicting a 45 minute back-up. 1010 WINS to the rescue.

When you exit the Lincoln you are in immediate chaos of people, traffic and horns blowing. You’re adjacent to the maze that is Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Theater district. After a left on 43rd st we headed to the river and then north on the West Side Hwy. and on to CT. We would pass the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid Museum on the way. Many years earlier the Mrs. and I were lost below decks when on this ship for an open house while it was being decommissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Year.Old memories rekindled.

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For Lunch we would pull off the Merritt Pkwy. in CT and make a stop at a Panera Bread in Fairfield for lunch. This is one of favorite stops when traveling for a great mid-day meal.  After lunch we would get some steps in and walk a bit and make a stop at a Pier One Imports store. No buys here. If you remember the lady of the house is disposing, not accumulating.

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Not Bruce Springsteen, but the Boss none the less.

Our next stop was in Newington, CT at Stew Leonard’s grocery store. If your ever on the Berlin turnpike, take a few minutes and take the adventure that is Stew Leonard’s.

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Nine hours later and four stops we got off the highway at our old, 20 years, home town of Vernon, CT, and traveled familiar roads for a few miles to our sons home in Tolland. A great day, little traffic and a welcoming home. You can’t ask for anything more on your first day of travels. Thank you Lord.

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Once again thanks for dropping by the chicken pen. Remember to vote early and vote often. Feeling a little like Charles Karault today.

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