29 August 2007


We are officially back from our vacation now. Sometime around 3:30am on Sunday we arrived back in Lincoln. The vacation was great, the best ever. Two weeks, we feel like such suckers for never taking two before; next year, three easy.

The days were filled with sunshine, golf, pork, gin and tonics, ice cream and other delights.

The kids loved the island beach again. We saw dolphins, sharks (out about a 1/4 mile) lots of crabs, sand dollars by the bunches, 1 jelly fish, small deer, looked for gators but no avail, egrets (even a pink one) and the coolest yellow spider I've ever seen.(i could not get the camera to focus on the spider. All week the web kept getting bigger, right next to the grill. I think the spider spun the web there on purpose. I would grill, the flies would come and then get caught up in the web. It was a perfect symbiotic relationship.)

Food highlights.

1. The Savannah Tea Room. We went for light tea: tea (iced peach tea), scones, two types of cake, short bread cookies, fruit, a pile of jam and clotted cream and brownies. Since we made a reservation the kids got to sit at the Teddy Bear Table.

2. Sweet Mama's. Before we left I spent about three hours on the NY Times travel section searching out places to eat and see while we were in the area. (The Times home delivery subscription continues to pay dividends.) They suggested we try Sweet Mama's. I went over for doughnuts one morning, but then I heard a lady order a biscuit and egg. I told the woman taking my order to hold everything. I then saw a huge pan of fresh biscuits come out of the oven. In addition to the donuts I ordered some sausage and biscuits. I then struck up a conversation with the owner. First I asked her why she didn't have a sign that reads: As Mentioned in the NY Times. She didnt seem too impressed (apparently not everyone hold the Times in the same light as I do.) She then told me about Pork Pops. I thought what the hell are those? At first I imagined sausage on a stick. She said sausage with biscuit wrapped around it. I then thought something like a breakfast pig-in-a-blanket. Nope they take all the sausage, biscuits and eggs left over, grind them up, form them into balls and rebake them then sell them for . 50 each. They are delicious.(This picture was taken on our first trip, TOL went in past breakfast and was not aware of the porkly heaven awaiting us.)

While I have pork on the brain. How about sausage on a stick, dipped in maple syrup. I would buy one of those easily.

3. Gnats Landing. On a Sunday with nothing much opened we stumbled upon Gnats Landing. The best fried chicken ever (other than The Only Lady's). They also had a fried Green Tomato Club sandwich that was delicious.

Stuff to See highlights.

1. The Roundhouse Railroad Museum. Our day trip to Savannah went well. Again the NYTimes suggested going to the Railroad Museum. It was great, big old steam engines, a round house, turn table and fun gift shop.

2. The Georgian Sea Turtle Center. #1 was able to name a hatch ling!
How Two Weeks Makes a Difference

1. There is no way you can relax with just one week of vacation.

2. After the first week you see all the new people come in. I told The Only Lady that I could spot the new people with great ease. She asked how. I responded: they all have that dumb look about them. Sure enough with this criteria you could spot them easily.

Stuff that Happened.

1. The Van. First of all we got to a late start, #1 had an ear infection. So we were off a day. We started late on Friday morning. We hit traffic at New Haven (for the record I hate driving on I-95). The traffic lasted until past NYC. We sailed along till Delaware. Speaking of the second smallest state, what is the deal with them charging $6 to drive through their 20 mile section of 95? I have always wanted a nemesis. For a time it was the Methodist, but a friend changed that. For a good time it was the Presbyterians but two good friends changed that. Now, for the record my nemesis is the state of Delaware. As we were on 295 skipping through to DC the van acted up right beside an exit. I turned off only to find the engine not responding. We pulled into a Red Rood Inn parking lot. Wouldn't start. I called a garage, couldn't look at it till Monday (it was Friday at 3:30pm). I called a tow truck, towed it to the dealer and tried to find a rental.
No vans, it was Friday and vacation season. Finally an independent dealer had and SUV. While all of this was going on TOL and the kids were at the Red Roof Inn, it was 98 degrees. A man overheard our story and offered his room for them. The man and his wife, seven kids and dogs has been living in the hotel for the week. They were leaving for their new apartment and had the room for one more day. TOL and Ks went up but the room was a mess and the a/c wasnt working. She would rather take her chances in the parking lot. About an hour later I arrived with the SUV. It was smaller than our van, so we put the kids in and packed around them. The past year had been too full of tragedy not to take a vacation, I was determined that we have one.

At little till 5 we were back on 295 heading to DC. We had hoped to make it to Richmond in time to eat dinner with our nephew and his darling. Then DC traffic, barely moved till we got to Fredericksburg. Dinner plans were cancelled, we compromised on ice cream (at 9:30pm).We poured the coal to it and made into Raleigh at 1:00am. We got into the room only to find that the toilet wouldn't flush! What a day. 20 hours in the car and still not even to Georgia!

First report on the van, no problemo: catalytic converter clogged, covered by emission warranty. Second report, major problems, cracked cam shaft and spun a bearing. New engine. We found that out on the way to pick up the van as we finished vacation. We tried finding another rental to get us to RI. The only ones on the East Coast were at the Raleigh/Durham airport. We rented one there, drove two to Laurel, MD. Dropped off the first rental and headed to RI. We inched our way through DC. and picked up speed after Baltimore. We made great time in the Car only lane of the NJ turnpike. So good that we didn't see the Tappan Zee bridge exit. At a rest stop I just happened to glance at a map and saw that were within spitting distance of NYC. What? So we saw the city and inched across the GWB. Around 3:30am we made it home.

Van to be repaired by the middle of next week with a new engine. I will fly to BWI and drive it home.

07 August 2007

Hey Porter! Hey Porter!

The finalities for in the realms of planning, arrangements and preparation for the big vacation are coming to a close. We will wind things up tomorrow and head south. We are going to first stop in the gateway to the south then the city of the low country before heading to our destination.

I've got our stops for where to eat, van is serviced and ready to go.

I'll be back online sometime during the last week of the month.

05 August 2007

Weekend Recap

We began Saturday with some time at the Hope Street Farmer's Market. One place I love to patronize is the stand of Hill Orchard. He is a conventional farmer, I'm not sure he has any organic vegetables but I do know that his apples are the best and he is a great guy. I am much more apt to buy local produce that is non-organic rather than organic produce from people who are not that friendly. Odd isnt it that produce that is coated with chemicals is referred to as conventional. Why is it odd? Chemical fertilizer is a 20th century invention. How can something that is less than 100 years old be called conventional when modern human beings have been farming organically for at least 20,000 years!

Here is #2 posing at the market.

After we bought some peaches me and #2 caught up with The Only Lady along with #1 and #3.

We then went to the pool to cool off.

After the pool the Town had a free concert at Chase Farm, Pendragon was on the venue.
The kids watched the band for the most part, especially the step dancer, then ran up the hill.

This morning's worship went well. The attendance was good, the people were receptive and the refreshments at coffee hour were respectable. I couldn't believe how giddy I was for the arrival of vacation.

It was another hot day here at the parsonage. We were going to the pool, but by the time #3 went down for a nap and woke up, we decided to stay here so the kids could play in the new sprinkler. #3 liked the sprinkler, but was more enthralled with the water table.

Finally, for dinner: Chicken Pesto Pizza. The Only Lady likes to line the dough with pesto, then add grilled chicken, then a layer of parmesean cheese, then freshly chopped tomatoes, a layer of mozarella, and then some cracked pepper with a salted crust. A great finish to a great weekend.

03 August 2007

Training Camp

This morning I rounded up #1 and #2 and headed north to Foxboro to watch the Patriots training camp. Before we got on 146 north we had to stop by Bread and More for donuts, coffee and milk. With donut on the brain #2 asked me, while we were on I-95, "hey dad, are we going to see the Pastryiots." It was a hot morning:

So we pulled into the heavily marked off area and waited in line for a parking spot. We parked and walked in, it is like a Carnival with jungle jumps, all kinds of free t-shirt with credit card sign ups, the National Guard, the Boston Globe, a big Jamaican Rum blow up bottle, and your usual hawkers selling gear related stuff.

We found a spot on the hill to watch the players, but as soon as we sat down #1 had to go to the bathroom. So we go to the bathroom and go back to our spot. Instead of watching the practice #2 did this:

As we walked out I took a picture by the stadium:

But the highlight of the day wasn't the Pastryiots, or the games, not even the donuts, the real star was...The Kraft family is building a huge addition to the stadium, complete with a Bass Pro Shop and other big box retails.

01 August 2007

Reason #380, why I love my wife

The other day I was telling the wife how much I loved, as a kid, Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches. They came four to a pack and they would be gone in one night after dinner. There was no eat half and save the other half for the next day, oh no - we gobbled 'em down like crazy. One each and then we'd have to wait till the next Friday.

Well dont you know. When lady theobilly put in the milk order on Monday night she included a box of the Dairy's equivalent:It was excellent!