Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Two More for Wednesday

I don't like putting both of these together -- one gives me a headache, and one is beautiful. So first the headache one.

At this show, the regular people whose property borders the showgrounds try to monetize the show and have parking, camping, food, bars, live music, etc to make money off all the traffic. I had to return to the show early evening for a party and driving in I'm passing all the locals' efforts and then saw this sign which says "Bikini Bartenders" and all I could think of is that cliched "Really?" Really? Are you so hard up that you'll go galloping over to see some single mom trying to make some extra money by pouring beer into paper cups for the conventioneers? My upper lip is curling at the thought.

My room is about halfway down a hallway so I either come in the front door or the side door depending on where I park. When I come in the side door, this is the sight I pass. It is such a beautiful old tree. I was going to name it Fran, in honor of our resident tree hugger, but to my eye,. this is a male tree and I want to name it some farmer, Biblical name like Amos or Jebediah... any suggestions?
Doesn't this look like a jigsaw puzzle?

Catching up Wednesday

I've been busy, and tired, but here's a brief catch up. So far all is well, all went went. I have two more events and that's it. Both are early morning breakfasts where I have to be on site at 6:45. Not my first choice.

This airplane was being towed. Af first I didn't know what it was, but then I thought it's the real airplane that will fly here that is the star of Disney's new movie Planes. This is "Dusty" the #7 airplane. The wingspan is huge and they would successfully get it through some tight spots.

Here's the cartoon version of the real airplane.

As shocking as this may be, I've only had ice cream once all week -- had to have "just drummy" which turned out to be ice cream with bits of "drumstick ice cream cone" mixed in -- peanuts, cone bits, chocolate bits -- really good.

I get these "logo cookies" for my client's customer appreciation party. The logo is on a piece of edible paper and they just look so good at a corporate party. And your customers eat your logo too!

Today Greg and I were supposed to have our annual (now 20 years??) bratfest at Mr. Cinder's. But when we got there, we both first noticed the empty parking lot and then saw a dumpster and we were both Oh noooooooooooo, oh nooooooooooo... you would have thought the world was coming to an end. We were angry and hurt and disappointed. You know how your heart is set on one thing?

Instead we went to Ardy & Ed's, an old-fashioned drive in where the girls wear roller skates. I'd say it has looked like this for since the first time I saw it -- back in 1978. In addition to my burger, I had a bottle of locally-made root beer which really was good.

I'm always on the lookout for neat giveaways, and I liked this one. I had seen people wearing them -- the pointer does move -- and then Amy introduced me to a father and two sons and the one son had a pin and I commented on it and said I wanted to get one. Well, this kid who was about 12 years old said I could have his since he had two. He was just so sweet and generous and so I took him up on his generosity. I have a fantasy of wearing this to a business meeting and making a production out of downgrading the "fun" from max to min.

More later.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday and All is Well

Left my camera in the car so I'll post photos tomorrow. Beautiful weather -- high 70s, sunny, nice breeze. Two events today; four to follow.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Safe Arrival

Here I am, ready for action. A client was to leave me a wrist band at the hotel front desk, and lo and behold, they handed me the envelope before I could even ask for it. Such a nice surprise to not have to track it down.

Here are today's pics:

Scenes like this are why I like driving. Had gotten off the highway to get gas and made a wrong selection -- there was nothing by the exit so I had to drive about four miles which ended in this lake. It was just such a pretty site on a Sunday morning.

These are the good old boys -- they seem everywhere on this trip -- just out of central casting.

This is Chicago in the distance. You can see there wasn't much sun.

So many tolls around Chicago. I paid something like $1.80 and then three miles later, there'd be another odd amount to pay.

Chicago getting closer.

Thinking of how Barbara pegged me as an ex-smoker, not a non-smoker. She's right. I still notice prices of cigarettes. This is way cheaper than New York, but I can't imagine spending this much money day in and day out. When I stopped smoking (Ok, so it was almost 30 years ago) price was not really a factor -- but you can't justify spending this money.

Past Chicago, into Wisconsin, heading North to Fond du Lac (hotel) and Oshkosh.

View from my room -- at least it's not a parking lot.

Lying on the bed, the TV is overhead. It's an old-fashioned one (like I have at home) which I don't mind as it changes channels fast -- so many flat screens are so slow.

When I read reivew of Microtels, so many people complain about how small the rooms are, but really, how much space do you need? By NY standards, this room is huge. I did not mention how cool it is -- low 60s and I have the window open as it's comfortable.

I have developed an old lady fear of falling in a hotel shower/bathtub. I reserved an assisted room -- really the only thing that's different is the bathroom. I chuckle when I see the grips -- I find them quite reassuring. Some places the tub is so high, the tile is so slippery and there's nothing to hold on to. I don't want to be nekkid on the floor and crawling toward the phone so there's so shame in my handgrip game. Oh, I also like the handheld shower which I have at home as well. Good for a thorough rinse job!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Scott and Gwenyth (Mary's nephew and grand-niece)

Here's from their day at an old-time amusement park. Actually I don't know much about Glen Echo.

Actually after an exhaustive 15 seconds of research, I have discovered Glen Echo's interesting history:

Glen Echo Park began in 1891 as a National Chautauqua Assembly, which taught the sciences, arts, languages, and literature. By the early 1900s Glen Echo Park had become a premier amusement park, serving the Washington area until 1968. In 1971, after the federal government obtained the land, the National Park Service began managing the park. The National Park Service collaborated with artists and arts organizations to create a rich arts program in the spirit of the original Chautauqua movement. Today the park is managed by the nonprofit Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture, Inc. on behalf of Montgomery County, Maryland.

Back to the present, Mary says:

From our trip to Glen Echo today. Gwenyth loved the carousel and she loved running up the ramp and down the steps by the restroom.  I love this carousel.

Day Two: Clarion, PA to Elkhart, IN

Here's where I am:

Here's how I got here:
These are the petunias in front of the hotel, and I have petunia envy. I have never been able to find these cascading petunias and what irks me is that they seem to thrive in places where they don't get a whole lot of attention.

This was this lovely landscaping that was like a combination of impatiens (lower right) and this light pinky-orange hydrangea and fancy grasses.

Entering the Ohio Turnpike.

Rain most of the day.

More rain,.

Rain stops, but is coming again.

Eventually sunny skies.

Leaving Ohio and entering Indiana.

The closer you get to Oshkosh, you see other folks likely headed that way like this guy pulling a helicopter.

This was on of the hotels where you can't get there but you can see it... where you are 10 feet of grass away from the right parking lot -- I really was tempted to drive over the grass, but I didn't. Also my directions were "turn left on So and So Street," but of course there is no sign for So and So Street... that has happened before when the hotel has some street address that no one has ever heard of. I left the door open for a while as it was so pleasant, and I enjoy parking right in front of my room. When a hotel/motel is like this, it reminds me of something where I still hear my mother's voice. She would tell us you're not supposed to look in the windows of a motel if the drapes are open. To this day, I sort of avert my eyes.

Nifty little refrigerator/freezer, microwave and coffee maker.

Bed to bathroom, with sink outside the bathroom. One thing I don't like is I have never had a fan in a home bathroom and I find the fans so noisy and this is one switch for the light and the fan.

This is my car -- a silver Chevy Impala which has been comfortable and good with gas. I didn't gas up (with about 1/8 tank) until I was driving about an hour this morning -- well into Ohio.

My king size bed. Very comfy.

Now it's 7:30 and I'll go out and have some dinner. Tomorrow it's on to Oshkosh.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Day One: NYC to Clarion, PA

First, here's where I am:

Next, here's how I got here:

It was overcast and cool this morning in NY. I had fought my worries over no car, not having a backup reservation (as was suggested to me), was told I would have to wait in line for a long time. Got there and I was the only one. Had found three coupons: one for a free rental day, and two for $25 off. I didn't care if they took them or not -- just presented them and the woman tried like all get out for her computer to accept these coupons. It took the one free rental day, but not the $25 ones. I said maybe you can only use one at a time so I'll try again.

Uneventful trip:

The worst traffic was getting out of NYC -- here I am trying to get across the George Washington Bridge (goes across the Hudson River from NY to NJ)

Made it across NJ to PA

I didn't eat here, but I appreciate the name of the place.

It was a beautiful day as you can see -- and high 70s, low 80s, sunny, mild. Listened to my book on CD, music, thought, downloaded my brain of useless info.

This doesn't do it justice. When I stopped to use a restroom, the sky was like a French blue. It was so blue and beautiful.

From the bed to the door. I like the shelf for the suitcase and open closet.

From the bed to the window... you can barely make out my brick wall view.

From the bed to the TV

This is dinner. I saw on the menu something called a Wedgie. That's pizza dough, but it was dry, like bread... and this is a BLT wedgie -- it was really good... shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and chopped bacon, generous on the mayo. Really good. Love my wedgie.

This is dessert -- more pizza dough (Ok, so the place is called Pizza Pub so there's a theme going) with Cinnamon and frosting. This was called Cinnamon Toasties.