Thursday, December 31, 2009

Katie and Mark's Home

I love the views at their house, behind is a small patch of woods and beyond that is a newly planted apple orchard. There is also a new orchard across the street. Katie says they are new varieties of apples planted, like Honey Crisp, etc. They are in the beginning of the Catskill Mt. foothills, lovely views everywhere. A small stream runs through the yard into the woods, across the fields for the half mile until it reaches the Hudson. It starts from an old ice pond, used years ago to make ice to store for the warm months. It was running full while we were there, loved the rushing water sound. Somehow, I don't have a pic of it.

Air Travel At Christmas

Taking three different planes from White Plaines, NY to Corpus Christi, TX was an adventure. The security wasn't a problem. On the way north, they took my hair mouse. ??? said it was a liquid. Whatever. They didn't look at anything going home. Paul got a thorough going over with the wand, two metal knees. Honest to Pete, I don't know how that idiot that set himself on fire over Detroit got in the country. Someone must have been bribed in the country of origin.

On the way north we noticed our butt bones were sore from sitting on old, worn out air plane seats. I found some cushions in NY and they made the trip home much more comfortable. Our plane in Chicago was delayed by a faulty gas gauge in the plane. We were late getting into Dallas, which was icy and snowy. They held the plane for us. The last leg, to Corpus, was bumpy with a heavy cloud cover. Very pretty in the sunset from above. Pilot missed the strip on the first attempt but we got down the second time. It was rainy and windy. Our friends, William and Mary Ann were there to pick us up. We went to dinner and then to HEB to get supplies. Home by 10 pm . I have a cold or sinus infection or allergies going now. I forgot how dry it is up north in the winter. My hair hasn't been that straight in years! Or my face to wrinkly.

Oh, air travel at Christmas, I don't recommend it. Both ways we were traveling on some of the worst days of the year. Huge crowds in the airports, wait lists. Bad weather. But sometimes the only way to get home. Can't regret a minute, it was so fun.

Times Square on Christmas Eve

Mark, Katie, Marjie and Paul on the "red steps" in the median in Times Square. It was cold and windy but not too crowded. The bill board signs are so amazing, just like you see on TV. Very interesting.

Stephanie and the Charmin Bear. This was a large free bathroom sponsored by Charmin TP. A woman was also wearing an inflatable toilet, we have a picture but Steff is sitting on it. See at the top. Charming in all ways.

Happy Mark and Katie, see the Fire truck in the background, for Mark the fireman; and the Loft for Katie, the shopper.

Happy Steff, Marjie and Paul.

There is so much I haven't written about in NYC. We had a super time. Yesterday I told Paul how he was a perfect husband on this trip, never complained about all the running and $$ and shopping, he said he had a fabulous time. It was so much fun. Just so. Look at our smiles.
Katie and Mark had so many fun things planned and great food. Very good entertainers. I didn't buy anything in NYC, didn't want to carry it all day.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Good eating at the Sen's

Steff and Mom on the train

On Wednesday night, our first night here, Katie and I went to a local restaurant and got Italian takeout. Spaghetti and meat balls, a egg coated fried chicken on noodles dish, and Penna Vodka with salads and cannoli. Certainly misspelled, but delicious.

Christmas Eve. we left for the city early, after bagel and eggs sandwiches. Until I ate a NY bagel I didn't know how great they are, how different from the mid west or Texas bagels, very soft and tender with a mild taste. They say that it is the minerals in the water, it is piped into the city from the Catskills apparently. We had lunch at Rosie O'Grady's Pub. A very nice, white table linen place. It was nearly empty. (And actually the stores weren't that crowded.) The food was good, Paul and I split a huge hamburger and soup. Excellent soup and very lean, tasty HB. We did a lot of tasting and it was all excellent. Lots of fun. Hard to explain all the restaurants in the city. As soon as you get off the main streets they are everywhere of every country. They all look wonderful. Attractive and clean and interesting. Another surprise that I enjoyed was all the little children speaking in foreign languages. It seems that many Europeans spent the holidays in New York. And what a wonderful experience for them.

On Christmas we went to 11 am Mass. Mark and Katie made prime rib for dinner with sweet potatoes, corn, baked potatoes. Wonderful, cooked to medium perfection. The next day we had prime rib French Dip sandwiches. Oh dessert. Katie picked up a Cherry Cheesecake at Junior's in Grand Central Station as we left the city on Thursday. Said to be the best in the city, and it is hard not to agree. The base was sponge cake, the creamy part was light and a little whippy, the topping yummy tart cherries. OMG, it was perfect.

On Saturday, Mark drove Steff to the train station, later we all went shopping up in Kingston, a city about 20 minutes north of the house. Paul and I had been there before, when we drove into the Catskills. Missed the malls though. Very nice shopping. Looking for an interesting place for lunch, we drove through the very old part of the city, it is on the Hudson River. Large stone houses are right on the sidewalk and the streets are very narrow for modern times, but must have been wide for their time. We ended up having very good bar food at a locals bar. I had a great wrap, everyone else had awesome bar burgers. Perfect sweet potato fries.

Sunday was sort of a wind down day. They cooked a turkey with all the trimmings. Katie made dressing from a Sen's family recipe. Scratch apple pie. So good. I guess it was wind down because we didn't have a field trip. Except Mark has a fire call, they took out the new fire truck! And Katie and I walked over the bridge on the Hudson. NY state turned an old half burnt railroad bridge into a State Park. I have pics that I will post later. It was fun to walk and full of people and dogs.

Monday was pizza takeout night. Katie and Mark ordered a pepperoni and onion pizza with thick crust. We had a Meat Lover's with the traditional thin crust. Very good, has to be healthy with less crust. They have less cheese than our Michigan pies and the sauce is a little spicy. Fun to try different foods.

Friday, December 25, 2009

New York City on Christmas Eve

New York City was wonderful fun. The top pic is Stephanie in front of the Sbarro Pizza place that was in the Office TV show. Or mentioned in said show. Paul and I are in front of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Katie and Mark by the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center. I have a lot of pics but they can wait until I get home.

We took the 8:45 train at the station closest to Katie and Mark's home. This was at Pougkeepsie, NY. The ride is almost two hours one way. After we got to Grand Central Station we hit the ground running. Did some shopping, went to Times Square, saw the Today Show set and the famous red steps, there are pics. We had lunch at Rosie O'Grady's Pub, shopped some more on our way to see the Rockettes. We had balcony seats for the show. After all the exercise and lunch it would have been easy to fall asleep during the show, and Mark did. But just for a few seconds. The show was beautiful, fast and fun, lots of dancing and singing. Of course. It was so worth the trip to see. A great experience.

After the show we shopped on the way back to the station. Grabbed some snacks for the trip home and headed back to Milton. The day was so fun that the sore feet didn't matter at all. There is so much to see and do in the city.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New York

Made it to Katie and Mark's home in Milton NY, 1 am on Wednesday. Long day at the airports. Good trip, Thursday we take the train into the city. Pics and lots more soon.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane

Today, Dec. 22, we are flying to Katie and Mark's for Christmas for a week. William is driving us to the Corpus Christi Airport. I will still have blogs and hopefully many pictures. We are taking the train into the city on Christmas Eve to see the Rockettes show and enjoy the city. Steff is meeting us in Chicago for the last leg of our flight. Katie and Mark live about 70 miles north of NYC, about a mile west of the Hudson River, in Marlboro.

Our nice weather is holding. Sunday was beautiful again. Went to church, had happy hour here in the park with our neighbors, and went to Bernie's for the band with Mavis and friends. Monday was sunny and 60s too. The ocean was very calm, a very rare thing. Reminded us of Lake Michigan. Had some nice walks. The only day I didn't take my camera to the beach.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Three in a row

Sunny days, that is. And warm enough to wear Capri pants. Saturday we went back to Bernie's for the free lunch, and left a big tip, of course. Cheryl's husband made chilie and refried beans, had warm tortillas, sour cream, cheese and fritos. Very good. Lyn and Ken were there, Randy and Larry, Frank and Denise. Jan and Jim. An interesting group.
I took this picture on the way home from town, we were doing our walking and I noticed several little clouds in a row that looked like beards. Not sure how this will show up in the picture. The beach was wide and beautiful again. The tides are extreme, high tide is up to the dunes and low, is very, very low. I found some exceptional shells on Saturday.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

That lovely, sunny Friday

Temps in the low 50s but no wind and SUNNY made for a perfect day. Paul took pics of a flock of white pelicans that winter in this area. Pelicans tend to fly in a long synchronized line, choregraphed by the wind currents. They were soaring and gliding, making figure eights and circles, very beautiful and graceful.

We had a long beach walk, met Lyn and Ken at the Spaghetti House for a late lunch. Then we headed over to Bernie's for socializing. The ladies from the VFW were there after putting together all the Christmas Baskets for the area. The bartender, Richard, got out some of his favorite toys to play with. We got some photos of that too. Met some new folks. A nice treat after the rainy week. And the sun is coming up again, no clouds.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Looks sunny out

We haven't seen the sun in a week, and it wasn't bright then, still a bit foggy. All dreary and foggy and heavy rain this week. I can see the sky brightening for the sun rise. YAY! This is the worst December weather on record here in Port Aransas. Usually we are wearing shorts and walking barefoot on the beach.

Monday, December 14, 2009

It didn't rain on Monday, we only had fog.

So we have Carlie at her 7th grade baseball game.

Paul and Randy and Larry at Bernie's happy hour. And the blue heron in the surf.

Rain, wind and cold for the rest of the week. Just like the rest of the country.

Saturday and Sunday

Carlie and Susan and the new shoes

Cheryl, our favorite waitress at Bernie's

We had a pretty good time this weekend. It has been foggy, cool, windy, rainy and drizzley this week. Saturday was just foggy and 68 degrees. We decided to jump on it and went to town in the golf cart. As we drove over the dunes we saw that the tide was very high. We had to drive right next to the dunes and sometimes, gasp, in the wet sand. Very traumatic to have salt water on our shiny red cart. Big waves too. I don't have a very good grasp on tides, etc, but this was very high and was still high five hours later when we drove home. ???

First we went to Whataburger, I had a coupon for a free burger. Then we went to Bernie's for the happy hour prices. They have free food on Saturdays!! Chilie dogs. GASP. We love chilie dogs and they were fat and yummy. We had to hang around 3 hours so I could get hungry and eat one. While we were there Frank and Denise stopped in and we had fun visiting. We missed the Belt Sander races at the Gaff, good friends are more fun. We met several new friends too.

Then we stopped at the Gaff to see Susan and Javiar, and Carlie of course. On the way in we met Ken and Lyn and friends as they were all leaving. More fun. Then we had a good visit with the Munoz clan. Carlie had just bought new tennis shoes, we share a shoe fetish. They are silver with blue trim. I have pics but they won't download, will keep trying.

Sunday was foggy again and cooler, so we didn't run to town for church. We could hear the big waves. About one pm, Ken and Lyn drove up and asked if we wanted to go to Corpus with them. Sure did. We hit a few very crowded stores. Had amazing sandwiches at Jason's Deli, so very good. Mine was a french dip on a crusty french roll. Excellent. Lots of great meat. Everyone was happy with their food. They wanted to go to the PX for groceries, always interesting to visit the Naval base.

Once we got over the bridge to Padre Island it was very foggy. Didn't get home until after five. Missed going to Bernie's for the band, but we were beat. Good to snuggle in for the night.

Today is very foggy too. We could be in Ireland except the lilt in the voices is a bit more twangy.
And there are more palm trees here. Beer is cheaper. Food is better.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Grandkid pics

Megan, papa Timer and Anna making Christmas cookies in Kansas.
Charlie and one of his guys.

I love this picture of Julia. It just sparkles, she is such a fairy princess, all sugar coated and sweet.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fun With Friends

This has been an unusual week here in Port Aransas. It was cold! We got a lot more rain too. It got down to 37 degrees one night. There was great excitement because there was a chance of snow. They closed school early. ????

Thursday we went into Port A with William and Mary Ann to show them where Lug Nuts was and some of our favorite haunts (bars). Started with Bernies, then the Gaff. Lucky us, it was the night of the Pirate Pub Crawl. Adults dress up like pirates and ride around in a pirate ship on a trailer, a parade float actually. Just too fun. R! (short for arrrrgh). Sadly I didn't grab my camera on the way out the door. Next time. Then we followed the pirates to Lovette's Bar. Very smokey with two poker tables going. Two dogs, a big lab and a small wire haired terrier who sat on chairs to watch the card games and napped on the table. Can you imagine that in Michigan? Then on to The Salty Dog, because I love pink grapefruit. Yummy drink. There were three big labs in there, one being the owners. So strange but fun. Then we went to Moby Dick's for food. We found Javiar at the Gaff and Shawn too. Lots of hugs and fun.

On Friday we drove to Corpus with William and Mary Ann. He has a Harley and wanted to check out the store there. It was interesting and full of bikes. Then we ate lunch at Jin's Asian Buffet. It is always voted best in the city and last year was among the top 100 Asian eateries in the USA. The food was excellent and the decor is very nice. Then we shopped at HEB. Yum.

Saturday was sunny and warm enough for a short walk on the beach. Island friends from a few years back, Ken and Lynn had called us for a lunch date at the pizza buffet. So I had until noon to walk. Ran into Carolyn on the way and we had a great walk and talk. The beach was perfect, if a little cool. Low tide, very clean and calm for the ocean. And then the craft show. I had to run in, very nice pics and baskets, Merna's glass jewerly that she makes, in the kiln. And Roma's Scentsy. Then Susan's jewerly. Who could resist the turquoise??? She is pretty artistic.

Ken and Lynn picked us up in their cute little convertible and off we went. Rushed as I was, I forgot to pick up the camera. Drat. We had a great lunch of pizza, salad and soup and lots of catching up. They usually go to the Florida Keys. Then we drove over to the IGA, and Susan and Javiar were in the parking lot! We all had partied together up in Hill Country years go. Hugs and talk. Suddenly we were in the Munoz's truck and off to watch football at their house.

Now this is where I wanted my camera, we went to the Lighted Boat Christmas Parade in the harbor. It was chilly, but pretty. Two of the big tour boats were all decorated and they picked up anyone who wanted a ride, they were supposed to be carolers, and some did sing. After that Santa got off one boat and met all the kids. Then we had the traditional hot tamales and cookies and hot chocolate. I wanted a Whataburger but had to have the traditional South Texas treat. It was ok. It's way better if you don't eat the corn husks. Which someone who shall remain nameless has done in the past. It was fun and different. Island life....

Will snag a parade pic off the net to post.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Drought is Over

The Birding Ponds are full and overflowing. Now we have a lakefront lot. This is going to be fun to watch this winter. Already have roseated spoonbills.

More at the Keenan's

Oh Happy Day!! I figured out my new camera and have pics to post. I hooked up to Picasa, who saves all the blog pics. Nice soft wear, Marty told me about it. This is a smiling new Emily, 26 hours old.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Due to many technical difficulties, a bad computer virus, camera won't hook up to the computer and download, tv cable didn't work, Direct TV didn't work, our first week in Texas was problematic and annoying. All is working now except for the camera downloads. What is a blog without pics? Even more boring than usual!

We had nice beach weather on the weekend, then downpours of rain Monday and Tuesday. Today is dawning sunny with puddles. In October the birding ponds were dry, now they are huge, the drought is finally over. We have a lakeside lot!

Since I have no pics I am going to post one of Julie's, Patrick and Anna on the motorcycle we bought him for birthday/Christmas. We rarely see the kids for their birthdays and holidays so we have presents every time we see them. Much more fun.
And to prove the point, two identical pics were posted to this entry. Just more tech junk!