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Monday, August 17, 2015

Vacations Should Be Celebrated!!


Vacations should be celebrated...and the memories shared.

We started in Charleston South Carolina.  My daughter was living there for the summer so we caught up with her and happily let her show us the city. This was the first place of many where I took "before" shots.  I am thinking there might be a diet intervention for me soon.





First place always has to be to the water...... a faraway picture of Fort Sumpter where the Civil War began.





Then we stopped at the African Episcopal Methodist Church to pay our respects.  Ashleigh moved to Charleston 2 days before the murders and lived only a mile from the Church.  The front is covered in flowers and there is a feeling of peace and hope there.  The incredible act of forgiveness on the part of the victims families is what diffused this unimaginable experience....simple forgiveness.  Justice must be served and they will continue to miss and grieve for their family members.  But because they forgave, the healing will be easier to access and pain is somewhat lessended. The city of  Charleston embraced this church and it's members, you can see "Charleston Strong" on sides of buildings everywhere.


My husband added his name to this enormous wooden emblem which doubled as a card so to say.


This picture was a random shot I was so blessed to take.  Two men meeting for the first time and then taking a moment to pray together.  Completely spontaneous and beautiful.

I watched the "Blue Moon" come up over the ocean at dusk.



The next day we took some time to explore Charleston....the yards, architecture and flowers were exactly what I expected from this centuries old city.  My husband who loves Crepe Myrtles was in heaven as every home seemed to have one!

 All kind of architecture...and churches everywhere.  It is called the "Holy City"

Even the jail was interesting....Creepy but interesting


 On to Magnolia Plantation....



The gardens were beautiful.....
 I felt like I was in a Pat Conroy novel....Or Nicholas Sparks?  My husband just kept looking for alligators.

And then the drive up the coast with a stop at a Cracker Barrel for the best biscuits I have ever had. We had the cutest waitress in North Carolina who added to her appeal by bringing extra biscuits.  She whispered in my ear how lucky we were that the best biscuit maker was working at the time....Biscuit bliss.


Then on to New Jersey for the family reunion.  It was quite sad because Grandpop wasn't there....he passed away 2 weeks before.  He and his brothers and sisters were the first generation from Italy.  Both sets of my husbands grandparents were born in Italy and came through Ellis Island.  They didn't know how to speak English, where to live or where to find work.  But they did it, and their history is inspiring.....in less than 100 years this family has produced artists, judges, engineers, businessmen, entrepreneurs, teachers, editors and lots of children!!  

Thank you Remo Tagliaferri for your incredible life.



Everyone just enjoys being together.....my niece Krystle made pasta by hand for everyone....it might have been hard work, but it was so worth it!!


 My Son-in-law Kacy is an honorary Italian


 Lots of very happy, sweet people



The next day we were off to explore New York City.  Look at this fascinating project.  The old "L" is no longer used. Remember the train above the street? So instead of tearing it down New York has made it into a park.  They call it the High Line and it is located on the west side of Manhattan.
The path through the High Line is 1.45 miles long and follows the old railroad tracks with flowers and trees on either side of it. There are lots of benches along the way to sit and just enjoy it all.


You can see the tracks through the whole project...as a County Planning Commissioner I am always impressed with this kind of ingenuity.  It was totally unexpected, and incredibly beautiful.  Only when I looked over the side did I remember we were really in the city.






This is the view from my daughter and son-in-law's apartment, they moved there in May right after they were married.  On this night we rode the ferry back.....shades of "Working Girl"


The next morning we took the same picture, but in the light, then took the bus into the city.

 Raymond wanted to see the view of the city from the top of the Freedom Tower so we spent some time at the 9/11 memorial again before. This picture is an example of the constant care that is given to the names of those murdered on 9/11 at the Memorial. It is interesting to me to see the faces of those who come to the memorial, it is still  an inconceivable act.  When you look into the memorial the enormity of it all simply takes your breath away.  



   The view from the top of the Freedom Tower                                      


We rarely miss an opportunity to visit Little Italy which is also known as the land of Cannolis


Da Genaro Restaurant for Pizza and Calamari...on vacation food has to be exactly what you want, and you can order anything! The fresh Bread with Olive Oil, Basil, Parmesan and garlic was amazing.  I wanted to put it behind my ears it smelled and tasted so good.





Then a people crushing ride on the subway. Hot, crowded, impossible to breathe...but we were going to Yankee Stadium...who cares?  It was a Bucket List game...Yankees versus the Red Sox!!



The game wasn't very exciting, and then I think first baseman Mark Teixeira looked up behind first base and said, "Hey, the Tagliaferri's are here we better step up our game!" Those boys in the pinstripes rode that inspiration and won the game with several home runs and an incredible score of 13-3!  Winning the bucket list game?  Nothing better.







The next day we explored around where my daughter works. So we went to St. Patricks Cathedral, Rockefeller Plaza, Saks Fifth Avenue and Magnolia Bakery.




 On our way to the theatre, (I just love saying that) more pictures of the city.  The lights, the people...the constant bustle....it truly never sleeps, or slows down for that matter.


We were able to see Matilda....and I think we saw the very best Matilda (there are 3 of course) the talent is hard to believe.  Children singing like angels, comedic timing...fun dialog.  We loved every second of it.  The theatre was perfect, the acoustics were perfect, fabulous night.  My husband wanted to buy some bottled water in the lobby and when he was shocked with the 5 dollar price, the guy said, "Welcome to Broadway!!"  



Bliss on Broadway


And then my final shot of New York City.  A city that can frustrate you when you get on the wrong subway, or realize blocks in New York are way longer than the ones back home....you will go broke with how expensive it all is and wonder how no one ever stops.  But it has a rhythm you cannot deny with a pull to come back and do it all over again.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Has this ever happened to you?

When you are addicted to channel surfing and the remote is broken frustration abounds.  My husband scowled at me as though the broken remote was my fault and insisted I call the Dish folks.

We were somewhere between a full on tantrum and a stroke.

I went on the computer to find the number to DISH.  I told them my problem then they told me their problem.  Our account was no where to be found, not by name, address or phone number.

Seriously?

"Ma'am, how do you pay your bill?  Your account number would be on the bill."

"My bill is bundled with the internet and land line, I never see the bill.  I gave you my name why can't you find my account number?"

"Ma'am go to your receiver and tell me the serial number."

"No, the cord is too short to turn it around on the shelf.  Why can't you just find my account number by my name, this makes no sense"

At this point my dogs have gone under the couch.

"Ma'am hit the menu button twice and when system info comes up the serial number will also."

"That does not occur when I hit the menu button, there isn't a system info on my screen."

"Ma'am what do you see on your screen?"

"It says, My Direct TV, search and browse, recordings, settings and info"

"It says My Direct TV?  Ma'am this is DISH Network."

Oh no....so I said the only thing I could think of.

"Well, I guess that is why you couldn't find my account number, I am so glad I figured this out, thank you....good-bye"