Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Stayed a week in Vermont this past summer with my cousin.

Two of the nights were at a family run motel. Not my family but a family.

First morning I woke up, grabbed a cup of coffee and went to the grassy area near the parking area.

Spied a woodchuck leisurely foraging in the newly mown grass.

I love wildlife. Think I’m a bit fascinated with their behaviors.

Next morning I wake up, grab a cup of Joe and head to the same place.

Who’s there?

The woodchuck. With his same old song and dance routine.

I chuckled and thought, “Well, isn’t he just a creature of habit?”

Second thing that popped into my mind was, “He’s probably thinking the very same thing about you, Mary!”

It is so true.

God forbid my razor is not in its usual place in the shower. I’d have a conniption fit.

I think about my daily routines.

My shower routine is better choreographed than a Riverdance production. Shampoo first quickly followed by conditioner. Next up is the cleansing of the face and body with a grand finale of the Venus. Two quick strokes under the arms and maybe six on each leg -under the knee of course.

I don’t want to detail the day. You get the picture. You are also a victim of routine.

I tease my Mom all the time. She eats at the same time every day. On the dot.

But here’s the thing. We are all creatures of habit.

It’s comforting and makes life a little easier to navigate.

We all use phrases like, “Getting back into the school routine” or “Have to get back to the routine.”

I just love wildlife. We’re fascinating.

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Another travel story from years ago.

We were in Brooklyn Heights for a New Year’s party at my cousin’s beautiful brownstone. Was a great night. One of my aunts was over from Ireland with her husband, daughter and son-in-law. Lots of laughter and good cheer. My Dad and his sister able to catch up with each other.

Walter singing “Colcannon” and others belting out “That’s Amore”, twinkling lights in the backyard garden with bottles chilling in mounds of snow.

Had an early flight in the morning so my girls and I left the gathering shortly after midnight.

Next morning. On the plane and seated behind a father and his two boys. Not toddlers but not teenagers either.

Their mother was on other side of the aisle-one row up from them.

She kept turning back and smiling at me. Not sure why.

Dad had the aisle seat with one boy in the middle. Other child had the window.

The fun started when they kept poking at each other, wrestling, kicking, etc.

Dad was ineffective with his half-hearted attempts to put it to a stop. So the seats kept banging and moving in front of us.

I am not a confrontational person. But felt like I had to say something.

Plenty of folks don’t want anyone giving them advice. Sensitive territory. I get that. I’m a parent.

So I thought about how I could stop the seats and our tray tables from shaking. Without getting into a fight.

When the Mom turned to smile at me (yet again) I seized the opportunity. I leaned in and quietly said to her, “My brothers and I were the same when we were young.”

Okay, that was a big fat lie. My parents would never have put up with that sort of nonsense.

I continued, “Know what my parents would do? They’d separate us. And put a parent in between each kid.”

There is a shred of truth to this. Sunday Mass. Bored kids. You get the picture. One poke (just one poke) at each other and the seating arrangements quickly shifted in our pew. Kid, parent, kid, parent, kid.

It was a rare occurrence but it was the only thing I could come up with to demonstrate understanding.

She said, “They’re tired. They were up late last night for New Year’s.”

I said, “Totally understand.”

While thinking, “So were we!”

Anyway, she actually took my advice. Had her husband sit between the boys.

Lo’ and behold, a miracle occurred!

The kids never moved a muscle the rest of the plane ride.

My kids and I were finally able to relax.

Weird thing is that the woman never smiled at me again. Not sure why.

 

 

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I’ve spent a lot of time in airports. My last posting was about arrival gates.

I suppose I will just continue with that thread.

Some years ago my daughter, in high school at the time, was returning from Syria where she had been studying for the summer.

I was sort of jacked up anyway. Having just experienced the thrill of seeing/feeling the international airplanes arriving, flat on my back, staring at their bellies.

https://foursquare.com/v/the-airplane-park/4bca5832511f952199adafc7

So, my heart was fluttering while I was waiting for Rory at LAX.

I kept asking, “Is that her? Is that her?”

It was a long time to be separated from my first born. I’m not sure what I was expecting in my emotional state.

I spied a young girl in the crowd at the arrival gate.

“Is that her??????”

Finally, Annie said, “No, Mom, it’s not her. Unless she’s grown five inches and is now a Latina.”

LOL.

 

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I met with a friend yesterday. We were chatting about this and that. Traveling was one of the topics. Specifically about airports.

Jenny mentioned a line from the movie, “Love, Actually” which claims that the Arrival Gate at the airport is the happiest place to be.

Yes, that’s so true.

Even though an arrival gate can be quite chaotic.

Go through the doors and there’s a mess of humanity staring you directly in the face. Before they quickly dismiss you as not being their person.They continue searching for their loved one. Holding signs. Flowers.

Anxiously waiting.

Then the cries of joy. The smiles and laughter. The hugs.

It’s overwhelming when it’s face to face-on the same floor level. For the ones coming out of the gate. Especially if you are a shorty like me! Desperately looking for their own loved one in the sea of bodies.

What I always liked about the small airport in my home state is that you had to ride down the escalator to the waiting crowd. It allowed a bird’s eye view, while descending, to scan the masses and seek out your own people.

Also allowed them to look up and find you gliding down slowly.

And I would see my parents. Standing together and smiling when they saw us.

Would nudge my kids, “Hey, there they are! There’s Nana and Papa!”

Although they would have already spotted them on their own.

I went home last summer and then again for Christmas and it was different.

My father would never again be waiting at the Arrival Gate for me.

So, we passed through the excited crowds, collected our baggage and hopped into a taxi.

The Arrival Gate is a happy place. Love everywhere.

But not always. Sometimes it’s a memory of love everywhere.

And those memories are truly cherished.

 

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On April 8th I posted about the roadkill I noticed the previous day. A dead monkey on the side of the road. 😦

When I was a young kid growing up in the Northeast I never could have imagined I would see monkey roadkill.

I suppose I am fascinated by the animals themselves. Along with the fact that our progress as humans sometimes gets in the way of their natural lives.

As I was driving home from lunch today I looked, as I do every day, toward the spot where I first spotted the unfortunate monkey.

Yup, still there. Nine days later.

I keep thinking that the monkey will be gone. Removed by some highway clean up crew.

Nope.

Not sure why this bothers me. I’m not looking for it to have a Christian burial or anything.

I just don’t like seeing it decompose in the hot sun. Day after day.

 

 

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Just thought I would share some photos that made me smile. Or pause. All taken in Malaysia. I hope you enjoy them.

 

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Just wondering if it’s the real thing?

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I see these all the time. Always think it’s some type of obscene gesture.

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Maybe the kids will eat their peas if we make them into cookies.

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This guy washed up on an uninhabited island in Langkawi.

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Repurposing taken to another level. A couple of my chums live on this street so I see this piece of art on a regular basis.

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This is not my dog, Thumper. Rusty is a Thumper look-alike who belongs to a friend but I just love this photo. Because of Rusty, his shadow and the view of Kuala Lumpur.

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It’s not a crime but it sort of is.

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Fabulous mural but not sure about that gaping hole.

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True confession time. I hit up McDonald’s once in awhile when I’m jonesing for a Big Mac. I was quite surprised to see that the Taro Pies had sold out so quickly.

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Is the tailor a fat man? Or just his customers?

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This is my Thumper. Always finds a sunbeam to soak up the sun. No matter the location.

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Watching workmen and their safety practices across the way is enough to cause anyone anxiety. What I don’t understand is why the three ladders? No key to the house? Notice the first one-barely touching the landing.

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This little lady was spotted by my friend while we were sitting at a lovely beach side restaurant in Langkawi. In the middle of the photo- not even a quarter of the way down. Mona Lisa? Jesus’ mom? Orphan from Les Miserables? Hey, is that Frankenstein about half way down to the right?

Have a wonderful week! I hope it’s filled with many smiles and a few pauses.

 

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There are a couple of reasons I don’t always use GPS while I am out driving.

The first one is because I sort of feel that if there is total reliance on this little gadget then I might not ever really learn how to get from one place to another. Of course, this stubborn refusal has resulted in me getting lost. On more than one occasion.

Second reason is that the thing drives me absolutely batty. I am in a constant state of, “This coming left? Wait, this one? The next one? Now?? Now?? Oops. Missed it.”

Rerouting.

Usually adds on eighty four miles to my destination.

I remember watching an episode of “The Office” when Michael Scott follows the directions from his GPS and drives right into a body of water. He yells, “The Machine knows!”

 

The other day my friend and I were going to check out a new shopping center downtown. She was in charge of the GPS. According to “the machine” it’s time to take a right hand turn. More of a u-turn.

I ask, “This one or the next one?”

She says, “Looks like this one. Just take this one.”

I do. And who is driving past as I am trying to do so? A policeman on a motorcycle. He makes a face at me and tells me to pull over to the side of the road.

My friend is almost shoving her phone under his nose so that he will understand that it is not our fault. It’s the machine’s fault!

He totally didn’t care. 🙂

Today, I am wishing you all clear direction! On the road and in your head.

 

 

 

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