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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Visiting NYC - Day 1511 (Year 5, Day 51)

Bronx, NY

I don't recall if I had mentioned that I was planning this trip, which was arranged about a month ago.  I learned that I had a lot of unredeemed points on my cash rewards credit card and it was just barely enough to redeem for airfare to NY.  I have many friends & family to see, but unfortunately time and travel logistics doesn't make it possible.  The main part of the trip was to spend time with my dad and step-mother here in the Bronx, as well as to spend some time with my sister-in-law in Manhattan.  That was originally going to be an overnight, but as it turns out, she was in the hospital and is being released from rehab while I'm in town, so it works out that I will spend a few days getting her settled in.

I had to leave from the Atlanta airport which is 150 miles and 3 hours away.  My flight was at 10:30, so I had to leave at 4:30 am (took a shuttle van service there).  Atlanta is the largest airport in the US and from the main entrance to my gate I must have walked at least 2-3 miles if not more.  Then from the gate to the exit of JFK was also about the same distance, although they did have people movers in some areas. (recall I have arthritis and bursitis in my hip which prevents me from walking more than 5 minutes before needing to stop.  It was very difficult and I am still very sore today and having an even harder time getting around).  But gotta keep moving....

I am not totally off work, and this morning was very busy.  Fortunately I was able to quit around 1pm.  We went out to lunch at a very lovely Italian restaurant across the street, then afterwards Selma and I went into "town" to get her phone fixed.  Then we stopped at one of her favorite clothing stores, had coffee, picked up some fresh fish for dinner and returned home.  I'm exhausted!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Fort Gordon museum - Day 1502 (Year 5, Day 42)

Augusta, GA

This actually happened last week, on Wednesday, 8/1 but I haven't had a chance to write about it until now.

I had mentioned before that Mitch was working a map at the Fort Gordon army base, which is the headquarters of the Signal Corp. and cyber security (with NSA offices as well). 

         

While there, he had discovered the signal corp. museum on the premises and wanted to visit there with me.  We had to wait for a rain date so he would have paid time off (they're not open on the weekend).  Wednesday was finally the first day in a long time that we had rain that lasted more than a few minutes in the afternoon, so he came to pick me up (the base is only about 4.5 miles from the campground).

Neither of us realized that any and everyone entering the base needs to go the visitor center first and requires a photo to be taken and a background check to be done, whether it was a person picking someone up, or folks like us just visiting the museum.  It took us about an hour to get that completed!  I complained that I hoped the museum was worth it (and yes, it was).

Below is a picture describing the purpose of the museum as well as the scene when you first enter.  It is also used for training purposes and as we were about to leave, a group of about 50 new recruits came into the building or a brief orientation and the requirement to visit all the exhibits and learn as much as possible about the history of the signal corp.

I really wasn't that much aware of this branch of the military and found it rather fascinating.  It actually started out during the Indian Wars, and being long before technology, they used different colored flags waved in different directions as their signals.  Much later (during WWI and II), better signaling equipment was invented, as was Morse Code.

      

Monday, July 30, 2018

We're still here - Day 1495 (Year 5, Day 35)

Augusta, GA

Just a real quick note to let you all know that we haven't fallen off the face of the earth (G-d forbid!) since it's been 21 days since I've last written.  Just that there hasn't been anything interesting or eventful to report on.  During the week it's been life as always with both of us working, and on the weekends there isn't much to go out to do that we haven't done already (or that we're physically capable of doing), so Sundays are spent catching up on shopping, laundry and general household stuff.  I know... B O R I N G!!!!  Indeed.

In addition to his arthritic knees (for which he gets shots), Mitch has been having a lot of back problems lately.  He started going to physical therapy a few weeks ago, but hasn't noticed much an improvement yet.

I have a trip to NYC planned in 2 weeks (from 8/14 to 8/22).  I plan to spend most of the time with my dad in the Bronx, and at least an overnight (possibly more) with my sister in law Doris.  I wish I had more time and a way to get around so I could visit with all my other friends and relatives scattered around NY and NJ, but that's not meant to be this time around.  For now, it's just for Dad whom I haven't seen for a long time.  Mitch will stay home as he can't take the time off work.  Hopefully in the near future we'll be able to travel with our home to the area and stay for a while.

The goal is that Mitch is trying real hard to find an alternative remote vocation that will pay the bills, allow us to travel more freely, and be a lot less physically taxing for him.  If any of my readers have any leads... !

Monday, July 9, 2018

Augusta History Museum - Day 1474 (Year 5, Day 14)

Augusta, GA

On Sunday, we finally made it back to the History Museum (it was closed when we went there on April 23rd -- that was the day we saw a train that ran in the middle of the street).  The place was much larger than we thought, and we spent 4 hours there, and still didn't see every exhibit.

It was quite fascinating and it had galleries & exhibits dedicated to the history of Augusta, from prehistoric times to the present day (did you know James Brown and Brenda Lee were from here?)  It was good that for the antebellum and war period, it was referred to as the Civil War, not the War of Northern Aggression.  It was interesting to note, however, that Abraham Lincoln was not mentioned even once, although General Sherman's vicious attacks were mentioned often.  Because of its location off the Savannah River, it was a tradepost for tobacco and then cotton, as well as had many types of mills (including a gunpowder mill that was used for ammunition during the Civil War).

Mitch learned of an air & space museum located at Fort Gordon AFB that he'd like to visit (about 15 miles away).  It's only opened M-F during business hours, so we'll plan on going on his next rain day (which he hasn't had for a while).

On another note, regarding our November vacation:  the resort reservations were made, and we finally got confirmation that we will be here in Augusta until the end of November, so we can start to look for flights now as well.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Fourth of July - Day 1470 (Year 5, Day 10)

Augusta, GA

As the 4th of July rolls around again, as always, we didn't do anything to celebrate.  There were a few all-day festivals going on around town, culminating in fireworks at night, but we chose not to go because (1) didn't want to spend the day in the 100+ degree heat index, and (2) due to large crowds, it would be impossible to find a place to park our monster truck (hard enough for a regular car to find a parking space).  We chose, instead, to just stay home and relax (read, watch movies) in the air conditioning, although Mitch did a little bit of puttering first.

Interestingly enough, when I was in bed at 9:30 pm, I heard what sounded like fireworks coming from the direction of my window.  I turned over and opened the shades, and lo and behold -- there was an actual fireworks show which appeared to be almost across the street from the campground, just beyond the tree line (I looked at the map and there are no parks or public areas there; the closest that could have been in that direction was 8 miles away, but due to what I saw, there's no way it was that far away.  It was most likely an unpublicized show, although I have no idea from where).  Even so, it was beautiful, complete with spirals and "rainfall" and lots of colors; all of which I got to view from the comfort of my bed!  Only drawback is that they needed between 3-5 minutes between "sets" to reload, so each time I thought the show was over and put down the shades, the banging would start again.

For the most part, the campground was pretty much empty (except for all the regular long-termers).  Then again, this isn't a destination city other than when the Masters are in town, and it certainly isn't a destination campground with anything to do here (not even a playground for the kids, and you can't light a campfire), so weekend campers tend not to come here unless they have family in the area or are just stopping by en route to somewhere else.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Another "RVersary" - Day 1461 (Year 5, Day 1)

Augusta, GA

Here we are again - just completed our 4th year of this RV lifestyle, and still loving it.  Granted, it hasn't gone according to plan (mostly by not being able to go where and when we want), but we still do get to travel a little bit, see different parts of the country and meet interesting people, some of whom become lifetime friends.

This time last year, we had just left Washington, NC, en route to Louisville, KY, where we spent 4 months.  We then spent 5 months in Williamsburg, VA and have been here in Augusta for about 2 months.

For me, my favorite highlights were the great Jewish community in Louisville and visiting Colonial Williamsburg.  The least favorite highlights was all the $$$$ we put into truck repairs.  Sometimes it seems that life is very uneventful and we don't get to do much, but then I look back on this blog and see how that's really not true.  We actually have seen and done a lot of interesting things, and hope to continue to do so.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Finally, something to write about - Day 1455 (Year 4, Day 359)

Augusta, GA

I corrected the date in the heading (this is a very useful tool: http://www.howlongagogo.com/).

This past weekend, we took a mini trip to Raleigh to spend with Jess and Griffin (left on Friday and returned on Monday; about a 5-1/2 hr drive each way -- 300 miles).  The main goal was that Jess wanted to take me shopping for a special dress to wear in November when we go to Jamaica to renew our vows (we did find something very beautiful and appropriate for the beach -- you'll have to wait until November to see it though!).  It was also Father's Day, but Mitch spent the day with Griffin doing fun things while me and Jess were out shopping. 

We also went to our favorite "home away from home" synagogue in Cary on Saturday.  As it turns out, they had a special guest speaker that weekend.  We weren't able to attend all of the events, but were fortunate to hear him speak then.  What an interesting and engaging speaker & storyteller (from South Africa).

Last night (Tuesday), we went to the circus!  It was a 3 ring circus by Loomis Brothers.  It was interesting, but although it had 3 rings, was quite small compared to the Big Apple Circus with only 1 ring.  It seemed to be a family run, somewhat local troupe.  I did find it different, watching the circus through the eyes of an adult who is not accompanied by children.  A lot less magical I suppose.

This week the temperatures are brutal, with the air temp at 98 degrees and heat index of 107!  I'm very grateful the a/c is working but feel bad for all those folks (Mitch included) to have to be outside working all day in this.

And just a note for myself, in case I need to do a search in the future -- we have an RV tech coming later to help troubleshoot the refrigerator.  It's been running a bit on the high side (normal is between 36-38, it's been anywhere between 43 and 57).  It's a different system than a residential one (ammonia based) and there are fans outside that's supposed to circulate the air, which were not working.  We had the thermostat replaced 2 weeks ago but that didn't help.  Mitch temporarily installed some computer fans until we could get a different tech out here, who will be here (hopefully) later today.  Thankfully, the food is still keeping cold.

On a last note, I'm on a total liquid diet today in preparation for a colonoscopy tomorrow.