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Saturday, November 28, 2015

After 9 Days Up North - There's No Place Like Home

Fruit and Flowers From Our Yard 
Said - Welcome Home - Coal Crackers

We got home two hours late last night from our 9 day trip up north. Our friend Marge picked us up at the airport - and George and Joel had us over for a Thanksgiving dinner. White camellias were in bloom and we had a few of the last oranges and tangerines on our trees for breakfast. We truly feel like this is our home now. I guess we are no longer carpet baggers from the North. 

Our trip went from Tallahassee to Charlotte to Newark. Then a train to Penn Station in NYC. We spent 3 nights in hotels there and attended 4 basketball games in Madison Square Garden with Keith and Liz. We saw both Duke and Georgetown win games. Lulu's cousins came up for the Sunday games and we had a pre-game party with them. Between games we went to see the play - Allegiance.

After that - we took the Amtrak train to Washington DC to spend 3 nights at Keith and Liz's home on Florida Avenue near Dupont Circle. Monday - we rented a car and drove to Richmond to spend a day with Drew - Robin - Jack and Kate. Tuesday - we were back at Keith's for the family Thanksgiving meal. 

Lulu's big adventure began on Wednesday morning. We walked Keith and Liz to work - then at the Dupont Circle - we boarded for our trip to NYC. Not just a $30 bus trip - but an express 4 hours ride exactly from Keith's at Dupont Circle to Times Square. The bus had power outlets and wifi - the driver and the host were great. 

Thursday we woke at 6 AM. The parade was brewing - we could see the crowds in the dark outside our window. Their cellphones twinkled like stars from our 39th floor room. We got dressed - grabbed our trusty tripod stools and away we went. As we got outside our hotel across from the CBS booth - the crowds were already 10 deep. Lulu was very concerned about watching the parade from her tip toes. 

I will always be in gratitude of the Wayfarer Restaurant at 6th and 57th. They had a VIP section blocked off by police fences. I asked the guard if we could enter - he must have pitied me - because he sent me into the restaurant to speak with the manager. After telling my story for the 4th time - the man in charge gave us each a blue VIP bracelet. We were in. I chuckled as the first thought I had was - I could sell these bracelets for $300 each.

We went back outside - flashed our bracelets - and went right to the curb and the front row. We plopped down the tripod stools - and we were set. The parade started at 9 - but it took until 9:30 to get to us. It was fantastic - we saw everything from the comfort of our curb stools. Lulu said it was one of the best days of her life. She has a short memory. She said the same thing at the Rose Parade. The weather was great - 50s - no wind. At noon it was over - the one million people broke up like when you spray a hill of fire ants - it took us about 40 minutes to get to our hotel room about 6 blocks away. 

Lulu was not done yet with the holiday extravaganza. After our "official" Thanksgiving turkey dinner at Boston Market - we were off to Radio City to see the Christmas Show. As we walked down 5th avenue - the crowds were busy rushing home with their treasures. Radio City brought back many memories when I saw the Christmas Show in 1964 with our school Physics Club - and our teacher guide - Dr H Bruce Geiger. I remember buying a tambourine and needling the poor guy all the way home on the bus. All this flows back as you enjoy probably one of the best sound stages I can ever recall. Maybe it was the hearing aids :-)

Friday morning was automatic. We caught a cab from the hotel to the train station. We had 3 minutes to get the train to the airport - piece of cake. We collapsed in the train seat - the conductor said - 3 stops. We must have been daydreaming - because we missed the airport. How does one miss the Newark Liberty International Airport. We did. Our next stop was New Brunswick and Rutgers University. We were no longer rushing - we knew our plane was gone. At the station we walked down the steps - under the bridge - and back up the steps - with our 4 bags. Our eyes were glued to the window looking for the airport on the way back. 

To our surprise - American Airlines did not charge us extra - we simply had to fly standby. We got home 2 hours late. As twilight fell on Tallahassee it was 79 degrees. We pulled up our driveway - opened the front door - and were greeted by the smells of our new home. 

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