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Saturday, January 31, 2015

George and Joel Are On Way To Africa

This morning our good friends - George and Joel Dawson - left for Africa. It is not a complete year if they do not go to Africa for something. This year they are doing it right away. In the old days - George would be setting up science programs for different governments. Later - it would be to visit old friends and students. Usually every trip ends up with a pile of pictures of animals. 

The trips winds from Tallahassee to Atlanta - then a long trip across the Atlantic Ocean to Amsterdam. After an 8 hour layover there - they board a plane for Tanzania. You would think the trip is over then - but to get to their out of the way destination - it is another 5 hour bumpy bus trip to the wild country. They will be traveling 24 hours in all to their destination.

This morning - I took them to the airport in our electric Leaf. Of course they gush over the car for me - and the car performed well - quiet and peppy. They had to large backpacks that they will check into baggage - the other two bags they will keep at their seats. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

We Watched The American Sniper Movie At Governors Square

It is nice living just a mile from the mall and a movie theatre with 12 screens. They show movies all day and offer a discount for old people for the early bird shows. We wanted to see the American Sniper - so at 3 PM we drove the electric car over and bought two $8 tickets. To our surprise there may have been 40 people - mostly gray heads - that had the same idea as us.

The movie is about an American soldier that killed 150 people during the Iraq War by sniping. He entered the military at a late age - 30. He served on 4 separate tours of duty. The movie is expected to win many Academy Awards - being directed by Clint Eastwood.

The movie is very entertaining - considering the grim premise.

It is a shame so many people were killed in this senseless George Bush War. There was absolutely no reason we were fighting there other than to make some people very rich. Shame on us.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

This Little Guy Is 38 Years Old Today - Here He Is On His First Trip To Las Vegas In 1977

This little lad is 38 years old today. He was 5 months old above - and enjoying a bath in the sink of a 1977 Scramp travel trailer - in 115 degrees Las Vegas.

My Mom used to always say - Everhart's have gypsy in their blood. My grandfather Roy Everhart ran off in 1923 - left my grandma with 4 little kids - and joined the Merchant Marines. All the Everhart boys love to travel. Already our grandson who is 6 years old has been to England - France - Greece - Italy. The beat goes on. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

It Took The Seminoles 50 Minutes To Beat Wakes Forest - Double Overtime

Our evening started out simple enough. We went to Stubhub to see if there were any cheap tickets to the Noles game. We found two nice tickets for $4 each. After we printed out the tickets - we went to Circle K to cash in a few free coupons for grilled times. Every team our teams score 5 - 3 pointers in a game - we get coupons. So we had supper on the Lady Seminoles. 

Then we walked 2 miles on campus - and went to the Tucker Center for the game. We had nice seats in the corner - but the Noles dropped behind by 12. 

At the end of regulation it was tie. then they played 5 more minutes - still tied. Finally - the Seminole won by 6 after 10 extra minutes of play. 

Lucky for us - the Seminoles made 5 three pointers - so everyone got free hot dog coupons again. 

We rode the Leaf home and were in bed  in 15 minutes. 

Our Coal Cracker Friends Visited Tesla And the Palma Maria

This is the Tamaqua Table at the Palma Maria Restaurant. Jan and Dick Davis sit with Carl and Marylou Zimmerman - with old Pete Rosinola looking on. 

Friday our Coal Cracker friends left here bound for Tampa and Orlando. We had so much fun here - then they were gone. They re-appeared at the Tesla dealership in Casselberry and also the Palm Maria Restaurant about 1 mile away.

The Palm Maria was an Italian restaurant on Broad Street in Tamaqua PA. Now is sits along Route 436 (Semoran Boulevard) in Casselbery FL - about 30 miles northeast of Disneyworld. It has been there 35 years. It is still run by the Rosinola Family - Mom and Dad are gone- but the 4 "kids" still cook and serve. The food is fantastic and the bill is low. 

They have a special table called the Tamaqua table - where all the old Coal Crackers pose. 

Tesla is a fantastic electric car - in my opinion it may be the best car ever made. Too bad it costs $100k. It goes like 150 MPH - and  0 to 60 in under 4 seconds. It goes about 300 miles on a charge. I sent the crew there to see them - and of course Dickie Davis talked them into a neck snapping ride. It certainly got Carl's attention and a visit to a chiropractor :-)

Tesla has a quick charge network set up all over the country. For free - you can quick charge your car. 
Carl inspects the chassis of a Tesla - it is a work of art. The Tesla motor has one moving part.

Dickie Keebler Davis went for a neck snapping ride.

Jan and Dick hold hands and kiss each other's butt goodbye.

This one had a ticket of $135k with 2 motors and 4WD

This is not a Tesla S - I am not sure what it is.

Carl loves trains - he is the driver of the locomotive at Knoebels Grove. If you go to Knoebels Grove - say hi to Carl.

Monday, January 26, 2015

We Watched The FSU Women Clobber Wake Forest 110-80 With Marge and Tom Jones

Our neighbors Tom and Marge Jones

Marge and Tom Jones live down the street from us on Santa Rosa Drive. Tom graduated from the FSU Law School that is across the street from the Civic Center. Yesterday we took them to a FSU girls basketball game. The Seminoles made every effort to please them - scoring 110 points - raising their record to 19-2 this year. 

The girls scored 12 three point goals - getting us each a coupon for a free Circle K grilled item.

Of course we sat with George and Joel Dawson - two regular season ticket holders. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Dick Produced A Fantastic Scratch Italian Dinner

Dick cooked a dinner that was out of this world. Sally and Gerald were there to counsel Marylou and encourage her to complete her masters in Nursing at FSU. Lulu wants her good friend to matriculate here. Clockwise we have Cousin Carl - Sally - Gerald - Dick - Jan - Marylou - Lulu - Me.

Our week long Coal Cracker Adventure went way too fast and ended too abruptly. Like the wind - they were here and gone. We were honored to have Sally and Gerald join us at such short notice. They are honorary Florida Coal Crackers.

Harry swallowed a basketball.

We Revisit The Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre In Madison FL Last Night

Dick Davis - Gregory Popovich - and our treasured plaque from our Vegas anniversary show. Now it is signed. 

Last June we spent some time in Las Vegas with Jan and Dick Davis. Lulu had a library convention - but in the evening we partied - it was our anniversary. Lulu is always looking for a bargain and she found tickets to the Popovic Comedy Pet Theater for half price. It is a great family show but a little too calm by Vegas standards - and Dick's. Ever since then - Dick and Jan have been giving us the business about the show.

On Christmas Eve we received a package featuring moments of the Popovich adventure. You can see that collection in the picture above.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Selling The Seminole Experience

Harry - Lulu - Jan - Dick - at Doak Campbell Stadium

Jan and Dick live near Phoenix. So maroon and gold mean Arizona State to them. But yesterday we enjoyed lunch in Doak Campbell Stadium. It is not the same without Jameis anymore - but we hope we have created two more members of the Seminole Nation. Lulu bought a James jersey for me for $6 - glory is fleeting. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dick and Jan Davis - We Are Happy To Bon Voyage Them Into Their Retirement Future

A golden sunset on this lovely couple. This is our old friends Jana and Dick Davis from Tamaqua PA via Phoenix AZ - and in this picture at Panama City FL. This is their first "all for pleasure" trip as retirees.  Although they have spent the last few years in Arizona - they are spending the next two weeks in the Retirement Capital of the World -  Florida - first with us - then with our other ex-pat Tamaquans Carol and Mary Lou Zimmerman in Tampa. 

Jan and Dick flew from Phoenix today. We picked them up at the Panama City Beach Airport. We are all spending the night at the Flamingo Hotel on the water. Tomorrow we return to Tallahassee. 

What a beautiful sunset. 

A Senile Surprise - The Hit Men at Tallahassee - Last Night - Oh What A Night!

The Hit Men - just google them. This drummer really sang the lead in "Oh - What A night!" by the Four Seasons.

50 Beers on Tap just 2 Miles from Our Door.  Life the big city.

When you are senile - everything is a surprise. Like yesterday at 5 o'clock when Lulu "reminded" me we have a concert to got to at 7. Our former tenant had come over to visit - so we quickly went out to  take a test drive in our electric car - then it was a shower and showtime. 

We live 2 miles from the gate at FSU right in front of the Ruby Diamond Auditorium. It gave us plenty of time to have supper - cleanup - then drive up and over Capitol Hill to the concert hall. 

We were going to see The Hit Men - I never heard of them before - but a quick google search gave me an inkling that a fun night was coming. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Your Welcome Penn State and Joe Paterno

You may recall when Lulu's cousins came down to visit us in Tallahassee and go to the "Catholics Versus The Criminals" game. It was ESPN GameDay - and we all attended the pre-game party. Cathy and RuthAnn spend the whole day holding up this sign. The NCAA must have thought they were Seminole fans just being nice - but their message was taken seriously. 

The NCAA dropped several of the penalties against the Nittany Lions - penalties that were silly and obviously going to be overturned in the courtroom. As they say - the NCAA copped a plea - and Penn State settled out of court. The team's 100 or so wins were reinstated - but the $60,000,000 fine was not returned. I am guessing if it went to court - the NCAA's power wings would have been clipped. They overstepped their bounds - and live to flash their power again another day. Penn State gets to put their graven image of Joe back on campus. 

Penn State deserved better. Both times.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Seminole Girls Pummel Duke 74-58

Lulu - George - Joel - Harry - We would have rushed the floor but we could not get our walkers over the rail. 
It looks like I really need the free grilled item. To the victors go the spoils.
The 12th ranked Duke Blue Devils came to town this afternoon and for most of the first half it looked like it was going to be a yawner. The home teams dropped behind by as many as 11 points - and the methodical Dukies seemed to be going through a practice scrimmage. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Safely Home in Tallahassee

At noon Friday we took off on the Reef Runway in Honolulu
We left Honolulu at noon Friday and it was 80 degrees. We got into LosAngeles around 8 PM and it was around 60 with light rain. The overnight flight from LA to Atlanta was only 3 hours and 45 minutes with a strong tail wind. We LA left at 11 PM - and arrive in Atlanta at 6 AM to 30 degrees. The one hour flight to Tallahassee got us here at 10 AM.

Our buddy George Dawson picked us up at the airport. It is nice having neighbors like that - he kept his eye on things back home - collected up packages - watched the fruit trees.

We made it home about 10 AM this morning - it was around 30 degrees. We took showers and hopped right in bed. We woke up at 4 PM for breakfast.

On Plane in Los Angeles

We just boarded our night flight to Atlanta from Los Angeles. It is a Boeing 767 and ever seat is full. We were hoping to be removed for cash but no luck. Lulu got us comfort coach seats which means we have about 10 inches from our knees to the seat in front of us. 

It appears to be gently raining outside. 

We will arrive in Atlanta around 7 am.

Stopping in LA breaks the trip up a bit but adds 3 hours to the time home. 

Our seats have separate video terminal. Sub outlets. Also a 110 volt plug - I will use my CPAP. 

We just talked to a lady that has been living 25 years of the grid on the big island. It is a life of solar panels - batteries - and LED bulbs. I can't imagine living in a $400k house with no Conventional outlets. No AC either. It makes me want to get back to my electric car. 

Friday, January 09, 2015

Thursday Night - Last Night in Waikiki

This show was on the back porch at our hotel.

The week has gone too fast. Tomorrow we catch our plane for the trip home - 5 hours to LA - 3 hours of layover - 5 hours to Atlanta - then 1 hour home to Tallahassee.

We had great weather and lots of fun. We mostly just enjoyed the tropical atmosphere in January. The Christmas tourists had all gone home. It has been 80 air / 80 water here. It is a little cooler than summer - but not much. I have not used my light jacket or sweater once.

Transportation is always interesting to me. Most of the way over we were on an Airbus 330. We had 10 hours straight in the air. We each had one carry-on bag - so there was not need to wait for luggage. At the airport we caught an Uber Car straight to the hotel. Uber is a new service where you use you iPhone to summons a cab - you see the cab coming on a map. No money is exchanged - it all comes off your account.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Late Christmas Dinner at 5 Star - Alan Wong's - in Honolulu

Guest Blogger – Lulu

I'm taking over this post since I really enjoy experiencing new restaurants and talking about them.  Usually the Florida Cracker and I eat at moderate restaurants (ironically the Cracker's favorite restaurant is Cracker Barrel).  However last night we were treated by our son Keith and his wife Elizabeth to a five-star dining experience at Alan Wong's restaurant in Honolulu as our Christmas gift.  We joked last week when they presented us with a homemade certificate that the restaurant would just accept that piece of paper.  But they had it all arranged – even making the reservation for us from DC – so all we had to do was show up and eat.

Whole Tomato Salad

And eat we did.  We started by experiencing some local juices – Harry had a drink that tasted sort of like a liquid Dole Whip (a favorite) and I had a watermelon fountain soda.  Our waiter, PJ, was a cherubic Hawaiian young man who enjoyed educating us on the menu items and talked a mile a minute.  He rattled off signature dishes sounding like competitors on the Food Network.  Thank goodness for iPhones so we could google ingredients like "eryngii" (a type of mushroom), "shiso essences" (an oil from a flower), and "avocado salsa stack" (it is what is sounds like).  My appetizer was something called a whole tomato salad and Harry's was a mini taco that was the result of a daily cooking competition of kitchen staff – according to PJ.
Harry's Dinner
Our entress were superb – mine short ribs and shrimp and Harry's a strip steak. The official menu names were more involved but that is basically what they were.  I did some investigating before we got there and had to have the desert called the coconut which was a chocolate shell filled with a coconut-type ice cream/pudding.

It turns out that Alan Wong's is quite the place for A-listers and PJ did not hestitate to tell us that Elton John and Neil Patrick Harris were there the night before and that the it is a favorite of the Obamas who visit every time they are in Hawaii.

Our dining experience took about two hours and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  We walked the two miles back to our hotel to burn off some calories. Thanks Keith and Elizabeth!

Mountain View From Dining Room

Taco Surprise

Lulu's Dinner

Our Certificate and Dessert

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Aloha Tower Marketplace Boarded Up

This popular shopping center at Honolulu Harbor greeting guest for decades. It is a beautiful venue. It is experiencing a takeover. Western Pacific University is dumping $35 million into - going to re-open the shops and also have student housing there. Imagine spending your college experience here. 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

More Monday Shots Around Waikiki

This little Mini truck was inside a clothing store right down the street by the Apple store. I would love it for running around Tallahassee.

We woke up at sunrise Monday. We were excited to get to our new hotel. I watched the sun rise over Diamond Head - and caught the teachers - parents - and kids going back to school after the holidays. Many times in the past I thought a teaching job at the Jefferson Elementary School would be perfect. Perfect weather. Kids that still respect education. 

At about 11 AM we walked down the street about 5 blocks to the Moana Surfrider. I will tell you later about the little "ceremony" Lulu had at the front desk. Then we took the old brass elevator to the 4th floor. We walked down the wide hall to our Room 460. You can see the beach from our room - but on an angle. 

Next we walked to the Hilton convention hotel and Lulu registered for her conference. After that we walked the sand 7/10th of a mile back to our hotel. We stopped at the military hotel for shave ice. Then we spent the afternoon on the beach and by the pool. Air was 80 and water was 80.

After some room time - we walked across the street for supper. We still get tired from jet lag and were back in the room at 8 PM. 

We slept all night with the air conditioner off and the window open without screens. 

It is 8 AM right now - and Lulu just left - all dressed up for the conference. She had on a skirt I got her for Christmas.

At 8 AM we watched the kids and teachers return to school after the holidays at Jefferson Elementary.

At 10 AM we checked out and headed 6 blocks west to the Moana Surfrider.

Congratulations To All The Gay Couples That Marry Today In Florida

After a long fight with a Republican legislature - Republican governor - and Republican state attorney - the gay people in Florida have the right to marry. With the divorce rate hovering around 50% - make sure you sign a pre-nuptial agreement.

When Lulu and I married 43 years ago - she brought into the marriage a comb and a tennis dress. Boy would I ever clean her out now if we broke up. :-)

To the newly-married gays - I wish you the happiness that marriage has given us. Some people are surprised to find out we really are married :-)

The irony is that Governor Scott is being sworn in on one set of steps of the Tallahassee Capitol and gay couples are being married on the other set of steps. The Governor wasted millions of our taxpayer dollars fighting gay marriage rights.

I do not know why lawyers put up such a big fight over gay marriage - they are the ones that just doubled their divorce business.

I am sorry I am not in Florida right now to see the weddings and parties --- and honeymoons  :-)

Monday, January 05, 2015

For the next 4 nights I will sleep 100 yards from Apple Store

I Love Monday Mornings - We Just Checked Into The Moana Surfrider Hotel on Waikiki

Moana Surfrider - Waikiki

It is 11 AM on Monday morning in Waikiki - Honolulu - Hawaii. We just checked into this place. For the past 25 years - Lulu has coveted staying at this historic old hotel. For 25 years - she has crashed their pool and beach - but now she is a guest in the Banyan Wing. 

This is the oldest hotel on the beach - when visitors used to come here from the mainland in the 30s - their amphibious China Clipper aircrafts would drift right up to the dock and people would walk directly into the hotel. 

Doris Duke - of the tobacco family -  was a scandal when she dated Olympian Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku here.

For the next 4 nights we will stay here - Lulu is presenting at a convention - I am loafing. We walked about 4 blocks down the street from our last hotel. 

Our room is right above the R in resort on this picture.

That is Diamond Head in the background - our hotel on the left.

Our room is on the 4th floor right directly below the roof - second one from the water.

This is where we took surfing lessons 2 years ago.

We will have breakfast below this Banyan tree.

That is Waikiki's main street - the airport is about 8 miles to the right. Florida is about 5000 miles to the left.

Do Not Feed The Squirrels

I have a friend on Seminole Drive who is very smart. Unfortunately - she is also a soft touch. During the shooting yesterday a man came to her door. The guy said he was hungry. My friend gave him money and a banana. What an incredibly stupid thing to do! Human nature makes us want to be helpful especially when we are fortunate to be blessed with all the things life provides. But pure and simple - whenever someone comes to your door that you do not know - they want something. They want your money - they want to case your house - they may want to do you harm physically - emotionally - sexually - all because they are jealous. But usually they want money for drugs. They get into your house - see you are a soft touch - see that you are old - and are taking inventory of all your nice things. My friend must have lost her memory - because several times her home has been broken into - they recently bought an alarm because of a broken window. She seems to think that she knows best. I envision some day going to visit her - and she will be tied up - after someone has ransacked her house. I really love her - and hope she is alive then - so I can say I told you so.  :-)

Sunday - We Rented Car and Circled the Island

This is how you spell the Hawaii state fish.

Sunday right after breakfast - we got online - and rented a car. We found a car that could be picked up locally and dropped off nearby late at night. Hertz had an office a couple blocks away and we could drop the car off at 9 PM.

We hopped in and away we went - we could circle the island clockwise. First stop was the Aloha Bowl Flea Market. It wraps around the stadium and they have greta deals on Hawaii shirts - 7 for $20. 

Then we went to the North Shore town of Haleiwa for lunch. Along the North Shore the waves were high but red flags were out for surfers. 

Finally we visited President Obama in Kailua. Then we took the tunnel thru the mountain back to Waikiki.

The Apple Store has a line every morning just like NYC.

Roy's - a favorite of son Keith - now is housed in the hotel of our first Hawaii visit in 1989.

This Nissan Leaf has a special plate here in Hawaii. We noticed a lot of Leafs here with gas prices still near $4.00 and short distances.

In 1962 - they designed the Aloha Bowl. It is the only stadium I know that the stands can be moved from a football shape to a baseball shape - they float on air. We saw Notre Dame play Hawaii there in 1989.

Dole Plantation has become a big tourist attraction. There is no admission - we go there for the Dole Whip - it is pineapple soft serve ice cream. You can only get it here and Disneyworld.

This machine was custom made right here to pick pineapples. you have seen it in many movies.

Dole Gardens have lots of reds - yellows - and greens. Also lots of Asians. Most of the tourists here are either Asian or old white people - like us.

Oh Papaya tree - you are so straight and tall.

Chunks of pineapple in your tea is delightful.

This place was crowded - I do not know how this guy got a picture of only us.

In Haleiwa is Kua Aina Sandwich Shop. We love it there - there is one in London now - we ate there last month. Hollow is the capital of the North Shore. Big waves and rich people. 

We got this parking spot right in front of the crowded Kua Aina Sandwich Shop.

One of Lulu's favorite libraries is Kailua Elementary. On her Vision Tour in 2010 - we visited one of the greater library festivals we ever saw. Darren Tanaka is still the librarian. School starts today so the sign was not changed yet. On our first visit they had Lulu's name on there.