What I did on my summer vacation, Part one…

(…Because, really, summer is barely started, and I don’t “GET” a summer vacation!)

I know, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I haven’t fallen off the edge of the world, just been kind of out and about and not feeling like much of anything is being accomplished. Must be the summer doldrums—you know, that Hazy, Hot, Humid drag on your energy?

We got back from our small vacation—( we spent most of our vacation money on a new driveway and shed—) IMG_8465

—about two weeks ago, and I dove right back into the chaos that is work lately. I only just the other day finished editing and uploading photos from our trip to the Jersey Shore, Staten Island and Manhattan.

We arrived at Seaside Heights Thursday night.20110623-1420110623-31

Monster sized pizza and drizzly boardwalks.

The center point of our trip was to be a small memorial for my dad, complete with cats.


(These kitties were sewn from a few of my dad’s flannel shirts. Dad was a cat person, I think he had 7?)

We ended up not only at St. Peter’s Cemetery on Staten Island, 20110624-2

but we seemed to have found a theme of final resting places—(as well as yummy places to eat and lots of FUN!)

Moravian Cemetery on Staten Island, to me one of the most beautiful cemeteries I’ve seen, where many of my ancestors rest.20110624-29

Then on the way to dinner at Denino’s, IMG_0051

we detoured to Historic Richmondtown and St. Andrews Church Cemetery. This is the perfect old cemetery. Again, more ancestors.20110624-51

This is the gravestone of Catherine Hannah Guyon. She died when she was six. There is a letter at Richmondtown that she dictated to her father while he was away at Congress, where she described a party she was going to be attending. She tells of a white dress and blue beads and ribbons. I made Arlie a china doll one Christmas, depicting this story.)

Then, dessert at Ralph’s.


YUM. (although I have to say I think they used to taste better when they were in those thin paper cups that got all wet and sticky!!)

We detoured to Blazing Star Burial Ground on Sunday; more ancestors20110626-48

and the only easy access to another and very fascinating graveyard, sometimes called the Elephant’s Graveyard.20110626-62

Our trip from Staten Island to Manhattan brought us first to the 9/11 memorial in St. George,


and then a visit to Ground Zero and some memorials in the area, 20110625-246

as well as a wander through Trinity Church’s graveyard and St. Paul’s Chapel.

From there, we actually just wandered the day away in Manhattan, with no specific itinerary, and enjoyed our discovery of the Hudson River Park 20110625-77

and a second trip to the Highline Park (Which was WAY too crowded on this lovely summer weekend to really appreciate.) 20110625-113

Dinner was after a VERY long line at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park,20110625-168

where we had a lovely view of the Empire State Building (too early in the day to have seen it all lit up in Rainbow colors )


Sunday found us in Coney Island,20110626-141

and then a late dinner with a good friend in Midtown.

Monday, back to the BEACH!!! Point Pleasant for the afternoon,


and then home again, home again, jiggity jig!

(To see more photos of any area, simply click on the hyperlinks near the photo and it will take you to my photo website…   <—-THIS TAKES YOU THERE TOO… to the entire gallery called Places to go)

My quick trip into town the other day..

(Town…can you tell I’ve been in Virginia too long??!! LOL) I took the 6:00 AM Amtrak into THE CITY (is that better??) on Thursday to go see RENT again before it closes for good after an astonishing twelve year run!


….yeah, it was a fast trip—now you see me, now you don’t—and those friends that I called to try and connect with were unavailable—C’est la vie…


I traveled sans camera. It was a near thing; but when I opened up the computer to check the weather forecast and they promised 100% chance of precipitation. it seemed a lost cause to carry around a digi SLR and zoom lens through Manhattan, and not be able to shoot anything. There isn’t much that’s less exciting than parading around the streets of the city dodging umbrellas, and trying to keep a camera dry. Instead I carried a raincoat and tossed an umbrella into my backpack.


So, of course, it didn’t rain. I need to go back again! Roaming through Chinatown for the afternoon with Arlie, my eyes were frantic with looking, my fingers twitchy with nothing to shoot.


Dinner was of course, New York style pizza. And then we headed for the show. The idea was, TICKETS to RENT one more time, for Arlie’s college graduation gift. (There’s a post back in April about the idea.) The show was awesome. Fabulous. Go see it if you have a chance in the next 6-odd weeks, before it’s over. Sadness, really. Because all the biggies are gone, excepting Phantom. I shouldn’t say that–after all, I am not in NY any longer; don’t really know what’s around. But it seems an end of an era is approaching…..


It was interesting watching it, because as I did, it occurred to me, that RENT has become something of a period piece. Frozen in time. Dated, almost, but not in a bad way. But so perfectly identifiable with a moment past.


I said this to my cousin, who was awesome and took us on a backstage tour after the show…. Apparently I am not the only one with that view; she said there was an article in the NY Times recently about it…. Pity I don’t get the Times!


So Arlie and I got to stand on stage, looking out onto the empty seats, shocked at how small the Nederlander really is, and poke about and look around, and meet some of the actors, and sign the wall out back! Crystal gave Arlie a signed poster and some other goodies from the show as well…


….and our trip into the city was complete, because as is tradition, we had to haul freight at the end of the night to catch the midnight ferry…not so used anymore to chasing ferryboats, we both refused to run up the many stairs to watch the gates close in our faces, but as soon as we saw they were open, we dug into it with gusto and the great memories of so many nights ending with a sprint, determined to not linger in the ferry terminal in the middle of the night waiting an hour for a boat… it all felt ‘right’…


Catherine and her family graciously allowed us to crash at 1AM–didn’t get to do so much as wave at anyone other except Grandma Johnson and Maggie May…then home again, home again, jiggity-jig, I stopped and grabbed a dozen bagels and was summarily tortured by the smell for the 6 hour train ride back to Richmond!! BUT. Now I have bagels for breakfast!