IslandDrumz

Welcome to our little slice of paradise! Clear Lake Shores is probably one of the best kept secrets in the entire Bay Area. Yes we are an island. We are surrounded by Clear Lake, Jarbo Bayou and the Lazy Bend canals. Plug this in to Google Maps and you'll see what I mean 29.32' by 95.01' We are about half way between Galveston Island and the city of Houston and located in north Galveston county. I will try to keep us up on all the goings on that we can walk, boat, bike or drive our golf carts to. Very few things pi$$ me off but one of them is wasting my precious time. I'll try not to waste yours. Enjoy. ab

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Welcome Summer sorta.

For some of the planet anyway. I think we can agree summer started a few weeks ago. At least today makes it "official".

Thanks for all the Birthday wishes. I am truly blessed. I now have a medicare card and get senior discounts at Mickey D's.
Moving on.

Not much from Tuesday's Council Meeting. Most of it was taken up by Executive Sessions. Things that do matter are;
This weekend is the Texas Outlaw Challenge on the lake and the entire lake is a no wake zone. Lets see how this plays out with all the bubbas and bubbettes who will visit a local boat launch and not know what we know. There are still too many that don't know what  No Wake sign even means.
More important is Your Civic Club is looking for help throwing the biggest party of the year which is the 4th of July Picnic. Want to help? Contact any of the officers or Mayor Pro tem Amanda. Yes you can use the link over on the right to get contact info for all of them. ⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨⇨
I am running the Parade again. If you want to join in that fun drop me a line and I need three, preferably off Island, judges. TIA.
Anyone ever eat at Floyd's? How does it rate from 1 to 10?

Progress. Time to start putting the Falcon back together. went from this
yes, i know it's upside down

To this yesterday.
Off to O'Reilly's for more stuff today. Specifically Exhaust manifold bolts. They are kicking my ass.

Anyone but me tired of the daily outrage in the news. Go ahead and raise your hand. These shitheads are wearing me out.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day Y'all!

can I get a drumroll please...
An early start was the plan for the last leg of the Epic Road Trip. I researched our escape route and it was fairly straightforward. Two rights and a left and watch for the tunnel signs. A walk in the park. Central. 3 AM. We decided to skip the hotel breakfast and eat somewhere on the road. Just in case. As we were checking out the teenager got a whiff of food. On to plan B. It was a short breakfast, he inhaled a plate of scrambled eggs and sausages while I was working on coffee. 15 minutes tops. Traffic is really light, if there is such a thing in NYC. Not a biggie. I will go to my grave never having seen a tunnel sign. And as we discovered Siri is not the best city navigator. And I have previously documented my padawan navigators skills. I know he can count he just doesn't watch the numbers. Around 42nd street we have got to turn around but the streets won't let us. We were looking for 10th. And a tunnel. At least a sign for a tunnel. By the grace of God we found the Hudson Parkway, again, and we are finally going in the right direction albeit slowly. The city that never sleeps is stirring. A jam in the newly found Lincoln Tunnel equates to an hour to get off Manhattan Island. It's gonna be close. The NJ Turnpike is a wonderful thing on a Sunday morning. At 70 mph I am a rolling roadblock. Hmph, let's see if we can make up some lost time. It's been a very long time since I've driven 90 mph. It is amazing how much time you can make up. The most amazing part is that I didn't pass anybody. I am no longer the slowest car but I am nowhere near the fastest. All was good until we got to Philly. I do not know why the car in the opposite lane has all those huge pipes sticking out his windows. I don't even care. I'm not even a bit curious. Well maybe just a bit but the the one thousand people in front of me consider this a photo op. And here we sit. Not good. At this point I'm considering how long we will have to wait for the next plane home. De Ja Vu all over again. We got a chance to buy back a little more time but I'm not sure if it's gonna be enough. The rental car facility is not at the airport. Thats a bus ride away. Enterprise is, you guessed it, the last driveway. In we go and I make sure Wyatt knows we're cutting it close. If we can get a break we'll make it. We bailed out of the car like it was on fire and ran for the shuttle. The door closed on my bag and off we go. The airport kiosk printed my bag tag and off it goes. Southwest delivered the break we need and put us in the TSA Precheck line. In we go and a nice clip to our gate which, for once, is not at the far end of the terminal.  It's straight to the boarding line aaaaaaand Bingo. Time to exhale.
4,900 and some odd miles, 17 states, the District of Columbia, a step over the Canadian border some really good eats and some not so much and we are on our way home. I am already planning my next trip to NYC.

Here's the Agenda for Tuesday.

Michael McNamara, Mayor Kurt Otten
Angie Terrell

AGENDA
CITY OF CLEAR LAKE SHORES CITY COUNCIL

REGULAR MEETING June 19, 2018 @ 7:00 pm
Amanda Fenwick, Mayor Pro Tem Christy Lyons Jan Bailey
NOTICE is hereby given of a Regular Meeting of the City Council for the City of Clear Lake Shores, County of Galveston, State of Texas, to be held on the above mentioned date and time at the Club House, 931 Cedar Road, Clear Lake Shores, Texas, for the purpose of considering the following numbered items. The City Council of the City of Clear Lake Shores, Texas, reserves the right to meet in a closed council session on any of the below items should the need arise and if applicable pursuant to authorization by Title 5, Chapter 551 of the Texas Government Code.
  1. CALL TO ORDER & DETERMINATION OF QUORUM
  2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND TO THE TEXAS FLAG
  3. REPORTS FROM COUNCIL:
    Councilman Otten Councilwoman Lyons Councilwoman Terrell Councilwoman Bailey Mayor Pro Tem Fenwick Mayor McNamara
  4. STAFF REPORTS:
    Police Department Chief Cook Building Official Kevin Harrell Fire Chief Brent Hahn
  5. COMMITTEE REPORTS:
    Roads and Drainage Waterfront Compliance
    Parks and Pool
    Planning and Zoning Landscape and Beautification

  6. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
  7. CIVIC CLUB
  8. PUBLICCOMMENTS
  9. NEW BUSINESS:
    CONSENT AGENDA:
    1. Check Register: 05/31/181 thru 06/13/18
    2. Quarterly Investment Report – March 2018
d. Waterfront Trade: E-116B Tony Smith and D-089: Walter Caldwell
10. COUNCIL BUSINESS - Discussion and possible action may be taken on the following items:
  1. Waterfront D-089 leaseholder request to split Waterfront lease into two sections of 15 feet each and rename as D-89A and D-089B.
    (Mayor Michael McNamara)
  2. RESOLUTION 2018-08: A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CLEAR LAKE SHORES, TEXAS, SUPPORTING A NO WAKE ZONE IN AND AROUND THE CITY OF CLEAR LAKE AREA ON FRIDAY, JUNE 22 AND
SUNDAY JUNE 24, 2018 DURING THE TEXAS OUTLAW CHALLENGE.
(Mayor Michael McNamara)
c. EXECUTIVE SESSION: Pursuant to the Texas Government Code Section 551 pertaining to Open Meetings Act Section 551.072: Deliberate regarding real property for purchase, exchange, lease, or value of real property if Deliberation in an open meeting would have detrimental effect on the position of the governmental body in negotiations with a third person.
(Mayor Michael McNamara)
  1. EXECUTIVE SESSION: Texas Government Code, Section 551.074: Personnel matters; to deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee: New City Administrator. (Mayor Michael McNamara)
  2. Action from EXECUTIVE SESSION: Pursuant to the Texas Government Code Section 551 pertaining to Open Meetings Act Section 551.072: Deliberate regarding real property for purchase, exchange, lease, or value of real property if deliberation in an open meeting would have detrimental effect on the position of the governmental body in negotiations with a third person. (Mayor Michael McNamara)
  3. Action from EXECUTIVE SESSION: Texas Government Code, Section 551.074: Personnel matters; to deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee: New City Administrator. (Mayor Michael McNamara)
12. ADJOURNMENT
CERTIFICATION
I, Christy Stroup, City Secretary, certify that this Notice of Meeting was posted on the outside bulletin board at 931 Cedar Drive on or before Friday, June 15, 2018.
_______________________________ Christy Stroup
City Secretary

City Council encourages positive public comment and discussion during its meetings and reserves time during most Council meetings to hear such comments from either Scheduled or Unscheduled Visitors. However, the Texas Open Meetings Act places certain constraints on topics raised by such visitors where such discussions are not related to an item that has been placed on the Council's posted Agenda (Attorney General Opinion JC-0169). The most effective way for an individual to have their voice heard and receive feedback at a City Council meeting is to contact the City Secretary no later than Noon on the Wednesday prior to an upcoming Council meeting and request that their name be placed on a future agenda as a Scheduled Visitor. When you make this request, please state specifically the subject you wish to discuss. The City Secretary will place your name on the Agenda along with a specific description of the subject to be discussed. If you fail to provide a specific description of the subject of your requested discussion, then Council will have no choice but to refer the matter to City staff for response or defer any feedback or discussion on the matter until a future Council meeting when the subject can be placed on the Agenda. Comments should be limited to five (5) minutes and directed to the entire Council, not individual members. Engaging in verbal attacks or comments intended to insult, abuse, malign or slander any individual shall be cause for termination of speaking privileges and expulsion from Council Chambers.
In compliance with the American with Disabilities Act, the City of Clear Lake Shores will provide reasonable accommodations for disabled persons attending City Council meetings. Requests for interpretive services must be made 48 hours prior to this meeting by calling 281-334-2799 or by faxing to 281-334-2866.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

National Fudge Day?

Well OK then. And it's Fathers Day eve! All Day!!

ERT VI
Left scenic downtown Plattsburg NY this morning, said no one ever, and took a right. Canada in 20 minutes. The customs line was 15 deep and cost us about 40 minutes. When asked about our reason to visit our neighbor to the north I said "photo op" he said, and i shit you not, "eh?" I let him know we were there for the passport stamp and a quick uey. 
The intent was to get the Maple Leaf in the background. Damn. 
And they spell funny.
The Canadian side was a lot quicker than trying to get back in. Probably because there was twice as many cars going south. At least we got a passport stamp.

Back to the Big Apple for the Batchelor Boys. As we all do we try to impart our collective wisdom on our young. Pass it down if you will. I have tried to tell my son that a computer is just a tool. Much like a toaster. Actually i trust my toaster a lot more. A toaster has never tried to empty my bank account. I think our i-gen or gen-z kids are waaay too dependent on electronics. If you pay attention to the basics, like street numbers and which way east is things are a lot easier. When you don't do that you will let Siri lead you back through the Lincoln Tunnel.  Siri has led us astray more than once. In all fairness how was she to know Broadway was fenced off when we got in to town. Ever try to take a right off 46th st? Have fun with that. It was when my navigator apprentice had us heading to Hackensack that my OCD started itching. I really, really don't want to do the tunnel again. Ask me how to take a left from the right hand lane across 5 lanes of traffic in front of six lanes of traffic coming from your passenger side. 
So, we finally get to our hotel on 36th, between 5th Ave and Avenue of the Americas. Right behind us is King Kong's old hang out.
 
We set off to see the only thing on his agenda. Top of the Rock. An observation deck at Rockefeller Plaza. 
Then it starts. "It's too far" We're almost there. "I'm hungry" I'm sure there's a restaurant at the top. "We don't have tickets" I'll buy some. "My hip hurts" Mine too, because I'm old. "I don't want to look at a bunch of bldgs""there's too many people" FINE! What do you want to do. I'm hungry. Off to eat. What do you want to eat. I don't know. If you've never been to NYC, every door that doesn't sell I heart NY is a Hotel or a restaurant. I insist he picks. I choose to believe he picked the German restaurant because of the girls with the ...nevermind. After dinner he's ready to go to the hotel! Whaaaaa? The SUNS still UP!!??
So here we are, Times Square on a Saturday and my navigator in training decides he doesn't like crowds. God give me strength. I going to the bar next door, 
Mcgillicuttys, or something close. It was a nice little sidewalk seating bar. Phaedra and Brandon took care of me as I sat and did some serious people watching. My teens in the shower. Where the hell did I go wrong?  One last trip through the tunnel in the morning. Off to BWI and a flight home in the morning. What could possibly go wrong...

Friday, June 15, 2018

Right up your...

Alley. It's National Flip Flop Day! Perfect for a rainy weekend. The downside is the mosquitoes. Don't forget dunks for your rain barrels.

Did I mention the time we tried to get out of New York City with 3 million of our closest friends? No? That was a week ago Thursday. I assume Siri assessed the Henry Hudson Parkway East was the best way out of town at rush hour. It's only 60 miles so it should be a walk in the park. Aside from the traffic I have a junior navigator who gets car sick. What else could go wrong. More than a few missed turns later we are driving through Yonkers. It's quite pretty. Somewhere around White Plains we found an interstate and thank GOD Siri stopped talking. Off to Bridgeport and a hotel bed. 4 hours later, yes, thats 15 mph, I quizzed the staff as to a "Connecticut" food and they had nothing. Italian, Seafood, Pizza. A virtual food desert. Seafood it was at the Hotel Resturaunt. Nothing noteworthy there.

It was a very pleasant drive to Portland Me. Then a bit of a detour to make for Two Lights State Park and the Lobster Shack there in Cape Elizabeth. I learned many things on todays drive.
There are Moose Crossings much like we have Deer Crossings. 
All the pickup trucks you see in a day can be counted on both hands. 
It's cold AF in Maine in June. 
So is the ocean that beats on the impressive rocky shore. 
People come from all around to eat here, the folks in front of us are from Brazil and the folks behind us are from Georgia. Notice jackets and long pants on the non tourists.
And, as it turns out, I just don't like lobster. 
Unlike Wyatt I had no desire to open a lobster with a plastic fork and a nut cracker. Lobster wasn't an option in the seafood plate so i had the lobster roll. 
The very small lobster roll. That's it next to the slaw. Amazingly unremarkable are my only words. I remember reading in lobster history 101 that they used to feed it to prisoners. That answers so many questions. I even talked Wyatt out of one of the claws and .....meh....I will go to bed tonight being thankful we got to eat inside at the Lobster Shack and it is a shack. A nice shack indeed but a shack just the same. I am even more thankful there was a Five Guys burgers in our hotel parking lot. 
Three hours later we crossed one bridge across Lake Champlain to get to the Ferry to take us back to NY State. 
I had to cut my chat with the crew short. While I recognized it was his summer and he was in shorts it was 62 degrees and breezy. His Summer, my January. 
So we have renamed Epic Road Trip IV, Planes, Trains, Automobiles and a Ferry. The Quiet little town of Plattsburg has a Holiday Inn, a bar and a 5 guys in the parking lot. Life is good. Tomorrow, Canada and Times Square.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Happy Birthday to the U.S. Army

And it's Flag Day
On May 30, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation deeming June 14 as Flag Day. President Wilson stated, “It is the anniversary of the day upon which the flag of the United States was adopted by the Congress as the emblem of the Union.” He also wrote, “On that day rededicate ourselves to the nation, ‘one and inseparable’ from which every thought that is not worthy of our fathers’ first vows in independence, liberty, and right shall be excluded and in which we shall stand with united hearts.”

If you didn't see the big truck with a Badger on it you may have heard it. They are flushing out our culverts. Just in time for storm season. I know mine need it bad. Three new house upstream. It's kinda cool the way they do it too. They don't just flush it out in to the open ditch, They vacuum up whatever the jetted water flushes out. Perfect.

ERT IV
We finally got out of parking garage jail and for all the right reasons opted for a plan c and crash for one more night in Arlington. Siri led us by the nose through DC traffic in the morning. I was surprised she didn't take us up the GWPkwy and around the loop. Never mind, on to Philly for lunch. In South Philly, at the intersection of 9th and Passyunk are two of the best known Philly Steak joints. We started at Pat's just because that's where we parked. 
It was very good but everything was a bit rushed. I know it was lunch time and there was definately a crowd but still. We stashed the second half and wandered over to Geno's. 

As I said the other day it was the bread that gave Geno's the edge in my book. Both were yummy and If I ever find myself in South Philly again I will repeat this test. Yum. 
The first time I saw "The City" was through the window of a northbound Amtrak headed to New Haven. My nose was pressed top the glass for a very long time. I first drove into NYC on a cold wet Thanksgiving weekend in 1989 and again with my Mom in the spring of 1993. I don't remember either entries but I honestly don't think I'll ever forget today's entry. Or exit. Siri had us coming in via the Lincoln Tunnel about 3PM and was spot on in getting us to Intrepid. Methinks she was trying to redeem herself for the New Orleans incident or the "lets go through Washington DC during rush hour, twice" mess. If you've been to NYC you know how big it is. If you've never been, it's bigger than you think. A lot bigger. As it turned out the problem with the the tunnel traffic ended up being road construction and closure on the other. Like it mattered to the eight lanes trying to get down to three on the New Jersey side. I'm not sure about the driving lessons Wyatt learned here but they can't be good. Manners are out the window, rules do not apply and it's mostly a will of nerve. Not the place for a CLS rookie. Me ? I got no problem with these meatheads. It's a rental! 

I had a ball on Intrepid. 
We were met at the gate by two very nice young ladies that work there. One of them had my old Dress Blues Jumper with her. I had donated it to the museum a very long time ago for a crews quarters exhibit they were trying to put together. It was pretty cool. Off to the flight deck. One of our old A 4's is on display there and it was fun being that close to one again. I was a plane captain on one for over a year on land and sea. That's my bitch with the Wings over Houston Airshow, with one or two exceptions they don't have any Vietnam era aircraft and we had some pretty cool crap.  I finally got to be up close to an A 12. You probably know them as the SR71 or the Blackbird. What a machine. 
They have one of the old SST's on the side, The Enterprise Shuttle and a slew of other aircraft from other Countries. Trying to explain the functions to a surly teenager who could not care less was a buzz kill but what are ya gonna do. Off to Bridgeport Conn.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A slow day at the National Calendar site

Maybe this would be a place for the Hamburger or Brisket Day? Just Sayin'. So I'll go back and pick one from yesterday. It was National Peanut Butter Cookie Day.

It could be an optical delusion but I swear I'm seeing "new" floating wrecks across the bayou. But the new pier looks awesome!

Epic Road Trip III
If you've never been, the National Aquarium is at Baltimores' Inner Harbor. It is nothing short of spectacular as far as aquariums go. 
Here's a crappy picture.
And if they don't float your boat theres a submarine, the USS Torsk
and the original USS Constellation. And a ton of restaurants. 
And if you're still not impressed you can get one of these.
It was Wyatts high point and probably would have gotten all A's except for the additional 56 bus loads of little kids added to the existing 102 bus loads. To say it was loud, well let your imagination take over. BWI to Arlington was a fun drive. Said no one. We were too close to rush hour and Siri had us going straight through town on I 395. Oh well. Got to the apt in Arlington and decided to take a break and unwind a bit. We ended up at Earls sidewalk sandwich shop for Fish n Fries. Turns out Earl puts the fries on the sandwich but hey, fries.
When Ian got there a little local bar hopping was called for. Can't say I've never been in a hookah bar 😬. A few too many hipsters but just the right amount of yoga pants. l'm just passing through. 
Next day we spent on the Mall. We started at the Smithson Castle, 
drifted through the botanical gardens, That's a Geranium. MJ whatever you're doing to your Geraniums you're doing it wrong...
wound our way through Air & Space on to the Mall. Due west was the Natural History Museum then headed west toward the Lincoln Memorial. 



Past the WW II memorial that the last administration decide to fence off, which was a solid dick move, on to the Vietnam wall then to Abe for a photo Op. Just when we thought we were done in it dawned on one of us that we now have to hike back to the closest Metro Stop. At the Smithson Castle. And now it's hot. W's constant comment was "in the pictures all this stuff looks like it's a LOT closer. Never been there? It's over two miles long and over a quarter mile wide. And when it's hot it's about the size of Rhode Island. Back to the Metro to Arlington to A/C and nap time. The original plan was to drive to Gettysburg and see more relatives but I screwed that up beyond my tying abilities. Ever been locked in a parking garage? It's about as messed up as you think it is. Tomorrow Philly and USS Intrepid. 

So on day one we started with a coon ass breakfast in NOLA. Day two was burgers and dogs on the grill. Three started with a Chicago style thin crust pizza and ended with Maryland Crab cakes at Middleton's in Annapolis. Four was cheese popcorn at the Aquarium and a darn good fish sandwich at Earls. Wyatt had some wings after the hookah bar but that's another story. Five was an industrial sized Nathan's hog dog, the best in the world, on the National Mall and a not too shabby dinner at the Baja Fresh in Arlington. Six found us at the intersection of Pasyunk and 9th in south Philly. Geno's on one corner and Pete's on the other. Both claiming the best/first/original Cheesesteak. Yes we had one of each. Yes they only have one size and it's about 9". Yes I'm still stuffed all the way up here in Bridgeport Conn. And it was the bread that gave Geno's the edge. We shared a table with a very friendly young man who admitted that's why he eats at Genos. I spoke at length with the sweetie at the desk about Connecticut food at what their claim to fame is. Turns out they don't have one. Moving on. Tomorrow, may we have a drum roll please, Maine lobster at Cape Elizabeth then on to Canada? We'll see. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

National Jerky Day AKA Epic Road Trip II

Is it time for another jerky off? No knuckle head, a Jerky Competition. Maybe..

What an awesome time with family! I only have 1 uncle and 1 aunt left and we got to visit with both. Uncle Tony knows Wyatt But Aunt Nancy hasn't seen him since diapers and a whole mess of cousins had never met him. The whole whirlwind worked out well. Sort of. Off to Baltimore. 
To paraphrase LemonySnicket we began with a series of unfortunate events. Originally scheduled to depart  Chicago Midway about 7:45. Our driver (cousin Elizabeth) was just a few minutes late, so no harm no foul. Ever. A communication breakdown on my part left us stranded downtown ChiTown Sunday and she didn't bat an one cute eyelash and came and got us. Monday morning rush hour in the Third largest city in the country is one thing to plan for but Firetrucks? Whattaya gonna do. We got to Midway still in the running but it was gonna be close. I checked my over packed bag and the lady behind the counter said run, that way, and off we went. Rounding the corner right in to TSA. Not only was our plane gone when we got to the far end of concourse B but another plane had taken it's place. Plan b. e are on standby to BWI and there are a surprising number of planes heading that direction. Well, the fourth time was the charm. Off to BWI. Our schedule is now 5 hours off so the National Aquarium will have to wit until the AM. Annapolis here we come. 

A beautiful Mary Land day and lunch at Middletons. Off to see Millers in southernMary Land. We'll do the aquarium in the morning and then on the the District. 

Crab Cakes over fried green tomatoes and an oyster shooter. Daaaayyyyyummmm!

Anyone know why the City Council meeting was cancelled? Lack of a quorum I suspect. It is vacation season. Any updates on Tindel? What was the fish kill in the bayou all about (last week)? 

Oil pump is on the motor. Thanks to Philip Adams for providing moral support and technical know how. 


Monday, June 11, 2018

Corn on the Cob Day! AKA Epic Road Trip I

Who doesn't love it? Wyatt. Go figure.
So here goes. This is more of a driveumentory than anything else.
An uneventful ride to Hobby for our 8:45 departure. We were told to get cozy for the full flight to New Orleans. As we approached the gate agent he launched into a not quite frantic dialog with the pilot who appeared from the habitrail behind him. Apparently the second leg of the flight had just been cancelled due to nasty weather in Baltimore. Now he had to figure out how to tell these folks they needed to pick the city they wanted to be abandoned in. And they needed to be quick about so the ground crew knew which bags to pull. After 30 or so minutes we were off to NOLA. 

An Omen?
An hour later we are in NOLA a short cab ride and we were at Central Station. Now for lunch. The dude at GCS suggested Rouses' and being familiar with the name and having directions off we went. I swear he said " through the parking lot, down Loyola two blocks, cross and go two more blocks" GCS NOLA is in the shadow of the Super Dome, not quite a tourist destination. 

I begged Siri for help while Wyatt fended off the pan handlers. Siri responded almost immediately with directions. To Roosters. Unsure if she was responding with a coonass accent or expecting one, i tried again. I sent Siri into timeout after the fifth or sixth try and we came up with Plan B. 
Late breakfast/early lunch was awesome thanks to the Blue Line Sandwich Company just off Rampart. I was loving my Biscuits & Gravy and Mr. "I'm Starving" couldn't finish his big ol breakfast sandwich. 



A bottomless Bloody Mary made with the houses own infused vodka was the cherry on top. Or in this case the olive. 
Had a short wait time in the Magnolia Room which is the place that has A/C and is for the folks who have roomettes.  A few short stops later and we were on our way to the windy city. 
Back to Grand Central and meet The City of New Orleans She is six cars long and we are at the front.
On to our roomette. It has a fold down table, curtains inside and out and a pull down bunk that was lowered by our porter, Eric.
We started off on the lower floor but A/C issues got us moved up to the top floor. Thats where you go to navigate the whole train. Even though the shower is on the lower level. Shower? Yep.
So from the upper level we head aft to see what we can see. Next car is the dining car. It's airplane food plus half a star. The lounge car is next serving snacks, drinks and pizza. Observation car by far my favorite 
But not everybodys' favorite. Someone we know and love is prone to motion sickness. Note. Train travel probably not the best pick. Sorry Wyatt. 110 outlet for the phone, swivel chairs and a place to prop your feet up to watch the world go by at 70mph. I found it best to leave my cocktail on the table because when another train blows by going the opposite direction 4 feet away one tends to spasm uncontrollably. Maybe it's just me. I know one of the seats had a small hole pinched in it but they can't prove it was me. Everyone asked how it was and my answer is " One of us has a ball" 
the two coach cars.
A great night sleep and a wakeup in Illinois. Next stop The Windy City.

Glad to be home.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Operation Overlord

You probably know it better as D-Day. 74 years ago over 4,000 allied troops were lost storming the beaches. That explains all the WW II vets on the National Mall today. We made it to the Vietnam Memorial but I didn't want to stand in line. I just wanted to point out two of the four Batchelor names on that wall. Moving on.
I'm taking daily notes on this iPad for the blog. Trouble is I can't get them out of mail and onto here so if you're interested you'll just have to wait. And if you're not feel free to drop back by in a week.
Next stop Philly for a cheesesteak and CVN 11 for a tour after lunch.

Friday, June 1, 2018

National Donut Day!

And it's the first day of Hurricane Season 2018. yay. The only question now is are you ready?
Rock the Dock was rocked by Bag of Donuts last night. Great show as always. It was even more fun to see so many friends and neighbors there.
And Imma throw this one at you for free, When attending Rock the Dock...
Do NOT leave the keys in your buggie!

Boarding passes are in hand for tomorrow start. I will try to post a few thing along the way but using MJs iPad is tricky on a good day. We tried it several years back on Road trip number 1 to the Worlds Largest Aquarium. We'll see what happens. If there is a post ...

Happy Friday Islanders and have aa great weekend.