Nothing good happens after midnight..

Yes, my blog appears to be resurrected! I have spent the last six months writing the blogs in my head, yet never sitting down and typing them out.  Hopefully this post is the start of the next wave.

Yesterday was my DW’s birthday. Now she is as old as me! If you are a Face Book friend or a Twitter follower, you would/could know that we signed up for a four day yoga retreat in Woodstock, NY for her birthday weekend.  Yesterday we drove the 200 miles north full of expectation of a serene weekend. Not!

As I write this, we are back home in Manahawkin. We arrived home at 3:30 am this morning. Yesterday,  I got my four hundred miles of driving, a yoga class, a vegan meal and the worst Chinese food ever.  The Chinese food was a late lunch in Woodstock where the best part of the meal was the tea.  But that is not really the point of this blog post. But avoid the Little Bear in Woodstock. Just my opinion.

The yoga retreat was supposed to happen at a rental property at 880 Wittenberg Road, Mt Tremper, NY.  The ladies that were running the retreat are yoga teachers from the local studio where we have been going for several years. They found the house and booked it back in April making sure that the owners were aware that they were going to use the property for a yoga retreat.

We got up there around four pm yesterday and got moved into our room. Since we had booked our stay first, we got the best room.  The house was outstanding. The room was great, the house and grounds were great. We visited with the other students as they arrived, then we had our first yoga class. We ate dinner around 8:30 pm and then everybody went here and there in the house to read, talk or just watch the fire in the fireplace. Pretty relaxing.

We (my DW and I) went to sleep at 11 pm only to be woken up at 11:45 pm and were told that we had “violated the lease” and had to leave the house, immediately.  Like at midnight, in the dark, in the rain. Get out! So, we packed up our things and packed the car. We helped the ladies running the retreat pack their car and straighten up the inside of the house putting the furniture back were it was when we arrived.  Then we drove home arriving at 3:30 am.

What happened? Well, it seems that the owners have a camera/cameras in the house/outside and saw that there were five cars in the driveway and we were only allowed four cars. Then they started looking online to see what the retreat was about and saw that the ladies were charging us for the retreat. We had to pay our share of the rental, the food and the supplies. Yoga classes aren’t free. Yes, the ladies were probably making a profit on the weekend (operative word is – were), but they have bills to pay just like the rest of us.

Since we had “too many cars” and the house was used as a “commercial venture (my words)”, we were evicted at midnight last night.  That is truly a first for me. Money? The ladies promise to make us whole from the weekend.  I did not speak with nor was I present during the discussion with the owners last night.  I have not read the contract, I did not rent the house. This blog is my view of what happened.

Are you looking for a beautiful house in Woodstock to rent? I would avoid 880 Wittenberg Road.  Or if you can’t/won’t, then be prepared. The owners are toxic.

Thanks for reading, I will try to be more regular in my posting.

Pictures below.

Namaste

Looking up from living room to where our bedroom was

Looking up from living room to where our bedroom was

Singing to my DW on her birthday

Singing to my DW on her birthday

Living room. Great space for a yoga class

Living room. Great space for a yoga class

Passing the time..

Life seems to have settled down during the last two weeks from the go – go -go last few months.  Vacation season for us is mostly over and the spring gardening season is trying it’s best to not arrive.  Last weekend it rained for three days with our northern neighbors getting snow. Maybe we can ship some of this excess water to California.  They have quite the drought going on out there.

I have been back to playing lacrosse on Monday and some Wednesday nights. Monday nights are far more competitive than Wednesday nights. The real attraction to playing on Wednesday is that DS1 also plays. Sometimes we are on the same team, some times not. Playing against him makes my game better.  This past Monday night I scored three goals in the last fifteen minutes of the game. I spent the first 45 minutes trying to catch the ball and not succeeding. Something clicked during the last fifteen minutes and I caught the ball and scored three times. The rest of the “older crowd” was excited for my success.

I have been visiting my deceased MIL’s house about once a week for the last few months.  I start her car, walk around the house making sure that the doors and windows are all intact.  So far so good.  Visiting there is like living through a post apocalyptic movie. By that I mean on December 23, the world stopped at her house. The calendars all say December. The towels in the bathroom are of the Christmas motif. The decorations, such that they are, Christmas. On her dresser is a birthday card for one of her grandsons. He would have received that card on Christmas.   Next to that card are several cards that the daughters would have received at Christmas.  The car sits in the driveway. It has not been off the street where she lived since at least December 3. The clocks are all on Eastern Standard time, Daylight Savings time never arrived.   The whole scene is just plain eerie.

This weekend we are on the road again. DS2 has his last Wind Ensemble concert as a Marywood University undergraduate.  Graduation is on Mothers Day. It is hard to believe how fast time passed since I took him to the university to audition for a spot at the school.

Pictures, I have a few.. (sung to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody)..

Namaste

 

Tampa Sunday..

We went to Davis Island in Tampa to look at houses and eat breakfast. We had eaten at our hotel the previous days and wanted something “better”  We ate at an Irish Restaurant on Davis Island. We ate outside at a picnic table. My meal was slightly interrupted when the children that had been eating decided to play Frisbee in the parking lot. They could have used more adult supervision since the Frisbee hit me in the back of my head while I was eating.  I don’t think the parents even knew. Hum and smile, throw it back and keep eating.

The homes in the area start at 775 k and go up. This is a pretty exclusive area and near Tampa General Hospital. I would image that a fair number of the doctors and administrators live there.  But, we can dream, and dream we did. By the way, the most recent lottery tickets were a total bust!

We drove north after eating and touring Davis Island with our final destination being Crystal River, Florida. We were told about an excellent fish market and seafood restaurant. We did not have anything planned and we had a nice new rental car, so we went for it. The toll road had a plaza every 10 to 12 miles (60 mile drive). Maybe they could charge a little more and not make us stop so frequently.

While driving we looked on Trip Advisor (my DW, not me, I was driving) and discovered that the restaurant got bad reviews. We stopped by anyway and found the fish market closed and a line at the door to the restaurant. The top rated seafood restaurant was just up the road so we changed plans. The top rated seafood restaurant was in a mall food court. Really! We went in and walked past and kept going. They need to vet these reviews a little better. We did get some ice cream before leaving the mall.  On the way back to Tampa we purchased a Sun Pass for the car. Sun Pass is like EZ Pass in the north-east. You pre-pay the tolls and can drive through the toll plaza without stopping.

Sunday evening found us back in Tampa for outdoor yoga. Hixon Park in downtown Tampa is where they have a free yoga class on Sunday evening. The park has a terraced area that the students can lay their mats on and the instructor is at the bottom. This was really cool. Check this off as another great, free, outdoor yoga venue.

Here is a Drop Box link to all the yoga pictures.

I will post a few down below.

Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Namaste

 

Climbing back in..

Hopefully. I have been thinking a lot lately about blogging, or actually my lack of blogging.  I just have not been motivated. We came back from vacation and I seem to be trying to get back into that easy rhythm of life.  It has been cold here in New Jersey and just today we had another snow storm forecast.  We have pretty much missed the heavy snow down the shore. But if you travel 35 miles north to where I work, the snow piles are abundant. And I guess when I get back to the office on Monday, there will be even more.

Our vacation ended on Monday, January 27 instead of Sunday, January 26. I guess I did not look to closely back in August when I booked the trip. The reason we had (really, had to) stay was that our flight from Florida to Philadelphia was scheduled to stop in Chicago. And Chicago was closed due to weather. Who in their right mind decides to layover in Chicago in late January?  We tried and failed.

We spent the last night in Fort Lauderdale at the Riverside Hotel on East Los Olas Ave.  This is one of the trendy, hip areas of Fort Lauderdale.  We got a decent deal on Hotwire. The hotel was of the art deco style. The lobby was beautiful. They had a heated pool on the New River so you could lounge in the pool and watch the boats go by. The pool of course had table service.  What else would you expect?

We walked around the Las Olas Ave area window shopping and eating brunch at a restaurant called Vodka. Expensive, but good. Dinner after an afternoon by the pool was at a street side table at the hotel. The food was excellent, but expensive.  We were a little out of our league.  The only downer of the night in Fort Lauderdale was that I left a cash tip for dinner and the next day when I checked the charge, a tip had been added to the credit card charge.  It took two or three emails to resolve that. But the restaurant reduced the charge back to the correct amount.

Since coming home I have worked, and I mean worked. Everything that would have been done if I had not gone away was waiting when I came back. I played lacrosse several times. Each time I have scored a goal or two. Tuesday and Thursday night yoga with my DW has pretty much rounded out the week. Last Saturday I drove to Scranton to have dinner with DS2 and DS3.  My DW was on call for work and could not attend. She enjoyed a quiet evening of Olympics and her blanket.

Here are a few pictures from the last day in Florida and the last three weeks in New Jersey.

And, we head back to Florida next week for some more sunshine..

Namaste

 

Off to Scranton..

We went to Scranton a few weeks ago to see the Marywood University Choir. DS2 and his girlfriend are both in the choir. The concert was on a Sunday afternoon.  Our original plan was to travel up Saturday morning, help out with the annual Thanksgiving food basket delivery program run by the university. We have helped out with this charity event for the past three years. Then we were going to visit with some relatives in Scranton, have dinner with the boys and sleep over in Scranton.

Scratch all those plans. Monday I had my stress test.  The stress test went well. No issues. Tuesday I came home from work feeling sick. I was sick Wednesday (from work), Thursday and Friday (vacation days) and Saturday. What a lost week.  Sunday we drove up to Scranton for the concert.  Saw the concert, had a light meal and drove home. The perfect way to get over being sick, drive 400 miles for the day!

The concert was good. The choir performed with the university strings group. Think violins, cellos and such.  There will be several pictures down below from the concert.

No yoga during the sick week. Only one yoga class during Thanksgiving week. Sunday night we went to a free community yoga class. This is where the yoga studio opens the door on the first Sunday of the month for a “free” class.  Each month the class cost is a donation to whatever the charity of the month is. This month the donation was to a local food bank.  There were 18 women in the class and me. Not bad.   I guess I am getting over being sick..

Here are some pictures from the concert.

Namaste

 

Set your intention..

Greetings from foggy Manahawkin tonight.  We spent the weekend between the Manahawkin mansion and the Best Western Plus in Dunmore.  Sound like quite the dichotomy of locations (at least from the titles of the locations). The reality was quite a bit different.  Dunmore, PA is one of the towns that Marywood University can be found in. The other is the city of Scranton, Pa. As long time readers, you would know that DS2 is a student at Marywood. A senior in fact. Graduation, possible grad school and a job are all looming in the not to distant future.

This weekend was all about a Wind Ensemble concert, dinner with the parents and Sunday mass. I guess he may have done some studying and whatever with his friends as well.  We arrived in Dunmore/Scranton at exactly 4 pm. The concert was scheduled to start at 4 pm. My DW had a continuing education class to attend in Atlantic City Saturday morning that caused us to leave for school later than usual.  It was nice to make it in time and not have to enter the concert hall during the show.  The concert went well. We enjoyed, but may not have understood, all the music. I have come to realize that I can enjoy the university level music without understanding it. I am making progress!

After the concert DS2, his GF, DW and I went to Coopers Seafood Restaurant for dinner. For all of you Office fans, Coopers is alive and well six months after the show went off the air. The menus are redone, the food tweaked and the selection of beer (draft and bottled)  is probably unrivaled in the city of Scranton. If you go there, ask for Pat. She is a our favorite waitress. A single mom, our age with a daughter attending Seton Hall Law School after graduating from the University of Scranton. Her daughter was a student of the wife of one of my uncles when she was in elementary school. Talk about a small world.

Saturday night we stayed at the Best Western Plus in Dunmore. They had a party in the “party room” which was under our room. The music stopped at exactly 11 pm. That was great. Sunday we attended mass at Marywood University. As long time readers (same assumption as before) you will know that DS2 plays his trumpet during mass. His GF is in the choir.  A fun thing for me, is that my DW has been welcomed into the choir whenever we are in town. This morning was no exception. It was cool to see my son, my wife and my son’s girlfriend all singing/playing during mass.  I can’t sing. I can however take pictures. Yes, I did.

Sunday after mass we went to the Buck Town diner in Dunmore. Eat here. Simple enough statement.  Elegant, no. Reasonably priced, good tasting food, yes. Good table and kitchen staff, heck yes! We drove home listening to the Cincinnati Bengals playing football on Sirius. They absolutely sucked in the first quarter and could do no wrong for the rest of the game.  The final outcome being a resounding win for the Bengals.

Tonight we went to gentle yoga with Gabby at Hot or Not Yoga in Manahawkin.  Tonight’s class was the perfect cap to this crazy weekend. Dinner was flank steak, red wine and mashed potatoes. DS1 was over for dinner. He was off from work for a few days and spent the weekend at home. Tomorrow he heads back to his apartment and off to work on Tuesday.

Me, I have a stress test with my cardiologist  tomorrow morning. Then I will work from home and probably go to a hot yoga class Monday night.

I hope you enjoyed living in my shoes for the weekend. I will add some pictures below.

Here is a link to the Wind Ensemble concert pictures.

Here is a link to the Sunday Mass pictures.

 

Thanks for reading.

Namaste

 

Can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man..

Sunday, my brother the weatherman and I rode our bicycles in the Ataxia FARA Bike Ride outside of Philadelphia. We choose to ride the 25 mile  route. The cue sheet that was provided before hand seemed to indicate that the total elevation of the ride was 1500 feet over 25 miles. That would be a hilly course. After the ride, the Map My Ride app on my phone recorded something closer to 600 feet of elevation change. I’m not disappointed that the hills were less than we thought.  The ride was fun. The weather was ok, cloudy and cool. Just a bit breezy.

By far, the best part of the ride was the after the ride food and beverages. Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Bone Fish Grill provided the food. First class, restaurant quality, all you can, food. You got your bracelet when you signed in for the ride.  The bracelet was you ticket to all the food you could eat. The beverages were provided by Victory Beer and Barefoot Wines.  There also was water and powerade. Also, all you can drink.  We both enjoyed the food and a beer or two after the ride. And, at one of the rest stops there was a tub of home-made chocolate chip cookies. I’ve never seen that before.  We will do this ride again.

My heart handled the ride just fine.  My legs held up there end as well.  I have been pushing myself a little more each week trying to figure out what my new reality is.  I could have pushed harder Sunday. I tried to push here and there and take it easy and enjoy the scenery at other times.  I took two hot yoga classes last week. One was the usual Absolute yoga class with a different teacher. The usual teacher was on vacation. The Thursday night hot yoga was a “fitness flow” class.  This means that you move a lot in the heat. That was a tough class. I survived and will go again this week.

Here are a few pictures from the ride on Sunday.  Enjoy! 

Thanks for reading.

Namaste

 

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