Posts Tagged ‘Wednesday’

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Wi-Fi Signal logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Well, I’m off on another adventure to Florida!  Usually the “fun” begins when I’m there and I amuse my readers to no end with accounts of the daily craziness.  NOT SO this time!  Let the games begin! 

Today is Sunday and after racing around to finish up packing, getting a pedicure, trying on 3 different things that did NOT fit and not being able to locate one of the cats (we finally did) we finally left our apartment.   Since we were leaving late (apparently my fault) (NOT), tempers were already running high.  Add the 71 degree weather in the no-longer-air-conditioned apartment AND picture this – I have my rolling suitcase with a heavy tote bag on top of it, carrying my computer over my shoulder and one large canvas bag of Christmas presents; I’m wearing flip-flops because I don’t want to squish my new pedicure and all black because that’s what fit that would be ok to sleep in.  Peter is carrying a suitcase that must weigh 25lb on his shoulder that pulls his sport jacket down and he’s carrying another canvas bag with Christmas presents and a bag that has some last minute snack food I scavenged from the refrigerator and cupboards.  Actually the snacks are leftovers from Wednesday night’s gathering!

Hailing a cab turned out to be fairly easy but of course we got a driver who was indecisive about the fastest way to Penn Station.  First he started west on 86th St and then thought the FDR drive would be better so he U-turned.  The Drive was ok but when he exited at 34th St and headed west on 35th St, we virtually crawled across town.  I was already overheated, cranky and watching the meter climb was making me crazy.  $22 later we arrive at Penn Station a.k.a. Penn’s People Zoo.  It was MOBBED and it was hot.  

We were supposed to leave by 1:30pm but by the time we walked out the door it was almost 2pm.  Our intention was to get to the station an hour early so we could check to see if there were any cancellations for a roomette.  There were none, the train is sold out!  Oh, didn’t I mention that by the time we booked the trip they were no more roomettes left? And why did we book so late?  Look to my right…. therefore we are in for a 26 hour train ride in Coach seats, no beds.  I knew right away it was Christmas since there “was no room at the inn”. 

Getting onto the train was like being part of a herd of cattle.  There’s a cop at the top of the stairs next to the ticket agent and he’s shouting “Keep the families together, keep the families together” which means there are straggling kids with wheeling suitcases trying to push through the 5 lines of passengers trying to reach the top of the escalator!  

I boarded the train and turned right like the conductor said only to come to an immediate HALT.  There was a family of four trying to get out of the car against the tide of us trying to get in the car.  This necessitated a strange dance backwards of several people and their luggage with no place for them to back up.  Finally they got off and I lunged forward hoping to find two vacant seats together, lol lol.  Of course there were no seats.  I was ahead of Peter so I dropped one bag down on one seat and across the aisle and one row forward, I dropped another bag.  Then I tried to negotiate with the woman in the second pair of seats.  “ Excuse me ma’am would you mind switching your window seat here for the one over there so I could sit with my husband”?  She looks at me as if I asked her to move to rest room.  I try again and she leans over to look at the seat I’m pointing at and says, “No, I think I’d d rather be here”.   At this point Peter comes up the aisle and sees that I’m not standing in a pair of seats and I’m already putting the bags of Christmas presents up on the rack.  He loudly says, “What, aren’t there 2 seats together?” And then adds, “Well can’t you ask someone if they will move?”  I tell him I did but no one wants to.  I guess that did it because the lady announced she would move.  I said, “Bless you, thank you, you are so kind and you have no idea how he’s been, I’m never traveling with him on a train again! 

Once underway, the train cooled down a bit and we settled in.  As soon as one of the conductors came by, I inquired about Wi-Fi and was informed there was no Wi-Fi on the train and here I thought I would be writing my blog, playing scrabble online, cruising through ebay and checking in on Facebook, Not Happening! 

Shortly thereafter, a man came through asking is anyone wanted to make reservations for the Dining Car.  We looked at each other and thought a change of scenery would do us good later on so I told Peter to make it for 8:00pm. Well that wasn’t happening either because the only reservation he had was for 5:00pm and it was already 4:30pm!  And I wanted to buy a large sub for us to split on the train since everyone told us how expensive the food was and Peter said not to AND I listened to him, so really who’s the schmuck? 

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I felt I had to write something more about what I saw two days when we finally got to the shore to check out our cottage and the town of Ocean Grove.  You’ve heard ALL the words on the news (that is if you have power to get the news) UNPRECEDENTED-UNBELIEVABLE-UNREAL-DISASTROUS-MIND-BOGGLING and on and on and on.

YES all adjectives apply.  Trying to keep things in perspective is actually easy this time around;  When I think of the food I lost, I think of the people who lost their homes.  When I think of the damage in my yard, I think of the people watched an angry sea surge over their yards and swallow them out and spit out sand where their lawns had been.  When I think of the shingles flown off my roof, I think of the residents of Breezy Point and Mantolooking whose homes were engulfed in fire.  When I was concerned about the slimy mud on the side of the house and windows, I only had to walk over to The Lillagaard Hotel where the tea room I ran is/was located and saw the layer of mud left in the kitchen and dining room left behind by the two feet of water that broke through the door and flooded the lower level.

YES, things are put in perspective, sometimes unfortunately at the expense of another’s loss and pain.

Yesterday we drove to the shore with our friends, Joe and Michael.  They were kind enough to drive us to Ocean Grove as they were going to check on their cottage.  My camera battery was dead and I had no power in NJ to recharge. Joe took a lot of photos and graciously forwarded them to me so I could post them on my blog.  This is what we saw in Ocean Grove on Wednesday!

NOT a rare sight around town

Storm surge deposited lamp post and debris across Ocean Ave

A boardwalk buried in sand

Ocean Grove NJ, fishing pier, fishing shack

Where there was once a Fishing Shack at the end of this pier!

sand piles, Ocean Grove, Ocean Ave

Mounds of sand left background-Had been on Abbott Avenue and was plowed to beach to open up the street!!!!

Ocean Grove, Jersey shore, boardwalk

Twisted railings, Note the sand is now level with the boardwalk!

Ocean Grove, Hurricane Sandy, Jersey shore,

View from the boardwalk-the piles of sand are from the streets to the west NOT washed and deposited over the boardwalk.

The Camp Meeting Association is holding a massive clean-up tomorrow (Saturday).  Our dear friends Dick and Jane who own The Lillagaard need our help to empty out the Tea Room and salvage what we can.  BUT we don’t have enough gas to get there and back and none to be had in New Jersey.  And we can’t get back into the City unless we have 3 people in the car! Do two cats counts as one person?

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