Sunday, August 27, 2006

Padanaram Ma. to Newport R. I.

Todd flew in from Atlanta to attend a wedding reception and visit ma and pa. While here we took a trip to Padanaram Village, in Dartmouth Ma.

Lunch was the first item and we decided to head to the Portuguese district and Adega restaurant. Adega is one of our favorite Saturday night spots but todays lunch was not very good. Everyone deserves an off day I suppose. But the wine was good and the company was great.

Adega Resteraunt in New Bedford, Ma.

We traveled to the village of Padanaram to browse around the local shops and while there we stopped for ice cream to top off our lunches. I had my first attempt at shrinking someone for a picture, using Todd as my subject.

My shrinking needs practice.

Crys from Toronto

Crys met us in Newport for some sighseeing and dinner.

I got an e-mail that Margie would be in Newport on Saturday. She suggested meeting for dinner, and left it up to us where to dine. Sue and I disagreed on the dining experience. She wanted Italian and I want to visit a very, very eclectic place called The Salvation Cafe. This is because most of the furnishing and decorations were bought at the Salvation Army thrift store. Nothing matches in either style or color. It's great.

We agreed to meet near the Tennis Hall of Fame, and after a little bit of confusion, we "hooked up". (It's a different meaning than when your kids "hook up").

I was determined to get the squishing heads thing mastered after seen it done here

Nothing a little practice can't solve

We hopped in the Vibe and took a ride on 12 mile drive. It's a beautiful road along the ocean. The homes are not as outlandish as the mansions of Newport but the "are" over the top in their own way.

The house is the background is so big because three people live there. sheesh.

Sue and Margie ohhh-ing and ahhhh-ing over the view.

We stopped at the kite flying area, (it's always windy along the ocean). Usually there are very unique kiters' and kite flying teams that give a great show displaying their kite flying skills. Sadly we got there too late in the day and they had already left.

Our next stop was Fort Adams, which is also the site of the "Newport Jazz Festival".

Reading the history of Fort Adams

Oceans side view of Fort Adams

Where it all started.

We ate here. Like you hadn't guessed already.

p.s. The wine was good with dinner also.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Changing Weather

My car is in the shop for what I think is brake problems. That tell tale scraping sound that is usually preceeded by squeeking. I think my radio covered the intial indication (squeek), so I now may have to pay the fiddler. Sue let me take the mini to work, which left her with no car for the day. Very sweet. I attached the bike rack, loaded the bike and stuffed my carryons in the back seat before heading to the commuter lot.

The first few minutes of the commute are getting chilly. Time to pack a windbreaker or light jacket in the trunk bag. I have been noticing more and more sights that I have ridden by for three years. Things like these buildings in downtown Taunton.

Today, while riding through the State Hospital I came upon a hawk on the ground, just off the road. She was no more than 5 feet from me, and very big. We both froze for a few seconds and just looked at each other. She broke the stalemate and few onto a nearby tree. Usually when I have approached a hawk in the past they fly out of the tree and disappear. Today this one just sat there and watched me. I was able to get a couple of photos.

Back on my commute I decided to backtrack and see what she may have been having for breakfast. She didn't like this and left her roost to buzz me. I wasn't sure this was intentional till she did it a second time. That was my cue to leave her alone and get myself to work.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Dinner and a Show

We began the evening at the Black Bass Grill in Padanaram Village. A coastal resort in the town of Dartmouth Ma. Our customary Saturday night dinner friends, the Johnsons, (Jack and Donna) joined us this beautiful Friday evening for entres on the lawn.

My meal, steamed mussles and hot Italian sausage, was served with a spicy marinara sauce over linguini. A smooth pinot noir complimented the meal and enhanced the conversation.

Sue's plate, perfectly grilled native scallops, was served with rice and fresh assorted vegetables. Her favorite drink, a martini, (which every week is a different color), kept her palat fresh.

A short ride in the Mini Cooper brought us to the Historic District of New Bedford.

Our destination was the Zeiterion Perfoming Arts Center, a restored Vaudeville theater built in the 1920's that hosted many of the big time performers of the era.

Donna was worried about the crowds at the theater and decided to go ahead and get seated. Since we had almost an hour before the show, Sue and I decided to visit a new downtown watering hole named Finns. This quaint bar provided one more little somthing to settle the stomach. Sue had a green one this time, and I a spot of Crown Royal over ice.

"A refil" asked the bartender. "No thanks", I said, "it's showtime". A leisurely walk to the theater brought us to our seats next to our dinner mates. I saw so many old friends there I kind of felt like the mayor. Dianne, a grammer school classmate, was seated just in front of us. Two rows behind was a high school chum, and while talking to him, waving arms a few rows back caught my attention. A park basketball friend from the old neighborhood was saying his "how do you do's".

The lights dimmed, the band began it introductory music, and the M C began. "Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together and give a warm New Bedford welcome to the Temptations".

What a night.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

End of Hiatus

Distance 20 miles

Back to the commute today after three days off the bike. The new workout routine at the Y is still being evaluated. It seems too easy and I will e-mail Tom my PT and ask.

The ride today was different. It was too cold for a shirt and my windbreaker made riding very sticky. It's nice to be back on the road again though. I made a new acquaintence over the internet from South Carolina. Hank Raines and his dogs. We have been corresponding about his bike tours and now Martha's Vinyard. Maybe someday we'll ride together.

More later.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Preparing for the Holiday Trip

Distance 74 miles (two days)

I have been increasing my riding and fitness in anticipation of our trip to France and Spain. Todd has all our reservations in Spain and Keith recently booked our French accomodations. We are good to go. Now let's hope all this foolishness about bringing water and dirty underwear on a flight is over with. Enough with the politics already.

I went online to choses our seats for the flight and naturally all the good seats were taken. The best I could do for Sue and I were aisle seats across from each other. Same thing on the way home.

One last item to take care of is getting tickets to a game. AC Barcellona would be great, but just attending a football match in France or Spain would be great. Marselle is the home of Zidane. Wouldn't it be something to run into him.

Friday was a half day at work and I decided to bring my bike, ride home, and do a return ride on Saturday to retrieve the car. Fridays' ride was perfect. Nice weather, made good time and enjoyed every moment. I got home in time to shower and load my backpack for a trip to the dentist then the gym. I am doing a workout that was developed for the astronauts. Time will tell how good it works.

Saturday, I decided to stop for a light breakfast at McDonnalds. (One of those egg in a tortilla things). That decision produced quite an adventure. Eating a McD's anything, can ruin a nice bike ride. Actually I remember our college soccer team having McDonalds' food before a game. It felt like we were running in ankle deep mud for the whole match. Riding a bike felt the same way. The first 10 miles was painfull to say the least. Gradually the effects wore off and the ride was much better. It took the better part of an hour and four rest stops to recover. The actual pedal time to the office was two hours and change. It took me four hours to get there with all the stops. Mostly for picture taking.

The McDonalds locals.

I have passed this little grass runway airport many times. Today was the day to stop and look around.

Back on the road in Berkley Ma.

Path through abandoned state school

A lonely slide at Dever State Hospital for severly retarded and deformed children.

I'll be back on the bike commuting tomorrow after a well earned day off today.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ice Cream 20

Distance 23 miles
Weather 80 degrees, still, early evening.

After a week of excessive heat and humidity, that brought the index to a scortching 110, the relief of a cold front that dropped the temps into the low 80's, was too good to pass up. Sue and I decided on a Friday evening ride on the country roads near our home. It's called the ice cream 20 because in the 20 mile loop there are four ice cream shops calling like the sirenes of Homers' Odyssey.

The grammer school our sons attended has been demolished and a new school is being built on the site. We were glad to see that the trees the boys classes had planted twenty something years ago were untouched and are thriving.

Trees the boys classes planted at East Fairhaven Ma. Elementary school

We headed north on the quiet country roads of Fairhaven to the Acushnet line and the lakes of Acushnet Road. So little traffic uses these roads that one sometimes wonder why they are still there. But the roads are great for cycling.

House on a lake

Acushnet Rd. Patriotic home

Our ride took us into the town of Rochester and our first ice cream stand. We also came across the day camp where Todd, our youngest, attended a couple of his pre teen summers.

As the sun began to drop towards the horizon, Sue and I turned east to begin the loop back towards home. The evening became very still and was as quiet as the roads we were traversing, and the setting sun provided plenty of sights.

Rochester Fire house. A bike tourers friend.

Here too

As we approached the half way point, a drink break was in order.

We stopped here for water. What were you thinking?

With the low sun at our back we made the final turn towards home.

Rochester Ma. Golf club

The 9th hole

Vaughn Hill Rd. The hill is behind us.

Lonely Vaughn Hill

Hartely Rd. home

Cranberry Bogs

Road along Cranberry bogs.

Swim Hole