Spring is in the yard

Spring is in the yard, New York garden. Runaway widow at home nesting.
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Spy Trails and Memorials – right here at home

In my town of Huntington, New York numerous signs are posted that state George Washington slept here or this was part of the Washington Spy Trail.  I had no idea what this all meant but was always a bit curious.  I’ll head to Europe or Thailand and visit historical monuments and memorials, and here I have history at my back door, so it was time to learn a bit more.

Luckily I found a walking historical tour that was right up my alley…

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Lunch in Chinatown, New York

Saturday was my nephews wedding. A big crowd helped celebrate the young couple. It was great to be part of the fun and I am finally OK with seeing other couples be happy.

After your spouse dies, it is really hard to see other couples. Especially older couples. There is a pang of envy and anger when you realize that will never be you.

For some widows that feeling stays longer but for my nephew’s wedding I was happy. I even brought a date!

All of my husband’s family was there, including both his parents. We always acknowledge Mike but this was a happy event and we kept it that way. We danced and had some laughs. Maybe ate and drank too much but a shuttle to our hotel was provided so we all made it back safely.

I slept in as long as I could and then devoured the hotel’s complimentary chocolate croissant (update on my healthy new lifestyle and diet soon).

We were happy to be driving home on a sunny afternoon after spending much of the drive Saturday in torrential rain. The GPS redirected us off the New Jersey Turnpike to avoid extra minutes in traffic and that’s when our Sunday adventure in Chinatown NYC started to take form.

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Ultimate Family Travel by train: Europe or Bust

When my grandmother died at the age of 82 she left some money to each of her children. My mom, who had just lost her mother, could have told my dad to use the money to pay the credit card bills… but she didn’t.  She was determined to use that extra cash to conduct a “legacy” trip in my grandmother’s honor.

The trip she planned, with the help of a travel agent friend, coincided with my third year of college; the semester I studied in England.  I had planned to use a Eurail pass and travel around Europe with a friend. My friend and I planned all sorts of adventures to countries and scheduled in dates to meet my mom and brother and sister in Rome.

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17 Fun Facts about Montauk and why you should visit.

Late one June we checked into the Ronjo motel and heard the glass shattering at the least expensive motel in town.  We drove the Toyota Corolla the 40 miles for our night away in Montauk, at THE END of Long Island, New York.  My parents willingly watched our charming 2 year old son so we could have a romantic night together. After closing the door to our first room alone, in a long time, we heard the screaming followed by glass breaking.  We looked out the sliding door to a crazy pre-college scene.  Prom had been the night before in a nearby town. Many teens had been in the pool area when one boy crashed into a door. He was taken to the hospital and the door soon repaired.  We all settled into our rooms and continued our experience.  Montauk is always an experience to be remembered.

I have visited Montauk, NY regularly for over 21 years since that night and I love it.  As much as the place wants to avoid the establishment, it is taking over, not always in a bad way.  The locals are adamant about keeping it the same and that is cool too.

The town has no traffic lights.

I was recently told, at Liar’s Saloon, that if you have left town for even 5 days, like to have a baby, you are no longer a local.  That is very important.

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Same face, different life – The passport photo

Well, the face is almost the same on the updated CVS photo that is going to be on my U.S. passport for the next 10 years.  My hair is lighter and the wrinkles are more obvious but there is some resemblance.  You are not allowed to smile and your hair must be pulled behind your ears.  I guess you’re supposed to look like you just survived a 14 hour international flight and you sat next to a crying baby the whole way- that’s what I look like in this photo.

I am planning to visit Japan this summer to see my son in Tokyo where he is studying abroad this semester.  My passport expires in August so it needs to be renewed thus the trip to CVS to get the photos.

I do not like the picture.  I look better when I am smiling. I don’t know why smiling is against the rules.

The whole photo shoot reminded me of when I went with my family to get passport photos 10 years ago.

We all drove to the local post office.  I removed all jewelry and was told not to smile. I was wearing a black turtle neck in the photo and I realized that I haven’t worn turtle neck sweaters in years.  I guess it has something to do with hot flashes.

Mike and the boys each had their photos taken that day too.  We had planned a family vacation to Jamaica and it was the first time the boys were going to be out of the country.  Mike and I needed to renew our passports so we all went together.

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