Thursday, August 27, 2009

Is this Heaven?

No, it’s New Jersey!


I know that New Jersey does not have a good reputation in general, but from my viewpoint – in our friend Jimmy’s driveway - it just doesn’t get any better.



Our schedule calls for 3 weeks here, so we’d made a pretty long list of all the work to be done while we’re here.  I’m working on websites – our own plus some clients'.  And Jim is responding to emails, orders, printing and mailing.  Our new ‘Beginners Guide to Picasa’ booklet has sold several dozen copies!  We’re actually working kinda hard.  But, I’ll bet our ‘office conditions’ beat anyone’s!!


We have plenty of time for fun, food, and friends too.


And, I never get tired of the sunsets here!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hyde Park to LBI

By Jim


Chris and I both enjoy dabbling in American History.  Visiting presidential libraries and museums is a wonderful way to learn more about a particular time slice of this wonderful country.

Franklin Roosevelt was president during two major world crises.  He came into office at the beginning of the Great Depression.  Europe and Asia were on the brink of World War II.  Presidential powers were used to great effect throughout his time in office.  Roosevelt was elected four times.  He was confined to a wheel chair, a victim of Polio.  Franklin died before the war ended.

He was born into affluence, but became a champion of the common population.  His wife, Eleanor, was a prolific writer and proponent of feminist causes.  Lots of interesting stories.

There is much more to see in Hyde Park.  We just got a taste – and a reason to return.


Long Beach Island New Jersey

When people ask me where I grew up, I usually tell them I never did!

LBI is where I spent all of my high school years.  It is truly a special place.  Many of my friends and family are still in the area.

Hurricane Bill was stirring up the surf.  The waves were coming up to the dune line and the lifeguards had to move their chairs to higher ground.  Here they are bringing the chair back down to the beach.

We went out for a paddle on the bay.  And then a short swim.  Odie was the first to get wet.  Refreshing!


Sunsets are often spectacular over the bay.

Thanks to my long time friend and dive buddy, Jimmy L. for allowing us to stay with him on LBI.  And Happy Birthday!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Facebook and Old Friends

I find a little complex – there’s so much you can do with it; notes, photos, blogs – it’s hard to know where to start.  But, I’m on it (Christine Guld) and I check in fairly regularly.


The amazing thing is how many people are connected to facebook.  Within minutes of joining, I had at least a dozen ‘friends.’ Over the last few months, I’ve reconnected – thru facebook – with dozens more people, many of whom I haven’t seen in many years.  There are even a couple that I haven’t seen since high school, and I graduated in 1971!


If you like having –and keeping- friends, you will like being on facebook.


One man, Eric Somers, was a friend who I met back in the 80s.  I met him when my Mom and I had just started our computer training center (Computer Savvy) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  He was involved with a high tech company that was taking advantage of the Internet … realize the Web didn’t even exist back then!  He ended up giving guest classes at Computer Savvy – teaching telecommunications – you know, 300 baud modems and Compuserve!  Eric is probably the brainiest person I’ve ever met and I always enjoyed our fascinating conversations.  We haven’t seen each other in over 10 years, but we would always share at least one annual email. 


Eric is one of my Facebook friends and he left a comment when we posted photos of Salem, MA.  That started a conversation and when our next stop was Hyde Park, NY (to go to FDR museum) I noticed that we were right next to Poughkeepsie where Eric lives.  We were able to meet up for breakfast and it’s definitely Facebook that made this possible.


So nice to get to visit with you Eric!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Paddling Salem Harbor and Marblehead

I almost titled this, “A Three Hour Tour” (thnk theme song from Gilligan's Island) because that’s exactly what we did. We had to stop for a domestic day yesterday. When we run out of toilet paper, dog food, and clean underwear – we gotta do laundry and go to the grocery store. Add to that the normal 3-4 hours of answering emails, and the day is pretty shot.

So we decided to stay an extra day here in Salem because we really wanted to get the kayaks wet. We had to dump our holding tanks this morning … even at $37/night there’s no full hookups here. And, the nearest dump is at the power plant around the corner. So … we did our website/email thing, and went to the dump .. it was about 2:00 before we were ready to paddle. Luckily the weather cooperated. We paddled all around the Salem harbor, and out around Marblehead. We got back about 5. According to my measurements on Google Earth, we paddled about 6 miles (the white line):


Our first destination was this 3-masted ship we saw on display – the Peacemaker. I think the tourists on board were more impressed with the dog on the kayak going by! Cool view.

Then we paddled thru all the anchored boats in the harbor. We saw one seal poke his head up and take a look around.

Beautiful homes on Marblehead! Almost makes me think it would be worth winter.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Boston and JFK Library

I feel like a broken record, but – it just doesn’t get any better than this! 


Our home is parked in Winter Island City park in Salem, and the ferry dock is, at most, a mile away.  We took the ferry to Boston – about an hour ride.  ahh, smell that salt air!  And the cool breeze was welcome on this hot summer day.  Here’s the route we took from Salem to Boston.




The weather was setting record highs (95 degrees I heard) – so it was an especially good way to travel today – nice and cool.






What a great way to come in to Boston!



After the boat ride, we took the subway, then a shuttle bus to get to the JFK Library.  I felt like a real country bumpkin in the big city trying to figure it all out!  We didn’t have to wait more than 5 minutes for either subway or bus … really quite nice.





This was our 10th Presidential Library in our travels (you can click on the category “Presidential libraries” in the right sidebar to see all of them) and, I think it was the most inspiring yet. 



The architect is the same – I.M. Pei – as for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Louvre.  You can see it in the ‘Pavilion’ with the stories-high glass:



Kennedy was elected on my 8th birthday and, especially with his assassination 3 years later, is the first president in my memory.  I remember learning to get under our desks during bomb alerts in my Alaska elementary school.  So, watching the video about the Cuban Missile crisis was especially poignant.


He was our first real TV president, and there were lots of clips to watch.  We spent a little over 3 hours there and, as I say at every Presidential library, I could have stayed much longer.  Both Jim and I just love history.  Reviewing American history gives you perspective on current affairs.

The more things change, the more they stay the same!


Here’s the map of Nixon (red) and Kennedy (blue) votes from the 1960 election.


After the museum, we reversed our course and took the bus and the subway again, but we also walked several blocks of the ‘Freedom Trail’ in the heart of Boston.






When we got back to the docks, our chariot was waiting to ferry us back to Salem.  Glorious day!






For more pictures, go to our Picasa Web album.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Being a Tourist is hard work!

The Salem Trolley picked us up right at the campground.  Very nice.  And the tourguides are oh-so informative.



He said he was happy to pick us up at our ‘aahh V’ :-)


We passed pretty harbor views.



Then, our first stop was the Salem Witch museum.


Learned a lot.  Bought the hat.

Then we walked the streets of Salem. 








I love the ivy covered walls.




Must … have … sustenance. 

Ahhh!  Guinness.  At Tavern on the Green.




Visited the Pirate’s Museum.



Back home, we took Odie for a walk and let him cool off in  Salem harbor.



Today we’re going into Boston to visit the Kennedy Presidential library.


Thank goodness for comfortable shoes.

Video Interview of Geeks on Tour

We just got the link to this video that was taken of us by John DiPietro of RVeNews.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Greetings from Massachusetts

The NEAR rally is over.  The last day was, indeed, our best.  We made enough sales to cover our fees anyway.  A big part of going to rallies is to promote our website ( and we did that. 


Then it’s back on the road.  Such a pretty drive through Vermont and New Hampshire.  You can’t help but wonder what this looks like in the fall.




Our destination for the next few days is Salem, Massachusetts.  We’re going to be tourists.  Oh Boy!  My Favorite.



Our site isn’t much to write home about – and we’re having some trouble with the electric.  It’s HOT and we need our A/C here.



Where we're parked, just north of Boston, in a Salem city park


But, it’s just a short walk, within the Winter Island City Park to:




A closer look at that pretty Schooner reveals a flag that reads, “FAME.”  So we looked it up on the Web and see that we could take a sunset cruise for $25 each.  hmmmm