Monday, June 20, 2016


Schultzy is my thirteen year old German Shepherd Dog (GSD)- I'm leaving the dog because on a lot of official sites discussing German Shepherds they add dog at the end and I think it's funny and wonder why the need to clarify . . .  in case we get confused with other German Shepherd species? I have never seen a Poodle called a Poodle Dog it always just seems to be assumed.

Anyway . . .  Last vet visit she was around 80 lbs. Which means thirteen short years ago I brought home a 10 lb wrecking ball and she has mutated to 8x that size. And by wrecking ball . .. . I mean WRECKING BALL!

Here she is as a young dog probably close to two years old. I know she is very young because she hadn't grown into her tail yet. For some reason though I don't have any baby baby pictures of her.

Schultzy at Montauk enjoying the ocean
Shortly after bringing her home Schultzy ate a brand new linoleum floor. A trainer we had hired for some behavior classes told us the unsurprising news that she had a very powerful jaw. We had already learned that several times. The dog can chew, bite, and eat through anything she wants. Add that on top of the fact that she is high anxiety (including separation anxiety) and literally too smart for her own good.

For the most part her destructiveness, we realize, was our fault. She was left alone too long and got bored. When she got bored she got anxious; when she got anxious floors got eaten. It's a circle. Besides the floor her greatest act of destruction was my laundry room door. The previous owners had a cat door into the laundry room which is where I assume they kept the litter box... that is the only reason I can think of for having a cat door there. At first she would stick her nose out of the cat door (that is all that would fit) and we thought it was adorable.

Hey I can't fit!

But then she realized with a little work she could fix her door.

All better!

Car trip!
That being said we call her the Baby and constantly tell her she is the best "bad dog" ever!  She knows her commands and follows them when she chooses- thankfully it is most the time. And there are definitely times where we want to kill her. But then you look at her loving face and brown eyes and realize all she wants is our attention and to be with us doing something. Well, now that she is thirteen she just wants to be with us at our feet sleeping but up until eleven she wanted to do something! Constantly! I remember when she was nine at one of her last vet visits in NY the vet said if not for the fact they had been seeing her since she was a puppy they wouldn't believe her age. She acted more like two than nine.  I feel like we have finally entered the good dog phase. Sometimes she gets up slowly and her face has much more white in it than she once did but other than that I don't think anyone meeting her would guess her age.

Schultzy loves water in any form! Her favorite treat is ice! She gets excited whenever she hears the fridge ice maker and I am probably lucky she hasn't figured out how to dispense the ice herself.

A bowl of ice with frozen toys!

She also loves snow. 

Happy Baby!

Evil Baby!

And playing in water!

Baby in her pool.

In the ocean.

She has a favorite toy that she loves to chew on and brings everywhere with her. It is the first thing she grabs when it is time to go to bed. We call it her pacifier. A long time ago it was a smart toy that we would put treats into and as she chewed it the treats would fall out. It has been a long time since we actually used treats in it but she doesn't seem to mind. She loves it so much that we have bought them in bulk so that we have easy replacements for when one gets too chewed.

Baby and her pacifier

Look closely how she holds her pacifier with her paw. I love how she does this! She also sometimes balances the middle of the pacifier over her leg.

Holding tight.

And that's the Baby!


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Progression of a Fire Pit

Almost as soon as I bought my house I began planning different projects and how I wanted to use my .5 acre of space. One thing I knew I wanted to get done was a fire pit. At first I thought just about buying one from a store .. . and then I thought about one of the kits to build a stone fire pit. Then my neighbor who had built his own without a kit told me how he had done his and what he wished he had done differently. So taking his information and his tips for future fire pits I decided this was an easy enough DIY project that I didn't need a kit. I could buy my own landscape pavers and make the fire pit the size I wanted.

At first I was thinking I might want to make it small enough that I could put a grate over it and use it as a barbecue however seeing as how we have a charcoal grill, gas grill and two smokers- cooking was an unnecessary concern. All I needed to be able to do was roast the occasional marshmallows.

Side note: thanks to spell check this is the first time I have ever realized they are marshmAllows and not marshmEllows. . . . .Have I been saying it wrong my whole life? I'll blame dialect.

Back to the blog.

The first thing I had to do was pick the location of the fire pit. I wanted it away from the house enough that smoke wouldn't blow over but not so far that I couldn't watch it and easily get to it if I was doing a leaf/ lawn debris burn while multitasking inside.

I picked my spot towards the back corner of my house and set down some bush and tree clippings that my Uncle Greg and I had gathered from both our yards. And we lit them up.

This left us with the perfect spot for a fire pit. And no TN grass that refuses to die in our way.

The burn mark even came out somewhat round. Using that space I planned the height and width of my fire pit.

Then I went to my local Lowe's and looked for the wall blocks I thought would complement my brick house the best and settled on the Alleghany flagstone block.

Allegheny Flagstone

I used some landscape caulking on each block to hold them in place and let the weight of the blocks help set them. My neighbor had suggested leaving space between the blocks to allow for air flow since he felt his fire was restricted because his blocks were right against each other. So keeping that in mind I built mine layer by layer. (I actually built it twice since I laid it out to see the spacing and then re-did it with the caulking).

Two action shots of the fire :-)

While I don't know how much of a difference the spacing between the blocks makes I do know it allows for some nice shots.

When I had my first burn in my yard I was real worried because it is not something you would ever do in NY. But as I am adjusting to life in TN I have realized it is something you do all the time in TN. I have become very used to seeing smoke in the distance or a fire in a field.

Now we have had some nice nighttime burns and just hanging out by the fire pit watching the flames lick around the blocks. But there was some more work around the fire pit that I wanted to do.  I put down landscape fabric around the fire pit to help keep grass and weeds from growing up around it. Then I went back to Lowe's and got the matching Alleghany pavers and Meghan and I made a border around the fire pit. Finally we went to Bella's nursery in Springfield and got a half scoop of pink granite chips loaded into the back of my ford explorer sport trac.  Then with the help of my Uncle we spread them around the fire pit to give a finished landscape look.

The chips are gorgeous. I discovered them at Bella's last year while landscaping around the front of my driveway.

 I had extra pavers which is fine because I am going to use them to border around the three trees I have in my yard and also add more of the granite chips around those inside the border.

So that is one project done out of many more to come!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

3 Years!

So when I started this blog, three years ago, it was timed with the purchase of my house. My inspiration was the timing of buying the house on my 30th birthday along with the now 30 years of debt for my mortgage that seemed to fit nicely for a title of a blog.  I thought that after 6 months or so it would be filled with my new adventures in home ownership and exploring TN. Instead for 2.5 fun years it was filled with my road trips and thoughts as I lingered in NY waiting to move. And now that I finally did move to TN it has been mostly silent . . . .which is awesome because it means I have been out and about and so busy I am not on my computer. I have started blog posts and will post them and hope to get myself on a schedule to post regularly. I mean people with far busier lives of greater importance manage this all the time I'm sure I can too! Also, I like doing it. I can't tell you how awesome it is to check the blog stats and see that someone across the world in countries like Singapore somehow managed to find my blog. I really don't know how they do it but I am glad they stopped by.  It was also exciting to have a blog post reach over 200 views.

Right around the time I bought my house and started this blog my sister, two cousins, and myself started discussing birthday plans for the future. Meg and I had wanted to do something awesome for our 30th birthday . .. which I did cause I bought a house :-)  . . .. What we started talking about was on our 33rd birthday we would go to Disney because we have friends and family who are Disneyphiles and it would be a fun place to visit. We could even do the matching tee shirt thing whose plans usually involved poking fun at our quirky family habits which we have lovingly nicknamed "Keohanigans".

It made sense after all 33 is a significant number. I mean even three major religions agree on its importance (when does that ever happen): Christ performed 33 miracles and died on the cross at 33, 33 is the numerical equivalent of Amen and the Star of David, and Al-Ghazali wrote that dwellers in Heaven are in a perpetual age of 33.

Also the number 33 pops up in literature too since Dante was 33 when he made his descent into hell, Julius Ceasar was stabbed 33 times in Shakespeare's (AKA Edward De Vere the Earl of Oxford) play, and "The Man with The Blue Guitar" by Wallace Stevens has 33 sections.

Well we didn't end up doing anything like going to Disney. No what we did was even better. We went to a fancy restaurant, Kitchen Notes in the Omni Hotel, and had dinner out together for the first time as residents of TN. I couldn't ask for a better birthday than to be with family in our new home state and to look forward to many more celebrations together.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Out of The Darkness

Well it has been over three months since I moved to TN and I have been so busy settling in I haven't had time to sit down and write. I have several posts started and just haven't finished them for various reasons. But I am skipping those to get this one out because it is very important.

My sister and I have signed up for an "Out of the Darkness Walk". It is sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  The walk takes place in Nashville on September 12th and any money raised will go to helping prevent suicide. There is a lot about suicide that I can't imagine and can't understand. I'm sure a lot of people feel that way. The person who takes their life must feel so lonely and hopeless. . . and then there are the friends and family members who are left behind with so many questions or feelings of guilt. 

I ask that anyone reading this please consider donating to my page: Jo's donor page

If you are in Nashville that day please consider joining our team and walking with us. Travellers 

If you aren't in Nashville you can look up other community walks. AFSP

If you can't donate or join our team and walk I ask that you share these links. The more people who see it the more money will be raised. 

If just one suicide is prevented because of a donation made then it is worth it because the lives effected are many. And that is what I will be thinking with every step I take. And I hope that is something you can think of if you make a donation or share this post.

Thank you

"Out of the darkness suddenly my body can take a breath
I'm coming out of the darkness finally my soul can take a rest."

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Chapter Begins.

Well I can't say this is the last time I will be making the drive from NY to TN but it is the last time I will have a vehicle so loaded up that you would change lanes to get away from me on the highway.

In case you are wondering everything made it just fine :-) I had worked and then finished loading the car before my Mom and I hit the road. Since both of us had worked we planned to drive until about midnight before pulling off at a hotel and spending the night. We were both slightly concerned about someone trying to steal from our car but it would have taken a lot of effort to untangle the mess of bungee cords. Also the hotel kindly allowed us to park in their covered entrance since that is where the security cameras were located. We slept and were back on the road by 7am.

I want to say it was around 3pm when we passed Nashville and it's unique skyline complete with the building we affectionately refer to as Batman.

Which means that around 3:30 pm we passed this sign and we were at my new home. 

There is a lot to do when you move, especially when you move to another state. I had to get my license and re-register my car. I had hoped to get both of these things done in the first couple of days that I was in TN but it wasn't meant to be. I had been able to open a new bank account but my transfer had gone through so quickly that my utility bills hadn't started coming to my new address yet. So I didn't have enough to prove address change in order to get my license. Also I couldn't register Tramp, my car - named after a Bruce Springsteen song, because I couldn't find my NY title which is probably in a very safe location in a box labelled papers . . . . or kitchen supplies . . . . we may have labelled it kitchen supplies in case the ABF truck got broken into because who cares about kitchen supplies but a box labelled paperwork has identity theft written all over it . . . literally. Anyway  I needed the copy of my NY title to arrive so that I could reregister the car. It came eventually as did some utility bulls and I now have my TN license and my truck is now officially a TN resident.

Complete with Smokey Mountain license plate

I want to say that for the first two weeks it did not feel real. I still felt like I was visiting and would be driving back to NY soon. Now that feeling has passed and I am looking forward to future backyard projects and a lifetime of memories in TN.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A chapter ends

It took just one week from the time I set up a search to the time I had accepted a new position in TN. I thought it would take 1.5-2 months. First I thought it would take time for an opening to apply for and then the process of interviewing and so on. But this took a week. So instead of going to TN for a visit at the end of April I am moving. By May 1st, slightly over 2.5 years from when I bought my house, I will be a TN resident.

Luckily the tickets I had bought to fly to TN where purchased for the most part with points I had earned on US Airways. So all I lost was about $40.00 in taxes and fees. Now instead of taking a train to the airport I will be driving away from NY.

There was a lot to do. I had to finish yard work, clean out the NY house, set up a zillow page click here for house info, and pack up the car.

First thing that had to happen was finishing the fence along our pool. Originally it had been a black chain link fence and my neighbor had a wood fence right behind it. However age had taken a toll on the wood fence and it was falling down; also these horrible horrible horrible wisteria vines had taken over. We bought the green privacy strips that would make the fence look like hedges. Normally the pieces thread nicely through the chain links however at some points the wisteria had actually grown around the fence and made it difficult. I had about 2/3rds done but I knew the last third would take a long time and had been procrastinating on it. Now it was time to get it done. My Mom cleared wisteria vines from the fence and I followed behind her weaving the strips. It came out looking great and we had been pretty much on target with the amount as we had about 10 extra pieces.

After finishing the fence my Mom and I decided to head to the east end to get some more Montauk Daisies. We had bought some from a south Hampton nursery when I bought my house and planted them by my mail box. Now we wanted a few more to plant because the quality of those was so good and when Meg eventually builds her own house we will be able to spread them out and bring some to her house for a NY connection. After stopping at the nursery and getting three plants we continued east towards Montauk for one last visit.

Montauk is the very point tip of the southern fork on Long Island and where my parents first meet. My Dad was bar-tending at the Tattler, a bar in the center of town, and my Mom was getting a break from the city. A couple of years ago we had gone to have dinner at the Tattler, now called O'Murphy's. This time as we drove by it was completely closed down. Even though it hadn't been the same restaurant for years it was sad to see it closed. I consider it a sign that we have over stayed our welcome in NY and need to go.

The next day's project was to clean up the yard. Nothing major here. I rolled up the last of the garden hoses and got rid of some left over construction debris from home repairs. We also had 12 concrete blocks to get rid of and my Mom was pretty sure the garbage special pick up would not take them. So I turned to my new favorite website Freecycle. I posted that I had 12 blocks to offer along with a picture. The next morning someone expressed interest. Unfortunately while I was out the blocks had been taken. I got in touch with the person who wanted them and luckily had other blocks that she was interested in. The whole offer/need for free is a nice way for a community to come together to help each other.

Then of course there is saying good bye. The wonderful thing about the internet is it keeps us close to people even when the distance between us is great. But it certainly doesn't replace seeing people face to face. For example I talk to my sister and cousins in Atlanta almost daily on facebook. But there is going to be something very different and special when I can actually see them with my eyes and reach out my hand and touch them. On the flip side though I have friends and coworkers here that I am going to really miss. Because just like facebook is a poor substitute for personal interaction with my southern family it is certainly going to be a poor substitute for interaction with people I have grown used to seeing 5 days a week.

In an effort to combat that I got an address book so that I can send cards, letters and post cards to various people during holidays or just if I see something that makes me think of them. I think it will be nice to actually hand write letters and I hope for people receiving them it will be nice to get something in the mail thats isn't a bill or magazine no one really wants.

Then there were things I had to do and places I had to visit before I left.

1. I went to a diner to get breakfast for dinner. Breakfast, no matter when it is eaten, is my favorite meal. I ordered an Athenian Omelette, a staple in any NY Diner menu. Of course it has different names but it is always something involving spinach and feta cheese, sometimes tomatoes, in an omelette with home fries and toast.

2. I went to Nathan's for the best fries anywhere.

3. I had an egg sandwich from a deli.

4. I went for a little trip to Flanders, NY to see the Big Duck, a small shop in the shape of a duck. It was built in 1931 and was originally a duck farm.

The owner of the farm got the idea to build the Big Duck after a trip to Bedford, PA where he saw a coffee shop in the shape of a giant coffee pot. It is built out of concrete over a wooden frame and the eyes are taillights from a Model T, apparently they glow at night but that sounds kind of creepy.

5. A last slice of pizza will be a must have and is the plan for tonight before we hit the road.

I'm happy and excited to move to TN but there is one person that it really hurts to leave behind. My Dad is buried in Pinelawn Cemetery in Farmingdale. Last Friday was his birthday and I went to Pinelawn yesterday to say my final good bye. I've been thinking about this a lot for the last two weeks as I prepare to move. It really hit me as we were driving in Montauk. Part of me knows that I don't need to be near his grave to feel close to him. I can feel him every day in silly little moments that remind me of him or even my own mannerisms that make me think "I am my Father's daughter". And I know this would make him happy. When my sister and I were kids he worked in NC for a while. At that time he wanted to move south. So now, 20 years later, I am finally listening to him and moving south.

It's was always a family joke whenever someone would come up with a good idea my Dad would always say "I'm glad I thought of it." obviously even if he didn't. Well in this instance he is definitely smiling down on us and very rightfully saying "I'm glad I thought of it."

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Road trip: Easter Weekend trip north

When Meg and I were kids instead of going away for vacations for a week we would go for a weekend drive. Maybe it was just out to Montauk to walk out on the jetty and collect shells on the beach; or maybe we would drive upstate to look at the leaves changing colors and go from the still bright green leaves of Long Island to the beautiful reds and oranges of the catskill area. I think it was one of those trips when my parents first saw a roadside advertisement for the world's largest Kaleidoscope. We stopped and went inside and were treated to a 10-15 minute show and then looked around the shop with hand made Kaleidoscopes of various sizes. Last year when we drove up to Niagara Falls I told my Mom that we should go back before we move. This weekend seemed like a good time.

I had been looking at some roadside attraction up north, as I had done for the south the previous week, and found a few points of interest. I wanted to go this weekend because of the length of the drive and the fact that my Mom had a three day weekend. I figured we could drive to the furthest point Friday, making one stop as we went north,  and spend the night in a hotel then return slowly on Saturday. All week I planned for us to take the trip up with one stop in CT to see the largest jack-in-the-box however on Thursday when I called to check everything was open on Easter Saturday the recording at the kaleidoscope said it was open till 6 on Friday. Well since Friday was supposed to be rainy I thought maybe we should stop there, since it is inside. And we would see the jack-in-the-box last on Saturday since rain was supposed to stop early on Saturday. This would also allow us to leave the hotel later since we didn't need to get back to Mt. Tremper NY by 5 on Saturday.

We hit the road around one on Friday for what should have been a 2.5 hour drive to Mt. Tremper. However I didn't account for the fact that it was the start of Passover and there was extra traffic in the afternoon as many people of Jewish faith had to get home before sun set. Speaking of Judaism at a rest area we saw these two vending machines which I feel are one of those "Only in NY' type things.

Originally my GPS started us on a path to take the Throggs Neck Bridge to the George Washington Bridge and then north through New Jersey; but at some point while we were driving it must have read increased traffic and re-routed us to the Whitestone Bridge so that we would drive north through the Bronx before crossing the Hudson at the Tappen Zee Bridge. Looking at these road trips its hard to believe but I really don't like driving on bridges (or tunnels). Anyway the Tappen Zee Bridge is one that I find beautiful while recognizing that it's structural soundness is often put into question and, in fact, they are building a substitute bridge to replace it. Along the east side of the bridge were many cranes that are currently working on the support structure for the new bridge that I believe is supposed to open in two years.

We ended up arriving at the Kaleidoscope at about 4:55. I tried to open the door and it was locked. A young man came to the door and told us it was closing at 5.  I told him the recording said 6 on Friday but he just pointed to the sign on the door that said 5. So we walked back to the car to continue our drive up to Maine. I mean plans are made to be changed, right?

We hit the road and headed north towards Freeport, Maine where we were going to spend the night at a hotel before taking the trip south. When we had crossed the Hudson River at the Tappen Zee Bridge it had been at one of the widest points in order to get back towards Maine we had to cross back. We crossed over on the Castleton Bridge at Schodack Island near Selkirk, NY. And then headed east before turning north again and following the Massachusetts/Maine coastline.

One of the best parts of road trips and long highway stretches is blasting the radio and singing along. As we drove we had to change radio station several times as one country music station would begin to fade away. At some point we started picking up Iconic radio 98.9 and it played a song I hadn't heard in a long time called 'Austin' by Blake Shelton, it has to be one of his earliest hits long before his tv show and him becoming one half of the new country music power couple. Another song that played several times was Brett Eldredge's new song 'Mean to Me' which I think has one of the coolest lines in country music right now. I had heard the song before but the line really hit me while we were driving when he sings "If mine could be the name that changes yours" I thought that is one of the most romantic lines I have ever heard and a beautiful proposal.

As we reached Maine we began to see warning signs about moose. This reminded my Mom and I of our trip to Lake Placid last year when we saw warning sign after warning sign, including a sign warning of deer. ::my blog post about that trip:: Well on that trip last year as we came around a bend in a small Adirondack town all of a sudden (and I do mean that) there was a huge deer in the middle of the road. I stopped so close to him and we sat for a moment before he exited the road. Shortly after that we saw a moose sign and I was like "I want no part of that". Well I had a similar reaction this time too. I like my truck in one piece and uncrushed so seeing a moose is about the last thing I ever want to do. So my Mom was on 'moose duty' watching the side of the highway for any signs of the large creatures. We did see several deer but luckily no moose. As I was pulling into the Hotel parking lot my Mom exclaims "There is a huge moose." So instantly I hit my brakes and I'm like "Where is it and is it coming towards the road." She said "No. It's not a real moose it's a statue, see."  Now that my heart attack had passed I looked out the window and saw the statue.

He does look kind of menacing.

We spent a very comfy night at the Hampton Inn in Freeport Maine before heading out early to get to our first Roadside Attraction of the day. But then a marvelous thing happened . . .we got side tracked. Because the most awesome trips are the ones where you see something unexpected. As we were driving on a side street along the highway we passed a huge statue of an Native American.

Look at him towering over the trees and sign. He is very impressive look out for the Casco Bay Trading Post. 

We also stopped at the information station across the street from our destination. The bathroom was open but there was a gate closing off all the maps and brochures in the information center. As we stood there talking we realized there was a man sitting inside and that the gate wasn't all the way closed and was unlocked. So I opened it and we slipped in to look at the brochures about things made in Maine.
You can't take me anywhere

Because unlocked gates are clearly meant to be opened. Well, we were looking at brochures and my Mom found one for one of our other stops. Then the old man growled at us that he opened at nine and we retreated. Maybe if we had been able to look around longer we would have learned about Maine Department of Corrections Showroom that features hand crafted works by inmates. We learned about it later that week when my Mom was telling a coworker about our trip. I checked it out online and some of the stuff is gorgeous. And if it helps give inmates pride and helps them realize they have skills that can be used and rewarded then I think that is awesome and I would certainly love to support that.

And then we were at our first destination of the day.
Meet Eartha
Here is the World's largest revolving globe, Eartha. She was completed in 1998 and a year later the officials from the Guinness book of World Records did an official measurement.

The north pole
The cantilever arm


I thought it was going to be amazing and it was more fantastic then I could have imagined. The descriptions all said it was in the lobby. But that was an inaccurate description. It was the lobby. And the lobby was three stories. One of the employees told us that we had to go up to the third floor because that was the only way to see the north pole. So we complied.

The high def pictures that make up the panels are spectacular. They certainly worked hard for accuracy and even used satellites images to help catch the different colors of the ocean to show depth level.  The fact that it was designed and built by Delorme associates must give a strong sense of pride. And what a relaxing and wonderful place to sit on a break and just watch the world go round.

As we were heading up the stairs my Mom pointed out a glass case of coins with a sign above them. 
I'm glad my Mom drew my attention to the display because this is certainly something I can work into future road trips. I followed the link listed on the sign, Geocaching, and learned that it is basically a world wide treasure hunt where players hide coins/trinkets and leave clues for others to find them along with a log book to keep track of visits.

Last we made a stop in the gift shop that was filled with all sorts of globes and maps. My Mom recognized some of the globes as ones her and my Dad had purchased years ago for Meg and I. As I was checking out I saw a robot matryoshka set on the counter so even though it has nothing to do with maps or globes I couldn't resist. 

The cashier told us that they were going to be getting in a penguin set :-) (something for me to look for in the future). 

Speaking of penguins check out these little cuties from our next stop!

Welcome to Len Libby's Candy shop in Scarborough ME. Yes, I went on a road trip with a candy store as my destination and while I love the gummy penguins, as in love to look at them I have not eaten them, the reason for the stop was Lenny the life size chocolate Moose.  

Lenny and his bear friends Libby, Chip and Cocoa are made from milk chocolate and the pond that Lenny is standing in is dyed white chocolate. Considering that he was sculpted in 1997 the chocolate is holding up very nicely. While we were there we got some absolutely delicious hand made salt water taffy and, since it was Easter, chocolate bunnies which we haven't tried yet.

Then we were off to our next destination. The drive was roughly an 1.5 hours which was perfect because it would get us there at lunch time. 

By the way, side note, only in Maine can you buy lobster at rest stops along the highway . .. I mean maybe you can do this elsewhere but I had never seen it before and found it quite amusing.

Just as we were getting hungry we arrived at:
The Clam Box of Ipswitch

If you are ever in the area I highly suggest stopping by for a meal. I'm not a big seafood person, sure I like crab cakes and some other things but for the most part seafood is my last option. I had planned to get something just because it seemed right, like a cup of New England Clam Chowder, but I also figured I would get a hamburger to really be safe. I didn't need the hamburger. My Mom and I both got cups of the Chowder and split a plate of fried lobster tails. And it was delicious. The portions were huge and it was well worth the price.

After a very filling lunch it was back to the kaleidoscope for round two and hopefully better luck than the previous day. It had changed since the time my Mom and Dad brought us as kids and had grown into a hotel and restaurant.  

That silo is the kaleidoscope. When we had been here before I think it was painted sky blue with clouds on it and eyes. The show is only five dollars and it is about 15 minutes. They do have back rests to lean on and watch but the staffer recommended lying on the floor. They have three different shows that they alternate depending on the season. The one we saw was the Patriotic show.

On the way out I snapped pictures of the two wood carved guardians in front of the entrance.

And I almost forgot this adorable little sheep.

Then it was time to head home. Despite the mess up on Friday we had seen everything except the coulrophobia inducing World's Largest Jack-in-the -box located in Middleton CT. That's ok I'll get there eventually.

And finally here is the map of the trip: