On The Road Again

Well, we are on the road again!! No, not in any shape or form like the way we were a couple of weeks ago, but none the less, we were on the road again today..on our way to Ocean City! We left Ocean City on Saturday, August 6th, and haven’t been back since! It’s the longest time we’ve been away from Ocean City since we bought the house in 2005, and as you can imagine, we were very desirous to get back, but first there were things to do!

As you recall, we got home last Saturday, after being on the road for 9 weeks. As you can imagine, there were lots of tasks that had to be done before we could get back to Ocean City, and that’s what we did the last week.

First, there was laundry! Although she did do laundry on the road a couple of times, nothing had been done since the day we got on the Liberty of the Seas! Susie had 5 loads, which she originally figured would run into the early part of the week. Surprise, surprise…she got it ALL done by cocktail hour on Sunday! Job #1 out of the way!

img_6681Then there were food desires. Twice on the trip, we’d had Chinese..once at PF Changs in El Paso with our friends Mike and Nancy, and a second time in Moab, Utah, at a converted Mexican Restaurant. We were due, so after getting home Saturday, it was Chinese take-out for dinner, along with a bottle of Prosecco! We’d had a lot of pizza on the trip, but not New York Pizza. So Sunday it was time for a Meatball and Mushroom Pizza, Fried Zucchini Sticks, and an Encaldo Salad from Mineola Pizza! Food desires quenched!

Monday it was off to the cleaners. Most of this stuff was summer clothes which we wore on the cruise, but they needed to be cleaned before being put away, so off we went with arm loads! $86 later, and we were ready for the summer of 2017!

Monday, we also stopped by the Mineola Post Office and picked up our mail, that they’d held for us for 9 weeks. They had it very organized in a mail bin, which we dumped into two reusable grocery bags. In addition to bills that I’d already paid, there were a lot of magazines, regular mail, and more election flyers than you’d believe! To be honest, piles were made on Monday, but it took me most of the week to go through it all, pay the bills, and file the rest! This also necessitated that we do some banking too! A couple of trips to various banks, and we were up to date! Every bill was paid on the road, except the landscapers. Although we thought we’d arranged to have them email us the bills, we found two when we got home. Paid that bill, and we were current!

Oh, and did I mention that when I flushed the downstairs toilet the day we got home, water rushed out of the bottom of the tank? Thanks to Susie’s brother Don, it got fixed in a couple of days! Turned out we lucked out and it was the gasket between the tank and the bowl, and thanks to Donnie, it was $8 in parts from Home Depot, rather than a $300+ bill from the plumber! It’s always handy to have a handy brother-in-law! Thanks Donnie!!!

img_6684Then there was the Sonata. She’d faithfully carried us 9,773 miles without a stumble or a whimper, and she deserved to be taken care of. We’d changed the oil in Las Vegas at Terribles about 5,000 miles ago, but she deserved a visit back to see Mike and Mike at C&S Automotive, and a little pampering! Turned out that all she needed was an oil change, and off we went! Oh, and after 9 weeks, she needed a car wash too. I mean a real car wash, not the kind I’d given her on the road! Of course, after I had that done, it rained!

Then there were two visits to Best Nails! On Tuesday, Susie and I went to have pedicures. Yes, I go with Susie and we get pedicures together! It’s nice to be taken care of, and frankly with my knees, it gets hard to bend over and clip my toenails. No nail polish for me, but everything else! Of course, after a visit to Best Nails, we had to go next door to the St. James, and have a drink with our favorite Mineola Bartender, Dennis. A couple of martinis, and a lot of talk, and we were caught up with the last 9 weeks! On Wednesday, we resumed Nail Night, as Krissi took the Long Island Rail Road to Mineola, and Susie had her first manicure in over 9 weeks! Of course, Nail Night also includes a visit to St. James, and this time we were joined by Krissi’s boyfriend Mike! We all had a great time meeting Mike, (he seems like a really nice guy, and makes Krissi happy!!) and it was good to see Mo and our other St. James friends after being away! That would be just the first of many times we’d see Krissi and Mike that week! Oh, and Wednesday morning, Susie also had her first visit to Laura her hairdresser since we’d left. Unlike her manicure, which she handled herself when we were away, Nancy had taken Susie to her hairdresser in El Paso, but it was good to be back to her regular shop!

Thursday afternoon, Susie and her brother Don visited her Mom. Her Mom is 91 years old, has dementia, and has been deteriorating this past year. She’s in a nursing home near North Shore Hospital, and each time they see her, she is a little worse. On Thursday she thought Donnie was me, and although she knew that Susie was her daughter, she had no idea of what her name was. The saddest thing was that she no longer remembers her husband Bob. Susie showed her pictures, mentioned his name, but she had no idea who that was. She’s ready to leave this life, and the truth is, that what she’s going through is really not living. It’s really sad that we are more compassionate with our pets, than with our loved ones.

So after they got home, it was time to return to TR’s in Williston Park for the first time in months! A nice cold beer, a couple of Rough Rider Wraps, and some good talk with friends from our old church made for a great night! We took Donnie to dinner in thanks for fixing our toilet and saving us a lot of money. A good night that I think both Susie and Donnie needed, after spending time with their Mom!

Then it was time for the celebratory time of the week, as our little Grandson Henry celebrated his first birthday! Krissi and Mike took the train to Mineola, and the 4 of us traveled out to Deer Park on Friday for Henry’s actual birthday. Just Billy and Lori, Lori’s Mom Kathy, and Henry’s big sister Layla, and we enjoyed spending some time with our oldest and his family! We’d see Krissi and Mike again on Sunday when we again were at Lori and Billy’s for Henry’s official Birthday Party. Another fun time, celebrating this little bundle of joys first year in this world, with our family and their friends! It was great seeing friends that Billy has had since kindergarten and others that showed up in college! The weather was great, and we had a great barbecue outside, with temperatures in the 70s, and the rain held off till the party was done! A great family weekend all around!

Henry wearing his coonskin cap from the Alamo and enjoying his birthday cake!

Between Henry’s Birthday Weekend, we had a nice quiet night on Saturday with our good friends Pat and Steve. Some vodka, a wonderful home cooked meal by Pat, and the debut of the Sue and Frank D’Elia Our Big Adventure slide show!! A nice relaxing night with good friends!

So that takes us to this morning, Monday, October 31, 2016. We picked up the cleaning we’d dropped off last week, and at 11 AM we were back on the road to Ocean City. A great trip down the Garden State, a stop at Acme on 9th Street for some shopping, and we were home. As I mentioned, it’s been 3 months since we’ve been at the house, and since it was rented for 6 weeks after we left, almost nothing is where it belongs! Today we did the minimum we had to do to get us back into the house, and we’re about to make dinner, and have a martini or two! Tomorrow we will push it, and get the house back in shape, and hopefully Wednesday will be warm enough so that we can take the porch furniture down and power wash it before putting it away! It’s great to be home, and even better to know that when we put the house back together, this will be the last time! That’s because the Summer of 2016 was the last time we will rent this house, so all the stuff that we use when we rent can go, and only our possessions will stay. It will truly be our home, and with any luck, it will be where we officially live by this time next year! A lot of work getting rid of stuff from the Mineola house, but we hope to do a lot of that over the winter.

So that’s what we’ve been up to this week, as we have passed the time between getting home from the road, and heading out again. Ocean City is only 150 miles away from Long Island, so it was a short trip, but when we are at the shore, it’s like we are a million miles away! We’ve already seen our neighbor Doc, met the new dog, Surfer Boy, and are starting to settle in! Time to go, mix the martinis, and help Susie with dinner. I could get use to this!!!


And finally, thanks to all the friends who traveled along with us via our blog.  So many have said nice things about the blog, and how much they enjoyed traveling with us.  It’s great to know that others were reading along with us, and that I was not just doing this for Susie and me, so we’d remember what we did.  I appreciated all the nice things you said about my writing, and I promise you all that I will continue to write, and I hope you will be with me then too!  We loved having you all along, and hope you enjoyed the trip as much as we did, because it was wonderful!

See you soon!