Tony and Margee’s
Aug – 2012
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Tony and Margee Gaeddert’s New England Adventure August, 2012
Friday, August 10th, 2012
Off to catch a 6:00am flight Tony and Margee Gaeddert were ready to fly into Washington Dulles airport to begin an adventure RVing around New England (Virginia, Philadelphia, Boston, Massachusetts and Cape Cod/Martha’s Vineyard, New Jersey, New York and Washington D.C.)
The RV was ready and waiting for them as they picked it up in Manassas, VA, not far from D.C. It was 25 foot long; larger than the one they rented for their last adventure to CA. Unfortunately, when the attendant turned on the generator it failed to work…but nothing stops a Gaeddert from an adventure! So, off they went braving it without the generator and knowing a motel or two could help them out when needed. (Adventurers…not explorers!)
Saturday, August 11th, 2012
First stop was Philadelphia, PA. They parked the RV at the train station and then commuted into Philly 20 miles by rail. The parking was free and the station was clean and easy to purchase a ticket from the vending service. The wait was on an outdoor platform and it was beautiful weather. On the drive to Philly the highways are lined with thick forests of trees on each side, so the view is continuous foliage with a canal or river byway now and then.
Arriving in Philly Tony and Margee walked to the reserved tour bus. The open top bus tour included 21 stops around the beautiful historic city of Philadelphia. Highlights of the ride included Independence Hall, the Museum of Art with its daunting “Rocky Steps”, Waterworks spill way with its lovely view from the top of a hill, gardens, statues, works of art, Liberty Bell, churches, cemeteries, fountains, parks, historic homes, architecture and the Delaware River, filled with ships, docks and even a dragon boat race as part of an Asian Festival. Tony really enjoyed watching the dragon boats. He is on the Epworth Villa dragon boat team in OKC on the Oklahoma River.
Philly was filled with 30,000 union protestors and their families that weekend spilling over into all the areas of the city wearing brightly colored Union T-shirts. Groups of them would run up and down the Museum steps carrying large banners for their cause. Tony and Margee walked up the “Rocky” steps and then ran around in a circle like Sly did in the movie. It was a great view of the park below, where the stage was setup for the union speakers and the crowds of spectators.
The tour included entertaining tour guides with interesting tidbits about historical Philly. The weather heated up so they liked riding in the open air breeze above the charming clean city of Love! They could hop on and off to venture into the many places of historic interest. Independence Hall was a favorite site for them, the informative National Park guide made history come alive as she told of the forefathers plan for the colonies to become independent from British rule! The rooms were furnished in period pieces and the original presidential chair was on view with its “rising sun” carving that Benjamin Franklin spoke of as our nation was a rising sun away from a stifling monarchy!
The Liberty Bell was enclosed behind a glass building for all to see from the outside. That is the closest the Gaedderts could view the historic cracked bell, the indoor viewing line was a city block long!
Of course the name you will hear most often in Philly was Benjamin Franklin!! They lost count of how many times they heard the forefather’s name. He also has many statues of his likeness throughout the city and is beloved.
They hopped off the bus and hopped back to the train to hop on the RV to have dinner and rest and then on to Boston, but first an overnight stay in a motel. Whew! It was a hot day of hopping! But a true thrill for any American that loves their country!
They pulled into an RV park in a quaint little hamlet in the Massachusetts countryside. The evening was nice and cool and quiet. Time for a sit at the picnic table to rest, eat and read (Tony on the computer of course!) to prepare for the journey ahead. The park had been nearly destroyed by a tornado a year ago so the owners were still restoring all the buildings and cleaning up the hundreds of felled trees. It was a peaceful restful night until Margee slipped and fell against a bench and nearly crushed her ribs! So with ice packs and Tylenol she made it through the rest of the journey.
Sunday, August 12th, 2012
Up early to trek on to Boston, MA. They parked the RV at the train station and rode 20 miles into the city of Boston by train. Everywhere is filled with trees! All the highways, train ways, and byways!!! Green and beautiful lush trees! No way could you see for miles like Oklahoma!
Once in the city Tony and Margee arrived at Boston Common, a lush green park surrounded with historical buildings and statues and a large children’s wading pool and a carousal gave a picturesque view of the waiting city. They hopped on an open air tour bus to enjoy the many views of a fabulous city! Clean, friendly and charming. The Boston Harbor took their breath away with its tall ships, battle ship, sailboats and yachts! The bay was clean clear water that lured them to the edge of the piers to soak up the sun, sounds and smells. The docks were manicured and landscaped so colorfully, with nautical flags and lots of places to stroll or sit and rest. Charming bars and restaurants awaited the visitors with their catch of the day.
On every corner in Boston sits a Dunkin Donuts store! They originated close by in another town so they are plentiful in the city…the natives like the coffee but not the donuts!
Tony and Margee were ready for lunch and what better place than the Cheers Pub located by Boston Commons! They stepped down the stairs pretending to be Sam and Diane meeting for the first time and falling in “lust” with one another!! The pub was so charming and quaint with its bar and seating. The front of the bar and its sign were filmed in Boston, however the bar was created in LA. This bar was an actual bar dating to the 19th century however. They were escorted to the back dining room for a Samuel Adams brew and a juicy burger. Yummo!
Back onto the touring bus for a ride around the city again. They visited the Constitution museum where a special exhibit of Bruce Springsteen’s career was on view. His corvette was parked inside the museum at the entrance to the exhibit. The Gaedderts wanted to see the show about the constitution in the theater. A narrator told them the history of America’s first years as the forefathers made that bold decision to break away from Britain. The video, photographic show was informative and well done. As they left the museum it started to pour rain, so they stayed inside the museum and gazed upon the Independence Hall across the mall and the sound of the liberty bell ringing in the air!
Boston Harbor has a tour of a ship that is a replica of the one of the ships that took part in the Boston Tea Party. This ship was used to reenact the history of the colonial rebels as they boarded in disguise on that fateful night and dumped the tea into the harbor crying “Huzzah!” The tour was conducted by costumed colonial narrators and actors portraying the story of the historical event, while never getting out of character. The Gaedderts were even given complimentary tea to sip at the colonial styled restaurant with the view of the ship and harbor while waiting for the story to begin. They were given cards that represented a specific colonial person that boarded that ship, a white feather to help them disguise themselves and played the part as they watched the reenactment of the uprising of the colonists over taxation as they got aboard and grabbed the crates of tea and hoisted them overboard to the harbor water below! After their brave deed they enjoyed a show inside a theater with a conversation between King George of England and John Adams portraits! The portraits came to “life” inside the frames as they watched and listened to the King become angrier and Mr. Adams arguing that all that was left to do was to go to war!
Tony and Margee walked and rode along the freedom trail, an actual brick line around the city passing by churches, homes and shops that were preserved from colonial times resting among the modern architecture of bustling Boston. It was a clean, friendly city of history, parks and lovely shops.
The Gaedderts rested in a motel after picking up the RV from the train station. A little break from RV living, but not too long, they love the open road and the convenience of their mobile home away from home.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Arriving into Plymouth, MA the Gaedderts enjoyed a brilliant sunny day of ocean views, tall ships and an historic rock! What a lovely town, friendly, clean, free ocean view RV parking and yummy lobster! Margee wanted to stay and paint the historic piers and seashore but alas Tony’s itinerary beckoned them on! Hopping aboard a trolley they enjoyed the history and views of the hilly, green town. The harbor has a replica of a ship that brought the first settlers to America. Tony and Margee could board and walk on top, bottom and mid-decks to see replicas of ship cargo and furnishings. Actors dressed in authentic costume portrayed passengers, shipmates and deckhands and stayed in character so that one could ask them questions about the long ride from England to the new land. One deckhand had two changes of clothes, one for summer and one for winter. He didn’t wear his shoes because they would become soggy and wet as he worked on the decks. As they peered over one side to see the harbor a ship of rowdy school children pretended to shoot water cannons at them saying “Give us your gold!” How those brave women and men endured such a long, dangerous trip by sea is hard to believe.
Plymouth Rock is enshrined by a monument with an open air view. It rests on the sand displaying its 1690 stamp. The rock is only the top of a large rock that was used to moor a ship or two. Tony and Margee climbed up the hill steps directly above the rock to a beautiful view of the harbor. An historical marker was planted there by the Native Americans for the location of their annual protest against the genocide of their peoples by the early settlers.
It was time to relax and rest awhile by the ocean view and soak up the sounds of gentle waves, birds soaring above and distant voices of ancestor ghosts that floated on the sea air.
The Gaedderts rolled into a lovely wooded RV park in MA not far from Martha’s Vineyard to spend two nights “camping”, the RV had a microwave, refrigerator, gas stove, two sinks, bathroom, shower, two full beds, dining table and benches, clothes closet, lots of storage cabinets, cookware, and an easy chair, plenty of overhead lighting and heat and air. So I guess you really couldn’t call it camping! It was fun to eat at the table and relax in the RV in the evening. Each site had a picnic table also that Margee could enjoy sitting at and reading her Kindle in the open air after dinner. Some nights they would watch a movie together on the iPad. Ahhhh camping in 2012!
Wednesday August 15th, 2012
Up early to get a complimentary shuttle ride from the park to the ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard. The ferry was huge and filled with crowds of people. The view of the harbor was beautiful, loaded with yachts and ships and boats of all sizes. Some stacked three stories high! The ferry cruised out into the ocean and it was a breezy beautiful trip to the island. A lighthouse greeted them on the way and plenty of souring seagulls hitching a ride on top of the ferry now and then. They seemed to want to join a ride with the passengers and say have fun today on our island!
The picturesque harbor and towns of Martha’s Vineyard glistened in the sun. Sandy beaches peeked out from the piers and people were sunbathing and riding the waves on their boogie boards.
Tony and Margee walked to the top of the hill to see a vista of ocean water surrounded by Victorian style homes sitting on manicured lawns and parks. Sweet island living. They hopped on an open top bus to see the island sites.
After touring the island they got off the bus in the small town of Oak Bluffs. It was packed with shops and restaurants and lots of tourists. The skies darkened and then showered them with rain as they made a dash under an awning to sit and relax on a bench and look down the winding streets filled with quaint shops and boutiques.
The rain stopped but the sky stayed cloudy as they hopped on the bus. The next bus stop unloaded them at a small airport. A busy little restaurant was filled with diners and the airplane hangars sat around the back. Tony searched for the pilots and Margee prayed for a clear sky. They sky showered them again and then cleared! The pilots opened a hangar door to a beauty of a biplane, all shiny red and looked brand new! They checked all systems go and Tony and Margee slipped into the front seats, pulled on the leather hats and goggles, strapped in and looked out onto the grassy runway to an adventure of a lifetime for them. The pilot navigated from the seat behind them and the propeller buzzed and they made a gentle glide down the grassy runway into the air. They sat in the open air and looked down to a crystal ocean and sandy beaches below as the pilot told them all about the sites as they felt the windy breeze and watched the propeller swirl in front of them. Soaring up over the celebrity homes of Lady GaGa, David Lettermen, Meg Ryan, Spike Lee and Diane Sawyer was a treat to see. (The pilot told them later that David Lettermen was one of his passengers and insisted on as many loops and twirls as possible!!!) This was a thrill for Tony and Margee to be floating in the air in a biplane on a beautiful sunny afternoon. It was an anniversary trip for them celebrating 38 years of marriage. What better way than to spend it snuggled close feeling the breeze in a biplane over an island! Tony used a GoPro camera on a stick to capture the adventure by video. The flight was 30 minutes of site seeing. There were seals sunning on sand bars, huge sting rays swimming, a sunken ship that had just uncovered not too long before, and miles of trees, beaches, towns, ocean and fluffy white clouds to fly through all as “eye candy.” As smooth as glass they floated down and landed back on the grassy runway with the memory of floating above the earth together.
The next stop was the beach close by the airport. As they hopped off the bus three large military helicopters flew over them and landed right on the grassy runway they had just been on. The ocean lay below the sandy hills that were covered with berry bushes and wild flowers and grasses, just so lovely. The sand was perfect and the breeze was cooling, people were bathing and lounging by the water. Tony and Margee waded into the surf and splashed around to cool their toes and enjoy the gorgeous view. They strolled along the beach and carved “T hearts M” in the sand, smooched and put on their shoes and headed back to the tour. As they waited for the bus a tanned senior couple paraded by in swimsuits, sans cover-ups, and marched right up the hill to the beach like teenagers. Again Island living is sweet!
Time for lobster and brew, sitting at an open air bar watching the world go by, every foreign accent possible from the site seeing tourists, Tony and Margee enjoyed a lazy, fulfilling lunch.
Back on the ferry ride with cloudy, softly rainy skies the Gaedderts glided along satisfied with their journey on Martha’s Island, named by a father after his little girl a long time ago.
The night’s sleep in the RV was refreshing as the rain returned to tap on the roof and clean the travel dust away.
Thursday August 16, 2012
It was a full day of traveling on highways to New York City. The Gaedderts drove around the outskirts of NYC to stay in an RV park in Jersey City, New Jersey. It took them almost 2 hours just to cross the George Washington Bridge. Some of the tolls were 26 dollars! As they arrived into the park the view of NYC loomed across the river. The new tower being slowly constructed at Ground Zero was sparkling in the sun and looked mammoth even from that view. The park was not really a park but a parking lot by a beautiful harbor called Liberty. An outdoor café and bar sat next to the docks and lots of ships and boats were anchored bobbing in the breeze.
It was early enough in the afternoon to get dressed and ferry over to NYC! Tony and Margee visited the 911 Memorial. It is breathtaking to be among the new buildings and tower and to gaze down into the pools of water and fountains that disappear into darkness. It is a fitting tribute to those lives lost. Each pool is in the place of the twin towers. The emotion hits you as you step up to see all the names carved around the edges of the pool of the victims of terrorism on our US ground. One new building will house the museum and inside several beams and stairways were left from the destroyed buildings to be on display. The park surrounding the buildings is so clean, contemporary in design and so peaceful.
The Gaedderts ventured onto the NYC streets and enjoyed all the sites, sounds and smells of NYC. It is one of their favorite cities to visit. They enjoyed a meal at the Wall Street harbor sitting outside watching the ships and boats swirl around Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty in the distance. A long walk on the dock and back to the ferry at South Street harbor, to a view of Brooklyn Bridge at dusk. The twinkling lights of sky rise buildings and harbor boats surrounded them as they waiting to return by a speedy ferry to their RV home.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Up and ready to hit NYC again the Gaedderts rushed over by ferry boat and hopped on a tour bus around NYC. Rockefeller Center was the first stop. A farmer’s market was setup where the Christmas tree stands each holiday. A bounty of veggies, fruits, flowers and homemade baked goods awaited them as they walked around the center. On the other side of the area used as an ice rink in winter they could see the lush fountains and gardens filled with trees, exotic flowers and foliage. A stop by Margee’s favorite chocolate store and on to Central Park was a must. They hopped off at The Plaza hotel across from Central Park to gander at the grandeur! Such a magnificent hotel and shops! A wonderful bookstore filled with books of art is perched upstairs as one climbs the marble staircase. Did they just hear Madeline running through the hallways?
They strolled into Central Park to a green peaceful beauty of ponds, giant rocks and a carnival setup where the ice rink glistens in the winter. Tony and Margee climbed onto one of the giant rocks to a view of the park and the surrounding billionaire homes and apartments.
After stopping for lunch of yummy deli fare
they were excited to walk to the Eugene O’Neil Theater for the
Broadway showing of “The Book of Mormon.” Tony arranged for great
seats in the lovely theater.
On to Times Square for the evening, hanging around and people watching, Margee kissed a NYC cop on the cheek, Tony took pictures and laughed! Eating yummy Gelato from a vendor next to the neon signed police station and resting on the large stadium steps was a perfect finish to a NYC visit and just being one with the city.
To Margee’s delight she was able to see her college buddy Melissa Shaw. Margee and Melissa have been emailing for a few years. Melissa lives in New Jersey about an hour from the Liberty Harbor, so she drove up to see them that evening. It was a real joy to visit with her and catch up on almost 40 years of passed time! They sat by the harbor and had drinks then chatted, chatted and chatted some more! Melissa is the same wonderful soul that Margee remembers and looks great and is happy!
It was a peaceful night at the harbor and the rain gently tapped again on the roof to lull them to pleasant dreams of theater, deli food, and crowds of people, memorials, tours, friends and most of all love of being together.
Saturday, August 18th, 2012
Tony wished Margee Happy Anniversary bright and early!!!
Long drive day to Washington D.C. to a lovely RV park filled with trees and flower gardens. It was a huge park that had a store, swimming pool, miniature golf, and recreation center.
They hopped on a bus to D.C., boarded a subway train into the city and arrived just north of the great mall. It was a beautiful day and getting hotter. Tony wanted to walk around the mall and see all the sites he could in a marathon venture…Margee got plumb tuckered out…whew, hot and exhausted they saw the Washington monument, and the White House. Hello Barack, Michelle and family! They could see the first lady’s flourishing vegetable garden on the south side of the White House lawn surrounded by lush green grass and beautiful trees and landscaping.
A couple and their wedding attendants were getting photographs in front of the Washington Monument and Tony and Margee were hugging and smooching as they watched the couple walk away to their first day of marriage, as the Gaedderts talked about their first day of marriage 38 years ago that day!
Pooped and ready to rest they got back on the subway, hopped on the bus and strolled to their RV to cuddle and quietly celebrate a happy life together…RV style!
Sunday, August 19th, 2012
They were ready for another day of fun in D.C. by city bus, Metro subway, and to open air bus tour. Boarding at the great mall they perched above glorious Union Station with its mammoth architecture and sculptured frieze. The Capitol loomed next with its all American face shining in the cloudy sky. They stopped at the Lincoln Memorial to climb the steps to see a sculpture of the hero sitting magnificent gazing toward the Washington Monument. They decided to sit and have lunch at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial in a sidewalk café while gazing up the hill at the inscription of their state of Oklahoma along with all the 50 states proudly on view.
The Gaedderts were given rain ponchos from the tour guides and it was so helpful since the heavens opened and begin to pour as they strolled around the Vietnam and Korean memorials. They braved the top of the open air bus and just let it rain on them as they viewed the Pentagon and Air Force memorial. Remembering the drought they had experienced at home for the past two months in OKC the rain was refreshing. The tour covered all the hot spots and then the rain started to slow and the Gaedderts walked up Capitol Hill and looked at the dome that represents liberty for all! They walked by the south side of the Capitol stepped down to ride the Metro Subway and then to catch the bus ride to the cozy RV for dinner.
Monday, August 20th, 2012
They returned the RV with reluctance the next morning all shiny and clean. Thanking the staff they hustled into a taxi cab and watched the tree lined highway circle into Dulles airport at the American airlines gates and checked their bags, got some good coffee and settled down for a flight home.
Freedom to travel and freedom to enjoy life as Americans the Gaedderts saw what our American history had created for them. They were two travelers grateful to live in a sweet country of liberty…God Bless America!
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