A trip to Delphi Club, Abaco. November 28, 2017

As Steve needed to continue his streak since March if 2016, of a fish a month, we booked a trip to The Delphi Club in Abaco, in The Bahamas. It’s always a great trip to Delphi as the accommodations, cuisine and guests are top notch. Many guests are returnees, so it’s always fun to see who will be there that we enjoy seeing. There is one guest who Steve prefers not to see, we were lucky that it was a Mr. Blank free trip!

We decided to travel out of White Plains airport, and got an early morning pickup of 5:45. I’m not an early riser, so the night before I took my Ambien at 7 pm, hoping I would fall asleep by nine, and sleep through the night. It was successful, and I woke up alert, and in a good mood at 5!

At the airport, we saw this young man waiting to board our flight to Fort Lauderdale. I got quite a kick out of his sweatshirt! We had no problems with our flight, and purchasing the extended leg room, made the flight twitch free for me.  We had a three and a half layover scheduled in FLL.  Happily, unlike last year when our flight was delayed on the tarmac and we missed the flight to Marsh Harbour and booked a room at a flea bag nightmare of a Days Inn (which we paid for but didn’t stay in!) all worked out well.  We decided to have lunch at Shula Burger, a sit down fast food restaurant near our gate.  Here are pictures of our lunch, Chicken Caesar salad for me, and a mushroom Swiss burger for Steve ( 4/10, slightly stale bun and over cooked).B2FF43E7-9F67-46C8-B939-CB916AD4D7FF

A trip to Storm King Art Center, November 4, 2017

MM and GG belong to the Curator’s Council at Storm King and one of the benefits is a private tour of the exhibitions with a Curator for ten guests.  MM had picked the perfect day, not all the fall leaves were down, and the temperatures were around 55.  It was a little warm in the sun, and then cool in the shade.  My outfit of Patagucci Nanopuff vest and jacket was constantly zipped, unzipped, taken off and then put back on again!

Traffic was beastly on the roads, to the Park, and I was wondering if their might be some kind of local event going on. Some people had even opened their lawns for parking!  I was going to ask what was going on, but figured we would soon find out what the hold up was.

Although Steve and I have lived in the area for over 37 years, we have never been to StormKingArtcenter.org  It is comprised of almost 500 acres interspersed with large pieces of sculpture. It was always in the back of  my mind to visit, but never really reached the top of the “I must do this!” list.

Here is a picture of our group looking at a piece by Mark Di Suvero. You can hear the New York State Thruway in the distance.  Much of the land was mined for the construction of the thruway.  What is left has been sculpted by landscape architects into rolling hills with plantings of grasses and trees. It was really gorgeous.

Here is a collection of pieces by David Smith.  He had a farm in Bolton Landing that I got to tour when I went on the Bolton Landing Historical Tour. On that tour the docents were going on and on about the famous David Smith, and his collection that was at Storm King.  The farm had a hodge podge of metal sculptures all over the ground.  The exhibit at Storm King was much more visually appealing.  I tried to look through my old photos, to show you what the farm looked like.  I must have deleted them as they were so ugly!

This piece was from Ursula Von Rydingsvard.  It was made of cedar and bronze, and I could almost smell the wood through my clogged sinuses.  This was Steve’s favorite piece. I thought it looked like an elephant. You can see the pencil markings to show where the pieces were to line up during construction on site! 

Here is a picture of our group sitting on Momo Taru by Isamu Noguchi. The granite is from Japan, where the piece was created.  Can you imagine how difficult this must have been to ship? Momo Taru was touchable, and in fact you were encouraged to do so.  Many of the guests climb into the peach pit, where it is supposed to have “special aural resonance”.  You didn’t think I knew that by myself did you?  Any way, we didn’t know that  and didn’t all climb into sing.  In fact none of us climbed in. I really liked feeling the different pieces of granite, some parts were smooth, some rough.

This next piece, Free Ride Home by Kenneth Snelson was my favorite.  Our docent explained that in some of the workshops, people are encouraged to replicate it. The workshops use coffee drink stirrers and rubber bands. I think that plastic straws and rubber bands would work equally well. This was a don’t touch exhibit. One of the group, not me(!) touched it and I jumped right in to tsk tsk him!  

The Pietrarubbia Group was created by Arnaldo Pomodoro. It was made of bronze, steel, fiberglass and marble. It was also visitor friendly. and the guys had fun opening the sculpture. It was touch friendly and could be opened or closed like a book!

Our last piece to observe was by Louise Nevelson, City on the High Mountain. I thought the placement of the piece was perfect. It was right in front of the visitor center and I thought the lines of the roof and the colors really matched the piece well. Here you can see Steve telling CB about how big the fish are that he catches.  MM is shaking her head in disgust.  “Are those boys talking about fishing again?”

Afterwards we were off to dinner.  No pictures of that.  With ten people I would have busted my blog with all the food pictures!

 

Copper Beeches Meeting in Philadelphia, October 27, 2017

Steve has always enjoyed reading Sherlock Holmes stories, and so off we went to Philadelphia for the fall meeting of the Copper Beeches.  The Copper Beeches, until this fall were a men only Scion(group) of Sherlock Holmes Afficianados. Some times we made a weekend of the meetings, but as this time there was going to be a meeting Sunday night by our scion (The Hudson Valley Scionists) we elected to make it a one nighter.

We drove down to Philly in the trusted van, and accompanying us were LL and CL. Both are crazy about Holmes, and were founders of the Hudson Valley Scion.  LL had been to the Philly meeting before, but as CLis a female this was her first opportunity to attend. CL was a little nervous as generally one is required to prepare a toast to present at the meeting on short notice. Steve had related to me that previous toasts had been quite creative, rapping ala Hamilton, or sung by operatic quality singers. The pictures in this post are a combination of CL’s and mine.


Steve and I checked into the Union League (pictured above), where we were going to meet CB and JB.  CB is really into Holmes, and often dresses in Holmesian themed clothes.  (At the meetings, mind you!). Last year one of the brass railings was stolen from the front steps of the Union League, there was quite an uproar regarding this.

Every time we attend this event we see a couple in their wedding attire getting photographed.  tonight was no exception!

While walking  the guys to the meeting we saw a car I had never seen before.  I asked the driver what a Saleen was, he told me to google it!   Well it is a fancy Mustang, and looked pretty hot! The car had quite the motor rumble also. As you can tell by the vanity plate, the driver was pretty pleased to own it!Here are Steve and CB on the steps of the Philadelphia Racquet Club.  In the Lacrosse bag was as a set of single sticks that Steve and CB were going to give a demonstration on at the meeting. The hat is a Deerstalker.  It looks great on CB!  Here is a photo of CB giving part of his talk.  Steve was waiting to the side to demonstrate.  

Here is a picture of some of the attendees.  As I wasn’t there, I can’t tell you why some are seated, and some are staring at the seated lady with grey hair!
JB and I had dinner reservations at the Union League. The food there is really good, but you either have to be a member or be staying at the hotel to dine there. Last time Steve and I made hotel reservations to late at the hotel and were closed out and JB had to treat  me, as we couldn’t share as the tab goes on your hotel bill.  Tonight was going to be my treat.  We each started with drinks, JB had a very large Martini.  I had a Blackberry Bourbon Julep that was delicious!  It was large also, although I made a mess splashing on the starched white linen tablecloth, I finished my drink!  We couldn’t get enough of the Parmesan crackers, and the bread was also quite tasty.  In fact we kept requesting more refills of the crackers! I was hoping the wàiter would slip me a cracker filled goody bag at the end of dinner but no luck! JB and I shared the green salad, JB had the cod, with green cabbage, squash and golden raisins. I had the sea bass with black truffle, gem lettuce and green apple.Here is JB taking a picture of me, I hoped I looked nice.  For dessert we shared the Mont Blanc, coffee chestnut chiffon, Caramelia milk chocolate creamaux and pomegranate coulis.  We were also given some more treats, in case we weren’t already thoroughly stuffed.


JB and CB had to leave early the next morning to attend another Sherlock meeting in Washington DC.  Steve and I had breakfast at the hotel with LL and CL.  Here is another lovely picture of our trip that CL took.

Copper Beeches Meeting in Philadelphia, October 27, 2017

Steve has always enjoyed reading Sherlock Holmes stories, and so off we went to Philadelphia for the fall meeting of the Copper Beeches.  The Copper Beeches, until this fall were a men only Scion(group) of Sherlock Holmes Afficianados. Some times we made a weekend of the meetings, but as this time there was going to be a meeting Sunday night by our scion (The Hudson Valley Scionists) we elected to make it a one nighter.

 

We drove down to Philly in the trusted van, and accompanying us were LL and CL. Both are crazy about Holmes, and were founders of the Hudson Valley Scion.  LL had been to the Philly meeting before, but as CLis a female this was her first opportunity to attend. CL was a little nervous as generally one is required to prepare a toast to present at the meeting on short notice. Steve had related to me that previous toasts had been quite creative, rapping ala Hamilton, or sung by operatic quality singers. CL was kind enough to share a number of photos that she took of our adventure. 


Steve and I checked into the Union League (pictured above), where we were going to meet CB and JB.  CB is really into Holmes, and often dresses in Holmesian themed clothes.  (At the meetings, mind you!). Last year one of the brass railings was stolen from the front steps of the Union League, there was quite an uproar regarding this.

Every time we attend this event we see a couple in their wedding attire getting photographed.  tonight was no exception! 

While walking  the guys to the meeting we saw a car I had never seen before.  I asked the driver what a Saleen was, he told me to google it!   Well it is a fancy Mustang, and looked pretty hot! The car had quite the motor rumble also. As you can tell by the vanity plate, the driver was pretty pleased to own it!Here are Steve and CB on the steps of the Philadelphia Racquet Club.  In the Lacrosse bag was as a set of single sticks that Steve and CB were going to give a demonstration on at the meeting. The hat is a Deerstalker.  It looks great on CB, doesn’t it?Here is a photo of CB giving part of his talk.  Steve was waiting to the side to demonstrate.  

Here is a picture of some of the attendees.  As I wasn’t there, I can’t tell you why some are seated, and some are staring at the seated lady with grey hair!
JB and I had dinner reservations at the Union League. The food there is really good, but you either have to be a member or be staying at the hotel to dine there. Last time Steve and I made hotel reservations to late at the hotel and were closed out and JB had to treat  me, as we couldn’t share as the tab goes on your hotel bill.  Tonight was going to be my treat.  We each started with drinks, JB had a very large Martini.  I had a Blackberry Bourbon Julep that was delicious!  It was large also, although I made a mess splashing on the starched white linen tablecloth, I finished my drink!  We couldn’t get enough of the Parmesan crackers, and the bread was also quite tasty.  In fact we kept requesting more refills of the crackers! I was hoping the wàiter would slip me a cracker filled goody bag at the end of dinner but no luck! JB and I shared the green salad, JB had the cod, with green cabbage, squash and golden raisins. I had the sea bass with black truffle, gem lettuce and green apple.Here is JB taking a picture of me, I hoped I looked nice.  For dessert we shared the Mont Blanc, coffee chestnut chiffon, Caramelia milk chocolate creamaux and pomegranate coulis.  We were also given some more treats, in case we weren’t already thoroughly stuffed.  


JB and CB had to leave early the next morning to attend another Sherlock meeting in Washington DC.  Steve and I had breakfast at the hotel with LL and CL.  Here is another lovely picture of our trip that CL took.  

Maasai Village at Amboseli continued. July 21, 2017

I ran out of room on my last post, so we continue on here.  We crouch down low and enter the hut.  The hut is basically three rooms, a kitchen, a sleeping area, and another area with the pails.  I wasn’t sure what was in the pails, water maybe?  The sleeping area was behind the sticks in the photo with the fire.  The bed was a piece of cow hide, it looked really small as the Maasai men were pretty tall.  Not as tall as Steve, but Steve is six foot two.  The Maasai practice polygamy, I’m not sure if both wives would be in one hut or not.  If they did, I can imagine difficulties in such small huts!  After our tour of the hut Sally spied some baby goats.  They were adorable, only a few days old.  Some if them had their umbilical cords still attached!  Everyone held them but me.  All I could think about was immigration authorities asking me if I had any contact with wildlife.  I can’t lie, and I didn’t want to be put in an awkward situation.  ​After we played with the goats it was time to get the hard sell of Maasai trinkets.  I didn’t realize we were supposed to bargain, and overpaid.  I didn’t want to make any if the wives selling jewelry feel bad, and only bought some if what I was wearing from the greeting ceremony.  I should have been more picky as one if my necklaces was pretty beat up and missing parts.  I was planning on giving them to Sally, this way she was going to easily warn her students to be careful as one if her prior groups of students broke the necklace.  I never said I couldn’t let others lie, I just wouldn’t lie!  

We entered the school house after the hard sell of trinkets.  The kids were adorable, here is the tail end of th​eir version of the ABC song.  Sorry, I didn’t get the whole thing, I didn’t act quick enough.  Afterward we were asked to sign up to get on the email list and to donate funds for the school. As we overpaid for the jewelry and other souvenirs, I declined. The money all goes into one pot anyway.  There was a backpack smashed on the floor, I’m not sure how much education these kids got beyond the song.  By now we were happy to leave, between the hard sell, the knowledge of polygamy, male circumcision at thirteen and the female genital mutilation, it was an interesting but uncomfortable morning.  

A visit to a Maasai  Village in Amboseli Park, Kenya. July 21, 2017

After breakfast we drove to a Maasai Village in the park.  You can see the school in the background.  Some of the older school children were playing soccer.  You can bet that Collin wanted to join in!  

​Amboselli comes from the Maasai word “empusel” the grey layer of volcanic ash from Mt. Kilimanjaro.  It was really windy in Amboseli, when I come back next time I’m bringing clear contractor glasses.  ​

​Here is the welcoming committee from the village.  There was a charge of $20 per person to visit.  Most of the males of the village were with the cattle that graze in the park.  They all had shaved heads.  Steve was given a staff and joined the group.  ​

This gentleman was the don of the chief.  He was the guide to the village.  These shoes are the traditional sandals worn by the Maasai.  They are made from either leather or tires.  We enter through the gate.  The fences are woven from the Acacia trees.  No one gets in except through the gate!  Women make the fences and the huts.  The stucco on the sides of the buildings are made from dung and mud.  Inside the compound, also called Manyatta, is a central pen for the cattle, and one for the goats.  ​

Would you like to see how the Maasai build a fire?  Of course you would!  ​ Here is a great profile of Steve bedecked in his Maasai beads and the staff that was lent to him.  Would you like to see the inside of one of the  huts?  Of course you’d like to see this too!  Watch your head!  Oops!  Looks like I ran out of space and need to make this at least a two parter!

Tortilis in Amboseli, early morning July 21, 2017

We got up early for our first full day in the park.  Coffee and biscuits (cookies) were delivered to our tent before sunrise.  Off we went in our Land Cruiser to look for animals.  It was cool and we wrapped ourselves in blankets, trying to stay cozy until

the sun rose higher in the sky.

Th​e elephants are voracious eaters.  They wrap their trunks around branches, pulling the trees down or push them over with their shoulders.  Then they rip the trees up and eat the roots.  A section of Amboseli was surrounded by electric wire to prevent the elephants from entering the area and destroying the trees.  ​

​Here is a video of a Cape buffalo in the swamp.  ​

​Mama Buffalo and baby are on the way to the swamp for the day.  You can see little guy nursing on Mama Elephant as they walk.You will notice that their aren’t many trees in this picture.  The elephants have killed them all. ​

​We saw our first spotted hyenas. Not sure who are uglier, hyenas or wart hogs.  Striped hyenas are nocturnal and we never saw them on our trip.  ​

​The elephants made it to the swamp and this is where they would spend their day, eating swamp grass and visiting with the egrets. Soon it was time to head back to camp for breakfast. Here are Collin, Sally and Steve checking out the ingredients for omelettes. Our stuff was on the table that Sally had picked out. As you recall from our adventures in South America, I am always trying to sit at the table with the best view.  Sally had picked another table but I overruled her. She was a good sport about my constant attempts to get “the perfect spot”!   It was great fun to eat our breakfast and to see the happenings at the water hole.  Breakfast was delicious.  I especially liked the little bananas.  Next up a trip to a Masai Village.