Monday, November 17, 2014

Wrap-up of 10-day Trip from Essington PA to NOLA

Here's the website for Senior Tours.

The trip was an endurance test! Oh, my aching legs and swollen ankles.

Below is our agenda, which I just found - on Dec. 26, 2014 - crinkled up in the bottom of my pocketbook.

I had all but given up going to Yellowstone and then I read about it. FYI, Yosemite National Park is in CA.

Discussed it with Doug Chute, our escort. "It's my favorite trip," he said.

Doug was a great escort, very knowledgeable.

Did I tell you I switched my seat so I was in the very back? That's bc my ankles swelled up every nite and I was afraid of getting a blood clot.

Here comes a whole rift of pix. I'll be reading "A Year with Hemingway" by Arnold Samuelson, while the photos are loading.

 We're at the Chattanooga, Tennesse, Choo-Choo. What's that? Read all about it!

Art on buses. Reminiscent of Keith Haring.
Dreary part of town. Note phone no. on right if you wanna get a divorce.

You'd go into these huge food pavilions and choose your least favorite restaurant. The food was all unhealthy, fatty, salty, sugary. Surprisingly, Starbucks was the most popular in the pavilion shown below.
Nancy and Lenny Alpern heading for the bus. I got their email address. Bc Lenny likes jazz, I invited him to our New Directions Musical Fundraiser. He's never heard of The Bad Plus. TBP are London today playing at a jazz festival.
Window views.

There were some tumbledown shacks in the South, but I couldn't get them on the swiftly moving bus.

There are two kinds of rest stops. One are the commercial ones where you buy junk food, thothers are lovely rest stops, with restrooms and vending machines for your food. How about some Diet Coke, CocaCola, Mug Root Beer, and Dasani Water, made by CocaCola. I bought a bottle for $1.50 and kept it in my pocketbook from eating all the salty food.

In this rest stop, possibly outside of Lexington, VA, a display case showed hard hats worn by miners. That was a real education to me.

I have some cousins, some now deceased, who worked in Weirton, West Virginia, and were doctors to the coal miners. One was a judge. These men all die early - at about 50 - bc of heart disease. Find them here. Don't worry, heart disease isn't contagious, unless you're a family member.

 On Senior Tours, booze is served. I had a couple glasses of white one. And on the way home, I'd stood up and smelled all the booze above. I loved the way the Scotch smelled and had Doug bring me a Scotch and Soda.

It tasted dreadful. I can taste it right now.
 Hard to see, but this trucker had a lovely emblem of a swan with outstretched arms. Truckers were often eating as we passed by. One guy ate an apple. Another guy was sipping coffee.
 Excellent meal. Bourbon-soaked salmon. There's my Novolog at the ready. Alta and Dolores, who were in their 80s, asked when I inject.

When I know I've eaten enough to raise my blood sugar I said.

Alta is taking c/o her 60-yo son who moved in with her after he suffered a severe stroke seven years ago.

Great Breakfast from Commerce Restaurant in NOLA. I mixed the Cheese Grits in with the egg, as taught to me by my black boyfriend Curtis Branch when we lived together on California Street in San Francisco.
 Before the bus left every morning I would go for a brief stroll. So did Donna Russo.
 Really dug this little lady on a lamp post.
Public art.

Read more about the headlined article here, in this African-American and minorities newspaper.  Quite an indictment.
Interesting array of construction warnings, including odd-shaped, tall orange hazard cones.
Reminded me of Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks." Painted in 1942, the restaurant, at night fall, was supposedly in Greenwich Village. 

Aboard the bus, we played Bingo. Very clever how you slide the red markers over when your number is called. I did not expect to win and didn't.

 Now we're at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Above are gifts you can buy. I got a couple of cute postcards from Rosie the Riveter. This is when women worked outside their homes for the war effort.

What did your mom or grandmom do?

My mother worked in Cleveland at the Navy Yard. Must ask her what she did.
 Bombers hung from the ceilings. You could see them on all five levels.
 Jackets worn by famous combatants you'd never heard of.
Plane is named "Our Gal Sal."

It's a Boeing B-17 E.

Ready to enlist to fight the Axis Powers? Hop aboard this train which will take you right to boot camp.
The simulated ride takes about five minutes. Fake scenery on the left and right. 

My dad joined the US Marines.

Dad was a Staff Sergeant and a paymaster b/c he was a fast typist. Above are pay checks. He told us he read 17 books per week. Mom and he got married on a furlough to Camp Lejeune, NC, where Baby Ruthie was born.

These were games the servicemen/women played, all with war themes.

 Some of the energizing candy for the servicemen. M and Ms did not readily melt in the heat.
 Large computers.
 The great general Eisenhower.

Harley Davidson motorcycle

From their website, scoll down - Among other motorcycles made for the Army, H-D produces the unique XA 750, a motorcycle with horizontally opposed cylinders and shaft drive, designed for desert use. The contract is cancelled early due to war combat moving out of North Africa. Only 1,011 XA's are built.

 This was a cute guy named Roger.
 Now I'm back at The Breakfast Club - the Commerce. Here's Edwin who brought me the best bread pudding ever.

 We ate at Landry's, a chain restaurant in NOLA. The salad was delicious. Thousand Island dressing.
As I feared, the steak was a bit tough, but the taters n onions were delicious.

Here's Captain Jason on the swamp boat tour. He was gonna go to school to become a nurse, I believe, but got a PT job as a sea captain. The pay was so good he never left.

Very knowledgeable, I just gave him the highest rating. 

Not everyone liked the trip. Read the other comments.

Met these lovely newlyweds on the swamp boat.

They met in Seattle. Her family is from Japan, so she moved with Ian (?) to Vancouver, where the immigration policy is far better than the States.

They photographed me holding the baby gator with taped mouth.

How do we know, I asked Captain Jason, that he likes to be held?

He'd wiggle around if he didn't like it, said Captain Aheb.

I really dug the scenery.

A bayou, said Captain Queeg of the Caine Mutiny, as played by Bogart, is a naturally occuring waterway, while a canal is manmade like the Erie Canal or the mule-barge canal in Lambertville, NJ.

 Easy to spot gator. I was always the last to find them.
 Above is the Alpha Male.
This, I believe, is a downed Cypress Tree, one of the oldest trees in the world.

See the vultures roosting in a tree?

They eat carrion... raccoons and other critters in the forests beyond. Should a person die there, the vultures smack their lips.

Atavistic photo of Shrimp Po-Boy at Commerce across the street from LaQuinta Hotel, not my fave hotel, terrible Internet connection, and a continental breakfast that included undercooked hard-boiled eggs, where you peeled off half the g'dam egg.

Unlike my departure, I was immediately met in Essington, PA, by Mr. Ed Baki, orig from Lebanon. He moved to - of all places - Liberia - which he said was once a great country, until a coup took it over. He owned a huge store and had two pharmacists - one from India - work for him.

His late wife's name was Ruth. She died many years ago while on vacation. She got a blood clot in her lung and by the time she got to the hospital, the vultures were waiting.

Ed is a freelance driver. His two sons also emigrated to the US from Liberia. One was expecting him shortly and he wanted to leave me.

Ed, I said, please wait until my boyfriend picks me up.

Finally, I saw Scott's White Honda. He'd gone in the restaurant, and I went in and got him.


Ah, the work I did today. Unpacked everything. Washed all the clothes I took with me.

Went to the Giant for some food, but frankly my dear, I didn't feel so hot. I ordered Chicken Corn Chowder

sat in the Coffeeshop and ate it, then after that I drank

Chocolate soy milk. Yum!


  1. Trip sounds like it was good. I would have to handcuff my husband, maybe drug him, brainwash him, etc. to get him to take a Sr. Tour. I am realistic. That's who we are. I suggested we try a tour and he freaked out.

  2. same with me boyfriend scott. women have more patience b/c we're moms.