Category: Events

Trip to New York and Boston

My wife and I decided to celebrate our 29th Anniversary by going on a long desired trip to New York City.  My wife has always wanted to go but has never been able to.  The timing was perfect to be able to go to Boston, Massachusetts for the retirement ceremony of a friend at Hanscom Air Force Base.

We decided to drive on this trip because it gave us the opportunity to see many states that we’ve never been before.  One of those states was West Virginia as shown in this picture below.

Most of my family is from the Western part of the United States so we never  had a reason to go East.  I’ve never really seen much of the Eastern United States, other than Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas. We did land at JFK airport in 1991, on our way to England for the Air Force.

One of the places that we’ve never seen before but really loved was a restaurant called Bob Evans.

Apparently this is a well known restaurant around the Northeast part of the country but we had never heard of them.  I have to say, their breakfast was wonderful. We stopped at this restaurant in Cambridge, Ohio. One of the more creepy parts of our trip was when we decided to stop for the night in Springfield, Ohio.  We paid for our room and opened the door to see that someone had already been staying in this room and it had not been cleaned.  You can see how the room looked when we opened the door.

In addition to this, the bathroom was still dirty with someone else’s towels still on the floor.  After complaining at the front desk, they got us another room.  The second room had water dripping from the ceiling in the bathroom with black mold over the toilet.  The next day we drove most of the day and was excited to see this view as we entered Jersey City, NJ.

In the course of two miles, we went from wide open spaces and beautiful scenery to this.  I was a bit alarmed when we suddenly, from out of no where stopped with the bottle neck traffic.  It was New Jersey so we adapted.

We actually stayed in an Air BnB in Jersey City, NJ. People thought we were crazy because this town has such a bad reputation for being ghetto.  Well, there were parts that looked scary but the place we stayed was very nice and the people were nice as well.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the people when we got there. I’ve always heard stories about how rough people are there and not very friendly but thankfully that never really showed up in our experiences.  The next morning when we got up, we got on the PATH train from Jersey City to the World Trade Center.  You can see the crowd n this photo.

In the picture below you can see the World Trade Center station that arrived in. You can see how new everything looks after having to rebuild it after the attacks.

Of course, our first stop was the World Trade Center Memorial.

Of the many stops we made, the picture below is of Times Square.  When we arrived in NYC, our intention was to ride the subway around town. We didn’t think it through very well because what ended up being the case was this. We stopped to see one sight, and then looked at Google Earth and discovered other nearby sites, so we walked to them.  Once we got there, we looked at our map again and realized how close we were to other sites, so we walked again.  After doing this all day, we hadn’t realized just how far we walked.  By the end of the day, we had to ride the subway back because our feet were hurting so bad.  I can’t describe how much my feet hurt for days after this.  We ended up walking more than seven miles that day.

The next day we had tickets to the New York Yankees and Boston Redsox game and had planned on riding the subway all the way up to the Bronx.  When we got up that morning, our feet were still hurting so bad.  I just didn’t have it in me to walk the 3/4 mile back to the train station. I convinced my wife that we could just drive over there and pay for the parking.

Well the drive ended up being very expensive and a long commute, but we did it.  The George Washington Bridge cost us $15.00 toll, just to cross the Hudson river.  This doesn’t count the tolls on the freeway getting over there.  In this picture above, you can see the stadium as we arrived.

On this trip, we also went to Boston and along the way, we stopped at several places along the way.  As a 35 year Amateur (Ham) Radio operator, I’ve always heard of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).  It is in a town called Newington, Connecticut.  Since we were already right there, I wanted to stop and take a few pictures. This is the front of their building. We were sort of in a hurry so we didn’t go inside.

We also stopped at Plymouth Rock Massachusetts.  I really enjoyed this because of the history of the place.

After attending our friend’s retirement, we went downtown Boston to see a few sites and then have a nice dinner together.

We really had a good time on this trip, though it wasn’t long enough to see everything. We had an eight day trip, and we were traveling four of those.  Finally, on our way back home, we stopped at Niagara Falls.

We had not planned on going to Niagara Falls but along the way, we started seeing signs as we approached Buffalo, NY.  We both agreed to just drive a little out of our path and go see it before we went home.  It was an amazing site and I am glad we stopped.

This was not a well planned trip, as in preparation.  It was an idea that came up on short notice and we tried to save a little bit so that we could go on this trip without using credit.  Overall, the trip gave us some memories we’ll never forget. I do have to say that we are not that physically fit, and even though the much walking was good for us, it really wore us out.  By the time we got home, we just wanted to relax.  It was well worth it though because we hardly ever travel to visit places and it was a memory that we’ll never forget.

Fireworks in Mustang, Oklahoma

This Independence Day my wife, brother in-law and I went to Wild Horse Park in Mustang to enjoy the fireworks. It is not a public show and that is why I enjoy it so much.  This park is filled with thousands of people from all over the Oklahoma City area and they bring their own fireworks to enjoy.  The city also has many places to purchase them as well so they can reap the tax money from this exercise.

I love going to this because there are so many people doing this for hours and I’ve never seen a public display that even comes close to this.  I think Mustang has tapped into a market that is desperately wanted and created a draw from miles away.  Most cities in the area make fireworks illegal and they’ll quote all their reasons, such as safety, fire risk, etc. and those are definitely concerns that need to be factored in. I am so glad though that Mustang has realized that the tax dollars and people coming into their city is worth risking those concerns.

I have the utmost respect for their leadership for having the courage to allow their citizens the freedom to make their own choices.  How refreshing it is to see a government that doesn’t feel the need to protect us from ourselves.  I realize that people are different and desire different things.  As one that likes to live peaceably with others, I try to understand this despite my frustration at this view.  Sometimes we get our way and sometimes we don’t.  Despite my disagreement with the policy of the city that I live in, I can live with it and do what I can, where I can.

If you live in one of these cities that bans fireworks, I would definitely encourage you to go to Mustang and give it a shot.  There are a couple other areas like Choctaw that also allow it but no place that I’ve seen can compare to the organized gathering that Mustang has to offer.  They provide a large public park where people circle the perimeter and set off their fireworks in the center of the park.  Their are police and fire that circle the park periodically on utility vehicles to patrol and make sure that people use common sense. They have a strict 11:00 PM cut off time and they start circling the park around 10:40 with megaphones telling people they have 20 minutes left.  My family and I have been doing this for about 13 years and really enjoy it .  Watch the video and see the view from my vantage point. This was shot with my iPhone 8 Plus. You can see fireworks in all 360 degrees of where I am sitting.  Thank you for stopping by.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This has always been one of my favorite holidays.  It is a rare opportunity for the family to be together since many are living in remote locations.  The weather is going to be perfect for a family get together.  One of our sons will not be able to be here as he has a prior commitment. I wish him and his family well on this Thanksgiving.

In the next couple of hours we should have a big crowd with plenty of family showing up at our place. I am so thankful to have such a great family and good health.  We have so much to be thankful for.

Just this week a coworker lost his life and left his family without him. I would like to pray in Jesus’ name that his family can experience the peace that comes with knowing him.  Their family really needs some prayers.  I should cut this short so that I can go help my wife prepare for the family’s arrival.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Flying Webs


This morning, we walked out into the backyard to enjoy the coolest morning we’ve had in a long time.  I looked up to the top of the tower to see these long webs blowing in the wind from top to bottom.  This is a zoomed up picture from the ground.  Of course it was a creepy sight so I had to grab the camera and take a few shots.  To give you an idea of the length of these things, look at the beam antenna. It is 15 feet long and these webs are much longer than it.

I did some research and found this is a normal thing called ballooning, each year where spiders build webs and migrate through the winds.  Some will get caught up in the jet stream and fly for thousands of miles.  I’ve seen a lot of spider webs all over the place lately but never really paid much attention until I saw these in such great numbers and lengths on our ham radio tower.  I put myself in great danger taking this picture directly under those birds. I did it for you, the reader. No thanks necessary.

Happy Birthday to My Dad

Birthday

Yesterday we had a family get together to celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday.  His birthday isn’t for a couple more weeks but we had to settle on a date where family members could get together from out of town. We had 19 people people there to visit and it was really fun.  We had others that were not in this picture but they opted not to be posted online.  Our day was very loud.  If you’ve ever been in a room with 19 people talking loudly at the same time, you can get a sense of how it was.  We had fun and hope everyone there enjoyed it as much as I did.  It was a warm 96 degrees when taking this picture so everyone was anxious to get back inside where the air conditioner was running.  We had family that came from as far as 100 miles away to visit.

I’ve always been close to my family and wanted to say happy birthday to the best dad in the world. I just wish my mom could have been there as well.