New Weekend: New Adventure 

On our way to the East Coast with a co-workers whale from her office. She’s never been to Jersey, so I decided to bring her whale. It’s the same thing – really!! 

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California Dreamin’ – Pt 2

Sunday afternoon was spent leisurely walking along the bay. We ventured over to Hyde Street Pier to look at some of the historic ships.

The history of this city is presented every where you look. The buildings, the boats, the trolleys (which I did not get to ride!), the homes…just every where.

The smell of the bay – it’s pretty much the same smell as on the East Coast. No surprise there! Fish, fish, and umm, more fish!

KODAK Digital Still Camera           Ok – so this is a seal..

The houses aren’t cookie cutters in styles or colors, but they all fit perfectly together along the strip.

The youngest teen stopped in his tracks when he saw the first of a few outdoor workout areas. The concept is pretty cool – but to see people working out, some of those positions are not necessarily outdoor worthy views…if you get what I mean…wish I had a brain scrubber right about now…

We made our way over to a marina where we rested on a bench, watching the boats and seals in the water. A feathered friend decided to join us before the boys decided to play in the grass while we waited for our ride…we used Uber the entire time we were in the city and it was WONDERFUL!!

 

Life is good!!  ~MJ

California – What a Trip! – Pt. 1

We spent a week in California. And what a week it was!

We split our trip in half – sort of. Three days along the West Coast and the remainder of the week in the California Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, among the rolling hills.

Angels Camp is a beautiful, small town with much to offer visitors. Nestled among the rolling hills in Calaveras County, this tiny town was made famous from many successful gold mines as well as by Mark Twain’s The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…and this will *have* to be a multi-poster. I mean, how can I just haze over some of the most amazing sights that were seen by a couple of East-Coasters?

We left from Louisville, KY for Chicago, IL before heading west. This trip was the first time the 14 year old flew – and the first in over 25 years my husband stepped on a plane. The flight to San Francisco was educational as we were handed Coke cans in Chinese…I think…even the waitress wasn’t sure.

We flew over some pretty landscapes – even boring Interstate 80 looked pretty from above.

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Our first stop – Lombardi Street. The world’s crookedest street. I thought this street was a few blocks, but thankfully, the crooked portion was only one block. We took Uber to the top of the block and walked down.

From the top of the block, you can see the houses over looking the bay. The colorful hydrangeas planted along the block add beauty to the street.Since one photo doesn’t do justice to the street, I took a few…one of which captured my son walking down behind me – the kid flew in from Salt Lake City in the wee hours of the morning only to go on a trek of the city shortly after breakfast. Yup – we love him to pieces!

From Lombardi Street, we ventured over to the San Francisco Bay. I love history, and seeing Alcatraz in person was another highlight for me. I saw it safely from the pier instead of traveling and dealing with crowds – I do not do large crowds. *shutters at the thought*

We visited the shops and sights of Fisherman’s Wharf along Pier 39. We watched the infamous Sea Lion’s lay claim to their pack of piers.The Sea Lion’s have a fair amount of piers they have taken as their own, to bask in the sun and lounge on one another.

Coit Tower was fascinating to see after watching a movie where the family met there if they got separated, not to mention a point of interest for visitors in Telegraph Hill. The top of the tower resembles that of a fire hose, though that was not the intention of the architect. Instead, it was a tower built in honor of the lady who left money “for the purpose of adding to the beauty of the city I have always loved” in a bequest upon her death in 1929. The tower offers a 360 degree view of the city. We didn’t make it to the tower, but we were able to see it throughout the day.

Now for the food – who goes to a new city in a never-before-visited state and not eat the food?! 20160605_12150420160605_121508

Blackened cod and fish and chips – served in a metal pail! Ha! I do have to add a little tid-bit about the bathroom – it was an “open concept” type…you walked in to a large area with double sinks in the middle of two sets of stalls. Two on each side. <whispers> they were not marked specifically “men” and “women”. It was a little unsettling until it was realized that people knew which side was which…thank goodness for locals!

 

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Welcome to Atlantic City.

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The airline hostess explains the debriefing process and points to the tarmac of the Atlantic City airport. You stand up, take your carry-on luggage and off you go to the car rental booth. The airport started out as a municipal airfield and is considered one of the first in the country.

You leave the airport behind, thanking God for the invention of GPS as you make your way along the roadways to your hotel/casino along the beach. You pull up in front of the hotel, allow the valet to take your car into the six-story parking garage, and check into your hotel room. (Let’s face it, you can afford the best on this trip!) Up to the top floor you go and look out the window to see the breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean sprinkled with sun sparkles.

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You let yourself get lost in the moment before going over your mental list of what you hope to accomplish in the next day. First thing’s first, you head down to the casino to see for yourself what the lure of the glimmering lights are about.

You can hear the musical dance of the slot machines before you enter the doorway, where your ID is checked by the doormen (after all, you are as young as you feel). The room opens up to rows of machines and tables where people are placing bets and laying down cards. What a sight.

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You sit, play a few hands and win before strolling outside in search of lunch. When you exit the building, the wind off the ocean greets you and plays with your hair. Taking a deep breath, you can smell and almost taste the salt in the air. The seagulls are racing each other along the beach to the sounds of laughing children. The beach is a sea of umbrellas and blankets, sprinkled with a touch of sunglasses, suntanned bodies, and flip-flops.

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The boardwalk is only 5 miles in length and was the first in the country. There are a multitude of shops, arcades, game booths, food stands, and bars lining the boardwalk. Lunch is served at Animations, located in Bally’s Park Place Casino & Resort. Handy if you wanted to drop in for another round of Black Jack or Texas Hold ‘Em.

You stroll further along to Steel Pier where there are multitudes of games and rides. Looking over the edge of the pier, the Atlantic Ocean seems endless. You spot a few large boats along the horizon and momentarily wonder if they are fishing boats or large container ships, heading towards the New York Harbor. You feel as if you are in your own world here. As you spin around, you decide to ride Crazy Mouse as a tribute to your youth when rattling cars on rails didn’t make you fear for your life.

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Afterwards you decide to drive over to the Absecon Lighthouse, located on the northern end of Atlantic City. The Absecon Lighthouse is the tallest in the state of New Jersey and is third tallest masonry lighthouse in the United States. The lighthouse construction took three years to complete, lighting the Absecon Inlet for the first time on January 15, 1857. Although the lighthouse was deactivated in 1933, the light still shines every night.

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As the afternoon fades into evening, you see another side of Atlantic City. The neon lights of the hotels and casinos seem to wake up the city even more as strings of cars make their way into the many parking garages of the casinos. After dinner, you find yourself sitting on the beach, watching the moon brighten the darkening sky. Turning towards the Boardwalk Hall, you enjoy the free 3D Light & Sound Show, Duality on the facade of the Boardwalk Hall.

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As the laser lights dance you reflect on your day and hope to make it back in August to watch Thunder Over the Boardwalk – a fantastic display of various military planes that fly anywhere from 50 feet to 14,000 feet above the water. But for today, now, the escape from the daily craziness of life was worth the short trip. Next time, you might fly into Newark Airport and drive down the Garden State Parkway to experience the rest of what Jersey has to offer. Until then, you make your way back to your hotel for a good nights rest before flying back to the real world.

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