Saturday, November 29, 2014

That's more like it!

     Sayulita, Mexico is a lovely place. I've only been here half a day but so far I don't want to leave. Good mix of locals, expats and tourists. Great street food, gorgeous beach with plenty of happy beach dogs, 70 degrees. I have no complaints. Check out the view (pictured above)!

     It was a longish travel day from Savannah, GA, starting at 3:30AM but we made our connection in Dallas and arrived about 1PM local time. I slept on the 1st leg and LuAnn slept on the 2nd. I read a good deal of Thomas Jefferson's biography. It seems timely.

     We forded through the guys trying to sell us on expensive taxi rides and got to the bus stop where there was a great taco place recommended by our host where we ate heartily of shrimp and fish tacos, then got on the bus.

     What a fun and funny ride! The bus driver had no problem with people standing, stuff in the aisles, moving with the doors open, whatever. I was surprised there were no chickens, pigs or goats.

     Driving through the jungle was gorgeous! Wait, there's some guy with his pants around his knees peeing on the side of the road and smirking at the cars as he moons them all? No one even raised an eyebrow. People here just don't care about things that aren't a big deal.

     Got to the end of the trail and...nothing. Everyone got off in a dirt parking lot and the bus drove away. Landlord not picking up the phone? No sweat. Walked into town, got some directions and got to the house. Hey, landlord was waiting for us! Drop the stuff and have drinks on the beach! I can't overstate the utility of having some foreign language skills.

     Right now I am looking at more stars that I've seen at one time other than on the ocean and there is a marching band competition going on in town. Awesome and hilarious and great. 18 days into the "No Plan Is Too Complicated" Tour and so far I must report it as going well. Cheers!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving at the beach

Thanksgiving Day and lots to be thankful for, as usual. The beach at Tybee Island, while not in the 70's was still pretty nice, considering the Northeast is has had some snow. We got our first blog comments so that was pretty exciting as well. We have continued our savaging of Savannah, eating and drinking everything in sight. Tonight will be no exception as we head to Ruth Chris. LuAnn has mixed feelings about not cooking for the 2nd year in a row (last year we were in New Orleans) but I think we can convince her that letting someone else do it is the way to go. Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Big love to you and yours from us and ours!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Graduation Week in Savannah


     Savannah always makes us happy. Doubly so this time since as of Saturday we are the proud parents of a SCAD graduate. The graduation ceremony itself was up to the standards of a creative school, with a drum line, light show, and confetti coming from the ceiling at the conclusion like a snippet from a Blue Man Group show. We had to attach the video above HERE for your enjoyment. I would make a snide comment about how much of the crazy tuition cost, and subsequent student debt, went into this production, but that would seem ungrateful now, wouldn't it?

     Anyway, we do feel at home in this absurdly beautiful Southern city, with its moss draped oaks, and historic squares popping up every few blocks as you walk. If you love architecture like we do, you really should visit. Its a Southern city with a uniquely European feeling. We do not have a car here, so we've been walking everywhere, in some vain hope that it will counteract the indulgences of fried oysters, fried chicken, and 3 trips so far to Lulu's Chocolate Bar.

     Since we are now on the topic of food.....we had a wonderful post graduation lunch at the Olde Pink House, probably the premier restaurant in Savannah with its gracious setting in an old mansion in Reynolds Square. The day before we had doggedly gotten in line (and believe us, Andy does not usually willingly stand in line for anything) early at Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House to see what all the fuss was about. Wow. Amazing....for $18 a person you are treated to a lunch you will not soon forget- seated at tables of 10 with bowl upon bowl of fried chicken, collard greens, mashed potatoes, mac an' cheese, meat loaf, ham hocks, butter beans...truly, I can't even remember it all, all served family style. A Savannah tradition...but only open Mon-Fri 11:00-2:00.

     We forgot to mention our trip to Bonaventure Cemetery which was quite enjoyable. Also the Telfair museum (which was kinda meh to tell the truth) and the Jepson center, where we saw the Whitfield Lovell exhibit, which Andy really liked.

     So, we've now said a tearful "see you soon" (her words and very appropriate) to our daughter, who was also here from Philly to see her brother graduate. We have several more days here, until we fly out to Puerta Vallarta on Saturday. And then about an hours bus ride to Sayulita. we come!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

4 days on the run and now I'm dying' of thirst...

     OK! I present to you a lovely shot of Annapolis harbor that took forever to make. I am still getting the hang of using a Mac. Imagine my surprise to find that the native photo editing program won't save its edits! Non-destructive editing they call it. I almost threw the Mac out the hotel window. That would be destructive editing. ANYWAY, I figured it out and got a photo editor that worked.

     Even so, we are definitely using Instagram as our main photo repository for now. Both our feeds are in the links on the right side over there, but for your convenience here are clickable links to mine and LuAnn's.

     Miraculously our complex plan worked flawlessly. Thursday we got the truck, got everything IN the truck, sold the car, got back our security deposit, made a quick visit to our daughter in Philly, and made it at midnight to the hotel in Laurel MD where we were both too keyed up to sleep well. Friday we got the rental car, dropped the stuff in my sister's storage, returned the truck and feeling free at last decided to head to Annapolis for lunch and had fantastic crab cake sandwiches at Buddy's Crab Shack .

     Saturday it was off to Richmond VA to visit my folks. We had a nice afternoon visit, then crashed at the Hyatt Aboretum.  We spent Sunday at The Richmond Museum of Art, which was well worthwhile, a very pretty, but manageable museum, and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon in Richmond.

    Moving on early Monday morning we drove down 95 in the pouring rain taking turns driving and reading Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential to each other. We were excited to finally visit Charleston, a city we've been wanting to see for quite a while. It was as gorgeous as we imagined. The sight of the palmettos and still flowering planters made us smile. We checked into The Elliot House which made my week. The hot tub was really hot and the rain had stopped, leaving that warm humid southern air. After a soak we had some complimentary wine & cheese by the pool, then went to happy hour at Pearlz where I can only describe the food and drink as orgasmic. If you love oysters, this is your kind of place. After dinner we walked around a bit, and had a glass of wine at Social Wine Bar.

     The next morning we bundled up and took a stroll to take in some more of Charleston's fantastic architecture. We may have neglected to mention that we are having very chilly temps here, record lows, and with the exception of Monday, its been pretty friggin cold all around, but still warmer than New Jersey! Once again we could not say no to another meal of southern comfort food, I mean, who can when they are Charleston??? So after a stellar lunch at Poogan's Porch (shrimp & grits, fried chicken, she-crab soup & mac n' cheese-yeah, all that!) LuAnn drove while I snoozed. We took a detour through Bluffton, SC, then made it to Savannah where we hit Whole Foods to fill the fridge and will now chill for the next TEN DAYS! Staying put for while? Woohoo!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Packing list

A lot of people have asked what we are taking and have expressed surprise at how little (or how much) we are carrying. Here, then, is a list of what's in the bags. Mine's a little more detailed at the moment since I was focused more on what was going in my bags as I worked on the list. What did we miss?
Gotta thank Boots And All for the suggestions.

REI stratocruiser rolling suitcase 22" w/ TSA combo lock
* 1 pair flip flops
* 1 pair sandals
* copy of passports & travel papers

Packing cube #1
* 2 pairs of zip-off convertible pants-1 khaki, 1 green
* 2 REI long sleeve collared quick dry shirts, blue & tan
* 2 long sleeve T-shirts, 1 light, 1 heavy
* 3 moisture wicking tank tops

Packing cube #2
* 4 pair Ex Officio underwear
* 5 pairs socks (3 moisture-wicking SmartWool, 1 crew, 1 sneaker)
* 2 travel towels (1 lg, 1 sm)
* 2 bathing suits (need to buy another)
* 1 short sleeve light collared shirt (the magic shirt)
* 1 silk hawaian shirt

* 1 pair of lightweight Lucky brand jeans
* 1 pair sox
* 1 pair underwear
* 1 T shirt
* 1 light collared shirt
* 1 pair sneakers
* REI lightweight hoodie
* Bose noise cancelling headphones

Day pack w/ TSA combo lock:
* 1 lightweight rain jacket
* 1 lightweight, thermal shirt
* 1 AKG P120 condenser mic
* 1 mini mic stand
* 1 mic cable
* 1 focusrite 212 mic/mac interface
* sunglasses & backup eyeglasses
* power converter
* kindle
* 2 TB hard drive
* Canon 5S camera & tripod
* passport & travel papers

Guitar case:
* 1 yamaha nylon string acoustic
* 1 guitar strap & 2 shoelaces
* 1 macbook air (bring in carryon if must check guitar)
* 1  watercolor block
* 1 rolled up paintbrush, pen & pencil bag
* numerous USB cables & charging blocks in clear plastic bag
* some sheet music

LUANN (same REI stratocruiser bag & packing cubes)
* 1 pair of comfy Thai pants (loose leggings)
* 1 pair Quick Dry pants
* 1 REI Skort
* 1 button-up short Sleeve Shirt
* 1 Long-Sleeve Hoody
* 1 Long sleeve T shirt
* 1 black Travex dress
* 1 polkadot dress
* 5 basic, moisture-wicking T-shirts
* 1 pair slip-on shoes  & crocs
* 1 pair tevas
* 2 travel towels
* 1 lightweight rain jacket
* 2 bathing suits
* 5 pairs undies (3 exOs, 2 normal)
* 2 exO bras
* 3 camisole/tanks
* 5 pairs socks - need more?
* 2 scarves
* iPad Mini

Toiletries (split between the bags):
* Immodium
* Preparation H
* 2 toothbrushes
* 2 travel sized toothpastes
* 2 packs plackers
* Gold bond powder
* 2 deodorants (his & hers)
* 1 little magnifying mirror
* 1 tweezers
* neosporin
* 1 blemish treatment
* 1 box bandaids
* 1 afterbite treatment
* 2 sunblock 30spf & 50spf
* 1 vitamins
* hand cream, makeup & jewelery
* 20 sm tubes watercolor paint in clear plastic bag

Thursday, November 6, 2014

7 days

Just wrapping up details now. Book this, pack that, cancel this, order that, etc, etc… The culmination of a year or more thinking, planning & researching is finally coming to pass. I’m pretty overwhelmed with gratitude to be able to make this happen and to have a mate who is on board. Not everyone would be willing to give up everything and travel indefinitely. I’m pleased at how little we had actually. Aside from a large collection of books & music the bulk of our possessions were art & music related items. Thus it wasn't hard to find a way to store it all. Looking forward to our two weeks at our cottage in Savannah GA [pictured]