Daily Archives: January 27, 2022

Soup, Salad, and . . .

We were on our way up to the Spring area by about 9:30, making a stop for gas before we got onto I-45. We made really good time, with light traffic and no slow-downs. A nice easy trip.

We were meeting up with the Debi & Ed Hurlburt, and Janice and Dave Evans. Or so we thought.

Turns out that with the first nice, dry day in a while, Dave found the call of the golf course irresistible so we went ‘Daveless’ at today’s get-together.

Olive Garden Group 20220127

Most of us had their Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks, a long-time favorite of ours.

Though Janice had to leave a little early, but the rest of us hung around until almost 2pm, a typical 3 hour lunch for us.

And as usual, we’ve already scheduled lunch for next month too.

Then coming home we made an HEB stop for a few things, finishing up with Ghirardelli Hot Chocolates from Cowboy Coffee. Perfect on a cold day.

I knew it had been a while since we’d been to an Olive Garden, and checking the blog showed that the last time we went to one in this area was back in December 2010 when we got together with a bunch of folks from the original Alvin Opry.

But I had forgotten about our most recent visit, when we visited NYC back in December 2019.

Check it out.

Jan’s Gonna Need A Bigger Freezer . . .

On our Saturday, December 7th, in New York, we spent the day riding buses. Gray Line buses like this one.

Gray Line Bus

Thursday afternoon when first visited Times Square, we purchased a pair of 24 hour Gray Line bus passes from one of the many vendors on every corner.

They listed four Hop-On Hop-Off tour routes: Uptown, Downtown, Brooklyn, and a Night Tour. They also offered a Boat Tour, but since we had already visited Ellis Island  and the Statue of Liberty in 2009, and we were doing a East River/Hudson River Night Time Dinner Cruise the next day, we didn’t plan on doing it.

We planned on taking all four trips, starting with the Downtown one that first left out at 9am, with buses every 30 minutes afterwards. And luckily the starting point was diagonally across the corner from our hotel, so very convenient. So after another run at the hotel’s breakfast buffet, we were on the corner at 9am for the first bus, along with a lot of other people.

We actually didn’t plan on doing any hopping-on hopping-off. We just wanted to see the city, as much of it as we could. Unfortunately, we managed to chose the coldest day of our trip . . . to ride in an open-air double-decker bus.

The Downtown Tour was a pretty good overview of the city landmarks, taking in Times Square. Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown, Financial District, Battery Park, and South Street Seaport.

In the low 30’s, plus of course the wind chill factor, I could only take a few photos before I lost feeling in my fingers, so all you get are these four.

We were kind of surprised to see Christmas trees being sold on the sidewalks, but they seem to sell everything else there, so why not?

NYC Christmas Tree Lot

I did get to play with the really nice zoom on my Panasonic FZ80 while we were passing the Empire State Building.

NYC Empire State Building

NYC Empire State Building 1

NYC Empire State Building 2

And that’s all the photos I got that day. With my gloves on I just couldn’t operate the camera.

Finishing up our first tour in about 2 hours, and ending up back in the Times Square area, Jan had been wanting some New York Clam Chowder, and Google said there was a place on the next block that had it. But Google was wrong, and when we got there, they no longer served it. So we didn’t stay.

What we did do was to backtrack a block and have Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks at the Olive Garden we’d passed. Really good on a 35° day.

Back at the hotel we napped a little and then were back out at the bus stop for our Uptown Tour. It covered Central Park, American Museum of Natural History, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Harlem, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim and a lot more on the famous Museum Mile.

The Uptown Tour pretty much just segued into the Brooklyn Tour, which covered the Botanic Garden, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Antique Furniture District, Fulton Mall, The Brooklyn Museum, Grand Army Plaza, Cadman Plaza, The Brooklyn Public Library and much more.

Back at the hotel in the late afternoon, we crashed a bit, and then had a little supper at the dinner buffet, since we’d also had lunch. Then we just goofed off for a while until our 8pm Night Tour. It included a subset of the other 3 tours, like the Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Chinatown, the Lower East Side, Rockefeller Center, Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn, but at night.

Then it was back to the room, tired and happy, with Jan’s Fitbit saying we’d done over 5 miles today.

A couple of days ago there was a news story about a 75 year old Utah women found dead from natural causes in her home. But the surprising thing was that they also found her dead husband . . . in the freezer. Along with a notarized letter saying his wife didn’t kill him.

And with a little checking, the police found that he’d been dead for about 10 years, since the last time anyone saw him was the spring of 2009. Apparently she had told friends that he’d run off and left her.

Well, of course, all the commenters on Facebook and a lot of the blogs thought the wife had done him in, and the letter must a forgery. But as I told Jan, I thought it had a simpler, more benign explanation, even a loving one. Turns out the husband was being treated for a terminal illness by the VA. and had his last appointment in February 2009.

I figure the husband, knowing he was dying, and wanting his wife to be able to continue receiving his VA and SS benefits after he died, planned the whole thing, including the freezer part. The wife had received almost $180,000 in the last 10 years so it makes sense that the letter was just so his wife wouldn’t get in trouble.

I told Jan that it’s something that I would do for her if the time came, but I think she’s gonna need a bigger freezer.

Thought For The Day:

Lord, Grant me the serenity to accept stupid people the way they are, the courage to maintain my self-control, and the wisdom to know that if I act on it, I will go to jail!