The Tale of Brett Kavanaugh

This is the tale of Brett Kavanaugh
When he treated the Senate to Shock and Awe.
He showed his mettle and bared his soul
And tried his best to apply damage control
To the growing number of damning reports
About his youthful penchant for lecherous sports.
He stuttered and stammered and blubbered, poor guy
And whined and whimpered and made himself cry.
He twisted his face in frightening contortions
And twisted the truth in massive proportions.
In answering questions he wins the award
For racking up the most questions ignored
And responding with a self-righteous disdain
For the questioners, slowly going insane
Because Brett didn’t come to cooperate.
He came only to chastise and obfuscate.
What he really showed in his verbal attack
Is that Brett Kavanaugh is a political hack.
Blaming the Clintons for most of his trouble
And the rest of the Democrats for bursting his bubble.
Now he must wait in anticipation
While the FBI checks with a growing nation
Of women reporting Brett’s villainous past
And telling their stories of Brett at last.

Song of the Curmudgeon

You just have to know
that I’m feeling low
when the sun won’t shine
and the stars don’t show.

When the grass is brown
and the tree is down
and the prize ain’t mine
and the circus left town.

When the beer is warm
and we have a storm
and the temperature is nine
and the bees start to swarm.

When there’s no place to park
except in the dark
and my bottle of wine
tastes just like bark.

I think I was made
to be always dismayed
about stuff so benign
but I ain’t afraid.

Complaining is what
feels good in my gut.
You don’t like me to whine?
You can just kiss my butt!

Turds on the Trails

No, I’m not speaking about people on the trails (although I’ve seen some that would fit that description). I’m referring to real turds. Big fat ones. Very large, very gross, smelly turds. Some of them are so big as to make you wonder just what sort of animal made such a thing. They also make me wonder what sort of humans might have failed to remove them.

I use the Fort Wayne trails quite a bit. I walk, run, and cycle on them, and so I see lots of things. Once, I encountered a kid riding a moped. He was zipping along toward me as I was riding my bicycle. When I realized what I was seeing, I got angry. So angry, in fact, that when the kid got to within maybe 50 feet of me, I shook my finger at him and agitatedly pointed in the direction of the street (where he should have been with his moped). Plus I gave him the stinkeye. The kid was so shocked at my reaction that he started wobbling on the machine. I looked behind me as he went past and luckily for both of us he was able to get the thing under control. I’m sorry, kid, but MOTORIZED VEHICLES ARE NOT ALLOWED!

I live near the trailhead on Engle Road, just east of Jefferson Blvd. A few months ago, over a period of several weeks and on several occasions, someone drove a truck filled with Segways into the trailhead parking lot. The Segways were distributed to people who had met there (a dozen or more) and, en masse, they attacked the trail. One of my neighbors reported seeing a woman on one of the Segways cross Engle Road and crash into a block wall adjacent to the trail on the south side of the road. These idiots were using the trail to learn how to ride the Segways. Come on, people. MOTORIZED VEHICLES ARE NOT ALLOWED!

And, of course, there are always those trail users who refuse to abide by the most basic rules of courtesy. Cyclists, for example, zipping past walkers and joggers with nary a warning. A cyclist can scare the bejesus out of a walker or jogger who’s reveling in the solitude and quietude of the trail. “On the left,” is a phrase all too often used only to describe Bernie Sanders. Using it on the trail when you’re passing someone, either mounted or on foot, is always appreciated by those who are passed. WARN SOMEONE WHEN YOU’RE PASSING! It doesn’t take much effort and it could keep someone from retaliating. Occasionally, you’ll see someone walking or running whose earbuds are blasting such loud sound into their ears that they cannot hear you approaching. This is particularly annoying when there are several earbud people side-by-side who are taking up an inordinate amount of space and who don’t hear your warning, making passing difficult. If this happens, it’s OK to scream as loud as you can, “GET OUT OF THE WAY!” Works every time.

Another example of rude behavior is leaving refuse on or along the trail. I’ve seen soiled baby diapers, bandages, cigarettes, plastic bags with stuff inside, various forms of leftover food, and pregnancy testers. NO LITTERING ON THE TRAILS!

Now, back to the turds.

I’ve been seeing them with greater frequency. They are ON the trail itself. The ones I’m referring to are very large, obviously not the product of a small rodent or cat, although I see plenty of those too. The very large ones could possibly be the droppings of coyotes, but it’s hard to imagine coyotes spending a lot of time on the trails. Enough time, that is, to leave very large turds in great abundance.

I suspect that these large turds are left by dogs that are on leashes held by people. If that’s the case, don’t the dogs’ owners understand what the dogs are doing when they stop suddenly, go into the squat position, lift their tails, and open their sphincters? Wait, I can understand how this could happen. If the owner is on a cellphone, yakking away incessantly, super-engrossed in the conversation and therefore completely oblivious to the world around them, then, yes, I can imagine that the dog could do something that would go undetected. Come on, people. IF YOUR DOG SHITS ON THE TRAIL, MOVE THE TURD! Of course, the best place to move it is into a plastic bag that you have brought along for the express purpose of keeping your dogs’ shit out of the way of thousands of trail users. But if you don’t have a bag, and don’t wish to drop a turd into your pocket, think of something else. If you can’t think of anything, here’s an idea: Just take a twig (there are millions of them on the trails), bend over, and push the turd off the trail onto the grass. At least that way, when I’m jogging away and admiring the view in one direction or another, I won’t plop onto the turd with my Adidas’s and end up answering to Mrs. Weaver about brown smudges on the carpet and a foul smell in the house.

So, please, IF YOUR DOG SHITS ON THE TRAIL, DO THE NEIGHBORLY THING AND REMOVE IT!

Thank you.

The Trip – Days 18 & 19

For those of you who were informed of our return to our home in Fort Wayne, IN, on Wednesday, September 16, and wonder how we were able to make the trip by car from Cedar Park, TX in a matter of a few hours, there is a simple explanation.

I’ve been posting the trip’s progress, in most cases, a day late. So what you’ve been reading is something that’s already at least 24 hours, if not more, in the past.

This post was started on Thursday, September 17. I’m finishing it on Saturday, September 19. But don’t let that bother you. Better late than never, right? Besides, I’ve been busy getting back up to speed at home and have found little spare time for blogging.

Tuesday, September 15

Barb and I got up at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning. We were able to see our son, Pat, off to work. We were also able to say goodbye to our daughter-in-law, Tricia, and our grandkids Jack and Emma before they left for work and school. As usual, parting was not easy but we managed to break away nonetheless and we were on the road by 7 a.m. Central.

It’s been our habit the last couple of times on I 35 to stop at Slovacek’s near West, TX. Their gasoline is competitively priced, their restrooms are spotlessly clean, the store is clean and smells very nice, and the food is excellent. Try their sausage, egg, and cheese kolaches. Delicious. We picked up two and ate them while driving toward Dallas. Their coffee is great, too. On one of our other trips, we stopped at a competitor (Czech Stop and Little Czech Bakery) nearby on the other side of I 35. The restrooms there were filthy. The gas pumps were so full of cars that we didn’t bother waiting to gas up. According to Trip Advisor, both places get high reviews. But when we find dirty restrooms, we usually avoiding stopping again even though other aspects might be tolerable.

After refueling the car and ourselves, we continued driving northeast through Texas. We took I 35 north to I 35E through Dallas, then US 75 northeast to Denison where we picked up US 69. If you’re in a hurry, stay away from US 69. There are lots of towns, villages, and traffic signals to deal with. Not only that, but we had to deal with a major traffic crunch due to highway work. At any rate, we suffered through the drive on US 69 to Big Cabin, OK, where picked up I 44. What a relief to get on an Interstate after the stop and go between Denison and Big Cabin.

I 44 took us to Springfield, MO, where we had reservations at our regular B & B, the Walnut Street Inn. Gary Brown, proprietor, greeted us at the front door and processed our reservation. He gave us the key to the Rosen Room on the second floor, and wished us a good night. We took our stuff up to the room, then walked about 8 blocks to Nonna’s Italian Restaurant. Good food, reasonably priced. I don’t know where Nonna was. I’m not even sure she exists, but that’s OK. It’s fun to think about her anyway.

After dinner, we walked back to the Walnut Inn and crashed for the night.

Wednesday, September 16

We got up at 6 and were in the dining room at 7 for breakfast. A couple were already seated at the table. They were from Nashville, TN. The wife had come to Springfield for the many antique shops. The husband had come for the Bass Pro Shop world headquarters. Both were satisfied at what they found. Nice couple.

Another woman joined the table after a few minutes. She was very pleasant, was dressed impeccably in business attire (something rarely seen at a B & B breakfast table), and was extremely cordial and conversant. We shared travel experiences with her (whose name is Mary) and felt as if we got to know her pretty well after perhaps 15 minutes or so of conversation. After one last cup of coffee, and after the Nashville couple had departed, Mary excused herself because, unlike us, she had to go to work that morning.

As we were leaving the Walnut Street Inn to get back on the road, Gary told us that he was glad we had the opportunity to meet “Judge Mary.” Turns out she’s a federal judge, attached to the Springfield federal courthouse. You never know who you might run into at a B & B.

We thought about Judge Mary while driving northeast on I 44, especially when we hit Rolla, MO, which is where Judge Mary lives. We wondered about her neighborhood and her house, and also wondered how many times she has to drive between Rolla and Springfield to do her job.

When we got close to St. Louis, we took I 270 south to I 255, I 255 northeast to I 70/I 55, then I 70 to Indy. At Indy, we got on I 465 north (for a change) and found traffic abominable. Of course, we hit Indy at about 5:30 p.m. so what could we expect?

After struggling through our capitol city, we found I 69 and made it to Fort Wayne without a major incident. In fact, the entire trip was without even a minor mishap. The Forester ran well, the tires held up in the heat and altitude changes, and the air conditioner worked well when we needed it. We arrived home at 7:30 p.m. Mileage on the Forester was 55,382. We had driven 5,101 miles since leaving home on the morning of August 29.

Quite a trip. We saw lots of interesting sites along the way and we had to pass by many historic and geological attractions that would have made the trip even more memorable. But we didn’t have all the time in the world and we certainly don’t have unlimited finances, so we did the best we could with what we had to work with.

Now that we’re back, we’ll spend some time recovering before we think about our next trip.

“Which direction next time?”

“I don’t know. I’m too tired to think about it.”

“OK. We’ll talk about it tomorrow.”

“Good idea. Go to sleep.”

“ZZZZZZZ.”

 

The Trip – Days 14 thru 17

Friday, September 11 thru Monday, September 14

We spent these days in Cedar Park, Texas with our son Pat, daughter-in-law Tricia, and grandchildren Emma and Jack. No need to brag about Emma and Jack except to say they’re charming and exceptionally intelligent, much like your grandkids.

Barb, Emma, and Jack

Barb, Emma, and Jack

We stayed with them longer than our original plan because we discovered about a week ago that Monday would be Grandparents’ Day at Jack’s school. We couldn’t very well pass up the opportunity to visit Jack at Reagan Elementary. But we encountered an unforeseen problem.

Barb woke up Saturday with a bad headache. As the day wore on, the headache worsened. She went to bed that night in a great deal of pain even after taking a pain killer to combat it. On Sunday morning we decided that it was time to get some help.

I drove Barb to a nearby emergency clinic but we were told they don’t accept Medicare. So we left and made our way to the Cedar Park Regional Medical Center. By then, Barb’s headache had reached the point where anyone seeing her understood that she needed help fast.  She looked miserable. Luckily, she was admitted quickly and was taken to a room where she was examined by an RN and a physician. The

Jack and pals Spencer and Skyler

Jack and pals Spencer and Skyler

physician ordered a CT scan to be sure there was no tumor or aneurysm. She also ordered a blood and urine test. In the meantime, Barb was given an IV and pain medication.

Several hours passed while we waited for the completion of the tests. During this time Barb tried to sleep while I sat next to her and wondered how long it would be until we could leave.

All tests were completed and the physician determined that the severe pain was probably caused by a sinus infection. We left the place holding four scrips for various drugs and a stack of papers explaining what had just happened to us.

It took two more days for Barb’s headache to go away. One of those days was Monday, the day of Jack’s school’s Grandparents’ Day. So I had to go without her. IMG_20150914_122217Jack missed her and so did I. But we tried to make the best of it.

By Monday evening, Barb was feeling a bit better and we decided that on Tuesday morning we would begin our trip home.

 

The Trip – Day 13

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Quality Inn in Deming, NM, is not the classiest place around, but they sure have good free breakfasts. A great assortment of hot and cold stuff. We paid $65 plus tax for the room; the breakfast would probably have cost us $15 to $20 total elsewhere. If you like Country music 24/7, you’ll like the dining room of the Quality Inn in Deming

We got back on the road at 7:01 a.m. Mountain. The day’s journey would hopefully end at Cedar Park, TX, at the home of our son Pat and his family. We completed our drive through New Mexico at 8:22 a.m., when we hit the Texas state line at mileage 53,474. We started noticing Border Patrol vehicles zipping around in New Mexico and the sightings continued in Texas. (I failed to mention in yesterday’s post that we left I 8 and got on I 10 near Casa Grande, NM at 1:47 p.m. Mountain, mileage 53,109.) Just west of Sierra Blanca, TX, we had to stop at a Border Patrol inspection station. An officer on the right side of the car held a drug sniffing dog on a leash. The dog sniffed the car during the few seconds we stopped. Another officer on our left motioned us through after asking if we were American citizens.

Later, I found out that if you have drugs in your possession, stay clear of Sierra Blanca. From Wikipedia:

In September 2012, singer Fiona Apple was arrested for possession of small amounts of marijuana and hashish, and spent the night in jail there.[14] A few weeks later, a Nelly tour bus was stopped at the same checkpoint, and ten pounds of marijuana were found on the bus along with heroin and a loaded gun. The singer was not arrested, but a member of his entourage was.[15] Previously singers Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson as well as actor Armie Hammer had all been arrested separately for drug possession in Sierra Blanca.[14] The U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint at Sierra Blanca sends the county thousands of drug cases a year and inspects 15 to 20,000 vehicles every day.[14] The county is unable to prosecute the vast majority of these cases as the federal government no longer funds such activities.[13]

Luckily, we avoided jail in Sierra Blanca.

We spotted many wind turbines between Fort Stockton and Bakersfield in Texas. It seemed to be a very good area for them, because we were buffeted almost continually by winds blowing across the highway and there were numerous signs warning of high winds.

While driving, Barb texted Pat, asking if there is an alternative route to Cedar Park without having to take I 10 to San Antonio. He suggested we take US Highway 377 at its intersection with I 10 near Junction, TX, then Texas Highway 29 to 183A. We followed his advice, and made excellent time on those highways even though they’re not interstates. Speed limits ranged between 65 and 75. Traffic was light, and driving through the several towns along the way was painless. Plus, we got to see some of the Texas countryside we wouldn’t have seen from I 10.

We arrived at Pat’s house just before dark. Our grandson, Jack, was sitting on the hood of one of the family cars, waiting for us.

We spent the evening relaxing, talking, and winding down after a long drive.

The Trip – Day 12

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

We had breakfast this morning in the very pleasant courtyard of the Horton Grand Hotel. While waiting to be served, Barb and I started wondering what happens when it rains in the courtyard. Barb asked the server about it. He said that it rarely rains, so they don’t worry about it much. If it does rain, people just go into the dining room. One more deep mystery solved.

We waited a very long time for breakfast. I think it was because I ordered the steel cut oatmeal, which, according to the menu is “slow cooked.” I believe it’s true. It was good though, even though I did not add any of the brown sugar to it. The walnuts, raisins, and cranberries made it plenty sweet.

After breakfast, a valet brought our car to the front door of the hotel and helped us load up our stuff. Nice young man. He reminded me of my friend, Steve Vandewater, except that Steve is old and the valet is young.

“OK. Now where do we go?”

“Well, we can’t go any farther west unless we get on a ship. How about east?”

“East it is.”

And off we went, east. Mileage upon our departure was 52,759. Time was 8:13 a.m., Pacific. Temperature – 89 F.

Getting out of downtown San Diego was very easy. We used Google Maps to help us find our way. We made our way to Highway 94, then to Highway 125, then to I 8. We did lots of climbing and descending as we wound our way through the Laguna Mountains and gradually made our way down to the desert.

Some impressions of our drive today include the thick fragrance of sage, beautiful rock formations, wind turbines, solar energy collectors, massive cattle feed lots, green hay fields in the desert with thousands of very large hay bales stored outside, and the rain we encountered east of Yuma, AZ that lasted about 3 minutes. Drinking the water and taking showers in San Diego, and seeing all the cash crops being grown in what otherwise would be a very dry and useless desert, brought to mind our visit to the Hoover Dam where we learned how important the dam and the Colorado River is to so many people.

We had planned on staying overnight in El Paso, TX, but rain started again and continued, hard, in New Mexico until I decided to stop in Deming, NM instead of continuing another 100+ miles to El Paso. We found a Quality Inn and stopped for the night. Barb checked for bed bugs and other critters in the room, found none, and so the room was approved by the Chief Inspector of Travel Rooms. Mileage was 53,394, so we drove 635 miles today. Time of arrival at the hotel was 8 p.m. Mountain.

Out for the night.

Since we took no photos during the drive from San Diego, I’m posting a couple taken elsewhere.

 

The Trip – Day 11

Tuesday, September 9, 2015

Barb and I both slept well overnight, even in a room with a slightly noxious aroma. The smell seemed to go away after we entered the room for the final time last night, so we didn’t bother to report it. It was when we returned to the room this morning after breakfast that we decided we could no longer tolerate it. We reported the smell to the guy at the desk. Then the truth came out. A strange smell had been reported a number of times by occupants of that room before, but management thought the problem had been solved. The guy at the desk apologized and assigned us a new room. We actually liked the first room, except for the odor, and he was able to get us another room on the same floor, and like the first one, with a view of the courtyard. A nice young man serving as valet helped us with our luggage and made sure everything was OK in the new room. We were happy.

Speaking of breakfast, the menus in our room state that the “Traditional Breakfast” (two eggs, choice of meat, etc) is $7.95. I was impressed with the reasonable price until we saw the menu in the dining room, which states the “Traditional Breakfast” is $9. I haven’t bitched about that yet, but I will tomorrow morning.

Another strange thing: When we checked in yesterday, the clerk gave us a slip of paper with the WiFi password and instructions for accessing it. When we found the signal with my laptop and phones, we were able to get on without a password. I mean, we just jumped right on. Way too easy. I already mentioned that issue and it’s supposedly being looked at. As of this moment, any fool with electronics can hop right on and take a chunk out of the hotel’s bandwidth.

After our expensive breakfast, we walked to Broadway Pier and rode the ferry to Coronado Island which is really a peninsula and not an island. Seems like an island, though, no matter what they say.

Showing off my pale feet

Showing off my pale feet

We took a free shuttle ride to the Hotel Del Coronado, a landmark on Coronado for many years. Barb visited the place about 50 years ago during a family trip to California. We walked through the place, marveling at the opulence. After seeing as much as we needed to see of the interior of the hotel, we walked outside and made our way to the beach. We took our shoes off and walked in the sand.

Barb on the rocks

Barb on the rocks

The ocean water felt cool but not cold on our bare feet and ankles. It was almost like visiting Lake Michigan, except that the water was salty. We spent about an hour milling about the beach,enjoying the water, and taking a few photos.

After a pleasant sojourn at the ocean, we walked barefooted through excruciatingly hot sand to a place near the hotel where we could sit down and put our shoes back on. We then walked to the front of the hotel where I spotted the “Holy Bible Taxi” among other interesting sites.

Panorama shot of the Hotel Del Coronado

Panorama shot of the Hotel Del Coronado

After shooting a few more pictures, we headed back to the ferry on foot. It was very warm and the sun was bright. By the time we made it back to the vicinity of the ferry, we were pretty well drained of energy and suffering from too much sun. So we stopped at Coldstone Creamery for sure-fire remedies.

The Holy Bible taxi

The Holy Bible taxi

Barb took the sherbet treatment. I opted for half chocolate and half French vanilla. We were cured in a very short time.

We hopped on the ferry at the very last minute before it shoved off and we were back on the mainland within 20 minutes. We boarded the trolley and rode it to the Convention Center downtown, then walked about 4 blocks to the hotel. Before going in, we decided to check out the Puravida Yoga Center studio directly across the street from the hotel. We walked in and asked about the class schedule. There were several classes available before closing, the last a candlelight vinyasa flow session at 7:30. We decided to do that one, so we signed up. At 7:30, we were back at the yoga studio ready for action. And action we got.

The instructor for the class was Xenia Guido. She is an excellent instructor. Temperature in the studio was 86 degrees, so we got very warm very fast. The class began with a group “om.” After a rather calm and soothing beginning, there was about an hour of continually flowing exertion and balance. I was sweating bullets within a few minutes after the hard stuff started, and sweated profusely until the very end, which came an hour and 15 minutes after the beginning.

Puravida Yoga Center

My heart was beating so hard by the time we hit shavasana that it took the entire corpse pose to get myself calmed down. The session ended, as it had begun, a group “om.” When it was over, Barb and I were both soaked in sweat. It was a great feeling. Good thing we borrowed a couple of towels from the studio. Sweat was puddled all over the parts of my mat that was beneath my head at one time or another.

There were a total of nine people in the class. Some of the attendees were very accomplished at yoga. Others, not so much. Barb and I held our own, but with the lack of lighting we had difficulty holding a couple of the balance positions.

We were very glad that we attended the yoga class because it seemed to loosen up all the muscles that were tightened up after driving long distances and walking many miles. The combination of a day at the beach and an evening of yoga made this one of the most memorable days of the trip.

In the bar at the Horton Grand Hotel

In the bar at the Horton Grand Hotel

After quick showers, we went down to the hotel bar where we had some wine and beer, and a couple of tasty flatbreads. Tomorrow, we leave this place.

In the bar at the Horton Grand Hotel

In the bar at the Horton Grand Hotel

The Trip – Day 10

Monday, September 7, 2015. Labor Day.

Another new couple at the breakfast table this morning. The husband is a preacher, a school teacher, and a Benjamin Franklin impersonator. Luckily for us, he chose not to preach, teach, or Ben Franklin us. His wife showed up a few minutes later and said very little as hubby did most of the talking. They ate fast and bailed out before we had finished. They live someplace north of San Diego, and he wanted to get out of town before the traffic got bad.

After they left, we talked to Ben for quite a while. He said that the ghost of old man Keating seemed to be present while he and Doug were working on the house after its purchase. Then he talked about some of the old photographs and other objects they found when they took over the house. The Keating house was built in the late 1800s, and some of the objects in the house seemed to be as old as the house. A photograph of a very stern woman hangs in the dining room. She leers at the breakfast guests as if dissatisfied with our presence in her house. Check out the link. We’d love to return to the Keating House someday. Maybe we can fly out during the winter to get some relief from the bad weather back home.

After saying goodbye to Ben for the last time (until our next visit), we loaded the car and left it where it was parked on the street. We then walked to Balboa Park and entered the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Replica of Mayan mural

Replica of real Mayan mural

We were asked by the ticket lady if we’d like to see the special exhibit of Mayan culture in addition to the regular exhibits. We decided what the hell, we can do Mayan as well as the next guy. So we paid a few extra bucks and went in. The Mayan exhibit was well worth the visit. In fact, the rest of the place sort of paled in comparison after seeing such a magnificent collection of artifacts and educational displays. The Mayan exhibit will be at the “Nat” till January 3, 2016. Check it out.

We learned much about the Maya during our visit, including things like their penchants for squeezing baby’s heads so that the forehead was slanted, jaded teeth, blood-letting, crossed eyes, and genital piercing.

After our hours-long visit to the Museum of Natural History, we walked down the street and visited the Museum of Man. They had a special exhibit called The Instruments of Torture. I thought they might have been referring to my shoes, but they actually had an extensive exhibit of real instruments of torture. We decided that it too late in the day for the observation of things gruesome and scary, so we just purchased general admission tickets for $10.

Guess what they have for a standard exhibit – MAYAN CULTURE. Yes, another Mayan exhibit. We streaked through that one and spent some quality time in their Egyptian section. Lots of mummies and pretty amazing artifacts. There was also a very informative exhibit about beer. Turns out that beer used to have medicinal qualities until people started killing all the good bacteria through pasteurization.

I think we saw this guy on in Sedona too

I think we saw this guy in Sedona

Another excellent section of this museum covers hominids and the evolutionary process that took place resulting in us. Many skeletons and bone fragments are exhibited. Very awesome.

Extremely fatigued by the time we finished the Museum of Man, we walked slowly back to the car parked near the Keating House, said goodbye to that neighborhood, and found our way to the historic Horton Grand Hotel. We checked in, gave our cars keys to the valet, and found our room. The valet helped us with our bags and gave us a few tips about where to find food. We left the hotel and ambled up and down 5th Avenue. There are tons of taverns and restaurants and, according to their employees strategically positioned on the street, each is a very fine place to dine. After much walking, talking, and consideration, we settled on Osteria Panevino, an Italian place. They have lots of dishes and it took us a while to decide what to order. Barb had pasta with lots of shrimp, prawns, and crab. I had pasta with wild boar sausage. The portions were huge and we should have split one entree instead of ordering two. We took a lot with us back to the hotel, and ended up giving our leftovers to the lady at the desk and the valet. Hopefully they finished it off. We didn’t wait to find out because we went to our room, #318, and in short order went to bed. We had noticed a strange smell in the place when we first checked in, and it was back again when we returned to the room. We turned the air conditioner on and it seemed to get rid of the odor. More about that in my next post.

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