Sunday, August 20, 2006

Hurrican Damage...1 Year Later

Since I was on the roof with my camera, I thought I would snap a few pictures of the damages that still exist from Hurricane Wilma 2005.

This is the Tower Club building...across the street from us.
Yes, these are 'garage' doors filling in that gaping hole. Our neighbors described an apocalypic scene of office furniture, supplies, papers, etc being pulled out of this building and the Templeton building next door.

Here's the Templeton building which sits catty-corner to our building. It's harder to see the extensive damage that has yet to be repaired because they painted all of the plywood. If you look closely you may be able to see the "dull" black and white sections - that's all painted plywood.

Air Crane

This morning we were woken up by the sounds of a helicopter. Not a surprise since the helipad is just two blocks due west of us. What was odd, however, was that we could hear it, but not see it. And from the sounds, it was hovering nearby. After a few minutes we decided to go to the roof to try and figure out what was going on.

The Tower Club building next door was getting a new air conditioner...special delivery by an Air Crane.

Here he is lowering the old A/C unit onto one truck.

This pilot must have nerves of steel. Unbelievably, he landed his helicopter in the parking lot when he was finished between the palms and the oaks, what appeared to be inches away and not even cutting off one leaf.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Boston, Mass

Boston is a beautiful city. I just love the contrast between the old and the new. Brick buildings from the 1800's sit next to gleaming glass highrises. It's a great walking city, but DO NOT drive in Boston. The city is a series of one-way streets that wind around in any old direction, and most go underground for some distance at some point (or so it seems), with crazy interchanges in these tunnels buried beneath buildings, oh, and the traffic! We won't even mention the Big Dig, since it was still closed. At least we didn't have to make any conscious choice about whether to use it or not. Anyway, we only had a few hours before our flight back home to tour some of the city. Andy had never been to Boston before and, unfortunately, we didn't plan on any extra days this trip. Even prior to Thursday's terrorist bombing attempt in London, we tried to change our flights. Of course, after Thursday's news, we tried twice more to see if we could delay our trip. I thought we'd be doing them a favor by delaying our departure so they could get some control over the chaos we were seeing on the news. They said we could delay our flight...for a fee.

Before we left town on Friday, we parked at Boston Commons and just got lost from there. Here are some of the sites along our meanderings:

This has to be the best name for an Irish Pub that we've ever seen! If you haven't already seen the movie, Waking Ned Devine, it's time to rent it.

But what I remember most about a previous business trip to Boston (years ago) was the Charles River and all of the little sailboats. I just loved walking the park that runs along the river. What a beautiful sight.
P.S. Our Investor Education class was wonderful. Two days of packed-solid information. The most important piece of information was how to turn a bad trade into a good one. We needed that back in May when we started trading with real money! Ha! Now we just have to put all of this new information into practice...

A Layover in Philly

We had another investing class to attend. This one in Boston. And since we were going to have to layover in Philly, we decided to add a few days before the class and visit with family over the weekend.

It's nice to go home and have all of these parties put together for us. Well, Andy's family never has to look far for an excuse to get-together...

Here's Chris, bartending as usual...

While the rest of us all hang out on the back deck...
From left to right: Andy, Bobby, Natalie

Even Mom enjoyed Chris' drink of the night...Tangerine DreamINI (isn't that what you called those delectable orange martinis, Chris?)

One afternoon we hung out at my brother Joe's house. His back patio was a great place to hang out as well. All that green grass and trees. After living in a condo, you start forgetting what a back yard feels like. But Andy's still happy he doesn't have to mow lawns.
Here's my brother Joe, my nephew Colin, my sister-in-law Linda, my Mom, and Andy

On Monday, we drove down to Avalon to see Andy's brother, Jimmy & family, and his friend, Mark & family. It was odd being in Avalon. I don't think I'd been back since his parents sold their home there several years ago. We walked past their old place and wow has it changed. The new owners did do a great job redoing it, but they filled in the backyard with a guest house and a swimming pool. No room for bocci, croquet, wiffle ball, volleyball, and all the other great yard games that the Thomases were Avalon-famous for. And everyone will remember the keg of beer always kept chilled in the shed out back. Easy access while playing. Ace was always serious about his games. He instilled that sense of fun and competitiveness in his children as well. See, here's Jimmy at his backyard Ping Pong table...I'm not sure how many people Jimmy beat in just this one day. Well, let's count...there was Andy, that's one...

The other thing that surprised me about our daytrip was how many people in Sea Isle City kayak! Andy's friend Mark got a two-seater - great for taking out one of his kids with him. Unfortunately we forgot our bathing suits, otherwise Andy would've taken Mark Jr out for a paddle.

We enjoyed our brief visit at the Shore...I finally got to see Jimmy's house, and see the changes made to his parent's house, and meet Mark and Coleen's children. Usually when we get together with friends it's adult-only get togethers, so this was a real pleasure to meet their kids.

Just another whirlwind trip home to Philly.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

"Keep the Rubber Side Down"

This is like saying "break a leg" to an actor, but instead you say "Keep the rubber side down" (meaning: keep your wheels on the pavement) to an RVer. Well, our friends Jim and Chris were leaving South Florida (again) in their RV. They visit their old hometown during the summer so they can do some scuba-diving.

We had wanted to have them over since they arrived, ahem, two months ago, but who knows where our time goes. So, the night before they were driving out of town we had them over with some other Kayuba friends for a little farewell party. Here's our friends making themselves comfortable in our clubroom.
In order, left to right: Glenn, Marilyn, Dick, Geri, Andy, Chris and Jim

I still think about Marilyn's comment as we were all hanging out in our condo drinking wine...she pointed out that we had "5 decades" in the room. Some of us were in our 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, and 70's. But who thinks about these things when you have so much in common? We like to scuba dive, kayak, travel, RV, own our own businesses, and more. Isn't that what makes friendships?

Well, here's to Chris and Jim finding their way safely across America. And to us catching up to them (again) someday soon!