Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center
Near the front of Rockefeller Center in New York City. This year's Christmas Tree is being set up at the right!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Pictures from the plane New York City

So, remember about a year and a half ago.....  me and my pal Mark went to New York City?  Well, we did it again this year!

Mark is the kind of buddy who is up for some adventure.  We have had several conversations about travelling, where one of us throws out an idea, and the other runs with it.  I can think of many times that I have talked to friends, and we have suggested getting together for a road trip....  then the plans just fall apart.

That doesn't happen with Mark, and he is on the road a lot!

So...  we started talking about an NYC trip again, and we put it the trip together!

There are some other photos, from some other trips I am itching to put up, but I wanted to get to these first, as some of them are perfect for this time of the year.

For now, check out these pictures I took from the plane, before landing at LaGuardia.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas in New York

I actually have a few trips that I am skipping over for the moment, so I can put up some pictures and details that are more appropriate for the season!  So, I am, right now sorting through pictures I took on a very recent trip to New York City!

We were actually there right before most of the major Christmas decorations went up, but we did get to see a few cool Christmas things.

For example, we got to see the HUGE tree that will stand in front of Rockefeller Center!

Check it out, it was on it's side when we stopped by early one day, then it was put upright later on.

There were also some cool window displays at Lord & Taylor.

I will be getting some more pictures up from our adventures in New York City, but for now, here are some Christmas shots!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Charles Town Jockey Club Inc. W. Va.

Here is another spectacular old linen postcard we bought while in Charles Town West Virginia.  The back says-

"This track constructed in the Fall of 1933 and operated by the Shenandoah Valley Jockey Club.  In the Fall of 1933 and Spring Meting in 1934, since which time it has been operated by the Charles Town Jockey Club, Inc.  This track is a 3/4 mile oval located in the north most end of Shenandoah Valley, 60 miles northwest of Washington D.C., and 26 miles west of Frederick, Maryland on route #340, in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.  It is a modern plant in every respect and of Spanish design and in its beautiful setting overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains and directly facing the picturesque Harper's Ferry Gap, and in close proximity to the famous Virginia thoroughbred breeding center.  Two meetings are held annually, May and December of each year."

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Charles Town Turf Club Inc. Charles Town W. Va.

AND another nice old, unused postcard-

"This track, constructed in the fall of 1933, is a 3/4 mile oval located in the north most end of the Shenandoah Valley, 60 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. and 26 miles west of Frederick, Maryland on route #340, in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.  It is a modern plant in every respect and of Spanish Design and in its beautiful setting, it overlooks the Blue Ridge Mountains and directly faces the picturesque Harper's Ferry Gap and is in close proximity to the famous Virginia thoroughbred breeding center."

Monday, December 11, 2017

Almost President by Scott Farris

"Almost President: The Men Who Lost the Race But Changed the Nation" by Scott Farris tells the story of the men who have been nominated for President of the US but fell short. 

I really enjoyed reading about 9 of the main contenders (in the main 1st 10 chapters of the book) who fell just short of being able to call themselves president.  All are names that most fans of US history will recognize.  Goldwater, McGovern, Stevenson are some of the notable ones.  As a proud Kentuckian, I was pleased to see Henry Clay is the first "Almost" covered.  I always enjoy reading more about Lincoln's rival/friend Stephen Douglas.  I personally remember Ross Perot's jumping into the mix in the 90s, but I had forgot a lot about his efforts.

Farris devotes one chapter to the recent "almosts" in Gore, Kerry and McCain.  He also has a very nice section at the end that discusses all of the main contenders not covered in their own sections.

This is one of the more well thought out, and easy to follow books on politicians that I have ever read.  Author Scott Farris puts forth a nearly flawless effort of explaining the lives and careers of these political giants, going in to detail about how many were able to stay active and in the spotlight, while others disappear almost immediately after their presidential defeats.

Farris does a beautiful job of painting a picture of the social times as he gives information about the particular campaign.  In the section on Al Smith, the author gives an account of a child working as a cigarette roller.  When asked how long he had been working at this job, his response was, "Ever since I was."

Scott Farris' book is a very nice and easy to read volume, full of odd side notes in the world of US presidential elections.  I really enjoyed reading it straight through, and I will be keeping it around as a reference.  It gets my highest possible recommendation.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Harewood, Charles Town, W. Va.

"Drawing Room at Harewood where James Madison and Dolly Payne Todd were married in 1794.  Portrait of Colonel Samuel Washington over the mantelpiece when he was twenty-one years old.  He was a widower at the time."

The bottom postcard does not have any more detail about the home on it.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

High School. Charles Town, W. Va.

This undated postcard does not have any more detail printed on the back, but it shows a Charles Town West Virginia High School on the front.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

"Prato Rio" at Leestown, West Virginia

"Prato Rio- Home of General Charles Lee at Leestown, W. Va. Built in 1775".  This old postcard is undated.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Mordington, Charles Town, W. Va.

MORDINGTON- Home of Charles Washington, the youngest brother of General George Washington.  It was called by him "HAPPY RETREAT" and is located within the corporate limits of Charles Town.  Charles Washington died here in 1797.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Masonic Hall and Cemetery, Middleway, W. Va.

Heres another great old (and unused) postcard from West Virginia.  On the back, it notes:

"Triluminar Lodge #117 AF & AM, Middleway, W. Va.  Hall erected 1852.  Lodge Chartered 1819  Meetings still held according to Phases of the Moon."

The American Shakespeare Center in Staunton Virginia

We were able to visit the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton Virginia again!

We were here about a year and a half ago and really enjoyed taking a tour of the theater.  Inside is the Blackfriars Playhouse, a replica of the original Blackfriars Theatre in London- where William Shakespeare would have hung out!

So, we were able to catch a GREAT performance of "Much Ado About Nothing" when we stopped by.  It was a little over $80 for two cheap seats, but we agreed that it was worth it!  These guys put on a heck of a play!  AND, the actors perform acoustic versions of pop standards before the show, and during intermission!

When I say they performed the songs, they performed them.  The actors literally played drums, guitars, etc as they also sang.  I enjoyed this part of the show as much as the play.  These guys practice and put a lot into it.  With the Shakespearean costumes, and the fun the actors were having performing, it reminded me a little of the musical numbers in Shrek.

They are going for as much of a real Shakespeare vibe as modernly possible here, and it was great seeing fans sitting on the stage, actors interacting with the crowd, and talented professionals competently performing.

This is a rare, unique experience that should be on everyone's list.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Stonewall Jackson Hotel- Staunton Virginia

We were very excited about being able to spent a night at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Staunton Virginia.

The outside of the hotel looks nice.  The main lobby is interesting.  Unfortunately, we had a bad experience here, and we will never be back.

There were actually several minor issues I could almost over look (a chaotic check in area with no bell hops available, we got the wrong room keys, the rooms are very similar to chain hotel rooms, etc).  BUT there were some other issues that were very bad.

The morning we left, we dealt with easily the rudest front desk person ever.  Briefly, we were asking about how to use our keycard to exit the building after check out.  After explaining, the person grabbed one of our two cards away, telling us that we wouldn't be needing the second one.

It was strange, this is a historic hotel.  Its not inexpensive, and most noted hotels like this pride themselves on quality and customer service.  Not here.

Here are a few historic hotels we have stayed at that are great:

West Baden Springs Hotel in Indiana

Boone Tavern in Berea Kentucky

The General Morgan Inn in Greeneville, Tennessee

Green Mountain Inn in Stowe Vermont

The Blennerhasset Hotel in Parkersburg, WV

Friday, December 1, 2017

Mill Street Grill- Staunton Virginia

While we were in Harpers Ferry, we mentioned that we would be stopping in Staunton, and SEVERAL people told us that we needed to eat at the Mill Street Grill.

This was great advice, as this is a great place, and they give you a lot of great food.  I had some delicious soup with shrimp in it, and a nice sandwich.  They bring out some bread to have with your meal too, and that was very nice.  I had a prime rib sandwich too which was great.

This was an "only meal of the day" situation for us.  We had really driven through lunch and got to town late, so we indulged here for a late lunch/early dinner and it worked out perfectly.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Cooter's Place- Luray Virginia

I have been to the Cooter's Place in Gatlinburg MANY times......  been to the one in Nashville too.....  So I was very excited to be able to visit the third one in Virginia!

Here are some pics.....  There is a Daisy's Restaurant attached to it that looked pretty cool.

I am not making this up...  "Good Ol' Boys" came on my ipod playlist as we pulled in!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New Market Battlefield State Historic Park and Virginia Museum of the Civil War- Virginia

After our visit to Lexington Virginia, we knew we had to make it to the New Market Battlefield State Historic Park at some point.

AND, at this location, is the Virginia Museum of the Civil War.

Its $10 to see the museum and to check out the Battlefield. 

We ended up spending more time in the museum than we expected!  It was very thorough!  They show a documentary on the "Field of Lost Shoes".

I mentioned this before, but the Battle of New Market is known for the fact that students from the Virginia Military Institute fought in this battle.

I really enjoyed the museums collection, as they had some very quality pieces.  I saw some uniforms and arms in great shape.

Also, after seeing the MASSIVE painting by Julian Scott in the Vermont State House, I almost feel like I know the guy.  You KNOW that I enjoyed the privilege of getting to see some more ORIGINALS of Scott's on display here.