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Saturday, 13 October 2012

Covering two days

Thursday 4 October

As we are not doing a lot I am covering two days this time.  On Thursday we had a quiet morning, lazing about as we have done quite a lot of late.  After lunch we wanted to go out to stretch our legs and walked to a display home or show home as they are called here, on the corner of the street.  A display home for those who don’t know what it is, is a house that has been build as a kind of showcase for people to walk around in and get the feel of it before they have one built themselves.  Builders generally have a range of building plans based on that particular house and you can choose from those plans as well.

But, back to our walk…  Before we got past the house next door we met our neighbour who was watching the road.  Why, you may ask?  Well, we asked him the same question.  He was keeping an eye on a turtle that was going to cross the road.  A common snapping turtle to be precise.  This particular turtle crosses the road twice a year in this spot.  Mike, from next door, had seen him coming from across the golf course, making his way down to the pond in front of the house.  Before he gets there, he has to cross the road and Mike was keeping an eye on him so he would come to no harm from passing cars.  It took a while, because as you know, turtles are in no great hurry. J

Picture pinched from the internet, but it could have been my picture,
because he was sitting in just the same way in the grassy area next to the road
When we knew the turtle to be safe in its pond, getting ready to survive the winter, we walked on to the display home, where we had a nice chat with the girl in the office (temporarily set up in the double garage).  We didn’t think of taking pictures, but again I have pinched a few from the internet.  

Display house exterior

Display house interior

We are in total awe of the houses here, and what’s more, in total awe of the prices.  What we would be able to buy here at the moment would be a palace compared with what we are living in in Australia.  Unbelievable.  And above all, the quality of the houses is so much better.  Of course, they look great because of the expensive furniture and decorations, but even without that, they are build of good quality material and have so much space, including a basement which covers the whole of the ground floor of a house.  Indeed, a small palace!

Okay, I have had my whinge and yes, I am a bit jealous, but I’ll get over it… J

When we came back home again I spent some more time arranging our next little trip to New York City, and so far I have had positive responses.  We are going to drive to a little town north of Philadelphia, PA where we will be staying the night with other ATC members.  Yes, we are not only hosting, we are going to be hosted as well!

This will break our trip in two bite-size pieces as I have also been able to organise B&B on Long Island, NY.  I have spoken to both couples and they are happy to have us.

Friday 5 October

I got up rather early for a change to do some washing before we are going away.  Since we are not overly busy I play a bit of Wordfeud, check email and solve a few Sudoku puzzles, while Frank reads the morning paper.  That ties us over to lunch after which we want to go to the shops as Frank doesn’t have too many pieces of clothing for winter and it is getting cooler. 

We go back to Bon Ton, where I got my stuff earlier on.  We find a number of T-shirts, a long-sleeved shirt, a polo shirt, a vest and…. whatever else it was.  All still for the sale price.  At the check-out we meet again a very kind lady, who also asks if we have a Bon Ton card.  We explaine to her our situation and she rings up to find out if we can apply.  In the end we are going to be sent a letter, so we don’t get very far.  But the kind lady she is, she says: “I am going to give you the 20% off anyway.”  How nice! 

Next on the list is Wegmans for groceries, since we are going to have guests again and then we are craving a cuppa, so it’s back to the house again.  We have taken the Prius Hybrid today, to get comfortable driving this particular car, because we want to take it for the trip to NYC as it is a lot more economical on fuel.  It takes a bit of getting used to, but in the end Frank is happy to drive it, so we are all set.

Since I have been able to secure lodging for the trip to NYC we can now look for a tour.  Unfortunately the PhotoTrek tour that we had hoped to do is fully booked until the 18th of October and as we don’t want to wait for a whole week we decide on a different one.  We choose a tour for Monday, our first day in NYC, because that way we will hopefully learn a bit about the city and if we visit sites that we want to go back to we will have some time afterwards.  So, day one will be a full 9 hour tour-day!  You’ll hear all about it when the time comes…

In the meantime Peggy & Jay, our guests, have rung to let us know they will be arriving shortly after 6.30pm, so we make sure we have had dinner well in advance.  (Earlier on they had declined to go out for dinner with us.)  As expected they are also a very nice couple and full of interesting stories about their neck of the woods: Arizona.  Since it is election time here and the debate between Romney and Obama has been televised on Wednesday, everyone wants to talk politics and everyone of course has their views.  It’s interesting to say the least!  We chat a bit more about travelling and their living close to the Grand Canyon (a place I still hope to visit some time), about the climate and different ways of gardening in the dry desert zone, etc.  However, they are a bit travel weary, so after a glass of wine it’s soon 11pm and we call it a day.

Before then I received an email from Diane with a surprise picture taken at the markets that morning of people we know on Bribie Island.  Diane and Dave are getting ready for their trip to Sydney where they are going to a concert and opera at the famous Sydney Opera House.  I think they are also taking the car, so it will be an adventure for them as well.

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