November 11, 2013

Have Phone, Will Travel



Happy Veterans' Day! We are all totally grateful and everything to any of you out there who have served, even though this post is not really about that.

Instead it's time for one of those "I've been on the road" camera-phone dumps, yay! (With perhaps a token nod towards health and fitness along the way).

But how about I skip the usual apology paragraph? We've already established I'm an unskilled photographer using sub-par equipment and this is just a meandering blog, not a slick fitness magazine.  Let's pretend it's all on purpose and it's "gritty" or "authentic" or something. Like back when they first started using weird angles and shaky handheld cameras in art films. The fact you couldn't make out what was happening very well was part of the atmosphere, right?

And speaking of gratuitous weird angles...  how about an awkward segue to the first part of our journey?



Leaving Provincetown

It's always tough to head off, as we will miss our sunset walks on the jetty, trail runs, bike path, and Tea Dances.  (See, that's about fitness!)




'Bye Ptown! 

But Hello, New York!

Just in case you'd finally managed to rid yourself of the Green Acres earworm from the recent healthy city living post, let's reprise with...

The Chores!

Fortunately for me, I didn't have many. It was my go-getter wife who was Conferencing.  I got a little studying in before the health coach exam thingy, but discovered that the internet would only allow reading, not posting, which, after some whining and stomping and venting, actually worked out great.  After the test, I pretty much closed up the laptop guilt free and hit the town!

My High-Tech Stand Up Workstation
(And yes, that IS a trashcan).


The Stores:

For me this time it was just window shopping, as prices are not cheap in NYC, but at least they have interesting windows.

Perhaps in my next life.

What's that stuff all over the floor?
I will just leaf it to your imagination

This friendly creature sold expensive things that smelled nice.
I said I'd come back later but I was lying. 

Fresh Air!

The High Line and Central Park make for some nice strolling opportunities, which is also a fitnessy thing...









Times Square!

This is only one blurry corner of the countless blocks of brightness; seems like much more acreage than I remembered!  But by the time I wandered to the most blindingly amazing/appalling/awesome parts of the area I was out of camera batteries.



And leaving Eddie Arnold and Eva Gabor behind, let's see, there were also some buildings...







And Art...




Of all kinds!





Oh, and The 9-11 Memorial is as moving and sobering as you'd expect; not something I could capture on camera.


You just have to stand there yourself and watch the water plunging down, down, down into the unseen.

Leaving Ptown Yet Again:

Yeah, couldn't help it, we were back for a weekend to pack up and I had to wander out one more time and capture the light on my favorite walk. This is the only reasonable crisp photo in this entire assemblage so I'm gonna make it bigger and you might even want to click.



And we got a second chance at Halloween watching folks go to the annual Beaux Arts ball.





We were also in the Village for New York's Halloween parade, and saw many awesome costumes! But I will spare you the pitiful blurry evidence.

So then it was time to head west, but on the way back to San Diego, we stopped in...

Frisco, Texas!





I have to confess my favorite thing about Frisco, Texas, was discovering the awesomeness that is Homewood Suites.

Now I want to be a Homewood Suites Ambassador! Um, should they need a foul-mouthed wrinkly middle-aged health blogger to extoll their virtues in exchange for freebies. I loved it there!

They had a huge free all-you-could-eat breakfast that had lots of fruit, (and some days veggies; I also bought some spinach to supplement) eggs, whole grain things, plus a FREE DINNER monday-thursday that INCLUDED UNLIMITED (FREE!) BEER ON TAP AND WINE!

Plus a free shuttle to most places you'd want to go in Frisco, ginormous two room suites which felt very plush and had a kitchen with a full sized fridge. Weirdly, it was less expensive than most normal hotels.  And the people were friendly and bent over backwards to make sure everything was consistently wonderful. For example, I received a free gift bag full or random items from the snack shop when they were a bit late picking me up in the shuttle. How adorable is that?

And there was a hot tub and a pool...



Which I actually used!



Note: I almost never don a swimsuit and go paddling around in a pool voluntarily, so I had to take photographic evidence, at least of the swimsuit part.

I also used the fitness center quite a bit (always empty, which is not a bad thing) and did some hotel-room yoga thanks to the generously comped My Yoga Online subscription. (See, Homewood Suites people? If you adopt me and let me stay places for free, I will be nice to you in return and remind people about you all the time!)

Oh and addition to the indoor fitness center, they also had a workout playgroundy thing:



Though there was a little problem with the execution on the back extension station...


I was so thrilled to see it I even tried to wedge myself in there but couldn't clear the hedge.  Which had thorns in it.

Owwy.

And please excuse the bizarrely enthusiastic (uncomped) hotel review. It's just after the "Dream" hotel in NY (where there wasn't even a coffee maker or ice machine and the room was the size of a refrigerator box), it felt so gloriously opulent I couldn't shut up about it. The Lobster has been informed that should she want a little company in Frisco on her frequent business trips, the Homewood is gonna up her chances considerably.

Well, that's about it...

Oh, except I'm probably not the first to observe that there are some Really Huge Dicks in Texas!





What have you guys been up to while I've been on the road? I missed y'all!

41 comments:

  1. I loved all the pictures - I've only been to New York once and didn't really have a lot of time to explore (it was a day trip and the boys were with us) - glad I could experience some of it through your pictures. And, now I want to check out a Homewood Suites - anyplace that has free beer and wine is my kind of place!!!
    I have so many things to say about the Dick's in TX but I'm just going to let them make me smile the rest of the day!!!

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    1. Thanks Kim, and hope you get a chance for a return trip to NY, I think you'd have a blast!

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  2. I guess I need to get out more. I'm looking at your pictures and just seeing scenes from Home Alone and Men in Black. Ooh on that topic Jamie Oliver does a commercial in Canada right now that is supposed to be him running up and down the fire escape of an old apartment building giving cooking and shopping advise to people in their apartments. I swear that building is the strip club my streetcar goes by every day.

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    1. Too funny about the strip club building Cindy! Bet the commercial would be even funnier if all the apartment dwellers were exotic dancers... er, maybe not. :)

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  3. I'm sorry the sky at Ptown doesn't pack well. It's very photogenic.
    Any place with outdoor exercise equipment gets my vote, even if they don't quite do it right. The shiny multicolor paint almost makes up for the landscaping fail, though.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    1. The shiny multicolored equipment definitely made it more appealing to think about working out, Mary Anne. And I still long for a good grown-up outdoor playground, gyms are so grim!

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  4. dear crab! :)
    first of all congratiulations to passing your test!
    loved the last two posts, and was smiling about the pics. my memory of ny in the 90s is quite blurry so i enjoyed the reminder!

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    1. Thank you Puja! And hope you get a chance for another NY visit--sounds like you're overdue. Glad my blurry pictures brought back your blurry memories!

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  5. I love seeing the hints of fall color in those pictures of New York. That's one thing San Diego falls flat on. There's a tree in our work parking lot that has turned, and I have to laugh, because that's probably the only tree in miles that will change colors this fall.

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    1. OtF, yeah, I agree, fall color isn't an S.D. strong suit... well, I guess we could head out toward Julian but that's always dangerous given all the apple pie that lies in wait. But we'll just have to console ourselves with the lovely sunny mild weather! It was getting damn chilly on the east coast when we left.

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  6. You izz gritty authentic and cutting edge. And thanks for the weird angle pic. I just barfed up my cashews due to blog-image-nausea. O_O

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    1. Oooh, cashew barf, that is indeed nasty Yum Yucky. Next time I will have to issue a shaky-cam warning to avoid unfortunate surprises.

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  7. Crabby, I really enjoyed your pictures. I've never been to NY, but want to see it. Now I really want to see it.
    And now I really want to see Frisco, Texas, too.
    The final pic of Ptown is wonderful.

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    1. Love that you give Frisco a shot too, Leah, though I suspect you might find a few more interesting sights and neighborhoods in NYC. Would love to get your impressions!

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  8. I've been to that Dicks! It IS big. ;)

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    1. Thought of you Shelley because we had an excellent dinner in Plano at Seasons 52 and I wondered if you'd ever ventured there with your family!

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  9. Enjoyed the post very much, Crabby!

    The 911 Memorial has a power that I can imagine. Having been to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC, I've experienced what a great architect / artist can do with making a space much more than just a space.

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    1. Thanks Dr J!

      The 9/11 memorial really was impressive, I almost posted a shaky 30 second video to better capture the huge size and depth and movement. Very simple but incredibly sobering--the fact that it goes downward and in, rather than up and out, gives it a whole different emotional tone than typical memorials.

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  10. LOVE the pics!!! NYC is so cool to walk around! I LOVE the architecture & central park was cool & lots pf people watching! :) Is that the guggenheim museum in one pic? The memorial - I just can't imagine! I never saw any huge Dicks when I was there! ;)

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    1. Yep Jody, that was the Guggenheim! The Kandinsky in Paris exhibit was awesome, but then I am a fan. Some of the more edgy current stuff... meh, not really my thing but it was interesting nonetheless.

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  11. Hey, I've stayed in those suites on business trips! They were a surprisingly good value and a lot nicer than you might expect. If they adopt you, let me know so I can try similar tactics. :-D

    Love the camera phone dump, as always. You have a good eye for picture-worthy subjects and I always end up peering at your photos for quite a while after you post a batch. Also, not having traveled as much this year, I get to live vicariously through you. Thanks, Crabby!

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    1. Thanks Heather! I think we'd make a great team promoting Homewood--you could emphasize the fitness aspect, and I'd talk endlessly about eating and drinking and eating and drinking!

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  12. I loved taking a little journey with you. That hotel sounds amazing! I've only stayed in one hotel in NYC this past April for a friend's birthday - it was also seriously tiny. And I don't know how people sleep there because there was always yelling and honking and screaming. So annoying!

    Oddly enough I grew up in MA and haven ever been to P-town. I only live in RI now and we've talked for years about going, but just never done it. Maybe we should go now while it's off-season and it's quieter.

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    1. Courtney, hope you make it to Ptown! It's definitely quieter this time of year. My favorite time is fall, especially September. The weather's still great, lots of great shops and restaurants still open (though some close down), but the pre-labor day crowds are gone and the scene is a lot mellower.

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    2. We'll have to remember that. That's kind of a bummer that some close down, but I understand why they would if the crowds aren't there. I bet the hotel rates are awesome in the winter! ;)

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  13. Up to the usual, taking care of kids and kittens. And why is it that the most expensive hotels have the fewest free amenities?

    Hope you have a great rest of the trip to the West Coast!

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    1. Love that you are so generous with your time messymimi! Kids and kitties require lots of patience and attention and don't always express gratitude, but your good deeds don't go unnoticed!

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  14. Loving the pictures. My favourite is the buildings with the fire escapes. I want to know who lives in each unit, what they do, how they feel, their dreams etc. I am almost obsessed...but not quite.

    The scenery pics are wonderful and I love how you loved Homewood.

    Looking forward to seeing some of your west coast adventures!

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    1. I love the fire escape buildings too Kimberley! And the water towers. I spared you guys about 17 pictures of water towers...

      Like you I am fascinated with the way behind every window in a big city there are lives being lived!

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  15. I am looking forward to the NYC High Line.
    Checking in about my Nov. goals
    1. 12 trips to the Y - done 5, including a beginner swim lesson and a swim practice. I am not particularly interested in swimming, but just wanted to try something different. Plus good to learn to help prep for old age/irritated joints future.
    2. 9 yoga classes - done 3.
    Yahoo!

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    1. Wow Phoebes, you are totally rockin' it, it's only the 11th and you're not only way ahead of your stated goals but trying something totally new and challenging!

      (When I was fooling around in the hotel pool I was amazed and appalled at how little swimming ability I've retained. Weirdly enough, it seems one actually has to SWIM occasionally to keep from becoming pathetic at it. I was hoping general fitness would translate but no such luck. )

      Hope you have fun with it!

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    2. lets just say the instructor said, after watching my front crawl, "hmmm, there are a lot of problems here - lets start with your feet and work up. Stop pointing your toes when you are kicking." hehe!

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    3. Uh oh, you're not supposed to point your toes? OK, I've got a LOT to learn about swimming! Actually I couldn't barely get across the pool with attempted backstroke because my butt kept sinking. Was kind of a wake up call on core strength!

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  16. Congratulations on passing the exam! And I loved seeing the pictures as I sat on my morning commute to work. Encouraging, interesting and inspiring.

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    1. Thanks so much Fliss!II

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  17. The pics alone have me hearing Mel Torme singing Autumn in New York and Sunday in New York as I write this! There IS NO better time than fall to be in NYC. Period. And, Kandinsky in Paris exhibit?!?!?!? I'm on arts and NYC appreciation over-load here! The fire escapes only tip the scale even more to that side :). Thanks for taking us all along on your trip, Crabby!
    PS - the great thing about your bi-coastal lifestyle (which now has a sort of stuff in the middle sandwich component by way of Texas) is that while it's a little sad to say good bye, you always get the 'hello, great to be back" part!
    Anon

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    1. Well anon, I really appreciate patient readers like you putting up with all this moving around! And I have to agree with you, autumn in NYC is THE BEST.

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  18. Fall is one of my favorite seasons, just the photos alone of the leaves just make everything so beautiful before the crushing belt of snow pummels the northeast and just when I want to stab myself from having to shovel and be cold all winter up comes the daffodils to remind me spring is right around the corner. I love living in New England, the four seasons are just amazing.

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    1. Yeah, StarvingBitch, New England is awesome! But it's the winter stabby thing that leads us thin-blooded impatient wimpy types to flee to sunnier climes whenever practicable.

      Have fun enjoying the forthcoming, um, "briskness!"

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  19. Great photos. Now, I'm gonna have to check out Homewood Suites after that review. And I too have observed some of the Huge Dick's in TX.

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  20. Your photos and accompanying narration were wonderful. What fun to be traveling around and enjoying and sharing the sites. I love NYC.

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