Uninteresting things get done

I had a busy day, but not one which generated any photos, nor much of interest. Mostly, I took care of tasks that had built up over the past month or so – you know, life stuff.

We did watch the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s production of King John tonight through their “Theatre on Film” program. I don’t think watching on TV did it justice; it would have been more interesting and involving in person. It’s the first time I’ve seen King John, and I think I understand why it’s one of the infrequently performed Shakespeare plays.

Local color

That was the view from our backyard this morning. I’ll admit that it’s not quite as impressive as the massive displays of color in the Hudson Valley, but it was a whole lot easier to get to.

We spent the morning running errands, finishing at our favorite grocery store, Lunardi’s. We were walking back to the car with our purchases when suddenly, my watch unexpectedly tapped me on the wrist. I raised my hand to see what was up, and saw this:

A few seconds later, both of our phones sounded the Emergency Alert and notified us that there had been a quake. We weren’t near anything that could fall on us, so we just stayed where we were for a couple of minutes before deciding that the danger had passed. We didn’t feel, hear, or see anything, though friends a mile away felt the shaking very distinctly.

Nothing was amiss when we got home, and reports indicate there was no significant damage from the quake anywhere in the area. That’s my favorite kind of earthquake!

Home again

I wrote and posted yesterday’s entry before we got on the plane because I had the strong feeling I’d be too tired to do it when we got home, and I was right.

We boarded the plane on time, but then we had to wait for our First Officer to arrive, about half-an-hour after boarding was complete. That seemed curious.

After dinner, I was talking with one of the flight attendants and found out what had happened. The crew that was supposed to be working the flight was stuck somewhere, so Delta operations had to assemble a new crew. All of them except the First Officer were already in New York; the First Officer had to fly to JFK, hence the delay.

They made up the extra half-hour in the air, but it was still well after 10pm Pacific by the time we got home, and we didn’t unpack everything until today.

It could have been worse, though. The JFK-SFO flight on Saturday was diverted to Minneapolis! Maybe that’s where the crew was….

6 …make that 7… hours in the Delta Sky Club at JFK

The last morning of a cruise almost always starts early because the ship wants passengers to disembark so that they can get ready for the next cruise. Today, “early” was extra early because of the MS Ride around Manhattan, which began at 7am just a couple of blocks north of our pier. They started serving breakfast at 5:30 instead of the typical 6:30 (I don’t want to think about how early the kitchen crew had to start working) so passengers could be on their buses by 7am.

We left the ship a few minutes before 7 and crossed the bike path and 12th Avenue to get on the bus. We could hear the the last strains of the Star-Spangled Banner being played at the ride site as we walked; the bike path was filled with riders just a couple of minutes after we sat down (I was on the wrong side of the bus to get a photo).

I’ve never seen so little traffic in Midtown, but it still took us at least 15 minutes to get across town to the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. The rest of the trip to JFK was quick, too, and it didn’t take long to clear security (thanks, Global Entry!), so we were at the Delta Sky Club before 9am, with six hours to kill before boarding. Their policy only allows for entry within three hours of boarding, but the friendly Delta Ambassador let us in anyway.

It’s a nice place to wait – fairly quiet, with actual food as well as snacks and good wifi, and plenty of power outlets (most of which work). I’d rate it ahead of the BA lounges at Heathrow (well, maybe not the Concorde lounge), and far ahead of other domestic airline lounges. Six hours is a long time to be here, though.

Make that seven hours. Delta just informed me of a one-hour delay for our outbound flight. The incoming plane is arriving a few minutes early, so I wonder what’s causing the delay.

I’ll probably never find out.

Berths, Bicycles, and Buses

We sailed overnight to the Alpine Marina in Alpine, New Jersey. We were supposed to dock there, but a sailing ship stole our berth and we had to anchor just offshore, and that meant taking a tender to the morning excursions instead of just walking off the ship. Fortunately, the tender ride was only five minutes, and being in the middle of the river let me get better photos than being anchored would have.

Ours was the second excursion to leave this morning – we were going for a stroll around Nyack and a trip to the Edward Hopper house. As we were tendering ashore, we saw the ship that had taken our anchorage from us.

We got to the bus and set off for Nyack. It was a beautiful fall day, and there were many, many cyclists on Route 9W. At times, our bus driver had to veer over the line to get past them.

We arrived in Nyack unscathed and set out on the walk. We saw buildings much like those Hopper used in his Early Sunday Morning.

Our guides took us through downtown Nyack to the Edward Hopper House, where he lived until he was 28.

We saw a “reimagining” of his bedroom (some of the furniture was original).

And we saw the same view he had from his window (though the cars he saw were a little bit older).

We drove back to the ship for a quick lunch, then it was back on the bus to go to Sleepy Hollow and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. We drove over the new Tappan Zee Bridge (officially, it’s the “Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge”, at least for now – there have been bills in the New York Legislature to remove his name, and the locals still call it the Tappan Zee).

Traffic was scarily bad in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow; Route 9 is one lane each way, and there were a lot of people coming to Sleepy Hollow for Halloween.

Along the way, we passed the spot where John Andre was captured during the Revolution – we’d heard a lot about him (and Benedict Arnold) earlier in the week.

Eventually, we reached Sleepy Hollow and took a guided tour of the cemetery.

We even got to go into a “receiving vault”, which was used to keep bodies when it was too cold to dig graves. The vault had been used as a location for the Dark Shadows movie, hence the skull.

Everyone made it back outside, and our guide told us about Washington Irving’s friend, Capt. Storr, who had kept fans away from him on a voyage from New York to Tarrytown. Irving wanted his privacy, and Capt. Storr obliged.

Traffic returning to the ship was much lighter, and we got back in plenty of time for our 5:30pm departure for New York City. The scenery along the way was, as usual, amazing.

The captain took us past our pier so that we could have a nighttime view of the Statue of Liberty.

We’re docked at Pier 81 and will be departing far too early tomorrow morning – the MS Ride is happening tomorrow, and they’re hoping to get us away before the roads are closed.