I last wrote to you here on the 25th of January, and February is almost done I have not had a post so thought I would catch you up to date.

Following my return from Yellowstone, I was busy in rehearsals with The River Theater Company in Charlestown, NH for a murder mystery dinner theater that was performed on 17 and 18 February.  MURDER STAGE RIGHT, OR WHO KILLED HAMLET was a great deal of fun, in fact, we staged the play here in Walpole in 2009.  I played Hamlet (as I did in 2009), yes I was killed off, but that enabled me to play a second part – the cop – at the end of the play.  Too much fun, and last year I was also fortunate enough to play the cop in River Theater’s third annual mystery dinner.  I find it is enjoyable to do the “same things each year” and look forward to joining next year in some capacity.

We are now getting started with our spring Walpole Players production that will be held the first two weekends in May, and I will fill you in with more details as they develop.  Our sixth issue of THE WALPOLE CLARION is about to go to press, and it has been well received.  And, since I just don’t have enough to do (ha, ha !!!) I am running for Town Treasurer in Walpole, with election day, Tuesday, March 13th.  For a number of reasons I became concerned about the performance of the incumbent, did some research, and found that independent auditors have found repeated problems.  So, how do you fix a problem?  You run for the position that you are concerned about, and most qualified to fill.  So, if a Walpole voter please vote for me in two weeks, and if you are not registered here you have two weeks to move, get an address, and come in on election day, register, and vote for RAY BOAS for WALPOLE TOWN TREASURER – if a Walpole voter please click on the previous link, and read at least the first paragraph.  Yes I will report the outcome.

This past weekend I visited my daughter, Julie, and her family in Northern New Jersey, about a five hour drive away taking the circuitous route around NYC.  Actually I was shunpiking along the way avoiding the traffic spots and taking back roads essentially cutting over to the Hudson River.  I arrived before 5 PM on Friday, and left Monday at 9 AM when Julie was taking Nikhil (almost 4) to school.  It was just a great relaxing weekend “at home with the grandkids.”  On Saturday we spent all afternoon at The New Jersey’s Children’s

Devi - almost two - on a Merry-Go-Round horse

Museum  in Paramus.  Twenty years old, simply done, but I was impressed with the “hand-on” exhibits and their easy learning messages.  Devi really enjoyed pushing the doorbell on the cut-away house which showed everyone the behind the walls components of the structure.  There were various learning exhibits including a grocery store and diner. The almost four hours passed before I knew it.  Shortly after we got home number two son, Gary, arrived and a fun evening followed dinner.  After the kids went to bed, they introduced me to Downton Abbey – I am now “hooked.”  On Sunday, shortly after 11 AM, Gary’s girlfriend, Molly, arrived on the train, and Gary and I walked to the station to meet her.  Brunch, a walk around town, tasty dinner (being careful of Dave’s spicy chicken – the non-spicy done by Julie was everyone’s choice) and the day was over before I knew it.  Gary and Molly headed back to the

Nikhil - almost four - working on the construction exhibit

city, the kid’s turned in, and then we watched some of the Oscars before calling it quits.  Have you ever noticed how a grand time is over almost as soon as it starts?

On Monday I joined Julie and Nikhil and Devi shortly after 7 AM (the kids wake up about 6:15) and I enjoyed the kids until it was time for Julie to drive Nikhil to school.  My plan then was to cross back across the Hudson River at Newburgh and head up Route 9 to Hyde Park and Rhinebeck.  Cathy and I used to explore this area and scout books and antiques when the shop was in Connecticut, and it has been well over ten years since I was in the area, an area we enjoyed.  I wanted to stop at FDR’s home and tour it ($14, but free with my National Parks “Senior Pass” – I know I don’t

FDR's Springwood - Small but Impressive

look it, but proudly take the discounts!!!).  Our guide had some wonderful insights and I highly recommend a visit, and I remember my Dad raving about his and Shirley’s visit years ago.  There were 5 of us (right time of year to go) on the tour and it is interesting to learn the Roosevelt family history and learn why the home is there. You see the room with the actual furniture and bed where FDR was born, and everything is just as it was when he was still

Looking at the entrance from outside the window where the Manhattan Project was "hatched"

alive.  The family gave the house to  the American people in 1943, and in 1945 the family relinquished all rights to Springwood.

I continued up NY Route 9 and stopped in a few antique shops we used to visit – but sadly no purchases this trip.  This area of the Hudson River Valley has a number of historical sites, and as I was having lunch in Rhinebeck I was reading travel literature I collected along the way (a hobby and passion) and realized that since I was only a tad over an hour away from The Red Lion Inn that it will be easy to get back to exploring this area while staying at the Inn.  When I now stay at The Red Lion Inn it is for two nights thus giving myself a full day in between to play and explore – so now I have Hudson River destinations for a couple visits this year.

“So, Ray,” you ask, “what is the next big trip?”  Last year I started my serious travel in May spending a week in Ireland.  What followed was over 60 nights slept not in my own bed while travelling.  And this year, I started with Yellowstone which was 8 nights and counting.  Mari called a few weeks ago and said, “Ray we are not going to Italy this year in July.”  That is alright I thought to myself, and she continued, “because my brother is getting married the end of March. Would you like to join us, and it is the perfect time of year for you to visit Pompeii.”  Two days later all of our tickets were purchased.  Without trying to fool you all, I outlined my virtual trans-Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary, but I have now bought that ticket for real too.  I got an email with a discount for the voyage I wanted, but sadly at the discounted rate the single supplement is 100%.  I still saved a tad, but the main thing is it motivated me to make the purchase, and once I really arrive in Southampton I will head to Northern Ireland and spend a week there.  “On the list” for several years has been a trip to the Isle of Shoals off Portsmouth, NH where there is an old Victorian retreat and hotel with lots to explore.  Recently overnight stays have been opened to the public for “private retreats” but the other day in a Road Scholar booklet I saw a digital photography course on the islands for a week.  I booked it for late summer.  So, it is not even May, and I have planned travels for over 30 nights away, and should be able to surpass last year’s travel record with more fun journeys like another train trip or two including exploring Glacier National Park.

Well, all for now.  I am sure something will come up in the next couple weeks before I head back to Italy.  Thanks for reading through, yours, RAY

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3 Responses to LONG OVERDUE POST – 28 FEBRUARY 2012

  1. delores says:

    i am also a downton abbey fan — what a great show. glad you took one night off to relax. the library has season 1 & 2 on DVD if you need to catch up. can’t wait for season 3 – with shirley maclaine, i hear. you are an inspiration to chas and me about traveling… always enjoy your posts. thanks.

  2. shirley boas says:

    soooooo glad u had a great time in n.j. the grand kids are beautiful. all is well here and i enjoy reading yoour blog. love s

  3. shirley boas says:

    oh – forgot i saw last year’s downton abbey and am really enjoying the second half.

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