Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Break Getaway to Baltimore, Maryland

Our 2012 had been a year full of trips. I talked about our summer vacation to Atlanta, Georgia previously but prior to that, we went to Baltimore, Maryland in the springtime. A friend of mine who lives there invited us to attend her youngest son's Christening. I was hesitant at first because of the long 8-hour drive, but the husband who loves road trips insisted.

Ironically, he has never been to Baltimore and only drove through it. It would be mine and my son's first time too so off we went.

I talked about the trip on my family blog so, like I did in my previous post about Atlanta, I am just going to put links to the post about the places we've checked.

Hello Baltimore! We arrived there on a Saturday since the Christening was on a Sunday.

The following day after the Christening which was of course Monday, my friend gave us a tour of the famous destinations in the city. First stop, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. We toured the museum then went outside to check the fort. As we went back to the museum, we came across this guy in uniform.

Inner Harbor

I just realized, I haven't talked about it on my family blog. Or maybe I did but the thing is, I couldn't find the post. I will just have to talk about it on my next post. Please bear with me.

The National Aquarium

I do remember writing a post about it but I couldn't find it either. I think the search widget is not working right. Anywho, I will write about this soon too.

After we've checked these places, we grabbed us lunch courtesy of my friend. It was raining that day and was chilly so we decided to head to her place after lunch.

It was great seeing another part of the country. And there are more for us to see. More travel stories next time.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Summer Vacation to Atlanta, Georgia

It was in 2012 when the hubs surprised us with a trip to Atlanta, Georgia. My son and I had only been here in the U.S. for almost two years when it happened. I didn't know my adventurous husband had been planning it all along. And since the city is only a three hour drive from our city, I didn't except us to stay long there too. I thought we would only stay over night.

And you bet...we had a blast!. As soon as he told me about the trip, I helped him booked the hotel (I chose the hotel and he paid for it, to be precise), and I did the checking myself on the attractions that we're going to visit. Except for the one that he decided himself though - watching baseball games of the Atlanta Braves for two nights in a row. He's a fan alright, but my son and I enjoyed it immensely too.

I've actually talked about the whole vacation in a series on my family blog "My so-called Life." With that, I will be putting the links to each post on that blog below each picture here so I don't have to talk about it all over again.

Approaching downtown "Hotlanta!"

The hotel where we stayed in is located right in front of the infamous Fox Theatre. Needless to stay, we stayed right in the heart of downtown Atlanta.

In front of Turner Field where we watched our favorite baseball team, the 'Atlanta Braves' play for two consecutive nights.

We stayed in Atlanta for three nights and four days. And seeing all those photos, I think you can tell that we had a hectic schedule. We did and we surely enjoyed it to the max! Here's the POST about our last night and last breakfast the following day, by the way.

Hubby wants us to go back and watch another baseball game this year. It will be baseball season soon and although he haven't made any definite plan yet, no biggy. I am always ready to go whenever. I love trips, you know. One thing that we both have in common actually.

How about you? Any awesome summer vacation that you want to share?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

We're Anxiously Awaiting the Arrival of Ms. Spring

This year has been a brutal winter not only here in the south but the country as a whole. We consider ourselves lucky though because during the entire time that the midwest and northeast have been slammed with a foot and more of snow, we only got 8 inches here. And that was the only heavy snow that we've got although from then on, the temperature continued to drop from time to time. It's still been cool up to now even though spring is tomorrow. We're all wondering when Mr. Winter is going to leave.

Today has been chilly too. And when the weather is like this, there is only one song that pops in my head...”Sunny and 75” by Joe Nichols. With what seems to be a hohner accordion playing in the background, the songs goes...”I’m somewhere, somewhere sunny and 75. You and me on a beach chair...”

Although the song talks about a couple and can be considered sappy, I think it is exactly what most of us dream be somewhere sunny and 75. With the weather being chilly and gloomy today, you're damn right that is what I am dreaming of. But all we can do is dream for now. I think I will just have to redirect my mind to something spring will sprung tomorrow.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

They Sure Don't Make 'em Like They Used To

Original Theater Poster
Sorry to use such a stale, cliché saw as a title, but I can't help but feel that way about what I'm going to write. In this instance, I'm referring to movies. As of late, since we converted from satellite to cable, I've been reveling in all the great old movies and TV shows I've been able to watch. In my mind, they're classics all. That in itself should reveal the fact that when it comes to this type of entertainment, I'm old school. Not that I don't enjoy today's movies and such...still, it's just not the same it once was, back in the day. But at this moment, I want to talk about one particular movie released in 1955, and the actor who won an Academy Award for his role in it: Marty,  starring Ernest Borgnine.

Over the years I'd come across references to the movie in relation to Ernest Borgnine's great performance, and it had always been an answer to clues in the crossword puzzles I'm so addicted to. Yet, I'd never had the opportunity to see it. But just last week it popped up on the schedule, and being such a Borgnine fan, I jumped at the chance to finally see it. And what an experience it was; it absolutely blew my mind! And why, you may wonder. Well, that's the rest of the story.

This was early in Borgnine's career, his eleventh movie. In quite a few of the first ten, he'd always been cast as a ruffian, a rough and tough bad guy, basically, a no-goodnick villain, the most notable role being that of Staff Sergeant James R. Judson, the man in charge of the Army brig in the 1953 classic From Here to Eternity. And he aced that one, as well as another character he portrayed, Dutch Engstrom, over a decade later in the then controversial The Wild Bunch, which in my mind's eye, along with the Outlaw Josey Wales, are the best westerns ever made. That persona for which he is so often remembered, and was often typecast for, is what makes his portrayal of the shy, middle-aged nice guy Marty such a hallmark moment.

The setting is in New York City, the Bronx, and Marty Piletti is an Italian-American butcher, single at 34 and still living at home with his mother. All his younger brothers and sisters are already married and his mother is constantly nagging him about it being his time to get married and start a family. Though he would like nothing more, the way he sees it is that he's fat and ugly and hasn't a chance of ever finding love. But the irony in this entire movie is how it is that he's not the only one in the same predicament, the other one being a plain looking lady, and their coming together is the stuff of dreams come true. And all the quirks and twists and turns in how this came to be is the beauty of storytelling and how fate can lead to happiness. And I'll leave it at that and say no more, for I don't want to be a spoiler. If I've perked your interest, you just need to check it our yourself.

Marty was originally a TV teleplay which aired on The Philco Television Playhouse, written by "Paddy" Chayefsky, considered one of the top dramatists in that bygone era of the so-called Golden Age of Television, and was one of the, if not the, first from TV to the big screen productions. And not only did Ernest Borgnine win the Best Actor Academy Award for this movie, the movie itself won for Best Picture, Delbert Mann won for Best Director for his first ever film directed and Chayefsky won for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay.

Without a doubt, this movie could be what's called in this day and age a schmucky, sappy chick flick. And though I'm a guy, your typical American male you could say, I guess, I actually love movies like this. Can you say Sleepless in Seattle? But this poignant movie touched me in a personal way because Marty reminded me of the once-upon-a-time me. I, too, was a very shy fellow, totally inept at social interaction with the fairer gender, always in search of but never finding that special one. But my o' my, how things can change; dreams really do come true. And be you either a guy, or a chick, who has no problem with being schmucky and sappy, I would advise you to see this one and compare it with today's fare. Also, it would really be great if you did it the way I did over these years, see Borgnine's roles in From Here to Eternity and The Wild Bunch first before seeing Marty. The difference will astound you and be proof positive that you shouldn't stereotype anyone. Happy movie watching, y'all!