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July 25, 2001 Travel Newsletter
ANTARCTICA / THE ISLAND OF FERNANDO DE NORONHNA IN BRAZIL
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WATCH HILL, RHODE ISLAND / NYC / CT / LA
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ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION
A VISIT TO THE KGB
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WHAT'S DOING IN VANCOUVER
THE TROPICS OF GERMANY
TEN GREAT TREEHOUSES
TWA EXPANDING COACH
STRIKE TO CLOSE MUSEUMS IN GREECE
82% OF AMERICANS RANK PILOT FATIGUE AS MOST IMPORTANT AIR TRAVEL CONCERN
FAA INVESTIGATING TWA
ROMANIA TO BUILD DRACULA THEME PARK
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Airline seat pitch for medium / long haul International flights - shown in inches (metric conversion to cms x 2.5)
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Dimensions represent typical seat pitch offered by an airline on international flights - this may not be available on all of an airline's fleet of aircraft.
Friday afternoon my Dad and I took a drive out to Belmont race track, he loves playing the ponies (Do you like his lucky shirt?). In fact he reads the Daily Racing Form the night before and handicaps the horses. He also likes to go check them out before he bets on them, just to make sure everything is okay. You would think he wins every race, but he doesn't even come close. At the race track it's a mixed class of people coming together (kind of). You have the rich who dress up and usually hang out in the clubhouse with the horse owners. Then there is the total gamblers who have lost every thing they owned and are down to their last buck. A lot of them are crazy drunk dudes who swear words you never even knew existed.
On Saturday, my Dad came up with a great idea to go on a road trip, and show Amber Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Watch Hill is very special to my family, this is the place we always vacationed to celebrate my parents Wedding Anniversary. It was a perfect getaway; close to home, but a far enough that it felt like a different world. The drive is (usually) less than 2 hours from our house in CT, but this time it took 4 hours because we left at 10am and hit beach traffic. (Driving there from NYC take I-95, and exit 92, then follow the signs to Misquamicut, then Watch Hill.) Crossing the R.I. border we found an unusual food stand: Have you ever seen one that serves hot dogs and Lobsters? Only in New England.
In my opinion the only place to stay there is at the great BIG yellow Ocean House hotel (this is where we always stayed). It was built back in 1895 and hasn't changed much since then. It's only open in the Summer (June 27-Labor Day), and staying there today is true to their slogan "A Step Back in Time". For one thing their are NO phones or T.V.'s in the rooms! The rooms are small, and most come with an old fashion tub. The floors are uneven through out the place and it has a very distinctive smell to it (somewhere in between clean fresh ocean air and mildew, but oddly enough it smells good). I have allergies and have never had a problem breathing there, so don't worry about it. If you are going to worry, worry about the ghosts. The place is definitely haunted. They closed the top two floors and legend has it, every time the night watch man goes on his hourly rounds, the infamous rocking chair is in a different room each time. If you go make sure you ask him to tell you about the old lady who they can sometimes hear singing in gaelic in the old tower.
The Hotel has been owned by the same family (Brankert) for 65 years, and they have done such a good job restoring it to keep the look and feel of the early 1900's (maybe because they haven't done much work to it, I dunno). My advice to you is if this looks appealing to you, then hurry up and GO! Their is a very good chance it is going to be sold this Fall and they are supposedly going to tear down the wings :-(.
To give you a little bit better look and feel here are some pictures. Walking into the lobby you will see the original chimney with the date in which it was built (1895, remember?). Beyond that is the ball room (we used to always play scrabble in there) and adjacent to that room is the dining room (breakfast and dinner are included for 2). For lunch eat on the outside patio and enjoy their great Lobster sandwiches. For exercise there are two ping pong tables. Looking for entertainment? There wasn't much growing up (In fact my brother used to call it the cemetery by the sea), now the patio bar down stairs is usually kickin on weekends!. Room rates range from $150 to $260.
The best part of the Ocean House is the beach! Walking down the path brings back so many memories. The ocean is clean, warm and inviting. The O.H. has been lucky enough to have the same lifeguards for 35 years, they are mad cool and are like family to us. It's a good thing otherwise big Frank would've been asked to leave for rolling up his shorts to high. What a character he is, "hey Dad you ever hear of a bathing suit"? Amber and I escaped by taking a walk down the beach. When we came back we woke my Pops up and took a five minute walk into town. Did you know Watch Hill has (what is believed to be) the oldest carousel in the country? The town has all kinds of touristy shops, restaurants, and an awesome Ice Cream shop called St. Annex (Chocolate Peanut butter is my favorite!). If you go there make sure you get the best Orangeade around. Ummm Ummm!
We picked a perfect day, the air temperature was around 80, the water temp 68, and it was so clear we could see Block Island and Montauk Point, Long Island. We were excited to be there, even though it was real sad without my mom, but as Nancy the lifeguard said, she was there in spirit.
To cap the day off, we drove 20 minutes to Ledger CT to go to the largest
casino in the world (believe it or not); Foxwood's.
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