Friday, July 2, 2010

Renate and Sandy's Retirement Trip - Summer, 2010 - Map and Calendar

42 Days
 4400 Miles
25 Cities
10 Families
16 Beds

Note:   Boldfaced, underlined words represent first day arriving at a place we stayed.
               Italics are restaurant or food references.
June 19   Day 1
Richmond Hills
Lousy southern
June 20   Day 2
Roadside peaches
Hilton Head
Italian delivery
June 21  Day3
Danielle, Peter, Alex, Emma
Quick chicken
June 22 Day4
Washington, DC
Washington Hotel
White House roof
Thai take-out
June 23  Day 5
New York
Tribeca Grill
Schu : Salmon
Steve, Debbie, Mark, Steffi
June 24 Day 6
Cafe Edison
Sugarless Hersey
June 25 Day 7
Myron – Ollies
South Sea Port
Debbie computer
City Hall Restrnt
Bananas Foster
June 26   Day 8
Billy Elliot
Debbie’s friend
Next to Normal
Times Square / Kodak screen
June 27   Day 9
Downtn Marriott
Sole Food
June 28 
Day 10
Hair dresser
Howard, Nicole, Ben, Josh, Alexander
June 29   Day 11
Sid & Ed arrive
College Comp.
Swedish Match
Go Fish

June 30    Day 12

Quarter Finals
July 1  Day 13
Semi Finals
AIC Show
NewTradition 25th
Vocal Spectrum
O.C. Times
July 2 Day 14

Chorus Comp.
Vocal Majority Dallas
N.ern lights-Toronto
July 3    Day 15
Harmony Found.
Debbie’s train
Quartet Finals
Storm Front
Old School
Late: Chilis
July 4   Day 16
Sid / Ed fly out
Drive around
4th of July
Deb n Sandy seek fireworks
July 5  Day 17

East Aurora
Roycroft Inn

July 6 
Day 18
Maid of the Mist
Brigit / Sam
Gator or piranha
Mlad, chess
Fisher Price
Tantalus pizza
July 7     Day 19
Canadian Falls
Nebors(on QEW)
Scarboro HoJo
Knight’s Corner
Open late!
July 8   Day 20
Lake Huron
Ann Arbor, Mi
Victory Inn
TV swap
Thai in Inn
July 9  Day 21

U. of Michigan
Oasis (Greek)
on campus
July 10    Day 22
Morton Grove
Best Western
7 Brothers Diner
No AC!
Walmart Fan.
July 11 Day 23
7 Brothers
Balley’s Gym
Sandy / Liz do Oak Park / Chicago
Italian ices
Bakery sandwich
David / Caroline
Piano tuner/cello
July 12 
Day 24
Balley’s Gym
Chicago Architec. Cruise
Oak Park
Prairie Bread Kitchen
Fr. Lloyd Wright
7 Bros.Diner
July 13   
Day 25
B’Hai Worship C in Wilmette
Chicago Botanical
Louie, Maria,
Lefteri, Costas

July 14     Day 26
BK pork sandwich
Columbus, Oh Hyatt on Cap. Sq
Fox Sports online
Sara approves pharmaceut testing
Miles / Radley
July 15 Day 27
Kerouac tour
Sandy continues park, market,  Jenni’s ice cream
Schmidt’s Sausage Haus
in Germantown.
Jenni’s ice crm
Goat chs/ coffee
July 16 
Day 28

Mason, Ohio
Best Western
(near Cincinnati)
Chinese delivery
July 17    Day 29
Kroeger’s lunch
L’ville toilet seat
Wind turbines
Nashville, Tn
Rodeway Inn
Grand Ole Opry
Waffle House
July 18 Day 30

Green Hills Mall
“Cyrus” (movie)
Italian delivery
July 19  
Day 31

Jack’s BarBQue
Lane Bryant at
Sts of Indian Lake
Barnes n Nobles
Gerst Haus
July 20   
Day 32

Oak Ridge
Clinch River
Pigeon Forge
Super 8
July 21     Day 33

Las Ositas
Tanger Outlet
Mountain Grill Salmon / Burger
Cirque de Chine

July 22 Day 34

Kingdom Heirs
Adventure Mt.
July 23    
Day 35
Smokey Mountains
Wood bridge to gas
Sinks, Chimney Tops
Newfound lodge
Maggie V
Ramada, Asheville
Hair Emporium
Mr. K’s Used books
July 24    Day 36
Bele Chere
Grove Arcade
Carmel’s pizza
Rosetta at fountain
Axzel, Petra, Wren
Catherines clothing near Ramada
Hair Emporium
J / S Diner

July 25  Day 37
Grove Park Inn
Biltmore Village
Gianni Panini
Chicos/Coldwater C
Folk Art Center
Sandy: Rosetta’s
Ren:Italian delivry
July 26   
Day 38
Black Mountain
Apple a Day
Art from Heart
Town Hardware
Hickory, N.C.
Ole Hickory Tap Room on Union Square
July 27   
Day 39
Josh’s crab sandw on Union Square
Dave the Birdman
Drive for ice-pack
Chrissy, Eric, Miles, Larkin
Chrissy’s take-out
Brazilian Music
July 28   Day 40
Coffee politics
Eric’s tour
I Thai (our treat)
2 tiles at Loves
Richmond Hills, Quality Inn
July 29 Day 41
St. Simons
Gnat’s Landing
Smoked, pulled, chopped bbq pork
Jekyll Island
St. Marys
Comfort Inn
Brett’s Waterwy C
Grits/Fr Calamari
Boat ramp
live music@ beach
July 30    
Day 42
Logging trucks
Jensen Beach
Dolphin Café (Francis Langford Outrigger)
Buffalo Wgs/Burger
West Palm Beach
Rained when Sandy 4 blocks from walking home after car drop-off.

Life goes on…

Day 1 - June 19 - Leaving West Palm Beach

Day 1 - Saturday June 19: WPB to Richmond Hills, Ga.

Packed in about an hour, picked up Renate in Century Village, went to my father's to get an ice chest and ice packs.

Not dad's best photo. He just came from the pool.

Decided to add Renate to driving.
Stopped at Lake Park Hertz: Telling them that the rented Hyundai pulled slightly to the right, was able to exchange for Buick LaCrosse. GREAT IMPROVEMENT.
The photo above is the only one with the Hyundai Sonata.

We also stopped at Sea Shell place in Riviera to buy schlocky gifts for friends. Yes, I know they'll be reading this.

Shell trivet actually works. I use one at home. Basket is nice momento.

Except for rain, uneventful drive sans gasoline stop to Richmond Hills, Georgia. Cheap $40 motel.

Day 2 - Sunday, June 20 - Savannah, Hilton Head, Charleston

Day 2: Sunday, June 20 –20 minute drive to Savannah. Sunday morning. No traffic. Easy to cruise the city. Downtown has beautiful tree-lined streets with large square drive-around parks every few blocks. Heavily shaded.

Followed the rough cobblestone River drive past all the (closed) restaurants and shops. All old but maintained. We never traveled to see serious colonial mansions but were impressed with the city.

Exited north on state roads towards Hilton Head. We didn’t crash large resorts, but saw golf courses, beautiful country-club homes, and small but pricey old beach-front streets.

Leaving Hilton Head, we pass near Parris Island and Navy base

US-17 north, (near Parris Island) to Charleston Day’s Inn.

Charleston is not a pretty town, but tres historic. Civil War started at nearby Ft Sumter. We did no tours and quit early. One and two blocks from water, restaurants filled inside and out. We ate in. Pizza.

Day 3 - Monday, June 21 – Leesburg, Virginia

Day 3 - Monday, June 21Leesburg, Virginia

Leaving Charleston, we see large Carnival Cruise ship getting ready for departure.
Interstate-26 picks up inside of town and takes us 40+ miles northeast to I-95. We resume northward through South and North Carolinas. Into Virginia. Danielle called inquiring about our progress. “Soon be there,” I reply to which she responds she’ll skip pilates class to have dinner ready for us.
A minute or two later it dawns on Renate and me how silly that is. I call her back to say we’re fine and she should keep some normalcy in her life even with guests.

The I-495. D.C. Beltway. Tricky looping with construction to get to the Dulles Greenway (toll road) to Leesburg, Va. and to the home of Peter and Danielle. Less than 2 minutes from the “Greenway”, the house is beautifully perched on a hill of the 2.5 acre property which also has a pond and a small barn.
We zoomed up on the hill onto the grass to avoid 4 steep, authentic rock (i.e., uneven) steps.
Renate near Danielle's side door

Danielle used to be married to a fellow PBL student, Paul – whom Renate and I both know. They remain close. Their son Alex is now 22? and interning for Danielle’s non-profit group: POGO - Project on Government Oversight. ( Alex was staying this week with his father. Another PBL alumna Kim J. has a son about same age as Alex – also interning at POGO.
Among other things, POGO looks at misuse of Federal funds. Both Renate and I saw Danielle on evening news a year ago. Her group helped protect whistle-blowers from Black Hawk firm that provided security to US Baghdad embassy. There were reports of excessive partying at government expense. 
Her husband, Peter, is also a respected government/political investigator in the D.C. area.
Danielle and Peter have a daughter, Emma, whose summer-time friends kept her mostly out of our sight in the large, rambling house - which was begin in ?1750.

Danielle arrived and - constantly talking - created a chicken pasta dish in 20 minutes that was remarkably good. Secret’s in the sauce she says, sneaking a brand name to Renate.
We caught up on things about Danielle - much already described above.  

Here’s an odd one: Emma’s instances of impossible deja vues. Past lives? Hmm.

Danielle got to catch up on Renate, who dutifully handed out the "business card" of Axel, her "significant other". 

Renate proudly spoke of his looks and his photographic and writing talents - bits of which are viewable at (Think: "I be a writer".) Here are a couple of copy/pastes from it.
Above: Homepage header for

Below: Header of the "Writing" page.

Tomorrow: Ren & Schu take Washington.

Day 4 - Tuesday, June 22 – Washington, D.C., POGO

Day 4 - Tuesday, June 22 – Washington, D.C.

Danielle left early for work, and Peter left for a double-header baseball game – which he plays despite (or maybe because of!) heart problems and knee replacement.
After cereal including more raspberries picked by Peter and Emma from adequate garden, I wandered and jogged the property taking pictures.

We drove Dulles into D.C. I think I avoided $4 in tolls when I inadvertently went to the Dulles airport. In the city, I zig-zagged passed the Lincoln Mem, Washington Mem, White House, Smithsonian, Senate and House Office Bldgs, Capitol, Library of Congress and Supreme Court.

With the magic of Renate’s Handicapped Parking sticker, I parked free at a meter near POGO, Danielle’s office at 11th St N and I St - about 1/2 a mile from the White House.
First we had lunch at a Cosi. Sort of upscale sandwich chain, unknown to us but (we discovered) common up north.

At Danielle’s office, I thought I could see what people actually did in this business of
”government oversight”, but we also admitted our mission to see the results of Paul and Danielle’s union. Renate confessed embarrassment at staring so much at Alex and a staff member took a photograph for our souvenir.
Danielle, Alex, Renate, Sandy
Danielle offered to send Alex with us but we thought this too much and allowed him back to work. Amazing to me was how composed and ready to oblige Alex was during this bartering.

Kim J (aka “ba” to us) was out of town when we visited and we did not get to see her son, also interning at POGO. Readers of this blog are encouraged to visit

Sample home page of show Danielle with ?
At Danielle recommendation, we went to the nearby Washington Hotel. From its 14th floor outdoor restaurant seating we could look down at the neighboring White House. Notable were the two snipers stationed on its roof. They moved about doing surveillance and I imagined must be replaced often, especially in the 98º heat.

Back to Leesburg. We imagined that we would take the family out to dinner, but instead Danielle brought home Thai. Pretty informal household. I never saw Emma eating.

Peter and Danielle discuss politics and especially cases that both work on. Lots of insider networking, including congressional staff, news staff, and free-lance reporters.
Website photo of Peter and POGO staff
But Danielle doesn’t appear to share Peter’s passion for baseball and other sports. ESPN.