Friday, February 16, 2018

Chamber Music Concert

We heard the Brentano String Quartet, plus pianist Jonathan Boss, at Princeton last evening.  The program was

  • Mozart String Quartet No. 19
  • An interesting mixture of Webern 6 Bagatellen for String Quartet and Schubert Minuets
  • Elgar Quintet in A Minor for Piano and String Quartet

Sunday, February 11, 2018


We went to a fun concert last evening at McCarter Theatre in Princeton.  It was given by the Accordion Virtuosi of Russia.  They consist of 20 accordions of at least 3 different types, percussion, a couple of electric guitars, a soloist playing the electric violin, which I had never seen before, and an eclectic mix of music.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Trip to NYC

We had an interesting trip to NYC yesterday.  We have signed up for a Life Long Learning course called "Technological Change and Society" run by Swarthmore College.  The course will meet weekly for two months and is held in New York City in the area I now know is the northern portion of Chelsea.  The building is one of many new ones in the area between Penn Station and the Hudson River.  The view is quite spectacular from the 27th floor.

We took an earlier train than necessary because we weren't sure where we were going and were concerned about train delays, which are becoming all too frequent.  The building we were meeting in is on the High Line, so we used our extra time walking along it and enjoying the views.  We even got to see the sunset across the river before heading back for class.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Play at McCarter

I went to McCarter Theatre in Princeton to see the play "Stones in His Pockets" last evening.  It was good but not what I had expected.  Two amazing actors played a total of about a dozen roles.  But it was not a comedy as I had thought.  Still, it was a nice night out.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Yamato Drummers

We saw a great show in Princeton's McCarter Theatre last evening.  The Yamato Drummers of Japan was a very entertaining group.  They have a contemporary twist on traditional taiko drumming.  They include female drummers and sprinkled in some comedy that was really fun.  And the drumming was fantastic.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Disney World - Pandora

The main reason for going to Animal Kingdom was to see Pandora.  We rode the Na'vi River Journey and the Avatar Flight of Passage and took lots of photos.

I also enjoyed the Tree of Life in Discovery Island, but I complained that they used an unrealistic green for the leaves.  Otherwise one would swear it was a carved real tree.

Disney World

We spent the last two days in Animal Kingdom in Disney World and stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge last night.  We head north tomorrow, staying overnight north of Charlotte, NC.  We enjoyed the drive south on routes 81/77/26 and will go home that way as well.

We enjoyed the musicians in the park.  This guy was fantastic.  I have no idea what his instrument is called.

Not surprisingly, much of Animal Kingdom is focused on viewing animals.  We took the Safari ride in the Africa section once each day in order to see the most animals.  And we walked through all the other spots where animals can be viewed.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Corkscrew Swamp

We drove to Orlando via National Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.  It is not really on the way, but we wanted to go there and hadn't made it while staying on Sanibel.  The 2.25 mile walk along the boardwalk was very nice.

The trees were full of bromeliads.

We saw lots of very large bald cypress trees, for which the sanctuary is noted.

And lots of examples of strangler figs.

There were many trees down and damage to the boardwalk from hurricane Irma.  Most had been repaired but a section was left undone, with a sign that reads "This section of the boardwalk - the Dodson Spur - will remain permanently closed as a reminder of the damage inflicted by Hurricane Irma on Sep 10, 2017."

We saw an anhinga nest complete with chick, whose skinny pale neck can be seen next to the parent.

And a large alligator.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Leaving Sanibel

Others in the party decided we needed to get to Disney World earlier than planned tomorrow, so we are leaving Sanibel today and staying in a hotel in Orlando tonight.  So here are some final thoughts on Sandy Bend.  I would definitely stay here again.  But Kingfisher Vacations would have to be able to assure me that construction was done and we would have a screened-in patio.  I really missed the ability to let fresh air into the condo and to basically live out on the lanai.  Other than that, Unit 3 is very nice.  But I think I would go to a higher floor next time.  While you can walk out to the beach from the bottom floor, there is no way to lock the door.  So if you want security, you must go out toward the parking lot.  On an upper floor the doors into the lanai could be left open while you were gone.  Unit 6 seems like a good choice and its lanai is completed.  You definitely want 6 or 8 so you can watch the sunset.  But it looks as though 6 has been redone more recently with modern appliances.  And Unit 8 is upstairs next to the common area and could be noisy.  Unit 5 doesn't have the new lanai with sliding glass doors and I don't know if it ever will.  All the others are done or under construction.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sanibel Island Day 11 - Cont'd

We decided to go out for dinner, so instead of biking we drove to the public beach at the end of Tarpon Bay Road to walk a different section of the beach before dinner.  We ended up by Casa Ybel and the "pelican trees."  There always seem to be pelicans roosting there.