Saturday, December 9, 2017

First Snow

We are getting several inches of snow today.  I made sure I had enough food out for the birds, and they called all their friends.  I may not have much variety - these are all house finches - but I sure have a lot.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

NJ Symphony Concert

Another great concert by the symphony, at NJPAC on Sunday afternoon.

  • Rachmaninoff - Vocalise
  • Rachmaninoff - Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, with pianist Stephen Hough - WOW
  • Prokofiev - Symphony No. 6

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Rockettes Christmas Spectacular

We took the train to NYC today to see a matinee performance of the Rockettes in their Christmas show.  It was quite a spectacle.


But I sure can do without the New York crowds.  It was particularly bad when we got out of the show.  We hadn't realized when we bought the tickets that this evening was the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, which is near Radio City Music Hall.  The police were out in droves and there were road blocks everywhere.  So it was a bit of a challenge to make our way back to the train station.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Great New Jersey Day

We had tickets for a concert in Princeton at 6 PM, so we planned a Princeton afternoon.  We drove to Kingston and walked along the tow path for an hour.  Then we went to the Princeton Shopping Center on North Harrison Street to drop off a sewing machine for repair.  While we were there we stopped in to the Shanghai Park Restaurant for an early dinner.  It was really good, so now we have another place to eat while in Princeton.  Then we drove to our usual parking garage and walked to Richardson auditorium for a concert by the Cristina Pato Quartet featuring the Galician bagpipe.  It was a "Performance Up Close" so we sat onstage in the front row.  It was great.  Then to Thomas Sweets for ice-cream.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and NJSO

Now that we are back to NJ and attending lots of concerts I need to resume posting them.  I completely forgot for the first one, a concert by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at NJPAC on Sunday  afternoon, October 22nd.  It was great and included a Mozart piano concerto played by Andre Watts.  But unfortunately, I don't remember the exact program.

Today we went to NJPAC again for a NJSO concert.  It was at 1:30 PM.  We have decided to try mostly daytime concerts this year so we don't have to drive at night.  But it took us an hour to drive to Newark, so that wasn't too great, though the traffic didn't seem so bad.  The program was

  • Beethoven "Overture to Coriolan"
  • Bartok "Piano Concerto No 3" which we really enjoyed; more melodic than one usually expects from Bartok
  • Beethoven "Symphony No 5" which we also really enjoyed.  I thought I would be tired of it, but hearing it live, and directed by the NJSO's dynamic new conductor, it was really great.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Utah Vacation - Arches Day 3

This is the last day of the hiking portion of our vacation.  This morning we drove back into Arches and stopped at some of the arches and other points we had not seen before.








Then we drove to Grand Junction from which we will fly out tomorrow morning.  We will travel to see my father for a few days, then head home.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Utah Vacation - Arches Day 2

We did another great hike today, the last big one on our trip.  We drove to the end of the road in Arches and hiked toward Double O Arch, doing about 5 miles round trip.  The drive there included lots of great views.


There are few spots to stop for photos and even fewer to walk up into the formations since they are trying to preserve the ground cover.  We started up the trail toward Double O Arch mid-morning.


The first stop was a view of Landscape Arch.


The trail up to there was basically paved.  Then we came to the "primitive" part of the trail.  The photo does not adequately express our thought of "you want us to climb up there???"  But we managed it.  We were concerned about getting back down, but it wasn't bad.


We climbed up to a spot where we got a view of this double arch.  We never figured out which one that was.  It was definitely not Double O, which was much farther along.


This is the view down from that spot.


Onward for more great views.


Now we are looking at the time and realizing how far back we have to walk and drive before we can get lunch.  The trail to Double O arch is still way ahead of us.  So we decided to turn around.


On the way back we took a short side trail to Navajo Arch and more great scenery.


We were very surprised to come across several mule deer licking the rock wall.  They must be getting some sort of needed minerals.


The arch itself was very neat, especially since you can walk under it.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Utah Vacation - Arches Delicate Arch

We are now in Moab, in a very nice 2-room suite in the Best Western Canyonlands Inn.  Today we hiked about 3.5 miles round trip to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.  We of course had lots of company as we scaled a large slope of slick rock.  We climbed a total of about 500 feet.


We've been here nearly two weeks but haven't tired of the fantastic rock formations.


We walked along this rock ledge to get to the viewpoint.


They make a big deal of the arch, but the rest of the scenery is pretty spectacular too.


Getting a photo of the arch without someone in it was a challenge


but I finally got it.  Note the snow dusted mountains in the background.


Then we hiked back down to the car.  The parking lot is to the right of the bottommost road in the photo.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Utah Vacation - Lake Powell

We arrived at Lake Powell resort late yesterday.  Note to self:  don't stay at the Resort again.  It was the most expensive room we have had yet, and it was not nearly as nice as other places we have stayed.  When we left, we drove through Page, AZ for lunch and found several very nice looking motels.  We chose Lake Powell as a place to stop on our way to Moab, UT.  Though we hadn't the time to rent a houseboat as we have done in the past, at least we could take a boat tour.


We left from the Wahweap Marina on the left side of the map

and circumnavigated Antelope Island.  We went through a narrow channel you can hardly see on the map, going past Castle Rock

 and entering Navaho Canyon on the upper middle of the map.

We saw a great example of what they call Navaho tapestry on the canyon wall.

Then we went past the entrance to the upper portion of the lake (upper right on the map) and went into Antelope Canyon (lower right on the map.)  We went quite a way into the canyon until we had to turn around in a very tight spot.








Then we came back out of the canyon and continued around Antelope Island.  We went past Antelope Marina where there were many very fancy houseboats moored.


Then we had a quick view of the dam, then back to Wahweap.
After lunch we drove the 4.5 hours to Moab, UT where we will spend the next several days.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Utah Vacation - Toadstools

I'm going to post way too many photos from this stop, because it was such a neat spot.  This morning we left Zion, driving along Route 89 to Page, AZ.  We had read about the Toadstools trailhead right along the road in southern Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, and figured it would be a good place to stop to break up the drive.


We ended up walking about 4 miles round trip.  We are heading for the red rock layer in the photo.


walking in a wash much of the time.


Then things got interesting.






The cliff behind the red rocks was pretty interesting too.  You can barely see me standing in this neat hole in the rock.


We read that you could get a view of the Paria River valley from up here, so we headed in roughly that direction.  We figured there must be a way through the red rocks in the distance.


So we started exploring


and made it through to this great view.


Then we finally turned around and retraced our steps.