Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Web Cam

Am I the only one who finds this amusing that we have the Exeter web cam? Click here to view the exciting bandstand and Town Hall.

NHPR is Back-- Very Cool

So NHPR is back with a very cool Town meeting project. Here's the info from their Executive Editor Jon Greenberg:
Exeter Friends –
I hope you will give a gander at our hottest contribution to the web – our interactive Town Meeting Map. If you didn’t have time to get to the earlier meetings in Exeter and you want a snap shot of some of the more scintillating warrant articles, this feature is a dream come true. Your very own Russ Dean added Exeter’s information to the site and now you can see what’s up and …
In keeping with the principle that an email without an exhortation to post is an email not worth sending, I invite you to help break the ice on the Exeter-specific discussion page -- even if you just want to write that you like everything on the warrant and welcome the chance to pay property taxes. FYI, you will need to register on the NHPR web site to post a comment if you’ve never done so before. It is a process that asks much less than the PPO sign-up. Sorry if this takes you an extra 30 seconds but we haven’t figured out how to merge the two data bases.
Should you be inspired to send one of these links to your Exeter friends, that would be nifty.
By the way, the Town Meeting project is statewide. Every town has been invited to participate and every town gets its own discussion page. About 80 towns have signed up already and more are coming in every day.
Interactively yours,
Jon Greenberg, Executive Editor

And here's the link to the Exeter page: Click here

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Sick House

Here it is 10 a.m. and I'm still in my PJs...Not because I'm sick, that was last week. Now it's poor Willie. He came down with a fever Sunday, followed by congestion, runny nose, etc. For the past 3 days, we've been relegated to the couch together. By this morning, I didn't even bother getting dressed. He woke up at 3:23 a.m. today, screaming, cranky. And he's been up ever since, though in a semi hypnotized sick state. I had grand plans of catching up on work this week... Now I've accepted (this is a hard thing for me) that when your child gets sick, you can pretty much forget about anything else. Are readers of the newspaper really going to care if I don't write yet another story about the Cooperative School Board this week? some might. But in the long run, that's not really part of the big picture.
So it's back to the couch to hold my little boy and wipe his runny nose as we make our way through another day of cartoons. There's nothing quite like the feeling when he turns to me upon waking up, smiles briefly and says "MAMA" before wiping his runny nose on my shirt.. again. And I'm really getting into the deep plot of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Sesame Street.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Week 3 South Beach Diet...

Wayne wanted to know how the diet's going.. Well, it's here in part. Gone in part. Somehow I've lost 12 pounds. Don't know how? The snow this afternoon forced me to buy some more of that wet stone wine, good stuff, which is definitely not on the diet.
I tried. I really did. One day I was so sick of eggs, cheese sticks, salads and the rest of the stuff I was supposed to eat, I hit rock bottom. Determined not to eat something not on the diet, but naseous thinking about more eggs,etc., I ate fat free/sugar free fudge pops, pistachio nuts, sugar free jello cups and sugar free flavored water all day. And this is why my husband often calls me neurotic.
And then there was the little incident called going to Margarita's last weekend with my old roommate Missy. Can you say cheese, more cheese, and more cheese?? And margaritas, aka, sugar fest.
I've also been eating the 10 pound loaf of whole grain bread affectionally known as the "lead bread" which is so hard to digest it allegedly slows absorption of all fats. My jaw hurts for days after eating a piece of this stuff. I've convinced myself that if I eat a piece of this stuff I have clearance for at least 10 hours to eat whatever I want.
Wet stone wine and cheese dip sound good!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Pork and Beer Hooray

This is so tasty.. A great one to put in the fridge in the morning and then grill up at night. YUUM
2 cups water
2 cups dark lager beer
1/4 cup coarse salt
3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
1 cup ice cubes
6 1- to 1 1/4-inch-thick center-cut bone-in pork chops
7 large garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried sage leaves
Combine 2 cups water, beer, 1/4 cup coarse salt, sugar, and molasses in large bowl. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Stir in ice. Place pork chops in large resealable plastic bag. Pour beer brine over pork chops; seal bag. Refrigerate 4 hours, turning bag occasionally.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Remove pork chops from beer brine; pat dry. Mix garlic, pepper, 2 teaspoons salt, and sage in small bowl. Rub garlic mixture over both sides of pork chops. Grill pork chops until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of chops registers 145°F to 150°F, about 10 minutes per side, occasionally moving chops to cooler part of rack if burning. Transfer chops to platter; cover with foil, and let stand 5 minutes. Serve.

Selectmen Candidates to Face Off

This just in.. Three of the four candidates for selectmen will take part in a candidate's night Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Nowak Room of the Town Offices. Matt Quandt, Bobby Aldrich and Bill Campbell will be present. The other candidate, Tanis, is out of the country. It's being sponsored by the Exeter Area Junior Women's Club.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

New Book by Local Author

I've been down and out with the flu all week... so haven't been up for blogging. But I'm back and with news of a new book from local author James Buchanan called Selling Their Childhood.

From the web site on the book:

The stories collected in this book are compelling, real, sensual and experiential. They are narratives that draw the reader into the lives and experiences of people quietly, yet bravely facing the complexities of life as they seek the most simple of goals—happiness.There is the teenage boy sitting on the steps of a bus station in Omaha trying to see that there is a life for him beyond prostituting himself to the men who drive in from the suburbs.There is the woman losing herself in the deep blue of the landscape as she patiently and painfully waits as her husband and sister work to make a child as a last hope to build a family.And there is the new dad desperately trying to calm his child as he wrestles with the reality underlying his wife’s idealism.These as well as the other stories collected in this book explore the textures of life and are told in a manner that allows the reader to see and feel the worlds these characters inhabit.

James, 42, who used to work with me at the newspaper, lives in Exeter with his two children, Quincy and Violet, and their cat Jesse and leopard gecko Spotty. You may remember him from the first campaign of State Senator Maggie Hassan (He was the campaign manager).

Check out James' web site at for more info.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Coincidence? I don't think so...

Less than 24 hours after my last post about the Passport to Fun, I received these two emails:

Dear Lara Bricker,
We would like to let you know that your Passport to Fun+ membership and benefits privileges were cancelled on 02/21/2008 per your membership terms

Dear Lara Bricker,
We would like to let you know that your VistaPrint Rewards membership and benefits privileges were cancelled on 02/21/2008 per your membership terms.

I hadn't even called these people yet so can only imagine why they were both suddenly, spontaneously given the ax.

Today I received a letter in the mail from Vista Print and Passport to Fun notifying me that my recent postings on the Internet about them had come to their attention for review. Yikes, talk about big brother watching. Because they value community service, my membership was cancelled and I would receive a refund of $0. I guess they didn't notice the comment about how I liked my business cards and other promotional material.. it's their 50000 pop ups at the end of the ordering process that are the problem.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Passport to Fun? I Don't Think So

So I noticed a charge that I didn't recognize on my latest debit/credit card bill. $14.95 for Passport to Fun. Now I know I would remember buying something that was, as the name says, a Passport to Fun. Their web site says they can't wait to tell me how much fun I'm going to have getting discounts on vacations. Too bad I have no member ID or password or any recollection of getting these great deals.
A quick Google search turned up a host of fraud warnings from people with similar unexplained charges. And the mystery was solved. I ordered some business cards and other promotional book material recently through Vista Print. Now, the cards were a nice quality, cheap and here quickly. The problem with ordering through this place is there are about 5,000 pop up ads/extra deals at the end of the site that you have to click on (sort of like the Whack a Mole game at the arcade) before you can check out. Apparently one of these was for Passport To Fun.
So tomorrow's fund job, call this place and get off their automatic billing list...

Motif Number 1

So I'm apparently not up on my local history.. Sorry. It has been pointed out to me by several much more historically savvy than myself, that the building I called the little red house in Rockport is actually quite famous.

One alert reader emailed me the Wikipedia Page on it. For those who are as clueless as I, check it out:

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cruising the North Shore

I was inspired by fellow blogger Amy Kane last week when she took an afternoon jaunt out to Woodman's in Essex. We usually take the Ipswich, Gloucester, Rockport drive once or twice a winter. With Willie off to the grandparent's to harass their big dog, we were off on a lazy afternoon drive. It's a good distance, nice scenery, and bonus, the first stop is the Choate Bridge Pub in Ipswich. I love this place. It's a gritty, local hangout which is always packed, and has the best burgers. South Beach diet? What? Forget it. Where else can you get a half pound handmade burger on an onion roll? And drinks that, well, after one you'll be saying "Winter? What winter?" Cheaper than therapy.
Fortified by a margarita (or two) we cruised down to Rockport (ironically the dry town) to take a walk. My ears were freezing!

Kenny says this is the most photographed boat house around in the little harbor at Rockport.

And then there's the mystery of the drive--this bus by a restaurant on the way. I've never seen anyone at this place (and neither has Kenny) but it still appears to be open every time we go by. I may have to take another trip to investigate this one.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Insane or Eccentric?

The latest on LaBarre from the Sunday paper today:
By Lara Bricker
February 17, 2008 6:00 AM
EPPING — The rarely used insanity defense brought into play in the case of Sheila LaBarre has not worked for a handful of other murder defendants in the state.
One heard God tell him to kill his wife and son. Another, with an abusive childhood, snapped when he strangled his wife and suffocated his three children. Both did as LaBarre, 49, has opted to do in their murder cases, when they waived the guilt phase of the case and moved straight to a trial on their sanity. Both failed to convince a jury they were insane at the time of the slayings and are now serving life sentences.
"It's been tried and it is an uphill battle. It's not an easy thing," said Manchester lawyer Michael Ramsdell, a former head of the homicide unit at the state Attorney General's Office and a former federal prosecutor, who added that LaBarre's decision is a rare move. "It's not unprecedented, but it is unusual."
In LaBarre's favor is the fact that both of her two lead attorneys have handled previous insanity cases and one of those attorneys, Jeffrey Denner, has successfully tried a case in which his client was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

A guy at the Crime Scene Blog (CLICK HERE) has also been following the case

Friday, February 15, 2008

Wet Stone Wine?

So I've been stuck at my computer a lot the end of this week as I hunkered down to write a big Sunday story on LaBarre. By this afternoon, I needed some air. So I headed down to the White Lily Teas for the $1 per minute chair massage. (They're now doing tea tastings once a month, go to their website for details). After the nice girl beat the crap out of my tight shoulders, I headed over to On the Vine for their Friday afternoon wine tasting. Hooray! This was a bad plan in the sense that I've had so way enough of the South Park diet, but unable to break the diet, I have been surviving today on a diet of pistachios, fat free sugar free fudge pops and coffee. So yes a sip of wine went right to my head. Perhaps that's why I found it so funny when the extremely young wine rep (who seemed to know like the entire history of all things wine) told me to imagine the Urban Reisling I was drinking should have a hint of wet stone. You know, she told me, how a stone might smell after a rainstorm? I have to say, that's a first, wet stone wine. But hey, it was good. Unfortunately not on the South Park Diet--those reislings have too much sugar!

Bobsled Run?

My driveway was a solid sheet of ice yesterday. Made me think of a bobsled run. I don't know how many more times I can say "I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF WINTER."
I am thinking of warmer places today. Want help with the visualization? Click here to go to some live webcams of tropical islands.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Enough Already

This is a glacier somewhere in Alaska and it's how I'm starting to feel about this winter. Snow, ice, snow, ice, sleet. Like that movie Ground Hog Day. I've stopped watching the weather and so it completely took me by surprise when Kenny was making storm preparations yesterday afternoon.
I bought some body mist spray this week that smells like coconut with the positive mind power plan that I could close my eyes and imagine I was somewhere else.
I think I need something a bit stronger.
In another Ground Hog Day like story, the ZBA approved a modified version of the Fort Rock Farm/ St. Michael's Church plan at midnight last night. Now I'm not picking sides, but here's my prediction on this one. So since the opposition didn't have a chance to comment on the last minute changes, they'll appeal to court. Court will remand back to ZBA for another hearing where they can comment. We'll be right back where we started.
Hopefully by then, the ice and snow will be gone!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Latest on LaBarre

Remember when she looked like this?
So I've been covering this case which is like something straight out of a CSI Episode. I've always suspected she had more than one victim but had no idea today would be the day they announced this. She plead not guilty by reason of insanity to killing two men. Here's the quick story I posted up today about it:
In the interesting bit of info category on the hearing today, Sheila has dry skin. She started to complain about the water temperature in the Strafford County Jail when her attorney gave her the "shut up" jab in the side. Apparently she has a prescription moisturizer.

Is it D-Day for Fort Rock Farm Finally?

First a pirate flag on the river, now a teepee for Save Fort Rock Farm. I'm impressed that someone went to the trouble to construct this teepee. Looks like the flag that was on the boat in the same place last summer. So the big question is, will the ZBA finally make a decision tonight? OR (my bet) will they have to postpone the meeting because everyone can't fit inside the Town Hall? With the turnout at the last two meetings, it seems a bit strange they would go to the town hall that couldn't hold that # of people. I guess we'll see.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Another New Blog

So though I say I'm slowing down, it never really happens. I'm doing a parenting blog for Seacoast Media Group that will be updated throughout the week.

One Week Down...

So the South Park Diet book lies a little about your cravings for bread going away after two days.. BUT, one week and eight pounds down. So the deal about losing lots of weight in the first two weeks is true, albeit a carb lovers nightmare. I'll won't be sad if I never see another egg again. I am so sick of eggs for breakfast. They really need toast!

It doesn't help that Willie eats french toast sticks for breakfast. They smell soo good. They look even better. Sad since they come from a box, but when you are an addict coming down, well, any form of bread looks good. The Travel Channel had a special on last night about the best cheeseburgers across the country. It was almost too much to stand. Luckily this was followed by some show about men trying to live with tribal people eating bloody raw meat fresh from the beast, so I lost my appetite.

Friday, February 8, 2008

No More Carmen's?

I'm hearing a very sad report today that Carmen's in East Kingston has closed up shop. I love that place and of course Bob of Penang and Tokyo fame. Apparently the weekend breakfast rush was the best time of the week, but not enough to support them on the slower weekdays.

I am not happy about this.. Maybe they'll reconsider. Forget the citizen's petitions on the warrant this year, what about a petition to bring back Carmen's?
The Carmen's Team in Happier Days

Today's Column

A timeshare crusader lays in wait for the couple walking down the beach
My "surveillance" photos of the timeshare golf cart crusaders in action. Here is one who just got the brush off from the couple behind her

Psst, wanna buy a timeshare?
By Lara Bricker
February 08, 2008 6:00 AM
I've just returned from a timeshare with the family and have made some discoveries. Despite the endless exciting activities one can take part in at a timeshare — you know the shuffleboard tournaments, the hermit crab races, make your own Popsicle stick photo frame, the bingo games — the timeshare industry seems to be struggling. You don't say.
What evidence did I collect?
Well, plenty of firsthand data, you know, what an investigator might call "field work." Picture our first experience as we are driving down A1A in our rented mini-van. I know, I know, we practically had a day glow beacon projecting from our van, what with me in the front with a map, Kenny driving below the speed limit as he looked around, and an old lady and baby in the back seat. We practically had a billboard above our van proclaiming "Tourists, Tourists, Tourists, Get your new Tourists here."
And they did.
A small car pulled up next to us with two men inside waving at us frantically. They rolled down the window and started yelling at us. Were we being car-jacked? Did they need directions? Had we accidentally put grammy on the roof in a rocking chair like in National Lampoon's vacation?
Not exactly.
Do you want to buy a timeshare? They yelled at us.
Say what?
They told us they worked for the timeshare up the street that was having an open house. And we, the shiny new tourists in our shiny new rental van, were one of the few, the select, the chosen ones invited to attend said open house. They managed to convey all of this important information to us while driving next to us down the road. It was amazing, you know, like the thrill of winning the lottery or something. I mean out of all the people on the beach, we had been selected for this amazing behind the scenes tour. Imagine our luck.
All set, Kenny waved as he finally put the mini van over the speed limit to lose their tail.
And this, folks, was my first sign of the plight of the timeshare industry, which, when my grandparents bought into it, was a good deal. Now, they're hiring two guys who looked like they got lost on their way to spring break on Daytona Beach to accost people in traffic.
Maybe people don't want to bet in hermit crab races. Maybe it's that they can't afford the amount of silver and gold jewelry you are required to wear by the pool with the permanently tan 80-year-old men in their Speedos.
Evidence of the timeshare's woes continued when Kenny had another encounter on the beach. Now I'd spotted golf carts going up and down the beach and assumed they were part of the beach patrol or something. That's what they want you to think. It's their plan — fool you into thinking they're there to help. As Kenny was taking a walk one morning, a woman on a golf cart pulled up next to him and told him he had been selected as a special guest for an exciting timeshare tour down the way. We were really beating the odds this week. Imagine that, not only had we been the lucky winners on the street, but the beach also. Our odds were so good it might be time to take that casino cruise off the Florida coast for the night.
Kenny waved her away and managed to escape.
But others were not so lucky.
Elderly people were being abducted from the beaches at record numbers by these golf cart crusaders. The cart drivers would see a couple walking slowly, stop, and offer then a seat on the back of their golf cart. How considerate. They before the elderly couple could catch their breath, the cart was off and running back to the timeshare.
We've got some live ones here, they no doubt radio ahead to the timeshare people at the other end.
I managed to snap some "surveillance photos" from my timeshare window of these cart crusaders in action. They really have the cover down well. Some even pretend they are innocently stopping to feed the sea gulls in the same area as some unlucky, or lucky, tourists.
Still, despite all of these guaranteed tactics, they were coming up short. I can't imagine why.
By the end of the week, they were getting desperate, in terms of making an actual sale and finding competent help. No doubt, these salespeople work on some kind of commission basis and with no sales, well, that was the end of them. Their pool of prospective sales weasels was dwindling. By the end of the week, Kenny was approached by another sales person on the beach who looked like the after photo on the "don't do meth" public awareness commercials. In a raspy voice, she offered him $100 in cash to just look at the timeshare. Hey did I hear they were handing out free cigarettes too? Oops, sorry, that's what they were now paying their salespeople in these days.
Yes, he turned it down. Cigarettes and all.
Lara Bricker is a correspondent for Seacoast Media Group

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Holy Grail in Epping?

I had to drive to Epping this afternoon to cover a ribbon cutting for the Epping Town Hall's new "green" heating system, solar panels, etc.. Now this morning, I poo-pooed all the closings thinking people were being wussy about the roads. They were not. It was horrible out there.
Here's where I did my civic duty for the day and called in this accident to the dispatch center.
And then just when you think Exeter's Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code was the only local link to the Holy Grail. There it is in Epping, the center of the universe. My sources tell me this is going to be an Irish pub/restaurant opening later this year. Nice sign.

Something to Perk up Those Sad Pats Fans

It's like the elephant in the corner this week--the Patriots. I didn't dare mention the game to Kenny Monday. Or for the rest of the week. Wide berth is the motto this week. I'm not a sports person, I more prefer making the food and chatting during the games. But I guess I can appreciate the feelings of those fans around.

So, here's your chance to immerse yourself in New England sports. The chamber's new Ultimate Sports Raffle. For $10 a ticket you get a chance for quite a deal including two premium tickets to the following:

Red Sox (2008 Season) Plus
Patriots (2008 Season) Plus
Celtics (2008-2009 Season) Plus
Bruins (2008-2009 Season) Plus
4 UNH Mens Hockey Tickets (2008-2009 Season) Plus…
The winner will also receive FREE round trip limo service to 2 games of their choice Plus 2 round trip tickets on the DownEaster to North Station.

Oh yeah, this shows my sports knowledge. So some Patriots guy is the honorary chairman of the vent, Garin Veris. Shows what I know. Kenny perked right up when I mentioned his name.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Family Values?

Couldn't She Have Picked a Better Beer that this to go to jail over??

Police allege Fla. motorist strapped beer in with seat belt, but not 16-month-old girl
Article Date: Wednesday, February 6, 2008
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) — Police have arrested a motorist they say had a 24-pack of beer strapped in with a seat belt but had a 16-month-old girl unrestrained in the back seat with the toddler's mother.Tina D. Williams was pulled over in St. Augustine on Sunday for allegedly running a red light.A 24-pack of Busch beer was strapped in with the passenger-side seat belt, according to an arrest report. The girl was in the back seat with 20-year-old Amber Tedrick, who is the toddler's mother.Williams, 46, said she didn't know why the child wasn't restrained.Williams refused to take a breath test and a deputy found two metal pipes commonly used to smoke drugs in her purse, authorities said.Williams was charged with driving under the influence, child abuse, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving without a license, a jail official said. She remained in the St. Johns County jail Tuesday after bail was set at $31,000.The jail did not have the name of her attorney. It was not clear if Tedrick would face any charges, but the child was released to her care, according to The Florida Times-Union.

Tired of Winter?

Just when you thought the Ron Paul blimp was the best, check out the inflatable cruise ship. What purpose does it serve? Who knows. But it just goes to show that people will buy anything these days.
I've been warned that I've maxed out my vacation time this winter.. But for those of you who haven't, and are sick of snow, snow, snow and more snow. Or rain. Or ice. This just in, there's a travel expo Tuesday night at the Ioka Theater from 7 to 9 p.m. It's been coordinated by local travel agent Kathy McNeill and is sponsored by American Express Vacations and Royal Caribbean International. I'm going despite the moratorium on vacations. Who knows, maybe there will be a giveaway.

Check out this story from the Boston Globe about lower fares to the Caribbean this year out of Logan. Much better deals. Click here

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Day Two: Bread, Glorious Bread

My name is Lara and I am a carb addict. There, I've said it out loud. I love bread. Bread and butter is even better.

I had an inkling that I was a bit too attached to bread, pasta, sweets. Now I have confirmation as I finish up day two of the South Park/Beach diet. Eggs and canadian bacon just doesn't do it for me. I want some BREAD. It's all I can think about. Kenny on the other hand is like "Come on, you're not even 48 hours into this, what's your problem?"

I guess the first step is always admitting you have a problem.

Sandy Martin as Simon?

The brainchild of downtown financial guy Sandy Martin comes to Exeter again this weekend---Exeter Karaoke Idol. Hmm.

In need of some entertainment this weekend? I might be which is why I'm curious about the second year (I think) of the Exeter Karaoke Idol competition. I may head down to get a sneak peak at the contestants. But rest assured, I won't be signing. Though I do have a good routine down to the song "I Feel Lucky" I'm not sure my husband would ever go out in public with me again if I took to the stage. Oh well. Maybe the teenager from Stratham who was booted from the American Idol will take a chance here?

Here's the info:
The Exeter Rotary Club Karaoke Idol and Dance Event auditions are Saturday, Feb. 9 at Town Hall.
Singers compete by age group 12 and under, 13-17, 18-29, 30-44, 45-59 and 60 plus for cash prizes. There will be winners in each group with one contestant selected Karaoke Idol. Dance troupes of three or more can perform between the performances.
The Karaoke Idol and Dance Event is May 4, at 2 p.m. at Town Hall. Contestants will be invited to a VIP Reception "Meet the Entertainers" after the performance. Proceeds help support local charities including Hospice House, Rotary Scholarship Fund and the food pantry.
For information, contact "Sandy" Martin at 778-0822 or e-mail

Monday, February 4, 2008

Day 1: South Park Diet

We are starting on a diet today, which has been a long time coming. To prepare for the diet, I ate. And ate. In fact, I ate my way across the state of Florida last week, leaving no Key Lime Pie untasted or deep fat fried shrimp reviewed. I was like an animal readying to hibernate and needed to be sure I didn't starve.
The South Beach, or as we are calling it, South Park Diet, requires you to cut all sugar for the first two weeks. This gave me a perfect excuse yesterday to drink up the rest of the margaritas in the house. You know, to get all of the temptation of sugar out of my general view.
And then comes the shopping for the diet food.
Ever notice how it seems like you spend about 4x as much at the grocery store when you begin? I could barely push my cart around Marketbasket yesterday, which could have been a bad thing, since everyone in the state seemed to be there. I was fearful I might accidentally take someone out with my no sugar, no bread, meat and cheese laden 5 ton buggy. Perhaps part of the diet rationale is that you gain muscle by pushing around the foods you're required to buy, instead of pushing the light as air bread and carb filled carts of yesteryear.
And I don't know where the South Park part comes in.. there's no cheesy poofs on this diet.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Traveling Light?

And this is what a pile of absolute necessities we had to take with us on vacation.

Delays, Delays, Delays

I'm hearing the voice of that little martian dude from Bugs Bunny in my head today as I think about our return trip on Skybus. We were scheduled to leave at 8:12 a.m. from St. Augustine. In preparation for this, we got to the airport just at about 7 a.m. Checked our tractor trailer load of bags in, got everyone through the security check. And got a cup of coffee.
Delays, Delays, Delays, the little martian says in my head as I see some of the Skybus people walking around looking worried.
We got into our priority board line (an extra $10 per person if you want) and waited.
The Skybus lady (who was way nicer than the ones we encountered on the trip south, which I attribute to southern hospitality) told us there was a mechanical problem and our ETA was TBA.
The nice co-pilot then came out and made a similar annoucement. The mechanic was MIA. He had been called. He might still be asleep. No one knew.
We finally boarded, again via tarmack and ramp, and managed to get a good seat. We were off, about 45- 1 hour late, but not as bad as the 3 hour delay on the way down.
They sell everything on the plane, including soda, souvenier Skybus tee-shirts, toy monkeys and chocolates. Just when you always wondered where are you going to get a toy monkey. Now you know.
I decided to try some of their Skybus fare and got a breakfast sandwich. It came boiling hot in a little aluminum container with some home fries. It was actually not bad.
Back at Pease, we unloaded on the tarmack again, walked across and into the building. This was supposedly not the norm but something was wrong with the enclosed ramp.
The analysis?
I'd take it again if I was traveling alone or as a couple and could get the cheap fares. Carry on bags would be ideal. And you don't have to pay for parking.
With a toddler and Grammy and 5,000 bags, the best bet is still Southwest and checking your bags at the curb. As long as you're not dead set on buying a toy monkey on the plane.