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Friday, September 12, 2014

Living the Dream

Although the name of this blog is "Not Just for Boomers," occasionally I like to write to the boomers out there like  myself.  This is one of those posts that is directed mostly at boomers.  But I do think it will resonate with just about everyone.

As I wrote in my recent post, "Hidden Gem: Cape May, New Jersey," my wife and I recently spent a wonderful two days in Cape May.  During our visit there, we ate twice at the Lobster House restaurant, where the seafood and service were both excellent.  During our second visit to the restaurant, we sat next to a couple that appeared to be a lot like us, retired boomers on vacation. During the course of our meal, I happened to overhear the following conversation between the husband and his son who was on the other end of the phone:

"Hi son, yeah we are down here in Cape May at the Lobster House having dinner. How are
we doing? Son, I can only say one thing: 'We're living the dream.'"

Of course, I could only hear one side of the conversation, but I was simply wowed by what I heard.
And, by the way, if you happen to be that couple and you read this I apologize for eavesdropping, but I just had to share your comment.

"Living the Dream, " what a great thought! Too often we get bogged down in the bad things that happen to us.  We end up complaining to our friends or spouse about those aches and  pains, physical and emotional, that we all suffer as we grow older.  Now, here is  a man who probably has had his fair   share of those trial and tribulations, but he is grateful for the life he has. That is something definitely worth remembering.  We all have things for which we should be grateful: a loving spouse, a wonderful child or grandchild,  or maybe it's just waking up in the morning with all your parts still in order.



                   








Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hidden Gem: Cape May, New Jersey

My wife and I recently returned from a short two day trip to Cape May, New Jersey. Cape May is probably not as well-known as some of it's South Jersey neighbors such as Ocean City, Wildwood or Stone Harbor.  But it certainly offers a sensational, one of a kind, vacation experience.

Located at the very Southern tip of the Jersey peninsula, Cape May offers unparalleled charm.
Cape  May is America's oldest seaside resort, having been established in the mid 18th century. To me, it looks like an English resort town such as Brighton. It is very Victorian in its architecture with many of the houses decorated with the traditional Victorian gingerbread. Because of the  multitude of historical homes, all ofCape May has been designated as a National Historic District. One of those houses, the Emlen Physick Estate is available for touring for a modest fee.

Cape May has over 30 hotels and motels,many of which are located directly across from the beach.We stayed at the Cape May Grand Hotel.http://www.grandhotelcapemay.com/  The hotel has free parking available It also has both an indoor and outdoor pool. Our third floor room was a typical beach room with a king bed, sofa, desk and a small balcony. The bathroom appeared to have been recently renovated.   There is a restaurant located off of the main lobby, called Hemingway's.  Specials are offered daily and everyday there is a very reasonably priced breakfast buffet. Give it a try.One person we met said that she and her whole family of 9 children eat the buffet as their breakfast and lunch. almost every day.

Over 40 to 50,000 vacationers visit Cape May each year. Many of the hotels and attractions are open   year round.The beach is quite nice with long expanses of sand protected by dunes.  We rented one of the cabanas  available across form our hotel and spent the day there. Comfort stations are available all along the beach. There is also a small arcade on the beach for rainy day entertainment.

In town, off  Ocean Street is an outdoor mall consisting of a number of shops and restaurants of all varieties. There is even a Stewart restaurant where in addition to the famous Stewart sodas, a full menu is offered.

Just outside of town is the Lobster House restaurant. The restaurant is huge, serving some 500 people at a serving, so get there early. My wife and I ate there twice, once having the lobsters and the second night, the fried shrimp dinners. Both were excellent and reasonably priced.  The shrimp, mu wife and I agreed, were probably the best fried shrimp we had ever eaten.

At the very tip of the peninsula is the Cape May Light.The lighthouse was built in 1859 and continues to be in operation. Although we  did not tour it this last time, we have previously climbed  its 217 steps to the top. Whew!

Another interesting attraction is a ferry that travels to Lewes, Delaware.www.capemaylewesferry.com.

If you are looking for a beach town with a difference, Cape May is for you.
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Monday, September 8, 2014

The "Supermoon" Returns

In case you missed it earlier this summer as I did, you are in for good news: the Supermoon is back again tonight. The supermoon is called that because it is as close as the moon gets to the earth in its full phase. As a result of its proximity to the earth, it appears larger and brighter than usual. The moon will reach its peak for viewing purposes between 9 and 10 o'clock on the East Coast.

So, step outside and see a very rare sight in the sky. The next one will not be until  September 28, 2015.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique is probably one of  the least understood but most helpful technques to gain control over your mind and bodyThe technique was developed by F.M. Alexander, an Australian actor at the early part of the 20th Century, as a means of improving the control of his own voice as a performer.  Many prominent performers up to the present are followers of the technique, including, e.g., Hugh Jackson, the Broadway and movie actor

The cornerstone of the technique is a simple exercise that isn't really an exercise at all but rather a means of slowing down your mind and at the same time, relaxing your body, removing tension and improving your posture and breathing. It is really a form of mindfulness designed to makeourselves aware of how we move and use our body.

The essential exercise is to lay on the floor with a book or several books under your head and not under your neck.  Your head should be tilted upward somewhat and your knees should be bent with your feet on the floor about six inches from your buttocks.  You should try to keep your mind free of any thoughts and I recommend just concentrating on your breathing.  No need for any particular breathing pattern, just concentrate on the movement of air in and out of your lungs through your diaphragm.

It is recommended that you do this exercise, called the semi-supine, for approximately 6 to 10 minutes at least 6 times a day.

Once you complete your semi-supine exercises, you should feel your neck and head to be more upright and your thinking a lot more clear.

I am not a teacher of the Alexander Technique,  but I do try to practice it as often as I can. If you do decide to do it yourself. let me know how it goes.

If you would like to learn more about the Alexander Technique, please go to the following website for many good resources:www.alexandertechnique.com. https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=9013743511055028233#editor/target=post;postID=917151010961604367;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=2;src=link

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hidden Gems: Wolfgang Steakhouse

If you are looking for the best steak in New York City, look no farther than the Wolfgang Steakhouse on Park Avenue in the Flatiron  District. Located in what was once the Vanderbilt Hotel, the restaurant was established by the former head waiter at the famous Peter Luger steakhouse in Brooklyn. It offers the true steakhouse experience and traditional steakhouse menu
We dined there on a recent Saturday night. The atmosphere is unbelievable. The architecture is superb, with blue and white curved arches on the ceiling. The waiters are extremely knowledgeable and do not hesitate to make recommendations. The steaks are huge and may be shared. Two of us had the strip steak and filet combo. It was more than enough for two and came sliced for easy eating. It is expensive, but well worth the cost.http://www.wolfgangssteakhouse.net/parkave/

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hidden Gems: Hotel Chandler, NYC

We were recently in New York City for a long weekend visit. I was looking for a reasonably-priced hotel on the Lower East Side. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a wonderful boutique hotel, the Hotel Chandler.
Located at 12 East 31st street, between Madison and Fifth Avenues, at the intersection of the Flatiron District and Murray Hill, it offers a quiet haven from Manhattan's hustle and bustle. Yet, despite that it is close by a number of major attractions, including the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden any Herald Square, where Macy's is located.
Our room, a deluxe queen, with a recently renovated shower averaged around $230.00 per night for a 3 night stay, including Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The hotel boasts a fine restaurant, Juni, whose chef has been awarded two Michelin stars, and offers complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby.
I highly recommend this gem of a place.www.hotelchandler.com

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hidden Gems: Wilkinson Razors

Beginning with this post and for the next several posts, I will be commenting on and giving my opinions on various consumer products that I think you might be interested in and which I like to refer to as "Hidden Gems".  Now what do I mean by that?  Primarily, these will be products that are probably less well-known and generally less expensive than perhaps the better known products of the same type.I will have personally tested all of the products. I will also certainly focus on those products that are "Made in America." So, let's begin and let me know what you think about this new approach and about the products I will be writing about.

The first product I would like to discuss with you is the Wilkinson Sword razor, specifically, the Triple Blade, Speed3 pivoting disposable razor.  They proudly proclaim on the package that Wilkinson has been making razors since 1875.  Before that they made swords beginning in 1772 in County Durham, England.  While those were made in England, the product package says that the current blades were made in the USA. I first came upon these razors in North Carolina almost three years ago and have been using them ever since.  I can honestly say that I have never had a better shave than with these blades.  Like most men (and women too), I have tried just about every razor imaginable: Gillette, Schick, Bic,etc.None of them give the shave that these blades do consistently and economically.  They seem to last forever even with daily use if they are properly dried after each use. (This is easy to do: just shake the excess water after rinsing the blades and either blow on the blades or use a hair dryer to dry).

The other good thing about them is that they are fairly reasonable priced in Wal-Mart at $5.98 for a pack of 8 razors. Compare this to $13.99  for 6 Gillette Mach3 disposable razors on Amazon. Although I am not a particular fan of Wal-Mart, I would definitely go out of my way to buy these razors, which are not generally  available at the large chain drugstores such as CVS or Walgreen's.

So give them a try.  I definitely think you will switch if you are using any other razors.