Atlantis Alumni

Saturday, November 11, 2017

"Glass House" Train Trip To New Canaan

We left on a 6:45 train to Stamford, Conn, on Thursday, November 9, so we had to get up at 5:00 AM. It was a very long day. The train traveling north was only late 10 minutes, as was the returning one, but the second train left Stamford around 5:15, when it was supposed to leave at 4:58. From Stamford Jim's friend Brad Kaplan drove us to his huge house in New Canaan. They have two guest rooms, each child has a separate room,there was a suite (now closed off) for the Nanny, and there are two dining rooms, with Brad's Lionel trains in the basement near the home movie theater. That gives you an idea of the size of the house. It has a beautiful location. We had lunch at a lovely Italian restaurant on the main street in town, and for that Brad's wife Julie joined us. (The kids were in school, one is 8 and the other is 5 and 1/2.) New Canaan is a town for the ultra wealthy, since another Phillip Johnson house is currently on the market for $15 million. After lunch the four of us toured Phillip Johnson's amazing Glass House, the main tourist attraction in New Canaan. We had reservations and the tour was limited to 14, including the guide. It's really more of a huge outdoor setting with various small buildings: the Glass House, Brick House, Gate House, Gallery (to show paintings), Gallery for sculpture, Gate, etc. The grounds are beautiful and November is the perfect time to see the foliage in Connecticut. The main house (Glass House) is quite small, but remarkable. Johnson used it only on weekends since his office and apartment in New York was his main place of residence. The modernist look of his sleek architecture is still smart and concise. He also built another house for his partner (a man who was a gallery dealer) nearby, but that is not open to the public. Right after the two hour tour Brad took us to the train station for the long trip back to Philadelphia. It was an exhausting but very rewarding day. - Dan

Monday, November 6, 2017

A Happy Hobby

My caring husband took this photo of me earlier this year. My trains can usually put a smile on my face.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Formal Evening On Board The Grandeur Of The Seas

Thursday evening was the second of two formal attire dinners on our current cruise. Our party of eight enjoyed lobster night, although not everyone ordered lobster since we dined extensively on lobster in Maine and Canada. Friday we're at sea until we end the cruise Saturday morning in Baltimore.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Halifax, Nova Scotia & Peggy's Cove

Wednesday morning Jim and I saw the Halifax Harbor Walk and ate lunch at a fine restaurant, The Bicycle Thief (photo shows Jim with his butterscotch cake and a glass of desert wine.) In the afternoon we took an excursion to the nearby famed natural scenic site, the fishing village called Peggy's Cove. With a lighthouse near slippery rocks, lobster boats and shacks, all set against a booming surf, Peggy's Cove is a photogenic wonderland. Upon returning to Halifax our guide showed us some of the graves of the "Titanic" victims of 1912 located in Fairview Lawn Cemetery. The rows upon rows of graves evoke sadness and the realization of mortality. Back on board our ship, we looked forward to dinner with our friends before the two-day return voyage at sea back to Baltimore Thursday and Friday. - Dan

St John Zip Line Adventure

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Fun In St. John, New Brunswick

After the ship docked, the fog cleared, we did our customary two mile walk around deck ten. Then Dan played the piano in the main dining room. Jim enjoyed his very first zip line adventure near the famous St. John reversing rapids. This is a unique phenomenon created by the collision of the Bay of Fundy and the Saint John River. At low tide the river empties into the bay causing a series of rapids and whirlpools. As tides rise they slow the river current for a brief period called slack tide. The Bay's tides continue to rise, gradually reversing the flow of the river, and rapids form again, peaking at high tide. Tide cycles take about 12.5 hours. Jim joined 12 other shipmates as they suited up into full body harnesses complete with camera-equipped helmets which enabled each participant to make a video of the exciting experience. They then climbed four or five story high towers where each in turn was attached to safety lines and to the zip lines for the thrilling rides toward the rapids. While Jim was zip lining Dan joined our Baltimore friends and their pals for a visit to the New Brunswick Museum, which houses everything from Canadian art to whale skeletons and a huge preserved sunfish, stuffed birds and animals, to industrial exhibits and ship models. Later, Dan and Jim enjoyed a tasty seafood lunch at Billy's Seafood Company on King's Square. - written by Dan and Jim