Tag Archives: Maryland Live

Just News

Great news…on Facebook I labeled a photo of the white squirrel “long way from home”. I was wrong, that is not the white squirrel that reside and play near the front gate of Imperial Plaza. This is a second squirrel that now reside at the rear of the Boxwood apartment building. It is great to see another squirrel because there was three when I first moved here and all three died (one became hawk food, one was hit by a car and the other disappeared). I hope our hawk family doesn’t take it for lunch.

Thinking about the hawks, I am awaiting the sighting of the young ones. They should be getting large because the female hawk is on the rim of the nest most of the time and I seldom see the male. If I can get pictures of them learning to fly I will share them on my Facebook page. It should be soon. I have included a couple of pictures of the female on the rim of her nest.

The Wednesday bus trip to the Virginia War Memorial was good. Since I have been there many times as part of the Mighty Pen Project, I ended up being an unofficial guide for some of the attendees although there are people there that gives good information. After the Virginia War Memorial, we ate lunch at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. All I will say about the food there is that it was not what most of us were used to eating. The menu was geared mostly toward the vegetarian, of which I am not. Although it was very cloudy, wanting to rain, the rain held off and all was good.

My wife and I spent last Friday and Saturday at the great grand son’s naming ceremony. Had a great time, the baby never cried and he stayed awake much longer than usual. After two days in northern Virginia, my wife and I kept going to Maryland Live. We were to come back to Richmond on Monday but the weather forecast indicated pouring rain. We decided to stay an extra day and return when the roads were dry. WRONG! It drizzled rain Tuesday morning but it was mostly dry. But, the trip wasn’t wasted because I returned with a small profit.

We made it back in time to go to the White Squirrel for dinner, enjoying Eugene’s singing and, of course, dancing. The only complaint I have with the White Squirrel is it is always out of regular beer. I guess the reason is there is always lite-beer that no one want. There are many other places for us to go but most people here do not drive and is stuck with whatever there is here. Shame.

Well, the warm weather has been gone for a little while and will remain gone a while longer. I would call it a wake-up call to let people realize that Mother Nature will do what she want when she want to do it. It’s chilly but, I’ll make a huge bet, in two or three weeks everyone will be crying for it to be cooler. People are never satisfied, I guess.

Enjoy Memorial Day weekend. Be careful. Be vigilant! Have fun! Remember those that served and are presently serving brought America to where it is now and is keeping our our way of living secure. This weekend is not a weekend of celebration but a weekend of remembrance. God bless the USA and the troops that keep this nation free.

Comings and Goings

I want to welcome Ron back to Activities. It is so good to have him back especially to lead ROMEO on it’s monthly excursions to different restaurants. Yes, ROMEO is back to its original form (the pen is mightier than the sword) . Now Activities can get back to his norm and on it’s luxurious way. Again, welcome back Ron.

As I have said before, it is so nice to be retired and to be able to go to places without worry of having to do this or that to your house. My wife and I went to our favorite casino places, Maryland live, Horseshoe and MGM casinos. We spent three days and two nights away without a care in the world. Who says you can’t do things when you are retired? That is what retirement is for, to do what you want to do when you want to do it. The only reason that we came back so soon was because we had another engagement Saturday evening, where I ran into a guy I used to work with more than twenty years ago. Again, good food, music and lots of fun.

Last Tuesday, as it is every Tuesday, the White Squirrel have it’s live music along with good food and fun. The Thunderbirds, who plays every other Tuesday, were really great in the music playing and selection. The White Squirrel have a new menu and the food was really good. I am glad to see the upgrade in the food because, for a while, the food was going downhill. I talked with James, the assistant manager of the dining facilities, who is back and he seem to be doing well. He is still crazy and it was really great to see him running around acting crazy with everyone.

Now that warm weather will soon be here, it is time to get my bicycle, and other things, ready for good weather so that I can go outside and get some pleasant exercise done. Being cooped up all winter have really gotten me out of shape, as if I was in good shape to start with. LOL Being in the age group that I am in, doesn’t take much to get me out of shape. Keeping myself active and not sitting around doing nothing should keep me healthy and vibrant ( I hope). Of course going to the casinos, like we do, and all the other things, doesn’t leave much room to cram in the exercising. I really don’t like going down into the gym and going through the exercise routines that a trainer would give. Good shows on TV does not help the situation any either (smile). I will keep trudging along and doing the best I can to stay in shape so that my wife and I can continue to go to the casinos.

Really, there’s not much to put in to today’s blog. I am just looking forward to the warm weather and the upcoming activities from the Activity Department here at the Imperial Plaza. The Activity Department have the cherry blossom/boat ride coming up as well as other exciting outings. I don’t know how many I will be able to go on because I know that some will clash with my schedule. But, of course, I cannot miss ROMEO. So I say to all, get out there and be active. Maybe I’ll see you somewhere along the way.

Casinos

Had another good week last week (this week was just for relaxation and recharging my energy) with a four day trip to Maryland. If you looked at my Facebook page you saw the picture of my wife holding our latest great-grandchild when we made a stop on our way back to Virginia. We were in Maryland to do our usual thing, gamble at the casinos. We headquartered at Maryland Live’s hotel which put us between Horseshoe and MGM. We get perks from all the casinos but decided to use Maryland Live’s because it was between the other two.

Look at it this way; four day stay at their hotel, their perks and our acquired points gave us all our meals and each gave us slot machine money. All I needed was the gas money and a little more to keep it interesting. In fact, we came back with money in our pocket. Can’t beat that for a four day stay at three casinos. Plus we got to visit the baby on the way back (got through Washington the day before the inauguration).

Thinking about that, this is what we ran into. Usually, on week days, the hotel does not have many people staying. I noticed the parking lot almost full and more cars were coming. All the other hotels had the same thing. Then I started calling myself a dummy because, after talking to a couple that was checking-in, I was told that they were getting the hell out of DC before the crowds hit. Then I noticed that most of the cars had DC plates.

After visiting the baby it dawned on me that it was the same area that The Last Graduating Tuskegee Airman (an article I wrote) lived. In fact, I am still trying to get the article printed for the general public. It have been approved by the MPP (Mighty Pen Project) and they have a copy but the Richmond-Times dispatch turned it down. The newspaper say it does not have a Virginia connection although the man live in Ashburn, Virginia. It does not make any sense to me, but who am I to say? Also, the man is Black and his wife is White, they had to live in Washington because of segregation, that is the same as the Loving story that hit the movies last year.

The highlight for this week came on Monday. Four of us from the Mighty Pen Project had a townhall type panel discussion, at The University of Richmond, for a freshman class that is writing about war. They included my two writings on protests in the 1950’s. The question and answering went well and, in fact, we could have gone on much longer than we had time for. This is our second time doing this. The first time was at the Library of Virginia and that went very well also. I hope to do it again.

This year I work on my birthday and my wife is out of town. As I get older, holidays, birthdays, etc. does not mean as much as it did when I was younger. I prefer peace and quiet plus time to read or write. I stay busy, although my wife say otherwise, and I believe staying busy help the body stay active, younger and spry. Inactivity bring on more aches and pains, more than usual, and it can be avoided without medication for that particular ailment. I see too much inactivity around here (Imperial Plaza) although there are so many programs and events for the residents. Most do not attend any of them. Alas, what can I say or do about it? Not a thing.

Until next time…Stay warm, keep on keeping on. I’m out!

It’s Good To Be Retired

Lately I have gotten off the trail by talking politics instead of talking about retirement here at Imperial Plaza. Well, I guess I will get back to talking about Imperial Plaza and tell you that things are as usual, not as smooth as it should be. We are losing people, good people, that we should not be losing at all. That is because of management or supervision or whatever but it still boils down to losing good people.

We just lost a bus driver/supervisor who has gone onto more, or you could say, better endeavors. It seem as though he was angry about something that occurred, here at Imperial Plaza, and he said he had to move on to another job. I do not know exactly what it was but it made him mad enough that he has found a new job, we’re going to miss him. It seems as though Imperial Plaza is short of personnel in all departments. From what I could find out, through talking with some of the other individuals, it seems to be that there have been problems with supervision. I cannot say whether supervision is correct or whether supervision is wrong, but it seems that it needs looking into to find out what is going on.

ROMEO went to Morton’s and had a really expensive dinner. The dinner was tasty but boy did it cost a lot. The drinks were very expensive plus I have never seen a Long Island Iced Tea in a wine glass. The side dish was large enough to share with three other people. What a waste when so many are starving and this place is over feeding. I can say that I do not want to go to Morton’s again but it was nice to at least go one time. Next month we are to go to Hardshell. Hopefully that is not too expensive but to be with the ROMEO guys once a month is worth it.

My wife and I are headed back to Maryland Live. We are to stay three days because this way we can go between Maryland Live, Horseshoe and MGM. I really don’t like MGM but, as they say, a happy wife is a happy life. Seems as though we called it just right because the weather should cooperate for us. Ice storms and a little snow is scheduled for this weekend but we are headed out Monday morning. I am glad that the bad weather is north of us because I have spent enough time in bad weather while serving in the military.

I am using this new voice activated program and it seems to be working very well. I decided to buy the program in order to write the two blogs and other writings that I have scheduled. It seems to take less time and making corrections is easy. All I have to do is edit. I have to edit because I do not have everything correct in order for the program not to make mistakes. However, so far so good and practice make perfect. The more I use it the better I’ll be and I’ll probably be using it a lot. So far what usually takes me an hour to write has only been 15 minutes. Needless to say, it’s money well spent.

This last snowstorm really bought to the forefront why I decided to move to Imperial Plaza. When you think about not having to rake leaves, shovel snow or worry about frozen water pipes, it brings a smile to your face to know that you’re at Imperial Plaza and don’t have to do any of that. So, I’ll take the good with the bad and stay right here at Imperial Plaza and have a good time looking out the window at the bad weather. Everyone take care until the next blog. Don’t forget to check out my other blog, faithingodministries.net. I write on the weekend that this one is not written.

Taking Advantage of Retirement

I will write, again, about being retired and all the fun that is out there to be taken advantage. But, there are others, in my retirement community, that want to just sit and complain about this and that and rarely, if not ever, take advantage of the magnitude of opportunities. I promised to give a little more of my travels and/or taking advantage of the opportunities, not only here at Imperial Plaza but outside the gates of the community. But, first I must say, there are numerous things to do and most are free and what is not free is very cheap.

Everyone here know my wife and I love the casinos and the last one was a stay at the Sands Hotel and Casino/Mall in Bethlehem, Pa. (Sunshine Bus Tours). To say the casino was huge is not a dream but the truth. Of all the casinos we have visited, that was the largest. The hotel room was very large and cleaned daily whether we wanted cleaning or not. There was a cards tournament going on and the number of people playing (must have been in the hundreds) would not fit in Imperial Plaza’s auditorium. It was a nice trip…

The Activities Department, here at Imperial Plaza, have been doing a great job. Among the many trips (I’ll name two) was the fishing trip at the mouth of the Chesterpeak Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and the latest trip was on (The Alliance) a schooner on the York River. We sailed out of Yorktown and, after sailing in the triple mast (sails) schooner, had lunch at Outback in Williamsburg, Va. This Wednesday is to the Maryland Live Casino/Mall, can’t miss that, and, two months from now, a trip to the casino in West Virginia (Charlestown).

I just found out that a Richmond Mayoral Debate will be held here and I am wondering how many residents will attend. People here have so much apathy toward so much yet they can sit around in the lobby area and gripe about everything. I didn’t care about Richmond politics until I started living here. Now that Richmond is my city of residence and where I vote (we have a voting precinct in house), I am very interested and there is a need to know before I vote. Since there is a voting precinct here, I wonder how many residents vote, especially the Black vote. I have found the Black people here show more indifference than most and participation is seldom, with the exception of very few.

A few days ago I was talking with a couple of people about cities and, out of the blue, I was asked “what makes a city a city?” and I had to stop and think a second. It came to me about a conversation I had with a ranking postal official in North Dakota. I had wondered what made such small towns in North Dakota designated as cities. Some of the cities in North Dakota are smaller than our large trailer parks here in Richmond. This man told me that all the place needed was an operating post office and it could then become a city on it’s own. Well, Imperial Plaza don’t have a post office per se, but it does have package pickup, stamps, mail delivery and mail pickup. To top that off, Imperial Plaza have a bank, store, restaurant, doctor’s office, pharmacy, etc. All the places some cities in the USA don’t have and that includes having police, buses, barber shop, beauty parlor, etc. The resident don’t have to leave the premises for anything that is needed. We are a city within a city but without our own zip code. Now I don’t want to hear anyone saying I didn’t name this or that because I purposely didn’t mention everything. There is so much here to mention that I don’t want to attempt naming everything because I know I will miss something.

So, until the next time, I want everyone to be careful out there because any bad thing can happen at any time. Just be vigilant and careful but don’t go off the deep end and take matters into your own hands. Let the proper people do that and respect them for doing a great job in spite of the miniscule few that put a taint on their name. Peace Out

facebook-20160918-101543(I’m hoisting the foresail by myself but the teenager, in the blue cap, was suppose to help me)

Vacation Cruise

We have returned (my wife and I) to land after nine days at sea, on the Grandeur of the Seas, with stops in Bermuda, Nassau (Bahamas) and Coco Cay (Bahamas), over twenty four hundred nautical miles, round trip. I loved it but I did not love what we returned to, the aftermath of a terrible storm. Trees down, roads blocked because trees were across the roads and power lines and no electrical power anywhere. I have been through and seen worst but that is something a person can’t get used to. It’s an inconvenience, to say the least, but I’ll get to that later.

First let me write about the cruise. We traveled from Imperial Plaza by bus with twenty six other people and checking in/boarding was a breeze. It was better than what I anticipated plus the weather was perfect. In fact, the only day we ran into rain was at the last stop, Coco Cay, Bahamas, and that was an off and on rain. In fact, when I took the picture of the sailboat with the lightning strike behind it, it was a sunny morning. When the off and on rain hit, I was reclining in a beach chair on the beach, letting the warm rain wash over me along with a gentle, warm breeze. What a relaxing day.

The first stop was at Heritage Wharf in Bermuda. We took a tour of the entire island with frequent stops included. That night we cruised the waters in a glass bottom boat, looking at the fish and the old ship wreck that was sticking out of the water which have been there a couple hundred years. This is proof that Bermuda is surrounded by a reef and there are only two ways past the reef. It was quite warm but a nice breeze gave relief from the humidity. Lovely place but it would be expensive to live there. Michael Douglas and a couple other stars have property there but they can afford it. While we were on the tour, we stopped in the capitol, Hamilton, and did a short tour downtown. We also did the same thing at the far end of the island, St. Georges.

The next stop was Nassau, Bahamas and it was a little hotter (I don’t mean that in a bad way. I love the heat.). We toured a cigar making factory, a chocolate factory and the Natural History Museum. Of course I had to get some nice, fresh, hand rolled cigars. Love a good cigar (I know smoking is bad for you but to each his own, I say). From what I could see, Nassau is small and densely populated. My wife and I concluded that the reason people there moved and worked slowly was because of the heat, humidity and the closeness of everything. The more (faster) you moved, the hotter you become.

The last stop was Coco Cay, Bahamas (owned by Royal Caribbean). As we were entering the port I took the picture of the sailboat and never saw a lightning strike. Later that night, when I reviewed my pictures, I was startled to see the lightning in the photo. Now it is one of my favorite photos. It was sunny as we were coming into port but it later turned into on and off showers. The weather was warm with a nice breeze. I lazed under an umbrella and, as the showers came and went, I only got wet from the knees down but was never cold. The cruise line had nice food (hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ, fruit, and beverages). Then the seagulls started flying all around us and occasionally stole food. They were very aggressive and would get as close as a couple feet (can anyone say aggressively hungry?).

On board the ship was fantastic. I could write a book about the things that went on, the fine service, the wonderful shows and, of course, the duty free shopping. The food was greater than great and there was a different menu each day. The on-board casino kept me and my wife occupied (she won the slot machine contest. I came in thirteen out of the many people that entered) and the drinks flowed freely (not free). I love being retired and on a constant vacation. It was so wonderful that we signed up for a cruise in December 2017, but all good things must come to an end and it did.

Getting back to Imperial Plaza, via Imperial Plaza’s bus, was easy, especially with the traffic (only a couple slow downs). Then the bottom fell out. We knew there was a wind storm but we didn’t expect the power outage or the destruction the wind caused. Trees were down everywhere and electricity was out. Oh well, can’t fight Mother Nature, just cope with it. We returned on Saturday afternoon and Imperial Plaza’s power came back at four thirty Sunday afternoon and then the fun began. Saturday night we stayed in a hotel and returned Sunday afternoon. Then, forgoing unpacking, we began emptying the chest freezer and refrigerator/freezer plus cleaning both. Now we will restock with the insurance payout. The company we are with is making a fast payout for the lost food.

Monday, we walked the area taking pictures of all the devastation and carnage that had occurred. It looked like a war zone with so many trees down, broken trees, trees on cars, trees on houses, and traffic lights not working. There were many vehicle accidents because where the traffic lights were out vehicles had to come to a stop. Some didn’t and, of course, there was an accident (one death that I am aware of). There was even damage to one of the buildings of Imperial Plaza. The wind was a “straight line” wind, not a tornado, as I’ve heard some people saying.

Well, I’ll close this and say “stay tuned because it’s not over yet”. This year’s traveling is not over yet. This weekend we’ll go to Maryland Live (casino) for my wife’s birthday, then the following weekend is to Colorado for my grandson’s wedding. Then to Pa. for a family reunion and I don’t remember the rest. I’m retired and I love this traveling. I’ve worked many years to have and enjoy this time in my life. You all should do the same. I wish all a good summer and safe travels. Enjoy life!

Lightning Strike

Lightning Strike

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Grandeur of the Seas showtime

Grandeur of the Seas showtime

A resident of Coco Cay

A resident of Coco Cay

A small piece of the wind damage

A small piece of the wind damage

Busy In Retirement

The past couple of weeks have been busy with more to come.  Since retirement, I have been busier than when I was working full time and owned my house.  Now I am retired, working part-time, don’t own a house anymore and live in a retirement community.  I find more things to do, to get involved in and I wonder how I got myself into this.  I really don’t know but it sneaks up on you and before you know what happened, there are more things on your plate than you have room for.

It is said that activity keeps your heart pumping and keep you in good shape.  I don’t know about all of that but it is so bad I find myself looking at my pocket calendar two or three times a day to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything and should be somewhere else instead of relaxing.  Here I am relaxing and writing this blog and I know I have a group of other things to do.  Alas, to tell the truth, I love it and really can’t give up the activity.

My son-in-law is a preacher and started a new church four Sundays ago and I was there each Sunday except for one, so far.  Now, I have accepted the position as Deacon and will be officially seated on the twenty second of March by the Bishop.  I started being busier than ever this week because I have to be at Bible study, be busy after Sunday service and other things for the church.

My wife and I went to Maryland Live Wednesday and I gave back the money I won at Hollywood Casino in West Virginia a couple of weeks, or so, ago.  Oh well, it was fun and we had a good time.  It is fun to just get away, even if it is only for one day.  Then it is back to the grind with smiles.   The traffic wasn’t bad because I left Imperial Plaza at ten in the morning and left Maryland at seven at night.  This way I miss the working people traffic in and around Washington D.C.  The trip is one hundred and thirty three miles one way and it took me two hours each way.  Of course I was carefully speeding (smile).

We got back to Imperial Plaza and, I should not have been surprised, there is only one elevator again although the Otis elevator people were here the day before.  The elevator was out of order a week but, as usual, one of the two is always down.  When there is a move, it gets really bad because of the backup of people trying to go up or down the elevator.  I pray to God there is never an emergency and the elevator is needed.  From what I have been told, someone was stuck on one of the elevators for more than twenty minutes.

Wish me well on me becoming a Deacon and I invite all to my ceremony.  Contact me and I will give directions.