Ogunquit Maine: First Full Day – Summer 2014

The DownEaster Amtrak train pulled into the Wells Maine Amtrak station right on time at 11 a.m. Thursday morning July 24th. I had been on trains since 2:40 a.m. (some eight hours.) My buddies Don and Ken greeted me with warm hugs. After a quick lunch, I checked into a small room on the third floor of an old updated inn (The Abalonia) in the heart of Ogunquit (native name for “lost lagoon.”)


Wonderful Inn in Ogunquit Maine managed by Jimmy Lucibello


85 degree salt water pool


Tiny but comfortable room on third floor


Jimmy offered to take me and my swollen (orange sized) feet to urgent care but I told him that I’d rest them and that Don would take me in the morning. Jimmy gave me his personal cell number and told me to call him anytime during the night should I need help. I welled up with tears given his kindness.

After a much needed nap, I sat by the fire circle and chatted with Ken until 10 p.m. when he left to pick up Don at the CuttySark Motel in York Maine. I fasted in preparation for potential lab tests the next morning at urgent care.

When I went to take my blood sugar readings (at the suggestion of a nurse friend, Sandra, back in Eugene) I realized that I had the strips and lancets but had forgotten to pack my meter.

At 8:30 a. m. Friday morning Don and I were in the urgent care center associated with York Hospital in Wells Maine. About four hours later we got the news that I was suffering from “dependent pedal edema.” It was due to lack of exercise (from long train rides) and a salty diet and failure to keep my legs and feet elevated during swelling. Lab results came back showing kidney functions perfect but elevated blood sugar levels (164.)


Doctor Clark recommended I return to taking diabetes medications (Metformin) and wear compression socks, along with getting regular exercise and elevating limbs.

Don took me to several drug stores but none had a meter to match my strips, so I bought a new meter and strips enough to cover me til Aug 12th, along with a pair of compression socks.

We then shared a simple lunch, walked 3 miles along the beach and a mile or so along marginal way then rested on my deck with cool drinks.


Stumbled upon during walk along Ogunquit’s beautiful sandy beach


Another work of art along beach walk


We dined at a street window of the Old Village Inn and then sat outside across the street from the packed Front Porch (restaurant and piano bar.) Shortly a friend came rushing across the street and gave us both warm hugs. He asked immediately if I was still single. When I said “yes,” he asked “Why?” I had no clear answer.


Don and Larry across from The Front Porch


We ended the evening at 11 p.m. after sitting together on the upper level new outside deck of a nearby club called, Maine Street.



NYC: Summer 2014

Lovely time on overnight train from Chicago to NYC with two seats to myself. Departed Chicago around 9 p.m., arrived in Penn station at 7 p.m. the next night. Spent lots of time chatting with fellow passengers adjacent to my seats: two women from Malaysia, another from Hong Kong, one from China, two fun-filled African American women (Linda and Odessa) and a delightful chap from India (Raman.) We shared food, laughter and stories. I even did a magic show for them. We exchanged contact information just before parting ways.

Eric (my nephew) greeted me with a big hug, grabbed my luggage and took me to a fine restaurant (lobster and crab). Afterwards we stopped at a popular pub for a drink where he was good friends with the manager. A hectic cab ride up town took us to his apartment door and after climbing five flights of stairs and a quick shower,  I was enjoying conversation on his deck. He gave me his bed and I slept like a baby until nearly 10 a.m. the next morning.


NYC Central Park – Photo in Eric’s apartment


Eric’s Balcony at 109th and Broadway


Nephew Eric with Empire State Building in background


Nephew Eric

Lura and Rex (daughter and son-in-law of a recently departed close Eugene friend, Faye) took the subway from Brooklyn to a stop nearby Eric’s apartment and after a few subway rides, gave us a walking tour of Chinatown. They treated Eric and me to a wonderful Dim Sum lunch in a well known restaurant, Jin Fong, and then a tour of a huge Chinese market.


Lura, Rex and Eric


Jing Fong

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Eric, Lura and Rex


Alligator at market


Chicken Feet at Market


Huge Market


Eric and I took a cab to another part of town and joined up with two of his good friends. The four of us were treated to VIP seats in a taping of the Jon Stewart show. A hero of mine, George Takei, was interviewed. After the show and another cab ride down town, the four of us shared dinner (and drinks) at a friendly neighborhood Irish pub (The Five Lamps Tavern). I took a two hour evening nap, before Eric put me in a cab at 1 a.m. and it whisked me back up town to Penn Station where I jumped aboard the 2:40 a.m. train to Boston which arrived in time for a 9 a.m. connection to the DownEaster train to Maine.


Jon Stewart Show


Five Lamps Tavern 105th and Broadway


My next blog post will share the fact that I spent the first 4 hours of the next day in urgent care (in Wells Maine.)










Train thru Rockies and Wedding in Des Moines

Other than a hurting leg, the trip is going smoothly. I left Eugene at 5 p.m. Tuesday July 15th on the Coast Starlight train and arrived on time at 6 a.m. in Sacramento. I slept in coach. An hour walk for breakfast and I was on the CA Zephyr train in a sleeper for the two night ride to Osceola Iowa. I arrived two hours late, but just in time to catch the 10:40am local bus for an hour ride. After a 1.5 mile walk I was in my hotel in downtown Des Moines Iowa with enough time to rest before the wedding rehearsal at the Rose Garden. I gave away the bride Ana at a 5 p.m. wedding the next day and joined the reception dinner at the Thoreau Center.

See photos below:


Heated Seats in Sacramento Train station


View from window as train rode along Colorado River


Train entering tunnel in Utah


Ana and Mark’s Wedding Moment


Ana with Mother Judith


Ana and me


Ana with Marc and his parents


Quote from Thoreau on wall at wedding reception

Now, Monday morning 11:30 a.m. July 21st, I am off to catch a megabus to Chicago to make a connection with the 9 p.m. Lake Shore Limited train to New York City to visit with a nephew and two good friends.


2014 Summer Train Trips Across 2 Countries

July 15, 2014

Heading east from Oregon on a number of Amtrak trains for a wedding in Iowa and another in Vermont.

August 4, 2014

Returning home by Canadian trains from Montreal to Vancouver BC and finally Amtrak to Eugene Oregon

Current planned stops include:

Sacramento CA, Osceola and Des Moines Iowa, Chicago, New York City, Boston, Ogunquit Maine, Rye NH, Burlington Vermont, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver BC and Seattle.

I plan to add one or two posts per week about my experiences with the people and places I encounter along this journey.

Please stay tuned.








June 2014: NCAA, Portland Pride and BACH Festival!


Please “follow” this blog to see updates on these events and future posts.

There will be a kick-off of Portland PRIDE 2014 at City Hall Tuesday June 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Oregon’s Governor Kitzhaber will speak at 5:30 p.m. 

After attending the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the University of Oregon’s historic Hayward Field on Wed, Thurs and Fri (June 11-13) and then a performance by the Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery (Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing) at Eugene’s Hult Center on Friday night (June 13), I will take the Saturday morning Cascades train to Portland to attend the 20th anniversary of Portland PRIDE (June 14-15.) It includes a festival in Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park (Noon to 6 p.m. Sat and Sun) and a parade (11 a.m. Sun) through NW downtown Portland.

You can find more information about Portland PRIDE at http://pridenw.org/ and a map of the parade at http://pridenw.org/downloads/paraderoute.pdf

Also, a friend and I will be attending a performance of the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus (centered on the music of Cole Porter) at the Arlene Schnitzer Auditorium (“The Schnitz”) on Saturday evening and the rock musical “Lizzie” at the Portland Center Stage on Sunday evening. 

You can find more information about the chorus performance at http://www.pdxgmc.org/

You can find more information about the rock musical at http://www.pcs.org





On Thursday June 26 I will be attending  a performance of the Oregon Bach Festival: “Monteverdi Vespers” and then on Saturday June 28 another performance by the “Canadian Brass” at Eugene’s HULT center. See more on both of these performances at http://oregonbachfestival.com

Again, please “follow” this blog to see updates on these events and future posts.