A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about landscapes

Living and Working on Long Island

A brief look at our lives while working on Long Island

The days of working in New York were much the same, drive down to the Marriott, sign in at 6:30am, work in the lobby until I needed to leave for my appointments then off to inspect. In the afternoons I’d go back and write up the estimates, sign out at 6:30pm then off to the Extended Stay. All of our work and hotels were on Long Island.

This routine lasted a week and was well and good but then I realized that I could stay at the Marriott using Priceline. Wow, $89/night what a deal and I didn’t have to leave at 6am to drive down, just walk down the stairs. (Stairs for the exercise)
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The Marriott was so nice after the Extended Stay which was old and dirty. I was ready for a nice place to live again. Plus I was happy that I could actually work in my room where people wouldn’t bother me. There were adjusters who just didn’t know what they were doing, and while I wanted to make sure that the company looked good, it just took way too much of my time to help with basics.

Because I’d stayed so long at the Marriott in Folsom, I’d accumulated lots of reward points and the highest status. Never mind that I’d used all my points in Toronto I hadn’t lost my status! Here I was given access to the top floor where breakfast was served, hors d’ Oeuvres in the evening, water, soda, coffee that downstairs was $3/cup. Not too bad.

Hated to move when we had to at the very end. The Clarion wasn’t any comparison.

The claims varied from totally destroyed houses, completely boarded up houses, houses being rebuilt and those already rebuilt. While I appreciated that all of my inspections were close together, I didn’t appreciate that I had the houses around the golf course, the big houses. I had only a couple of condos. Some people had all condos so had time to sit around. Alas, I had to work but then I got to stay longer.

Fortunately, not all inspections were around the golf course, there were quite a few on the beach with a 2nd bunch of inspections. It is always so hard to imagine how the storm really was when standing looking out at the beach. The water is so peaceful out, gentle waves, blue skies. Then behind is a house where waves washed completely thru it. I’ve seen the same thing over and over again in hurricanes since 1991. The power of water is amazing.

The stories, and each person must tell theirs, varied from barely making it out of the basement moments before being crushed to death by water breaking down the door and rushing in, to houses partially falling down. Others had little damage at all, didn’t leave, but because they lived up a little higher they were able to watch the devastation occur.
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Every storm I get asked how bad that owner’s damage is compared to everyone else or in the whole of all the hurricanes I’ve worked. I always tell people that their damage is the worst for them because it is theirs. A non-answer that seems to make everyone feel good.

Posted by Miss Chris 11:45 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes new_york work adjusting long_island hurricanes Comments (0)

A Quiet 4th of July at Grover Hot Springs

Camping at Grover Hot Springs. This post is late as there is no cell phone or internet service at Grover Hot Springs.

sunny 85 °F

Wednesday morning, July 4th, Grover Hot Springs, CA and the adventure just keeps going!

We arrived at the nice early hour of 3a.m. having driven over a great cut off, Highway 89 from the 395. We drove over an hour at 20 mph for the last stretch. We had a full moon so we could see some of the landscape and it looked like we would like it in the day light, but who knows. So yes, we arrived at the campground at 3a.m. but we couldn’t ever get this RV into our site, I mean never! We drove around the campground and found empty sites but nothing we could get into so finally by 3:30a.m decided to just park by the visitor’s center and go to sleep.

We got up at 7:30a.m when we heard voices outside the RV. I went out and found the ranger told him our story and he was sympatric. He gave me the 2nd site number of mine and said to just park in either one we could get into. The 2nd site was narrow with rocks on each side and a tree on each side at the end of the drive. Dale worked for quite some time maneuvering the RV into the site so that we could use the slide out and not hit anything.

The biggest problem has been the RV batteries which seem to have a major issue. We have no hookups and so are dependent on batteries to keep the fridge going, our main concern. We also would like to use the water pump and lights but those are not so critical. Our neighbor has been very generous in letting us use his generator to charge the batteries and Dale cleaned the connections so we will see if this helps.

Clayton and Jen arrived by 2p.m. and were directed to the spot next to us, not really their spot but easy enough for all of us. Zaya ran over with all of the doll stuff in hand ready to play with Zoey and they didn’t stop until dinner. Older girls were climbing rocks and exploring the campground. At one point we found Sunny, the 16 year old, sitting on a bench at the edge of a meadow just taking it all in.

The campground has lots of trees, over 100 years old as per the ranger. Apparently this area was clear cut to power the saw mills and was replanted. Trees are big but not huge. The campground is in a hilly and rocky area so that some sites are in valleys and some on the hills. There are at least 2 meadows that we’ve seen so far and saw a deer run across the one across the road from our site.
Posted by Miss Chris 07:50 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes children family camping family_travel grandkids grover_hot_springs california_state_parks Comments (0)

Grand Canyon, Day 2

IMG_5890.jpgIMG_5889.jpgWe had planned to get up early, be on the 8a.m. shuttle to the end of the road at Herman’s Rest then go on the 9a.m. Family Ranger Hike down the Herman’s Rest Trail. Unfortunately we learned, earlier, that our campsite was reserved for the night so we would need to move.

The host told us of another site which was likely to be vacated but we needed to make certain. We finally saw the campers and verified that they would be leaving so went to dump while we waited. We dumped at a private campground and were happy that we were in Ten-X rather than have full hookups with internet and close neighbors.

By 11:30 we packed up a lunch, got into Grand Canyon Park, parked at the Bright Angel and hiked down the Bright Angel Trail about 1-1/2 miles. It was getting really hot so we just turned around after lunch but the kids had a great introduction to hiking the canyon. Christabel, the one who really didn’t like to hike asked if we could hike down to the bottom of the canyon sometime.

We took the shuttle all the way to Hermit’s Rest just for the ride then road one stop back to the Village where we hopped out to walk to the Abyss. The trail goes along the edge of the Canyon, some of it right on the edge.

We got back on the shuttle at the Abyss, tired but happy!

Posted by Miss Chris 22:19 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes grand_canyon nature travel camping tourist national_park rv outdoors family_travel grandkids Comments (0)

Grand Canyon, Day 1

IMG_5878.jpgIMG_5880.jpgAnother day of driving and we were at the Grand Canyon south rim. As the campgrounds were full we stopped at a campground just south of the park called Ten X. The campground host saw us looking for a site, we’d left Bel and Elias at one already. The host gave us the number of one he thought was perfect; he went and picked up the kids while we got into our campsite.

In the morning we went straight to the canyon as we wanted to eat breakfast at the El Tovar. When our boys were young and the farm was falling apart we went to the Grand Canyon and someone told us to go to the El Tovar for breakfast as one can find a cheaper yet just as lovely meal. We have always done that.

The kids were excited to go into the El Tovar for a meal but careful not to look like we were out of place. Bel reminded me not to look around too much as to seem as if I never go to a place so nice. We had a great breakfast, kids were convinced, once again, that they had the best meal ever.

From the El Tovar we gathered the Junior Ranger booklets and then walked along the canyon enjoying the views. At the lookout studio we took a photo of all of us, and found some books at the Kolb studio.

We had an early dinner back at the campground where the kids played rock hopping games and then a nice campfire.

Posted by Miss Chris 20:56 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes grand_canyon nature travel hotel family camping national_park outdoors family_travel Comments (0)

A Day in Taos

IMG_5876.jpgI hate it when I’ve written a bunch and then it gets deleted. So I must start this day’s blog over:

The plan for Taos was mostly eating, the Taos Pueblo, The San Francisco de Asis and more eating. We have been to Taos many times and had our favorite restaurants, but as we all know, things change.

We had to check in at the office so I asked the person running the campground where to find the best sopapillas was. Unfortunately the place we’d always gone had changed hands and was no longer the best. She reported that the best place now is El Taoseno. We went to El Taoseno and found a very authentic restaurant, nothing fancy at all. We asked for the sopapillas but they were not serving them until 11:30a.m. The waitress asked the cook who did make them for our grandkids. I ordered chili stew which was some of the best I’ve had since “The Shed”.

We were able to get into the Taos Pueblo and spent a couple of hours wondering around. Dale and I have wonderful memories of Christmas Eve there years ago but it was nice to wonder at our leisure. This pueblo has been in existence for over 1000 years and people live much the same now. The council has decided to rebuild those homes which have fallen into disrepair so it was interesting to see how the building proceeds. I paid the extra fee to take photos but agreed to not use the photos except for my own use so cannot post any here.

We did do a short visit to the San Francisco de Asis, those of you who have visited us know that I have photographed this church. As a storm was approaching we did not spend much time and I don’t know if the kids took an interest in it.

The staff at the campground had made a recommendation for a place to eat great blue corn enchiladas at Orlando’s. This does not sound like a New Mexico name but the place is great! It is a very small restaurant, 2 rooms with limited tables and outdoor seating. Kids were very impressed too.

From the restaurant we found that we were close to the Rio Grande. If you have never crossed over the Rio Grande just outside of Taos, this is another must do. The gorge is a couple of hundred feet deep with the river running thru it. The bridge has walkways on both sides of the road and a lookout in the center. There was a full moon so we were able to see the river by the light of the moon giving it a different effect than in the day.

Posted by Miss Chris 07:11 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes food road_trip travel vacation family taos rio_grande family_travel grandkids san_francisco_de_asis taos_pueblo Comments (0)

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