New England — still
As summer rolls along we are again on our way to New England. It’s still there, green and hot in the August sun. I love these trips home, as I like to think of it.
Summer is here on the gulf coast as well. As many on our key are fortunate enough to do, we like to charge the soul in cooler climes. Of course, this year it has often been warmer in the Midwest and East than it was here. Strange?
It’s early on a Saturday morning as we head for the airport. Phoebe has to stay in Cortez with her friends at Beach Vet’s kennel; so we stop there. Then it’s on the familiar road to Tampa. They ask do you SRQ? Not this trip; will later this summer.
Our flight on an Airbus A319 is nearly full. It seems there are always folks leaving Florida — maybe they are weekly tourists. My reading companion today is Marco Rubio’s “An American Son.” The puffy cumulus clouds hang at 10,000 feet above the west coast of the peninsula. Their shadows nearly cover the green landscape below. We travel at 39,000 feet north to our nation’s capital. Approaching from the south, we fly up the Potomac, turn and approach Reagan National from the north, landing to the south. The airport here is crowded at mid-afternoon. The concessions are all jammed — Five Guys is doing a fabulous business. SRQ it is not.
Upstairs in sight of the Washington skyline we await the shuttle flight to Boston; looks like another popular flight. The beautiful people frequent these flights from the seat of all power to the more gentile Massachusetts capital.
I notice more serious storm clouds building over Washington as we climb out. The E190 enters a hazy world above heading northeast. We break out of the summer haze over the blue Atlantic with the beaches of Delaware below. The cloud layer is now beneath us. The pilot predicts an on-time arrival — weather at Logan is high scattered clouds, 76 degrees. The Jersey Shore and further east the Long Island ocean beaches pass beneath us. All this is familiar to me; I never tire of this flight. I even recognize Fishers Island, N.Y. (talk about a five-star spot). Then it’s over Providence and east to Boston. Our daughter Maggie awaits us on arrival, some service.
Sunday was spent in quiet pursuits in the Central Massachusetts town of Shrewsbury.
The Monday Sports page in the local newspaper carried a long dissection of the travails of the Boston Red Sox. This paper’s columnist came close to predicting the end of current Sox manager Bobby Valentine should the team not do better soon. It’s good to be home.
A front-page story in the same paper (Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Aug. 6, 2012) headlined “Regatta pulls top master rowers.” It continued, “It’s not the Olympics, or even the Henley Royal Regatta, but as rowing goes it’s one of the most prestigious rowing events in the country. And it’s being held in Worcester.” This is the kind of local pride story we see in Sarasota on the same sport. The Worcester paper lists some of the leading rowing venues: Seattle, Oak Ridge, Long Beach, Camden and Oklahoma City. I guess the new facility being developed with much hoopla in our area has a way to go. It is always good to see a different perspective.
While spending a lazy summer week in Massachusetts I finished Marco Rubio’s book. It is a memoir as advertised on its dust jacket. My earliest political comments for this column two years ago were positive on Rubio. I saw him early on at a Republican function in Sarasota. As I read of his life, I’ll admit my opinion faltered just a bit. His concentration on his Cuban roots may have turned me off. I read on, to be impressed again by our now junior senator. His is a compelling story of a modern American — perhaps a different American than we are used to. I suspect that we should all get used to the differences. As I wrote in that early piece for these pages we should keep an eye on Rubio.
We drove west on the Mass Pike (that’s I-90 to non-Bostonians) to Sturbridge for lunch. This is the restored village of some Rockefeller fame. We returned eastbound on Route 20. That takes us through slightly rolling country and still dingy towns. This, for me, is the edge of Appalachia — close to a major American city. We’ll head for South Shore tomorrow.
I traveled my South Shore routes. I’m always impressed to be home. The Atlantic Ocean still crashes on the rocky shore. The beaches are crowded with families only weeks before school opens. Summah in America is great!
I noticed three very large new houses under construction along Jerusalem Road (the local gold coast). Clearly the market in mega size / mega price houses is OK in the right location. We see the same thing here on LBK. Looking out across the marsh toward the sea through the large bay window in the home of our friends and hosts, I spy a huge electric generating windmill. This giant structure is sighted on the fragile marsh, the three long blades turning slowly on a mast, which must be 150 feet high. It seems an environmental anomaly in this sensitive state.
Early on Friday morning we grab the limo from Shrewsbury to Logan for what becomes an abortive trip south. It seems rough weather is in the Philadelphia area.
We go nowhere after boarding our flight. It’s back to Scituate for an extra night. The next morning we’re out at 5 a.m. The second time is the charmer and we fly all the way to Tampa without incident. Summer travel is never certain.
The news of the weekend is the selection of Paul Ryan as Romney’s VP nominee. I’ve spent some of this column on Marco Rubio, who was widely thought to be another possibility. I’ll leave that here as written in my draft, as I think it is still timely, Especially here in Florida, Rubio bears future attention. At first blush I like the Ryan nomination — as I am a Ryan. As I’ve written here more than once, pay attention.