Astral Nomads

One man, one woman, one rabbit......traveling with the stars.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

duke, duke, duke of island

As I walk through this world
Nothing can stop me now I'm the duke of earl*

We live right next to Duke Estate. So forgive my bad pun and simply enjoy the awesomeness of Astral Wendy's photography. That being said, I am the Duke of Earl. And nobody can stop me now.

*Duke of Earl, Gene Chandler

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Astrals Love a Parade

This weekend in Raritan NJ was the the annual celebration of John Basilone, a local hero who was the first US Marine to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Since Raritan has a pretty strong Italian heritage, it's sort of a a big deal. The highlight of the festivities is a parade, which was a lot longer than we had guessed.  Raritan also has some great Italian restaurants and bakeries. The Astrals have no complaints with that since they are all within walking distance. 

We spotted this guy on the floor of our elevator. I named it
"Aborigine with Silver Torch Running towards the Vent".

Autumn has begun although it was 77F and very humid.

Speaking of Italian restaurants, we walk over to Espo's three or four
times a month. It's a little hole-in-the-wall with a limited menu, but
it totally rocks. They have the best marinara sauce evar. Last night Astral
Wendy went with the Eggplant Parmigiana and I had the Manicotti.
Awesome!  She didn't have her camera so we only have shots of
the leftovers.

There are always leftovers from Espo's! 

When you have grandchildren, painted pumpkins are suddenly in vogue.

John Basilone

The parade was very Marine oriented.

One helluva model American.

It's a grand ole flag.

The USMC Band from Quantico. They were incredible.

Since we have two bulldogs in the family, we kinda dug this character.
Glad they didn't make him walk. Ten Hut!

I really wanted me a pimp hat.

Astral Wendy digs the kilt. 'Nuff said.

A bit of fife and drums.

Ya gotta love anything named the Devil Pups. Satan never
sounded cuter. I, therefore, cannot reject all of his works.

It's not everyday you see a top-fuel dragster idling down Somerset Street.

Speaking of pimp hats.

The littlest piper. Cute overload.

Which way is the beer?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Down By the River

There's a hint of autumn in the air in New Jersey right now. It still remains to be seen if we're going to charge right into the cold weather or whether we'll get a reprieve. In any event, you get the hint that winter is coming. A mellow Sunday with nothing much on the docket so the Astrals decided to cruise over to New Brunswick to check out a river festival, sponsored by the Beez Foundation, where our oldest son, Dale, was working as a volunteer. The Beez Foundation benefits kids with brain cancer and they have an annual rubber duck race on the Raritan River. We weren't planning to stay long enough for the race but we figured we'd sneak up on Dale.

Many years have passed since those summer days
Among the fields of barley
See the children run as the sun goes down
Among the fields of gold
You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in the fields of gold*

If you look close, you can see bigfoot. Psyche!

The festival was held at Boyd Park. You can't make this stuff up.

Since I was a boy, I've ridden by this park hundreds of times
but was never there until today. There are some nice views of
the river.

This the pod that is craned over the river to release the ducks.

The sun was trying to come out but the clouds
pretty much prevailed today.

This was cool. The Raritan River is tidal so this was the river flowing 
upstream into the locks where the rubber duckies will be later to race.


So there ARE Raritan River Keepers! Who knew?


We have come to worship at the shrine of the Rubber Ducky.

Some of the early music was in our zone. 
Jackie Wilson Said.

Here's Dale on the right. 

Watchin' the River Flow.

Class of 1914? I'd like to see that crew now.

This ain't no Banksy. In fact, it's kinda freakin' me out.
I think I took the brown acid. A mistake, of course.

We decided to skip the river fest menu and went to Tumulty's Tavern,
a New Brunswick institution.

One of their signature items is a huge wedge of iceberg lettuce. No
matter what you order, you get one of these these.

The Astrals just went for the burgers. At 10oz, it was impossible to finish.

Not sure how old this building is, but it seems pretty dated.

I see a ghost rising. Do you?

Look into my eyes.

*'Fields of Gold' - Sting