Category Archives: Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks

Walt’s Main Street Story

What a gift I was given just weeks before my Son-In-Law, my Co-Father-In-Law and I were to go on a Dad’s Disneyland Trip to celebrate the coming of our second Daughter/Granddaughter (our Baby Shower Trip). My Family (Wifey, Daughter, Son-In-Law, and Co-In-Laws) gave me an early Christmas gift of the, limited time, “Walt’s Main Street Story” tour which ends in Walt’s apartment above the Fire Hall in Disneyland’s Town Square. Of course I was taken back by the gift of getting to go into Walt’s apartment (which has always been a dream of mine), and it took about an hour to really sink-in. Of course I headed to the Disneyland Tours web”site and read every word about the tour, but believe me the words on the website don’t give justice to the feelings I had as I entered the apartment. I grew up watching Walt every Sunday night sharing from his desk, sometimes with help from a friend like Mickey or Donald, about the adventure or story we were about to see. I’ve only seen videos of when Walt sat on his desk and introduced America as to the idea of a place called Disneyland, as I was born just six months and five days before the park opened.

Walt’s Main Street tour begins at the Town Square Plaza which looks right down Main Street USA with the Castle framed at the end of the street. The Town Square Plaza was one of Walt’s favorite spots in the park. He loved Main Street USA as it took him back to his childhood days of Marceline, Missouri and he hoped that it would bring back memories for everyone that walks down the street as it was to be everyone’s Main Street USA. Marceline had a huge impact on the rest of Walt’s life though he only lived there until he was five.

Walt started many days in the Town Square looking down Main Street USA and was bothered that his view of the castle was blocked by the gazebo in center of the original hub, so in that first year the gazebo was moved across the street and became the Band Stand in Carnation Plaza Gardens. I have lots of memories of the Band Stand as my Family would go to Disneyland every year (yes, I was spoiled) the weekend after Labor Day; and playing in the Band Stand would be Count Basie and his band (I think my Dad chose that weekend as Count Basie was always there). I found this picture of the gazebo in its original location.

Our tour took us next to the Main Street Cinema  which is that jewel that everyone passes, but few stop in to watch a movie.  Walt loved the cinema as it was what sparked his interest in making his cartoon’s with animation, so it was fitting that his Main Street USA would have a grand cinema in the middle of town.  As you enter the cinema the ticket taker greets you with a smile.  What you may not notice is that her and her booth are redressed throughout the year to match the season.  Right now she is getting ready for Christmas, and is enjoying a few Christmas cookies while she’s working.  

 As we continued down the street we were told to look at the windows of the businesses lining the street.  The names in the windows all have a special meaning to Walt and/or the building of Disneyland.  The first one our guide pointed out was above what is today the Starbuck’s Coffee House.  The name on the top pane of this window is “Emile Kuri” with “Interior Designer” on the window pane below, he told us to remember this as he would mention Emile Kuri once more during the tour.  

 To the right of this window was one for Ron Rodriguez who’s Family owned the orange grove that Walt wanted to buy as a home for Disneyland.  Ron resisted a lot of Walt’s offers, but finally gave in as long as Walt promised that the only Palm Tree on the property would always be left on the property as it was a gift to Ron’s wife Betty.  The palm tree can be found today between Indiana Jones Adventure and Pirates of the Caribbean where it was placed during construction of the Jungle  Cruise and still remains the only Palm Tree inside Disneyland.  Another side story to Ron is that he joined Walt on opening day July 17, 1955.  His first job was a ticket taker followed by many other positions in the park including “Head of Park Operations”, “Vice President of Disneyland”, then “Executive Vice President of Disney in the West Coast” retiring in 1994.

A funny side story he shared was that Walt too loved to give Lillian gifts, and once gave her a piece of petrified wood, that didn’t really thrill her. So it to now lives in the park next to dock on the Rivers of America.

Making a right turn we entered a court with a flower cart and small businesses including the Hotel Marceline.  It was important to Walt that all of our senses were in play while we enjoyed Main Street, so yes there are ever changing smells inserted into the air, music and other sounds to set the mood.  One of our guide’s favorites is the sounds coming from the window on the second floor of the Hotel Marceline. 

You hear a man humming as he starts up the shower, when all of a sudden he yells as the hot water runs out and it becomes a cold shower.  There are also  not so pleasant and laughing sounds coming from the Painless Dentist office  across the street which offers  Laughing Gas to ease the pain.

 

Our guide pointed out that not everything is as it seems, or was in the original drawings.  Take for example this drinking fountain.  It is centered in Walt’s Masonry Wall, a wall created by the construction crew so Walt could see how different masonry effects would look and feel.  You can find this wall just to the right of the Lockers entrance.

Main Street street lights are right out of the turn of the century charm.  Gas Lamps line the sidewalks for the first blocks of Main Street with Electric Lights at the end and around the Hub.  Though the original street lights across America had visible gas lines and wires for the electric lights Walt wanted a cleaner look, so he had the gas lines and wires all submerge below the sidewalks and was ahead of his time once more.

Our next stop is one of my favorite spots, The Coca Cola Shop at the end of Main Street.  When Disneyland first opened the front half of the park sold Coca Cola and the back half sold Pepsi Cola, which remained until 1990 when Coca Cola struck a deal with Disney.  I remember when the Golden Horseshoe Theater was named the Pepsi  Golden Horseshoe Revue.  Walt wanted the Coca Cola Corner shop to resemble the soda shops from the early 1900’s including a grand entrance marquee.  The marquee was to be lined with alternating red and white lightbulbs around the hexagon ceiling, but there was a problem.  When the lights were put in it was and odd number of lights so there would be two red or two white lights in a row….Walt’s solution was to have one half red and half white light to keep it symmetrical. 

 Down the street past the Candy Palace and Penny Arcade is Gibson Girl’s Ice Cream shop.  The Gibson Girl was a fashion icon in the 1920’s and depicted the feel of an ice cream shop.  The original shop in this location was the Sunkist Citrus House which offered fresh squeezed orange juice.  Our guide shared a great story about a construction worker that was taking a break sitting on the curb in front of the Sunkist Citrus House when he saw someone walking down the street, and realized it was Walt in his pajamas and robe….note; it was about 2am.  Walt walked up to the worker and asked if he would like some orange juice, and proceeded into the shop and squeezed the worker some orange juice on the Sunkist Commercial Juicer; as he did for who ever he could talk into having fresh squeezed orange juice.   Sunkist heard the story and gave Walt a juicer for his apartment, Walt graciously asked for it to be removed as he had more fun using the one in the Sunkist Citrus House.

Elias Disney, Walt’s Dad, had a window too as Walt  wanted to honor his Father.  The window is a bay window and the only window in all of Main Street USA to protrude from the building; another way Walt honored his Father.  We were told that Walt and Elias had a rocky and turbulent relationship, but Walt always respected his Father and knew he was a hard worker and doing what he felt was best for his Family.  Elias’s window is above the Emporium at the top of Main Street USA.

We finished our tour of Walt’s Main Street USA at a small door just to the right of the Fire Hall in Town Square.  We were asked to put away any cameras and phones as they are not allowed in the back stage areas; or in Walt’s apartment as to be respectful to the Disney Family.  We ascended a set of stairs just behind the Fire Hall and entered the apartment.  

I can’t tell you what a thrill it was to enter that door; later in the day I was reviewing my heart beat from my Apple Watch and found that my beat went from 85-90 during the walk to 117 as we entered the apartment.  

 At only a little over 500 square feet, it is smaller than I imagined but you could tell immediately upon entering that it was filled with family, love and joy.  The hallway walls from the door to the main room is filled with photos and turn-of-the twentieth century furniture.  The main area consists of seating for about ten on the two, sofa pull out twin beds and four Victorian chairs, which we were asked to not sit on; but there were two small Victorian chairs near the kitchenette for anyone on the tour that need to rest.

Note the lamp in the window.  Cast Members always knew when Walt was in the park as the lights would be on in the apartment.  Today this lamp is always turned on to remind everyone that Walt is still here in spirit.  During the pandemic when the park was closed, it was someone’s responsibility to make sure the lamp was still on.

Now remember the window with Emile Kuri, Interior Decorator above the Starbuck’s, well you guessed it was at Lillian’s direction that he decorated the apartment.  Most everything in the apartment is the original with the exception of the carpet and some of the wall paper as they were ruined in a flood from a broken pipe.  Just like Lucy and Ricky, the Disney’s slept in separate beds which were the pullout sofas that faced each other.  On the wall at the head of each bed was a picture of their Mothers with Walt’s Mother above his bed, and Lillian’s above her bed.  Next to the sofa on Lillian’s side of the room was a working Victorian telephone that Walt used often for business and pleasure calls.

Also in the main room is a small kitchenette equipped with a coffee pot, toaster and a small grill.  The grill was for some of Walt’s favorite foods, grill cheese sandwiches and chili right out of the can.  He would simply open the can of chili, heat it on the grill and get a spoon to eat it right out of the can.  Also on the counter next to the small sink was a Tom and Jerry Bowl and Cups as that was his favorite drink.  By the way Tom and Jerry is a mixture of eggnog, brandy and rum often served during the Christmas season or all year around in the apartment.  The cupboards above were filled as you would expect some dishes, glasses, cups, etc.; but the most special items in the cupboard were two glass baby bottles.  Our guide shared a story where awhile back he was in Walt’s apartment with Patrick Disney who was sharing a memory of the baby bottles and in the morning he got up from sleeping on the floor between his Grandparents.  He got up and looked down on Town Square from the front window of the apartment.  He said to his Grandpa “It is quiet out there.” and his Grandpa replied “In just awhile the magic will arrive with our guests”.

Another story he shared took place on July 17, 1955 when Walt joined the Musketeers as they gathered in the apartment.  Walt joined Sharon Baird, an original Musketeer, at the window watching the crowds below.  It got quiet, and when Sharon looked over at Walt standing next to her there were tears coming down his cheeks; and she knew he was watching his dream come true.

The tour of the apartment ended with the pink (the color of the fifties) bathroom.  Just outside the main bathroom was a small dressing area with a dresser.  The top drawer of the dresser was always filled with toys for the grandkids.  The bathroom itself had pink and white tile floors and pink tiles on the walls.  The large shower had four shower heads placed at about 24” from the floor to 6’ from the floor.  No one knows for sure why the four shower heads, but there are two schools of thought.  One is that an adults body would be sprayed all at once, and one thought is that there would be one shower head at the appropriate level for each Grandchild as they grew.

Our tour finished on Walt’s balcony overlooking Town  Square enjoying our favorite Coca Cola beverage and a Walt’s Main Street USA shortbread cookie.  This was a time for the guide to go more off script and for us to ask some questions.  

 One couple asked why on Disney+ they show Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom changing from  Halloween to Christmas over night, but it takes about a week for the change to happen in Disneyland; which our guide responded there are two good reasons.  Florida’s Magic Kingdom has a much larger cast member staff plus underground tunnels below a major portion of the park; where Disneyland has small above ground staging areas behind the buildings.  This year’s Halloween/Christmas switch had started the night before we arrived and only about a third of Main Street was done; and the Christmas Tree had not made it’s grand appearance in the Town Square Park though it was already built and has been backstage for about a month

 I asked when Walt and Mickey’s “It all started with a Mouse” statue was added to the hub, and found out that it was added to pay honor to Walt at the same time it debuted at the opening of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom which has the same statue.  The “Hub” and I have a lot of memories too, before mobile phones it was and will always be the spot you go to if you get separated and lost from your Family.  My Son “In-Law” and I took advantage of the Digital Disney Memory Photographer to capture a memory of our day together.

Our guide shared a moment he had at the “Disney Family Museum” in San Francisco’s Presidio.  He, another Disney Cast Member’s friend and his wife were visiting the museum and stopped at a drawing that explained how Walt went through his thought process for movies.  The other Cast Member’s wife captured a picture of the two of them the moment they both realized that this drawing of the creation of a movie was Main Street USA and the hub; as Walt’s movies always had a main theme, with branches off the hub; so the hub was just a natural part of the creation of Walt’s stories and Disneyland.

I also asked about the second and larger apartment, at over 2,200 square feet, that was built in New Orleans Square above the Pirates of the Caribbean.   My wife, Sandi, and I had visited the Disney Art Gallery a little over fifteen years ago and enjoyed the gallery and the view looking out towards Frontier Land, and the home port for the Columbia Sailing Ship and the Mark Twain Riverboat.  The apartment was under construction when Walt passed away, and was later turned in to the Disney Art Gallery in 1987 in 2007 the art gallery was moved to the entrance of the Opera House which is the home of “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln”.  In 2009 the space was remodeled back to the original design Walt wanted and Disneyland introduced the “Dream Suite” for the “Year of a Million Dreams”.  A few years later the suite was a getaway for children and families for magical moments through the “Make a Wish Foundation”.

I shall never forget the time I had experiencing Main Street USA stories and Walt’s apartment.  I hope you enjoyed my memories above and that you too will find the special jewels on Main Street USA and the rest of Disneyland left behind by Walt and his Imagineers.  

Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks – The Names have been Restored!!!

As we were rolling past the Yosemite Chapel yesterday morning I read “Curry Village” on a sign, but didn’t process anymore than that as I don’t need directions to anything in Yosemite.   A few moments later I realized I was reading the original sign “Curry Village” not “Half Dome Village” which had been covering up the words “Curry Village” since February 2016.  Excited that the name was back, we had to check out and see if the Ahwahnee was back, and it was….the name Majestic was removed that was hiding the name Ahwahnee.IMG_1109

Somehow we missed the news, but on Monday morning July 15th the naming rights lawsuit was settled with Delaware North Companies (DNC) .  DNC was the parks concessionaire from 2001 to 2016, and they believed that they owed the name Curry Village that was founded by Mr. and Mrs. Curry in 1899, the Ahwahnee founded in 1927, Wawona founded in 1856 and Badger Pass Ski resort (oldest in California) founded in 1935.  (You can read more about these wonderful spots in my posts on “Rollin’ Down the Hallway”, just click on Yosemite on the navigation links on the right side of the “Rollin’ Down the Hallway” page.img_1111.jpg

Three years ago Sandi and I along with millions of Americans sent letters to our Congressional Representatives to go after DNC and get back the parks names.  As a result of the problems with DNC new concessionaire contracts for all National Park will include new language regarding intellectual property so this will never happens again.

Our visit to the park was a brief one as we were celebrating Sandi’s birthday.  While there we noticed a LOT of changes throughout the park’s eateries…..I’ll be updating my blog “Yosemite Village and Visitor Center’ from the summer of 2014 with news about the changes.  So look for the updates in eight weeks when we return to Yosemite for a long weekend with Family!

Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks – Sunrise Deck

IMG_1098This coming Tuesday would have been my Dad’s 97th Birthday, and I thank him everyday for what he has taught me.  Together Sandi and I completed her “Sunrise” deck!!!   So now my brother, Rich, should be happy that Sandi has a new redwood deck to see the sunrise above the Sierras. img_1099.jpg

My Dad always tried to keep the scraps down to a minimum, I think he would be happy with my scrap pile.

 

Here are plans, lumber and hardware needed to build this 5’x6′ deck that is 32″ tall at the deck and against a wall.

 

Been Awhile….a Busy While – Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks

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We’ve just watched “the first look” 5/4/19

This has been the busiest winter and spring since I retired from         Alameda County.

Some good some not so good, some fun and some not so fun, and some was just amazing!!!

 

 

Sorry this post is long, but I need to make up for some lost time……Check out the pictures if your in a hurry.

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Callie and Paul 10/12/85

I lost one of two my Mother-In-Laws, Callie, on January 4th as God took her home and away from her suffering from Parkinson’s disease.  God Blessed me with two great Mother-In-Laws which I see as the happy side of divorce.  Though her Family is extremely sad, I know Callie is happy to be with my Father-In-Law Paul who passed away in the Fall of 2004.

IMG_0257IMG_0259A week later life was heading back to normal again as my Sister-In-Law Nicki and I celebrating our birthdays together with our Family, it was a fun day!  Our birthdays are a day apart (11th and 12th).  My Family let me bake the dessert for our Birthdays…..It was my first cake with flowers down the side and first six layer cake.

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We received a wonderful call one January Saturday afternoon that our Daughter Elise was engaged, and they were heading our way to celebrate!!!   We heard that a few friends were coming to our house for a her Mama’s Spaghetti Celebration Dinner……good thing her Mama and I can work quickly together!!!    

My other Mother-In-Law, Betty, decided she wanted to see the Vacaville Kiaser Hospital some more and decided to visit the ER for a day, and be admitted overnight for observation.  She is a trooper and I think she just looked it as an adventure; and she couldn’t say more nice things about how Kiaser’s staff treated her.

Sandi’s pain management doctor has been working on getting a spinal stimulator approved by her workers comp and to hopefully relieve some of her back and leg pain.  After months of waiting, it was finally it was approved!  The funny thing is that worker comp approved a surgical trail (battery and computer on the outside of the body) which went very well, but not the actual implant.  We were told that only 30% of the actual implants get approved and it would take about two months to have it approved even though the trail went so well.  Fortunately it was approved in just a few weeks so we headed home from a short trip to have the implant installed just a day later!!!  Now months later and a lot of software adjustments there is some pain relief.

We visited the Vacaville Kaiser (for all three of us), Sandi’s pain management doctor and dentist (for two of us) so many times in the last four months…..I’ve lost track!!!

My other Sister-In-Law Janice, our Niece Leanne and her boyfriend Dan surprised us with a visit from NJ/PA for a long weekend!!!   It was a fun visit!!!   I was able to go in to tour mode taking Leanne and Dan to the City for the day!!!  Not to brag, but my “City” tours are great!!!  It was a great visit….finished off with Leanne and Dan making us a wonderful dinner!!!

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Dress Fitting Mother Daughter Fun

February, March and April were full of wedding planning, dress fittings, and more wedding planning.  It was a lot of work, but it was fun!!!   The best part was seeing that our Daughter was finally and extremely happy, and that Brad (our soon to be Son-In-Law) is truly amazing!!!  Our Sister-In-Law Nicki has told Elise and her Cousin Brittany “You want a guy that will walk through glass to get to you”……Brad has more than walked through glass for Elise.

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This Easter was a little different than most as we had another visit from Janice, this time with our Brother-In-Law John.  They were able to come during her spring break at school where she works as an instructional aide.  We were able to squeeze in two day trips during their visit.  One of the day trips was to Tahoe between the spring snow storms and the other to Bodega Bay and Fort Ross.

Besides the two day trips, we had fun just hanging together and showing Janice and John our new community.

Before we knew it May 4th was upon us and what a busy week that was to be!!!  It seemed like everyday that week had an event, and every event was miles away from home.  Though it was a busy time, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

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Painting cans that will be wrapped in lace

The wedding was an outside wedding, designed by our daughter who is used to putting on large events for her Ministries for the last ten years.  Brad and Elise wanted to keep the focus on God, Friends and Family so kept the wedding simple and only 200 guests.  I know Elise wanted to invite another 200…..but the number had to be kept low as she held herself to a strict budget.   I kept telling all that were helping us setup the venue the morning of the wedding…..”she isn’t a bridezilla, these pictures and sample tables are just an example”….and believe me she wasn’t even close to a bridezilla.

 

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Steve       Jenny       Brad         Elise        Sandi       Barry     5/3/19

As May winds up we have been enjoying some rest and planning our next adventures.  In just a week we will be heading back to Central Oregon and the Washington Oregon Coast at the mouth of the Columbia River. 

I hope you follow us at “Rollin’ Down the Hallway”!!! 

 

Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks – My Favorite Views

img_0214These are my three favorite views!!!   Now you might just think, of course they are because they are of your Wife and Best Friend….., but there is more.  Notice in this picture (my first view of the day) the Bible and Laptop…..this is how Sandi begins everyday.  She is devoted to learning more each day about the Word and Praying for her Nation, Church, Family, Friends, and people she just meets in her day.  Not some days, everyday from about 5am to 8am she can be found in her prayer chair in our bedroom’s bay window.

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I see this view from the indoor track above the pool at our main club house while I’m speed walking.  Even in the pool while swimming her laps she is praying for others and memorizing new Bible Verses between her laps.  She swims nearly a mile six days a week.

 

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If she ever has made a fabric art for you, know that each piece is prayed over nearly ever stitch……and there are thousand of stitches in her artwork.  If you never visited her page go up to the menu and hit “Cottonandsilk-Nature Creating Art” and see some of her art and her process.

Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks – A Long Journey with God

One year ago today, God blessed us with our new home.  It was a long journey, but God kept us on track.  It all started when, in the winter of 2017, when Sandi and I joined three other families at our Church, Brentwood Bible Fellowship to work through the David Ramsey Financial Peace Bible Study that was led by our Associate Pastor Corwin Wong. Shortly after completing that study, I was invited to join a small Men’s Bible Study lead by our Pastor Andy Cochran.  Each week when we met for our Men’s Bible Study we completed a ten question survey regarding our previous week.  It was question number six “Have you been a good steward of God’s resources?” and question number ten “Where have you been struggling with God?” that eventually convicted me.  My answer to number six was “Yes” and finally four months into the Bible Study I admitted to myself that I was struggling not with my (our) weekly finances, but my (our) future finances.  Meanwhile, in May of 2017 our daughter Elise heard from God that it was time for her to move on from serving as a Junior High Youth Pastor at Bethel, a Mega Church in San Jose; and moving her Ministry to be a Generational Pastor at Re: Church in the small town of Rio Vista.

Sandi and I started visiting Elise more and more as the summer of 2017 went on, and we came to love Rio Vista as we love “Small Town America”.  One day I was helping Elise with a project and needed some supplies from the local Ace Hardware.  On my way to Ace I saw a “Home For Sale” sign that sparked my interest in “how much?”.  In looking it up on Zillow I found out that it was two-thirds the cost of homes in Brentwood.  Over the next several days God spoke to me over and over again about moving to full retirement and get out of the financial debt we were living in (questions six and ten from above).  Sandi and I have had a policy for the last thirty-three years of marriage; if God comes to us three times, we have to share it with each other.  So now I had to share what God was telling me.  This news meant a lot as we had made a lot of friends at BBF and had made some wonderful friends in a town we loved, that would now be twenty-five miles and a bridge toll away.  

24852452_10210794239000186_6447090383977504305_nWithin a few weeks, we had our Brentwood home listed with our friend and realtor, Missey James (note in 2005, we were the first and second sale of her career).  Missey kept us on course through the bumpy real estate ride of having more than thirty people coming through our house over an eight week period.  Our home finally sold in October, to only fall apart in November as the buyer couldn’t get financing to stick.  Due to losing the sale of our home, we lost a house in Rio Vista that we had put an offer on.  It was nothing fancy, but met our needs.  We refused to look again until we had a firm offer on our Brentwood house.  In Early December, we had a firm offer, in excitement, that night went searched for houses on Zillow.  24899976_10210794239520199_659546685246274118_nA house was listed that very day and was going to have an open house on the weekend.  It was inside an HOA and an Active Adult 55+ community which we had resisted.  We decided that we needed to go and see it and a few others that were also having open houses.  Long story short, we called Missey before leaving Rio Vista to tell he we had found the perfect home; more than we ever could have had expected.  Within a few days our offer was accepted and Christmas was upon us.  Moving at Christmas is nothing new for us as we moved from Santa Clara Valley to Oakley on December 9, 1989, and to Brentwood from Oakley on December 23, 2005.  

We have lived in our new home in Trilogy, Rio Vista one year this weekend.  Trilogy does have HOA fees, but a lot less than our HOA fees at Apple Hill Estates, Brentwood and a lot more amenities.  There are many days that we don’t even leave Trilogy as we use the athletic facilities six or the seven days a week.  We swim in our indoor Junior Olympic pool, I speed walk on the indoor track above the pool and do the weight circuit in our gym.  Most days I enjoy the Club House Lobby after I finish my 1mile walk and 25-30 minute weight training circuit.  Sandi swims nearly a mile daily and has broken the 1 mile mark on several occasions. 

The Main Club House (there are currently two with two more opening within the next twelve to eighteen months) has a Cafe’, Computer Lab, meeting rooms, Billiards Hall, and  an exercise room with a floating floor besides the weight room, track and swimming pool.

 

So long story short, simply listen to God and he will Bless you.

Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks – Passing on Memories

56667632749__2740030D-3FA3-480A-8916-2FC3AC775E5DOn Christmas Day our Grand Nephew Charlie celebrated his first birthday; he was actually a miracle baby born on Christmas Day 2017.  Seventy years ago in my Grandparents basement in Ottawa, Ontario Canada my Dad made my brother Rich a wooden push along bunny, and now I was honored to be chosen to restore it for Charlie who was named after our Dad.  Restoring it meant of course upholding our Dad’s work as it is being past on to another generation.  Our Dad made me a hobby horse when I was a year old, which I will pass on one day; he also made his Grand Kids a horse corral for toy show horses, a dog house for a stuffed Pluto, beds for American Girl Dolls, Toy Box and more.  I hope the next generations pass on these crafted memories.

Have you made sure your Family Memories are being passed on?

Fine Chocolates – Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks

IMG_0219Originally in Eastern Canada, now nationally you can walk in to a Laura Secord store and walk out with a white and black box of fine Canadian Fine Chocolates. In Western Canada it was (now nationally) it’s my Dad’s favorite Purdy’s Chocolates with their purple boxes.  In the US there are several fine chocolate companies like Fanny Mae and Godiva, but in the west and stretching across the country it’s See’s with their white and black boxes.  This week I visited a See’s for a small bag of chocolates to keep us happy while we were waiting for support at the Apple Store.  I didn’t mind the wait or the $21 a pound price as I got my free sample, great chocolate and memories of times past at See’s with my Mom.

The funniest part of my journey was next door to See’s is a Lululemon store, which I had to go in to check out what I needed next!!!   I sent Sandi a couple of pictures of some nice outer tops that she might like and asked what See’s candy pieces she wanted…..here is her response!

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Thank You Apple – Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks

IMG_0215Today while waiting for some iPhone support at the new Walnut Creek Apple Store we witnessed for about the fifth time, a young man (in the blue shirt) sweeping up pebbles from the plaza’s sidewalk.  This  Apple Store has a wonderful outside seating area for customers to enjoy while waiting for service.  The first time we saw him was in September.  At that time Sandi said something to him about the pebbles he was sweeping up; boy he was ready to share that Apple employs him to keep the area clean and safe.  He was proud of his job.  Many of the people that shop in Downtown Walnut Creek make more in a day than he probably makes in a month, but I don’t think any are as proud and thankful of his job as him.  Thank you Apple for giving people that have mental or developmental challenges the opportunity to succeed.  I only wish that I was able to video him when he was in full action as his spirit gave me a lift today.

Barry’s Thoughts and Quirks – Gluten Free and Keto Friends and Followers!!!

I have been looking for recipes that are either Gluten Free or Keto that I can try, adjust if needed and post in “Cookin’ in the Hallway”, and hope to have some posted in January.   Until then here is a fun email I received you might enjoy.   IMG_0200If you follow or know me you know I love my Safeway, which has introduced a new online shopping experience that is different than their Home Delivery or Store Pickup online site.  This new site will be specializing in different dietary needs such as Gluten Free and Keto!!!   Notice that they are offering Gluten Free and Keto Snack Boxes and FREE Shipping!!!   The website address is: https://www.moreforu.com   Hope you enjoy!!!