Out Standing in The Field

outfield1

This decades-long photo series started with a picture I took of my brother and myself on a hilltop near North Cohocton, NY in the Finger Lakes area of New York State. I used a tripod and a timer to take a few Kodachrome slides and I always thought this one had a fun “album cover” sort of feel to it. This first in the series (above), was taken in 1982.

outfield2

The date of the 2nd picture is unclear to me but I’m guessing it was somewhere in the ’94 – ’96 range. This was taken on Block Island, RI during a family vacation in August of whichever year. read more

The Best Travel Beach Umbrella

This is a fantastic thing but it seems like I’ve been lugging this portable travel umbrella around from beach to beach for years! Oh wait – that’s because I have!

And I’m glad to by the way because this is quite frankly one of the key travel items that makes it possible for Mrs. Working Stiff to spend time on sunny isles and enjoy those beautiful beaches!umbrella2

The Portabrella Portable Travel Beach Umbrella is one of numerous products offered by the Portabrella Company.   We have had a few different models since discovering it some 6-7 years ago.  The one shown in these 3 pictures is several years old and has flown with us to the Virgin Islands and several Bahama islands, earning it’s keep in all cases. Sometimes when I travel I use a large duffel bag and this fits inside easily. We’ve also found that it fits neatly inside our large roller bag diagonally. Packed up in the included travel bag, it is about 24” long and weighs about 6 lbs. read more

Secure Your Stuff!

This short article is a double shameless plug for 2 related items that we have used on several trips and have found to be well made and very useful. They are both security items that can help prevent your stuff from being stolen if you are on a beach vacation or just if in a hotel for the night. They are both made by a company called Pacsafe.

Pacsafe – Travelsafe

Pacsafe1Sometimes rental houses and hotels come with a substantial safe and sometimes not. If you are lacking a safe, the Travelsafe can really come in handy. There are a few sizes available and I believe we have the smaller size. It is a tough bag made of some fancy nylon and reinforced with steel mesh. You can get a sense of the size from the 1st photo (though I don’t know why you would lock up a magazine in a safe!) read more

The Stoogeum

stooge3

Over the years I have several times heard the legend of a great shrine to The Three Stooges somewhere out in the Philadelphia suburbs. More recently a friend who had read more about it fleshed out the story for me and I learned that it was actually in the historic town of Ambler, not far from the home of The Working Stiff.

I went there yesterday, finding it really just about 10 minutes from my house, and wow – what a first class establishment it is! (Note that they don’t allow any photography inside but I’ll link to their website so you can learn more.) read more

St. John – Ten Little Tourists

ten little sunset

It is a somewhat common thing with rental houses for the owner to leave a blank book out on the coffee table where the various renters can record their thoughts for the benefit of subsequent visitors or just as comments to the owners. People typically write something like “Thanks for sharing your wonderful house, my family had a great time……” or “ we were so thrilled to stay here at xxxxxx house, the snorkeling was great just down the path ……” or “what a wonderful location for my family reunion, see you next year…” read more

Bird Brains in Bodega Bay

Bodega schoolhouse far 08182015

For one of our trips to California we did a road trip through Sonoma County wine country along with a side trip up the coast for a few nights in the small cliff-side town of Mendocino. Our plan was to tour wine country first and then cut over to the coast to meander north along the coastal roads and eventually end up in Mendocino. Believe me you need a Dramamine for some of those roads! We did just fine with the driving but also agreed that it was amazing that some of the roads were open for public use. You’d better not be reaching into the glove compartment at the wrong moment or you might just fly off the edge into the Pacific! (Yes, of course you shouldn’t do that anyway.) read more

Chicago in Paris

Paris from Bonnie 08152015 006

As I have mentioned once or twice in past blog entries, I traveled quite a bit on company business for a period of some 6 or 7 years. In doing so I would earn lots of points with the various loyalty programs for hotels, car rentals, and air travel. In my experience, by a great measure, the hotel points were the most useful and usable.

Blog revised pics 030

The wife and I planned a 4-night trip to Paris and used Starwood Points (SPG.com,) to secure a room at the fancy Prince de Galles hotel, which was and still is part of the Starwood chain’s Luxury Collection. I probably need not point out that this was a very special thing for us because working stiff’s do not generally stay at Luxury Collection properties! We are talking probably $500 a night for a room overlooking the dumpster in the courtyard! read more

Crap Sale in New Jersey

We were driving through Sussex County, NJ this past weekend and passed a few amusing signs.  We just had to turn around and get out the camera!  I just love to find interesting “roadside Americana.”  The natural humor of ordinary people, sometimes intentional, sometimes not.

crap sale 08152015

I’m not really inclined to stop and shop here, but I really do admire their honesty in advertising.  That’s certainly worth something.  I hope they did well and made a little extra cash!

  read more