December 16, 2017

Williamsburg Grand Illumination Video

I’m back in Williamsburg, Virginia today finishing up a three day tour to Colonial Williamsburg, featuring the Grand Illumination held at the beginning of each December to kick off the Christmas season celebrations here. I’ve seen the Grand Illumination fireworks before, but this year’s seemed better than ever.

Santa came to my house earlier than usual, this year, and left me my requested present — a new video camera — just in time to bring along on this Williamsburg trip! Nice of him, wasn’t it? Anyway, thanks to the new camera, I was inspired to video some of the fireworks. Here is my very first video posted on YouTube — edited down to about 5 minutes of the nearly 30 minute show. Hope you enjoy it!

Return to DC

I was back in Washington, DC again today (Saturday, 11/13/10), this time with a tour to the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertainment Show at the Washington Convention Center.

The Convention Center is one of the easiest attractions in Washington to access with a motorcoach. There are official drop/pick-up areas for motorcoaches on L Street, right in the center of the Convention Center. Coming in from I-95 and MD-295 (Baltimore-Washington Parkway), I followed New York Avenue (US-50) into the city, bearing right onto L Street just a couple of blocks before the Convention Center.

After dropping off, it’s easy to go around the block to Massachusetts Avenue to head toward Union Station and bus parking there.

Tomorrow I’m off to the Big Apple, with a tour to the Broadway show, “Promises, Promises.” And I expect to have some updated info on bus parking in New York City, including a PDF file for reference that I’ve been working on.

Veterans Day in DC

I’m in Washington, DC today (Veterans Day) with a group of veterans. I’m parked at Union Station as I write this, where things seem to be returning to normal. Bus parking is almost back to full strength. Whatever they’re doing in the bus parking area — can’t quite figure it out — they’re not doing today, at least, and only a handful of bus parking spots are taken up with construction equipment and supplies. The exit onto H Street is open again, too. Two weeks ago when I was here for the Sanity/Fear rally, about half the bus parking spots were roped off for the construction, and the H Street exit was blocked.

The restroom renovations on the second level of Union Station are done and will be appreciated by bus groups. They are bright and clean, all new fixtures and decor.

In the food court area there are still one or two vendors missing, but most are open for business as usual. I noticed there are even a few new stores on the third level.

Construction work on the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge (also known as South Capitol Street Bridge) has been completed, and the 10 ton weight restriction was lifted as of October 1, 2010, meaning buses (and trucks) can again come into Washington, DC from MD-295 via Howard Street to South Capital Street. This is one of my favorite ways into the city and I’m glad we have it back as an option. I came that way across the bridge today.

The weigh station southbound on I-95 in Maryland was open this morning when I came through, but a bit of odd behavior: all buses and trucks had to go through the weigh station, but no one was being stopped on the scales. We all just drove slowly right on through. Not sure if the signs weren’t working, or if they have new drive-through scales, or what was going on. At least we didn’t lose much time.

Boston Marathon 2010 Photos Posted

Boston Marathon Runners on my coach

Boston Marathon Runners on my coach

I’m back from Boston, and got a few photos posted from the trip. This was my sixth trip to the most famous of marathons, but I’ve yet to actually see the runners run. There is nowhere to park my motorcoach within walking distance on race day. But it’s still a fun trip, one I look forward to every year, especially as I’ve gotten to know my passengers on this trip.

I’ve posted a few photos from the trip here: http://www.bobbergey.com/p41009462. Although I don’t see the race itself (except on TV from my hotel room), I do shuttle the runners to the starting line in Hopkinton. That’s where many of these photos were taken, just before the race started. You’ll see the group of 30 runners I took this year (and in the photo above). The hotel we stay at is also very nice, photogenic even, and I have a couple of shots there that I took just for me — including my coach, of course.

Site and Photo Gallery Updates

I’ve been working way too much recently, but you have to make hay while the sun shines, right? LOL … In between trips, I’ve made a few updates to the site and added a couple of photo galleries. The FAQ is back! Not many changes from the previous version a while back, but it’s been updated some. Also in the Links menu is a new page for State DOT Sites for each state in the USA. Plus I’ve added a few more links on the Parking & More links page.

Two new photo galleries have also been added — photos from two different, recent visits to the Arlington National Cemetery, and a few photos from a trip to FDR’s home in Hyde Park, NY. Check them out when you have a chance.
[note]Arlington National Cemetery
FDR Home[/note]

Six New Photo Galleries Posted

KABOOM! An 8 inch mortar is fired at the Gettysburg Reenactment.

KABOOM! An 8 inch mortar is fired at the Gettysburg Reenactment.

I’ve been working at getting caught up on posting photos to my Photo Gallery pages. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve posted six new galleries, including over 350 photos from the 9-day PBU Chorale Tour in early June, a day trip to Hickory Bridge Farm, almost 150 photos from my 8-day tour to Branson, Missouri, a few photos from the Culinary Institute of America, over 80 photos from a 3-day trip to Niagara Falls, and over 60 photos from my first trip of the 3rd quarter 2009 to the Gettysburg Battle Reenactment.

Prints from any of the galleries are available for purchase; just click “Add to Cart” while viewing the photo you want, and follow the directions to select quantity, size, finish, etc. Check them out today!

[note]PBU Chorale Tour 2009
Hickory Bridge Farm
Branson, Missouri
Culinary Institute of America
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Gettysburg Battle Reenactment
[/note]

Five of My Favorite Broadway Shows

I love Broadway shows, and because I frequently do trips to New York City, I get to see a few shows each year. Here’s a list of my top five favorite Broadway shows that are still playing, plus a few others worth seeing and two of my all-time favorites that are no longer playing.

1) The Phantom of the Opera

The longest running show on Broadway, and once you’ve seen it you start to understand why. Great music. And one of those very rare shows you want to see more than once. I had one passenger recently who was seeing it for the 11th time!

2) Mamma Mia

I love ABBA’s music, and this is a fun story built around their great songs. Another one you can see more than once — my wife has been there twice already.

3) Jersey Boys

Okay, I love oldies … and I love Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. So this show in a no-brainer — great music and a great, mostly true, story. [Read more…]

Five Day Trips Everyone Should Do

Day trips by motorcoach are something nearly everyone can do and enjoy. Here are five destinations that should definitely be on your short list if you’re in the eastern PA area and haven’t already done them at least once. All are easy and inexpensive; just dress comfortably and wear good walking shoes. Most tour companies offer trips here, but if you want to go with the best, go with Hagey Tours, the company I drive for. You can go by yourself on a public (retail) tour, or if you have a group, charter a trip especially designed just for your group, including custom pick-up and drop-off points.

1) New York City

What an easy way to visit the Big Apple! Take the motorcoach directly to the Times Square area. There is so much to do. If you like Broadway shows, pick up a half price (or deeply discounted) ticket for a same-day show at the TKTS booth in the center of Times Square. Lunch at one of the hundreds of great restaurants. Shop along Fifth Avenue in some of the most famous stores in the world. A short subway ride takes you [Read more…]

Are Buses the New Way to Go?

That’s the title of an article yesterday in USA Today. It’s an interesting summary of low cost travel on some of the newer carriers providing very inexpensive rides between major cities in the east, midwest, and western us, including Megabus (CoachUSA) and BoltBus (Greyhound).
[note]Are Buses the New Way to Go?[/note]

Mystery Tour and Ligonier Photo Galleries Posted

I’ve posted photos from two of my most recent Hagey Tours: a Mystery Tour April 23 that included a tour of the fascinating Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ, and the Red Mill Museum Village in Clinton, NJ; and a two-day tour, April 26-27, to Ligonier, PA, that included visits to two of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes, Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, plus tours of the Compass Inn Museum in Laughlintown, PA and Fort Ligonier in Ligonier, PA. Both were great trips, very interesting for the passengers and great photo opportunities.
[note]Mystery Tour Gallery
Fallingwater/Ligonier Tour Gallery[/note]