Sunday, November 28, 2010

Billi Pod Says==>CONGRATULATIONS FSU (gasp)

To: Sandy, Polly, SL & Mary, Nana, FSU Charlie, Blanche, Jennie, Kay, Susan, and others in The Seminole Nation==>CONGRATULATIONS!!


Your team beat my sorry-ass Gators in every facet of the game yesterday and, truthfully, the final score does not show how badly we were out-played, out-manned and out-coached.


I say this, my loyal and faithful readers, in the name of fair and unbiased reporting.


And, please Urban, don’t accept the invitation to play St. Thomas High School in the Tupperware Bowl==>let’s just close the door on this embarrassing season now and begin rebuilding, or whatever.


Now, since we in The Gator Nation had our testicles removed yesterday by the ‘Noles, it is only fitting that my 3:00pm matinee show today is==>THE LAST CASTRATO-“the story of the unique, almost forgotten group -- the castrati -- who were damaged at a young age by forces beyond their control.” How ironic.


And then it becomes even more ironic that my 7:00pm show tonight is THE PEE WEE HERMAN SHOW-about ... tada ... Pee Wee Herman. Oh Gawd!! Why I booked this show I have no idea. Oh Gawd!!


Not in a very good mood, to say the least and it wasn’t helped when yesterday I received the invoice for renewal of my 41-game Yankee season ticket package. Why, you are no doubt breathlessly asking? Well, one of the major perks for being a partial season ticket licensee is the privilege to buy the same seat for every home post-season game.


Well, we were notified that this perk has been “modified” (their words, not mine) to reduce the privilege to only 1/2 of the games. Way to go Yankee management. The first paragraph of your invoice thanks us for being loyal members of The Yankee Universe and the final paragraph says: “Oh, by the way, you ain’t so f**king special anymore.”


Will I renew? Yes, but I will also send an email telling them that I am really pissed off.


Not a happy camper. Later!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Saturday, November 27, 2010

GO GATORS!! F**k the 'Noles!!

On this beautiful chilly fall morning Billi Pod is just killing time until the Gators/Semi-Holes game @ 3:30.


As usual, when you are waiting for “things” to happen the clocks slow down to a crawl, leaving you nothing to do but walk around sucking your thumb. Yes, this is just what Billi Pod is doing at the moment.


Yes, yes, I know my loyal and faithful readers, it is sick ... but, in my Gator mind two very different scenarios are swirling about: (1) it is a very close game but the Gators rally to win by 3 points or (2) we get our asses kicked big-time, losing by a humiliating score of 45-10 before a record crowd in Doak Campbell stadium, the majority of whom are mocking us by doing the “Gator Chomp.”


Oh Gawd==>why isn’t the clock moving? I want my Mommie! HELP ME PLEASE!!


Whatever ... Billi Pod’s report card on the two Pinter plays last night==>A+<==vintage Pinter. Great acting. A must-see for true theater buffs.


Watched two awesome games - Auburn over ‘Bama 28-27 and then the very late game, Nevada over Boise State 34-31 in OT.


In the Boise State game, which ended around 2:00am, their place kicker missed two short field goal attempts, resulting in their first defeat of the season and termination of their hopes for the National Title. What a burden on the shoulders of the young kicker.


Oh My Gawd==>I think my real and my body clocks are both moving backwards. What day is this? Where am I? What is a Gator Chomp anyway? M O M M I E!!!


Gotta close==>on Sunday I have a doubleheader. Will give details later because I am tired of typing with one hand while sucking my thumb.


GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday==>So What!!

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers. Yes, it is Black Friday, meaning shopping, meaning==>barf and double puke!! Not Billi Pod. I don’t care how much I would save==>no f-ing way.


Great Thanksgiving dinner yesterday==>thanks guys and gals.


We did an interesting thing before dinner. At 1:00pm every one of the 13 in attendance turned off our cellphones and put them in a drawer and made a pact not to use them in any way shape manner or form until 3:00pm. It was awesome but actually kinda nerve-wracking for some of us (ahem ... not saying who, but it rhymes with Ho).


I got my iPhone back just in time to receive a call from son Billy, who lives in Orlando.


Was back in PHC around 3:30 and then Billi Pod became a football couch potato for the remainder of the afternoon and into the evening.


Today I will watch ‘Bama vs. Auburn in the afternoon then--


8:00==>Two Plays By Harold Pinter-“Collection” about an early telephone call that sets off critical conversations between 2 couples and “A Kind of Alaska” about a woman who awakens after 30 years in a coma.


Oh yes, two Pinter plays on Black Friday, how fitting. Actually the show is done without an intermission and is just 70 minutes.


In the process of beginning the mental countdown to Saturday’s Gator vs. ‘Noles game at 3:30pm in Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee. The Gators have won the last 6 consecutive games against the ‘Holes but this year we are having a less-than-stellar season, to put it mildly.


Billi Pod has a very very unpleasant feeling deep in his gut about this game==>not joking.


Anyway - in closing - a status report on Yankees vs. Jeter:


Yankees==>3 years $45M

Jeter==>6 years $150M


GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Billi Pod Says==>HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!


Will post this and then head out to celebrate Turkey Day with some Upper Westside buds then probably settle in for an afternoon/evening of football. Catching a movie, probably DUE DATE, is still an option.


Yesterday, at 11:00am, just as I was heading out the door the phone rang. It was from my liver doc's office, calling to cancel my noon appointment. I am sooooooo glad I was there to take the call because I really would have been pissed if I had gone to her Upper Eastside office to find it closed.


Immediately went online and was able to get a 2:00pm matinee tix for a very funny period comedy called THE COWARD-“set in 18th century England, a cowardly young gentleman initiates a pistol duel and then hires a common criminal to fight in his place. A bloody mess ensues.” I liked it and laughed a lot.


Report card on last night’s BEING SELLERS==>A<==if you have a general knowledge of Sellers’ work. Otherwise, pretty hard to follow as the solo performer slips into and out of dozens of characters.


I really didn’t know that Sellers was such a troubled person, with issues going back to his childhood and his relationship with his vaudevillian Mother.


It is definitely worth seeing and it runs through December 12th.


Gotta post this and head out, so ...


HAVE A GREAT DAY!!


GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday - Jeter vs. Yankee Management

In response to the emails and texts from you loyal and faithful readers==>Billi Pod will have Thanksgiving Dinner with some AA friends who live in the Upper Westside and then probably settle in to watch football. May also squeeze in a movie.


Today starts off with a noon followup appointment with my liver doc. Not to worry. No problems==>just routine.


Last night’s NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC CONCERT with Anne-Sophie Mutter--==>super-excellent, except for an atonal piece of crap by someone named Wolfgang Rihm.


Tonight-7:30==>BEING SELLERS-“Peter Sellers was celebrated for his ability to transform himself completely into his characters -- from Chief Inspector Clouseau to Doctor Strangelove. But who was he and what was the personal cost of his comic genius?”


This is part of the Brits Off Broadway series at the theater on E. 59th Street.


The PR war between Derek Jeter and Yankee Management has gotten ugly. The Yankees have offered him a 3 year contract worth $45 million. He has yet to make a counteroffer.


The headlines in today’s papers:


“Yanks to Jeter: Think you can find a better deal? WE DARE YOU” - Daily News


“Yanks tell Jeter: ‘Shop’ if $45 mil isn’t enough” (then a photo-shopped picture of Jeter in a Red Sox [barf] uniform ) - New York Post


Basically what Yankee Management is saying==>“take our $45M offer or go f**k yourself.”


Oh the drama!!


GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday==>New York Philharmonic Tonight

It is late afternoon in The Big Apple and Billi Pod is finally getting around to posting on his blog. Why is he so late you are no doubt breathlessly asking?


Well, without going into the boring details I had an appointment with one of my eye docs today and it lasted much longer than I anticipated. The bottom line is, however, very good because both eyes received thumbs up. Yeah!!


So, let me start by giving my report card on HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS-Part 1==>A-<==the mood is very very dark to say the least but the special effects are outstanding. If you are a Harry Potter fan I highly recommend it. If, however, you are not a fan or haven’t kept up with the earlier movies, then you will not have a clue about what is going on. You are warned.


After posting yesterday something “different” came up on one of my ticket services==>YOU ARE NOT ALONE<==a benefit concert at The Church of St. Paul in the Upper Westside. The performance was chaired by Lea DeLaria and featured Betty Buckley, Marc Kudisch, Max von Essen, John Tartaglia, Seth Rudetsky and others.


I immediately snapped up a ticket. It was an excellent program although I have to admit that even Billi Pod got a little squeamish when DeLaria kept spewing forth the f-word from the stage, which was located just in front of the altar. Seemed pretty much out of place to me and the folks seated around me. Oh well ...


Tonight-7:30==>NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA @ Lincoln Center. The program features violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter who will perform Mozart’s Violin Concertos Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Looking forward to this.


GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday==>Harry Potter

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers.


It is Monday in The Big Apple and so it is Billi Pod’s usual errands day, but I also have something special for the afternoon==>HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS-Part 1.


That’s right, I have an advance ticket for the 1:40pm performance at the iMax theater on 42nd St., 1 1/2 blocks from PHC. Awesome!! Really looking forward to it.


Report card on LINGUA FRANCA==>A<==excellent story line and ensemble acting. This is part of the Brits Off Broadway series at the theater on E. 59th Street, one of my favorite venues. It runs through November 28th so see it if you can.


Finally==>How Far Have We Fallen? What am I talking about you are no doubt breathlessly asking. Well, it’s simple==>in the USA Today Poll the University of Central Florida (#27) in ranked higher than The Florida Gators (#31). Now that is painful.


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ahhhhhhhh==>Sunday in The Big Apple

Good afternoon my loyal and faithful readers. It is Sunday and a beautiful and very brisk fall day in The Big Apple. Gonna spend the afternoon watching football and then tonight I have a show (details below).


Let me start with Billi Pod’s report cards on:


TRAILER TRASH==>C<==every gay and redneck cliché known to man and then some. I wanted to like it, but the playwright just tried to touch too many bases to make it a believable story line. And, I disliked every one of the characters. Oh well ...


Funny side story==>in the audience was a 70s+ woman who was on a walker. She had caused a scene in the theater lobby when she got into a heated argument with a much younger woman who I took to be her “companion.” The "companion” wouldn’t buy her a Snickers Bar. They shouted at each other. Everyone just looked on in bewilderment. The woman finally persuaded the guy behind the lobby bar to bring her the candy, which she wolfed down.


Inside the theater the woman was seated alone in the rear of this small Off-Off Broadway gay-themed theater. The theater was full. Once the show began she began to burp loudly and kept on burping through the entire show. At intermission she refused the plea of her “companion” to leave. The “companion” left in a snit. Burp-lady, however, remained in her seat, burping loudly. When the show was over and the theater had emptied, she was still sitting in her seat because no one would bring her the walker. Not sure what happened because I just got the Hell out of there.


One of the weirdest things I have ever witnessed in a theater audience.


SQUIRM BURPEE CIRCUS==>C<==disappointing. Cast much less talented than I expected and I am certain the so-called story line was virtually unfathomable to the vast number of young kids who were in the audience. For example, receiving telegrams is integral to the plot and I heard this kid ask: “Daddy what’s a telegram?”


Tonight’s entertainment event:


7:00==>LINGUA FRANCA-“a fast-paced sexually-charged comedy that follows innocent abroad Steven as he travels from National Service in Southeast Asia to 1950s Florence where he finds himself working for a chaotically-run language school.”


Glad that the Gators finally came alive.


Oh, the signing war between Jeter and the Yankees is heating up. Will comment on it tomorrow.


GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday in Billi Pod's Big Apple

Saturday morning in The Big Apple and it will be a great day for Billi Pod because he has two very diverse shows scheduled, one in midtown and the other way down in the West Village, so let’s get right to it, OK?


First the show down in The Village --

2:00==>TRAILER TRASH-“The story of a family from the wrong side of the tracks trying to find their place in America. Danny, who is struggling with his bisexuality, is taken aback when his mother's old “friend” Andrew returns to their trailer park home in Oklahoma. Things quickly go awry-nothing is as it appears.”


This evening’s show is at The New Victory Theater on 42nd Street, 2 1/2 blocks from PHC --



7:30==>SQUIRM BURPEE CIRCUS-“Mike the Handsome, Dashing Dave and Little Lolo make up the circus trio who must outwit the dastardly Baron Vegan Von Hamburger - a mustachioed villain committed to their demise.”


Billi Pod just couldn’t resist that title, could you?


Billi Pod’s report card on IMPENDING RUPTURE OF THE BELLY==>B-<==mega-creepy story line saved by superb acting.


As previously posted it is playing at a theater on my block, in one of the smaller venues. A good thing because there were only 7 people in the audience and that was creepy too. Felt sorry for the cast of 5. Was told that the problem is because the show was a last minute booking, resulting in almost no advanced PR.


Tomorrow I have a show in the evening and will probably catch a movie in the afternoon. No, not the Harry Potter one==>will wait at least a week to let the crowds die down, but I do intend to see it.


And speaking of Sarah Palin==>yesterday the thought hit me that she might indeed be The Antichrist (not joking the thought did cross my mind). Brilliant Bill, thought I, you are probably the first to have this idea. Then I went online to see what the internet had to say about it and was shocked to discover that there are already dozens of websites devoted to analysis and/or discussions of this very question. Don’t believe me? Just Google Palin Antichrist and see what you find.


And on that happy note --


GO GATORS==>beat Ocala Sr. High School!!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday in The Big Apple

It is Friday and a beautiful brisk fall day in The Big Apple. It feels so nice to be home in The Greatest City In The World.


Let me start with a report card on MISTAKES WERE MADE==>A<==loved it. The acting is awesome. It is 95 minutes of comedy, pathos, drama, inside jokes ... see it if you can!!


Tonight’s entertainment event --


8:00==>AN IMPENDING RUPTURE OF THE BELLY-“concerns Clays desire to fortify his house in preparation for both a new baby and the apocalypse he's convinced is just around the corner.”


This show is playing at a theater on my block.


Billi Pod has a very eclectic entertainment doubleheader for Saturday and I will provide details in the posting tomorrow.




Man, is anyone else suffering from Sarah Palin overload?


I mean, she is garnering more news space than The President and there is more debate over Bristol and Dancing With The Stars (whatever in the f**k that is) than, for example, whether Congress should retain middle-class tax cuts. What is going on?


I’ll say this, my loyal and faithful readers, the Democratic party better not fall prey to the idea that she is going away. She is not. She is a part of a steam roller PR champaign that reeks of Karl Rove.


Take her seriously people==>she is not going away==>she is seriously seeking the Republican nomination.


Well, on that downer, let me end with even a greater one ...


Can the Gators somehow manufacture a win against Ocala Senior High School ... oooops ... sorry ... Appalachian State ... tomorrow? Jus askin ...


GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Billi Pod is "Normal" ???

Good afternoon. I am happy to report that Billi Pod is back to “normal.” Whoa==>damn, there’s that word again. “Normal.” WTF! Somehow normal and Billi Pod don’t seem to be a good fit. In fact, it feels kinda scary ... but, hey ...


I just report and you loyal and faithful readers decided, right?


Anyway, my report card on DEVIL BOYS FROM BEYOND==>FF<==f**ing funny!! Need a profane, in-your-face, gross-out comedy? Then see it! Want great theater? Stay as far away as you can.


Tonight-7:30==>MISTAKES WERE MADE-“a B-list Off Broadway producer gets in way over his fast-talking head when he takes on a gargantuan epic about the French Revolution which he thinks is going to be his ticket to professional and personal redemption.”


Sounds to me to be like The Producers, without music. Reviews are mixed.


GO GATORS!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday - Billi Pod is Back

It is Wednesday and Billi Pod is back in The Greatest City In The World, having completed a wonderful time in Paris aka The City of Smelly People with my former college roomie David West an expat, formerly from Gainesville, FL.


Tuesday started in Paris at 6:00am when my iPhone alarm went off. Finished packing, had some coffee and then David and I left the apartment at 6:50am. It wasn’t raining. He walked with me to the metro station at St. Michel/Notre Dame to make sure I got on the right train to CDG. I did.


Everything went fine from that point on. Checked in, got an exit row seat (Thank you Higher Power), cleared passport control and security without any problems. Was at my gate at 8:15, meaning I had about 2 hours to kill before boarding. No problem.


The flight boarded at 10:45 and we were airborne at 11:20. The plane was only about 1/3 full, the emptiest flight I have been on in years and years. Good for us passengers in steerage, however, because we had plenty of room to spread out.


Time actually went by pretty fast. I couldn’t sleep, of course, but I did play plenty of solitaire on my iBook and worked crossword puzzles, all while listening to classic rock on my Nano.


We were at the JFK gate at 1:50pm NYC time or 7:50pm Paris time. I picked up my duffle, cleared security, passport control and customs (I had bought nothing, nada, zip) and caught an express bus to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, which, as many of you loyal and faithful readers know, is only is only a block and a half from my apartment building. It wasn’t raining.


It was exactly 4:06pm (10:06pm on my body clock) when I opened the door to PHC, loaded with my duffle, tons of mail and Tuesday’s 3 daily papers, which had been saved for me by the staff.


Fixed a Fresca, unpacked, chilled, went to the grocery store for fruit and stuff, and then got some pizza and wings.


Finally crashed around midnight, which was 6:00am on my body clock.


My sleep pattern is not quite back to “normal” (can that word be used with Billi Pod?) and I feel a bit blah but I’ll be over it soon because I am back to my usual entertainment frenzy.


Tonight-8:00==>DEVIL BOYS FROM BEYOND-“in the summer of ‘87 strange events are happening in the swamps of Lizard Lick, Florida==>missing people and giant spaceships-Oh My!!”


Now my dear loyal and faithful readers, take a deep breath because I want to give a brief (OK, now stop the clapping==>Billi Pod knows who you are) report on my activities on Monday, my last full day in Paris, done, as usual with David’s help --

************************

We had a late start because David had a bunch of stuff to do, like paying his rent, making deposits, transferring funds etc. etc. etc.


As planned and previously mentioned we had reserved the afternoon to view the Monet exhibit at the Grand Palais.


David’s French friend, Helene, joined us and with one bus change we are at the exhibition near the Boulevard Champs Elysee.


This is the exhibition the New York Times raved about a month ago and you can check it out if you desire at:


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/arts/design/05monet.html


It was crowded at the entrance but our 2:30pm reservations helped us get into the museum with only about a 10 minute wait. No photographing was allowed inside the building.


It was also very crowded inside. We each got the audio tour and that added a lot. The exhibition was the largest ever for Monet’s works (177+) and it emphasized what a prolific painter he was, especially during his early and middle career.


The only non-Monet painting exhibited was one by Roy Lichtenstein of the Rouen cathedral (which we visited yesterday) which showed how he was influenced by Monet’s impressionist treatment painted 70 years earlier. (This is here at David’s insistence).


We spent almost 2 1/2 hours at the exhibit and it was worth every minute. IT WAS AWESOME!!


When we left the museum we found a bistro and had some coffee and then Helene left us and David and I returned to his apartment.


We had planned for a “goodbye/thank-you-so-much” dinner, at my expense of course, at 8:00pm but it began to rain and neither of us wanted to walk in the rain so we stayed in and David fixed some stuff and we chilled for the remainder of the evening, planning for an early wakeup call for Tuesday.

**********************


There you have it. Let me close this much-too-long posting with a final==>Thank You David for everything!


Oh, and David==>the check is in the mail.


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Final Day of Billi Pod and David’s Normandy Adventure

Sunday - Well, my loyal and faithful readers, I am now about to give you a report on Day 3 of Billi Pod and David’s Normandy Adventure, probably best described as: “On The Road Again” ... so here goes ... ready or not ...


After an 8:30 a.m. continental breakfast at our Hotel Bayeux, we programed our GPS to take us from our hotel to the Cathedral Notre Dame de Rouen, about 60 miles away.




Interestingly, our hotel was next to the Notre Dame de Bayeux, which was consecrated in 1077 in the presence of William the Conqueror and his wife Mathilde.


Today it is generally considered to be 13th Century gothic. It is a beautiful structure but we did not go inside.


This trip, like the rest of the day, was totally unscheduled and unstructured.



Ninety minutes after leaving Bayeux we were in Rouen and began our exploration of the Cathedral Notre Dame de Rouen, which Monet had painted at least a dozen times from the same position, tracing the lighting patterns on its west wall.


Five of those paintings we would see on Monday afternoon at the Monet Exhibit now showing at the Grands Palais in Paris.


Over the years in my travels abroad I have found most gothic cathedrals to be similar in their dark dankness, but still stunningly beautiful.


We could tell the areas of Rouen that had been bombed by our planes, which leveled a great number of cities in Normandy in preparation for the D-Day invasion.


After finishing the cathedral we walked through the old city to an open square where Joan de Arc was burned at the stake.


A modernistic church has been built next to the spot, but it was not open to visitors while we were to be in the area.


So, we found ourselves at 1:30 p.m. with an unplanned afternoon. What did we do you are no doubt breathlessly asking? Well, we programmed the GPS to take us to yet another beautiful, dark and dank cathedral, this time in Chartres, 90 minutes away.


The Notre Dame de Chartres, in Chartres (of course), is generally considered to be the most beautiful of all gothic structures. It is on the pilgrimage route which ends in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.


Built in the 4th Century, it became a pilgrimage site when in 876 the chemise said to belong to the Virgin Mary was given to the cathedral by an ancestor of Charlemane.


It can be seen from miles and miles away, awe inspiring in itself.


At 4:30pm we had completed our visit and it was time to head back to Paris, a distance of about 60 miles. The trip back to Paris was rather unpleasant because The Frogs, who had been away for the long Armistice Day weekend, were crowding the highway.


Thank God we had our GPS device because without it we would probably still be looking for the rental car return ramp. We turned in our car at Gare Nord at 7:45pm and were back at David’s apartment at 8:15pm.


The 3 day adventure was over and every aspect of it exceeded my expectations and will live in my memories for the rest of my life.


None of this would have been possible without David’s willingness to plan and to be the designated driver.


Thank You David==>you are indeed a friend!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Day 2 of Billi Pod and David's Normandy Adventure

Saturday - Day 2 of Billi Pod and David’s Normandy Adventure began early. We left the hotel around 7:30am, in pouring rain, to meet up with our tour group. We had directions on a small map that quickly became virtually unreadable due to the rain. We had to ask directions several times for a trip that should have taken less than 10 minutes. Not a good beginning we both thought. Well ... we finally located the pickup point==>whew!!


It was raining!


We were fortunate to have booked our Battlebus tour in advance because It was one of the last of their season. At 8:25 a.m. we, with six other Americans (two of whom were from Boston and are, of course, Red Sox fans) were loaded up and on our way to the American sector beaches and battle fronts along the coast of Normandy. David and I visited the British and Canadian sector beaches briefly on Friday and today we were to see the famous Omaha and Utah beaches.


It was raining!!


Our tour guide could not have been better. Alan, a British citizen in his early 40s, has been a serious scholar of the events surrounding the invasion for over 10 years. Four years ago moved his family to Normandy so he could walk the fields and beaches as he continued his research.


From the beginning he gave a very personal insight into the events of that historic day. He has written a book and has met and interviewed numerous veterans. He augmented his running narration with personal photos, maps, memorabilia etc he had collected over the years. He also did not hesitate to address some of the so-called “myths” that have come into being regarding the success and/or failure of certain aspects of the invasion.


One of our stops is very special to Alan. It was a very tiny church, Angoville au Plain, where two barely trained medics had parachuted nearby. For three days these two, who were 18 and 19, tended to the wounded soldiers of both sides and also treated civilian wounded.


Morphine ran out and all the pews were filled with seriously wounded young men who were in various states of dying. Both Robert White and Kenneth Moore were awarded Silver Stars for their efforts.


It was raining!!!!


Despite the now pouring rain everyone in the group walked down to and around the Utah and Omaha landing sites as Alan provided a nonstop narrative, personalized with names and photographs of some of those who survived and some of those who didn’t.


One of the most chilling comments from a survivor was: “2 years in training; 1 day in combat; 2 years in a hospital.”


And, speaking of D-day movies, Alan pointed out that of that genre which now includes Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, only The Longest Day was filmed on the actual locations where the events took place.


I simply cannot go into more details about the landing sites because once I start, then there is no way to stop. It was very emotional for everyone, including Alan.


Our last stop was the beautifully maintained American Cemetery above Omaha Beach were, among thousand of others, Teddy Roosevelt’s son and David’s uncle are buried.


Being there helped us understand that thousands of young men had given their lives in a battle to defeat evil and restore freedom to The World. We must never forget them!!


It was raining!!!!!!


It was around 5:30pm when we got back to Bayeux. We were all soaked and emotionally drained. We said our goodbyes, paid and tipped Alan and headed back to the hotel to the new rooms we were given to makeup for the WiFi problems. Guess what? WiFi didn’t work in my room. WTF!! No matter, I wasn’t going to let this minor glitch detract from what had been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


It was raining!!!!!!!!!!


We changed into dry clothes, found a nearby bistro and had a great dinner. It was around 10:30pm when we got back and officially ended Day 2 of Billi Pod and David’s Normandy Adventure.


It was raining!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Billi Pod

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”