Dispatches from Andyland "Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever!" — The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

September 9, 2013

Wait, Wait! … actually, maybe you should tell me after all

Filed under: family — Andrew @ 11:36 pm

Often, when people would ask where my family (ancestors) came from, I’d say “I don’t know, and I don’t really care to know. I’m probably shaped more by having a father who was a salesman and a grandfather who was a grocer; a mother and grandmother that were teachers than affected by a bunch of people I never met.” Against my will, I’ve picked up a few tidbits of when great or great-great grandparents arrived on this continent, but I refuse to admit to knowing anything.

What hit me today though, was that I probably haven’t learned enough about the salesman, the grocer, and the teachers.

This week on NPR’s Ask Me Another, Don’t Tell Me … Wait, Wait, Ask Me Another their guest contestant was Peter Sagal of Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me. In the pre-game interview, Sagal mentioned that his family were grocers and owned Evergood Foods in Cambridge, MA. That was a bit surprise, as my grandfather owned Evergood Foods in Dedham. I realized that I had little idea of how my grandfather came to run  the store, or what connection it had to Sagal’s families store. I knew some things about my grandfather: Charlestown Navy Yard during World War II. HP Hood and Sons afterward.

My father filled me on some of the details.

HP Hood and sons owned the Evergood foods chain. A bit after working for Hood my grandfather worked at a few Evergood locations. Egelston Square, Northampton St, somewhere in Allston, et al. Hood eventually wanted to get out of the grocery business and sold of the shops, mostly to former employees. Cambridge and Needham were the prized locations. My grandfather bid on a few and managed to buy the one in Dedham. In Sagal’s interview he says that his grandparent’s owned their shop from 1949-1999. I’m guessing my father got the shop around the same time, but his didn’t last as long. He closed the store in the mid to late ’70s.

I have one frequent reminder of Grandpa’s store. If you go to the Whole Foods supermarket in Dedham, and go to the seating area there are a bunch of enlarged prints taken of Dedham center. There is a shot looking down Eastern Ave onto High Street that shows the Evergood Foods storefront.

August 24, 2013

Adventure Suites

Filed under: family,recommendation,vacation — Andrew @ 11:06 pm

My family just got back from a vacation at Adventure Suites in North Conway, NH. This is the type of place where each room is done up as a different theme, and I used to think these were mostly designed for couples who wanted to play pirate, caveman, etc. for a weekend. Although I met a few couples there, Adventure Suites seems to try to expand their market to families. They do a great job of it. Here is why, at least in the Jungle  where we stayed:

  • The rooms, are large. It probably takes more room to express a design than to just lay out a typical hotel room. The 475 sq feet is probably bigger than any hotel I can recall staying in before.
  • They have a great DVD collection in the lobby. You can take out any movies you’d like, and just need to return them at checkout. The room we were in also had several HDMI and composite audio/video sockets on wallplates in the room, in case you’d like to hook up your iPad/iPod/tablet/smartphone/etc. and use a streaming service like Netflix, HuluPlus, iTunes, or other service. It also had a Playstation 2 and a collection of games at the lobby.
  • The multi-zoned sound system can individually be switched on or off across parts of the suite.
  • Every place you can imagine needing a wall outlet, you can find one. Since everyone is traveling with phones, music players, tables, etc that all need recharging, I’m finding fewer and fewer places have enough plugs. Enough with unplugging the hairdryer in the bathroom so you can charge your phone for the next day.
  • These people know soundproofing. I noticed this because doors aren’t all that easy to soundproof, but walls are. Sound from neighboring rooms heard in the hallway disappeared when in our room. Movies the kids were listening to upstairs in our suite were practically inaudible downstairs.
  • They bathroom was well split up so that multiple people could get ready at the same time. The toilet had its own door to separate it from the sink and shower area, which then had a door separating it from the rest of the room.

I’m sure people staying at Adventure Suites for more romantic reasons could find other reasons for these features (HDMI is a pretty universal video  interface for both cameras and players now. They may have other reasons for needing an electrical outlet within 4 ft wherever they are in the room. Some might want more privacy for the toilet time than they would for the shower, etc. ) They come in useful for a family too.

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