Jaunts

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

239 years ago on the 4th of July, the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted by Congress to formally separate from Great Britain and the United States was born.

The Declaration of Independence, one of the most important founding documents of the United States, is kept safe and sound in the Rotunda of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.

Last month, I was in D.C. and took an early morning stroll along Pennsylvania Avenue. When I happened upon the National Archives, it was not open yet so I took a quick snap of RestoPresto from the outside. It was a meaningful moment to bring my invention to this striking building that holds a document that bestows life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

RestoPresto at the National Archives Building

RestoPresto at the National Archives Building

I am incredibly proud to have seized the opportunity to design, manufacture and assemble my product in the USA. I recognize the significance of this and view it as my own American dream achievement.

If you celebrate Independence Day on July 4th, may this holiday be a happy one for you and your loved ones!

All the best,
Candi

 

 

Giving Thanks!

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Honor. Courage. Loyalty. Veterans Day 2014

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I personally feel gratitude for the brave men and women who have served and serve in the US Military through out the year. Today, I particularly honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces.

The words in President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “Veterans Day Proclamation” on October 8, 1954 are just wonderful.

“In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.”President Dwight D. Eisenhower: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.”

On this Veterans Day 2014, with honor and respect to each and every Veteran, I thank you for your service. I am particularly grateful that my Dad, Sergeant Bruce Obrentz, 1st Battalion 13th Marines, Whiskey Battery returned from active duty in Vietnam in 1968.

May the families and loved ones of fallen troops and troops whose lives have been eternally altered be held in our hearts.

Visiting Remnants of the Berlin Wall in Berlin

Remnants of the Berlin Wall in Potsdamer Platz, Berlin

Remnants of the Berlin Wall in Potsdamer Platz, Berlin

I visited and traveled around Germany with my Sister in 2009. Spending time in the distinctive city of Berlin was a highlight. On the 25th anniversary of the “falling” of the Berlin Wall (“Berliner Mauer”), I recall my own visit to the remains of the Wall in Berlin.

My first “hands on” experience with the Berlin Wall was holding a bag filled with chunks of the Wall that had been daringly chipped away and brought back to the US from Berlin by my Mom & Stepdad (daring, indeed) in 1990. I was 18 years old when the barrier between East and West Berlin opened and while I remember the news coverage, photos and of course, the stories from my Parents, as a young adult in the USA the entire situation was not easily grasped.

Being in Berlin was a colorful, educational and emotional experience. With respect to the Berlin Wall, most of the remnants of the Wall located in various spots in Berlin (and around the world) that I witnessed were covered with art and graffiti. It is just odd being in front of these segments of the “mauer” given what they represent.

A section of the Berlin Wall in Berlin

A section of the Berlin Wall in Berlin

What truly struck me was witnessing the remaining 200 meters of the Wall at Niederkirchnerstraße which has been preserved since 1989 and are without decoration. This section marked the border between the districts of Mitte (East Berlin) and Kreuzberg (West Berlin) and is the longest in tact segment of the outer wall. This fragment of the Wall (which was designated a historic monument in 1990) is one of the few sections of the Wall in Berlin that was not demolished. It is now part of the Topography of Terror Site which is an outdoor and indoor history museum. This site holds enormous significance as it is also the previous location of the Gestapo and SS Headquarters during the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945. It was physically and emotionally uncomfortable standing in this area. The feelings of empathy for the innocent people whose lives were affected and ruined by what transpired in this vicinity was overwhelming. It was a chilling reminder.

“Berliner Mauer” = Berlin Wall

“Berliner Mauer” = Berlin Wall

 

200 meters of the Wall at Niederkirchnerstraße

200 meters of the Wall at Niederkirchnerstraße

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Sections of the Wall at Niederkirchnerstraße

Visiting Berlin was an experience that I shall never forget.

May the celebration marking 25 years since this somber, hopeful and unique moment in history bring comfort to those who seek it.

Happy 1st Anniversary to The Candi Dish!

Happy 1st Anniversary to The Candi Dish!

It was a year ago that I hit “PUBLISH” on my first blog post on The Candi Dish and what a year it has been!

Dishing out stories, snapshots and suggestions is the goal of The Candi Dish. While I have not dished out as much as I had hoped due to my focus on my production invention, RestoPresto™, it has been fun and I plan to keep the blog going for as long as possible.

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RestoPresto is the size of a beach towel but can be carried in your hand when in its easy to stuff pouch!

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Snaps, drawstrings & loops allow TONS of configurations! RestoPresto is a multifunctional solution for people on-the-go!

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RestoPresto weighs under 9 ounces and fits in your hand! SO convenient!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please check out my product, RestoPresto™ on Kickstarter! I am raising funds for the first production run in the USA! To get your own RestoPresto™, contributions begin at $40 at the “GOLD” level.  http://kck.st/1sBYxRq

 

Have a wonderful day!

Thanks for following The Candi Dish!

Warm regards, Candi

 

 

Dishing about RestoPresto™!!!

Introducing RestoPresto™!

 

Dear Followers of The Candi Dish,

I am thrilled to share news about my product invention, RestoPresto™.

RestoPresto™ is a 3-in-1 portable, compact, water-repellent mat that you can sit on, sit under and wear.  When contained in its pouch, RestoPresto™ (aka “RP”) fits in an adult hand and when open, it is the size of a beach towel. With snaps, drawstrings and loops at each corner, the configurations for RP are endless making it a multi-functional solution for impromptu and planned events.

Picnics, the beach, travel, unexpected weather changes, sport events, child care (including diaper changes), festivals, pet care, playgrounds, commuting, exercising on the go and so much more! RP is for all ages and all seasons!

 

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I came up with the idea for RP in 2013 and have been designing, creating prototypes, testing fabrics and trims and searching for manufacturers in the U.S. that are willing to work with a first time inventor.

I am very pleased to have established a relationship with two prospective factories in the U.S., finalized the design after creating 15 prototypes, registered my trademark and have a provisional utility patent and a design patent pending.  I am now ready to put RP into the hands of consumers!

This is where you come in! To get your own First Edition RestoPresto™, I will be pre-selling through a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first production run in the U.S.  Up until this point, I have self-funded each stage of the pre-manufacturing process and would like to secure funding before taking the leap to production.

Now that you now have the link to my LIVE Kickstarter campaign, please check out the site spread the word to your friends, family and social media networks.  #RestoPresto

RestoPresto™ on Kickstarter

I hope that you will support my project to get your own First Edition RestoPresto™! 

I cannot wait to find out how RestoPresto™ makes your life easier!

Thank you and warm regards,

Candi

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13 years.

Each year, on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, I acknowledge certain people who perished that day.  I did not know these human beings but the story of each person, in some way, has resonated with me.

On this 13th anniversary, I am including the names of the brave men of my neighborhood firehouse Engine 8, Ladder 2, Battalion 8 who lost their lives trying to save others.

 

“Flag of Honor” listing the name of each human who perished on September 11, 2001 displayed in Battery Park during the 10-year memorial.

“Flag of Honor” listing the name of each human who perished on September 11, 2001 displayed in Battery Park during the 10-year memorial.

 

Father Mychal Judge, Frank Reisman, Margaret Ruth Echtermann, Pablo Ortiz, Frank De Martini, FF. Robert Parro, CPT. Federick Ill, Jr., FF. Denis Germain, FF. Daniel Harlin, FF. Dennis Mulligan, FF. Michael Clarke, FF. George Dipasquale, FF. Carl Molinaro, BC. Thomas DeAngelis and FF. Thomas McCann.

May their souls rest in peace. May peace prevail.

Honoring on Memorial Day 2014

My photo from the 10th Anniversary of September 11th in Battery Park, NY.

My photo from the 10th Anniversary of September 11th in Battery Park, NY.

In honor, remembrance and respect.  

May the legacies of the Men and Women, who served the United States of America and lost their lives, be memorialized.

Mother’s Day Dishing!

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How to climb Masada at sunrise (on your own)!

I can see the Dead Sea!

I spy the Dead Sea!

Masada is an ancient fortress built by King Herod of Judea between 37 and 31 BCE atop a rock plateau situated in the South District of Israel on the eastern border of the Judean Desert near the shore of the Dead Sea. Herod is not credited with discovering the site, which had historically been chosen for its remote location that naturally provided protection to its dwellers but it was he who built a mini-city there as a refuge against his enemy, the Romans.  Around 73 or 74 CE, the Romans sieged Masada to find that the inhabitants, most likely Jewish freedom fighters, had chosen to take their own lives rather than surrender. To many, Masada symbolizes the brave human struggle for freedom from oppression.

The highest point is approximately 1,300 feet on the east edge of Masada and the top of the flat plateau is about 1,800 feet x 900 feet.

In 2001, Masada was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is a top attraction in Israel due to its historical significance and magnificent views of the Judean Desert and Dead Sea.

First sign at the bottom to ascend the appropriately named path.

First sign at the bottom to ascend the appropriately named path.

WHY HIKE AT SUNRISE?

So glad that you asked! The answer is simple: witnessing the sun beginning to rise over the Jordanian Mountains and emerge over the Dead Sea is a breathtaking experience. There is a sense of accomplishment after reaching the top and you will be rewarded with extraordinary panoramic vistas and the ability to tour the impressive remains of Herod’s fortress.

First Photo Break!

First Photo Break!

WHICH PATH TO CHOOSE?

Great question! There are two paths to hike to the top:  The Snake Path (East side) and The Roman Ramp (West side). You must choose your path beforehand in order to plot your driving route to one of the two entrances, accordingly. Driving between the two is quite a distance so it is important to note that you will have to descend/exit on the same side that you ascended. The visitors’ center, cable car, restaurant and gift shop are only accessible on the East side (but none of these are open at sunrise).  If you are weary of the hike, then skip sunrise and take the cable car to the top later in the day. Definitely look into the evening light show (West side) and offerings at the visitors’ center (East side).

Beautiful.

Beautiful at the top.

More beauty.

More beauty at the top.

WHAT WAS THE CANDI DISH EXPERIENCE?

It was dynamic and invigorating!  Many choose to take a private or group tour from Jerusalem to hike Masada at sunrise given that the arrival will be in the dark and in unfamiliar territory coupled with the desire to be guided and educated on the sites the entire time by a pro.

We chose to do it on our own. This is how we did it:

1) ROAD TRIP with a rental car from Tel Aviv airport after arriving in Israel specifically for this 24-hour journey to the Dead Sea. The drive was less than 2 hours and gave us a glimpse into the diversity of the State.

En route from Tel Aviv to the Dead Sea

En route from Tel Aviv to the Dead Sea

Car rentals in Israel are reasonably priced but note that there will be an airport pick-up charge and most likely a maximum limit of 250 km per day.  So, if you plan to only use the car for a day it may be worth reserving it for two to give you the 500 km limit (assuming that you will not be penalized for returning the car early).  Rules and regulations are clearly explained by the rental car companies so be sure to read them. Lastly, you may wish to become familiar with the various English spellings of cities (i.e. Masada = Metzada, Massada.) for inputting into the GPS.

2) Consider STAYING at a resort in Ein Bokek, which is an approximate 15-minute drive from Masada.  Most hotels have relaxing spa facilities (farewell jet lag!) and are within walking distance to the Dead Sea. Other options in the vicinity are the guest houses/hostels at Ein Gedi or at the base of Masada. The Candi Dish visited this seaside area “off season” which is a totally different ball game from “peak season” with respect to costs and crowds.

Ruins of Masada

Ruins of Masada

3) BREAKFAST is a MUST to fuel up pre-hike!  Given that it will be too early to eat at your hotel before you head out, I highly suggest buying non-perishable food ahead of time.  There are establishments in the shopping centers along the Dead Sea in Ein Bokek but you should check for their opening times beforehand so that you are not stuck without grub.

4) Planning a TIMETABLE is key.  Sunrise was at 6:33 am that morning so the goal was to be atop Masada by then. We departed the hotel at 5:10 am to allow 20 minutes for the drive (there was construction on Route 90) for the 5:30 am opening of Masada National Park.

Herod’s Palaces

Herod’s Palaces

5) The ROUTE from Ein Bokek to Masada’s Snake Path (the route to the Roman Ramp is different on Route 90; via Arad) is a straight shot and you will see a sign that prompts you to take a left into the park (this is helpful in the dark).  Follow the road to the guard gate and take a left (before the barrier) to the parking lot. Purchase tickets, pick up a map and enter at the guard gate.

Water cisterns (BCE-style) - amazing!

Water cisterns (BCE-style) – amazing!

6) Thankfully we had FLASHLIGHTS because it was really dark at first. The summation is that The Snake Path is challenging (blame it on jet lag, dehydration from traveling and the fact that we did not pace ourselves at first)!  Our climb took an hour (including water and photo breaks).  There was a group of experienced hikers that made it in approximately 30 minutes and other folks took longer than 60 minutes.

Palatial marble mosaic floor

Palatial marble mosaic floor

7) AH HA! Reaching the top was exhilarating!  We seized each moment and took in the endless photo opportunities and explored the self-explanatory sites for over an hour.  Spending time discovering Herod’s ancient city gave us the chance to take the cable car down in a zippy 3 minutes.

Captivating cliffs

Captivating cliffs

 

 

 

 

It is amazing how different everything looks in the broad daylight.

Continuous captivating cliffs

Continuous captivating cliffs

Summary List before your Masada Hike:

Plan ahead:  check sunrise time and weather conditions
Dress in layers according to temperatures
Don’t forget to bring: a flashlight; abundant water; camera, hat, sunscreen.

Summit swimming

Summit swimming

Moab Mountains

Moab Mountains

 

Whether you visit independently or on a tour…go for it!

 

Everything. Is clear in the daylight! Cable Car descent

Everything. Is clear in the daylight! Cable Car descent

 

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