Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Augurst 22- 26, 2014 PA to MN

Friday, Aug 22:
Rich was able to take the day off.  So after a lazy morning and great breakfast, we drove around the area.  His home is near the area where Washington crossed the Delaware.  There is so much history of the birth of our country in the eastern states.

We had a great dinner at an English Publick House.  Dave had a hamburger with scrapple on it.  It looked like Spam to me.  

 Saturday, August 23:
We went to a Phillies baseball game against the St Louis Cardinals, in Philadelphia.  It went into 12 Innings and wasn’t over until 12:30 am (Cardinals won).  We had  Philly cheese steak sandwiches and Yuengling Beer.  Rich had actually brought some Yuengling beer to MN for us in the early 1980’s.  He said it was the oldest still operating brewery in the US. 

 Sunday Aug 24:  This morning we received a phone call at 6:00 am.  It was Dave’s mother telling us that Dave’s Stepfather had passed away during the night.  She and Hap have been married over 40 years.  He was in his early 90’s and was a WWII veteran.  He had been in and out of  hospitals since last Thanksgiving with lung problems.  And within the last month, he was moved to a nursing home and put on hospice care.  In the end, he was just worn out.  So he went peacefully.  But Dave’s mom will be very lonely. 

So, we decided to get up, pack our bags, and head to Minnesota.  We were about 10 hours away from our boat in North Carolina and returning our rental car.  Last minute flights would have been expensive.  So we decided to drive for 2 days to MN.  We made it as far as Indianapolis today. 

Monday Aug 25:  We drove the rest of the way today to LeSueur, MN.  We have gone through 19 states and 2 countries since we left NC Aug 6.  Pete arrived tonight also.  He will be able to stay until Thursday.  It’s so great to see him.

Tuesday Aug 26: Alice, Pete, Dave and I drove to Eden Prairie, MN today to watch our great nephew play football.  Mateo is in 10th grade and into multiple sports.  We met our niece, Dena and her other 2 kids, Julianna and Malachi, and a family friend, Bill, at the game.  They won 28-0.  After the game, Dave’s brother Dean joined us and we all went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner.  We had a fun evening with family. 
Dave, Mateo, Pete and Malachi

Alice, Dave and Dean

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 21, 2014 Hudson River, NY to PA

This morning we walked over the Hudson River on an old railroad bridge.  It was a beautiful morning and great to be able to go for such a nice walk.  Then we drove to Newtown, PA.  Dave hates traffic.  I need to get him back to the boat.  One comment while driving was “This really f***’s with the rhythm of life.”  But I must admit, the countryside in these northeastern states had been beautiful.

We arrived at Rich and Cindy Valent’s home in New Town, PA in time for a nice dinner at their home.  This was the third couple we have visited on this trip with ties to our days in Germany while Dave was in the Air Force back in the late 1970's.  Rich was room mates in the barracks with Lee Glenister (Dave’s room mate) after Dave and I were married.  So Rich and Lee spent a lot of time with us.  We had never met Rich’s wife.  They have twin sons close to the age of our son who both now live in New Orleans.  Dave was his usual self, teasing and joking.  Rich commented a few times that it was nice to have Dave visit, because it made him look better in the eyes of his wife.  Funny
Hudson River

August 20, Conn to NY

I did return to Mystic Seaport on Wednesday morning to see a few demonstrations that we missed the morning before.  Dave wanted to do some things on the computer while we had a good wifi connection.

We drove to Waterford, Conn after I picked up Dave. There is a boat supply mail order company there called Defender.  Dave has ordered half of the things on our boat from them.  So it was nice to actually go there and look though their warehouse display/ship store/Chandlery.  We have been planning on buying more anchor chain.  To have it shipped, it would have to go by truck.  And we usually don’t plan on being in one place long enough to have it shipped.  So we did some figuring and decided we would be able to take it with us in our rental car.  And that would save the cost of the shipping.  The chain comes in a barrel.  So we had to measure the hatchback area to see if there was room for the barrel to stand up AND the forklift to be able to lift it into the car.  We bought 200 feet of chain which weighs roughly 350 lbs.  So you can see that we saved a lot in shipping, but it may change our gas milage.

We had a late lunch at a Greek restaurant in Waterford. We looked at the map to go directly to our next destination, Newtown, PA.  We would have had to drive on the outskirts of New York City with after work traffic.  Plus our friends there weren’t expecting us until tomorrow. So we detoured and went straight west to the Hudson River.  We ended up in Poughkeepsie, NY. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 18, 2014 Maine to Connecticut

We walked to a restaurant overlooking the ocean for breakfast.  We shared a lobster and scallop omelette and Dave had one blueberry pancake and I had one slice of blueberry french toast.  Dave giggled like a child when he found out he could have whole milk. 

After breakfast, we walked to Pemaquid Point lighthouse and toured the buildings and the grounds.  Very picturesque.  Nice rocky coast and great view from the lighthouse.   

We decided we had seen and done the basics in Maine-ate lobster, toured a lighthouse and saw the rocky coast.  We decided we DO want to return by boat to see the coast from the water.  So instead of driving further up the coast, we decided to drive to Connecticut.  We drove through Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut today within about 6 hours.  We found a hotel in Mystic so we can tour the Mystic Seaport tomorrow. 

August 17, 2014 Coast of Maine

Today we headed to Maine.  We drove to Newburyport, MA and had lunch at Michael’s Harborside restaurant.  We shared a lobster roll and a dish with lobster and mascarpone cream.  Both were delicious but expensive for small portions.
Our next stop was  in Portsmouth, NH for ice cream and we walked around the town and the port.  We then stopped at Bath, ME at a tourist info center.  We had to take a picture of the train station that was the tourist info place because my sister, Janice, lives in Bath, SD. 

We decided to drive down one of the peninsulas to the coast and spend the night at Pemaquid Point in the Hotel Pemaquid.  We had a room on the second floor of a small building that looked like a lobster house.  We drove to New Harbor and had dinner at Shaw’s lobster house.  We had lobsters and clams.  Dave’s was 2 lbs, mine was between 1 and 1 1/4 lb at $14/lb.  They were delicious, the best we have ever had.  We returned to the hotel and sat in lobby of the main building with a fireplace and antiques.  Very cozy.
dinner of lobster and clams

bay in front of restaurant. Nicholas Sparks movie "Message in a Bottle" was filmed here

Picking out your lobster

August 16, 2014 Swampscott, Mass

This morning we joined Tom and Lesa Franken and their grandson, 9 month old Henry Pettit at Lincoln’s Landing in Swampscott, MA.   Their daughter, Heidi, is married to Tom and has lived in Boston for several years.  They moved to Swampscott (north of Boston) about a year ago.

We met Tom and Lesa Franken in Germany in the late 1970’s while Tom and Dave were stationed there in the Air Force.  Since they were from SD and MN, we were instant friends.  Then we both moved to SD and attended SDSU after leaving the Air Force.  After college, the Frankens moved to Watertown, SD and we eventually  moved to Rapid City, SD.  So we have seen each other several times over the years.  It has probably been about 4 years since we last saw each other.

Swampscott is a beautiful little community on the bay north of Boston.  After breakfast at a little diner, we went to Heidi and Tom’s home that was built in 1900.  We sat in the backyard and visited all afternoon.  Heidi’s husband Tom is from England.  He just returned from Argentina for work this morning.  So while he and Henry napped, we had our own Boston Tea Party in their backyard.  Heidi was a gracious hostess.  Lesa’s mother, Margaret Olson, from MN came with Tom and Lesa.  They were here for a week to babysit while Tom was in Argentina and their normal daycare was on vacation.  So it was a coincidence that we would be in Boston at the same time.  

We decided to stay another night at the same hotel so we could go to dinner with them at the Tides restaurant on Nahant Island.  The island is connected to the mainland by a causeway.  We had to have Boston baked beans as a side. It was a beautiful day/evening.  We are loving this weather in the low 70’s.   

This was another fun day of reconnecting with friends.  We have been blessed to be able to coordinate with so many friends this week.  And they are all long term friends that you feel like you just saw yesterday even though it’s been years. 
Leas and her mother Margaret by Heidi's home built in 1900

Our Boston Tea Party with 3 generations, Heidi, Margaret and Lesa

Dave, Mary, Lesa, Tom

Tom and Henry Pettit, Dave and Mary, Heidi, Lesa, Margaret

August 14-15 Bernardston and Boston, Mass

We had wonderful blueberry pancakes for breakfast at Glenister’s.  Then we drove to Massachusetts to spend  the night with Bill and Brenda Hill.  The Hills were friends of ours from Rapid City.  They moved back to the area where Bill grew up about 4 years ago.  Bill had a meeting after work and Brenda and I went to church (catholic holy day).  So Dave cooked dinner at their house after Bill stopped home and offered some ideas.  We all came back to the house with a great chicken dinner ready for us.

They just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.  Brenda has recently lost a lot of weight and said she was about the same weight as when they got married. Bill thought Brenda should try on her wedding dress, so we convinced her to do it.  

Friday:  We are getting into having breakfast made for us.  Today we had waffles and coffee before leaving.  We drove to a northern suburb of Boston, Peabody (pronounced PEA bu dee) for a room at a Holiday Inn.  From there we drove to a subway station and took the subway into downtown Boston.  We found the Sail Loft restaurant/bar and had a cup of their clam chowder on recommendation of friends.  It was outstanding.  And this place was just a little bar off of a marina, not a tourist trap.  Good find.  We then went on a Duck tour of the city, it is on the road and in the water (the one in Seattle was fun, but I wouldn’t recommend this one).   After the tour, we walked to the Black Rose Irish Pub.  When we think of Boston, we think of Irish.  We had dinner and listened to a man singing Irish music.  We are getting old because we love it when we can enjoy the music over dinner and not have to wait for it to start at 9:00.  After dinner we walked around a few blocks listening to music on the street, then took the subway back to our hotel.

Brenda in her wedding dress sweeping Bill off his feet

reunited with good friends

Brenda and Bill

cup of awesome clam chowder

The Irish Rose in Boston

Friday, August 22, 2014

August 13, 2014 Mexico, NY

Dave’s mother was born in Mexico, NY just a few miles from here and spent her childhood years here.  So today, we drove to Mexico, NY.  Dave’s mom gave us directions to find Dave’s grandmother’s grave.  Then we found the house Dave’s mother lived in as a child.  Now there is a fruit stand in front of the house.  So we stopped to buy fruit and had a wonderful conversation with a woman that grew up in the house after Dave’s grandmother passed away and they sold the house to this family about 1950.  She went in the house and found a letter from Dave’s grandfather addressed to her father when the sale of the house was finalized.  We were going to take a picture of the letter and she told Dave to keep it.  She thought there may be other letters in the attic and offered to send them to us if she comes across them again.  We bought plums and “doughnut peaches” that were peaches that were shaped more like a doughnut.  All of them were very good. 

Then we drove around the country side seeing where Lee grew up, an Amish farm and school, a lighthouse at the east end of Lake Ontario.

 We had dinner at a restaurant on the east end of Lake Ontario.  Beautiful view of the sunset on the lake.
Mexico, NY fruit stand in front of the house Dave's mother lived in as a child

The house that is used as storage now

Lake Ontario

August 12, 2014 Pulaski, NY

We had to set the alarms to have an early start today.  Silvia even made us a hot breakfast.  After my shower I offered to help, but I had to turn on the light first.  We had a laugh about that, since she didn’t need the light.  We left their condo about 7:15 am to catch the train back to the US.  But first we walked about 3 blocks to the Fairmont Royal York Hotel across the street from the Union Station.  My brother, Don and wife Linda, were leaving there at 8:00 am on a bus tour to Niagara Falls and then a train across Canada to Vancouver.  We only found this out last Wednesday.  So we met in the lobby about 7:40 for about 15 minutes.  Small world.  Then we walked across the street to the train station to catch our train back to Niagara Falls, NY at 8:20 am.

We had to go through customs again when we arrived in Niagara Falls, NY.  We hopped back into our rental car, had lunch and drove to Pulaski, NY.  Lee and Susie Glenister live there.  Lee and Dave were room mates in the barracks while in the Air Force before Dave and I were married in 1977.  Once I arrived in Germany, we spent a lot of time with Lee and his new room mate, Rich Valent. The two of them went on a few road trips with us in Europe.  Rich and Lee came to Georgia, SD and MN to visit us in the 80’s before they each were married.  But the last time we saw each other was in 1985 in MN.  We had never met Susie or his 3 kids.  But we had exchanged Christmas cards for the last 35 years. 

We arrived about 4:00 and had a wonderful evening sharing stories and reminiscing over dinner at their home. 
Linda, Mary, Don in Toronto

Dave and Mary, Lee and Susie

Their barnyard and chickens

Susie, Thomas and Lee

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 11, 2014 View of Toronto

I wanted to go up the CN tower, especially since we were only a couple blocks away from it.  Dave didn’t care to go, so Silvia said she’d go with me.  She actually got to go free.  It was a beautiful view of Toronto.  The tower is about 1500 feet tall and the observation deck is at about 1000 feet.  There was also a section of glass floor to stand on for a thrill.    

At 4:30, we met Kaye Leslie at the condo, then she joined Dave and me at Fionn McCool’s.  Dave arranged to meet a sailing friend, Marius and his wife Ella.  Dave had taken a sailing course with Marius in 2005 and they have stayed in touch through Facebook since then.  So today we met for a beer and then they joined us for dinner at Chris and Silvia’s.  They were such a nice couple and fun to visit with.

Dave made Low Country Boil of shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn.  It was another great evening of visiting until about 9:00.   Chris, Silvia and Kaye talked to Marius and Ella about the Blind Sailing Asso and had them exchange info with each other so they could become volunteer skippers.  Great connections. 

When Dave teases friends, they usually look at me to see if I am rolling my eyes to see if he is joking or telling the truth.  But Silvia would just jump right in with "oh Dave!" without being able to see my eyes.  That's when you know you are good friends.  They get Dave's jokes.      

We finally heard from our boat insurance company today.  They approved all the work that the surveyor recommended.  So now the work can begin.

condo building is the bottom oval building to the right of the stadium

the marina with 2 of the sailboats.  there is an airport on an island in Lake Ontario

August 10, 2014 Toronto Sailing

We had breakfast at Fionn McCools across the street.  Then we took a bus to Marina Quay West (pronounced key west).  The Blind Sailing Association of Canada  (www.Blind Association) owns 3 boats, a Catalina 22 named C Breeze, a Catalina 270 named Catch the Wind, and  a J 24 at the Island Yacht Club.  The Catalina 270 came from Fairhope, Alabama last year.  While we were living in Alabama, Dave actually looked at it for the fleet before they bought it. 

So today we went on a day sail with the club on the same Catalina.  Our boat had a volunteer skipper named Doug, Dave and me, Silvia and Chris, Maria Fitton and Craig and Grant who are members of their club.  We sailed from 1-4pm, and had a beautiful day on the water.  We knew Maria from Ski for Light also.  Chris Malec and Jason Fraire were on the Catalina 22.  I met them this year at Ski for Light in the Black Hills.  After sailing they joined us on our boat for “refreshments”.  We shared beer, wine, cheese and crackers in the cock pit.  Chris was using a sarong for shade after having too much sun.  We teased her about wearing a burka sailing.

We then took a bus to Chinatown.  This Chinatown is one of the largest outside of China.  We had a great dinner at Asian Legend.  Afterwards we walked to Chris and Silvia’s condo and visited before going to bed.

I realized there are a few “Land Luxuries” that I have missed: sitting on a comfortable couch, using thick fluffy towels (they don’t dry out on a boat), and a corner grocery store.

Chris and Silvia at the helm of the Catalina 270
Dave decided to call our auto pilot "Chris"

Toronto skyline

Chris skippering the boat at 12:00.  Clockwise-Silvia, Maria, Craig, and Doug

Silvia and Chris Jonas

Maria actually working

the Catatlina 22 with Chris and Jason

Chris, Nina, Sivia and Chris wearing her burka

Jason and Maria