EVEN NOW; WITH A THOUSAND LITTLE VOYAGES UNDER MY BELT.
I STILL FEEL A MEMORIAL CHILL ON CASTING OFF.
-E.B. White

Monday, March 16, 2015

Baby It's Cold Outside/Taking Care of Business



In our last post we instructed you to stay tuned to our next adventure - and some of you may have guessed we were heading to the north country (our home).  We had a small window between Arizona trip and our kids arriving for springbreak so we took the opportunity to quickly drive home and take care of some business.  The temp of 1 degree above 0 in the previous post was just a glimpse of what would only get worse.  By the time we hit Champaign, IL the temps plummeted to 14 degrees below zero (a record for them - 2 below was their previous record).  However, by the time we hit Minnesota it was a balmy 15 degrees.  Great to catch up with family and friends.  Rick managed to squeeze in some ice fishing and son Brad, Rick and dogs enjoyed a fun day of pheasant hunting on the game farm.

Izzy and I enjoyed lots of hikes - as you can see, not much snow in Minnesota this year.

Father and Son, braving the elements to fish on Bald Eagle Lake.


Not much snow - but very thick ice.

Sadly, we forgot to get a picture of the two hunters and their dogs - Brad & Rylie with the hard days work.

One of the best things about being home in the winter is the great comfort food - Hot Turkey sandwiches, with mashed potatoes and gravy - yum!
And after a long day of pheasant hunting....
Our daughter-in-law Katie prepared a great Pot Roast - mmmmmm.  Soooo Minnesotan!  

Back to boat for some maintenance before the spring breakers arrive (aka our kids and grandkids) - the annual re-marking of the chain.

Also on the to do list was a cover for the induction glass cooktop.  Insurance for things that fall out of cabinets during bumpy crossings.  Also nice to have extra counterspace!  Nice to have Doug's workshop relocated to Naples for boat projects.

Another item on the list is chaps for the dinghy - more on that later.

The kids arrived on March 7th - unfortunately Brad's bag did not arrive until late evening the 10th of March.  Bag tags include, sorry for the delay and RUSH!  Delta told him to purchase clothes on arrival - and so shopping we did.
We all agreed the boys dealt with a missing bag better than the girls would have.  Brad showing his I had to get new clothes sad face.   
    Of course, sunday found us all at Stans.  We still cannot figure out why the kids have sweatshirts on, its that Mn thing.  Brad & Kate have been to Stans before and, they told us the Bloody Mary's are to die for - they were right!
our neighbors (on vacation from MN) Mike and Anna joined us for an awesome lunch at Isles of Capri beach side (minus Mike, taking pic).
Smiths - Alligator Alley - Airboat -Awesome.
Grandmas Brag Book - beautiful Georgia and handsome Cooper.

We loved having them here - see you soon back in MN.  
We are heading east tomorrow to stop at River Forest to pick up our stored fuel.  Plans are to continue east and head to the Abacos.  Again, stay tuned.

P.S  Special shout out to niece Shana and husband Keith on the birth of their grand baby Cooper
and niece Ali and boyfriend Josh on their recent engagement.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Parting is such sweet sorrow!


 We found ourselves back at Stans for the annual Mullet Festival.  We were amazed how many people attend this event - 5,000 estimated.  After parking our car a good mile away, we attempted to locate our friends - nearly impossible, but we did find them.  We decided to get some food into our stomachs before starting the drinking portion of the event.  Extremely long lines at Stan's for their mullet sandwiches forced us to hike over to the Old Marco Lodge for a nice, quieter, sit down meal.

Friends from Ft. Myers (Rod & Allison and Bridget & Scott)  joined our Marco Island group - turns out Bridget & Scott are from our hometown marina, Sunnyside Marina in Stillwater, MN.  Fun catching up on the marina news. 

 Then it was back to Stans  - let the party begin!

Part of the Mullet Festival is the crowning of the Buzzard Lope Queen.

Introducing the 2015 Buzzard Lope Queen

A Past Buzzard Lope Queen?

And Buzzard Lope Queen in training.
With fuel tank projects nearing an end, we decided to take the big boat out for an overnight at Keeywadin Island.  Friends on LeryLynn joined us and although there were quite a lot of boats in the anchorage during the day - ended up the only two boats to spend the night - perfect.

Broulee at anchor Keeywadin anchorage.

Gotta love this dinghy - complete with its own parrot, beach chair and umbrella.

Izzy enjoyed her swim in the gulf - but, not looking forward to her wash down when returning to Broulee. 
 Broulee and LeryLynn at anchor in the background.

A plus since we were here last is the food & beverage pontoons.  This one is from the Isle of Capri Fish House restaurant - they are one of our favorites.

By evening we have the entire anchorage to ourselves.  Rick, Deb and Izzy headed over to the beach in search of the "green flash".
Izzy with her ball - heading on the short path to the gulf side of the island.

Looks like it is going to be a great sunset - perfect conditions for the "green flash".

Izzy is wondering what the heck he's doing, but we have found that if you look at the sunset thru a peephole it increases your chances of seeing the green flash, that and lots of rum.  No need for a peephole or rum tonight - the flash was very evident - Big Run - you would have loved it.  
Look at the pic thru a peephole, maybe you can see it?

A parade of these boats (maybe 10 or so) heading north as we were headed south back to marina.


Traveled to the "Wrinkle Ranch" in Queen Valley, AZ to visit my parents and share my Birthday with them.  The weather was perfect and as always, my family and friends made sure my Birthday was celebrated every night - more like a birthday week.


  Yard art - Arizona style. Bleecker Mountain Dave, this looks like a great project for you to build in your spare time.
  Queen Valley was celebrating their 100 year birthday - so lots of parties going on.  They even had a parade on my birthday - awesome!  Thanks, Mom and Dad for a great birthday week.


Wednesday we got a chance to, once again, experience the Marco Island Farmers market with our friend Robbie.  Came across this magical fruit - Jack Fruit - wow!  Also great lunch at Isle of Capri Fish House.  Doug, hope you are jealous and wish you were here.  As we left Isle of Capri and stopped at Collier Blvd - people were lined up on the street to the left and right.  We asked what was going on and found out the Wall That Heals 
 was making its way to Veterans Park on Marco Island.  We barely got parked in the marina and made our way to the sidewalk in front to watch its arrival.

Police motorcycle escort over the Judge SS Jolley Bridge.

Arrival of the semi-truck carrying the "Wall that Heals" a half size replica of the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC.  It brings the wall to Vietnam veterans to view in their own communities, allowing them to share the experience with friends and loved ones.
Video of The motorcycle escort following the Wall that Heals - very impressive!

Our merry little band of revelers are starting to breakup - Rod & Allison sharing a last meal before heading back to Legacy Harbor Marina in Ft. Myers.    
We had a week of last dinners - this one at the Marco Island Fish Company.


Last dinner at the Sand Bar with the crew of LeryLynn and Bucket List - both are heading out to start another adventure.


Our final dinner together at C.J.'s on the Bay - till our paths cross again,  Stay safe - it's been a great time!



One of the best things about this boating lifestyle is all the great people you meet and bond with - we are all in the same boat, so to speak.  In the past 14 years we have accumulated a lot of great friends, looking forward to many more.

Stay tuned in for our next great adventure!