-E.B. White

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Polar Vortex returns!!!

After what turned out to be the second worst winter on record for Minnesota (thank goodness  we were not here) our summer has proven to be even more challenging. The month of June we received record amounts of rain causing major flooding; shutting down traffic on the Mississippi River and no wake zones enforced on the St. Croix River and Lake Minnetonka.  Now in the middle of July a blast of cold air from Canada "a summertime polar vortex" has hit the Twin Cities - catching many people arriving for the MLB All Star Game off guard - most of them had not planned on needing sweatshirts.

Our friends Ken & Kim invited us to visit their waterfront property on the St. Croix River - at Bayport.  The condos are built with this disaster in mind.  They had enough warning to move everything out of the garages, open the doors and install the netting that catches all the debris that comes with a flood.

   The inside of the garage

 and their adorable dog, Ali - can't believe they make a tennis ball that small.

The youngest grandkids are growing up too fast. These two live next door to us, but the older two we rarely see - hoping to hook up this summer. 

Georgia's passion continues to be riding.  Bringing Nina to the ring from the field.

Even though they have their own dog now - Cooper still manages to find some time for his favorite girl - Izzy and she loves every minute of it.

Attending the annual Kentucky Derby Party - Lord & Lady Smythe and their beautiful daughter-in-law Katherine.  Ohhhh those mint juleps are tasty.

Later we got into the hat bin and things got wild, crazy & fuzzy.

Memorial weekend found us in Kansas City for a Smith Wedding.  Rick with cousins Dave and Jon Smith at Grooms dinner.

Father's Day, we were surprised by the arrival of Erin (flying in from Washington D.C.) and Ali (flying in from Austin, TX).  Dad surrounded by the eight beautiful, amazing women in his life.

Wine making continues -  our Raspberry Wine was a huge hit.  We decided to try a wine kit and started with a Piesporter.  We got 28 bottles out of the kit - next picture is of Rick corking the bottles.  Lucky for us - friends Bob & Pam have agreed to let us turn their house into a winery. 

 All the wine we did last fall was bottled this spring when we got home.  Hardy Minnesota grapes have been a challenge for the guys - lots of acidity so they have been a work in progress - lots of tweaking and tasting - unfortunately you don't notice how much wine you are drinking when you are tweaking and testing.   

The 4th of July Annual Pontoon Boat Race - The Smith's finally take the trophy (the wooden fishing lure hanging from the bimini top). We came in 4th, but even then we may have cut a few corners. But they say we won on style - time to proudly add our name to that much sought after prize.

The Styling Smiths

Our gardens are flourishing - one good thing, with all the rain - as of July 17th we havn't had to turn on irrigation systems.  Also, cooler tems - no A/C needed.

A fellow boater sent this pic out the other day - it made me laugh.  

We have had a jam packed spring and summer and apologize for not posting.  Will try to do better, but no promises.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Gangs all here.

It is always sad to leave a neighborhood you get familiar with.  Gotta say pretty much perfect except WI-FI was not that good, we have learned to rely on our Verizon Hotspot- it seems the normal at marinas now.    Anyway - always love the the East Coast of Florida, always a breeze (Rick calls it windy and claims it's hard to varnish the rails) and not so many bugs.  We did manage to finally leave Titusville Marina on the 26th and headed south.

Broulee leaving the T dock - its been fun. 

Nice anchorage - a bit breezy/windy, but good to be on the move.  Sunrise as we lift anchor.

  Found out our friends on Cocoon Too were in the mooring field at Vero Beach. We are anchored at the back of the pack where it's free.  Checked out the dog park - guess we got spoiled at Titusville - A dog as big as a horse tried to take Izzy out. Good visit with Tom and Phyllis who had just crossed over from the Bahamas.

Cocoon Too rafted off with Eldridge  C - this is the norm here especially during the migration north.  Coming south we felt like we were going the wrong way on the freeway.  We saw  50 boats a day that were heading north.

and then couldn't believe that we caught up with Istaboa on the St. Lucie waterway at River Forest - Stuart.    Mel was not on board, but visiting her Mom.  Good to see Bob - he's heading for Sarasota to install a Wi-Fi system at Marina Jacks - maybe more marinas will get with the program.  

Broulee passing thru Port Mayaca lock - no locking needed today - it's wide open.  Heading for  Lake Okeechobee.

Burning the sugar fields.  Also notice the lake is a bit bumpy.

Sights along the waterway.

DYAD out of Dover, ME

More sugar cane burning on the Caloosahatchee River.  Not looking good for washing the boat down at River Forest and or keeping it clean before hauling out.

After passing thru  Moore Haven Lock we were hailed on the radio by Tourist (Sea Ray on the left).  We planned on driving to Legacy to see them, but this is even better - they are at River Forest to get hauled out for some warranty items - a couple of good happy hours and we are caught up on Legacy life.  Istaboa had to go into the haul out well - too big to fit on the wall. The rest of the boats snugged up a little bit allowing room to shoe horn Broulee into a spot - seems to be a popular place this weekend.  Our friends on Sofkin are also here - preparing for haul out and summer storage. 
 It seems the Gangs all here!

   Broulee and Sofkin - back to back and back together again.  Our last boat encounter was in Coral Cove Marina, Chaguaramas, Trinidad.

We drove over to Naples to visit our Minnesota friends, Doug & Robbie.  We were treated to a great barbecue dinner at their beautiful winter home.  I forgot my camera and asked Doug to e-mail a picture of our gathering - they are busy closing up their home for a return to Minnesota - so this will have to do - until he gets a chance to send it.

Robbie, Doug, Deb & Rick
  Thanks Doug & Robbie - we had a great time. It must be the water here, my hair looks fabulous. 

Good to see everyone - hauling on Friday and heading to the great white north (they are supposed to get 10" of new snow today).  Rick is looking forward to some ice fishing and me - the grandkids.  Izzy can't wait to meet Rylie - our new granddog and of course, to once again see, her sister Kelly