We had a great time visiting Rick's sister and her family in New York, but , then it was time to hit the road - arriving back in Minnesota on the 15th of June, just in time for Brad's Birthday and Father's day. Our gardens looked like an overgrown jungle, Minnesota has had record rainfalls and that combined with an early spring has caused plants and weeds to grow rapidly.
Pictures of Sandra and Don's home on the Hudson River (across from West Point). Izzy loves it here - we do too. Really, how could you not? Their home overlooks Constitution Island and Marsh and the infamous Worlds End. The island is best known for the "great chain", a heavy chain that was placed by the Continental Army across the river from the mainland of West Point. This chain, intended to prevent British Naval Vessels from navigating the river during the American Revolutionary War and was in place from 1778 to 1782. Another chain was placed just south of here at Bear Mountain, but the British seized that one (sending it to Gibraltar to protect their own harbor), and then sailed up the river and burned the town of Kingston. Legend has it that many British soldiers are buried in the depths of Worlds End (at 216 feet, this is the deepest part of the Hudson River).
Looking out over the Hudson River Valley
Our Niece Leslie, and her kids joined us for a boat ride on the Hudson (L-R Samantha, Macderra, Leslie and Devin). Note, this was still June - prior to our massive heat wave, oh how I long for sweatshirt weather again.,
Dinner on the porch - Don, Sandra (Rick's sister), the Smith's and nephew Brian. One of the many great evening gatherings at the Nice's. Ricks sister can throw an exquisite dinner together in a matter of minutes. Rick has the same supercharged energy - funny comment from their medical aide (for Brian) Debrorah - if Sandra is missing for a moment and they are not sure where she is and what she is doing, they say "She's probably out paving the driveway". Rick and Sandra are two peas in a pod.
Sunset over the Hudson River Valley - looking down at Worlds End.
Once, again - packed and ready to go. Izzy is thinking, now where the hell are we going? Hope we are going home - I miss my sister Kelly and my kids, Georgia & Cooper.
Leaving Broulee at Croton On-Hudson, Half Moon Bay Marina - June 15th, 2012 (across the river is Haverstraw - this is the widest part of the river). She's over on the right of the picture next to the wooden breakwall - you can just see the blue dinghy cover up top. They tried to put us in a finger slip, but why is it when we say we are a 42ft boat they want you to fit into a 35ft slip. Secondly, the finger piers are part of the Dockiminium/Condo's and they don't allow dogs. So the dockmaster asked us if we could put Izzy in a cart and bring her back and forth on the docks in the marina cart - WHAT!!!! Those of you who know Izzy can understand that riding patiently in a cart to shore would be impossible. So after much hemming and hawing they moved us to the side tie docks, evidently they are not part of the condos . The downside to this spot is the wave action that manages to make it's way thru or around the breakwall. The other problem was their electrical on this dock - we need 220 amps to run our A/C and the power fluctuated between 195 and 203. Needless to say, we were very careful about running the A/C. The dockmaster claimed it was Con Ed's fault, but Rick is suspicious of their wiring.
Made it home in time for Father's Day. Rick and son Brad enjoying a early morning ski on that day. Our lake temps usually do not warm up until the 4th of July - hmmmm - could be a bit chilly.
Brad's turn - it was the first ski of the season for both of them, but they are up for the challenge.
A Great Father and Son ski on Bald Eagle Lake. Video of Pops - someone is going to be hurting tomorrow.
We needed a break from weeding the gardens, so it was up to the cabin for a weekend getaway. Cooper just chillin in the hammock.
Decided to try some fishing - Izzy helps out with looking for fish.
Earlier in the day Pops caught a nice bass.
Brad caught a small Northern Pike - aka Hammer Handle. Izzy thinks we should keep it.
Cooper and Georgia enjoying the evening boat ride and just some more fun shots of Georgia and Pops.
Ahhhhhh - we are relaxed now mon. Sunset on Platte Lake
Then the heat wave hit - Minnesota along with most of the country had record breaking temps and high humidity. The 4th of July week started out in the mid 90's and on the 4th of July we hit a record breaking 101 and temps stayed in the high 90's the balance of the week.
Our home decked out for the 4th of July.
The annual pontoon boat race on the 4th - Brad trying to stay ahead of the competition. This year we amped our game up a bit and came armed with 50 water balloons and a couple of water blaster guns. Well it was a good plan, but we were out numbered. Some of the boats had teenage boys throwing balloons with spot on dead reckoning and fast pitch speed. In 101 degree temps - it actually felt good except that one balloon I took to the back of my neck and another straight onto the nose. I hate those blind sided ones. Rick has been struggling with a golf injury to his shoulder and go figure - he took a balloon to the shoulder - so he wasn't much help. Katie and I throw like girls and Brad was driving and throwing at the same time - so you get the picture - we were pretty much sitting ducks. There is not a chance in hell that we would ever win this race - but it sure is a lot of fun.
After a feast of barbecue ribs and fixings we headed out onto the lake to watch the sunset and get ready for the fireworks. Pontoons at rest - it's been a long day on the lake.
Our kids in the neighborhood pool their hard earned money together for a fireworks display that seems to get bigger and better every year. This year the festivities started with singing of the Star Spangled Banner, belted out over an audio system by neighbor girl, Jorja Goudreau. The fireworks started promptly at 9:30 complete with synchronized patriotic music. This video is a short clip of the half hour show.
Lucky for us we were home for a Casserly (Deb's) family reunion - all four of my sister Gail's girls were in town at the same time (including dogs). We gathered on our front porch in 95 degree heat. Niece Shana, Clementine (their new adopted rescued Shepherd) and Chief relaxing after a romp in the lake.
In the garden - Meghan, Erin, Alison and Shana, Deb's nieces.
On a hot, hot, hazy Friday July 6th morning - we left the homestead, Envoy packed headed for New York. We did delay our departure a day hoping to avoid the Chicago heat, but we needed to be in New York for niece Leslie's Expo (at TEC). As you can see in pic below - we did not escape the Chicago heat.
Temps as we passed thru Chicago. I don't care which way you go thru Chicago, it is always ugly. They need to figure out how to get us around this city without delays. Doesn't feel possible - and to add insult to injury - they make you pay to use these roads.
We are officially back on Broulee and excited to share our next adventure - Maine or Bust.