Thursday - July 31

A rainy day here at Lake James and Mark and the boys took off in Daisy for Steel Creek and an overnight to enjoy all the water activities.....aarrghhh!!!   It was supposed to be sunny today.....aarrghhhh!    Got food, clothes and beach towels loaded up and off they went.    And an hour later, the rain came and radar does not look pretty (certainly not how we read the forecast yesterday???)
Anyway, the gang is all here (except for Ryan and Patrick).   Anne, Liam and Connor arrived last evening and the 5 boys immediately took off  to let the fun begin!!!    No matter how long it's been since they've seen one another, they so enjoy each other and no quiet time or getting reacquainted necessary.

The cousins minus Drew

Luke and newest family member "Ted"
Nice roaring bonfire on Wednesday night

Liam, Connor and Brady spent the night on Daisy and Luke joined them for movies this morning

Auntie Anne and Blair

Auntie Brooke and Luke playing  at Baby Central

Auntie Annette, Grandma and the little ones watching a video and munching on ginger cookies
Can't believe it's the last day of  July (69 degrees)- we actually turned the heat on Daisy yesterday morning as it was only in the 50's when we woke up!    Crazy weather!

Tuesday - July 29

I'm going to catch up a bit on the blog - busy, fun days here at Lake James and waiting for rest of the crew to arrive this afternoon and tomorrow!
Weather has been wonderful - after 2 very hot days, it's really cooled down and very pleasant.   Spending time in the water at the lake and Camp Lake James.    Brooke and I tried paddle boarding yesterday - FUN!    And ready to go at it again...
Enjoying Drew, Davis, Brady and Blair....she's such a little sweetie and walking everywhere and chattering nonstop!   
Here's a few pics from the past few days.
Our host family for the week

Grandpa and Blair getting re-acquainted
The guys all playing cards on the dock

Drew is wake surfing
This little guy is on his way to Lake James - spent last night in Savannah!  
Cant wait to see him..

Cool-hand Luke
And tomorrow, Anne, Liam and Connor fly in!!!    Yeah.....

Bye for now - beautiful day here and time to hit the water!


Friday - July 25

We are at Lake James......good trip (about 3 hours from Danville, VA to Daisy in storage shed).    Drove her back to Michael's and transferred our stuff from truck.     Arrived at the lake around 2:45.
Soooo good to be back here and after hugs and hellos (especially with Blair), Brooke and I were off to Ingles for some major shopping like 2 hours and 2 carts (or buggies as Brooke calls them) worth.
Home to unload and then we all went to Roma's for yummy Italian dinners.    Left the boys (including Drew's friend, Thomas) with Blair who was sleeping and we adults went on a nice, leisurely pontoon ride - beautiful evening!
Nighty night!

Thursday - July 24

We are in Danville, Virginia tonight and it's raining big time!     Had a nasty storm late last night in Oxford with severe thunder, lightning and heavy rain.   Loaded up the truck in between some drizzle this morning and after breakfast, we were off at 8:50.     Had rain off and on......but most of the day was dry and sun came out later this afternoon.
We traveled on Highway 58 to avoid the interstate and heavy traffic around DC......good choice and I drove 75 miles .    As we were traveling near Chesapeake, VA, we saw a semi in the ditch and lots of stuff on highway (looked like wet grass????)   Never did figure that out, but was in various spots and workers were trying to work with the semi and clean up the road.   We stopped for gas and pumps were not working cause of storm and then read on Google News about bad storm that passed thru at 8:30 this morning (2 hours earlier).   It hit a very busy, huge RV park, killing 2 and injuring many others.   
Then our friend Brenda called to tell us that Heather (daughter - 42) in Dallas had a stroke?    WHAT????    No.....we just saw Heather a few weeks ago when we were home and she joined us for breakfast with our Monday morning group.   At this point, she is in ICU and Pat and Brenda are flying to Dallas this evening.   Boy......that brought on the tears and still so shocked and scared for them.    Latest is that it has affected her eyesight.   I know several of you faithful blog readers know Pat and Brenda.....lots of prayers needed.
Also got an e-mail this afternoon that a long-time boating friend, John is in FL hospital with serious health issues.......storming the heavens with some big prayers tonight for these folks.
After the rain stopped we drove downtown to the historic district which Danville is trying to revitalize - many empty buildings, but had read about "Jake's on Main" and had a wonderful dinner  in this very neat building (tin ceilings, brick walls and old wooden floors) - guitar music, nice crowd and excellent food!
Went for a short walk along the Dan River when we returned from dinner.   And saw a pretty rainbow!
My brain is on overload now....Anne told us about a family from close to home who were in an accident in the Ozarks killing the Dad, Mom, and 14-year old son (and driver of other truck).    The boy's twin brother is in critical condition.   Oh my......this is sooo very sad!
What a day.......praying that tomorrow brings some upbeat news, peace and comfort to all
Tomorrow we will be picking up Daisy and then onto Lake James.....


Wednesday - July 23

This is what summertime is all about - HOT and SUNNY!      I got an early start with the exercising (7:30) to try and beat the heat.    Mark's back has been bothering him, so laying off doing any weight lifting for a bit.
After breakfast, I did 2 more loads of laundry and started packing......yup, we are off on another little trip and this time, driving to NC and family vacation at Lake James.    Can't wait to have all 7 grandchildren together, but we'll miss Ryan and Patrick!
After lunch we drove to Easton and I got a manicure while Mark ran a few errands.    Stopped for iced coffees and back to boat to pack some more.
We left the boat at 5:30 and drove to St. Michaels for pizza at Ava's - had heard about this place and WOW.....excellent.  We sat in the pretty courtyard with big fans - very pleasant and fireplaces ready for cooler weather.   Definitely a "return to" place.    Then we drove out in the country (lots of corn and soybean fields with some wheat fields here and there).    Even saw 12 deer romping and running in the open meadow - so cool!      Tilghman Island is a small island (pop 700) 16 miles from St. Michaels and since we've anchored near here, decided to see it by land.   Many long lanes with beautiful huge homes at the end...most on the water!    Took the ferry from Bellevue back to Oxford (7 minute ride).
Ryan posted this picture on FB this morning from!
And I just mentioned in yesterday's blog about the sky and scenery over St. George!

The kids and kiddies enjoying the Dells
Nighty night

Tuesday - July 22

We left Edgar Cove in Broad Creek around 9:15 and had a very pleasant  trip back to Oxford (12 miles).   Water was like glass......with just a few commercial crabbers out checking their lines.
Good to be back "home" - we were gone 7 days and cruised 169 miles putting 20.5 hours on the engines..   We gave Catrina a good scrubbing and after lunch, I did 2 loads of laundry.    Really warm here today - 86 with 91 coming tomorrow.
We rode our bikes to Schooner's for wedge salad and crab cake sandwich (DELISH) and I enjoyed my favorite Maryland crush!    Then more bike riding - beautiful evening!
Who is this cute blue-eyed blondie?'s COOL-HAND LUKE!
Stack of mini men...
Auntie Karen is with the kiddos at the Dells tonight - fun time for sure!

Monday - July 21

Sunny summer day and after exercising and an awesome breakfast prepared by Mark (blueberry pancakes and bacon), we were on our way at 10:15.   We cruised 38 miles and are anchored out in Edgar Cove on Broad Creek, not too far from St. Michaels.
Anne and family are in "Elsie" and vacationing in the Wisconsin Dells for a few days - what fun!
Brooke checked in with latest stats on Blair's one-year check-up.    She weighs 22.5 lbs and is
 30" tall.
Had a good chat with Ryan.....tomorrow he's off to St. George, Utah for this weekend's air show.    Mark and I have fond memories of St. George as we stopped there in '06 after we had Daisy.    I will never forget walking out of Wal Mart and just stopping dead in my tracks at the phenomenal view ahead - we were down in a valley and gorgeous mountains surrounded us!   Ryan said the temps are to be 110 this weekend....ouch!
Liam and Connor truckin' down the road in Elsie...
Miss Blair is all tuckered out after a busy morning, including trip to Dr. and 2 shots!
We had another simple summer supper - grilled Italian Sausage, fresh peaches/blueberries and deviled eggs.
Beautiful night at anchorage...

Sunday - July 20

We took our bikes and rode into Rock Hall......good little jaunt and not much traffic this Sunday morning.   There are several marinas (at least 6) in this small town and one of them (The Sailing Emporium) is on the outskirts of town.    This is where we stayed in 2001 on Philip's boat "Terraphobic" with friends, Barb and Roger.    Barb and I were amazed at the spectacular flowers and they are still keeping this place as gorgeous as 13 years ago   There are many perennials and oh-so-many annuals.   Maybe they have stock in Miracle Grow?     Of all the marinas we've been to on oh-so-many waterways, the Sailing Emporium get the prize for best flowers EVER!!!     A close second that comes to mind would be in Leamington, Ontario.

Anyway......not sure why the flowers are so lush out here on the east coast - maybe being close to the water?    At any rate, the folks sure do have green thumbs and take pride in their yards, gardens, downtown planters, window boxes, etc.    Okay....enough about flowers!

We stopped at Java Roast for breakfast (great Canadian bacon/egg/cheese sandwiches) and then more riding thru residential areas, the beach, etc.   We left the marina around 11:15 and cruised 15 miles to the Queenstown anchorage outside the little berg of Queenstown.(pop.   659)

Lazy Sunday afternoon  - reading, naps, computer stuff, etc.   
 Even had a little rain shower pass thru.  
Another sweet pic from yesterday...
Blair and her Daddy
Had an early dinner of BLT's and watermelon and just enjoying this beautiful evening out here floating around with nature!   Only 1 other boat off in the distance.
At 7:00 we took the dinghy out for a peaceful ride - supposed to be eagles in this area and thought we might find a nest or two with the binoculars, but no luck.    Very pleasant ride.
Did face time tonight and watched Blair open her birthday gifts (clothes and toys)!   FUN!!!    That girl is on the move walking here and there - so cute!!!
The Blue Angels were performing at Offutt AFB near Omaha this weekend.   Ryan's 2 aunts, uncle and friends were there to enjoy it all...
Have a great week!

Saturday - July 19

Our sweet birthday girl
Can't believe the Princess is ONE!     She's having a fun day with Mommy, Daddy, her brothers, Gram and Grand Bob at Lake James.....we are so excited that we can celebrate with
her in just 6 days!

The Birthday Cake....BEFORE
and AFTER...

Ohhhh, this is sooo good!
The whole gang joins in the fun
Hello from North Port Marina in Rock Hall, Maryland!     Started our day with Mark taking his bike and checking out the downtown Chestertown Farmer's Market and bringing back some yummy sticky buns from Evergrain.    Then we both walked around checking out all the produce, beautiful pastries (pies, breads, cinnamon rolls, caramel pecan rolls, and on and on.)    There were lots of artisans there with their wares - a nice display in Fountain Park (one more +++ for this neat little town).   Refrained from all the pastries (tough job) but did get some blueberries.
Left the marina at 10:15 and cruised  33 miles to Rock Hall.  So many pretty farms along the way and lots of boat traffic (course it's the weekend, including a big sailboat race).     No sun today, but just pleasant temps and lots of clouds.
Here are some pics....

Latte at "Play it Again, Sam" - cute coffee shop

Beautiful flowers outside Cornucopia where I shopped yesterday

Beautiful home in Chestertown

Several homes along this street had very low (1-step porches) built in the late 1800's 
Pretty flower box

Race on the Corsica River
Rock Hall has 1300+ residents and we are about 1 mile from the downtown.  Several marinas here - a happening place.   I walked and checked out some of the shops (last time we were here it was a Monday and several were closed).    Stopped at Java Rock for an iced coffee.    Mark joined me later and we walked a short jaunt to St. John's for 4:00 Mass.   Back to Catrina and had spaghetti, salad, garlic bread and wine!
Something that really impressed me about this little town of Rock Hall was Main Street where all the old-fashioned light poles have a banner hanging with picture of a serviceman/woman from here who are current military and listing their name, title and branch of service -  "Hometown Hero"!!!!  
 How neat is that?

Just one of many pretty flower gardens

Friday - July 18

The Birthday Girl
We shall party hearty in one week!
Happy memories of one year ago when we were together, celebrating with Brooke and anxiously awaiting arrival of baby girl....more on the little miss coming tomorrow!
Nice day in Chestertown - exercised, tidied up Catrina and Mark rode his bike to get a haircut.    It was a 5-generation barber shop with the youngest out of barber school 6 years ago.    3 generations still work there and Mark had the 72-year old Grandpa.
I shopped Cross and High Streets - love this town with its brick sidewalks, old homes and some very nice gift shops (Gabriel's and Cornucopia, especially).    Mark met me at The Lemon Leaf CafĂ© - oh my.......he had a crab cake salad and said it was the best ever!   (Even better than Davis' Pub in Annapolis)!    WOW!    My chicken salad (150-year old family recipe) was absolutely scrumptious!  
Mark washed Catrina in the afternoon - warming up today, but evenings are so pleasant.     This evening we went for a bike ride (on the trail and other parts of town) past Washington College which is lovely with all the red brick buildings and sprawling lawns.

Luke loves playing with the bean bags and dropping them in the hole

Thursday - July 17

Another perfect day on the water and even wore sweatshirts for big part of the trip.    We are in Chestertown and it's another charming little town (5,000+) on the Upper Eastern Shore of Maryland that is rich in history and founded in 1706.  It is home to Washington College, the nation's first chartered college founded in 1782
We came 53 miles today from our anchorage and plan to stay 2 nights here.     I've checked out the downtown (and liked what I saw......)    We were here last year by truck and had lunch at the Evergrain Bread Company.    I stopped there while I was out and about and had an iced chai latte.    Short time later, I ran into Mark and he was having some chocolate gelato.
The Captain of my ship navigating as we cruise on the Chester River
Beautiful crepe myrtle bush
Love these trees and bushes in all their varying shades of pink!
Got the bikes off the boat late this afternoon and hit the trail (nicely paved 1.6 miles thru woods and open land).    The ole legs need some good exercising as it's been awhile.
We had salads tonight (lettuce and other veggies + chicken salad  + watermelon and then to our first
ever ukulele concert in a nearby park.    Katie played the cello and Victoria, the ukulele for almost 2 hours.    Not exactly our type of music, but a new experience.    Lots of people came with their lawn chairs, blankets, etc. and enjoyed this unique music, lemonade and cookies.
Katie and Victoria
God bless those innocent passengers and crew who died in the horrific Malaysian plane crash.

Wednesday - July 16

It is an absolutely gorgeous evening here on Harris Creek about 16 miles from Oxford.    We are anchored out with some lovely homes scattered around the area, but for the most part, just trees, peace and quiet!
We exercised this morning, I refilled the weekly pill containers, made out a grocery list and late morning, we drove into Easton.  Mark had some errands while I shopped at Target for a few groceries.   I got an iced coffee at Starbucks and the lady said their espresso machine was broken, so no specialty coffees.    Whoaaa....not good to have Starbucks machines broken down!!! Stopped at a open market for watermelon and other veggies on the way back to Catrina.
We left around 2:30 for this anchorage and Mark grilled out burgers tonight!   
It doesn't get much better than this!!!   The temperature is perfect and should be great for sleeping!

Tuesday - July 15

Up early this morning, finished packing, last-minute spiffing up of house and off we went to get rental car at airport and breakfast at Hardees.    Drove to Chicago and waited patiently (kind of) to see if we would get on flight to Baltimore (stand by)    Had lunch at the Berghoff (soooo good).   We did get seats (maybe with 1 to spare) and arrived in Baltimore at 5 PM (eastern time).  We got our truck, drove to Annapolis and had dinner at Davis' Pub (their crab cakes are soooo darn good).   

These good-looking guys were waiting on my phone when we arrived in Baltimore!!!
Now driving in the rain to Oxford.....
Got to Catrina at 8:15 - storms are a'comin!

Monday - July 14

Connor is 8......and so proud of his new art project (and birthday gift) that he finished!
Beautiful morning.....exercised, breakfast with the neighbors. packed, Mark did some odd jobs around the house and I had lunch with Claire at Destihl.   We were sitting on the patio chatting away enjoying our lunch and the sky kept getting darker and darker.   Our waitress suggested we move indoors and whoaaaa....heavens opened up big time but we were high and dry!    After a good downpour, the sun came out and was a lovely afternoon!
Claire and I shared a delicious brussels sprout salad and then this heavenly dessert...
Sour cherry bread pudding with vanilla/cinnamon sauce and caramel topped with
vanilla ice cream
Mark and I visited Paul and Margie in their beautiful new condo in the afternoon, then home to chat with Sue (neighbor) about more stuff she is checking on (house/yard details)
while we're gone.
Met the Monday Night Friends for dinner at Shannon's and lots of chatter (6 of us).
Really feels cool out tonight - big change in the weather coming and sure doesn't feel like July!
Tomorrow off to Chicago and then fly to Baltimore and return to Catrina.   Leaving our house in  Dotty's capable hands.....the open house on Saturday was well attended, but that's all at this point.  I heard today that there are 1,300 homes on the market in our area!   O U C H!!!

Saturday-Sunday, July 12-13

We are home after a very fun weekend.    Had some heavy rain yesterday morning - got the house ready to show and we were off to CJ's for breakfast after delivering Anne's laundry.    Left for Chicago afterwards and drove thru some downpours.    Streets in the suburbs were flooded and lots of standing water in fields, ditches, etc.
Wedding was at 3 and very pretty (Mark's sister Doris and Rich's daughter) reception at the William Tell in Countryside.   So fun to be with family and catch up.
Mike and Laura
We visited with several of Mark's siblings this morning before everyone went their separate ways.    We got back into town at 10:30, went to 11:30 Mass and then stopped at Coffee Hound for some tasty treats.    This afternoon we celebrated Connor's birthday....tomorrow he is EIGHT!!!    Had a nice visit at Connor's house and he opened presents, went to Steak 'n Shake for supper and back to his house for birthday cookie!   Lovely evening to sit on the porch and chat!
Batman and Superman checking out the presents 

The Birthday Boy and his cookie
Baltimore Orioles fan

Grandma Grandpa and boys

Mom, Dad, Liam and Connor

Friday - July 11

Up early this morning (still on eastern time) - exercised and then met Paul and Kathy at Starbucks - so fun to catch up with them and all that's going on (both of us selling our homes, they are moving to TX and on and on).    All 4 of us then walked around the mall 4x yakkin' all the way.    Said our good byes (won't see them till late September).    Mark and I came home and spiffed things up a bit and later picked up Ed and Donna Rae and went to Jason's Deli for lunch and good visit.
Our house was shown this afternoon so Mark and I skedaddled away.    Visited Marty next door and sat outside on his front porch and then walked down the street to visit Norma and Darrel.    
Anne's washing machine is sick....waiting for part to be installed (hopefully tomorrow)?    I am doing some laundry for them tonight.
Tomorrow we are off to Chicago for wedding of our niece - will be a fun family affair!    And there's an Open House here  from 10-12.  
Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday - July 10

We are HOME.....a long day of travel s we were up early and out Catrina's door at 5:30 for trip to Baltimore.    Plane was 2 hours later arriving from Chicago and luckily we were able to get seats and arrived at 12:15.
Had some good ole Chicago Style Hot Dogs and then boarded the bus for home and got into town at 4:30.   Did face time with Luke and Annette.    We met Anne, Patrick and boys at Firehouse Pizza (short walk from bus station) for supper and catch-up.   Then to Emack and
Bolio's for ice cream.    They brought us home and think it will be early to bed for us tonight!
Weather here is beautiful - almost cool!

Wednesday - July 9

Had a good ole storm last night with thunder, lightning and rain.......but today, was still steamy.    Had a little more rain around 10 this morning and then sun came out and REALLY steamy!  Oh's summertime on the Chesapeake!!!
After lunch, we drove into Easton (9 miles) and while I got a manicure/pedicure from Jimmy, Mark ran several errands.    Got the suitcases out and started packing - planning to leave early in the morning for Baltimore and "hopefully" catch a flight into Chicago (stand by).   The first of our 5 weddings this year is Saturday (niece Laura).     Looking forward to fun times
 with family and friends!

Heavy rain around 7:30 tonight...

Tuesday - July 8

Steamy day in Oxford......did 4 loads of laundry this morning; fixed tacos for lunch and had some awesome watermelon that Mark got yesterday at one of the many roadside fruit/vegetable stands here in Maryland.   I got a haircut in the afternoon and then we read, did computer stuff, etc.     Around 2:00 we walked to Highland Creamery for delicious milkshakes - we are sooo bad, but hit the spot this hot day!
We went to Latitude 38 for dinner - another special little spot here in Oxford.

Monday - July 7

Five years ago today my Mom passed away.  Miss her so much!

Happy memory of getting pedicures with Mom (her very first at age 90) less than
2 months before she died.
Hot and sunny day in Oxford.    Got the exercising out of the way, fixed big breakfast and then Mark left for Cambridge (errands and grocery stop).    I tidied up Catrina, caught up on e-mails and read.
The photo book is done and sent to shutter fly!    ALLELUIA!!!!
Rode our bikes to The Masthead for supper.....Mark had fish and chips (rockfish) and I had the spinach salad with lots of goodies topped with rockfish.    Both were delicious.    Rockfish is native  on the Chesapeake and so fresh and light.    Enjoyed riding bikes around town, but the air sure feels good back here on Catrina!

Sunday - July 6

Very nice Sunday......we had breakfast and then took the dinghy ashore and walked (1 mile) to St. Michael's Mission Church for 10:15 Mass.   It was jam packed this holiday weekend.    So many tourists here in St. Michael's.....just a really neat town!!!
St. Michael's Mission Church
We walked downtown and had lunch at the Blackthorn Irish Pub and then parted ways.   Mark went back to the boat and I did some shopping (bought a few gifts...."Christmas in July")!    Mark picked me up at 2 and around 2:30 we left the anchorage and had a leisurely 14 mile trip back to Oxford and now we're "home"!
Gave Catrina a good scrubbing and rinsed off all that salt water.    Went for a bike ride - minimal traffic here and love riding past the neat homes, gardens, etc.
Have a great week!

Saturday - July 5

What a spectacular day - clear, deep blue skies and temps in the low 80's.....we started the day exercising, had breakfast an then trekked up Federal Hill and browsed thru the Cross Street Market.   Didn't buy anything, but fun looking at all the fresh produce, meats, food-to-go, and gorgeous flowers.
We got things stowed on Catrina and left around 10:30......what fun we had here the past 3 days and so looking forward to returning in September for the 200th anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner - huge celebration all week long, and featuring the Blue Angels
 flying over Fort McHenry!!!!
Bye bye Baltimore...."see you in September" the song goes!
66 miles and 4.5 hours later we were anchored out in Domingo Creek just a dinghy ride
 around the bend and then short walk into St. Michaels.   Lots of boat traffic on the Chesapeake this holiday weekend.    We had delicious ice cream treats at Justine's and then meandered around town, stopping for a few groceries.    Back to Catrina on this gorgeous Saturday evening!
Liam, Connor, Mom and Dad are camping out "officially" for the first time this weekend!
Not sure what they are grillin' or cookin', but know it will be good!
Have fun guys!

July 4, 2014

Hope you're all having a fantastic July 4th celebration!    Love seeing our beautiful American flag flying high atop Federal Hill..
Old Glory
What a difference a day makes - after all the heat and then storms from yesterday and during the night, today was spectacular - so fresh, low humidity and temps in the 70's.   It was very windy all day, though, but around 7:30, it really calmed down.  The Inner Harbor was hopping with people decked out in their red, white and blue finery!    We went for a long walk and destination was to the Cross Street Market on Federal Hill....however, it was closed today!   Oh well, those folks need a day off, too.    We'll try again tomorrow before we leave.   
Bye bye Arthur.....thank you for staying away!
A very pretty flower box in front of a charming row house on Federal Hill
 Walked around Harborview Marina, the lovely condos, Ritz Carlton, etc.....this is such a pretty area and flowers are everywhere!!!
Beautiful begonia blooms in Baltimore
What a treat to turn off the air and open the windows and let the fresh air in!    We stopped at Little Havana and got some Cuban sandwiches to go.    Very good lunch.   This is another favorite spot to eat when we're in Baltimore.
I have gotten back into making the photo book from our Spain (Windstar Cruise) trip we took last fall.    Keep putting that off and really wanting to finish, order and cross that off the list!
Leisurely afternoon - reading, napping, working on the book, and then another walk (the docks to see the many mega yachts here)!   A very festive atmosphere as folks are celebrating our nation's birthday and getting ready for the fireworks, music and hoopla coming later tonight!
Baltimore fireworks - 2014
 Wow - we needed 2 pairs of eyes for these fireworks as there was a barge in front of us and one behind us sending off beautiful fireworks for 17 solid minutes of non-stop beauty and
 oohs and aahs!  
God Bless America!