Thursday - August 31

Cool, cloudy and breezy (no rain) and certainly not the usual weather for the last day of August   Mark has cleaned fenders, outside screens, all the lines, the storage lockers and we are "getting there"......just a lot to do and since we had the extra days, we are REALLY giving this ole gal a thorough cleaning and organizing.   Mark has made many trips to the truck, too, with bins and stuff!
We said good bye and helped Al and Lois with "Salty Spray" leave the dock heading to Toronto.
We were so very sad and shocked to hear that a friend from State Farm and boating died of a massive heart attack a few days ago.    Dan was only 68 and on vacation (fishing trip) with his wife, Ann when this happened.     We have a happy memory from March, 1995 when Dan and Ann came with us to Toronto and we had the shake-down cruise on sail Catrina.    Our Canadian friends, Ron and Lois joined us for the cruise.    And we saw "Miss Saigon" that weekend, too.
Ran some errands and stopped at the Brewerton Diner for lunch - excellent sandwiches
 (BLT for Mark and Reuben for me).
Luke having fun with his classmates
We left at 3:30 for "The Grand New York State Fair" in Syracuse, about 16 miles from the marina.
Today was Day 9 of 13 and it is HUGE with everything imaginable to eat, all the livestock (beef, dairy, pigs, sheep, llamas, goats, chickens, etc.)  The cost of we seniors was $1 apiece to get in and that included the concert.   Everything is on such a huge scale including the carnival - enormous!!!!    The sun came out late afternoon and was so pleasant walking around, but then the clouds took over and with the wind.....downright chilly.   We watched the NY State Troopers do repelling maneuvers and the Dairy Barn had a special exhibit with butter dedicated to these troopers.     IL State Fair has the butter cow and this was New York....well done!!!
Solid butter beauty....TALENT +++
2 troopers with a little calf

Trooper with a little boy holding a glass of milk

Troopers repelling
We enjoyed our share of fair food....Italian sausage with peppers and onions, bacon corn dog, ice cream, lemon shake-ups, and fried oreos!    Oink oink!
LeAnn Rimes performed at 8 (big crowd)....would've been more fun if not for the cold so after 1 hour, we left as did many others.  She sang several songs we were not familiar with but also did some good ole Patsy Cline favorites.    LeAnn turned 35 on August 28th, but we thought she looked older.   She had her first hit "Blue" at age 13.
LeAnn Rimes with 3-piece band
Good to be back on Catrina with some nice heat!
Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!
Bring on the beauty of fall

Wednesday - August 30

Beautiful day in Brewerton......worked on the packing till 10 and then left in the courtesy car for a Wal-Mart run and pick up our rental car in Cicero.    The Driver's Village is a HUGE complex of every kind of car imaginable to buy and then all the rental agencies + used cars.    Never saw anything like it - and most of it is under one roof.
So till Sunday we are driving a Dodge Ram bright red crew cab pick-up with lots of bells and whistles!    Had a nice visit with Avis agent who said cars are desperately needed south and so the cheaper price - we will be turning in this truck on Sunday and getting an SUV to drive to NC with all our stuff at $22 a day.    The guy told us about someone who needed to get to TN and got a car for $12 a day.    We talked about "Horrific Harvey in Houston" and just this morning, Avis across the country is not charging anyone who is from that area and stranded somewhere to keep their rental longer till they can get home (fly, drive, etc.)    What a wonderful thing.    Just so much we don't think about - people traveling for pleasure, business, etc., and now can't go home.
He also talked about Air B and B is letting people stay for free until they can get home.    a domino effect of just how many circumstances we sure hadn't thought of.    And so hard to imagine all that water when we are having such lovely weather here.   
So I drove the big red truck and Mark was in courtesy car  - stopped for a little pick-me-upper at Dunkin Donuts (energy food) and on back to the marina.    Lots of cleaning out bins and storage areas for Mark - Catrina will be all spic 'n span.  
We are tired tonight, but it's a good tired!
Maeve getting sweet 'n clean
Al and Lois from PA came in today and docked next to us on their "Salty Spray" sailboat en route to Toronto to deliver the boat to their granddaughter.   Tonight we went to dinner at Barado's on the Water - what a fun evening sitting outdoors, visiting and enjoying delicious crab cake, lobster rolls and fish (mahi mahi) tacos.   We had dessert, too.......blueberry, raspberry and blackberry pie with whipped cream!    YUMMY!!!
Al and Lois
Tomorrow, a change coming in our weather - rain and low 60's.    We plan to visit the Great New York State Fair near Syracuse (only 20 minutes away)....LeAnn Rimes is appearing tomorrow night!

Tuesday - August 29

Mostly cloudy, cool and breezy today till late afternoon and then nice and sunny!
Woke up to some pics from Ryan in Korea - the DMZ and border patrols on both sides...yikes.   
 Will be thankful and happy when he is out of there!
We were busy little beavers all day cleaning this and that, packing up our stuff, etc.    We used the courtesy car here at the marina and while I did 5 loads of laundry, Mark ran some errands and bought more bins for our stuff.
Oh my, the news from Houston and south Texas heading to sad and predicting it to be worse than Katrina (12 years ago today)!.
We went for a walk late afternoon - so pretty out.   Blair called and we face timed!    She's such a sweetie!   We'll see "Chatty Cathy" in 9 days!
Played some euchre and had spaghetti.    Settled in with our books this cool Tuesday evening!
We are same state as Michael tonight (but 262 miles apart - he's in NYC).

Monday - August 28

 TAH DAH..........Catrina and crew have arrived in Brewerton!     Good trip across Lake Oneida although a bit bumpier than we had thought as winds were only 5 mph and so calm when we left Sylvan Beach.    But they were following seas (behind us), so a good 1-hour trip and we are here.

We are at Ess-Kay Marina (been here before) - staff is so friendly - boat beside us is from Hutchinson Island, FL (no one onboard) and met a nice guy from Phoenix on his boat.    He and his wife spend the summers here in Brewerton.   They are originally farm folks from near Des Moines, IA and went to the U of Iowa and Coe College.

Last night our waitress at the Canal View Café told us she spends her winters in Fort Myers at Lakes Park - sure know where that is!    Feel for all those folks in SW Florida and the large amounts of rain and flooding.    And then there's Houston and south sad!    CANNOT imagine!

We walked to breakfast (Mark to the Pancake House and me to Rock In Coffee Shop).   I got my latte and then joined him.    Very quiet little beach town during the week.    Schools haven't started here yet.   Visited with owner of the coffee shop - he had a "Florida Fund" can sitting outside the window (this was just a tiny little drive or walk-up coffee shop - no pastries or place to sit)).    Soon as school starts, he and his wife are closing up the business and will be spending the winter in FL (near Daytona) in their RV.    They have 2 new grandbabies coming and then off to FL.    He said with the tips they got all summer long, it is paying for their winter vacation!   (I helped, too)!  

Michael is doing better and resuming his travels tomorrow???    No word from Ryan in Seoul.

We will be here till the 5th and have lots to tackle with packing, cleaning, organizing and making inventory of what stays on boat, what comes off, what we'll need for next year, etc.    BUT, we're also renting a car starting Wednesday and checking out some fun stuff in the area! 
 All work and no play....not for these nomads!  
   Let the fun begin!!!   😊

 Maeve and Luke enjoying bath time!

Sunday - August 27

Today was absolutely spectacular on the water although it started out very foggy and a very cool 46 degrees.    Didn't take too long to clear up and we were on our way at 9.     We cruised 50 miles and could only go 10 mph as we were in a remote area and that's how it is in this narrow part of the canal.     We did 5 locks and saw more boats than combined the past 3 days.   
  Lots of fishermen out, too.
Perfect day for cruising
One of these signs is at every lock giving the location, elevation, what the lift is and mileage to next dock.  
Over the past 3 days, 20 of the locks had us going up anywhere from 8-40'.     Today, Lock 21 and 22 we were going down (fast ride) and both were 25'.
We had 3 boats with us in Lock 22.....and arrived on Sylvan Beach around 4:15.    Nice beach community on Lake Oneida with people out and about and boats at anchor.   We are tied up to the wall - it's free so no electricity or water, but no worries!  

A few of the folks on Sylvan Beach
 It was time to celebrate that we are done with locks so off to The Crazy Clam for drinks and shared a delicious shrimp cocktail sitting outside overlooking the Erie Canal.
They have an amusement park right in the heart of town, but kind of scary as most of the rides looked rusty and they had seen their better day.    Stopped at "What's the Scoop" for yummy ice cream (oink oink)....being on the water gives us the hungries!!!  
Time to eat again.....we walked to the Canal View Café where we ate 6 years ago.....#1 on Trip Advisor and again, very good.     We've had so many awesome meals this past week all thanks to Trip Advisor!!!    I had Bam Bam Shrimp and it was as good as Bonefish Grill's bang bang shrimp, Annette and Allie!!!!
Tomorrow we shall zip across Lake Oneida (22 miles) and come into Brewerton, Catrina's winter home. 

Saturday - August 26

Gorgeous day, gorgeous scenery, 7 locks and here we are in Little Falls, NY (quaint little town) with high cliffs and again, like so many towns, several are many levels of homes and businesses nestled in the hills or mountains.     Very picturesque.
Going under the Amsterdam bridge
We left Amsterdam at 8:40, traveled 42 miles and arrived at Canal Harbor in Little Falls at 2:40.   All along the way today we had many trains passing us on our starboard (right) side and I-90 to the left (port) along with people on biking/walking trails.    And then there were some very remote areas.   Once again Catrina was only boat in all of the locks.    Lock #17 is the highest lift lock on the
 Erie Canal at 40'.
This past spring there was much flooding here on the Erie Canal and one of the lockmasters showed us how high the water actually came - oh my!!!!    We had heard about all the boats and people stranded...
After 17 locks, we are sure giving our new gloves a work out - something you have to have going thru locks unless you don't care how dirty and slimey and torn your hands may get from holding on to the ropes.
 Settled in along the wall with several other boats, cleaned up and rode our bikes 1.2 miles to Holy Family Church for 4:00 mass.    What a beautiful stone church, along with rectory and school (now apartments).    The beautiful stained glass windows and 3 gorgeous altars reminded me so much of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sublette, IL where I grew up.    There are so many modern structures nowadays so to see all this beauty and architecture was a real treat.
Holy Family Church
Little Falls, New York
Visited with some nice folks after mass who were impressed we rode our bikes to church.    We have eaten so many delicious meals on this trip and past few days have been exceptional +++ tonight's was oh-so-good at the Copper Moose Ale House in a former clothing store with big display windows (now home to a big moose) downtown.   Mark had a Guinness ribeye and I had shrimp tacos + a very refreshing and flavorful cucumber/lime margarita!!!
Rode the bikes back to Catrina and what a lovely evening.    We are really tucked away here - boats here, but not sure where all the people are?
We talked about how neat an experience going thru locks would be for our grandsons....
.maybe next year?
Our star *** Liam
Last night the Saints lost their first game but bounced back to win twice today in a tournament and came in 3rd out of 8.
Thinking of Ryan who is on his way to Korea and Thailand......
and the Texas folks who are dealing with Harvey's destruction and all the rain still coming in the days ahead.    Some friends used to live in Rockport and moved to Arizona about a year ago....they have friends there in that beautiful coastal sad as Rockport was severely hit!
Burrr....down to 48 overnight!


Friday - August 25

Hello from Amsterdam, NY.......nice day on the water but much cooler than we thought.    Started out with lots of sunshine but most of the day was cloudy and breezy.    
We cruised 40 miles and went thru 9 locks (Catrina was all by herself all day long)!   This year the Erie Canal is celebrating its 200th anniversary.    What a remarkable feat that was built so long ago.  
Because of this big event, there is no charge to travel thru the canal during all of 2017.
The locks are nicely painted blue and gold and as we came thru #5, we couldn't help but smile cause that # and those colors sure reminded us of our Blue Angel one year ago...
We are at the Amsterdam Riverlink Park and it is so pretty - full of flowers in a nice park setting.    We had a wonderful dinner (bbq corkscrew shrimp for me and bacon-wrapped tenderloin for Mark) at River's Edge here in the park.  There are just 2 other boats here tied up along the from Vero Beach, FL and the other from Charleston, SC.   We had a nice visit with Toby and Dana from Charleston.
We took an elevator up to cross a bridge into the city.   The shopping center was built into the hill so when we came across the bridge, we were walking over the rooftops and then walked on down.    Heard some  history and where we should eat (of course) and things to do from a young couple pushing their baby in stroller.    When we came back, we took the steps down.
Flowers are everywhere here at Riverlink
Catrina along the wall

Pretty setting for a wedding reception and that's what this tent is for tomorrow and
catered by River's Edge.
Not the best picture but oh-so-pretty with the trees full of lights and many lights strung at restaurant and thru the park 
Thinking of and praying for the Texas folks in Harvey's path.....

Thursday - August 24

Today is a celebration of sorts for us.....49 years ago (8-24-68) Mark proposed!    Once again he came thru with a fun day planned.    Enterprise guy picked us up at 9 and took us to Troy and our car at the rental business.
A very scenic trip thru some neat little towns and lots of rural countryside.   We checked out the 1st lock on the Champlain Canal - this will take you all the way to Montreal and hope to do that - maybe next year?    Friends, Mark and Muffie took this route and having a wonderful time in Canada.    We stopped in Glens Falls (cute little town and found a jeweler to fix my earring).   
State Farm used to have a regional office in Saratoga Springs and we know someone who used to work at that office.    It is no longer.....but the town is thriving and just soooo neat.    We drove around and around and could NOT find a parking place.    Sooo busy on a Thursday with people walking everywhere and such cute shops and restaurants.    So, sadly that wasn't meant to be, but Mark gets an A+ for trying!!!    Parking is free and the parking lots have a 48-hour limit!  
 Never saw that before.
Some fall color
We kept on heading north and tah dah, we came to Bennington, Vermont.    Visited here in September, 2012 after the Maritime Provinces with Daisy.    After a yummy lunch at The Madison Brewing Co., we found Bennington Potters, a lovely old building full of beautiful pottery and gifts.    The potters were working away behind the store.    We were here in 2012 and today, bought a few gifts.   
Just like Alaska, out in the middle of nowhere, came upon a tiny coffee shop (The Lumber Jack) - had a maple latte and black coffee for Mark.   It was only 71 today - a nip of fall in the air.
The Lumber Jack
On back to Enterprise and got a ride to Catrina.   Sure was a fun day seeing the sites in this spectacular part of our great USA!
Beautiful evening here in Waterford.....went for a walk along the water.

Wednesday - August 23

A beautiful start to the day with plenty of sunshine, cool temps and the air was so fresh!    After the heat and wind from yesterday and the rain last night (thankfully, no storms), this feels wonderful!

We left the Albany Yacht Club at 8:45 and had a short jaunt (11 miles) to our first lock (Troy) and the start of the Erie Canal.    We are back in fresh water after SIX years in salt water - we will NOT miss that!!!

We veered off to the left at the intersection of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers.

We are in Waterford (been here before - 2011, and nice little town.)    We will stay here (tied up along the wall and only pay $10 for electricity) for 2 nights which is the maximum stay.    

We walked downtown and had a late breakfast at Don and Paul's Coffee Shop.

Today's weather is just total perfection - turned off the air, opened the windows and enjoying the fresh air!

Mark and I walked across the Hudson on the Union Bridge from Waterford to Troy and I got a manicure and toe polish change at Lansingburgh Nails and Spa this afternoon.    He picked up a few groceries at Hannaford's.    This is about 8/10 of a mile walk and for the boaters, they let you use a grocery cart to bring back your provisions to your  boat and then leave the cart here at marina office.    We boaters appreciate this.    But only had a few small items to pick up today - trying to clean out the cupboards/fridge as our boating days for this season are nearing an end.

Had thought we would eat supper on Catrina....but remembered McGreivey's from 2011 and  that's where we were off to.   Sat on the patio amongst beautiful flowers on this gorgeous evening.    Our drinks and dinner were excellent and then topped off with a Guinness Stout Chocolate Cake!
Oh my....................

Memory from Kansas City air show exactly 2 years ago today
Ryan flying #6 across the bridge we had walked over to the show.

Michael got his injection today - praying that it will kick in soon and he is pain free!

Tomorrow we are renting a car and seeing the sites in this area~!

Luke did face time with us tonight - he was outdoors with his Mommy and Daddy in front of a roaring bonfire!  

Tuesday - August 22

Another nice day for cruising.    But first we were off to Red Start Coffee and a wonderful warm almond croissant (me) and cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese for Mark.   
Waiting to go out at high tide, we left at 9:45 and again, so much nice scenery although the mountains are no longer in view but as always trees, trees and more trees.   Oh how I would love to be here in another 6 weeks for the fall colors.    Along the way we saw quaint lighthouses,  
 little farms tucked in the hills and then suddenly back to the big city and life on the river with this big freighter from Hong Kong coming into Albany.
Entrance to Kingston
Sweet little lighthouse coming into Saugerties, NY
Freighter from Hong Kong
Much activity on the river as we came into Albany.
Although we are at the Albany Yacht Club, we are actually in Rensselaer, NY across the river.
We were at this marina with Philip and Annette in 2011 for 1 night en route to NYC.
Good news for Michael - he finally has some relief in his sciatica nerve and back....he says he went from 5% to 50% since Sunday!!!!  
The winds were extremely strong and thunderstorm advisory for next 6 hours - that's what greeted us when we arrived at the yacht club.    We went 55 miles and arrived at 12:15.  We went for a walk, but after a very pleasant ride on the water, it is HOT here - 90 (feels like 99) and gusts to 24 mph.
Played spades in the afternoon (a rare win for me) and read our books.    Had leftovers for lunch from last night's Italian fare and BLT's for supper.
Mark won 2 games of euchre tonight - storms are happening (some tornadoes, too) all over upstate NY.    Keeping a close eye on the weather channel and radar.


Monday - August 21

Today was the big eclipse and with our glasses we watched from Kingston, NY where we only saw about 70% coverage of the sun.     There were some clouds, too which came and went but did not get anywhere near dark like several parts of the country.    We'll put our glasses away till 2024.
We enjoyed watching the coverage on the weather channel - especially from Clemson University where we saw the ring around the sun and then the diamond!   WOW....a beautiful sparkly diamond ring!
I made a correction in yesterday's blog - there are 16,000 seats at SIU's football stadium - NOT 60,000 as reported by the weather channel!   And that does make more sense!
Mark returned the rental car, we went across the river to Haverstraw and got fuel and pump out.   We were on our way by 9:40.    Nice day for cruising and passed West Point and so much pretty scenery.
Beautiful mountains to the south

Water view of West Point
Annette's birthplace - hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY
We walked around town this afternoon, stopped at Ole Savannah's (formerly Steel Head).    We ate here in August, 2011 with Annette, Philip and several of her relatives.
Tonight we enjoyed some delicious Italian at Savano's......happening place and I got my pizza fix.    Mark had a yummy pasta dish.

Sunday - August 20

Another very enjoyable day in New York.    We went to 8:00 Mass at Holy Name of Mary and then  breakfast at the Black Cow Coffee Co. (cute place - good food and coffee). 

 Off to West Point and what an interesting place to tour.    We rode a bus with Mary as our tour guide (she was awesome) and pointed out so many landmarks as we were passing by.   We had 27 in our group.   Then we got out and did a leisurely walk about 1/2 hour seeing more and hearing so much history and the entire time we are in the thee most beautiful setting high above the Hudson River.

Looking north up the Hudson River

West Point is the oldest military college in the country and has approximately 4000 cadets.   It sits high above the Hudson Valley and covers 25 square miles and 16,000 acres.  We have now visited 3 of the 5 military institutions (Naval Academy in Annapolis and Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs).    The Merchant Marines are located in Kings Point, NY
and the Coast Guard Academy is in New London, CT. 
Mary talked about so many interesting facts but one in particular was that after graduation in May the seniors fling their caps high in the air (this is a fairly common trend), but the cadets do not want them back and the tradition is for the children to come out on the field and take a hat for a souvenir.     The cadet usually puts his/her name inside and may leave a small toy, candy or $.     We all thought that was very sweet. 

 Catholic Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity at West Point

We visited the Museum after the tour which is the largest military museum in the country.

Tomorrow we will be moving on north and cruising past West Point.    It is the first day of classes for the new school year. to lunch as we are heading to New Paltz.    We rely on Trip Advisor so much and once again, it did not disappoint as we put in food along our route.    We had thee most fabulous lunch in thee most beautiful setting at the Stone King Tavern on the Stone King Golf Course in
 Cornwall, NY.   

18th green and our view during lunch

New Paltz, here we come!    Just like yesterday, so much traffic, but we lucked out and got a parking spot fairly quickly.    Mark was reading a book on my kindle, so he was off to find a coffee shop (several of those in town + a Starbucks which was unusual since we didn't see other chains).   I later met him at The Commissary (very funky coffee shop) and had a
 lavender lemonade - funky drink, too!

I walked up and down several streets - it is so unique and old (founded in 1678).     Most of the shops are kind of funky (not the usual cute boutiques and gift stores).    Lots of restaurants and just about any ethnic origin you could think of !    Many people strolling around and a neat place to check out.
Really glad we came and Mark got some more brownie points.

We were in parts of this area in 2011 with Philip and Annette on Catrina.     At that time we had dinner at the Culinary Institute of America and toured the FDR home (including Eleanor's beautiful gardens), and the Vanderbilt mansion.    It was almost the exact same time of year!    At that time, we picked the kids up in Albany and went south to NYC.

2 things we've consistently found in these little towns the past few days....they ALL have their yoga studio and there are many antique stores up here!     Came upon 2 more towns with "kill" today - Wallkill and Plattekill.

We arrived back on Catrina around 5 after stopping for a few groceries.   Sure have enjoyed the past 2 days - perfect weather, lots of history to soak up and breathtaking scenery! 
 And of course, great eating!

So, tomorrow is the big Eclipse and Mark heard a few days ago that Carbondale, IL (home of Southern Illinois University and alma mater to Philip, Annette and Ryan) will be one of the best locations to watch the eclipse.    This morning on the weather channel, they were reporting from SIU and said they were expecting 250,000 people and the 16,000 seats in the Saluki football stadium were all sold out!    Hotel rooms have been rented for FIVE years!

Anne told us classes were to start tomorrow, but been postponed a day!

Liam's Corpus Christi varsity baseball team is off to a great start and last night took the championship trophy home in a tournament!


Tomorrow we will leave Croton-on-Hudson and head to Kingston where we hope to be settled and wait for the eclipse!

Saturday - August 19

We had a very fun day starting with getting our rental car, a bright red Chevy Cruze and then off to Bagels on Hudson.    We had 2 unique experiences involving eating the bagel shop (where we had the very good Gifford's ice cream yesterday), we filled out a slip with our donut order.    They are made fresh to order - dipping them into the hot oil and then topping with oh-so-many choices!    Mark had French Toast and Cinnamon Bun.    I had Blueberry crunch - all delicious and can only imagine the calories for each bite.
We then went to Home Depot in a nearby town - Mark had a filter for the generator to buy and we got gloves for going thru the locks which we'll be doing a lot of over the next few days.    Our gloves from past lock thrus had seen better days, so...we are good to go!     Also stopped at Barnes and Noble and got my 2018 calendar...
Off to the Catskills (so many areas and towns around here with "kill"....Sawkill, Peekskill, Fishkill, Catskill, etc....).    Beautiful country and a lovely day.   We were meandering around the countryside and came to the end of a road which was the Menla Retreat (a spa and healing retreat and resort. The guests were having lunch outdoors and they focusing on anxiety and depression issues.    Interesting place.   
 Onto Phoenicia, a quaint little town and had lunch at Sweet Sue's - they only serve breakfast and were closing at 1:30 (it was 1:00).    Pancakes were their specialty and our waitress recommended the corn cakes and corn omelet.    Both were delicious and extra special as all of the corn was freshly cut right off the cob (2nd unique food for the day)!   After lunch, Mark found a shop that sold eclipse glasses (only had a few left) so we are good to go come Monday!
Mark's corn cakes
Charming B and B
It was hot today but in the higher elevations, the air was so cool and fresh.   We thought about hiking (briefly) as that's what this area is all about, plus camping, tubing, skiing, etc.  
Scenery along the way

After we left the Catskills, we were off to Mohonk Mountain House.    Anne and Patrick were here for a wedding in 2008.    We drove up to the gate and the gal asked if she could help us.....long story short, we could not go any further without reservations and if we wanted to hike to the house (1+ miles), it was $26 per person.   We could not believe it!    Could not get anywhere near this place.   Philip and Annette were able to go into the house a few years ago, (Annette has relatives nearby) so not sure if something has changed?    As Philip told us "Just google and you can see it all" that's what we did and oh my!    Lots of luxury and best deal is 690 a night and on up!!!

Mohonk Mountain House

We kept on driving to New Paltz 4 miles away and where Anne and Patrick stayed when they were in this neck of the woods.    Traffic was backed up out in the country and we wondered what was going on?    Turns out on a Saturday afternoon (and probably every afternoon) traffic is bumper-to-bumper with everyone wanting to check out this darling town.    Too many people for Mark and we had had a long day, so.....finally got thru the town as I was closely checking it all out!

Tomorrow we are going to tour West Point and then my dear hubby said we would go back to New Paltz (1 hour away) - yeah...what a guy!

A bit of good news for Michael....his injection has been moved up to Wednesday!    Still hurting but 2 days sooner is a day brightener I would think?

Friday - August 18

The radar really looked threatening and rain was in the forecast for today....started later than we thought, but around 8:15, it really poured.   Mark made pancakes and bacon and we just hunkered down till the rain let up.    We pulled up the anchor around 10 - still a light misty rain and watching all the folks with umbrellas waiting in line to go to top of Lady Liberty.    What a difference from yesterday when everything was clear as a bell - today, foggy and 1/2 mile visibility!
The lady is shrouded in fog

One of many ferry boats constantly taking people from Battery Park to Liberty Landing

The Captain of my ship cruising past the financial district - can't see top of Freedom Tower
But the rain eventually stopped and it was a pleasant 40-mile ride up the Hudson to Half Moon Bay Marina in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.   
We settled Catrina in to rinse the last of the salt off (rain did a good job, too), had lunch and then ready to take off and see this little village before more rain comes.
We walked about a mile to find the post office and ice cream!    We'll definitely come back here - Gifford's ice cream (never heard of it) - delish.....donuts made to order, bagels, deli, all kinds of coffee!   It's called "Bagels on Hudson"  
  It is so steamy, sultry and sticky out!    Hopefully, the next batch of rain will help!
We plan to stay here 3 nights, rent a car tomorrow till Monday and get out and see this beautiful area.   We are nestled in a valley with hills full of trees and mountains in the distance.    Not a good day for pictures as it's really hazy, but next 3 days, the sunshine is back!
 Rainy night here....

Thursday - August 17

Beautiful day and we were off to NYC by 7:20 this morning.    More swells in the ocean but the longer we went, the better it got.    We were cruising past the Statue of Liberty at 11 AM....such a thrill to see her up close and personal.    Lots and lots of people waiting in line.
NYC skyline
Lady Liberty
We are anchored out behind the statue and it is so calm.    We passed by Liberty Park where these flags were displayed (no wind here)!
Liberty Park
 Unfortunately taking our dinghy to shore is not allowed!    Bummer.....such a pretty day to be out and about and get some exercise.
Liam and Connor's 1st day back-to-school for 2017-18
All of our grandchildren are back in school except for Brady who starts the 23rd and Maeve who is a stay-at-home-baby!
Drew (senior), Davis (sophomore), Liam (7th), Brady and Connor (6th) and
 Luke and Blair (pre-school).
Latest update on Michael......since he's been on an oral steroid, he has to stop that before he can be given a steroid epidural injection +++ they have to clear with insurance company which means more delays and now scheduled for next Friday, the 25th!!!!    CRAZY......
So sad and sickened to hear about the latest "van plowing into pedestrians" incident.    Makes me just wanna scream......we can picture this beautiful and popular area of Barcelona where we were with
 Paul and Kathy in 2013 before our Windstar cruise "Splendors of Southern Spain".
Mark grilled out brats and burgers tonight - sooo good.    Since we can't grill out in marinas and haven't anchored out in a long time, this was a real treat.    We grilled extras to have along the way...


Wednesday - August 16

After listening to several weather reports, we left Cape May at 6:40 AM.   
Bye bye Cape May - leaving this charming town with fond memories
of their spectacular homes and flowers!!!    And a delightful afternoon with our friend, Carol
  Gert, the hurricane brewing near Bermuda was way out there but churning up our wave action with swells every 13 seconds as predicted.  
  And that's how it was as we meandered north for 45 miles.    This took us to Atlantic City and we decided that after 2.5 hours on the ocean, the swells were building - not fun and why go thru this?    Not we went thru the inlet which was tricky with the shallow water.   Had thought we would just call it a day here but then thought "why not do the intracoastal"?    Of course we are cruising slower but water is calm, and it's all about comfort and pleasure.  
Atlantic City
We were on the intracoastal for 4.5 hours  and passed so many beach towns and an array of interesting sights.  As in the south, the beach homes are all up and down the coast.  Enormous homes and small, quaint cottages.    Also saw several children out in small sailboats with their instructor, several elderly folks at a nursing home sitting outside this nice afternoon and waving at us and this batch of homes in colorful pastels in Beach Haven, NJ
Soft yellow, pink, blue, green and lavendar
take your pick!
Lovely home on a point on the intracoastal
We arrived at Hoffman's West Marina in Brielle, NJ at 2:00 and glad to see 2 dockhands waiting to help us in as the current was very strong.
We had BLT's tonight and walked around Brielle a bit - only 4800 in this town, but quite a happening place.    Here at the marina we are surrounded by large sport fishing boats, charter boats, along with the Amtrak trains that pass nearby several times a day.    Also the River Queen, a large paddle boat that takes passengers for a ride on the Manasquan River.
Michael got the results of his MRI today and as the doctor had thought, he has a protruding disc (L5).    Although he's been on several different meds, nothing has helped.    He'll be getting an injection and will need therapy.   Michael's primary physician and cousin Jason have had this same injury and successful surgery.    New rules now, however are no surgery and try the shot and therapy.    It's been 3 weeks and could take 6-8 weeks!    Yikes.....sure feel for him.    His job is 95% travel so...

My sweet great niece, Kaylee