Saturday, February 28, 2009

In With the Big Rigs



Towing our boat, we expand from a 22 foot van to an approximately 50 feet combined vehicle...and need large space at an RV park. Now the big rigs don't look so big.
But RV parks can still be strange places...
when we arrived tonight there was a 4 pm Happy Hour, the "horse race" in the photo (guess one can only participate after getting happy) and square dancing at 5 PM.

When we stopped in an RV park in Savannah, I enjoyed checking out the crafters and watching a watercolor painting workshop. I reported to Alan that when I asked "where are the men, what are they doing?" One woman responded, "I think my husband is doing Sudoku this morning and will play shuffleboard this afternoon."

So when we come home, should we invite you over for horse racing and shuffleboard?
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Laughing Friends



My new favorite quote:

Among those whom I admire, I can find no common denominator, but
those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.
W. H. Auden

Our friend Mike picked us up at the marina where we left our boat for servicing -- during rush hour and just before he was going out on a date. What a guy. He brought us back to his house again (thought he had gotten rid of us) and we hung out another couple of days. Leisurely days at his lovely home.

We had a marvelous time there...not just because Mike is a gracious and generous host. And offers us wonderfully comfortable accommodations. But because he is fun, intelligent, interesting, and makes us laugh! And looks like we make him laugh too.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bagels & English Muffins?



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Cousin of a Bagel

Here in Florida, I have found an old love. Not a person. A food. A soft chewy roll.
If you know that the cousin of a bagel is a bialy, you are probably from Brooklyn.

Here's the wikipedia description:

Bialy, a Yiddish word short for bialystoker, from BiaƂystok, a city in Poland, is a small roll that is a traditional dish in Polish Ashkenazi cuisine. A traditional bialy has a diameter of up to 15 cm (6 inches) and is a chewy yeast roll similar to a bagel. Unlike a bagel, which is boiled before baking, a bialy is simply baked, and instead of a hole in the middle it has a depression. Before baking, this depression is filled with diced onions and other ingredients, including (depending on the recipe) garlic, poppy seeds, or bread crumbs.

(and for those who want to read more, see

I never get heartburn after eating a bialy like I often do from heavy bagels.
Bialys taste great with cream cheese and lox. For an even better treat, add capers, tomato, and a slice of muenster cheese. And some swear by extra onions, raw.

I admit that you can sometimes find bialys in upstate new at the Ithaca Bakery.
But here in FL, in the Publix supermarkets, in the frozen food section are boxes of bialys to be eaten anytime...and they are de-lich.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dream Year, Dream On


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ironic that this is the van and the slogan of the marina that is servicing our boat
(did you know that the official name of our boat is -- Dream On?)

Broken, Lost, and Did Someone Move the Island?

I spent a few hours today on my bunk with my pillow cradling my head, shielding my ears from a constant high-pitched alarm. We were broken and lost. But at least on calm waters on the Gulf ICW, a sunny warm day, in a populated area.

Last time I wrote we were anchored in St Petersburg and had a lovely easy onboard dinner.

Diversion -- forget 30 Minute Meals. On board I especially like 5 in 5 (the five ingredients came from a box, three cans, and a jar), unrefrigerated, like couscous with diced tomatoes, peas, tuna, and marinated artichoke hearts.

But as we were tucked in cozily to go to sleep the wind shifted. Once it blew through the cove we were in, it seemed to ricochet and so what had been leisurely rolling became chaotic rocking. Alan says he knows he slept because he kept getting woken up. A bad night for both of us.

So it was nice to start out early this morning as we had planned. Out of St Petersburg back towards Clearwater. We knew we had six or seven bridges to go under like yesterday. Most of the drawbridges are 25 feet high and need to accommodate taller masts (approx. 35 feet) like ours by opening.

Alan turns the marine band radio to channel 9 and says "Bridge tender, bridge tender. South going vessel, Dream On, requesting that you open. Thank you." The bridges will open at certain times (like every twenty minutes or on the hour) when requested.

Sometime after the second bridge the alarm went off. And wouldn't stop. Even after Alan felt the engine and checked it and took out the thermostat. We knew we had to get the boat to a marine service station. After calling and finding one, we looked for it. We continued motoring -- with that damn alarm shrieking. That's when I finally went down to my bunk. But I popped up every once in awhile -- because we couldn't find Marine Max. We had seen its on-the-water billboard, got directions...the man actually said, "It's behind the island,"...but I tell you there were many channels and islands.

Finally we found it, and docked, and the guys were helpful....and so our friend Mike slogged thru rush-hour traffic to pick us up once again. Boat will probably be there for a couple of days.



Bridges opening
Alan before and after the alarm
(see narrative above!)
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On the Water

First, a summary of where we have been:
After a lovely visit with our friend's Phyllis and Richard in Lake Placid, FL, we drove up to the Fort Lauderdale area. Nice, albeit short, visits with Alan's cousins and then my nephew and his family. Then stopped at St Pete's Beach for a library event before we went back to our friend Mike's house in Palm Harbor -- where we had left our boat (and now left the RV there). Mike was an old salty by the end of the day he spent on the boat with us since Capt Alan gave him sailing lessons.

Alan and I overnighted at the Clearwater Municipal Marina -- a very active tourist dock. Dinner cruises, fishing boats, jet skis, kayaks, pirate ships, snorkeling and shelling excursions,...all rentals there anytime. But our night was quiet and peaceful.

Spent today boating...mostly motoring with a tad bit of sailing. As I am want to do on water....I slept a lot on deck. We are now anchored out in St Petersburg harbor.
We did just over 36 miles in six hours. Boating is slow living.

This is a short trial run. For us being back on the boat, checking systems, and preparation. Lists of what we forgot (confession -- I am wearing men's underwear!--I am so comfortable in Alan's Patagonia's because that is something I forgot to pack. Alan only forgot his toothbrush).

Photos and more stories soon.

What are you up to?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lake Placid photos

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Visiting friend's in Lake Placid, FL

Lovely lake and area. In the late 1920s, Lake Placid, FL was renamed by snowbirders from residents of New York's Lake Placid (losing its original name, Lake Stearns). Headed by Dr Melvil Dewey, better known as the inventor of the Dewey Decimal system.

There are 27 small lakes in the area.

But the town is also known for being...ta da...
The Caladium Capital of the World (a plant with colorful veined leaves, similar but larger than coleus).

A Town of Murals. Over 35 murals depicting the history and geology of the area. With pride and perseverance, the town's mural society keeps the murals protected. I love painted towns...and here the illustrated garbage cans are just as nice (and funnier) than the paintings on the side of the buildings.

And a Town of Clowns -- a museum and training center.

Our friend's, Phyllis and Richard, have rented a cheery cottage, decorated in blue and yellow, with a screen porch with a long-view of the lake. A short stroll down to the beach. Alan gave kayaks rides yesterday.

Sunny and mid-70s with a light breeze.
No one's complaining here.

Lake Placid, FL -- The Painted Village

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Please Vote -- Which Boat?

Blog survey -- which boat do you think we should take up the ICW?



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Monday, February 16, 2009

Going Boating

Choice D (see entry above) - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Saturday, February 14, 2009

what our blog looks like....

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from wordle
just click and look

FL Time


We are having a great time visiting our friend, Mike, in Palm Harbor. Went to the cutesy town of Tarpon Springs, and saw the sponges and Greek restaurants (and, sadly, the Greek linens -- which were made in China) and a whimsical art show at the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center -- of visual work with puns. (Interested -- check out the artist and her work at ElizabethCoachman--dot--com)

Alan and I went to a West Marine store to buy some needed boat supplies. Planning to put the boat in the water tomorrow to check it out, all three of us go sailing, and then take out and leave boat here while we do some travel and visiting with the Roadtrek only.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


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A Lovely Day in Savannah

After two long driving days, we decided to stay in Savannah a second night and go into the city for the day.
Alan unhooked the boat so we could leave it at our spot at the campground and we drove the van to the Riverfront area of Savannah. T-shirt weather, an active and picturesque port, great southern cooking, arts and crafts, and cobblestone streets; we really enjoyed ourselves.

Incredible basket maker. Should I believe that her last name, as her card says, is really DaVine? Her baskets are woven out of all wild vines that she gathers. She sits and weaves the day away and says each basket takes about two hours to create (half hour for gathering and one-and-a-half hours for weaving). She has found a use for kudzu, the invasive plant, as one of her weaving materials. She shared a southern saying about it...If you sleep in the south, you'd better close the bedroom window, lest you be strangled by the kudzu! Wish we could have fit more than the one we purchased.

Center Market has lots of small art galleries...some with older more experienced artists like the one in the photo...selling her original oil and giclee prints of landscapes and flowers. Soothing and simple images. I liked her painting of two red adirondack-style chairs by the side of a did two women with a self-published book, who asked to use a copy of the painting for the book cover.

Southern cook Paula Deen is VERY Big down here -- with a store and restaurant, catering business and line of specialty sauces and other gourmet foods.

Nice people, good energy, great stories (many artist's like to talk and talk about their art and their inspiration and I like to listen).
And Alan and I also commented on the seeming continuation of building and construction projects. Signs that say: Opening Spring 2009.
Did no one tell these Georgians about the state of the economy? An air of growth and optimism. Of course, that's probably not the whole story yet it was a wonderful feeling and a respite from the specter of crisis.

Some Shots of Savannah

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