Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Spirit of Walter

We have been sitting on a mooring at the City Island Yacht Club for a number of weeks now tending to kidney stones and rheumatoid arthritis. Through it all I have observed this seagull (look closely) atop an neighboring runabout, like the mailman, defying wind and rain. Seagulls generally are not very welcomed additions to boats, which they seem to use only to spoil with their droppings. Boaters have chosen many different ways to keep these guys away, fake plastic owls, suspended DVDs, colorful ribbons, flapping flags, or toy snakes. This owner did not seem to know he had a rent-free tenant and had not provided any deterrent. But this bird seems to depart daily for his constitutional.

Upon finding out this this boat, Wyntje, is owned by the deceased Walter Cronkite, I began to wonder...could this bird be the Spirit of Walter? Prospective buyers came and gave Wyntje the lookover and ran a survey. The bird disappeared. I wonder...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Crayola Factory, Easton PA

Lisa and Dave invited us to join them in a visit to the Crayola Factory with our granddaughter. Although we were cautioned that there might be better entertainment venues in the area, we all had a BALL (especially Lisa who could return here on her own for a fun day of play).

There are tons of creative stations for kids of all ages, including projected moving images of willing participants plastered on a big screen in psychedelic panorama, finger painting, assorted and sundry melted crayon art projects, and model train exhibits.

For Canal enthusiasts (Willow loves the Erie Canal and can belt out quite a version of the song), there is a informative replica of canals and locks. It takes quite a bit of concentration to drive one of these buggers!

This is a wonderful destination, and Willow at nearly 4 is probably the perfect age for a visit. It is loud, even on a weekday, but when you have a perfect granddaugher you don't seem to notice.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Back to City Island, Doctors, and Julie and Julia

We spent a night at Oyster Bay, where the watermen were actively harvesting something (could it be Oysters? More likely, clams). We stopped here for the purpose of getting to the market, the easiest walk we could think of in a short distance (gargantuan knee). Once there, we purchased corn suitable for livestock. We passed on the $7 for the new less-than-a half-gallon size ice cream (this apparently happened while we were out of the country), and thinking we were geniuses, headed for the local Carvel. There, we paid $7 for an even smaller pack, but it was yummy peanut butter/vanilla/chocolate chips.

From here we spent one night at Manhasset Bay, hoping to run into Cloveleaf but who skedaddled it; we did find Our Turn with half its crew. Feeling quite poorly, I took this opportunity to double my dreaded prednisone (to 10mg). The following day I did not care that I am destroying my bones, as my temperature was down, my knee only equal to a child-sized football, and I considered myself almost human.

The next day we returned to our yacht club at City Island. To celebrate my continued resemblance to a human, we went to see Julie and Julia. GO! It is fabulous, Meryl Streep is an amazing Julia, the story is amazing, and the whole Julie-doing-the Julia-blog thing gave me chuckles that I think only a blogger could get. It is a romance, a comedy, a cooking lesson, a real winner. Even Peter loved it.

We are now geared up for more doc visits, including a colonocopy (I WILL NOT provide photos) and potentially, kidney stone surgery for Peter. So we are set for a totally fun couple of weeks, in case you don't hear from us.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Back to Port Jefferson and Nancy's Rocks

Following our night at the Thimbles, we journeyed to PJ for a couple of days and nights of solitude. One day I collected pretty little common jingle shells that I am hopeful will contribute to another rainy day creation. The next day, Peter and I harvested unbelievely gorgeous rocks, many pure white in the shape of eggs, or others, translucent or striped with granite. Who know what I will do with these? I collected some rocks in the DR, always thinking about my daughter-in-law's mom Nancy sneaking rocks back home to Aurora, NY in her suitcase. Miguel, her husband upon lugging same for portage, innocently asked, "What's in here. Rocks?".

Peter investigated the inlet to Setauket, and with a 20 minute one-way walk found a grocery store but not much more.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Thimble Islands

After leaving the Connecticut River, we headed for one of our favorite destinations on the Long Island Sound, The Thimbles. These are basically a bunch of large boulders that God dropped randomly about allowing for good anchorage and surprising fine protection. A few of the very wealthy decided to build houses on these rocks, and decided to forego electricity. It is a very tranquil and beautiful setting.

After we had the anchor down we were hailed by Cloverleaf, who asked if there was enough room for them. After she set anchor we joined Bev and Dave for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres which turned into dinner, ice cream, and a good chat. With temperatures promising to drop to the upper 40's, it was a crisp fall evening that showed off the Thimbles best side.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Essex, Connecticut and the $47.70 Mooring

We decided to go a few miles up river to visit Essex again, and decided to pass on the $50 mooring at the Essex Yacht Club in favor of a bargain $47.70 one at Brewer's Marina. Mr. Brewer has added the former Chandlery at Essex to his dynasty. Brewer has the right idea about how to run a marina but should get out of the repair business. OK enough said.

In 2005 we stopped here (at EYC, we were employed then) but arrived too late to walk the shops and town so we planned to do some retail therapy during this visit. Unless you have a bundle of money, you cannot buy clothes here, although there are incredibly chic offerings. If you have a great husband, you can start your Pandora charm bracelet; the ladies at The French Hen are helpful salespeople who walked us through the whole shabang. I could not stand another day of not owning one, coveting my land friend Susan's and boater friend Claire's.

There is a market that is touted widely in the guide books but there is a better selection of produce in the Bahamas. Enough said on that as well. There is a wonderful gift shop with reasonable prices at the Brewer's Marina. The town and its revolutionary era homes are charming.

Essex is known for the Griswold Inn. I remember our friends the Lands telling us about their lopsided bed when they stayed there. We experienced a similar experience with a meal we took there, so we don't enjoy the Griz, although it seems many tourists do.

We left the next morning with a favorable current and improving weather.