Dec 26, 201207:38 AM
Swing Set: Cruising Full Time
Last Saturday, Marathon was not spared the foul weather that affected most of the northern states. It was blustery and cold, the closest we've been to needing coats or jackets since Halloween in Cape Coral. Had we needed a "coat," we would be SOL. We no longer even own what would be called a coat.
In the photo above, Rosie is posing with Holly at the tiki hut at the City Marina. We took the dinghy over to listen to some live music provided by one of the harbor residents. The chill took hold as the sun went down, and we braved the frigid mid-60 temperatures for about an hour and then headed for the barn before we could be inflicted with yet another Christmas song.
The weather turned better on Sunday, and we dressed in our Sunday finest and rode over to the Sunset Grille, just east of the Seven Mile Bridge. There was a DJ playing reggae music, and the outside bars eventually filled up with vacationers catching their favorite football teams on the numerous TVs. We kept up with our St. Louis Rams in their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the iPhone because the game was not worthy of national coverage.
We were seated adjacent to the outside grill, where huge hamburgers, hot dogs and other various special menu items were being expertly prepared by two "chefs." I noticed an interesting item being grilled at one point and went over to ask what was, and was told they were grilling some bacon-wrapped scallops. They were giant scallops, and anything that has bacon wrapped around it is good anyway. One order to share, coming up.
We were at a table by ourselves, but had plenty of company throughout the day as Holly kept attracting visitors. Some of them she met with courtesy, and some she treated with downright disdain. I think she learned that from me. We met a nice couple down on vacation, and like the couple we met at Lazy Days last week, all they could talk about was how horrible their children were and how those adult children still lived at home and were preventing them from leading their "dream life," such as we were leading. Almost makes us feel guilty. At any rate, we had a fun time until the sun dropped below the horizon and we knew we had better make the dinghy ride while we could still find our way.
On Christmas Eve, we took a long dinghy ride after reading our books some in the morning. We traded Facebook comments with a lot of our friends, saying hello and planning their Christmas social activities. I did feel some sadness when reading about some friends that were feeling low, whether they were missing a deceased loved one or they were alone for the holiday. It's not always easy to cope for some folks when everyone around them is at least pretending to be having so much fun. The photo above reflects the introspective mood I found myself in as the day ended.
Sick of Holly pictures yet? We aren't. Holly gets a special mention because Christmas Day is the anniversary of the day we brought her home with us; this Christmas being the first anniversary. Here she is with one of her first toys, a stuffed spotted leopard wearing a Santa hat. Don't ask why, because we don't know. What we do know is that for the next few years at least, Holly is the main reason for us to celebrate a day that for others has some sort of religious significance, something to do with shopping and snowmen. Something like that.
I had called my dad on Christmas morning, and Rosie had called some of her family. We got a call from good friends, James and Marny, back in St. Louis and really enjoyed the phone visit. I had also answered a holiday email from my brother and told him that we were staying at the boat and making a big pot of chicken and dumplings on the grill...but while listening to the cruiser's net at 9 a.m., we decided to make a bigger pot and take it up to a pot luck dinner at 1 p.m. over at the marina.
We showed up just in time, while there was still room at the table set up for everyone to place their dishes, and there were plenty of them. Just after setting up our chairs, two other couples set up camp next to us, and we met them. One couple was from Canada and the other from Wales. Each couple had boats in various places; the Wales couple had boats here and in Turkey. We were able to share some valuable information with each other.
As the dinner was winding down, two fellas walked up and introduced themselves and told us they used to raft up with us when we boated up on the Mississippi River in Mason's Chute. They heard our boat name on the cruisers net that morning and came over to look us up. They were down for their annual vacation and will be here a month or two, I forgot which. It seems we are easier to find than I would have thought.
There was another pot luck dinner over at a local bar, and we got an invitation to that, but as it was, by the time it started, we were out of gas and had settled down to watch a DVD we had bought at Kmart, actually two DVDs: "The Shining" and "Full Metal Jacket." We had watched "The Shining" on Christmas Eve. Both movies, although directed by the great Stanley Kubrick, stunk. But they were only $5 for both of them, and now we have something to trade when we want to see some others that someone else might have and willing to trade. We should have brought the ones from home, but we donated them to our condo association library before we left.
Our time is winding down here. Today will be laundry day, and I'll take another walk to Home Depot. I don't really need anything, but Holly likes the walk, and I bet I find something to bring back to the boat. Rosie suggested I make the trip without her. I think she is just getting me out of the way while she is doing laundry. I tend to ask "How much longer is it going to be?" quite a lot.
Tomorrow, will be one more trip to Publix, or Winn Dixie, not sure which yet, then the trip to the vet on Friday morning to get the green light from Doctor Molly to see if Holly is fit for travel. I hope we find a good vet in Key West, if she needs one. Between Tara back in St. Louis, Lorraine in Tampa and Molly here in Marathon, Holly has a good group of veterinarians that have treated her. I left out the quack in Cape Coral, and meant to.
The next post should be from fabulous Key West, where we hope to be in time to prepare ourselves for a New Years Eve outing somewhere. I don't think it much matters where we go. I think we'll have a grand time no matter where we wind up.