Friday, January 30, 2009

Home Sweet Home...

I sure have missed the boat rooster...and she is sure making up for lost time!! As I made my way groggily upstairs this morning, the sun was just cresting the horizon and two dolphins were playing not even 100 yards off the front of our bow. Without the boat rooster I would have missed the whole wonderful scene!

Tammy back by the way....

I'm sitting in the helm station writing this after having been awoken by the boat rooster to a beautiful morning in Charleston harbor - OK its earlier than I would have chosen had it been up to me, but as all you cat owners out there know, when you have cats, it is not up to you! The old saying that "dogs have masters, cats have staff" is especially relevant when both of your cats are 21 years old, know what they want and have us wrapped around their little paws. On my good days, I reflect that Bootsie is 21 so that she wakes us up early only because she wants to get the most out of each and every day and is not afraid to voice her desires - when you think about it, that's not such a bad way to go through life and I'm sure there is a lesson in there for all of us!
And when I'm honest, I'm usually the better for having dragged my butt out of bed - I see beautiful sunsets, unspoiled wildlife and have the peace and quiet before the rest of the world wakes up to reflect on how cool this life is that we are leading. On my bad days...well lets just not go there...this morning is one of the many good days!

Doug and I just got back to the boat the other day after a four day trip home to celebrate our niece Samantha's wedding - wow do I feel old!!! It was a whirlwind tour to say the least - how do you fit everything you want to do into four days especially when two of those are travel days - can't be done, although we did give it our best shot. We flew into Providence, RI and spent Thursday night with our great friends Mary and Steve Ouellette. We walked into their house and after being on the boat for 2 1/2 months we felt like we had just entered a mansion - there was so much space!!! What do they do with all that space??? After an amazing dinner spent catching up and just laughing and not enough time together, we were off the next morning for lunch with our nephew Drew at my cousin Chris' restaurant Lexx in Lexington, MA (the food and everything rocks so if you haven't been there you really ought to make a point of going!). Next up was a visit to our Aunt Peg at her gift store in Marlborough, followed by appetizers with the bride and groom, and then dinner with Aunt Peg, after which we crashed hard! Next morning up early (without the boat rooster's aid) for breakfast with Aunt Peg, my cousin Warren and my brother Tom (both of whom were off to the Harvard/Yale game - as a Dartmouth alum, boo hiss) and then it was time for the wedding!

Now I know I am biased, but Sam was the most beautiful bride I have ever seen and, not to leave out the groom, Steve was very handsome - they make a wonderful couple and we wish them all the happiness in the world!
I still can't quite believe that our niece Samantha is all grown up and married - we are so proud of her! Her brothers Andrew (Drew to us) and Wyatt were looking pretty spiffy in their own way too - one in a tux and one sporting hair ALMOST as long as Uncle Doug's (Wyatt is going for best hair in his 8th grade class and my odds are on him - although again I'm biased!).
One of the highlights of a very memorable day was Sam's attempt to make us feel like we were still on the boat as she sported lavender Crocs under her gorgeous wedding gown!!!!
Doug was so upset that I had told him that Crocs (which is ALL he wears on the boat) were not suitable for a wedding - so much for that theory! I'm sure I have lost all fashion credibility with him for next time.... We think Crocs should adopt our photo of Sam for their ad campaigns!

After the wedding we snuck in one last dinner with my cousin Chris to cap off a great trip home. Next morning it was back to Providence to catch our flight back to the boat. Can I tell you how weird it was to be catching a flight south to Charleston and thinking we were headed home!! But that is certainly how it felt...walking onto the boat and seeing the boat kitties and Colleen (who was left in Charleston to watch over the boat and the boat kitties) truly felt like a homecoming - we were so glad to be back!! Even though it was fairly chilly walking down the docks, it wasn't anything compared to that bone numbing cold we had up in MA for the past several days - everything is relative I guess and we'd much rather be down here where eventually it will warm up than back in MA or ME hunkering down for winter!!

Yesterday was spent catching up on work, emails, etc although we did spend the late afternoon walking all over Charleston - what a great city!! The history of the town is everywhere and the architecture is just fascinating.
And when you get tired and thirsty (as we often do), there are plenty of great little bars to pop into.
We found one yesterday for a late happy hour in the French Quarter called Tbonz - home brewed nut brown ale that finished with a hint of chocolate and homemade potato chips topped with melted blue cheese (it just doesn't get much more decadent than that, although we have vowed to try and outdo ourselves!). Today we plan on a full day of sightseeing (although I'm sure we may happen to pop into a couple bars along the way as well).

We also get the fourth gypsy back today - John flies in this morning after being in Manchester the past week for work. With a full crew complement, we plan on heading south for warmer climes tomorrow and expect to be in Beaufort, SC (pronounced Bew'-fort, not Boe'-fort as in NC) for Thanksgiving. Who knows what we will be eating, but we certainly have much to be thankful for this year!!

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