Friday, June 4, 2010

On the Road Again.....

I just got back from a great visit to see friends and family back in MA and ME - what a whirlwind!!! While Doug and the Bootser "batched it" on Gypsies for 6 days, I had the pleasure of flying (I had forgotten how much fun that is in today's day and age - NOT) and then circling New England in a rental car. But along the way I found out how cool it is to reconnect to family and friends after not seeing them for a long time - it's one thing to email, facebook and occasionally telephone but it's a whole other thing and so much cooler to sit with a beer or a glass of wine and really catch up face to face!!!!

I spent lots of time with my cousins and my 78 year old Aunt Peg who can still whack a whiffle ball out of the park and pitches a mean slider - sorry I thought I had taken pictures of her swinging for the fences with my iphone which I just got, but obvious operator error has prevented me from sharing those pictures (in fact it prevented me from actually taking them - seems I pushed the wrong button - OK Peggy, go ahead and laugh!) She's my idol - at the gym every day working out, watching movies with us 'til midnight, laughing hysterically about my stories of drag queens and other oddities of Key West, telling tales about her 60th high school reunion and did I mention that swing!!! I won't bore everyone with all the family details but it was amazing to see everyone - and man I can't believe how much all the kids have grown!!!

After a not so quick stop in at my old firm for hellos and lunch with my assistant Peggy (is it really true that many of my fellow attorneys have not moved from their desks in two years????) it was on to visit friends from ME. Congrats Kim on everything - the house, James who had just been born before we left and who now is a "terrible twoer" and one of the cutest guys ever!! Then up to Maine where I had a chance to catch up with lots of friends - love to see all of you in FL this winter!!!! Thanks for a great dinner date John - at least Francesca will know the rumors are just about me!!! As I drove along the beaches and coastline of ME it struck me how beautiful it is and how lucky we are to have once lived there and called it home - Maine will always have a huge part of my heart even if we never go back there to live - just not sure we could handle the winters up there again!!! But as I drove by, I had this irresistible need to get out and walk the beaches with my feet in the sand - it's not like FL or the Bahamas or any of the other places we've been - Maine is quintessentially it's own place with rocky outcrops breaking up the long expanses of hard sand, cooled by the frigid water (did I mention I had seriously forgotten how cold that water is!!!!) And yet when I went to the beach the next day with my cousin Melissa and her kids, I watched aghast as Brigit and Mac dove right in and only came out at the end of the day when they were red as lobsters!! I could barely get my feet in the water and yet I had once gone swimming in ME in March - WOW I've become a wimp!!! But seriously that water is unbelievable - my toes were numb within seconds!!!

From ME it was back to my cousin Chris and his beautiful fiance Carolina's house for a Memorial Day bash with Aunt Peg and my all grown up nephew Drew - and then on to see my niece Samantha (and her son Rocco and husband Steve) and my nephew Wyatt the next day. What amazing kids - I am so proud of how they have all grown up!!! And Rocco is the bomb - a happy, adorable, head-strong, all boy, one year old who's going to give mom and dad an interesting trip shall we say!!! I love you guys!!!
Wyatt and his mom, Kristy, and Sam, Steve and Rocco
Sam and Rocco
Steve and Rocco as Wyatt's Dog Bailey Looks On
Sam and Rocco with the Presents Aunt Tammy Brought
Wyatt Plays with Rocco as Steve Looks On
Rocco "Smokes" One of His Lincoln Logs

Thanks to everyone who let this wandering gypsy crash at their house, fed her wonderful food and wine, spent time swapping stories and catching up and made her trip so great - we'd love to repay the hospitality if you all ever get a chance to come to FL!!!! Due to my above mentioned operator error, I don't have too many pictures to share with everyone - I think I was too busy enjoying all that northern hospitality!!!

Finally it was time to head back to the boat which I fully realize now is home - the trip back to New England was to see friends and family, but the trip south was to go home!!! Gypsies, Doug and Bootser are very much my home now - it's just that our home can move. And move it will be doing this weekend - we have decided to leave Coconut Grove for ports north, or at least one port north - our new home for at least the next four months and if the job situations work out, it may be for longer than that. Doug scoped it out while I was gone, and then we visited it yesterday - two thumbs up!! We will leave tomorrow morning for the 30 mile trip up to Turnberry Isle Marina Yacht Club in Aventura, FL (on the ICW between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale) - it is an awesome place although there are always trade-offs. Unlike Coconut Grove, it is not a funky little community with lots of restaurants and shops within walking distance, but it makes up for that in lots of ways. We can use our scooters to get around and we're talking free wifi, cable and water at the dock (so we'll be able to actually watch the Celtics recover and come back to stomp on the Lakers!!!); a pool, cool cafe poolside, tennis courts and a golf course on site; a complimentary shuttle service that brings you to the Aventura Mall which is enormous and has lots of restaurants and movie theaters (so when the next two Harry Potter movies come out, we won't have to be frantically scouring the countryside looking for a place to see them!!) or alternatively to the Fairmount Turnberry Isle Resort (where we have reciprocal privileges) or the private Turnberry Ocean Club (can you say private beach club right on this gorgeous stretch of ocean - think private pool, cabanas, beach bar and did I mention gorgeous beach!!!!!!) OK that just about sold me - for any of you that don't know me or have never met the sun pig, I really really really like the beach!!! Moreover, it is a wonderful hurricane hole and the marina is very well built for hurricane protection with all cement docks with finger piers on either side of each boat slip, lots of heavy duty cleats, the entrance to the marina is at least 4 1/2 miles from the nearest inlet (Bakers Haulover in Miami - for our cruising buddies we're also about 8-9 sm south of Port Everglades) so surge is unlikely to be a problem and the marina is entirely surrounded by mangroves and buildings supposedly built to withstand even a bad hurricane. I have to admit this was huge - where we are now in Coconut Grove is very exposed and we've been rocking and rolling even with the 20 knots of wind we've had and with the prediction of a bad hurricane season, that was seriously on our minds!!! Turnberry Isle actually sells "hurricane leases" for boats that want to come into the marina to weather an approaching storm!!! It's not foolproof I'm sure, but it sure will give us some peace of mind - and did I mention they have a pool and a private beach club????? We're a little farther from the Keys but heck we used to go down there from Maine and we're still a lot closer than that - and we're still only about 60 miles from Bimini so on long weekends or vacations, we'll be steaming Gypsies to the Bahamas - mon!!!! Now that's seriously cool!!

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