The summer has come and gone and I haven’t touched the blog. After our Bahamas trip it took us a while to get used to being in our marina again. We made boat repairs, went to some of our favorite restaurants and visited the sandbar. On Memorial Day weekend we held our first annual Bonefish Marina Paddle Board Race. We had one entry in the kayak division, one entry in the dinghy division and several entries in the paddle board division. That was lots of fun.
We started to get back to normal and then Fran’s brother, James came down to visit. We had a great time fishing, even if we didn’t catch anything. One day we went to Key West to visit Jim, his army buddy who he hadn’t seen in years. Jim has his own micro brewery in Key West called Bone Island Brewery. We sampled some of his beers, went to lunch and toured the Mel Fisher museum.
We had more visitors in June. Alicia, Jackson and Oliver came down for a week. We went fishing, to the sandbar, to the beach, to Aquarium Encounters and to some of our favorite restaurants.
On July 4th we had a great cook out with ribs, brisket and other things on the smoker. We cooked breakfast (red, white and blue pancakes and four pounds of bacon), lunch, snacks and dinner. We had tons of leftovers.
Following that I took the van and left Fran in Marathon. I drove to Chicago for the 107th Chicago to Mackinac Island race. Robert flew up there and we met up with the crew of Twisted. This was the second time I crewed for this race. We did better this year, We didn’t come in first, but we didn’t come in last. We had a great crew and I learned a lot. We started the race on Saturday and got to Mackinac Island on Monday. Tuesday was a day of celebration.
On Wednesday Robert and I rented a car and drove to Chicago. I spent the next week and a half with my family. We went to Lincoln Park Zoo, a movie, bowling and of course eating. Fran flew in on Thursday and we got ready for Simoen and Jerry’s wedding.
The wedding was fantastic. The bride and groom looked great. It was at a beautiful country club and we had a great time dancing with the family.
The day after the wedding we left Chicago and drove to Lexington Kentucky. We stopped at Town Branch distillery. We didn’t make it in time for a full tour, but we did get the tail end of the tour and the tasting. We are not big bourbon drinkers but we really loved the Bluegrass Sundown. This is the Kentucky version of Irish coffee. All you need to do is add hot water and float heavy cream on top. We bought a bottle, but it didn’t last very long. Fran was right. We should have bought more than one bottle.
The next day we went to the Four Roses distillery in Lawrenceburg KY. This time we took the full tour. After the tasting we bought two bottles, the Yellow and Small Batch.
After that we went to the Wild Turkey distillery. This was a larger tour that included the distillery, barrel storage and bottling. We bought a bottle of American Honey Spice and Rare Breed.
Next we went to Woodford Reserve. We were too late for the tour, but we did a porch chat. We learned that bourbon is really good after a bite of dark chocolate. We bought a bottle of Woodford Reserve and a box of bourbon chocolates.
Then we drove to Bardstown. We tried to get into a bed and breakfast. One was Bourbon Manor Inn and the other was Jailer’s Inn, an old jail house. Neither had vacancy so we stayed in a hotel and walked around the town. We had dinner at the Bourbon Manor. We definitely need to come back to the bourbon trail and see more of the sights.
The next day we drove to Nashville, TN. We went to the Johnny Cash Museum, the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame and several honky tonks. We met up with Erika and Steve and went boot shopping and to dinner at the Urban Grub. We had a great time. The only problem is that we didn’t have enough time to see everything we wanted to see.
Next we dove to Athens, TN to visit Jerry and Debbie. They were very gracious hosts and we had a wonderful time. They also gave us wine and preserves.
After that we drove to Catawba, NC (outside of Charlotte) to visit Alicia, Jackson, Oliver and Jeff. We had a great time, as always.
Then we drove to Durham, NC and ate dinner at our friends restaurant, Thai Cafe. The food was excellent I wish we knew about this place when we lived there.
Next we went to Ernul, NC to visit James and work on Olson Manor, our storage unit (refer to Tips or Becoming a Liveaboard for more explanation). We managed to pack a bunch of stuff in the van, including a band saw, teak, lexan and a bunch of tools. Keep in mind that we already have stuff from the sailboat race (mine and Robert’s), clothes for Chicago, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina, wine and preserves from Jerry and Debbie and beach stuff for the next week.
Then it’s time for our annual family beach week in Ocean Isle, NC. Fran and I started this tradition four years ago. Since we don’t have a house, and our boat is not big enough for everybody we decided to rent a beach house for a week when all our children and grandchildren were available. This year we had Shannon, Daniel, Gracie, Lawton, Alicia, Jeff, Jackson, Oliver, Ryan, Audrey, Erika, Steve, Adam, Ava, Greg, Emmy, Fran and Ron. We had a wonderful time playing at the beach, as usual.
After a fantastic week at the beach it was time to go home. But first we had to drive Adam and Ava to the Raleigh airport. Remember all the stuff we packed into the van? Now we had to find room for two more people and their luggage. We managed to get them to the airport Saturday afternoon and then made it back to Marathon, FL on Sunday. We stopped Lorelei, one of our favorite restaurants on the way back. It’s nice to back in the keys. Fran was gone five and a half weeks and Ron was gone eight weeks. Are we done traveling for a while? Definitely NOT!
It took us a while to unpack the van. We reassembled the band saw and put it in our marina workshop. George and Nancy are off for a while so we go diving and lobstering on Just One More. We only get four lobsters in two days, but they sure were tasty.
On the Sunday of Labor Day weekend we go to Key West with George, Nancy, David and Brenda. The first Sunday of every month is local appreciation day and many of the attractions are free. Our fist stop is Peppers of Key West. We buy some hot sauce and marinade. Then we go to the Spice and Tea Exchange and buy some seasoning. Then we visit the Custom House, Art and History museum. What an interesting place. We eat lunch at Caroline’s and then tour the Harry S. Truman Little White House. Then we take the Trolley tour and finish off the day with mojitos in Mallory Square. What a fun day!