It’s Been Awhile

We’ve been pretty busy the last 6 months and I’ve neglected the blog. I’ll recap the last 6 months in this post.

July

In July we drive to Charlotte NC and then fly to Chicago.

Sailboat Race

We fly up to Chicago and meet our friends at Hotel Burnham in preparation for the Chicago-Mack sailboat race. Ron leaves on Twisted and Fran goes to Mackinac Island, by car, with Brandy and Angela. We don’t have much wind the first night and fall behind many of the boats in our class. The wind picks up the next night but we can’t catch up. I learn a lot doing this race and enjoy myself immensely.

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Twisted
Mackinac Island

After the race we stay on Mackinac Island for Dick’s 75th birthday party. Then we rent a car and drive back to Chicago for family time with my parents, sisters and their families.

Arch Rock, Mackinac Island
Arch Rock, Mackinac Island
Chicago Vacation

Our annual family week in Chicago is derailed due to my mom and dad falling and being put in the hospital. My mom is released the next day, but my dad has to go to Radford Green for rehab.

August

We go back to the Keys for a couple of weeks and then turn around and come back to North Carolina for our annual Beach Week.

Chef and the Farmer

We drive to NC a few days early to visit with James. On the way there we stop in Kinston to eat at Chef and The Farmer. We get there right as they open and find a seat at the bar. We are not disappointed with the food.

Chef and the Farmer
Chef and the Farmer
Ocean Isle Beach

Our annual beach week with the children and grandchildren is fun, as usual. Greg doesn’t get there since he cannot take off from work, but we see him on the way up and back. We get meet Krissi and Audrey. Michelle, Suzy and Nicole visit as well. Fran’s best friend, Sandra passes away unexpectedly this week. So it not as happy a time as in the past.

Beach Week 2014
Beach Week 2014
Leland, N Myrtle Beach and Jacksonville

After a week at the beach we are ready to drive back to the keys. We go to Leland and hang out with Daniel, Shannon, Gracie and Lawton for a few days. We also visit with Steve and Erika.

Next we go to North Myrtle Beach and spend time with Ryan and Audrey. Then we stop in Jacksonville and spend a night with Greg.

September

Our September plans revolve around Allison and Krystian’s wedding.  My dad has just come back home after his rehab in Radford Green. He is getting around great with a walker.

A Day at the Races

Steve, Erika, Fran and I fly to Chicago for the wedding. The day before we go to Arlington Park Race Track. It is a beautiful day until a micro burst hits and takes down the power lines. The weather clears and they restore power to the race track. We stay for one more race before we leave to pick up mom for the rehearsal dinner.

Races
Races
Wedding

It is a beautiful wedding and great reception. You wouldn’t have guessed that the power was out at the reception and everything was powered by a generator on a truck.

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Mom with her granddaughters

 

The only bad thing about the day was that my dad had to go to the hospital. Fran and my mom missed the wedding but made it to the reception in the nick of time.

Hospital

My dad did not improve and we fly back to Chicago. He is released to hospice in Radford Green

Funeral

Paul H. Olson January 29, 1925 – September 16 2014.

We have a nice service and all eight grandchildren are together for this solemn occasion.

Grandchildren
Grandchildren

October

We plan to stay in FL and work on the boat in October. Plans are changed with the words “Grandma, can you come to my birthday”.

Fuel Tank

We are starting to see diesel fuel in the bilge. We decide it must be coming from the bottom of the tank. We have the fuel pumped out and stored in two 55 gallon drums. We remove the tank and have it repaired. While its out we decide to have a sending unit installed so we can have a fuel gauge. We get the tank back in and put 12 gallons in so we can get to the boat yard.

Boat Yard

We are overdue for a bottom job. We need to sand all the old bottom paint off and put down a primer and two coats of new bottom paint. We also need a new cutlass bearing. We bring it to Outta the Blue boatyard in Marathon. You can do all of your own work here but we pay them to do everything. They do a great job, but it takes 2 1/2 weeks.

Jackson’s Birthday

We drive back up to Charlotte NC for Jackson birthday. He gets sick and has to reschedule his party We tell him that mommy did not cancel his birthday. We do get to go to the transportation museum the next day.

Jackson
Jackson on a train

November

Naples and Fort Myers

We come back from NC and stay with George and Nancy while Questeria is in the boat yard. After a while we decide we want to go somewhere new for a couple of days. We drive up to Marco Island, but decide we will have more fun in Naples.

We get a hotel near the downtown district and bar hop, trying several different appetizers.

The next day we drive to Fort Myers and look at RVs. We book a night in the downtown district and repeat the night before.

We go back to Marathon the next day and Questeria is done. We splash her the next morning.

Thanksgiving

We find out that Adam and Ava will be in New Bern NC for Thanksgiving. Also Fran’s two nephews, Patrick and Chris will be there. Alicia, Jeff, Jackson and Oliver decide to go as well.

Ava, Grandma and Jackson
Ava, Grandma and Jackson

We have a great Thanksgiving with lots of family. Then we go to Leland to see Daniel, Shannon, Gracie and Lawton. We also see Erika and Steve. We go to N. Myrtle again and visit Ryan and Audrey.

December

We decide to stay in the Keys for Christmas. This will be our first time spending Christmas in the Keys. We buy a rosemary Christmas tree and decorate it with LED lights.

Rosemary Christmas Tree
Rosemary Christmas Tree
Day Sail

We have done a lot to the boat and want to try it out. We go out for about an hour, turn around and come back. Everything worked great.

Leaving marina
Leaving marina

track20141217.kmz (download and view in Google Earth)

Christmas Eve

The people in the marina have a Christmas Eve party. Everybody brings an appetizer to share. We make Swedish meatball. They turn out great.

Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
Exploding Rib Roast

On Christmas day we sleep in and have bloody mary’s. Later we visit with people in the marina.

We have standing rib roast to cook in the oven. We prepare it in a Pyrex baking dish with beef broth and red wine. We put it into the oven at 450, for 20 minutes (as per instructions). After about 18 minutes the Pyrex baking dish explodes, red wine and broth pour out of the oven and the boat fills with smoke.

We manage to clean up and clear the smoke. We put the roast in a cast iron skillet and continue cooking it. Luckily there was way to much meat for the two of us so we cut the bones and bottom off before we eat. Everything turned out delicious.

Prime Rib
Prime Rib
Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans Almondine
Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans Almondine
 New Year’s Eve

We have another party on New Year’s Eve. We celebrate at Marathon Midnight (which is 9:00PM to the rest of the world). Some of us do stay up and celebrate at midnight.

January

We don’t need much of a reason for a party in our marina. So NFL football play-offs are an important time here.

Football, Friends and Meat

Besides the smoker, we now have two rotisseries (rotisserii?). We have been going all out with brisket, chicken, ribs and bratwurst for the play-offs.

Brisket and Chicken
Brisket and Chicken on Smoker
Spinnaker Halyard

We had a growing list of items that needed to be done up the mast. Besides that we wanted to add an external halyard that could be used for the spinnaker that we bought a few years ago. We contacted Keys Rigging, in Marathon. They helped us figure out what we needed, came out and installed everything at a very reasonable price. They pointed out some problems and fixed them as well.

We now have a spinnaker halyard and a tuned, problem-free rig.