Thursday, May 31, 2018

31 May 2018 Ocala, FL, - Brunswick, GA, - Richmond, VA, - Solomons, MD, - Chesapeake Beach, MD, - Indian Head Trail, Waldorf, MD, - Solomons, MD

     1 May.  Bill and I had our own private bon voyage dinner of filet mignons, at Cody’s Steakhouse; our Ocala Swan Song. Prior to pointing our noses northward, we slept well after making sure we left the coach spic-n-span.

     2 May. We stored our coach under cover near Ocala and began our sojourn with Solomons, MD, and our beloved Kindred Spirit III in our cross-hairs. We spent the first night back in Brunswick. We always seem to time our “passing through” to occur in time for an evening meal. Millhouse Steakhouse serves the most mouth-watering filet mignons that will absolutely melt in your mouth. No knife needed. Two steaks in as many nights???  We’ve worked hard and needed the sustenance. 

     3 May. Day 2 of pounding pavement in our 800 mile pursuit of reaching Solomons Island, MD, tomorrow. Bill's a trooper and I'm exhausted just from sitting and doing nothing. I just can't wait to lay my eyeballs on our trawler. I'm SOOO excited!!! We're not getting any exercise and not eating healthy---but this, too, shall pass. We're crashing in Richmond, VA, for tonight.

     4 May. We learned that our piece of dirt is beginning to take shape. This shows trenches for footings. Not sure that's the term a builder would use but you get the picture!


     Now for the unexpected aspect of our yesterday's trip where we witnessed something "as seen on TV". We were merging onto I-95 just outside of Lumberton when 3 police cars were blocking our entry. One officer opened his trunk, pulled out his bullet-proof vest, and donned it---as did the others. There must have been 25-30 law enforcement vehicles barreling own the highway in the direction we were intending to travel. One officer got a 'thing' that we later learned was a wide strip of spikes meant to stop the vehicle housing the 'bad guy'. We had no idea what was unfolding before our eyes or I'd have videoed it. The officer threw that thing across the interstate, a speeding (hijacked) pickup veered to avoid it, and the officer pulled it back so blazing fast so innocent travelers wouldn’t fall prey. This occurred in just a split second. The high jacker's reflexes were amazingly fast despite his being impaired. The multitude of police cars took off after him and within less than a mile, they'd apprehended him.  His truck was off the interstate and on the grass so he had free (for him) lodging in the local slammer that night.

     So the story goes, he'd tried to hijack 2 semi's and even shot into one of the tractor-trailers. Kudos to the NC state police, local police, and the sheriff’s department for putting their lives on the line and for their dedication to keeping us safe. We're kinda naive regarding police activities so this was horrifying to watch. Maybe we need to watch more law enforcement TV.

      We arrived in Solomons and made a bee-line to Capt. Pat’s Seafood for lunch then straight to Calvert Marina. This is, without a doubt, what home feels like to us and when we arrived this afternoon, I wanted to kiss her all over. Kindred Spirit III is truly Home Sweet Home. Knowing this will be our last season aboard makes her even more precious.  At this moment, we're sitting on the fly bridge enjoying a glass of wine and basking in the memories that we've made aboard her. Even though we're in a slip, we can sense a slight rocking and the sound of the water lapping against the hull is more soothing and tranquil than any symphony.

     5 May. This day was the annual Solomons Maritime Festival, a celebration of Southern Maryland traditions of work, play, and self expression. The festival harkened back to a simpler, slower time when waterman spent their days on the water with very few ties to land. The exhibits, learning opportunities for the children, and music made for a well-spent Saturday. We met up with Curt and Judy who were volunteering there. We met them about 12 years ago when we were docked in Charleston, SC, and so were they. We developed a strong friendship and the rest is history. “Boat People” are just that way.  



     We worked like dawgs all week getting our boat squeaky clean from the bilge to the top of the full enclosure in anticipation of potential buyers and we aren’t finished yet. 

    6 May.  Somehow, an overcast day, freezing, dressed in sweats, last night we slept under an electric blanket and with the heat on -----none of this goes together. Didn’t know we were going to the north pole.





     8 May.  Yippee! Thanks to our future Larkhill neighbor, Diligent Donna and her photographic skills, she sent a photo of our slab that was poured today!  

     Lo and behold, it's finally warming here. We enjoyed spring flowers when we were "down south" and now we have another opportunity to take pleasure in these. 




     12 May. We took a break from our scrubbing, polishing, waxing, repairing…and met Charmaine, our cycling guru and friend from DC, in Chesapeake City, for lunch and a stroll around town. She isn’t a boater but a extremely strong cyclist. Years ago when we were in DC by boat, (it’s a very long story—as most of mine are) the 3 of us met and we consider her one of our best friends. She takes her bike and rides all over the world. She’s got to have the strongest pistons of any woman I know. She works on The Hill and rides her bike to work during rain, sleet, or snow, with the caveat of—if the snow’s deeper than 3”, she’ll take the train. We see her often and it’s always a fun time spent. She even came to Ocala to see us—and ride— during the winter when we were down there “feeling out the area.” Lunch with Charmaine and Bill at Traders, Chesapeake Beach, MD.

Image may contain: Charmaine Ruppolt, Laura Lane Bender and Bill Bender, people smiling, indoor


    13 May. Mother's Day
                     Our Four Sons who call me "Mom".

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   This is one of my most treasured pictures of Chad, Matt, Andy, and Stephen who's still in the oven--He ranks a photo all by himself so you can see what he really looks like instead of being a lump. I love being their mom.




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     Before Curt and Judy took off on another adventure, we got together with them for cocktails at the Yacht Club and a tastebud tantalizing dinner at the Brassiere. 

     On a weekend, Elinor and Tom drove down from Severna Park for a visit and lunch on the island at Kingfisher's. We met them, also years ago, in Marathon, when we’d winter down there. They were in the slip next to us.  Tom’s an avid cyclist and he led us on many rides east from Marathon. We’ve visited them by boat on the Severn River and he took us on exciting rides on the paved Baltimore and Annapolis Trail as well as down into Annapolis.

    LOOK!!! That concrete slab is about to grow some walls!  There are stacks of CMU's and by noon that day, we had a semblance of a house.


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     That evening we had photos of the latest update of our home. The exterior masonry lock walls are completed and the lentil has been pumped with solid concrete. The build is moving right along.





     21 May. We took a Sunday morning stroll around the island ending at a cute little coffee shop over looking the Patuxent River.
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     Day is done and now we're sitting on our bridge watching the diamonds dance upon the surface of Back Creek as we anticipate a beautiful sunset.
     26 May. This morning we met our DC cycling guru, Charmaine, at the Indian Head Rail Trail, MD, for a 30 mile ride through the solitude of nature. The silence was broken only by bird’s songs, the rat-a-tat of woodpeckers, and the hypnotic whir of our tires on the paved trail. 
     We came upon a pace line that ended horribly for one guy who did a face plant at 16 mph. Copious amounts of blood on the pavement and EMS came to take him away. His bike faired better than he—-his front wheel resembled a taco. 








     Charmaine found a little hole in the wall seafood joint where we had a wonderful lunch. The day was perfect. Temp just right, gentle breeze and verdant trees backdropped by a cerulean sky, and the company of a great friend and my best friend made for a spectacular day! Thank you, Charmaine!  🚴‍♀️🚴‍♀️



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