Tuesday, August 31, 2010

[Temporary] New Digs

I came back to Marathon to the boat hauled out of the water...
...And Jeff residing in an apartment off of 70th Street.

Now, we had this all planned before I left...
...So don't be thinking he just up and moved while I was out of town!

The apartment is the walk-out basement of a house and it comes complete with AC, cable, a shaded patio, and a beautiful view.

It's a bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen/living room. Not real big, but fairly substantial compared to the boat.

There's lots of space for the dog to run around and we even have a path that goes to the Gulf of Mexico that we've been walking [and swimming] on most evenings.

I love all the plants around the house...especially the large Banyan Tree in the front.

And it's not just plant life we're surrounded with...
I've had a lizard in the sink, a crab on the sidewalk, and a scorpion on the patio.

We brought the dinghy around the island on one of Jeff's days off so we can explore the Gulf side. It took us a little longer than it should have when we passed it up and went all the way to the end of Vaca Key. In our defense, we were all out of landmarks except for the occassional airplane landing at the nearby airport.
But we found it eventually.

Our days have been mostly spent in the boatyard sanding all of the interior area for painting and varnishing. It's hot work with the temps in the mid-90's and the breeze never coming from the right way to get in the hatches.

It's also pretty dirty work. We both left the yard yesterday caked in sawdust and sweat. Even my eyeballs were dirty.

That's when it's time to pour a cocktail and head down our secret little path and swim in the Gulf of Mexico in our dusty, grimey clothes, cooling of in the cool breeze on the walk back to the apartment deciding what to have for dinner.

So Life on the S/V Exposure has been temporarily relocated to new digs elsewhere, but we're still spending lots of time [and energy] on the boat. We're really looking forward to getting her back in the water with all her shiny new paint and wood...inside and out...and it could take up to a whole other month to finish up. But now you know where we're at and what we're up to. I'll be taking pictures of our progress and should have some of those up soon.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Month on the Mainland

After spending almost a month in North Carolina, I made my way back to the Florida Keys this past Monday. It was a long drive coming in just under 14 hours, but it was easy and uneventful.

I had a really great time during my visit to the mainland, and the best part of it was spending time with family. With my Mom and Brother [with Jolene and Maddie] both living in Greensboro, it made it easy to do a lot of things together. We ate many meals at the same table and enjoyed each others company at my brother's house. During the week, with Keith and Jolene both working, I'd try to put us together something decent for dinner. On the weekends, we all wandered around the Piedmont Triad Farmer's Market. With it's huge selection of heirloom tomatoes, peaches, corn, berries, baked goods, grits, and country ham...just to name a small sampling of the wares available...going to the Farmer's Market is certainly one of my favorite things about being in NC. And if you start off with us all gathered for breakfast at the Moose Cafe, I like it even better.

Spending time with my Mom was nice. We played cards, went out for lunch, explored downtown during the Gallery Hop, munched on Brixx Pizza, shopped in Chapel Hill, made lotion, and took Maddie to this cool place called ArtQuest where we painted, played with clay, made bracelets, cut paper and afterward had lunch with my brother at the Center for Creative Leadership where he works as head chef.

The best days were the ones spent with Maddie. We blew bubbles, played in the water, and drew all over the drive-way with sidewalk chalk. We'd have a snack, color, watch Baby Einstein, and start all over again. If I was lucky, we both got a nap. We had our own little outing one day with a stop at Hobby Lobby, the grocery store, and McCallister's for lunch and she was truly an angel. She's a very funny 2-year old and very entertaining. I chuckle to myself whenever I think of some of the silly things she says or her imitation of a butterfly after every bath. I miss her terribly.

While in NC, I also got to spend time with family 2 hours away from Greensboro on the east side of Raleigh: my 19 year old niece, Josie; my 22 year old nephew, Zachary; and their parents, Mark and Anne. My first visit was for a Pool Party Bash in honor of Zachary graduating, having a birthday, and going off to grad school. There was a tent, a keg, and a pig as well as corn hole, horseshoes, and beer pong. Kids of all ages were in the pool and a good time was had by all. I enjoyed catching up with with my [ex] sister-in-law, Genevieve; her husband, Steve; and her 2 children, Jackson and Taylor, who came from Louisville for the big event. The kids have grown up so much since the last time I saw them!
I went back again at the end of my trip and spent the day with Josie going out to lunch and a bit of shopping and then a nice relaxing weekend laying around the pool and tossing corn hole.

I am glad to be back home. I missed Jeff and the dog. I missed my girlfriends. And I missed the water and the island I call HOME...
But, now that I'm here...I miss all the people I left in North Carolina.