Lake Weekend

Running, laughing, crawling, crying, squeaking,'s the Morgan grandchildren invading the Bender lake house for the weekend. Kelley, Katie and Sally joined the Benders and us at Smith Mountain Lake for birthday celebrations, water sports and family fun.

Soon after her arrival Friday night, it was clear that Maggie has imprinted on her mom and general mayhem ensues immediately if Kelley is not in her line of sight. Jeff and I quickly learned to volunteer to get Kelley anything she needed rather than have her leave the room! Aha yes, stranger anxiety, a concept I had long forgotten. Maggie is a beautiful baby with her big blue eyes, progressing developmentally on schedule; crawling, standing, babbling, laughing, a typical one year old. It is hard to believe she is a year old and we were celebrating her birthday. She loved the balloon Sally brought for her and her first swim in the lake.

Henry, as usual, was his normal energized self. Upon discovering presents about on arrival, he was quick to inform everyone that his fourth birthday was next week! He also informed Uncle Jeff that he thought maybe tomorrow they could go for a jet ski ride! One of the surprises this weekend is that Henry decided he liked ice cream! You see he hasn't eaten it by choice to date. The difference? SML has an ice cream boat that comes around to the docks in the afternoon. So Henry decided to give it a try and ice cream became a daily ritual!

Audrey is a sweet cuddly nine week old baby, noted for her squeaking sounds and otherwise doing what babies do; sleep, eat and poop! She was a hit with the adult females in the cute.

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day for enjoying the water. Kelley took Maggie for her first swim in the lake. Tom discovered he loved driving a SeaDoo! Henry caught a fish and earned a tee shirt. He found out he could catch fish in the baby swimming pool with his bare hands this year to throw them back into the lake; last year he tried and tried but couldn't do it. Jeff took everyone for a ride on the jet ski and Sally discovered her need for speed! Jenny, Gretchen and Katie showed off their paddle board skills.

We had a grand weekend at SML, good food, drink, fun and fellowship. Thanks to Jenny and Jeff for being our hosts. We love having you guys in VA 4-5 months during the year. Jenny and Jeff had their first "grandparent in training" weekend. Jeff could not believe the noise and constant activity and Jenny said she was so tired Saturday, she wend to bed at 10:30 p.m......a bedtime she had no seen in decades! Thanks to Sally for coming, it is always great to see you! Thanks to Kelley and Katie for making the effort to bring the grandkids to the Lake. Grandma and I appreciate it and love being with you guys, watching the kids grow and seeing what great mothers the two of you are! Love you all!!



TOF Ride

David, Gary and I were back on the road as a threesome for the first time in two months due to travel schedules. David planned a 33 mile ride down Red House way to ease me back into the saddle; it was four weeks to the day since I rode 30+ miles due to vacation. The day was a normal hot humid central VA summer day, with nary a breath of air and heat radiating from the pavement on every hill! Twenty five miles into the ride, David taunted us at an intersection by pointing out the car less than a half mile down the road. I queried, "But we are not turning that way, correct?" "No indeed," he said as we turned right leaving the car fading in the shimmering heat waves rising off the pavement. Oh well, carpe diem! Eight miles and a few hills later we rounded the corner bringing the car into our vision once again, but this time we could stop and feel the air conditioning. Great ride to get back in shape for summer see we love the heat!


Sailing Boston!

July 30

We arrived in Hingham by 10:45 a.m. after fighting the Boston traffic which delayed us by an hour. Stopped by the Hingham Shipyard Marina to get our slip assignment and directions to the Back River Public Ramp. The marina is very nice with good security, floating concrete docks, clean restrooms and a friendly staff. The ramp was a great facility and we had SunShower in the water and her slip for the week by Noon.

This afternoon we got a little sail in as we oriented ourselves to the harbor. It was a smooth transition from Maine and we were off the water and on our way to Josephine's B&B by 5:00 p.m. The B&B is a great place about 5 miles from the marina in Hull. We went to the Brew Works for dinner tonight which is literally on the waterfront by our slip. We sampled several of their beers made on the premises before selecting the Hingham Pale Ale to go with our burgers.
BTW, I found my five year old inflatable life vest works today. In preparing to leave the dock, I snagged the pull handle on a line and found myself holding an inflated life jacket! Subsequently, I learned how to deflate, fold and recharge it with a new CO2 cartridge.
July 31

Fine day for sailing today. We began by heading out the Hull Gut with the intention of going out to the Boston Light House. But beating directly into 15 mph winds and 2-3 foot waves made for a very long trip so we decided to go the other direction. We circled George's Island on which Fort Warren (circa 1850) looms when Gretchen discovered she had not put our sandwiches in our lunch bag. So we decided to land at the dock of GI since they have a concession there with food! Well, that brought immediate protests from the National Park staff since private boats are not allowed to dock on the island. But Gretchen sweet talked the ranger and he allowed us to stay long enough to get take out since I have hypoglycemia. Good job Gretchen! The harbor islands provide miles of protected sailing and we enjoyed the afternoon sailing between Long and Rainsford Island, around Peddocks Island and back to Hingham. It was just a fine day on the water.

August 1

Today is our 42nd anniversary! Gretchen and I both wonder how that is possible? :) The wind forecast was for 5-10 mph so we headed once again for the Boston Harbor Light. Ten mph winds and one foot waves made for a delightful sail to the lighthouse today followed by a five and a half mile broad reach into Boston Harbor.

Dark clouds were gathering on the western horizon as we left the harbor and headed back to Hingham via the Long Island Bridge. Once under the bridge, the approaching storm prompted us to crank the motor to speed up our trip to the slip! When the Boston skyline disappeared we donned our foul weather gear and when the bridge was blotted out by a white rain curtain, we thought we would get drenched....but the storm passed a half mile to the north! We arrived at the slip with nary a raindrop falling on us. Another fine sailing day today!

August 2

No wind was blowing when we arrived at the marina this morning. With light wind and storms beginning at 1:00 p.m. in the forecast, we decided to prepare SunShower for travel and get her out of the water since we leave for home tomorrow. As it turns out, we could have sailed as there was a breeze with no storms this afternoon. Oh well, we had two great sailing days here and really got to see a lot of Boston Harbor. Wish we had planned a few more days to sail here.

Harbor sounds in a sailboat.

This evening we celebrated our anniversary with a fine dinner at Saparito's Florence Club Cafe in Hull. It is a gourmet restaurant in a run down old beach house which you would not choose to eat at without some local knowledge; in this case a glowing recommendation from Ann Marie, our B&B hostess. Gretchen's grilled salmon with a mushroom, fennel risotto topped with arugula was outstanding. I will definately make the risotto at home!