Gary definitely garnered points on our ride this week. The Main Street Cafe & Coffee staff uploaded a Facebook post about us....a first for the TOF Brothers!

These gentlemen are bicycling 40 miles round trip to eat lunch here.
Rock on, you awesome old guys that are in better shape than us.


Well, we like the the picture and the write up except, perhaps, the "old" categorization. :) Add points for a train sighting, a beautiful August day with LOW humidity and good company....and what you get is a great day to ride a bike in Central Virginia!


The old guys!





Up for a Chukker?

Turns out Gretchen and I and our friends were Sunday as we headed to a polo match at the King Family Vineyards in Crozet, VA. The home Roseland Polo Club plays mid-Atlantic teams here every Sunday from Memorial Day to mid-October and it is quite a happening. We pitched our tent along the Sideboards with 150 other groups and settled in for a gourmet lunch with a bit of wine during the Match.

We learned that players are rated by the U.S. Polo Association, teams are handicapped based on those ratings, that polo ponies are shorter than other horses and the field is 300 yards long by 160 yards wide. It was obvious from the first Throw In that it is not an easy task to hit the ball with one's Stick, galloping full speed on a pony while other players are trying to Bump or force you to Ride off the Line of the Ball!

We thought the match was six Chukkers and we were waiting for folks to charge the field after three to stomp the divots! Alas, they do not uphold that tradition at this venue. But our group, not deterred and with wine in hand, stomped the field after chukker three. Turns out the match was only four chukkers...but since there were no announcements...we had no idea. We still don't know the team Roseland played...but they did win!

Many years ago (circa 2000), NBATC had a wine tasting event and we stopped at the King Family Vineyards. They were just beginning to build the polo field. And what a smart move that was from what we could see.....there were a lot of people buying and drinking wine at the Vineyard Sunday afternoon! We bought their rose which was quite good, dry and fruity. They named it Crosé!


Thanks Emily for putting together this event! It was a lot of fun!

Oh no Emily, that divot is steamy!


Henry is seven!

Grandma and Grandpa were so excited we could spend some time with Henry on his birthday. He is getting so big and he is a wonderful boy! We picked him up at school and there were presents to open.

We picked Audrey up at her school and after a quick trip to the playground we stopped at Highway 55 for supper. Henry's hot dog was served in a car plate! Grandma made cupcakes for desert!

We love you Henry!


Magothy River

August 9

The boat is intow and we are off to Maryland for a week in a cottage we've rented on the Magothy River....the first river north of Annapolis and the Bay Bridge. We arrived around 3:30p.m., unloaded perishables, found the key to the gate at the community ramp and got the boat secure in her slip.....just in time for happy hour. It was a beautiful evening looking east, down the Magothy River. The cottage is nice, but no where near as nice as the cottage on Mobjack Bay. It is a work in progress. The couple who owns it are from Pittsburg and they are refurbishing it for retirement. Some newer furniture, dishes, soap and shampoo and other inexpensive perks to would go a long way to impress renters!


The weather is for rain until late afternoon. So after the Morgan's renowned leisurely start, we headed to Annapolis to eat lunch at the Acme Restaurant that is highly rated for their crab cakes......good but nowhere near the best we have had on the Chesapeake. A stop at the Annapolis town center for a few items we need for the week and some staples at Whole Foods completed our trip and got us back to the cottage by 2:30p.m. The weather cleared and we were able to explore down River where we found several marinas; one where we got fuel and the other that has a restaurant we will stop at for lunch later in the week.


Small Craft Warning on the Bay and thundershowers in the hourly forecast all day; not a day for boating but the rest of the week looks beautiful! Today, however, we implemented Plan B and took a trip to National Harbor on the Potomac. We walked around the waterfront, rode The Capitol Wheel and had lunch at McCormick&Schmick's Seafood and Steaks. Gretchen had a nice cold appetizer with mango, avocado, crab, orange basalmic vinegarette and basil infused olive oil!

The weather was not stormy all day and we were considering taking the boat out. But radar showed a severe thunderstorm approaching from the west and it arrived with force! Glad we live in the electronic age!

Double Nickels....remember the sculpture we saw on our DC bike trip? Well The Awakening was purchased by the National Harbor developers ($740,000.00) and moved from Hains Point to be the focal point of the Harbor waterfront.


Beautiful weather today so we cast off about 10:15 a.m. intent on exploring some more of the Magothy. First interesting spot we found was Blackhole Creek, with a very narrow entrance that opened into a basin with at least 25 large sailboats on moorings. Turns out it is the Potapskut Sailing Association. A little farther down river we found the glass house on Broad Creek; every wall in the structure is glass. Interestingly, we did not see a boat dock anywhere on the property!

The wind and waves were not reflecting the Small Craft Warning (due to expire at 2:00 p.m.) as we approached the mouth of the Magothy so we headed out into the Bay to check out the conditions which turned out to be fine. We turned south toward the Bay Bridge on our way to Whitehall Bay and lunch at Cantler's. The crab cakes were OK....we've had better!

After lunch we headed past the Naval Academy up the Severn River. I had never sailed past the first bridge on the river and wanted to check out Little Round Bay about 5 miles upstream. It is a very wide spot in the river that gets great reviews in the cruising guides. The Severn is a scenic river lined with beautiful homes. We circled St. Helena Island on the south shore of Little Round Bay where someone has an estate with a massive lookout tower? Or is there an American Rapunzel?

Traveling via motor boat is certainly a different experience than sailing. Today we covered 44 miles...the most I sailed in SunShower was 21 miles on a perfect broad reach day.


Gorgeous day to be on the water and we're heading to Baltimore to tour the Harbor. Gretchen and I have not sailed up the Patapsco River to Baltimore; we planned to several times while sailing but weather did not cooperate. We passed by White Rocks at the entrance of the creek where the marina we stayed in last spring is located. In short order we passed under the Key Bridge and came upon Fort McHenry.

The cruising guide says there is a blue/white buoy marking the spot Francis Scott Key was when he penned the Star Spangled Banner....but our search came up empty.

The channel to the Inner Harbor is still quite industrial. But as you approach the Inner Harbor there are huge marinas, beautiful condos and restored water front complexes in Canton and Fells Point.

The Inner Harbor is a nice place to visit as we know from land trips. But it is not an easy place to dock for a few hours. Over night transient accommodations are no problem but at the only public dock the cruising guide warns to lock your dinghy to the pier. Since we can't do that with our little boat, we limited our visit to a harbor boat tour.

Leaving Baltimore we headed down the Patapsco for a late lunch at the Chesire Crab restaurant on Bodkin Creek. Crab cake sandwiches were great! Pleasure Cove Marina where the restaurant is located has the biggest boat storage building I have seen on the Bay. A worker told us there were about 100 boats stored in the building but it did not look crowded. A 60 foot trawler at the end of the building was so far away it looked like a 25 foot boat! Fun day on the water!



Today Gretchen and I set out on a trip down memory lane, to explore the Middle River and try to find the apartments we lived in the first year of our marriage! It's a ten mile run up to the channel that leads to a large expanse of water between Hart-Miller Island and the inlets for the Back and Middle Rivers. Hart-Miller Island was destined to disappear due to erosion, but it was reclaimed using the material from dredging the channel into Baltimore. Today it is a state park with restrooms, hiking trails and primitive campsites. On weekends one might find a hundred boats anchored off the beach below. There are even food boats that deliver orders to the anchored fleet!

Cruising up the Middle River we entered Frog Mortor Creek to find our lunch stop...the Sunset Cove Restaurant. On a previous cruise, I had a seafood club sandwich consisting of a crab cake, fried oysters and shrimp at this restaurant. I swear it was six inches high on my plate! It's no longer on the menu, but Gretchen says her crab cake was the best she has had this week and my oyster poor boy was great...maybe that's why the place was packed!


Captain Morgan relaxing after driving and navigating all the way from our cottage this morning!

On the way out of the creek we passed the old ramp for sea planes at the Martin State Airport. The Glen L. Martin Company build sea planes here during and after WWII. Passing Wilson Point we headed upriver in search of Stansbury Manor, the apartment complex where we lived. It was not difficult to find. Gretchen looked them up on the web and says it looks like they have undergone extensive renovations since we lived there! The same is true for Wilson Point, where the houses are quite upscale from the ones we knew 45 years ago!


Stansbury Manor Apartments

Heading back through the cut we took a picture to note the beautiful houses in the town of Sparrow's Point. When we lived here, Gretchen and I thought it was just an industrial area with a huge steel mill. We never knew this quaint little town existed down by the Bay!



Last day to motor about as we need to get the boat out of the water this afternoon, clean her up and get her ready for travel. It's another gorgeous day, we have had perfect weather for motor boating this week! We want to explore the area around Gibson Island before heading to lunch at The Point Restaurant at Ferry Point Marina. On the way into the Gibson Island Yacht Squadron on the Island there is is a large bay where tens of boats were anchoring for the weekend....opposite a huge estate with horses playing in the water.

Next we could not resist circumnavigating Little Dobbins Island where we had anchored several years ago (most wind we have experienced at anchor!). The owner of the island built a house with a lighthouse attached without gaining permission....suits are pending!

Lunch at The Point was wonderful. We debated ordering crab cakes but could not resist. So glad we did because the cakes were the best we have eaten this week! We got the boat out of the water and cleaned up with no hassle. We did get the attention of several neighbors by driving our trailer down to the ramp attached to our hitch on the front of our car!

As the sun sets on this vacation we had drinks on the deck, feeling a cool breeze and enjoying one last night on the Magothy River. It's been a great week!


P.S. Gretchen did a great job as captain of the boat this week. She pulled in and backed out of docks and slips, navigated through harbor entrances and channels and spent hours every day at the helm. Ask her what the biggest danger is when driving a boat?




Hey Tom, we're in PA on a road trip visiting family and want to stop and see you and Gretchen on our way to Nashville. So started a call from my best friend in high school last week. Chuck went to CA in 1970 to fight forest fires, found a career and true love in Fresno and never returned to the east coast. We met Linda before they married on a trip to the west coast, circa 1972. We have stayed in touch over the years, seen them at reunions and last visited them when I climbed Half Dome with Linda and her friends.

Sunday evening passed quickly over cocktails and dinner as we reminisced about mutual friends and past adventures, children, grandchildren and retirement. Today we took a ride north on the Blue Ridge Parkway since Linda and Chuck had not been on it, then dropped down to Nellysford for lunch at the Wild Wolf Brewery. The food was great as usual and Linda was quite excited over the regular and seasonal beer flights!

Thanks for making the call Chuck, we appreciate you guys taking the time to stop and see us. It was so nice to catch up with you two. We'll see you next year at the Schuylkill Haven HS class reunion; although I'm really not sure I can wrap my mind around the fact that we graduated....

50 years ago!



August 1

Just married...45 years ago today! It's very hard to mentally grasp that fact! Gretchen and I have enjoyed a great marriage as we have matured together! We've been blessed with great families, children, grandchildren, careers, friends and the chance to experience a lot of the wonderful things the world has to offer.


And the best thing is...there is more to come!