Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Time Out

Swept Away

I've stepped out of the blogging batter’s box for a while.  In fact, there will be more breaks over the next couple of months.  A few of my faithful readers have wondered where we are, why the silence, and although writing from our present location on a boat is complicated, this entry plus some photos addresses that question.  But it results in a Facebook-type entry, just personal minutiae best ignored by others.

It’s that time of the year again for us, driving up from Florida to move onto our boat in Connecticut. Our son Jonathan now maintains the boat so he’s entitled to use it as if it is his own; thus our time here has diminished over the years.  The “old girl,” ‘Swept Away’ stands tall. Optimistically speaking from a health viewpoint, next year we might just fly and rent a car while here.  This is the 17th time we’ve done this drive together, and this one was the worst.

Perhaps gas prices and a pent up urge to hit the American road, mostly I95 for this trip, has had their impact.  Hotels were sold out along the way, some sleeping in their cars at rest stops.  Luckily, we had reservations and the weather cooperated so we could keep to our schedule, first stopping in Savannah, having dinner with our friends Suzanne and George who we don’t often have an opportunity to see.

Then we drove the longer haul to Frederiksburg, VA on a Saturday so we were in a prime position to go through Washington early on Sunday morning.  In spite of having made the journey so many times, between today’s GPS “preferred route” and utterly bewildering signs, we now seem to miss the connection from I95 to I495 and this time had to correct that by going through Laurel MD, but early enough to make the detour just a minor inconvenience.  From the Jersey Turnpike to Norwalk though it was bumper to bumper with frustrated drivers 25 cars deep at gas stops on the Turnpike to take advantage of Jersey’s lower prices.  I topped off in Delaware, not that much price difference, and that was sufficient to get us here plus.  After the narrow Garden State Parkway, zany drivers zigzagging to get a few car lengths ahead, we crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge less than 48 hours before a construction crane collapsed across the roadway, creating a traffic nightmare but luckily no loss of life.

It’s a massive structure that is being built to replace the aging bridge.  When I was a kid my father had a 35’ Owens that he and I brought up the Hudson River to Poughkeepsie.  We stopped overnight at a marina that was at the base of the Tappan Zee then under construction.  So I’ve seen two bridges being built there and amazing I’ve seen the entire life span of one, its construction and before long its destruction.

Arriving in Norwalk felt like we achieved a military objective without casualties.  Thankfully, our son and girlfriend Tracie were here to meet us, help us unpack the car and even prepare dinner, sparing us yet another restaurant visit.

Low Tide Shorefront Park
The first order of business the next day was to get my sneakers on and resume my early morning walk routine, at home the golf course in North Palm Beach, and Shorefront Park here.  Amazing, years after Hurricane Sandy its impact is still being felt in this area, homes being torn down or raised (the flooding here ruined many houses).  So there are empty lots and the homes that are not simply being raised with the help of insurance companies are new “McMansions.”  The whole character of the neighborhood is changing from one that felt so familiar to me from my childhood in Richmond Hill, Queens to one of wealth, progress I guess, but a loss of a time when we mere mortals could enjoy New England waterfront.  Over to you hedge fund managers and real estate moguls!


It only took a few days before s**t happened, breaking a tooth on, of all things, cucumber salad (guess it was ready to go).  I knew a crown would be inevitable and my instinct was to fly home to my dentist, but that would have required multiple trips as he would put in a temp while the crown was being made.  Our friend Cathy here suggested her dentist who makes his own crowns while you wait using the Terec system which I can only liken  to a 3D printing system, the dentist shaping the remaining tooth into a post and using CAD technology to design a crown, a porcelain/ceramic substitute, it being manufactured while you wait.  Two plus hours later, voila, I walked out of the office with a new tooth!  Luckily for me he had a cancellation so within 24 hours what I thought would be a nightmare was immediately resolved.  Thanks, Cathy and Dr. Tamucci!

Copps, Crow, Chimons Islands
So, we begin our “vacation” with this past weekend being hotter here than in Florida.  Jon and Tracie came up from the City on Sunday and we all went out to our mooring set among the Norwalk Islands.  We and our friends used to be the head of the nautical “wagon train” out to the islands, our kids tagging along and now the reins have been turned over to them, we the passengers. Ironic to look around, seeing all the islands,  remembering  them from four decades ago, but watching our “kids” now in charge, we tying up our boat to one of theirs.

As I began this very personal entry with a baseball metaphor, I conclude with the realization that we’re no longer the generation on deck, but the one in the batter’s box facing a full count. If we cannot continue to get hits, hopefully we’ll foul some off.
Sunset at SNBC