Monday, January 25, 2010

It is a Happy New Year...Finally!

It is a happy new year! We haven’t left Florida since January 1st, but Florida definitely left us. Today, the temperature was a balmy 62 degrees down below when we awoke, instead of the frigid 42 degrees we experienced more mornings than I want to remember. We opened the hatches and left them open for the entire day! We happily recognized and waved to our neighbors as we dinghied along, instead of lifting a hand to unidentified boaters hiding in canvas enclosures or hunkered in dinghies covered in hats, hoodies, and foul weather gear. We all greeted each other with “Isn’t this wonderful?” and “It’s about time!” instead of “Are you staying warm?” or “It can’t last much longer….can it?” We put bathing suits on for the first time this year, and took a long beach walk luxuriating in the hot sun and warm ocean breeze. The sky was blue and the sand was warm. We enjoyed the wonderful smell of sun tan lotion instead of avoiding the smell of dead fish that had sadly washed up on the beach due to unseasonably cold waters. The tourists strolled the beach, frolicked in the water, and relaxed on lounge chairs soaking up rays, instead of looking disappointed and forlorn wrapped in towels and sweatshirts. Today, everything just felt good. We knew it was our lucky day while during our walk I found a nickel, then Gary found a dime…both “heads up”. We returned to Tessa to catch up on outdoor boat chores, and never enjoyed them more. I scrubbed the water line and the dinghy, while Gary washed down the deck and topsides. We opened up the canvas and let the warm breeze flow through, instead of keeping it tightly zipped to cut the cold, damp winds. We celebrated the return of sunny Florida by playing Bob Marley…really loud. We each have a shadow of a tan line beginning. This is what it’s supposed to feel like in Florida. We’ve turned the corner and everything is looking up. How could I be more absolutely, positively convinced of this, after I walked by the marina soda machine this afternoon to find it spitting out dimes like a Las Vegas slot machine? I hastily gathered them up off the floor and stuck them in my pocket. Finders keepers, losers weepers. Then, I reported the malfunction to the office… and promptly bought a lottery ticket at 7-Eleven with my $5.00 jackpot. In spite of the weather, it’s still been a very, very happy new year for us so far. Life is good! Even if we don’t win the lottery. p.s. If we do happen to win the Florida Powerball on Wednesday, free trip to Fort Myers for our 500 closest family and friends!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Before the rumors get out, we might as well go ahead and admit it. We sleep around. During our trip up north, we slept nine different places out of eleven nights. We slept on an air mattress, a futon, a pull out sofa, a mattress and box springs, three spare bedrooms, and two hotel rooms. We are not particular. We just keep following the fun. And what fun we had! We shared a tuna boat at Nagoya with Nick and Lynne. We joined our Clinton Reef Club friends for the annual Christmas party. We enjoyed a wonderful holiday celebration with the Milson clan in Detroit. Then we headed south to Dayton to spend six days with family and friends. We had a festive lunch at Bob and Mary Jane’s, joined by Brands’ Marina friends Roy and Diane. We spent our traditional first night in Dayton at the Crowne Plaza Club Lounge with Rita and Dammit Jim. Next night, we had a pizza party with Greg, Mark and Carol at Washington Colony. Night three, another pizza party with Mom, Cindy, Betti, Mike, and Robin at Mom’s house. Night four was a pre-birthday dinner at El Meson with Mom, Tony, and Cindy. Friday, Gary took Mom and I out for a wonderful sushi lunch for my birthday. Friday night was a Christmas open house at Mom’s. Saturday was the big hurrah, our family Christmas celebration. We always spend the day in festive anticipation, wrapping presents, cooking, preparing, setting the dining room table. Cousin Pammie and her girls arrived early in the afternoon for Pammie’s bread making class with Mom. As the story goes, recently Mom tried to talk her through the bread recipe over the phone, and the results were disastrous. We all watched skeptically as the two of them went through the steps. Mom has had years to perfect her bread making skills, and we were doubtful about Pammie’s second try. Uncle David took Alivia, Alex, and Lauren out back to build a snowman. It was so sweet to watch them gleefully pelt each other with snowballs. David had a hard time channeling their efforts, but eventually they succeeded in creating a classic snowman. We had a wonderful time together that night, the kids opening presents, then all of us cracking crab legs and jokes around the table. Shirley and Bill Mehaffie stopped by, and Dammit Jim made his annual visit to share some Christmas cheer and funny stories of our past adventures. Later that night, we headed back to Washington Colony to celebrate Greg Roberto’s 60th birthday. We spent that night at Tony’s, then departed the following morning, anxious to return to our monogamous lifestyle on board Tessa. Or so we hoped…… Except, the first night back in Florida, we slept at Don Dunn’s, as it was too late to catch a ride out to Tessa in the mooring field at Matanza’s. Back on board the next day, we vowed to slow down the pace and get back into our Tessa groove. Except, we needed to start planning our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day festivities staying with Don and Lauren back on Pine Island. We had a great Christmas Eve feast of baked brie, oysters, escargot, and Gary’s famous French onion soup. Christmas day, Don suggested we take his “airship” boat back over to Matanza’s to pick up our friends Tom and Lynette from Por Fin. Back on Pine Island, we all shared in the preparation and consumption of prime rib, twice baked potatoes, roasted asparagus, and disgustingly caloric eggnog. OK, Christmas is out of the way. Now we can get back to normal, just the three of us. Except, we had planned to stay over with Kevin and Carol at the Holiday Inn Sunday night after a big dollar-a-drink party at the “DEK”. The deal was that we would buy for them at the Dek, across the street from their hotel, and in turn we could crash in their room that night. But our ever so generous friend Kevin surprised us with a room of our own. What a treat! The bed was soooooo luxurious. Sorry Tessa, we’ll get back to you soon enough. It’s nothing personal, but did I mention that bed was sooooooo luxurious? OK, next day, back on board and ready to get back on course. Just the three of us. Except, next comes New Years Eve. We invited Bryan Diveto and Danielle to stay with us on Tessa, and Greg Roberto also decided to join in. We co-hosted an oyster “Slurp n Burp” party at Matanzas, then had a great time ringing in the new year on Fort Myers beach with our friends Paige and Jim and Tom and Lynette. As we enjoy a spectacular Fort Myers sunset on this first day of this new year, I contemplate a resolution. We will stop all this sleeping around and stay home on board Tessa where we belong. That’s it, we’re monogamous again. Over. Finito. Done deal. Except, we already made plans to sleep on “Sanctuary” with Angie in Key Biscayne tomorrow night. And Sunday night, we agreed to sleep at Greg’s new vacation home in North Fort Myers. Sleeping around has earned such a bad rap, but we have discovered that no matter where you sleep, or what you sleep on, it’s a wonderful thing to sleep with the ones you love.