Saturday, October 26, 2013

Vacation - quiet but good.

Pictures at the end if you haven't got time for all the blah blah blah.

Been back from vacation for a week now, sorry no blogging, been feeling a little bit of the post-vacation blahs. It was a good vacation - pretty low-key, not as much boating as I might have liked but we got in a good visit with TQ's parents, and we also both took a couple of days to catch up with housework and bills and stuff, not terribly exciting but I'd just been working flat-out since the beginning of September and my apartment was falling apart so it was good to do that. I made that chicken adobo I'd made for the club general meeting for TQ on the first day (Saturday), he loved it; Sunday we did take out a couple of Sunfish for a spin, there was racing but the forecast was for a bit more wind than I'm really comfortable with for the close-quarters manuevering racing involves, and TQ just doesn't like to race at all so we just decided to go for a short sail on our own. We ended up mostly just staying in the basin because it was very gusty, I did make one brief foray out to the green can just outside the basin and that was quite a frolic! No camera, conditions were a little on the feisty side to be juggling expensive electronic toys. Good sail though.

The garden had a great surprise for me when we went got there - I had more or less abandoned it in September during the work blitz, which coincided with the longest dry spell we'd had all year, and the most I was hoping for was maybe a few green tomatoes (oh, and onions, the onions lived through Sandy, nothing is going to kill those guys) but instead there were a whole bunch of ripe tomatoes, and a couple of cukes, and the chard had also failed to shrivel up and die! I put some of that in with tortellini and added in some of my summer's end batch of pesto for dinner that night - that was good. 

Tuesday night we went to hear our friend Rick from the Old Salt Blog give a talk, AC72 and the Evolution of the America's Cup - we'd been plotting a canoe camping excursion for Wednesday night and we might have headed for CT on Tuesday if not for that, but it was a fascinating talk and really worth a bit of extra scrambling the next morning. I hadn't quite followed the America's Cup race-by-race, blow-by-blow, but I was definitely paying attention to it and even tried to watch the last race live at my desk at work, which is very unusual for me, I do take Facebook and email breaks at work and there is the occasional lunchtime blog post, but I draw the line at watching videos. This one, I was ready to do it just this once, but in the end I couldn't find a live streaming feed that would work for me. The only one I could find was touted as having a simple sign-in process, but it turned out that step 1 of said simple process was, "First, tell us which of these fine companies is your cable provider" -- d'oh! I haven't got one! I ended up watching that night when I got home, and then the Monday night before Rick's talk, TQ and I watched it together and then entertained ourselves for the rest of the evening watching videos of other crazy sailing speed machines (Sailrocket was one, and then there was some landsailing and ice yachting and on a less-out-there note the commercially available Windrider Rave - TQ had had the opportunity to play with one of those at the Small Boat Shop, where he used to work, and he DOES "Rave" about them, says they're terrific - and the Hobie Trifoiler) and that got us all properly jazzed for Richard's talk, which was great.

 There was a whole lot about how the America's Cup works that I either just didn't know, or had heard about but found completely confusing, and Richard made it all much clearer. Now I'm really going to be interested in finding out whether the next America's Cup is really going to be in Lanai, like somebody who'd had dinner with Dennis Conner the night before the talk said that Dennis Conner said it was quite possibly going to be. Larry Ellison had joked about that during the press conference after the America's Cup but he did buy Lanai, so maybe he wasn't joking so much. Would definitely change the boats again - the waters around the Hawaiian Islands would simply dismantle one of those carbon fiber flying machines they were using this time.

Wednesday we headed up to CT, with the first stop being at TQ's folks' home to say hello and pick up the canoe. The weather had been looking good enough to take that boat, which lets us take Bella along, which is much easier than sorting out a dogsitter for that sweet but rather strong-willed dog (plus Bella LOVES it when we take her with us). We haven't boat camped in a long time and this worked out wonderfully - if we do it again we might get some boots for Bella as the shelly beach on the island where we camped were very hard on her paws but other than that, oh, it was lovely. It was warm, the wind was quiet, and although we got a later start then we'd wanted to and were setting up camp at twilight, the moon was so bright that it never got too hard to see (in fact it was so bright that we could see everything around our camp, not just the little circle of firelight). We'd been worried about rain as TQ has had his tent for a long time and something weird happened to the coating of the rainfly a couple of years ago, it's got this weird slightly sticky feel to it now and we're not sure it's really waterproof anymore) but aside from a tiny sprinkles that sent us scrambling to get our gear into the tent's vestibules, there wasn't any. TQ's mom had donated a couple of nice steaks to the cause, TQ cooked those on the little charcoal grill while I took care of the sides (couscous, and homegrown Swiss chard sauteed with onions) on the camp stove. Yum. Thursday dawned cloudy, but cleared up shortly before we were ready to launch. Photos below, of course! As usual, click on a photo for a slideshow view.

The rest of the vacation was more of a visit with TQ's folks, I hadn't been up there since Easter so it was nice to catch up. The heron at the end is in the pond at TQ's folks' home - I took that from the front porch, I might have been able to sneak a little closer but I didn't want to scare the bird away. The foliage was starting to get nice up there.

We drove back to Brooklyn on Saturday and got in early enough that I decided to run out and get a DiFara's pizza for dinner (worked out well, it was once again that too-late-for-lunch-too-early-for-dinner time plus they had a leak that meant you could only get your pizza at the takeout window and I think that put off a few people, standing inside & watching Dom make the pizzas is half the fun - between those and a good bit of luck - the line at least doubled within a couple of minutes after I arrived - I had my pizza in about 20 minutes, if that, which for DiFara's is like lightning); Sunday I headed home for a little quiet time to myself before heading back to work.

Nothing exotic, but all in all, a very nice week off.

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