Tuesday, January 22, 2013

More Miami and a Road Trip on the side

     On Monday the 14th I took the bus to get a haircut.  It had been over 2 months since my last one and I was getting a bit shaggy.  This gave Lynn some time to relax again.  While I was in the area, I walked to West Marine in search of a folding bicycle.  Folding bikes are perfect on a  boat as they don’t take up valuable space.  It turns out that the one I was looking for was recalled due to a safety issue.  It's a good thing I didn't buy it before we left as I had planned!!  Back at the boat I tried in vain to find a decent folding bike online at a decent price. I guess I’ll wait until we get to Marathon next month and search again.

     Tuesday was laundry day and a chance for Lynn to get off the boat for a little time on land.  We packed up all the dirty clothes, detergent, fabric sheets, etc and headed in early so we wouldn't have to wait in line.  There are only 2 washers and 2 dryers to accommodate 228 mooring balls.  The office opens at 0800 and we arrived at 0830 to find the washers were both broken and might be fixed later in the day, maybe.  So, back in the dinghy with all our stuff and back to the boat.  At least Lynn got her feet on terra firma for 20 minutes or there about. I found out thru email later in the day that the battery was dead on my truck at home and wouldn't take a charge.  Our neighbor Stephanie has been kind enough to start it every other week. Our other neighbor Chrystal is going to ask her husband Jim to look into the matter for me and get a new battery.  We cannot say enough about where we live and the great neighbors we are fortunate enough to have.  It makes leaving for trips almost worry free.  The next day I went back in to do laundry with the newly repaired washers.

     On the 17th we took the bus and trolley into downtown Miami and had a great lunch for our 43rd anniversary.  We walked around a bit after eating and then took another bus to the Coco Walk in Coconut Grove for a short walk around the chic and expensive shops. On Friday we picked up a rental car ($9.95/day with 100 miles per day) and did some much needed grocery shopping.  We also drove through Miami Beach and up the shoreline for about 20 miles.  But we were never able to see the water or even the beach because of all the high-rise apartments along the road.  We ended the afternoon at an Irish pub that didn't have one Irish beer or any Irish fare on the menu!!!!  Just an Irish name, Flanagan’s.

Farmer's Market Outside

     On Saturday we went in early with the car to the Coral Bagel, a great spot for breakfast.  There was a waiting line but it moved quite fast.  Had a really good meal and then drove to the Farmer's Market that is held every Saturday.  We bought more produce and some fresh spices as well.  Then we took off for Ft. Lauderdale to find the dive shop, Divers Direct.  I tried to buy a full wet-suit but was unable to find one that fit me properly.  But I did buy an underwater camera.  It's waterproof to 200 feet and came with a clip on wide angle lens, a $70 value, for free.  Can't wait to use it in Marathon.  Lynn got a nice shirt there, light weight and with a dive theme.  Next door to the dive shop was a Bass Pro Shop that we spent quite a bit of time walking around.  I was able to get a nice knit shirt and some light weight cargo shorts, both on sale.  We next drove to Total Wine and stocked up on more Merlot in bottles.  Since we are always close to a trash can here we decided to get bottles and keep the box wine for traveling.  We ended the day at another Beer and Burger place for supper.  We split a meal because the sandwiches  and helpings of potatoes are huge.

Farmer's Market Inside

     Sunday we headed south to Florida City and stopped at Wally World.  We had put together quite a list of things to buy.  We also made plans to meet some friends from Ohio, who were on their way to Key West to see their new granddaughter, to meet in Key Largo at a great seafood restaurant we discovered years ago.  These are the people, Bruce and Beth, from s/v Grace whom we traveled with our first year in the Bahamas.  For some reason our location was either not understood or not communicated well.  We never did meet up but Lynn and I enjoyed a terrific seafood supper.

     Yesterday, Monday, we returned the car after having breakfast again at Coral Bagel.  After 3 days of driving around and eating at all those restaurants we spent the rest of the day relaxing and reading. Today was spent getting water with the Jerry cans x 2 trips and cleaning the boat. The weather has been very nice here with only 2  days of rain. Just had to rub that part in for all our friends and family back up north !!!!  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Week 14 on s/v twomorrows

     It’s been a very relaxing week here at the mooring field.  Lynn has been behaving herself by spending her time reading and doing crosswords.  A few naps here and there to regain strength and most of all keeping me company.  The last 3 plus weeks became very boring being on the boat by myself when not at the hospital.  The weather has been warm but very windy and we are glad to be safely attached to a mooring ball.  Winds have been from 15-25 knots constantly with gusts of maybe 30 every so often.  The long range forecast has the same outlook till maybe Wednesday of next week. It’s also nice to cook for more than just myself and Lynn enjoys having something other than the hospital chow.

 The Dinghy Dock at Dinner Key
A Manatee that wouldn't go away from behind my dinghy

     I discovered a Farmer’s Market that sets up on Saturdays nearby and have made two trips for produce.  The selection is huge and the prices are very low.  We've been able to enjoy fresh vegetables almost every night along with our meals.  I made a great stir fry the other night with some fresh shrimp we had frozen just before the holidays.  I took a day trip on the bus to a SCUBA shop looking for a full wet suit only to find the place was just a small operation with no inventory.  At least it gave Lynn some time to take a decent nap without me bothering her.

    The Farmer's Market on Grand Ave. in Coconut Grove

  On Thursday she had a follow up appointment with the pulmonologist that attended to her while hospitalized.  He said she was doing extremely well and didn't need to see her again.  She is to continue the meds given on discharge until they are finished and keep relaxing for another week or two.  Our plans are now to stay in Miami till about 1 Feb and then head down towards the Keys.  We will probably go to Boot Key Harbor in Marathon for a month before moving either to Key West or maybe start slowly back north.  We would like to meet up with Laura and Graeme when they return from the Bahamas and continue our trek with them towards home in April.  My brother Kevin is making plans to visit us while in Marathon with hopes of doing some diving and sightseeing.
     There are several sailing schools located around Dinner Key.  While Lynn was in the hospital we were able to look out the window and sometimes see as many as 50 or more small sailboats in the bay.  While in the mooring field we see them up close.  They sail through the field and in between the boats in order to get out and back from their lessons.  It’s really a sight to watch them weave around the big boats tied to the balls.  And we have never seen anything even close to a collision.  They must be learning well, eh?

Sailboats going through the mooring field returning back to the docks after their lessons

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Free At Last

After 22 days of hospital confinement, umpteen lab tests, X-rays, CT scan, numerous IV antibiotic infusions and countless respiratory inhalation treatments Lynn passed muster and was granted permission to leave.  Since my last post she was moved from the room with a view to another room where she was able to admire the air conditioning units on the roof all day.  For the past week she was self sufficient and almost able to give herself the meds.  One day she even went in the hall and got her own dinner tray off the cart because the staff was too slow.  Needless to say all the nurses wanted her as a patient as she required almost no upkeep!!!  She is back on the boat and after 24 hours doing well at adjusting to the routine a float.  We have follow up appts for her this coming Friday to see what the future holds.  We are hopeful that we will be able to continue our trip but stay in the States in case more medical attention would ever be needed.
     We spent both Christmas and New Years with each other and that is a good thing compared to the alternative.  On Christmas day we had the opportunity to do Skype video calls with both Todd and Jeremy.  It was so nice to talk face to face with them and to be able to see our fantastic grandsons.  We miss all of them so much but they seem to be doing just fine without Nana and Pop Pop’s spoiling.
     During my stay here on the mooring ball, I was able to meet up with some friends.   Bill and Terri stopped by for a night before going to the Bahamas.  Bill and Bette were so nice to invite me over for dinner one night.  Bill and Bette are friends from a previous trip to the Bahamas.  Bill and Terri are members of our sailing association in the Chesapeake Bay.  Also Glenn and Dorothy surprised Lynn with a visit at the hospital before they left for the Bahamas.  I’d like to thank all of you that sent messages asking about Lynn and for all of your thoughts and prayers.  As you can see, they worked.  Thank You !!!!!
     In between trips to the hospital every day I was able to find places for us to visit by bus once Lynn feels up to getting off the boat with the doctors permission.  Several restaurants, parks and a couple of museums await us.  But all of that will wait till my best friend is back in good health and ready.
     No pictures for this posting but I hope to have several to add to this Blog the next time.  Looking forward to seeing my brother Kevin and Tracey in Marathon, if we make it that far, to do some SCUBA diving.