What a whirlwind of island hopping, relishing our time with all 5 kids, visiting dear friends we haven’t seen enough of, and finally sailing up the Connecticut River to enjoy 2 weeks of family reunion time behind my sisters house. It was the best of the best. I finally understand why folks live in the New England area. Places to gunk hole, cool cities, American history, and everything is relatively close.
And then there is… Trader Joes! The USA is “the land of plenty”. Amazon Prime, Trader Joes’, Fresh Market, DSW Shoes, Apple Store, West Marine, wow. We are back! From independent contractors who speak English to ordering parts and installing ourselves, it’s so nice to be home and complete projects or upgrade. You have no idea how difficult or expensive it can be in other parts of the world.
In typical Gato style we did not stay anywhere for long. From the time we arrived in July and left New England mid August we sailed to Cuttyhunk which is in the Elizabeth Islands and officially part of Massachusetts.
Onsett to clear customs, Duxbury where we barely managed to squeeze between the hundreds of small moorings to have a mini America3 reunion with Marci Lucier and Sarah Cavanah.
On to Marblehead to visit Amy And Seamus Hourihan (Seamus wearing a gift basket from Grenada because he though it was a hat?) and Eric’s buddies Toby and Sally Reiley.
Provincetown for the 4th of July to look for whales and celebrate son Rico’s birthday with his sibs Helena and Lucretia and best friend Ryan.
Hadley’s Harbor to raft up with Bob and Jane Gleason.
Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket with California friends Megan and Bruce Peeling, Marie and Lewie Wake.
Newport where we dined, raced, and played with Dori and Scott Vogel, JB, Christy and Trev Prior, Susie Leech, Linda Lindquist, Johnny and Scott McGowan, Amy Baltzell, visited mansions, and had another mini America3 reunion with spouses, cousins, their mates and kids. Guest appearance from Mike and the newly named Mrs. Easton (Lindsay).
Marci Lucier’s son JJ following Eric’s lead.
Back to Cuttyhunk to play with Bob and Jane, Christy and Trev. Cuttyhunk was our favorite place to revisit. Quiet, good hikes, fresh seafood, good pizzas, and some interesting history.
My kids flew in to Boston, we toured a bit then drove back to Newport where we rented scooters, celebrated Bobby’s birthday, then motor sailed to Block Island.
Mystic was next where we just had to try Mystic Pizza after watching the movie in our mini theater onboard. And yes, we know they built the restaurant after the movie was produced but it was still fun. The pizza? Not the best. Cute town though. Museum is outstanding. You can anchor right behind it. Kids ate their first lobster rolls and the shirts were a hit. Sex Drugs and Lobster Rolls!
My niece and grand nieces were dropped off to sail with us to Haddam where my sister lives. A family reunion was planned in two parts. Kids first, then siblings. Our family keeps growing so we needed to space things out.
And for the first stage of my 60 days of 60, we celebrated in Italian style with Bocce Ball, Italian meals, Italian wines, and Italian dress. One night for each couple hosting started with a trip to dinner and the Theater to see Oliver. Other days and nights were spent feasting on fine food in true Gardner style. My family owned and ran Gardner’s Markets in Miami for 3 generations with sister Elizabeth and Brother in Law Maurice running them, until we finally sold them all a few years ago. We celebrate with food and bring our families together around meals and our kids will carry this wand with them as they grow and expand their own families. A familiar scenario is to be eating and planning the next meal!
Our departure was by way of NYC and we stopped in Sandy Hook for a few hours to rest before sailing all night to Cape May. A nice lunch with Hobie Catter friends Wally and Lynn Meyers, and onward south to the Delaware and Chesapeake. We had 2 bats join us overnight in the Delaware and thankfully they departed the following night when the sun finally dipped below the horizon. Stow aways!
From there we motored to West River Sailing Club, close to Annapolis. Rented a car and did some city touring. Behind the WRSC we are enjoyed a few days with our sistership Carlota’s Promise. Paolo and Charlotte chartered with us 2 years ago and purchased their beautiful cat last year. So fun to buddy boat!
We met up with locals Paul and Kathy Parks,they hosted and we enjoyed a fabulous meal at the Annapolis Yacht Club, and we anchored behind their backyard. Paul took this one. West River YC is behind us.
We’ll relaunch in Late November and head south to the Bahamas, then sail on to CUBA. As a girl who grew up in Miami with a dad who raced there, and friends in high school whose parents fled, I am more than curious to see that country/island. My new bedtime story is the cruising guide for Cuba. Super psyched for new adventures and a completely different culture and politics.
From there on to Jamaica, especially after seeing Shaggy play with Sting at a concert here in SD! Possibly Caymen Islands, then southwest. Sometimes it’s good not to plan too far ahead. We like to go with the flow!
Until then, we relish our time at home visiting friends and nearby kids.
Hope you have a beautiful Fall and until the next blog, Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!