Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gert's new hair!

So, Bobbi came over this morning and, well, I'm not sure whose idea it was to have champagne at 8 am but we did. Floated around the pool until noon when I got enough energy to climb the steps for a nap. Woke up at 2:15 (we had a LOT of champagne...) when Killian kicked me. Dog is good for something as flew out of bed, took the quickest shower possible, dressed Gert and loaded her in the car for a ride to her hair app't at 3:30. Got there at 3:15 and was pretty proud of myself until Mark told me the app't was for 3. Well, we were, at least, there...The picture on the left proves it.

Went to a noodle house in Rockville for 'dinner' (more like 'linner' as it was 4 pm). Pretty good although a bit greasy on the oil on the lo mein. Mom enjoyed it. Stopped by home depot for a soaker hose for the garden and drove mom to the back 40 to view same. Got a cucumber for dinner tomorrow but, at the moment, that's about it. Lots of blooms on the squash and cantaloupe, tomatoes are also coming along.

John's working on a scheme with Tom, his charter boat captain friend. When Tom's on the bay, he buys crabs right off the crabbing boat so I put in an order for 2 dozen for tomorrow when John comes back up from the boat. Got a barbeque lunch planned with his folks before they head back to WV. Yep, that's my busy weekend plans...

Friday, June 18, 2010

More tales from the Bay house vacation

I'm afraid I got caught up in daily life and have been remiss in documenting the rest of our vacation to the Bay house.

After my brothers and their families left and there was just Bobbi, John, Sharyn, Gert and me, we decided to head down to the casino to try our luck (more like try Mom's luck).

So, we bellied on up to a casino slot machine after, of course, stopping for a cocktail at the outdoor bar - no sense wasting a perfectly good happy hour. Anyway, Mom split a $100 into 5 twenties and found a machine that was, of course, the farthest away from the aisle as she could get, thereby making it quite a challenge to get her back there. Sans wheelchair but avec the will to gamble, she tottled over to her machine supported on all sides by her entourage. I'm certain that the other gamblers must have thought she was famous, the way all of us were buzzing around her. The truth was we wanted to make sure she didn't fall and thereby blow the rest of our vacation!\

Anyway, she put $20 in the machine, and, after a short primer by me about how to hit the buttons, etc, she was off. And, man, OFF SHE WAS. Here's her very first pull on the machine:

 Now, this was a pretty damned good start and the key to gambling is to leave a winner so, of course, we stayed. After all, if that was the first pull, what would be the second? Long story short, she ended up walking out with $60 some bucks up - enough to treat to the next round. Sharyn and I didn't do nearly as well, in fact, I'm not sure either of us cashed out! Oh well...that's what money is for. Bobbi and John, wisely, decided to hold onto their dollars so they walked out winners in their own rights.
It was interesting to me to watch her gambling response increase. At first, I had to work with her to help her with the hands and drawing to the 5 card draw game but, after about 5 minutes, she was seeing hands that I was missing. The gambling spirit is well and alive within Gert.

Two if by sea...

So we aren't exactly Paul Revere but we did approach Annapolis by sea this past Sunday.

John's official end to vacation was a gorgeous day with a slight possibility of thunderstorms but that didn't stop us from taking the jet ski down to a Traxton start park, right outside Annapolis, and launching it for a full day of fun, sun and wild river riding.

We had a great tour of the harbor with sailboats and gorgeous powerboats moored securely. The view from the water is much different than from streets and we viewed some gorgeous piers, condos and lovely homes with tricked out yards.

A short 10 minute ride had us passing the Annapolis harbor and heading out to the Severn River to play on the jet ski for a bit. We were quite surprised at the large amount of chop (2 foot waves) at we turned the corner by the Naval Academy but we were game. We opened the ski up and we were going places! Of course, we had nowhere particular to be but that was beyond the point. We've determined that I'm a power girl - I have a need for speed! And, speed we did! We had talked to a gentleman launching a big jet ski while we were launching ours, which is a pretty good sized 3-seater turbo. His ski had a larger engine (no turbo though - did I mention I have a need for speed?...) but that didn't mean we didn't whoop him when he came from behind and overtook us the first time. That was all John needed - the race was on! There were a few times when I almost slid off the seat as John swirled, dipped and put the ski through its paces at around 40 knots. I finally figured out that riding a bucking jet ski is akin to riding a horse (not that I know what that's like but I think the analogy fits....). Regardless, I felt the workout in my thighs today, every single time I got up!

After showing the man who was, well, the MAN, we headed over to Annapolis and docked at the public dock for tenders - the jet ski is considered a tender or a dingy - go figure. Coming into the harbor, I had a flash of being 9 or 10 years old and coming into the same spot with the family on our boat, The Harmony, when we had a house on Kent Island. We used to go to the Acme foods right on the Annapolis Harbor to do our shopping and then head back across the bay to our cozy cottage. This was a much preferred travel method to Annapolis, and quicker than taking the then one-laned Bay Bridge which always seemed to be snarled.

This time though, I had to buy a new dress to walk around in but I can always use a new frock. I had brought a skirt with me in the dry box but felt a bit under dressed while strolling the streets of historic, beautiful Annapolis in a bathing suit and skirt. So, a new frock was had and we headed over to a great lunch while sitting on the water over at Pussers Bar and Grill. The waterfront was alive with fellow travelers who had dropped in to listen to the acoustic guitarist and imbibe, just as we had. Had a nice chat with a couple who were there for their 35th anniversary and quite happy to be in each other's company. Nice to see.

A few Dark and Stormies later, we were headed back to the jet ski to run back to the car ahead of a weather front. Of course, before we left, we had to recreate our first date and stopped in at the bar in the Harbor to have just one more cocktail. Met a delightful woman, Mary Ellen, who is 75. Her gorgeous son was the bartender that day and she started to tell me a great story. Her husband died 12 years ago. She has 7 children so, every day of the week, they rotate driving her wherever she needs to go. Great system she has going. She was very sweet and told me that she knew how good she had it. She certainly deserved it; she was a doll. We plan on meeting up with her again at that bar. I knew that bar was special the moment John walked in, toting his motorcycle helmet 2.5 years ago.

Our drinks done, we walked over to the jet ski and a short ride later, we were headed home.

A few monumentous things about this jet ski trip:
1. It's the first trip where we didn't lose anything (trip #1: my shorts; trip #2: John's shoes; trip #3: a brand new towing rope). Perhaps we've busted through the curse.
2. More importantly, there were no spills of any kind. Yeah for us!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mom and Dad's 68th Anniversary

Today marks the 68th anniversary of the day my Mom and Dad walked down the aisle and into a new, very happy life. Although Dad left this earth 3 years ago, today, June 15th will always mark their anniversary to me.

Subconsciously, I must have realized the date as, the moment I awoke today, I was craving a piece of toast with swiss cheese, topped with a juicy dill pickle. That's right - that combination was Dad's favorite breakfast and, to those of you shaking your heads, don't knock it until you've tried it. It's very delicious.

I made this particular breakfast a lot for Dad. He would vary the request with a slice of red tomato when the garden crop came in, but that's about as adventerous as he was with this particular craving.

And, as I crunch into my treat, I see him grinning, pickle juice running down his chin. I can see his eyes, those gorgeous blue eyes lighting up with each bite but, as the toast waned, they'd sadden just a bit. Until, of course, I'd surprise him with a fresh piece, melted cheese oozing from the sides, the pickle glistening in the morning sun. He'd just light up in delight and mutter a crumb-filled 'Thank you, Honey.'

So, Dad, this toast (literally) is for you. You're well missed but thought of every single day. And, your bride is as happy as she can be without your arms around her. I make sure of that, as much as I can. And she rewards me every single night with that same 'thank you for my day' that you gave me and, even more importantly, with the words you used to say to her every night as you tucked her in bed - not a night goes by that my adorable Mother doesn't kiss me and utter 'Good night, Sweetheart. Sleep well.'

Monday, June 14, 2010

He said to me 'WTF! I was only getting gas!'

On day 3 of our Bay vacation, John decided to take the jet ski over to Tilghman Island, ostensibly, to gas it up. Of course, the Rod And Reel Marina was a short jet ski 5 minutes away and has gas pumps aplenty but John must have conveniently forgotten about that or, perhaps, he just wanted to battle the bay for the 12 miles to Tilghman. Wouldn't have been a problem if, well, he didn't need to stop for gas.

So, on the way across the bay, John reports that the waves were 2-3 feet with wild swells. He was having a blast, jumping from one top to another, catching air and loving life. Having been a pro at riding (and wiping out) on dirt bikes during his youth, riding the jet ski brought back some of his skills (or lack thereof) from days of yore. The guy also has a cat's 9 lives and generally lands on his feet (most times). Anyway, he said he had a wonderful time on the ride over and back and came home, safe and sound. But, something was amiss. I wasn't sure what it was but something was rotten in Denmark.

Let me set the scene:

Lori (lying in bed, reading a book, relaxing)
John  (enters room and flops on bed. Lori gets slightly wet from the impact and wonders why he's so wet)
Lori (looks at John and detects that 'I ate a canary look' - believe she saw 3 yellow feathers sticking to his beard).
Lori: 'Hi, honey.' 'How was your ride?'
John: 'Oh, it was GREAT, waves were 2-3 feet in the middle, got to Tilghman in 30 minutes. It was a great time.' (insert pregnant pause)
Lori (recognizes a pregnant pause when she hears one but stays quiet and allows the pregnancy to bloom. Finally, she's waited long enough and peers at John quizzically)
John: 'Well, there's something I need to tell you but I don't want to...'
Lori (glances quickly outside and sees the jet ski on the lift. No crunches or untoward effects from this latest ride seen. Glances back at John to do a quick appraisal - bruise on foot, same as this morning. Broken toe, same as this morning. Assorted bumps and bruises on arms, same as this morning. Bruise on ego? New...)

And, so the tale starts:

John did, indeed, make it to Tilghman after playing in the bay, hopping too and fro. He was tied up to the gas pump at Tilghman ready to hop onto the dock and gas up when a fairly large boat went by (remember; this is John's tale - it could have been a duck for all I know.).

Anyway, he reports that this h-u-g-e ship went by (in the no wake zone, by the way - no wake means there's no waves allowed. 6 knots is the maximum speed. A wave created from a boat going 6 knots is about the same as a child jumping in a swimming pool - and not off the high dive. It's more like stepping off of the last step in the shallow end....).

Anyway, the next thing he knew, he was in the drink! Boop! Gone. Right over the side of the ski while TIED TO THE DOCK. Now, in my book, this one beats my dump into the harbor or even Bobbi's less than ceremonious slide at Herrington Harbor South - after all he was TIED TO THE DOCK. The slight no wake wiggle of water was enough to send that cat a sailing.

I was just holding my sides when I managed to choke out 'Did anybody see?' 'No' was the too quick answer and might have slid by a less astute listener but after a slight second, I decided I just couldn't let this go! 'Wait a minute!' I choked out - 'What about the people on the boat? They must have seen.'

With a harumph and a hurt look in those baby blues he said 'Well, I didn't see the people so it doesn't count...'

And, in fine fashion, after I stopped laughing, I documented the tale in a picture as, we all know, dear readers, a picture is worth a thousand words (I'm thinking I should become an artist instead of an author..):

So, that capped off Day 3, onto Day 4.

Kim came down for the day to visit and we had a nice time with some cocktails on the deck. John decided to go for a jet ski ride and asked Bobbi if she wanted to go (now, when my friend Bobbi lost her mind is beyond me). She was still quite sore from our crash 2 days prior. I couldn't believe she's set sail on the jet ski again after our spill of Titanic proportions. But, cocktails make one do strange things.. So, off they bobbled.

The bay wasn't particularly stormy - probably 1 to 2 foot waves. Nothing to worry about though and, we now know that the jet ski was gassed up so we're safe on that front. John and Bobbi should, theoretically, have come back as dry as when I sent them off. But, ah, that's what the tale's about.

John dropped her off the back of the jet ski, not once, but twice! The first time, they hit a wake of a boat - nothing like Ron's boat but enough to send Bobbi back off the left side of the ski again. The second time, she was smart and hung on so tightly to John that she pulled him off with her - smart move. It's best to teach a lesson early on - I go in, you go in.

On the second spill, they said they kind of slid gracefully off the ski which is still a bonus from our previous crashes. And, Bobbi said, this time, unlike the other dives in the drink, she went off the right side of the ski. She said she liked the left side better.

So, at the moment, with my one spill, I'm ahead of the game. The record is Lori: 1, John: 3; Bobbi: 3, oh, and Kimmie? 1. John dropped her too - talk about not being trusted! I think we should get a bigger boat...

Monday, June 7, 2010

I yelled 'I got this!' (aka - shoot. I lost my shoe)

So, for those following readers who saw my post where John fell off the jet ski (with much aplomb), I'm guessing you'll see where we're headed with this post.

So, yesterday, the first full day of vacation at the bay house started off promising, with calm seas and a light breeze. Bobbi and I decided to head off on the jet ski (bad decision #1) for a buzz of the Chesapeake beach and a run up to Harrington Harbor South where Ron's boat, the Bottom Line, is docked for the week. The plan was in full effect until we entered the harbor and went to pull up next to his boat. Now, for those jet ski neophytes, when one turns off the jet ski, one has absolutely no control of the craft, and I turned it off too far from the Bottom Line so we were coming in a too fast and rapidly approaching its towering hull. So, I made the executive decision to sacrifice my dignity and hit the drink to keep the two items from a certain colllision. My decision might have been different if the jet ski was white and matched the hull of the Bottom Line, I might have risked a slight bump which Ron certainly wouldn't have even felt within the cushioney confines of his ship but the jet ski, alas, is red and I didn't want a spec of red paint adorning that mammoth hull. So, in I slithered, much to the amusement of all onlookers. Lucy and Ethel were firmly in the show.

And that wasn't nothin...

So, I made my undigified climb back onto the jet ski. Bobbi was sitting sidesaddle (she's such a girl) and, at one point. started to slip off backward. She was hanging onto the ski, but there was a very real possibility that she was going to flip us (and I had just climbed out..), and we weren't even moving. So, I yelled 'get off. Get Off. GET OFF!' with rising intensity, and, with that final pleading yell, I did what any good captain of a ship would do - I pushed her off. Yep, into the drink in the harbor she went. I will admit that my planned entrance had a bit more panache to it than her rather ineloquent 'splash', but, again, that wasn't nothin.

So, here we both are, wet and thirsty and gratefully accepted the screwdrivers handed our way, once the people on the Bottom Line could stand up as their laughing fits subsided. One smartass yelled 'you guys are a hazard.' Yeah, no shit, Sherlock.

Anywho, the Bottom Line left with nary a wave - I don't think Ron wanted to know us at this point (a rather familiar stance) but Lucy and Ethel were still in the dock. It took us a good 5 minutes to get out of this huge slip. We were hanging onto ropes, pulling and tugging to try and get the ski into the right position before Lucy hit the gas. Ok on this one. A successful, if funny, disembarkation was obtained.

The Bottom Line was almost clearing the no wake zone by the time we pulled into the harbor and little Lori wanted to catch up and, well, that's not exactly true. Little Lori wanted to lap the Bottom Line on her little bitty jet ski. The Bottom Line was probably moving at 30 knots; eh, that's nothing on the jet ski. John and I had it up to 51 on the potomac but, dear readers, the potomac is still waters compared to a light chop on the bay yesterday. And the light chop wasn't about to be the problem.

So, we had a nice smooth ride inside the wake of the Bottom Line until Little Lori decided to make her move - yes! We were close enough to move outside the wake and pass the boat, that fancy beautiful boat was about to be placed asunder with a roaring jet ski. I even had a nice little wave planned as we zipped past. Well, I went to cross the wake, being the idiot I am, and didn't even think of the physics of water - the bigger the boat, the bigger the wake. And me with my college degree...

If a picture is worth a thousand words:

Well, through the first six footer wake wave, we gallantly clung to the rocking beast. I believe I heard expletives but that could have been inside my head.

The real problem was, when I hung on through that 6 foot monster wake, I hit the throttle and sped up the ski and that was all she wrote. Holy crap, Batman! We both went flying! Arms waving, legs splayed, tumbling with the greatest of ease (not). Over and over we sailed. I know I hit the water after at least a 6 foot drop!

Sputtering to the surface, the good captain I am (and any good captain should place their passengers well being ahead of theirs), yelled 'Damn! I lost my shoe!' Bobbi was just coming up and said with a totally incredulous tone - 'You lose your SHOE? You've lost your MIND!'' And we all know, a mind is a horrible thing to lose.

The jet ski, upon the initial approach to wave #2, had sped up with huge momentum so it ended up about 100 yards away. However, it stopped as the jet ski Gods planned, but someone had to go swimming for it. I looked with askance at Bobbi but decided not to even offer the possibility that she practice her breast stroke so off I went. By the time I had gotten to the jet ski, the Bottom Line had turned around to come check on funeral arrangements. Being fine, albeit a little sore, we suffered the laughs and gahuffs of the crew and climbed aboard the jet ski for the ride back home. And, thank you God, no further idiot moves were taken on the ride home. But, we both wanted OFF this Gilligan's Island tour.

Later that day, I almost fell off John's boat while docked in Herrington North, spewing a cup of red wine on his white boat. I couldn't be trusted to even be alone, so came back to this marvelous house and bellied up to the bar, never to leave the warm confines of the terra firma again. Or so I thought....

Later that day....
John took out his 4 in 1 boat (it sails, it's a sailboard, a high speed towable and something else). It was the first time he's sailboarded it and he would have been ok if he had allowed for the compression of air once it's cold (another physics lesson). He inflated said boat and headed out. He just didn't inflate it enough. Once the air inside the boat cooled from the bay water, the boat deflated enough to make it impossible to stand upon. Sharyn's son, Carl, was here and witnessed John's voyage - I think someone said he was headed to Cuba last time they saw him. So, being the dutiful significant other I am, I grungingly crawled onto the dreaded jet ski for a tour #2 of the bay to go retrieve him. As I was scanning the horizon, I was just a bit concerned until a kayaker waved me over. All he said was 'Are you looking for...', I laughed and said 'Yes.' He pointed me to a small beach where John and what was left of his ego was perched. It wasn't our day for the water.

We sure did have fun though I'm spending a lot of time making it up to dear Bobbi, who enchanted us all by showing us the large purple bruise forming on her butt. Even Mom was amazed at the multitudes of colors, swirls, and bumps.

Here's a few pictures from our journey so far. Niece Monya proved to the be the best guest ever by bringing all kinds of stuff with her - lox, bagels, cream cheese, popcorn, steaks, etc etc. She came down with a really delightful friend of hers (Laura) who was also a load of fun. Mike, Bea, Josh, and Becky are here from Arizona and Mom's really enjoying having them with her. Ron and Linda, and friend Sharyn who came up from NC round out the troups. Linda has also been amazing with putting together dinners and all types of delicious foods as I sit on my ass (just the way a vacation should be). Kimmie is visiting sometime this week so we're surrounded by love, laughter and friends. A great vacation and it's only day 2...