Sunday, August 2, 2015

Trip to New York

We have slowed down to a Snell’s pace finally.   We finally left DC just before the 4th of July.  The coast guard was already making announcements about waterway safety for the 4th during that time.    We moved fairly fast down the Potomac but found 3 new really nice anchorage areas on the way.  The Potomac is beautiful and if you happen to be sailing the Chesapeake for a season, don’t miss it.  We turned left or north and headed into Solomon, Maryland.  We have to laugh because only cruisers and boaters know the Solomons.  It is a very small but pretty harbor and its only economy are marinas and boaters.  There is a little bit of touristic attraction as well.  We love it in the Solomons and have always stopped here whenever we are in the Chesapeake.  We have family and friends though who don’t have any idea what we are talking about.  Summer storms are a big deal here as they are in Florida.  We just never know when we are going to get blown around and very wet.

In the Solomon Harbor where we anchor near the Calvert Museusm where they brought in the Drum Pt lighthouse for touring
So on to our next problem.  We had been referred to a “great” refrigerator man in the Solomons who could fix our AC compressor on the refrigerator.  We pulled into a marina and he had it fixed in an hour or so.  Thank heavens it was not the compressor at all but a stuck valve in the refrigerator which caused the compressor to stop working each time we started it.  He fixed the valve and we are good to go.  Needless to say we were thrilled with him.  If anyone needs a recommendation for a good refrigerator man in this area, please let us know.
So on to the next problem.  Our 7 year old computer was dying.  It was doing crazy little things that Harry things were due to corrosion.  Can’t imagine that, being in salty air for 7 years and no air-conditioning. HA HA.  Anyway, we had met a couple who was renting a car.  They took us to Best Buy and we bit the bullet and bought a new HP.  Harry spent 4 days trying to load programs going from bar to bar to get good internet.  I won’t mention here the bar tabs.  These are the trials and tribs of living on a boat and trying to sustain good communication.  Of course after we bought the computer, the old one decided to act normal again.  I think it got jealous!!!  I was bummed that we spent the money but Harry reassured me it would go bad again very soon. 
We motored up to Annapolis, stopping one night at an uninhabited island, called James Island.  It really looked like one of the islands in the Caribbean.  Then on into Weems Creek in Annapolis where we anchored for almost a week.  We walked miles everyday to get errands run etc.  It was fun though being back.  It is a city we love so we were glad to be back.  We have been having a terrible time with our temporary T-mobile phones and service so since we decided we had not spent enough money on all the boat repairs, a computer, etc we decided to go to Verizon and get new phones and service.  We had had Verizon for years and got into a big fight with them while we were in the Caribbean.  They had lied to us about being able to keep our phone on hold and sent us a bill for $650 which we could not get out of.  Of course we swore we would never use Verizon again. So guess what we are back with them, only because they have the best network and we can get service everywhere.  While in Annapolis we had a lovely night out with SSCA friends.
Off to Magothy River to anchor for the night when it was 95 degrees and 100% humidity.  We anchored on a Sunday near a small beach where about 500 power boaters came to swim, barbecue and basically have a great Sunday afternoon.  So we dinghied over and joined the fun.  The swimming was wonderful and a great relief from the heat.

We arrived in Baltimore the next day.  We love this city and spent 3 summers here working.  It has a beautiful inner harbor and waterfront area.  We know there has been lots of conflict and terrible in the city this year which makes us feel badly because we do love this city.  We are anxious to walk around see what has changed in 8 years and how things are now.

One of the many lighthouses in the Chesapeake.  Renovation is going on

Francis Scot Key bouy that is place in the stop where Francis Scott Key was being held captive on a British ship.  This is where he wrote the Star Spangled Banner.  Behind the buoy is Fort McHenry

  After 2 more days of unbelievable heat and no AC on the boat we left by Amtrak for a week up in Clinton, NY with Harry’s sister and family.  What a relief,much cooler and AC in the house.  We attended his family reunion which consists of 60 Norwegians.  It use to be about150 attending but those days are gone.  We have not been there for 5 years so there were a ton of kids we didn’t know and had no idea who they belonged to.  Everyone we knew looked so much older, except us!!!!.  We had a great time getting reacquainted with all the family.  This all takes place in a park near Gilbertsville, NY.

Before we eat we get in a big circle and count off so we know how mnay attend the reunion including the kids.  Love the banner.

Then the 4 of us took a 2 day trip up to the St. Lawrence River to the thousand islands.  We visited an old wooden boat museum where I found my cousins racing boat from the 50’s.  see the pictures. 
My second cousin George (Buddy) Byers was the national champion speed boat champion for 6 years.  We just happen to walk into this room and there was his boat.  Naturally, I was very excited.

Showing it off

Buddy delivering the boat to the museum

The story about him 
His jacket
We went up a tower on the Canadian side that overlooks all of the islands. (absolutely gorgeous).  
view from the top of the tower on one of the islands between US and Canada.  The big bridge way in the background is the bridge to Canada
Another view of the islands

Harry, me and Pat (harry's sister) at the top of the tower

We took a boat tour and visited 2 castles.  The first castle is the Singer Castle built at the turn of the century.  It was built by the President of Singer company. 

The first mansion which is the Singer Mansion owned by the President of the Singer Sewing Machine Co built at the turn of the century.  They have put an antique sewing machine in almost every room just for show

It even comes with knights in armor

I guess they drank a lot of wine even back in those days

Breakfast room where they served all their guests breakfast

Exercise room.  It was very modern in those days with a chart for different exercises to do
 The second castle has a very interesting story.  It was built by George Bolt who owned the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NY and the Bellevue -Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia.  He loved his wife very much and decided to give her a present of this castle.  So he bought the island and had this mansion built.  It was 90% finished when the wife suddenly died in her 40's.  He immediately telegraphed the construction people and said stop construction.  They all left and the castle stayed deserted for several years.  The wife never saw it.  He finally  donated it to a military school.  They never had a use for it so they sold it to a organization up in the islands who have spent years finishing the construction.  It is a magnificent castle.  If you ever get up there make sure you don't miss it. . We walked all over the grounds and the castle for several hours.
The Bolt Castle which put the Singer castle to shame.  The tower at the left end was the "children's playhouse" and the building on the right end was the power plant.  Sorry this is not a better picture

This is the boat house

Main entrance when coming for guests to enter
Dining area for the servants.  Downtown Abby would be very jealous.  He started out as a servant at a hotel and he wanted to make sure his servants were comfortable
Main dining hall

Organ which was to be used for all the balls and parties they would put on.  It is at the end of the ballroom

Ball room

Family room

View from the top of the second floor.  There were 5 floors and 100 rooms

View of the stairs

Very modern electrical panel.  They only had DC power at the time

Beautiful fountain in their garden

 After we got back we took our grand nephew on a riverboat ride across the Erie Canal including going through a lock at Herkimer.  So the trip was great, the weather was perfect and we love riding the train which travels right along side the Hudson River.  We are back in Baltimore for a few more days and then not sure where we will go.

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