Thursday, December 30, 2021

Holiday fun coming and going, plus a great picnic visit with friends.

It's been a wonderful Holiday season thus far this year, we're feeling especially thankful for all our many blessings.  It's been fun doing all the typical holiday chores; the decorating, the baking (fruitcake and a few batches of specialty cookies), plus the making and eating of the Christmas meal.

A couple of photos from that process and the end result. It was dry-brined Instant Pot turkey thighs (on a trivet), cornbread dressing, rice, gravy and veggies for us, accompanied by a lovely bottle of Saraceni Blumond Blue Bubbly we first tried over in Italy and loved.

I can't believe I ate the whole thing was the theme for the day.

Can you tell what we love best?

Whew! All that fun and a food coma too, what a great day.

Next up was a fantastic visit with our friends Marlene & Benno. We've known them for years, hitting it off with them from the get-go in the Bahamas while preparing to head down to the Caribbean in '06. Here's a taste of that adventure: 

We give a shout out on the VHF radio on the offhand chance that our friends Marlene and Benno on Diesel Duck might be near enough to hear us - we heard them on the SSB radio (in the AM) saying they were headed to San Juan.  Sure enough, we made contact and they diverted to Samana, Dominican Rep, where they showed up at the park just in time for sundowners with us.

Another life and time for sure. On Tuesday, we were mulling over the idea of a try-out of Lake Alto Park as a good kayaking spot and picnic area. A phone call later, and a spur of the moment plan was hatched  with Marlene and Benno coming up from Ocala on Wednesday to meet us at the park for a long overdue gabfest and picnic lunch. Benno decided he wanted to bring his bbq grill and Marlene brought these wonderful smoked brisket burgers and all the fixings, while I brought my broccoli slaw/apples/raisin "coleslaw" and chips, plus a few beverages. I've always admired Marlene's ability to organize like a BOSS.

We had a great time talking; just ladies, just gents; all together now swapping tall tales from our cruising days. Lots of laughter and much happiness seeing old friends after 5 years. Thanks for coming up you guys! BTW, their blog is : 

Ed and Marlene having a chat.

Benno gets his grill on while Marlene takes a few photos

Bye guys, until the next time.

We made down to Lake Alto Park about an hour earlier in order for Ed to launch and get some time in on the lake before lunch. Here are a few shots of that activity. It was a gorgeous day, the park, including the boat ramp and picnic area was pristine and we were the only picnic'ers there most of the day.

For y'all's benefit, how he launches single-handedly.
First, grab the pointy end and pull, haha. Luckily, this kayak is pretty robust.

Pretty easy-peasy. (See my shadow up on the dock?)


Hat, water, long sleeves, sun gloves - check, here I go.

Well, that's a wrap. A super day was had by all, great friends, great food, pretty spot and beautiful weather. Thanks for stopping by and checking it out. Happy New Year to one and all! We wish you peace, health and prosperity during 2022.


  1. Thank you for the trip along memory lane :-) We always have a good time with you guys and those boating days were special. Yesterday as no exception and I think we have lots more to talk about! Your photos are nice.

    1. Yes definitely, lots more talking needs to be done! We'll catch you again soon I hope. Happy New Years Eve!