What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I was probably in 4th or 5th grade the last time I had to write one of these essays and I have no recollection as to what I wrote about.  Sitting down today to recap what we have done this summer reminded me of the ritual, as well as Cheech and Chong’s “Sister Mary Elephant” (some of you are going to have to look that up).

To date, Anna Marie and I have been enjoying our time here in New England very much.  We sailed from Old Lyme to Newport and felt very much at home upon arrival.

Newport was where we had taken our first ASA sailing classes as well as our first two charters.  It is also where we attended the renowned Newport Boat Show almost every September before purchasing the RK, so we were in familiar territory.

We anchored in Brenton Cove, half way between The New York Yacht Club and Fort Adams.

New York Yacht Club

Fort Adams

We got settled in and headed for the yacht club.  Miles, our buddy-boat captain/owner on our trip north from Saint Martin, is a member of the club and provided us with guest memberships.  Wow, what a place.  We felt like royalty and were treated as such. As guest members, we were allowed to use the launch, enjoy drinks while watching the sunset, have dinner, and best of all, use their address to receive all the boat parts I was ordering!

Dinner at the New York Yacht Club

S/V Summer Dreams – The first boat we chartered a number of years ago

S/V Perfect Summer – We chartered this vessel the following year

We decided to visit Fort Adams and take a tour. We found the experience to be most rewarding and historically educational. It is definitely a ‘must do’ if visiting Newport.

Our Tour Guide explains to us the magnificence of the design and brilliance of it’s French Architect

Officers quarters were quite spacious with main living area and separate bedrooms

Windows were tapered to minimize the chance of artillery entering the room. The walls were 3-4 feet thick.

View from the roof of the Fort. Jamestown is in the background

Corridors leading to underground tunnels located in numerous areas around the Fort

Next up was to explore the town. We rented a three wheel scooter to travel Ocean Avenue and familiarize ourselves with the area. Even though we have visited Newport many times before, we never had much time on those trips to explore.

Three wheel scooter we rented to explore

This little guy was a blast. We headed out to Ocean Avenue. As we came around the point near Castle Hill, there was a festival going on at the Brenton Point State Park. We were not sure what kind of festival it was, but there were dozens of really cool kites flying.

Kites flying at the festival

Close-up of the horse and fish

We continued down Ocean Avenue and then to Bellevue Avenue to get a peak at some of the mansions Newport is famous for. Many have been taken over by The Preservation Society and tours are open to the public. We took advantage touring Rosecliff. It is one of many located along the cliffs overlooking the ocean. You could easily spend the whole summer in Newport and probably still not see everything you might wish to.

Newport cliff walk – Anna Marie’s got sunshine on a cloudy day…

This way Honey!

The welcoming committee

The Ball Room

Builders back then were artists

Next up on our list was Block Island.  This treasure located about 25 miles southwest of Newport has always been a favorite spot of ours. Anna Marie and I have been exploring this island for the past 13 years or so. We would typically go there by ferry for a few 3 day weekends during each year. We also went once during a sailing class and again on one of our charters. It was very special to arrive in our own boat. We spent about a week there before heading south to Cape May, NJ to meet up with some of Anna Marie’s college friends. The group has been meeting there in early August for the last 12 or 13 years. While on Block Island, our son Blake took part in a 3 mile beach run sponsored by Two Roads Brewery. He got to spend a 3 day weekend with us on the boat.

Runners lining up for the start

Blake with his proud Dad after the race. Blake came in 6th

Blake (left) with some of his Two Roads co-workers

Dad enjoying a beer with Blake at sunset

Downtown Cape May, NJ

The town has a total old time summer feel

Cool lamppost

We took most of the group out for a day sail. Conditions were so calm we just decided to drift and let the crew go swimming. Dolphins came to visit and our friend Sue tried to paddle board over to them. I think we had about 12 people on the boat.

Myself, Joe, his wife Mindy (L – R), and their son Ely (foreground)

Sue and her son Ryan warming up after a long swim

After a week in Cape May, it was back to Sandy Hook and then to City Island to effect some boat repairs and prepare for our trip down to Annapolis.

We really enjoyed our stay in City Island. The town has a very unique flavor. It is part of the Bronx, but has a small town feel while also having a strong maritime history and flare. The people are very friendly and many look very salty, but at the same time, demonstrate their city-like roots.  A local told me it is the kind of place you might see someone walking the street in an Octopus costume but no one  would think anything of it.

Sunset from the dock of the City Island Yacht Club

Typical City Island – Note the turntable on the hood and the artificial turf body skirt

It was here that we celebrated our one year anniversary. On August 27, it was one year since moving onto the boat full time. Much has occurred during that year and we can’t believe how quickly it passed. We have learned a lot about this lifestyle and the amount of work it takes to maintain it. We have also learned much about ourselves and our desire to explore, learn, and meet new and interesting people and cultures. We are hopeful that year two will be as exciting as this last one was, albeit with a few less things on the boat needing repairs or service.

2 responses to “What I Did on My Summer Vacation”

  1. Awesome essay! I believe the Rosecliff mansion had been used for an episode of Antiques Roadshow that I recently watched.

    • Thanks Bob. Glad you enjoyed it. All the mansions there are really special. Hopefully next year we can visit a few more.

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