It’s been a busy fall since we were last aboard “Fortunate” on Thanksgiving weekend in October. We did go back to Kingston for a day after she was hauled out to prepare everything for shrink wrapping for the winter. It was very nice not to have to deal with a tarp this year. I’d consider a more permanent canvas cover and frame except for the very high initial outlay and the problem of where to store it when the boat is the water. It might be different if we lived closer.
At home our trees seem to have grown or at least shed more leaves than ever before. The worst though is that both of our neighbours have trees with very small narrow leaves that don’t rake up very well. Since our old leaf blower died last year we invested in a new blower/mulcher this year that worked very well vacuuming up and mulching leaves that then could be easily bagged and put out for the city to take away and compost. The place has never looked so good. We also stored away all the summer stuff, lawn chairs, etc. in the shed and rearranged the garage to accommodate both the scooter and the Smart car. We didn’t use the Smart car much last winter so we didn’t bother to put snow tires on it this year. The Escape Hybrid though got its annual cleaning, rustproofing, and snow tires in preparation for the inevitable.
I find November to be the worst month of the year – cold, dark, dreary, and damp. Fall is over but winter has not yet started. It’s a good time to make like the birds and migrate. So we did just that – a month in the relative warmth of Florida walking the beach in the sunshine. We drove down, taking our time, staying off the Interstates when possible, and following the coast. We saw sections of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway along the way, leading us to think that perhaps next year we’ll make the same trip by boat. We visited Myrtle Beach for the first time on the way down. It’s similar to Florida (i.e over commercialized) but has a nice beach and boardwalk and lots of restaurants and nightlife. If I were a golfer it might be nice to spend the winter here. This year however our destination was Treasure Island on Florida’s gulf coast with possibly the best beach on the gulf. It’s a more laid back area that attracts a mix of families and retirees than say Clearwater Beach which tends to be party central. While there we also visited Weeki Wachee Springs and saw the mermaid show including the “Legendary Sirens” – former mermaids now aged 59 to 79 who have come back to perform in a once monthly special.
Becky did not make the trip with us to Florida – she stayed home with James. This meant though that after three weeks on the beach it was time to head home. Along the way we were able to stop at Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Myrtle Beach (again), and Hershey, Pennsylvania all of which got us off the Interstate for a while. I-81 through Pennsylvania is particularly brutal with the sheer volume of truck traffic. It’s an area dominated by huge distribution centers and crisscrossing interstates that generates very high volumes of high-speed traffic. Not at all relaxing. In future I think I will plan to avoid it.
We are now home again, catching up on a month’s worth of laundry and chores and getting ready for Christmas.