"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

January 1, 2021

Happy New Year 2021

As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.” – Steve Maraboli
Happy New Year...here's to hoping 2021 is an easier year than the last one has been. We’ll begin the new year as full time liveaboards...first time since we started cruising ten years ago. No one can predict what adventures the new year will bring, but we look forward to them all.

December 30, 2020

Year in Review 2020

"Memories are timeless treasures of the heart." –Unknown

Our highlight of January was spending time with our whole family in Dripping Springs.
Our February was full of adventures and friends in Puerto Rico. We were so glad we had planned it early in the year.
March started out normal, but by the end of the month our world had fallen apart. Spending time with our Rockport girls made everything feel just fine.
We spent April hanging out the house...doing projects, watching movies, putting puzzles together and learning to draw
In May we began to get back to life...although different than normal. We spent widened our circle to include our family.
In June we moved back to the The Pearl and began to enjoy lake life.
In July we had our grands spend time with us on the boat and we all had a wonderful time. Being close to family is what life is all about.
August brought a lot of family time...a little vacation on Keuka Lake with Kyle and his family, then two weeks in Texas. 
September in New York brings cooler weather and the beginning of amazing fall color. It also meant another little vacation with Kyle's family on the lake. 
October is our transitional month...we put The Pearl to bed and move back to our Texas life. Always sad to leave one set of grands, but wonderful to spend time with our others.
November was spent preparing ourselves for moving out of our home...getting our pool back in shape, and getting rid of unwanted items in our home and shop. Even with all the hard work we had a little time to enjoy our Texas grands.
We were so busy in December with selling our home we were unable to spend Christmas with Kyle and his family...so pictures and video chats had to do. Here in Texas we had a wonderful time with Eric and his family. Hoping next year will be a little easier for everyone.

December 20, 2020

Merry Christmas

 “Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings.” –Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Covid 19 may have changed the way we did a few things in the past 9 months, but it didn't stop us from enjoying another wonderful year. We spent less time with friends, but much more time with our family. That trend started in January when Kyle and his family came to Texas for a week. We spent four of those nights with our whole family in a beautiful home in Dripping Spring. It was a great place for us to visit, reconnect with each other and watch the cousins play. 

In February we spent almost three weeks in Puerto Rico. What a great place to vacation, it offers a little of everything we love...crystal clear water, white sand beaches and amazing waterfalls. We had plenty of time to hike, explore and relax. The people of Puerto Rico were amazingly friendly, the food was excellent, the scenery spectacular and the beaches picturesque...all the excitement of being in another country, but the ease of being in the US. It's definitely a place we'll visit again. 

Life went along as normal until the middle of March...then our world seemed to change over night. Not that it really affected us that much...we did give up eating out and going to the yacht club, but we had lots of great visits with our Rockport granddaughters. The slower pace gave us a chance to get a lot of projects done around our house and cooking at home meant we were saving money and eating healthier. All good things.

The biggest issue the virus caused was the timing on our return to New York and The Pearl. The state park that our marina is in wouldn't allow anyone to stay on their boats until the first part of June...so we lost a month of time up north. We didn’t spend a lot of time visiting with other boaters, but we spent A LOT of great time with Kyle and his family. Our summer was amazing...we had three mini vacations on the lakes in upstate New York. All were spent with our family at great home rentals. We went swimming, boating, hiking, exploring, painted rocks, had campfires, ate s'mores and had a wonderful time.

The saddest part of our year was the passing of Stan's mom in September. We went home in August so we could spend a few weeks with her. She was the last of her generation to pass and now we're the old ones...how did that happen so fast? She'll be missed greatly, but we have a lot of wonderful memories to cherish.

This year brings an end to our life in Port Lavaca...we have a contract on our house and will move on to Texas Pearl full time on January 15. It's an emotional move, but we're ready. We no longer have any reason to stay in Port Lavaca and we have so many other places we want to explore. We look forward to the new year with all its new adventures and the opportunities it'll bring. We will move our belongings into a climate controlled storage unit and one day we'll have a new house to put them in, but for now the world is our home. 

October 14, 2020

Finger Lake Wineries & Breweries (Part VII)

"There are few things so pleasant as a picnic eaten in perfect comfort." -W. Somerset Maugham

Covid 19 changed a lot of things about the year and our summer in the Finger Lakes, but it didn't stop us from enjoying picnics at wineries. We have a lot of favorite places to go, like Long Point State Park, Sheldrake Winery and Boundary Breaks Vineyard, but this summer we also had a chance to check out a few new places. 

Keuka Spring Vineyards
Keuka Springs Vineyard is a family run operation that has been bottling wine since 1985. The vineyard is located on the east side of Keuka Lake and the tasting room has a beautiful view of the lake and it was a wonderful place to enjoy a picnic. As a farm winery, they source all of their grapes from New York State. Roughly 30% of their wine is made from estate-grown grapes, while nearly all the rest are from nearby Finger Lakes vineyards.
An enjoyable way to spend a few hours. We chose the 2019 Dry Riesling to go with our lunch.
Our very for lunch
Climbing Bines Brewery
We visited Climbing Bines Brewery when we were with our family in Penn Yan in August. The brewery started in 2007 when friends wanted to perfect their home-brewing by growing hops. After expanding and increasing both their yield and passion for home-brewing and hop-growing, Climbing Bines Hop Farm was established. The farm is currently a 1.5-acre hop yard that consists of seven cultivars (Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Hallertau, Magnum, Nugget and Willamette) and nearly 1,500 hills.  
Anyela's Vineyard
Anyela’s Vineyards sits above Skaneateles Lake. The vineyard planted it’s first vines in 2001, but the owners have generations of experience, We visited their facilities after hiking at Carpenter Falls. It’s a beautiful spot and the wine was good, but they weren’t very friendly. This vineyard only sells wine for conception on their grounds by the glass and won’t let you bring any picnic food in. All things we found out after we purchased a bottle of wine for a picnic lunch. No problem...we drove into Skaneateles and enjoyed a nice picnic at the city park. 
The view from the vineyard's beautiful garden
We chose a bottle of Dry Riesling from Anyela's Vineyard...it was very good.
We took our bottle of wine and our picnic to the city park in Skaneateles. This lake is extremely clear and beautiful.
Since I didn't blog much this summer, I thought I'd add info on this cute little farm we visited in this post.

Indian Creek Farm

I’ve seen advertisements for Indian Creek Farm for awhile and we’ve driven by it several times...I loved all the beautiful flowers, so one afternoon we drove over and checked it out. Indian Creek Farm is a 100-year-old orchard that sits above Cayuga Lake. It's a u-pick spot with lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables....apples, peaches, pumpkins, berries, and pumpkins, just to name a few. The orchards, veggie fields, and berry patches are your “grocery aisles” with a view.
The vegetable fields have a wonderful very of the Cayuga Lake valley.
The u-pick flower fields are huge...$6 a large handful.
You can read about other wineries we've visited in the Finger Lake area at the following links.
Finger Lake Wineries (VI)
Finger Lake Wineries (Part V)

October 8, 2020

Oct. 3 - Fall in Pennsylvania

"Autumn paints in colors that summer has never seen." –Unknown

Fall in the northeast means pumpkin patches, corn mazes, apples of all kinds and leaves that change from green to beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow. It's a great place to be when the summer slips into fall.

This weekend we spent time at Rohrbach's Farm...picking out pumpkins, listening to music, eating apples and having a great time.
This is the pumpkin Bryt decorated when we got home...she did a great job.
This year we had lots of night in the 30's in September, so the fall colors arrived early...what a treat. The beauty is unbelievable
We definitely love the lake life in New York.