Jacksonville, Maryland, Connecticut, Maryland, Jacksonville and Georgia (May 2 to May 23, 2017)

It was time for a vacation. It sounds strange to say, but it was time to visit family and friends and so we took a vacation. We left AfterMath at Lamb’s Yacht Center in Jacksonville, FL where the annual maintenance was taking place, and after spending a couple of days at Kelly and Craig’s house, we hopped in our rental car and started on our way. First stop, Annapolis.

IMG_8118Rush and Walt were happy helping to plant flowers in the yard.IMG_8128IMG_8159IMG_8193Ford’s only job was to look cute for a quick photo shoot.

John had not yet met Ford, our newest grandson, then two weeks old, so that was our first mission. Walter and Rush, Ford’s big brothers, hadn’t seen John since Christmas and they were thrilled to show off their new baby. They love to talk with John about boats and planes so “Bop” was whisked away quickly so the three could catch up. There was also a lot of landscaping going on at Jeff and Sarah’s house and I was happy to get my hands back in the soil again. Walt and Rush were great helpers with planting and giving those new little plants an extra fertilizer boost.

IMG_8230Don Kirk is sorely missed by this group of good friends.  We have been through everything together from the time we all met and were having babies till now, when we are all grandparents.  It is a group of friends like none other.

As the week ended it was time for another road trip, this time to Connecticut. One of our dear friends, Don Kirk, passed away last September. He and Jan moved to North Carolina a couple of years ago, but a memorial in our hometown of Bethel was planned for Saturday, May 6th. We didn’t want to miss it. Jeff wanted to attend too, so the three of us started on our way shortly after dinner late Friday afternoon. Saturday morning we went to breakfast in the town in which all of our children we raised, passing by familiar sights and the house that we called home for 28 years. The service was lovely. Jeff enjoyed seeing old friends from school and we loved seeing our “gourmet group”, an incredibly close group of seven couples who met as young adults and grew up together as much as our kids did. Jeff stayed at his friend Greg’s house Saturday night and, after a fun dinner in town with the gourmet group, we went to John’s brother, Jim’s, and sister-in-law, Julie’s house in Southbury, CT.

IMG_8246Stacey and her horse, LucyIMG_8251Just another horse at the barn – but who could resist this face?IMG_8254Jeff and Stephen.  Two great guys!

We loved having time with Jim and Julie. On Sunday, Jeff transferred to their house as well.  After Julie and I made a visit to the barn where our niece, Stacey, keeps her horse, we were all able to spend time with Stacey and our nephew, Stephen, for Sunday night dinner.

IMG_8269From the top of Mohawk Mountain in Connecticut

Jeff moved on to see his friend’s new farm in Newtown, CT on Monday and then continued on to Groton to see another friend graduate from Officers Candidate School at the Coast Guard Academy.  John and I  took a nice ride with Jim and Julie through Litchfield and the surrounding areas, and ate lunch at an eclectic little restaurant. Later, after we returned to Southbury, another of John’s brothers, Rich, and his girlfriend, Kathy, stopped by on their way back to Newport, R. I. from Florida.

IMG_8285Brothers!  When Rush gets stuck, Walt gives a helping push with his four-wheeler.IMG_8292Yes, that’s John on Walt’s four-wheeler.  Some things you are just never too old for.IMG_8294Serious fence building taking place here.IMG_8296After a day of hard work a hot dog roast and s’mores cooked outside on the fireplace are the perfect dinner.IMG_8360It was a rainy day, but Jeff and Sarah found the perfect place for us to do a photo shoot – the Naval Academy, right near their house.IMG_8484IMG_8562John thought of asking Jeff to get our picture with the grandchildren.  I am so happy to have this.IMG_8588It is oh, so hard to not be silly!

Tuesday afternoon, Jeff picked us up and we drove back to Annapolis. For the next couple of days we just enjoyed our time with Jeff and Sarah and the boys. John and Jeff worked on building a fence, I got some time to take some pictures, and we both got to spend some fun time with our grandsons.

Saturday, May 13, came too quickly and we were on a plane back to Jacksonville. The fun part was that Kelly and the kids picked us up at the airport. We went back to her house for a little while to visit before getting Kirby at the animal clinic where Kelly is a veterinarian. We returned back to AfterMath that evening, but we only had to wait to the next day to get to spend time with her family again on Mother’s Day.

IMG_8783Madison just couldn’t resist getting right into the tide-pool, dress and all.IMG_8793Carter makes everyone smile wherever he goes.  IMG_8796Michaela is getting so grown up these days.  It’s hard to believe she will be 10 this summer!IMG_8831The perfect way to spend Mother’s Day.  With family and on the beach.

Mother’s Day was warm and beautiful, unlike the weather we experienced in Maryland and Connecticut, so we piled into Kelly and Craig’s van and went to Fernandina Beach. There we had a wonderful lunch and then walked along the beach. The children played in tide pools, of course getting wet and sandy, and we all had a wonderful time.

IMG_8852And finally, we had our picture taken with Kelly’s kids after dinner on AfterMath.

Monday was spent provisioning the boat again, and, as Kelly chauffeured me around to do so, we were able to spend the day together. There was shuffling of kids between school and dance class, but we ended up aboard AfterMath for a pizza dinner with the grandchildren. Of course it was sad to say goodbye again, but we are so happy we will be seeing them in just a few weeks when the whole family will gather at Jeff and Sarah’s house for the Fourth of July weekend.

IMG_6586It was great fun watching this helicopter practicing in Brunswick, GAIMG_6604

As always, it took a couple more days for the boat to be ready with last minute adjustments and fixes, but we didn’t get to see kids again as there was school and work for them to attend. On Friday we left Jacksonville and started our way north, stopping along the way at various anchorages in Georgia. In Brunswick, where we stopped to fuel for the first time since the east coast of Puerto Rico, we were entertained by a Coast Guard helicopter’s practice right near us. Today we are near Savannah, the only boat in an anchorage, waiting for some thunderstorms to pass by.

The waters are different here than in the Caribbean for sure, but we are happy to be here, nearer our family and in calm seas.  Everyday is still an adventure.  There is so much to see!  We are now looking forward to our weekend in early July with all of family at Jeff’s house in Annapolis,  We haven’t seen Jason and Lisa since we got back, as they were sticking close to home awaiting the birth of Lisa’s daughter, Ashley’s baby, Jace, who just arrived last Wednesday!  It’s so hard to get everyone together with births, work, school, and activities, but we will do it and I can’t wait!

Here is where we are today:

2 thoughts on “Jacksonville, Maryland, Connecticut, Maryland, Jacksonville and Georgia (May 2 to May 23, 2017)

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