Just Returned From 2-Week Tour of East-Coast

(posted 6/11/2015) - We returned the 6th, having spent 14 days catching up with kin in Florida, Maryland, and New York. We left on May 22nd and drove to Vero Beach, Florida arriving Saturday afternoon. Pat had rented a beautiful summer home (with enclosed pool) for a week. We used it as a gathering place for multiple get-togethers and spent a lot of time lounging around the pool, drinks in hand!

Vero Beach is a beautiful little city on the Atlantic, with many fine restuarants and pubs nestled right up on the beach. The weather was gorgeous the whole week, with cooling breezes ever present. What really surprised us was the starry skies at night next to the ocean. I now understand why the Shelby's are so happily nested there!

We next drove up the coast to Germantown, in Maryland and spent a wonderful day visiting with nephew Sean, niece Charlotte, their spouses Anju and Danny, and our grand-niece Aanya. Tom the Dog and Aanya had a great time playing together! We also visited a nearby Winery that allowed dogs in a nice large fenced area with tables where folks could sample their wines. In the evening we drove to a nearby motel and stayed over-night; starting early next morning for New York to visit the Bermudez' near Willsboro.

Pat rented a cottage on Lake Champlain which proved a good central point from which to go for daily excursions (walking and driving). The port-town of Essex was only a couple of miles up the road so we were able to Ferry over to Burlington, Vermont with ease. We visited a lot with Pat's sister Rosie and brother-in-law Fernando and enjoyed a lot of fine cuisine!

We also took the opportunity to get together for dinner with the Parker Clan. Pat found a nice pub, the Sticks 'n Stones which split the distance between Willsboro and Hudson Falls exactly in half; allowing us to meet in the middle (about 40 miles each).

We hadn't seen them since the wedding more than a year and a half before so it was a good opportunity to catch up. I told John Parker about how his son and I were just finishing up our second major home improvement project putting up crown-moulding at Pat's cousin's home in Huntley, IL. When I mentioned the problems we'd experienced getting the many 45 and 90 degree corners matched he observed that for a real challenge we should try it with natural unpainted mouldings (we have only done painted mouldings)! There's no substitute for experience when it comes to finish carpentry, I think.

After staying in New York for four days we headed back towards home, leaving June 5th and arriving on the 6th. Good news, the Illinois I-pass (aka EZ-pass) is now accepted in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana as well, so we were able to stay on interstate-90 all the way and breeze through all the toll booths along the way.

Good to be home -- great trip!