Christmas 2000


Winter reality caught up with us two hours after starting when we stopped for breakfast. Shorts, T-shirts and sandals were quickly changed to sweat shirts, jeans and sneakers reflecting a 20-degree temperature drop. Winter storm forecasts west of the Appalachian Mountains helped our decision to head north hugging the Atlantic coast. Following US 17 instead of the Interstates we stopped to check the ICW at places like Georgetown, Barefoot Landing, Charleston and Norfolk to see if we knew any of the boats still traveling in the cold. We stayed so far east that we crossed the Chesapeake at its mouth using the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Heavy snow as we crossed from Pennsylvania to New York influenced our decision to stop for the night. Ruth knew about a motel from her rep days conveniently located next to a great restaurant. A fine dining experience was our reward for a long day’s driving. To our surprise the next morning we drove out of the snow less than an hour after starting.

For Linda and Steve’s solstice party we’d purchased a hundred sparklers at one of the funky fireworks stores in the south. Brian wrapped them into one tight bundle with one sparkler sticking out the top to act as a fuse. The charcoal cooked turkey disappeared in minutes as the hungry solstice partiers tore into it. Side dishes and beer disappeared more slowly as stories were swapped and more wood was piled on the fire. Finally we could resist no longer. The giant sparkler was tied to a dock post and it’s lone sparkler fuse ignited. For 10 seconds we had a sparkler, then FOOM! A bright flash, lasting less than a second followed by huge ball of white smoke had everyone exclaiming. With the success of the test firing, we’ll have to try a thousand sparklers at next year’s solstice party.

Christmas at Debbie and Jeff’s had that wonderful confusion resulting from a small child trying to figure out what Christmas is all about. Danielle now just a year and a day enjoyed the wrappings as much as her presents. We snuggled in and felt right at home. Danielle got comfortable with her grandparents and for the first time didn’t get upset when mom or dad left her sight.

Cindy & Mike's house

Snow and ice crunched under foot as we hiked up the hill to Cindy and Mike’s in-process house. One day it will be a stunning masterpiece with a super view. For now it remains a project having its own will and resisting any progress toward completion. However, we’ve already claimed our spots on the porch from which to watch the sunset and deer come out to drink from the pond.

Cindy and Mike’s New Years party brought everyone together again, and we soaked in the warmth of being surrounded by family and friends. Outstanding prime rib and other good eats and drinks made for a fun time. Even Danielle got into the spirit of party and had a grand time mixing with everyone.

A stop at Jekyll Island let us see the island decked out for Christmas. For us it provided a quick chance to see the ICW, see if we knew any of the boats still on the move, and get a chance to be near the water. We realized we are still not ready to become land dwellers again. We were both itchy to be back aboard Odyssey.


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