Friday, January 15, 2010

FInal Post

Well, this will be our last post.

The original idea of this blog was to chronicle our life living aboard sv Mary Elizabeth. We have had an incredible time; met lots of great people, visited amazing places. But... we have recently bought a home in Annapolis, MD and -- soon enough -- will not be living on the boat anymore. I will soon re-enter the world of librarianship. Bill filed his paperwork for his Captains License on Tuesday and looks forward to finding a job on the water here in Annapolis. We will take Mary Elizabeth from Sarasota to Annapolis for the spring (by way of the Bahamas....) and will continue to enjoy her on the waters of the Chesapeake this summer.

The blog has been fun. We have had more than 9,200 visits from people all over the world. It has been a great way to keep in touch with family and friends and the perfect way to document our memories.

But I have been pretty bad lately about keeping up with the posts. So this is the last one.... Here are some of our favorite pictures from the past 2+ years.

Thanks for reading....

Lauren and Bill

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We have been AWFUL about keeping up with the blog....

Here is a quick summary of the last month or so.

We have been spending a lot of time at Mary Alice's house in St. Pete. We had a LOVELY Thanksgiving with her good friends and neighbors Fred and Monika and their family. Of course we ate too much, but it was worth it. We have been busy Christmas shopping, semi-living out of the car (we have spring, summer, fall AND winter clothes and have somehow accumulated lots of "stuff" in the past few months), enjoying the cool weather in FL, and basically just hanging out. Bill has been working hard on filling out all of his paperwork and documentation in order to apply for his Captains License; passing the exams was just part one. We had a great Friday night with Mary Alice, Jennifer, and Emmanual at the Florida Orchestra and then had dinner and wine at Burns. The Redskins have continued to disappoint us. All in all, not a lot going on.

Except for last night....

So, Bill and I went to bed early. It was foggy and kind of cold on the boat. We had the heat on actually.

At about 2:45 AM we both woke up because we heard something topside. I was kind of foggy not 100% sure what woke me up. A few seconds later I was fully awake when I heard the companion way doors shutting. WHAT???? I yelled hello?? And someone responded. I jumped up and there was a 50 year old man standing in the salon. I was FREAKED out. Bill got up and the guy immediately started to leave saying he was on the wrong boat. He just got in on a flight from New Hampshire and was mistaken about which boat to get on. WHAT????? At nearly 3:00 am! No luggage, no bag, nothing. He got off the boat and started running before Bill and I even knew what to say or do. Yikes.

We have NEVER had that happen to us before....

We are off to Annapolis tomorrow in the trusty Ford. We are leaving ME in her slip in Sarasota until after the New Year.

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Back in Sarasota

Well, we are back in Sarasota on the boat. We left Annapolis on Tuesday morning and arrived in Sarasota Wednesday around 3:00 -- not bad at all. We stopped outside of Savannah to sleep. So Mary Elizabeth looks great. All was well; no issues when we turned everything back on, etc.

It is great to be back!

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Beautiful Annapolis....

Bill and I walked around downtown Annapolis Saturday afternoon. Every street is prettier than the next. The homes and even the storefronts are so beautiful; most are designated historical buildings.

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Click here for more pictures.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tug of War

On Saturday Bill and I went to the 12th annual Tug of War between Eastport and Annapolis. Since we are staying on the Eastport side, we watched the first few rounds from the "MRE" (Maritime Republic of Eastport" before crossing the bridge into Annapolis proper. There were a lot more people on the Eastport side and Eastport won each of the rounds. What follows is an explanation of the Tug of War from the MRE website.

BACKGROUND: The always revolting Maritime Republic of Eastport makes an annual call to its adversaries across the water, the residents and businesses of Annapolis, to take arms and meet at Susan B. Campbell Park -- City Dock -- on the first Saturday in November (more or less) for the Annual Slaughter Across the Water.

It all started 12 years ago when the MRE founding father Sam Shropshire and a few others decided that if the MRE had seceded from Annapolis there ought to be a "friendly" rivalry to mark the occasion and to do good in the community at the same time. How they came up with the idea of teams pulling across the harbor against adversaries they can't see might have had something to do with the the fact that that they were in a local watering hole at the time. But we digress. Fun with a purpose was born -- at least in this incarnation. To make a very long story very short, luckily, the founding fathers included a physicist who figured out how many people had to be on either side to be able to pull a rope 1700 feet long out of the water and in their direction and therefore how strong the rope needed to be. Also luckily, the founding fathers included a really good salesman who convinced Yale Cordage to build the rope at cost. And even more luckily, the founding fathers convinced everyone that this was a great idea. Eastport rallied around the battle and a great tradition was born.


So, once a year, local and national attention focuses on the Annapolis Harbor, or, as we like to call it, the Gulf of Eastport, for a competition unlike any in the world – the Slaughter Across the Water, the longest tug of war over a body of water in the world. The Tug is staged between the Maritime Republic of Eastport (MRE) and Downtown Annapolis, featuring a 1700’ rope, over 450 tuggers, and more than a thousand spectators.

Composed of a maximum of 33 tuggers, each team strives to bring home the trophy and the title, each tugger doing his or her own part to bring the fame and fortune to the appropriate side.


Eastport has been the dominant force most years, but there have been shut-outs on both sides. The winners earn a year's worth of bragging rights and the ensuing riches. Okay, there may not be any riches, but the bragging rights tend to be pretty strong and have led, in the past, to the renaming of Annapolis Harbor, the bridge and, in fact, the entire town of Annapolis (the Gulf of Eastport, the Bridge of our Glorious Victory, and Westport, respectively). So there.

It was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed ourselves.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Master Bill

Bill successfully completed the 80-hour Captains Class at the Annapolis School of Seamanship this week. He passed the exams with flying colors on Friday!
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And why I love Annapolis....

Joe and Nancy took Bill and me out on their beautiful boat Aurora this weekend. It was a little chilly, but we had a fabulously great time; it was so nice to be on the water again!!!

Here are some pictures that I took.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Why I love DC

Took these pictures in DC the other day after having a wonderful lunch with my friend Sara.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

See you in November

We are going to take a break from the blog for awhile since we are in Annapolis on land and aren't on board Mary Elizabeth. So... see you in November.

UPDATE Oct 16, 2009 -- We have extended our lease here in Annapolis until November 15th. Our original plan was to head to Key West the last week in October for Fantasy Week. Instead, we have decided to stick around Annapolis so Bill can get his Captain's License. What a great time we have been having here in MD. Last weekend my sister Andrea was here for a visit. We have seen friends, been to a concert (Los Lonely Boys) and show (Sweeny Todd) and the boat shows.

So.... we are taking a little bit longer break from the blog than we originally thought....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Well we made it to Annapolis. Bill and I left on Tuesday around 1:00 after my dentist appointment. We defrosted the freezer and refrigerator, turned everything off on ME, packed the car and left. ME will stay in her slip in Sarasota (above) until we return to FL in October.

The trip was uneventful. We drove on Tuesday until around 9:00, stayed in a hotel and got up on Wednesday (09/09/09) and drove the remainder of the trip to MD. Bill ate his birthday lunch at Taco Bell! We will celebrate tonight with Joe and Nancy here in Annapolis.

We got to the place we are renting around 6:00 (we made good time) and were not disappointed. It is a cute little place, very clean, great view from the porch (see below) right near downtown. We can walk across the bridge from Eastport to downtown in about 10 minutes. There is a pool and we overlook a marina. The weather is spectacular (OK, it is raining right now, but it is cool and feels like fall!)

Our first meal in Annapolis was nothing other than corn and tomatoes. I went to the farm stand yesterday morning and they said we have about a week left for good corn.

Bill went and saw Juan yesterday and we stayed in and watched the first football game of the year cozy on the couch. It is strange to be in a house! We bought some essentials (toilet paper, paper towels, etc.) but are still adjusting. For example, we bought bagged ice.... even though we have a full sized refrigerator and freezer (with an ice maker). Old habits.... Oh, and we have a dishwasher!!! And we can have candles (I bought two!). And everything can stay plugged in. And we can take long showers and not worry about running out of water.

The house is pretty much fully stocked (although I cannot make the coffee pot work; guess I'll be making a trip to Target since that is an essential!)

Bill and I are looking forward to a few weeks here.... although we do miss the boat. Falling asleep without the rocking is strange.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Trip from St. Pete to Sarasota

We had a nice time in St. Pete, but it was time to get back to Sarasota before leaving for Annapolis. Mary Alice came and saw us off (picture above) and Pamela watched from the balcony (picture below). We motored past the Pier and could see Tropicana field. We also went under the massive Sunshine Skyway Bridge. It was an uneventful 5 hour trip, except for the fact that we saw less than six feet in several places. I love the picture of the guy fishing *standing* in the water only a few feet from us.....

We are off to Annapolis today.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Smarty pants

Monika and Fred have been nice enough to loan us their Smart car while we have been in St. Pete. It really is fun to drive. And just as small as it looks. Oh, and to boot -- they have a big Tampa Bay RAYS logo painted on the back.... Bill has made it a point to wear his Red Sox hat while driving the Smart car.

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St. Pete continued

We decided to stay in St. Pete until Monday morning, when we will sail back to Sarasota. St. Pete is really a great place to cruise. As I wrote, we have been staying at the Vinoy Marina, which is right downtown and close to everything. Very convenient -- and pretty. Here are some pictures of Mary Elizabeth at the dock.

The picture above is another taken from Mary Alice's balcony. You can see we have had a few more neighbors at the dock as the weekend progressed.

Last night the three of us tried out a new restaurant that opened this weekend in downtown St. Pete called 400 Beach. Today we went to a movie; tonight we are just hanging low. There have been some severe afternoon storms lately, so we want to leave early enough tomorrow so we can avoid them.

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