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S/V Si Bon
Who: Steve Cook
Port: San Diego, California
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New York City (day 2)
08/11/2011, NYC

Day two started early, we had booked a harbor cruise the night before and decided to walk from our hotel all the way across Manhattan to the Hudson river, which is where the tour started. The tour we had chosen was to take us all the way around Manhattan. As we left the dock and started slowly edging along the New York waterfront our tour guild began a very informative presentation of the history of New York. We went passed where the Airliner had crash landed in the Hudson River, we passed the site of the 2001 terrorist attacks (more on that tomorrow), we saw Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (pic). We then turned and continued up the East River going under the Brooklyn Bridge and passed the many different boroughs that make up New York.
On the way back to our hotel we decided that we were sick of walking and ready to take on the New York subway. Not really knowing what to do we decided to go to the very nice lady at the ticket booth and see if we could get a 1 or 2 day pass. she explained in her very New Yawk manner.. " WE DON'T HAVE NO ONE OR TWO DAY TICKETS...NOW WHAD DA YA WANT".
Next on the agenda was date night. We had decided that we would go to Radio City Music Hall to see the limited engagement of Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana. We quickly changed clothes, grabbed a NYC cab and headed out to a marvelous meal at Uncle Jack's Steak House before walking to Radio City Music Hall (RCMH). Once again not really knowing what to expect I was truly in awe as we entered the theater. RCMH is the largest indoor theater in the world, it is by far the most elegant, exquisite theater I have ever been in, and a perfect choice for this spectacular show. As we wandered around looking at all of the memorabilia and artwork in the theater I thought to myself..the theater itself is worth the price of admission. Cirque du Soleil always puts on an inspiring act...but this was best the best one I've seen. The reviews describe it as a " spectacular, acrobatic rock opera" and that might just be an understatement. As we headed back to our hotel down 5th Avenue we both agreed that it had been a truly rememberable day.
Stay tuned tomorrow for our last day in New Yawk...which by da way, we are now gettin around very well in.

NEW YORK CITY! (day one)
08/10/2011, mmm.....NYC

On Wednesday morning Sharon's cousin Lara dropped us off at the train platform and about an hour and a half later we arrived at Grand Central Station. I guess I was expecting Grand Central Station (GCS) to be some grungy old train terminal...well was I ever shocked. GCS is a BEAUTIFUL historic building full of shops, restaurants, bars and of course LOTS of people...and I mean LOTS OF PEOPLE. Sharon and I grabbed a quick cup of coffee got our bearings and headed out to begin our exploration of New York City. I had never been to "the city" and when we exited GCS I was at first overwhelmed with the numbers of people rushing around, both on the sidewalks and in their cars. It seemed that everyone was in a MAJOR hurry to get somewhere. After visiting Saint Patricks Cathedral we decided we would go to Rockefeller Center, I was expecting some sorta big office building and was once again surprised to find that "The Rock" had a very large underground mall like area..once again full of shops, restaurants and people....LOTS OF PEOPLE. The Rock has an observation deck that is on the 67th -69th floors where you have a 360 degree view of the entire New York City area. I'm not sure how long we were up at the "Top of The Rock" but it is mesmerizing to look out over the biggest city in America and her awesome array of skyscrapers and buildings. After leaving The Rock we headed over to Times Square to see if we could get some discount tickets to a Broadway show. Times Square is AMAZING...I think we've all seen it on TV at one time or another, but there is no way to truly appreciate the whole atmosphere unless you are there in person. Due to the very long line for discount tickets we decided to blow it off and head to our hotel to relax for a while. As we made our way through Mid-town Manhattan through the mass of people we started to feel more and more comfortable with the New York scene....In fact I think we even stawted tawlking like New Yowkas...ya know wadda I mean?
Stay tune tomorrow for the show we saw at the elegant Radio City Music Hall.

08/13/2011 | Karen
YOUR SOOO LIVING THE DREAM!! Thank you keeping us all posted on your life adventures!!!! Where to next?
08/08/2011, Vermont

When I was visiting Vermont in June Sharon and I went to happy hour with Sharon's childhood friend Courtney and her husband Chris. After downing a few brewskis together, Courtney and Chris invited us to go on a camping trip with them and about 100 of their closest friends. This is an annual camping trip that they have been doing for several years. The trip was to be at a place called Kampersville. Kampersville is a Disneyland type campground with many different types of activities for both adults and children. The organizers of the trip reserve a complete street of campsites, including three sites that are used as a community gathering area. Of course we accepted their invitation...remember we were at happy hour and had had a few (quite a few) brewskis. As the date got closer I became a little apprehensive...I mean lets face it I was going on a 3-4 day camping trip with a bunch of people that I didn't know, but they had known each other most of their lives AND I was to be the oldest guy in the group. Would they snicker behind my back when I fell asleep after dinner? Would I be standing around twiddling my thumbs while they reminisced about the past? Well all of my apprehension was unfounded (I think). The group welcomed me in as one of their own as we gathered each afternoon and shared stories, jokes, food, games and of course drinks. Sharon and I went on hikes through the woods, we relaxed at our campsite and one day we rented a canoe and explored the lake. We entered a shuffleboard tournament, we played beer pong and we participated in other fun activities. As the weekend went on I marveled to myself at what a different life these guys had than the one I was raised in. As I said...many had know each for most...if not all their lives, they had gone to school together, been in each others weddings and now their kids were all playing together. The last night it rained and we all huddled together under a large canopy singing old songs, making jokes and partying until the wee hours of the morning.....AND I was still awake.
Tomorrow Sharon and I are going to New York City for 3 days. It will be my first visit to NYC and I am excited about this next adventure.

08/08/2011 | Courtney
We are so glad you came :) It is most definitely a great time!!
08/23/2011 | mark b
Very cool
Small town USA
08/02/2011, Baltimore airport

I am currently at the Baltimore airport waiting for my flight to Hartford, CT to meet Shaybo. I REALLY enjoyed my stay with Ross and Carol, it was a very relaxing 2 weeks, which after nearly 6 months of cruising was just what the doctor ordered. It's kinda ironic that I left the Sea of Cortez to escape the heat and it has been close to 100 degrees here in the Washington area ever since I arrived. Although Ross and I did visit Mt. Vernon yesterday most of our time was spent in the Hancock area. We did lots of things that many people might find boring, but being a city boy I enjoy seeing small town USA. We visited some historical sites. We took meandering drives through the countryside, we ate at a truck stop, small local diners and exclusive resorts in the countryside.
There was one thing that I didn't get to do....I had seen an article in a local paper that there was a cheese craving contest in the neighboring town of Sharpsburg (cheddar?). In my opinion I can cut the cheese better that anyone I know, so I was very excited to compete in the cheese cutting contest. I begged my Uncle to take me to Sharpsburg to cut the cheese...but he refused. So we'll never know for sure if I am the king of cheese cutters or not....but I'm going to be practicing in preparation for next years event.

08/03/2011 | Shaybo
Trust me u don't need to spend he next year practicing...your a natural. And hands down the best cheese cutter in the land :-/
Life on the farm
07/29/2011, Hancock, Md. USA

After visiting Antietam, Ross and I continued on to Alexandria Va.. Ross has a rental in Alexandria that he is doing some work on before he rents it back out. Alexandria is a really cool suburb of Washington D.C., although we were mainly working on the townhouse, we were able to do a little exploring of some of the local restaurants and stores in Alexandria. I had agreed to help Ross tile a back porch in his townhouse and although neither one of us had ever done any tiling, we both worked together and I think we ended up doing a pretty damm good job.
So we're back in Hancock and life on the farm is busy (it's not really a farm), We have to tend to the garden, where Ross grows some of their veggies, we have to take care of the many farm animals (2 dogs and 15 cats), there are plenty of other miscellaneous repairs and gardening jobs to keep us (Ross) busy. Life on the farm sorta reminds me of life on the sailboat....there is ALWAYS something that you need to work on.
My favorite job is feeding the deer (pic), Ross and Carol are animal lovers that have been putting out feed for the local deer for several years now. Last night when we pulled into the road that leads to the main house, there at the end of the road were several of the deer giving us the evil eye. We were later than normal and you could tell that the deer were a little pissed having to wait for dinner. I love watching the deer feed, they are not particularly friendly to each other as they vie for a good place at the feeding trough...never the less they are fun to watch, they kinda of remind me of the dolphins that play in the bow wake of Si Bon.

Civil War
07/25/2011, Antietam Battlefield

One of the many places that I wanted to visit while on my summer visit to the East Coast was a Civil War battlefield. I wasn't really paying much attention in school the day they taught us about the Civil War, (or several other days for that matter), so I wasn't really sure about many of the finer details of this horrible war. It turns out that my Uncle's house in Western Maryland is in the middle of what was a hotbed of the Civil War.
Today Ross and myself drove to a place called Antietam Battlefield. Antietam is the sight of the bloodiest single day battle in the history of the United States of America. The 12 hour battle between the Union solders and the Confederate Army began at dawn on September 17, 1862. The armies fought several battles throughout the day. They fought through a cornfield, through woods and at one time the Confederate solders took cover on a farm road that was later renamed "Bloody Lane". The battle ended about 6:00 PM. In all 23,000 men....YES 23,000, were killed, wounded or missing....IN ONE DAY.
The thought of so many men being killed in one place and happening less than 150 years ago, gave the place a very surreal feeling. As you know I usually try to keep some humor in my blog...but there is nothing humorous about this very dark period in the history of our country. The only good thing that came out of this bloody day was that within a week of visiting Antietam battlefield, President Lincoln began penning the Emancipation Proclamation which would preserve the Union and end slavery.

07/26/2011 | Phil Anderson
Hope you make it to Mt. Vernon.....Geo.Washington was the kind of public servant we need in DC! Even the "landblog" is good reading,Steve...keep up the good work!

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