Tuesday, 7/1/08                                                                                Day 150

Grandma left this morning.  Dad let us scooter instead of just walk.  That was fun because there is a hill that we can scooter down very fast.  We hung out at the marina doing some laundry and working on the website.  We were having internet trouble, though, and couldn't do much.

Later in the day, a friend of Dad and Mom's from college came to the boat with a friend of his.  His name is Evan, called Big E.  Evan's friend was Conner.  They were interested and talked for a long time with Dad.  The three of them drank three beers a piece while talking.  Evan brought us New York bagels, the best in the world.

Friends on s/v Iato and s/v Synchronicity dropped by to say "hi" today as well.  They invited us to dinner to celebrate Ms. Sally's birthday.  We went to Niko's.  It was Mediterranean style food.  It was expensive, though.  At the end, Dad forgot his credit card.  Fortunately, we remembered a block or so down the road.  Today was great.

Wednesday, 7/2/08
                                                                        Day 151

Dan & Linda Smith, with their two girls Nora and Gwen, arrived from Baltimore, MD this morning.  Dan is Dad's best friend from college and was the Best Man at Dad and Mom's wedding.  We took off almost immediately to catch the current.  We headed north up the Hudson River.  The Hudson River all the way up to the town of Troy, NY is technically an estuary because it is tidal.

We sailed up the river under both the George Washington and Tappan Zee suspension bridges.  The landscape was pretty, with lots of hills and cliffs.  We anchored at Croton Point in Haverstraw Bay, across from Haverstraw, NY.  We went to the beach and had fun.  We came back to the boat and watched Cars while the adults talked.  Today was great.

Thursday, 7/3/08
                                                                                Day 152

Today was great!  We decided to try to sail to West Point Army Academy, even though we weren't sure we could dock.  We sailed past Anthony's Nose and Sugarloaf Hill.  We docked at Highland Falls, NY for $25.  An old man named Skeeter fit all nine of us (including himself) into his PT Cruiser and drove us up the hill to the Academy.  We grabbed lunch and took a very informative tour of West Point.  We learned a lot.  Mr. Skeeter picked us up when we were done and drove us back down the hill to the boat.

We sailed back down the Hudson River to where we had come with trains roaring on either side.  This time, we anchored on the Haverstraw, NY side of the bay.  Tom Weil, Dad's friend from Skadden Arps who is now retired, and Mary, a friend of his, drove over from New Haven, CT to spend the evening with us.  They stayed for dinner and the 4th of July fireworks that we knew Haverstraw was doing today.  We also watched the surrounding towns put on their displays.  Each looked like it had ½ dozen grand finales.  Haverstraw's was the same way, but better.  Tomorrow we are going to go and watch New York City's display which is one of the country's largest. 

Friday, 7/4/08                                                                                Day 153

Today was great!!  It was rainy and cloudy/hazy on and off all day, but that didn't stop us from seeing some of the best fireworks in the world!  Nothing could stop us from having an exceptional time!

After a leisurely morning, we took off from Haverstraw, NY.  We headed down the Hudson all the way to Liberty Island.  Then, we hooked a left and sailed towards Governor's Island looking for a place to anchor for the night.  We saw no place that fit our needs, but did see the Waterfalls.  The Waterfalls are a form of modern art - huge, man-made waterfalls made of scaffolding that draw water up from the river.  We saw four of them!

In the end, we anchored in "Lady Liberty's armpit."  We were just south of Lady Liberty and were looking right at her raised torch (and her armpit!
J).  There were many other boats there, but all but 3 left after the fireworks.  We stayed there for the night.  We saw small fireworks displays all over Staten Island and New York, and then the two really big ones - Liberty Park and New York City.  We were actually anchored right in front of Liberty Park.  Liberty Park's firework display was very elaborate, right over us, and pretty long.  It even had fireworks in the shape of hearts, stars, spirals, and more!  It was supposed to end before NYC's started, but they overlapped a little, maybe because Liberty's started a little late because of the crummy weather.  So, for a little while, we were watching two displays at once.  NYC's fireworks were just as elaborate, but they were farther away and partially covered by smoke.  It was great anyway.  There were multiple barges up the East River shooting off the same fireworks simultaneously.  We could see bursts over and through the skyscrapers.  The whole evening was awesome!!  That's all for now.  Happy Birthday America!!  J J

Saturday, 7/5/08                                                                                Day 154

We left Liberty Island this morning and came to the West 79th St. Mooring Field to drop off Dan, Linda, Nora and Gwen.  We took a mooring ball and went in with them for lunch.  They took us to the Boat Basin Café right by the marina.  It was raining all this time, and we provided ponchos and umbrellas.  After lunch, we walked with them up 79th St. until they got a cab.  It must have been a sight - Dad and Josh waving to us that they had flagged a cab and all of us rushing to it with our umbrellas and their luggage, trying to keep dry!

Afterwards, we came back to the boat.  We hung out for what was left of the day.  We were all tired.  It's 6:30pm now and we're all just lazing about out of the rain.  Today was/is a good day.

Sunday, 7/6/08
                                                                                Day 155

Today was great!  We went to church for the first time in weeks this morning.  We walked to the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.  It is an ELCA Lutheran church, just like home, so the service was similar.  The church was big with a high, vaulted ceiling and stained glass window of the gospels, Jesus, and events in Jesus' life.  Not many people were in church and we were the only kids.  I thought that interesting, even though it is summer.  I noted that the service was run by only 7 people:  the pastor, 2 adult acolytes/readers, 2 ushers, an organist/pianist, and a cantor.  After service, we went downstairs and had refreshments with the rest of the present congregation.  Everybody was interested in us and we were some of the last people to leave.

We went from there looking for a cheap place to eat lunch.  We found a Thai place on 9th Ave. and had a fabulous lunch.  It was just as good, if not better, than the Thai place in Key West, FL.  From there we wandered around New York City, taking in the atmosphere and our surroundings.

By the time we returned to the boat, it was 4:00pm!!  Mom, Josh and I went back to the marina to take showers and work on the website.  We were able to put an identical, but incomplete, site on the web, so things are going well in that field!

For dinner, we ate bread, cheese, olives and veggies - simple, yet satisfying.  We were all ready for bed as soon as supper was over.  Tomorrow may be busy, for Dad is flying to Reno, NV for two weeks on business.  Unfortunately, he will be away for my 12th birthday - two days away on July 8th.  Alone on the boat, Mom, Josh and I will have a good time anyway.  We are going to split our time between the last bits of school, website, and fun in New York City.  It'll be great!!!

Monday, 7/7/08
                                                                                Day 156

Daddy left for his business trip this morning.  He is going to Reno, NV, but it might not actually be two weeks.  He may come home for the weekend, and then might not even have to go back to Reno after that.

We went in with him to do some internet stuff and take showers.  While that was going on, Mom got a phone call from s/v Blue Wilderness.  They are a catamaran with three kids on board.  They asked if we wanted to go and play in Central Park.  We went back to the boat, had lunch, and went to join them.

I could not find a tennis ball while we were getting our baseball stuff together.  As we were getting into the dinghy, I saw a tennis ball float right past the boat with some other debris.  The current was moving it quickly, but we raced and recovered it.  We were right on time meeting them at the dinghy dock.  They said that they have found five baseballs, two quality footballs, a brand new volleyball, and a million and half junky, slimy, dirty and overall gross tennis balls floating past their boat.  At least our tennis ball is nice.

We all went together to Central Park.  Josh and I brought our scooters, and Summer and Solomon had tennis shoes with wheels in them, so we rolled all over.  Mark and Nancy from Blue Wilderness have a girl and two boys:  Summer, age 10, almost 11; Solomon, called Solo for short, age 9; and Sam, age 5.  When we first got to Central Park, we stopped at a big rock.  There are a ton of big rocks, boulders, hills, ravines, and mini-cliffs made of rock throughout the park.  We spent a long time climbing, racing and playing catch on this rock.  I raced Solo and Summer, and Josh judged us for our climbing expertise.  While the four of us were doing that, I let Sam, the only one of us without wheels, ride my scooter.  We all had fun.

We continued from the rock to the Great Lawn where there are baseball fields to play on.  We found one and started a rotation.  Unfortunately, a park worker came and kicked us off the Great Lawn.  Apparently, the Great Lawn is closed until Sunday because they are setting up for a free Bon Jovi concert that takes place on Saturday.  The guy said that they gave out free tickets at Yankee and Shea Stadiums and they were all given out in one afternoon.

We did find another lawn to play on, and the trees were perfect for bases.  Soon after we started, two French boys came up with their Mom and asked if they could play.  They wanted to play "the American game!"  The kids were Rafael, age 13, and Gabriel, age 12.  They play tennis in France and were awesome at baseball.  They could hit, catch, throw, and run very well.  It was a lot of fun playing with them.

We eventually needed a break, and the French boys left.  We decided to finish up the day by playing in the fountains in Riverside Park near the marina.  We hiked over there and played in the fountains in our clothes because we hadn't brought our bathing suits.  It too was fun.  Then we went home.

Today was great.  Tomorrow will definitely be great.  Tomorrow, 7/8/08 is my birthday!!!
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