Thanksgiving in Vero Beach was a huge feast supplied by over 100 of our ‘closest’ cruiser friends.  The city of Vero Beach donated the funds to rent the clubhouse and cruisers brought a huge assortment of dishes.  We were warned to go over early and reserve a spot by placing our plates at a table.   Even after everyone had a chance at the buffet, there was still plenty of food left.  I’ve never seen such a feeding frenzy as the people swarmed over the desserts.  By the time I got in, the best home-made apple pie was history!

Stormy skies in Vero--Thanksgiving eve

Joe had a car so on Friday we tagged along with him to explore the area.  He wanted to see the expensive homes north of Vero but gates and guards kept us (the riff-raff) out.  We stopped at the Navy Seals Museum near Ft. Pierce and toured the grounds and museum.  Afterwards, we had lunch at Conchy Joe’s near Stuart.  In the evening, we were invited to join our boat neighbors for drinks.  We had so much fun being entertained by Marilyn and Vic (Whisper) from Newfoundland and Doug and Pat (Beltane) from New Brunswick.  I enjoy the mix of cultures and, of course, the sailing stories.  Our new Canadian friends are planning to go to Cuba this winter.  I hope we can do that someday too.

Navy Seals Museum

We woke our neighbors on the mooring early Saturday morning to help us leave .   We were in the middle so it was a little tricky getting extricated but Vic helped by getting in his dinghy and passing the lines across the boats.  We motored the short distance (about 10 miles) to Ft. Pierce to stay at Harbortown marina.  Getting into the marina was much easier than last spring when the wind was howling and we had trouble getting the boat to turn.  The marina staff were so helpful, both at the fuel dock and getting tied up in the slip. 

We picked up our rental car at Enterprise–wheels, yay!!  In the afternoon, we drove to Port St. Lucie to visit Bob and Phyllis (Comocean).  It was great to hear first-hand about their experience sailing their boat offshore from the Chesapeake to Florida.  (Check out their blog–link is at the right side of my page.)  For dinner, we went to Conchy Joe’s again–good food!  We sure hope to see them in the Bahamas next spring!

Skip with Bob & Phyllis

On Sunday, we made a dent in the boat project list.  Skip changed the oil and charged the engine-driven refrigeration which didn’t seem to be working correctly (works fine now!)  I did laundry and cleaning–it’s endless.  I also went through my boxes of food and made a shopping list for provisioning.  We seem to have plenty of snack food and liquor–guess I’ll have to get some real food too!

In the evening, we headed back to Port St. Lucie to visit Jim and Binnie and pick up a few packages we had sent to their house.  As a bonus, we also got to see Judy and John MacDonald!  After drinks, we had a fabulous meal at a local Italian restaurant called Roma’s.  They were so busy and understaffed that it took a while to get served but it was well worth the wait.   We talked a lot about Italy since they’re planning a visit next year.

Dinner with Binnie & Jim, Judy & John

I decided to do some shopping on Monday since everyone went back to work (snark-snark.)  My primary goal was to get a haircut since my hair was getting too long to deal with in this humidity.  I went to the walk-in place at a nearby mall and said “just cut it short.”  She didn’t disappoint me–it’s really short!  I don’t mind since it will grow back quickly and it’s so much easier to manage.  I spent most of the rest of the day in Walmart getting some cruising supplies.  In the evening, we invited our friends Mary Ann and Pete (MicMac) to join us for a run to the propane supplier along with dinner afterwards.  We parked in downtown Ft. Pierce and walked around the marina and town.  Most of the shops were closed so we strolled and window-shopped.  We enjoyed dinner at the Tiki bar restaurant right on the waterfront.

Mary Ann & Pete (MicMac) with Skip

Yesterday (Tuesday), I did more laundry while Skip made a run to West Marine.  Bailey had an upset stomach the night before so more cleaning…  He’s all better now…  In the early afternoon, we headed south again to make a few stops before visiting John and Carolyn in Stuart.  We spent all of our time shopping in Beall’s–birthday gifts for Mom, a new bathing suit for me and shorts for Skip.  I need to get shopping out of my system before we head to the Bahamas! 

We had a lovely dinner with John and Carolyn and yet another wonderful Italian restaurant called Guiseppe’s.  They served roasted garlic in oil with the bread and the pasta meals were so big, we had leftovers for dinner the next day.

Today I washed down the sides of the boat to try and remove the salt stains.  It looks a lot cleaner but still needs work.  I looked it up on the web and the recommendation is to try hot water and white vinegar to remove the stubborn salt stains.  I’ll try that next.  Our main event for today was to take a drive to West Palm where the nearest Costco is located.  Since we were planning to head there anyway, we offered Pete and Mary Ann a ride to the airport.  They’re headed home for the next month or so.  We hope to see them again in the Bahamas next spring.

After spending $$$ in Costco, we’re well stocked with dry goods, meats and cheese.  Our freezer is packed.  I think I’ll make one trip to Publix next week to top off our fresh foods before we leave for the Bahamas. 

Tomorrow, we’re driving north (oh no, it’s cold up there) for Skip’s mother’s 90th birthday celebration in Chattanooga.  We’ll pick up Jen and Bill at the airport in Atlanta and drive up to Skip’s sister Nancy’s house on Friday.  We’ll be back at the boat on Monday.  I’ve been in a photo-taking slump but will snap out of  it this weekend.  Stay tuned for birthday extravaganza photos…