Thursday, December 31, 2015

Baby, It's Hot Outside

   Cool breezes, temperatures in the 90s, families hanging out on the beach . . . These are the things that remind us of Christmas, right? . . . yeah, me neither . . . but, such is the situation here in Florida.  Having grown up in Virginia (where there are actually changes in the seasons), I am used to the holidays actually feeling like the holidays.  There may not always be snow on the ground in time for St. Nick's arrival but, the temperatures are cooler (enough for a sweater and coat) and curling up with a blanket and a cup of cocoa to watch Christmas movies is the activity of choice . . . sigh . . .

My Answer to a Tree - Tree-like Garland on the Hand Rails
and Ornaments Hung on the Garland
  Well, as they say, "When in Rome . . .".  So, in the days leading up to Christmas, Bill and I decorated the boat with ornaments with the air conditioner running, shopped for presents in t-shirts and shorts, and drank cold glasses of sweet iced tea while watching The Santa Clause and White Christmas.

Cranberry-Apple Pie
   I made a Christmas Eve dinner of glazed, baked ham, green beans, and a baked potato casserole. Bill even cooked up a cranberry-apple pie for dessert.  Yum!  After dinner, we finished wrapping presents and put them on the settee under the ornaments (since we don't actually have a tree on the boat). Surprisingly they survived the night . . . It wouldn't have surprised me if one of the cats had decided to open the presents for us in the wee hours of the morning.  

My New Emerald and Diamond Bracelet
   On Christmas day, we opened presents and called both of our families to check up on them and wish them well.  Bill made us brunch and then, instead of taking a walk in the snow, we took a walk on the beach. Not a typical Christmas day activity but, it was very enjoyable.  There were kids playing with beach toys and building sand castles, people flying kites and wind surfing, the restaurants were even open to accommodate everyone.  We picked up some shells along our stroll and had dinner at one of the local hot spots. . . a very pleasant, albeit unusual, Christmas day.

Coral Washed Up on the Shore

Foot Prints in the Sand
Beautiful Day

Notice the Streak of Pink

Enjoying The View From the Restaurant

Puttering Down to Miami
One of the Many Bridges that Had to be Opened

   I mentioned in my last post that we were going to move the boat closer to Miami for our jobs . . well, we tried to move the boat.  It didn't exactly work as planned.  On Sunday (2 days after Christmas).  Bill and I untied the lines and motored out of our marina in Dania Beach.  We dealt with a few delays here and there but, overall, we had an easy trip down to what was supposed to be our new home.  After making it through the last bridge, we slowed the engine, prepared the lines, and began to turn into our allotted slip.  As we straightened the boat to pull in, BANG! . . . My first thought was that we had hit something that was submerged.  So, we moved over to the next slip (just to see) and BANG! again . . . Turns out, we had hit something, the river bottom.  The slip that we were told had 8 feet of water (and had already paid for) really only had about 4 feet . . . Great . . . Now what ??? 

Part of the Miami Skyline

   It was already too late in the day to head back to Dania Beach.  So, as we headed back up the river (and back through all those bridges that we just came through), we began frantically calling marinas in the area to see if they had space for us.  Many of the places that we tried were all booked up and a few never even picked up the phone.  Finally, I found a marina that had one spot left; The people that reserved it never showed up.  So, it was ours . . . temporarily.

    Once we were settled into our slip, we went in to talk to the office manager.  We explained our situation and asked if there was any way that we could stay where we were for a while.  We had just left our old marina (and had only payed through December) and the slip that we had signed a lease on and had paid through January on wasn't a possibility anymore . . . We were a boat without a home  . . . Unfortunately, after checking the marina's calendar, the office manager couldn't find an open slip for us.  We could use the slip we were in but, only for a few days . . .hmmm . . . back to the drawing board . . .

  After calling every Miami-area marina with rates we could afford and still coming up empty, Bill called the marina in Dania Beach.  Thankfully, our slip hadn't been given away.  Unfortunately, we still had to get to work while we were down here.  So, we had to use Uber to get to our car and then drive it down to Miami.  Tonight will be our last night here.  Tomorrow, we'll head north again and pull back into the same slip that we were in before.  We'll then call Uber again to get back to Miami, pick up our car, and then drive it back to Dania Beach.  Yeah, the logistics of moving a car and a boat have been a bit of a pain.   So, until we can find a place that has room for us and that we can actually fit into, we'll keep commuting from Dania Beach to Miami.  

   Tonight, we will say goodbye to 2015 and welcome in a new year.  It's been a year of setbacks, successes, and failures; new friends, unique experiences, and humbling challenges.  As we raise our glasses tonight, we'll say a toast; a toast to the past, a toast to the future, and a toast to living life to the fullest . . . Happy 2016!      


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