Bigger isn’t Always Better

Saturday October 6, 2012

Up early again, we had gone off to the boat show for the second day with the thought in our heads of ‘We really didn’t need to spend second day here‘. We were still pretty satisfied with everything we got in yesterday, but the tickets were already purchased and we figured we may as well use them.  Personally I was just excited to just stroll on and off boats with nothing dragging me down like all the gear we had purchased yesterday.  Trying to visit some of the boats we didn’t get to the day before, we went up to the line of Tartan’s first.  There was a group of three, ranging in size from about 34 feet to 45.  We were used to the previous day when brokers or other hired help would keep a steady flow moving on and off the boat to keep it from getting too crowded on deck or below.  Tartan didn’t feel like doing this.  While we watched four people stand in the cockpit before they could make their way below, we decided to wait on the steps leading up to the boat until all four of those people had gone below before letting ourselves board.  It was amazing on how many people behind us didn’t get the concept of a line and would try and push their way past us on to the boat.  Then after getting on and seeing there was no room to even move around the cockpit they’d look back at us with and idiotic expression on their face and remark, “Oh, were you in line?”.  Yes, you mouth breathers, we are in line.  It’s something us civilized people like to do to keep order.  One couple that asked us this replied with “Well we’re just going to sit in the cockpit until there’s room to go below” and still tried to cut in front of us after we were on deck and had moved out of the way to let other people off.  Some people have no sense of others.  They’re probably the same people that will take up a whole aisle in a grocery store with themselves and their cart.  Drives me insane.

While walking from boat to boat I also had a question answered that I asked Matt from the previous day, which was ‘Why are there no kids around?‘.  Every year we used to go to Strictly Sail in Chicago and you would be dodging strollers left and right.  Yesterday we saw only two strollers the whole day and very few people under the age of 18.  Today there were strollers and kids everywhere.  Then it hit me that yesterday was a work/school day, and of course Saturday would be the day that all the families would be coming out to the show.  We actually didn’t have to watch out for too many strollers here in Annapolis, but there was one family we kept managing to follow from boat to boat that had two kids under 8, and I felt bad for the brokers and owners when those kids kept jumping up on furniture and slamming doors and cabinets open and shut.  Except for the brokers on the Tartans.  That’s what they get for their lack of traffic control.  Things really got better when we started viewing some of the nicer catamarans like the Lagoons and you had to sign in with a representative.  It was all adults and they did a great job of monitoring how many people were on a boat at a time.  I couldn’t even imagine living on the size and luxury of those cats, but at a certain size it almost stops feeling like a boat and more like a condo permanently on the water.  Takes a little bit of the nautical feel out of it.  Not that we’ll ever turn down a sail on one though should anyone think of inviting us (hint, hint).

One thing I do love about these boat shows is that they still make me love Serendipity just as much as the day we bought her.  As I said, we’re quickly becoming the smallest boat in most anchorages and while visiting the show, there is not much shown that’s the same size or smaller than ours.  But while viewing all these upper 30’s, 40, 50 & 60 foot boats, I can’t help but think how she is just the perfect size for us.  Yes, sometimes we do go crazy with the lack of storage and that extra 4 or 6 or 10 feet can sound really tempting until you figure everything that goes in with it.  Our 34′ was $55,000 when we bought her.  Should we go up to 42′ that cost would be around $140,000.  Then the parts are more expensive should you need to replace them.  You need larger lines, winches and sails.  Per foot the price goes up any time you stay at a marina and in some countries you enter and when something goes wrong you may not be able to fix it yourself any more.  So is all of that worth a little extra storage and an enclosed shower?  Not to me.  And once everything is put in it’s place, our boat is actually pretty comfy to relax, sleep, or even cook in.

Forcing ourselves to stay as long as we could, once the rain clouds came in and we felt a few drops on our face we loaded back on to the shuttle bus to go home.  Getting dropped off we crossed the street to do a little grocery shopping for Canadian Thanksgiving the next night that we had been invited to.  Then bugging Matt, because all our friends had between 2-5 cases of beer on their boat while we only had four cans, we went next door to the Rite Aid to stock up.  Besides getting a sample of American Harvest Vodka mixed into a Screwdriver, we found a new beer we had never seen before called National Bohemian.  It was only $14.99 for a 30 pack!  But then there was also 30 packs of Bud Light for $17.99.  Which one to choose?    We went with both and now can proudly say we also have at least two cases of beer on our boat.

Sitting on a bench enjoying the city.

Boats ‘N Shows

Friday October 5, 2012

I keep getting my geography mixed up from where I’m currently at and what used to be home.  Right now back in Michigan it’s dipping down to the 60’s and even 50’s which is normal for early October, but we’ve been having pretty warm weather here in Annapolis and today is forecast for low 80’s.  Have I just not realized how far South we’ve gone or am I just mistaking one week of great weather?  We walked over to the Naval Stadium where a shuttle was taking people down to the show and when we arrived there was already a line to get in.  I wondered why Matt felt the need for us to get there thirty minutes before opening, but he had a specific boat he wanted to get on and heard the lines get long incredibly early.  So as soon as the cannon went off (literally) we ran through the opening and back to the docks where the Gunboat s/v Sugar Daddy was sitting.  There must have been early admittance for some people because we were already in a line when we got there.  It only took a few minutes before we were allowed to board though and walked through admiring the large catamaran.  It was light and airy and something I would really enjoy living on except that something of this size needs a crew to help operate everything.  Kind of defeats taking off into the sunset alone.

When Matt was done drooling we toured a few other boats including a Shannon 57 and a prototype from an Italian designer who had an impressive lineage of auto designers in his family back in Europe.  Touring a few more boats we made the mistake of stopping at one of the vendors, Henri Lloyd, so Matt could pick up a few shirts on special.  Then I had to bring the large bag on board with us rather than leave it out by the lines to possibly be stolen as and soon as he stopped at one more vendor I told him that the bag would not be making it on any more boats.  So we spent the rest of our first of two days at the show visiting all the vendors and spending way too much money on things that were unfortunately necessary for the boat.  There was a highlight though when we met up with one of our blog followers, Phil, who lives in the area.  Over a refreshing beer we talked about the fun parts as well as the pain in the ass parts of our trip and listened as Phil told us stories of his sails on the Chesapeake and plans to make it South himself next year.  I love meeting people who’ve been following us along the way and it’s great to hear when they also have plans to leave.  The sailing community is such a great one.

The galley inside the Gunboat, Sugar Daddy.  Yes please!

The aft cabin in the Shannon 57.  To be able to let my feet dangle off a bed again….

Since I can’t afford a framed map like this in our boat I’ll have to settle for a photo of it.

On to the rest of our evening.  It was still fairly early when we got back and, surprise surprise, the guys still wanted to do more crabbing.  This is after Brian caught two more earlier today bringing the current total to fourteen. I stayed back at the boat to do a few important things like brew my first coffee in days and tidy up a little bit.  When they came back an hour later to pick me up they had two more crabs in the bucket.  Now time to head back to Rode Trip to cook them up.  Throwing a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and our game of Bananagrams into a bag we rode back over to the Westsail.  Having put the crab trap in the water over there as well they pulled that up to find another crab in it and also pulled up the chicken bone on a string to find one chomping on that as well.  Eighteen crabs for the four of us!!

Never having cooked any kind of shellfish before we left it up to Brian who seemed to know exactly what he was doing. Half of the crabs would go into a large pot with a can of beer and some Old Bay Seasoning and be steamed alive.  I thought I would freak out about watching something be cooked alive but instead I was right next to the galley watching with wide eyes and interest.  To get the crabs from the bucket into the pot he employed a trick of grabbing them with potholders and then dumping them in and quickly slamming the lid shut.  This worked great for the first three or four that were dropped in, but since we normally had to get multiples in there at one time since they were entangled in each other (they like to try and dismember each other while in the bucket) the second time he went to grab a batch there was one that fell out on to the counter.  After slamming the lid down on the ones that did make it in the loose one had already tried scuttling into their pantry area.  Every time the potholder would come at it the claws would raise and start snapping and since it had backed itself into the area we could not do a sneak attack from behind.  After some coaxing it came forward enough that it was scooped up and put in the pot.  The heat was turned on and not even ten minutes later we had a pot full of red steamed crabs.

Each throwing one on our plate we made our way up to the cockpit to eat since we knew it was not going to be a clean meal.  Going for the legs first we each managed to find a way to pull some meat out and dip it in the melted butter.  It was delicious!!  Just as good as anything we would have gotten in a restaurant.  Except fresher.  After finishing the legs, the bodies took a little more work since we had to separate the top and bottom part of the shell and then take out the gills and remove some other hard bone/cartilage parts before getting to more meat.  All of us were surprised at just how much meat we could actually get off each crab since we thought if they were just large enough to be legal that there was a reason you would throw anything smaller back.  But we all went back for seconds and soon the next pot was on for thirds and fourths.  If there was one negative though, it’s that my hands would get so messy while trying to pull apart my crab that it was hard to also sip on my wine.

In the end there were still six crabs left and we told Brian they were more than welcome to all the leftovers.  Moving below out of the cold we sat around the table and I suggested we play a few rounds of Bananagrams.  This is a gift we got last Christmas from Matt’s Mom, but none of us had played before.  I’ve heard it’s great for boats since the tiles you work with don’t move around much and won’t blow away.  I thought it would be something like Scrabble, and it is, except each person makes their own.  All of the tiles eventually have to be used which means that sometimes you’ll have a great crossword going and then have to rearrange it to accommodate the new letters you’ve just picked up.  I thought that I might actually have a chance to win since I spend at least an hour a day writing but as soon as we called “Peel” Brian was busy arranging letters into words that all flowed into each other.  Needed to take on five extra letters including a X and a J and a G?  No problem, he easily slid them in to his crossword.  When he destroyed the rest of us the first few rounds we thought we’d make it more difficult on him by making him draw two letters when everyone else was taking one but he still came up on top.  He credits it to lots of Scrabble paying in college.  When the rest of us were too defeated to play any longer Matt and I realized it was after midnight and we still had to get up early to go to the boat show again the next morning.  Since we did so much shopping today and not much touring, that’s what’s on the list for tomorrow.

From bucket…

……to pot…..

……to my dinner plate.

Runaway crab dinner from Jessica Johnson on Vimeo.

Brian’s Bananagrams.  How do you even compete with that?

10.4.12 (2)

You Can Swim, But You Can’t Hide

Thursday October 4, 2012

Spending another day just trying to get boat related things accomplished such as a few loads of laundry in town and trying to figure out why our engine would not start we heard the familiar sound of knocking on our hull.  Brian and Stephanie had come over to see what we were up to and let us in on a little secret.  They knew how badly we wanted to catch a Chesapeake Blue Crab while in the area and while taking a leisurely kayak ride down the creek that morning Stephanie had seen a few hanging out on the walls of the bridge just a few inches under the water.  They had a net and a bucket in their dinghy and were ready to go crabbing.  We jumped in their dinghy but realizing that four people plus hopefully a lot of crabs inside one dinghy might get a little crowded, we made a pit stop at their boat so Stephanie and I could jump into kayaks to follow the boys in the dinghy and also scout out spots along the bridge before they got there.

Even though my kayaking skills appeared much better than they had been years ago when we owned our own, that or the kayak I was borrowing was much lighter with much better paddles, I still arrived at the bridge a few minutes after everyone else.  While Matt and Brian ran along one wall scouring the water line for anything with claws I didn’t want to get in their way and just lazily paddled on the other side.  I hadn’t even been looking at the wall for ten seconds when I spotted one.  I had no net, I had no bucket, but for some reason my mind was thinking I might be able to be helpful by scooping it up with my paddle and dumping it onto the top of the kayak until I could get it to the bucket.  My paddle went in the water just inches away from the crab when it sensed my presence and scuttled away.  Realizing I would most likely be useless as far as catching I went to check out the guys and see how they were doing.  Already they had a rhythm down where one would stand and slowly move the dinghy across the wall by hand and the other would stand near the bow on lookout with the net.  As soon as they saw something the dinghy would be stopped and the person with the net would dip it in the water behind and under the crab and come up on it with a sneak attack.  A much better formulated plan and pretty soon they were coming up with something on every swipe.  Not that every one was a keeper though.  Luckily Brain had studied the rules and found out that it’s illegal to keep any females or any males under 5.5″.  Most of the initial catches had to go back and although I’m sure they didn’t want to be dumped into our ‘keeper’ bucket they weren’t doing a good job of letting themselves be dumped back into the water either.  Their claws would get wrapped up in the net and Brian or Matt would have to stick their hands in and try to work it free.  This is where being an bystander really worked out for me.

We were originally guessing the lengths at first until Stephanie went back for a tape measure.  At this point we already had three in the bucket and the goal was to have one crab for each person.  When the fourth keeper was pulled out of the water we celebrated that we’d be able to have a crab dinner the next night, probably with lots of sides since a crab in itself (especially one that measures less than 6″) would not be a hearty meal.  But the boys were ambitious and wanted to keep crabbing.  They went back to search all the walls they had already gone through on the swinging bridge and then moved up to a fixed bridge a few hundred feet up the creek.  We were now two hours into this fishing expedition and my back was starting to kill sitting in one specific position.  I think Stephanie was feeling the same way and after paddling next to me we both slouched down in our seats, letting the current carry us wherever it felt like.  That happened to be the docks of the apartment where BMac lives and he was just getting home from work, ready for Brian and Stephanie to treat him to a sail before he treated them to dinner.  The boys stopped their fishing but when they came back announced they had twelve keepers in the bucket.  Maybe sides won’t be necessary after all.

Being transported first back to Rode Trip so I could drop of the kayak and then to our boat I was happy just to pass out on a cushion as I had already been feeling a little under the weather all day.  Or maybe it’s just exhaustion from our busy boat life.  Projects during the day and get togethers at night.  No one said this life was going to be easy.  Like sipping Painkillers at the boat show tomorrow and then ending the night with a fresh crab dinner with friends.  Not easy at all, but someone’s gotta do it.

This lucky little lady gets to be thrown back.

We caught this one while he was busy munching on a fish.

Our bucket of crabs.  Much better than a barrel of monkeys.

10.3.12 (2)

Rode Tripping

Wednesday October 3, 2012

They say that in life it’s not about what you know, but who you know.  Well we happen to know some people who know someone with a car.  When you’re in our lifestyle that can come in very handy.  These some people just happen to be Brian and Stephanie, but they have a friend who coincidentally lives in an apartment on the creek in which we’re anchored.  The friend of our friends, also named Brian but called BMac for short, that if Brian 1 would take him to work in the morning they could have use of his car until he got out at 3:30.  Being the great friends they are they asked us if there’s anywhere we needed a car to get to and if we’d like to tag along with them.  It was a no-brain answer and although we expected for them to be knocking at our hull at 7:30 in the morning (we usually get woken up at 10:30 in the morning with neighbors doing that to stop by and say hi) we were surprised when we rolled out of bed on our own, still after 10:00, and no one had been knocking on our door.  We assumed we missed a text and the opportunity and would be on the boat all day.  Nope.  An hour later we did get that text and  were picked up by dinghy shortly after that.

When pulling up to the docks (or beach more accurately if I haven’t described it before) we saw a nice sized jelly fish sloshing around in the water.  We knew there were tons of little ones floating around that were only the size of a wine cork and couldn’t do any damage to you, but this was one of the first actual big ones we had seen.  Much better than the first one I saw which was less than five minutes after getting out of the water the first, and only, time I tried bathing in the creek.  It was mostly clear with long tentacles and blood red oral arms probably measuring over two feet in length.  After that there was no more water conservation as far as showers went.  Anyhow, parked at the end of the street was a car just waiting to take us wherever we wanted to go.  And where do four cruisers who finally get their hands on a set of wheels go?  West Marine.  Like you even had to ask.  While the guys did their browsing of intricate parts and nuts and bolts, Stephanie and I browsed the magazines by the counter.  A copy of Blue Water Sailing caught my eye with headliner across the top of the issue.  Go young, Go now.  30-Something Cruisers.  Strange, I don’t remember the interview for that one but somehow they knew we were out here.

With unlimited freedom and two hours we went crazy and also hit up places like Home Depot, Safeway, and Walgreens.  No taming some crazy kids like us.  Did I mention we even hit up Sonic?  On foot of course, the car was left next door while prescriptions were being filled.  Since we had used up the whole afternoon running errands that would have taken us days otherwise there was no time for Matt and I to be dropped off before BMac needed to be picked up from work.  So Matt and I sat in the back seat of a strangers car with large drinks in our hands (was there a no liquids rule in this car?) as we swung by to pick up some unsuspecting guy that had no clue that two extra people and their junk would be occupying his car that day.  Without skipping a beat he opened the door to the back seat and started to get in as if it were an everyday occurrence that his car is taken over for public transportation.  Quickly playing a game of Chinese Fire Drill though, people were moved from their seats so that BMac could drive, Brian went into the passenger seat, and Stephanie squeezed into the back with me.  There was no mention about the drinks in our hands.  Whew, I did not want to give up my coffee with extra espresso on this rainy day.

We were dropped off at our boat by Brian 1 and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing.  Later in the afternoon as the sky was clearing up and we were preparing dinner we heard a knock on the hull.  Popping our head out we saw our friends from earlier and they asked if we’d like to come over for game night later.  They were just about to go back and make dinner themselves but said we could show up any time after.  A few hours later we were trying to dig out anything from our quickly diminishing beer supply and locked up our boat.  When we climbed in the cabin they were just finishing a pizza Brian 1 had made from scratch and there was enough left for me to find out it was delicious.  They would just have to rub it in, wouldn’t they?  Although I felt no guilt in devouring pieces from the next two pies that went in the oven.

Then Apples to Apples came out and it’s always interesting playing with people you still don’t know really well and tying to play your card to the judge.  Matt and I are so used to ourselves and friends back home being so sarcastic that we’ll always throw down a red ‘Prostitution’ card to match the green ‘Innocent’ one.  This group liked to be a little more literal when matching cards and our humor wouldn’t always get through.  It’s always a good time while playing though and I recommend that every boat and house has it.  After a few rounds of winners we went back to just talking and drinking, reminiscing about when we were young.  Since the whole crew was born in ’82 or ’83 we somehow got on the subject of early 90’s TGIF line-up and made a game of trying to remember what made it up.  Full House was the easy first guess and it was still a few minutes before anyone could come up with the next show, Family Matters.  When my Perfect Strangers (remember Balki?) was disputed we turned to the source of all knowledge and finally Googled the line-up.  Ending the night we also found and remembered the show Dinosaurs from the TGIF line-up and spent the rest of our time watching clips of it on You Tube and yelling “Not the mama!”.  How did we ever like that as kids?

Still not sure I’d even want to go swimming with this guy.

Game night on Rode Trip.

Scavenger Hunt

Tuesday October 2, 2012

Since our friends from Antheyllide have been anchored in the creek with us for the past few days but our only chats have been while they’re holding up their full size bikes in their dinghy and have stopped by to say hello, we invited them over for a few cocktails since they’d be on their way once more the next morning.  They finally got the tour of our boat which doesn’t normally happen unless it’s spotless because of someone’s OCD.  Even as they dinghied up Kim’s first question was “Is it your boat that smells like apple pie?”.  We had just replaced the air freshener in the head and apparently Glade was doing a great job of making our boat smell Fall fresh even from hundreds of feet away.  I just hope it doesn’t start attracting other boaters who think we’ve cooked up a tasty treat.

After the tour was done with comments of “This is the perfect space for the two of you” and “It’s totally your style” (our boat is suddenly becoming the smallest in the lot and we’re getting a little bit of larger boat envy) we settled into the cockpit to enjoy the strangely warm evening.  We had just gotten through the first bottle of wine and lots more helpful hints of places to visit or avoid on our way down to the Caribbean when Brian and Stephanie joined us as well.  They were just in time for Stories from our year in Venezuela as told by Antheyllide and they were not the kind of stories we had heard from other cruising blogs.  Stories included were How our friends found a dead man in a boat (on the can) a day before we arrived to see it ourselves (besides the body); How we thought we might be arrested for accidentally overstaying our Visas; Getting bullied by officials into paying $0.35/gallon for diesel instead of $0.08; and best of all How we came across multiple shipwrecks of brand new boats that ran into reefs.  ‘Oh, you’ll be fine’ they comforted on that last one, ‘I’m sure it won’t happen to you’.  I had never personally put much thought into it before but apparently it was one of Stephanie’s biggest fears. If you need a bondsman in Norwich, CT because you got arrested for some reason, you must only trust the best and the most reliable one near you.

I had also not known until hearing this that if you’re boat is deemed abandoned or wrecked, as in you can not get it off/away from it’s current location, that it’s open to scavengers.  As soon as you step foot off that boat the locals, including police, will come and strip a boat bare, usually selling pieces to unsuspecting cruisers passing through the area.  Clothes, dishes, and even silverware are taken from drawers.  Winches are sawed right out of the cockpit.  As soon as you’re off the boat it’s a free for all.  And it’s all legal.  I could not imaging setting off on this journey, getting into a storm where we had to be pulled off the boat and going back to it a few days later only to find out it’s been completely picked apart by someone who got there before we did.  Although we’ve both decided that our boat would have to be sinking before we’d abandon her, and I would much rather the sea have her than for someone to pick her apart.

*Knock on wood.  I’m not willingly going to give my boat to anyone, even the sea.

10.1.12 (3)

I’ll Have What He’s Having

Monday October 1, 2012

With the sun in the sky and a desperate need to get away from the boat and all it’s little projects we called in on our friends Brian and Stephanie to see if they’d like to join us on a little tour through town today.  The large 9 hp had been put on the dinghy and we were going to ride up the Severn River to Spa Creek and dock in the heart of downtown.  No long walks for this girl today.  Coming up to that dinghy dock it was already pretty crowded but we managed to squeeze in and tie off.  Getting right down to window shopping we went into some of the prime real estate shops right on the water like The Pink Crab filled with flowery dresses and then next door to Sperry Top-Sider where I looked to see if there was any chance the shoes I wanted were on clearance.  They were not and I’m assuming that store does not have a clearance section.  Helly Hanson did though but it was all bulky winter coats that I couldn’t fit on the boat.  Matt shakes his head at the four jackets/coats I already have but they all get tons of use.

Leaving the classy and yacht inspired stores we moved on to the more touristy ones along Main St.  There were plenty with shot glasses, t-shirts, and mugs letting you know you were in Annapolis and signs decorating the walls saying things like ‘Do one brave thing today then run like hell’.  Back on the street we found a hopscotch court in between a few buildings and although Matt and I shrugged our shoulders as how to play, Stephanie and Brian were quick to throw stones on the numbers while hopping the length out and back.  When they finished our eyes wandered up and down the road of where to go next.  Then in front of us it stuck out like the sore thumb it is, the orange and green front nestled into the subdued whites, blacks, and reds around it.  “You guys hungry?” we asked?  “Yeah, we could eat something” they replied.  Cutting across the street we walked into Chick & Ruth’s and found the main floor full of other patrons.  We were led to the upper section and were the only ones up there among ten or so tables.  The menus were set in front of us and we were told they’d give us some time to look them over.  About fifteen minutes is necessary since this is a 12 page menu.  As we flipped through the pages we all kept coming back to the lump crab cakes and one other thing.  Happy hour started at 5 and they offered half off beers and wines.  It was just going on four o’clock and we almost debated leaving and coming back an hour later but with no real plans we figured we could eat and still stay long enough to enjoy the hops on special.  As the waitress came to take our order we went around the table and ordered the same thing, the lump crab cake meal.  We also let her know that we’d be there for quite awhile, unless she had the power to change happy hour to 4:00.  No luck on that front.

When the food came out all talking stopped as our faces were suddenly stuffed with some of the best crab cake I have ever tasted.  The food was so filling though that my plate stayed in front of me well into happy hour as I picked at it’s remains while enjoying Sam Adams and Fordham for about $1.75 a bottle.  I don’t know why it took us almost a week to get here but I hope there’s at least one more visit while we’re in town.  Before we could even exhaust the four drink limit we were all to full to let anything else cross our lips.  Paying our tabs we were back on the street where the temperature had dropped about ten degrees and a light rain was starting.  Even though it was early in the evening most of the shops had closed already and we wandered into the next open one we found.  It was a spice and herb store and while drying off we took in the names of all the exotic spices and lifted the lids to get a smell.  Some were a specific spice alone and others were rubs and marinades for grilling.  There were way too many tempting ones to choose from and while Matt and I eventually left empty handed our friends picked up a few ounces to kick up the top notch cooking they always seem to pull off.

Thinking we’d head back to the dinghy and call it a night as it was cold and dark and sprinkling we spotted a bar on the second floor of some shops with neon lights flashing through the windows and we felt it deserved a closer look.  Getting to the top of the stairs we found it was not the night club we imagined it to be but a restaurant/buffet instead.  It still deserved a beer though and we sat next to the windows that drew us in and watched the lack of action out on the street.  Even though we didn’t find the club we impulsively started searching for as soon as we thought we had come upon one (I miss a loud thumping techno beat!) I’d still label this day a success.  This is why we’re out cruising.

*Yes, Chick & Ruth’s did have wifi and I was finally able to get my work done.  So many reasons to love this place.