Saturday, June 9, 2012

Connections (and 36 Hours Ashore)

Days on Cruise: 78

“Next To Me” is happily tied to a floating dock in Tarrytown, about 15 miles north of Manhattan, and Saturday morning we packed overnight bags and left her behind the secured marina gate.


We had a true multi-modal transportation experience, beginning with a 40-minute train ride into Grand Central Station, followed by two transfers to short subway trips that took us to Penn Station, then a 2-hour Long Island Railway trip to Port Jefferson on Long Island.


A very pretty River Walk adjacent to the Tarrytown Marina with the Tappan Zee bridge in the background.


On arrival at Port Jefferson, we were picked up in a car by Boatman Mark, a friend of 5 years who we’ve never before met.  He was the inspiration behind this Great Loop journey we’re making, and the story of our friendship was told in a previous blog post on the first day of our adventure. Click the link if you don’t already know the details and are interested. Mark and his wife Kathy had us to their home for a delicious Italian meal, lots of conversation, a tour of their beautiful yard, and we even got to meet their youngest son Eric who spent the evening in our company.


It was a great treat to meet Mark and Kathy, and we found them as interesting, delightful and funny as we expected.  We heard lots of funny stories, discussed our history of shared medical issues that led to our meeting, talked a LOT about boating, and had a great evening. Many hours later Mark drove us to a nearby hotel for the night and we said our goodbyes, happy to have had this fun opportunity.


Saturday morning we got up early and re-traced our steps via train and subway to Manhattan, and joined niece Leslie and her 7-year-old daughter Sophie and 5-year-old son Harrison at the Boathouse Restaurant at Central Park.


The food was great (thank you, Leslie!), the views were pretty, and the people watching interesting.


After our meal, we wandered the path to the wonderful Alice in Wonderland monument, which seems to be a magnet for kids to climb and adults to stand in front of for a photo op. Sophie and Harrison spent a happy hour climbing on Alice and the other characters from the story.


Leslie and Sophie having a deep discussion about artwork.


Harrison enjoyed beating Hans Christian Andersen with a stick, the hilarious kind of thing boys are prone to do.


For giving him several pennies to toss in the water, Cathryn got a kiss from Harrison at the Bethesda Fountain.


And to keep Bob happily supplied with his favorite coffee while we travel, we called Rebecca at Martin Henry Coffee Roasters back home and had her send 9 pounds of coffee for us to Boatman Mark’s home on Long Island.  Here we are posing with two pounds of Martin Henry coffee at Grand Central station on our way back to the boat late today.


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