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My Vacation at the Lake

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Posted 08-09-2008 at 05:25 PM by Don
Updated 08-16-2008 at 09:22 PM by Don

Day 1

We arrived today for a week on the Lake. I am going to post at least once a day to this blog with some comments, observations and a summary of what we did. I'll briefly report on the restaurants we went to and anything I find interesting. We are staying on the water near Weirs Beach and hope to be out on the boat as much as possible.

The weather is better than expected today with scattered clouds and temperatures in the mid-70s. The boat traffic at the Weirs was typically busy for a Saturday in August and the surf was definitely up here from all the boat traffic.

We didn't do much today except get settled and fill the fridge. Tonight we have a reservation for dinner and I'll post an update later.

**********

We just returned from an evening in Meredith. There was a Beatles tribute band playing in the park and they were really good. This picture shows people watching the schools of small fish and high water while the band played in the background.


We had made a reservation at Guiseppe's and they were ready for us right on time. My Seafood Fra Diavolo was great and so large I have enough for lunch tomorrow. Everyone was satisfied, the service was very good and there were no complaints. Giovanni at the piano always adds to the atmosphere and we're always glad when he is the entertainment.

Back at the cottage, the neighbors provided a nice fireworks show. It's cool so some extra blankets may be needed tonight but at least it's dry. We're hoping for some good boating weather tomorrow.

Day 2

So far the weather today has been good but a little cool. It was clear and about 57 degrees when I woke up around 7. The lake was calm and quiet. It is now around noon and the temperature is 71 degrees. I can hear thunder in the distance. One of our group just returned from Shaw's and said it was pouring over there.

I took the boat out for an hour or so this morning while everyone else slept in to look around and check the conditions. There was a light wind and chop of less than 1 foot and the there was only moderate boat traffic. The sun was out and I stopped in the broads, shut off the motor and floated around soaking up the scenery. Very nice.

On my way back in I passed through the no-wake zone by the Governors Island bridge. Coming out of the zone 2 large matching Yamaha jet boats blasted by me at high speed not more than 30 feet away and continued on toward the Weirs very close to each other. I wouldn't be surprised if they met one of our fine MP officers later.

I also took a walk down the the Weirs boardwalk this morning to check out the storm damage for myself. The collapse itself only affects 20 or 30 feet but the entire boardwalk up to the train station is closed. After seeing the extent of the collapse I have to wonder about the stability of the entire boardwalk and embankment, especially with the weight of a train passing over it. It will be interesting to see what will happen.

Here is another angle of the collapse:


It's raining now at 1:07 pm.

**********

The weather did improve this afternoon and we saw some sunshine. I had lunch at the new Boston Seafood for the first time. I tried the regular lobster roll and was not disappointed. It was overstuffed with lots of meat and I could see several claws mixed in. The fries were just right although the side of pasta salad was very small and tasted too much like olives for me. I spoke to the new owner and he is working hard to provide good quality and attract customers. The dockside delivery service is working well for them but I had to laugh at the non-customer parking rate at the dock:


For dinner all the teens went off for Chinese while the adults went to The Crazy Gringo at Weirs Beach for some cheap Mexican food. There's not much to say about the Gringo except it's fairly cheap and predictable. We used to be fans of Nuthin Fancy and nothing has changed much and everyone was satisfied with their meals. My Margarita was $4 and my taco combo with rice was another $6. It was definitely the cheapest dinner of the week.

Day 3

Today (Monday) was a washout. It rained and rained all day and we are soggy and cold. I took the boat out to get gas in the morning and dodged the raindrops all the way. Some of our group went to the movies, others went shopping while geeks like me spent several hours on my laptop doing some work.

Speaking of laptops, it occurred to me that we probably have more technology in our little cottage than was used going to the moon. Laptops, wireless internet, iPods, Cell phones, Blackberries, DVD players, cable TV, GPS's and more. It wasn't too long ago that the only technology available was the pay phone down the street. I'm not sure that this is all a good thing but it did help us get through a very rainy day.

Dinner today was at Patrick's Pub. Great service and food! I had the french onion soup and wedge salad while others tried various salads and entrees. We loved it and the waitress was awesome, always there when we needed her.

We went back to the cottage and watched Phelps win another Gold medal. What an amazing swimmer.

Day 4

It rained several times overnight but the sky was brightening and the lake was calm when I got up and headed out for an early boat ride. I cruised from the Weirs into the Broads, stopped off Sandy Island to enjoy the serenity and then headed through the Hole in the Wall and into Moultonboro Bay. The sun started to come out and the sweatshirt came off. If was really nice for the rest of my ride and most of the time I felt like I had the lake to myself. I look forward to times like this all year.

When I got back the kids were up and waiting for a ride. I turned around and took them all out for another few hours of sightseeing. By noon I had spent almost 5 hours on the boat which makes it a very good day.

While passing by the Bear Island Post Office we noticed this large group waiting for the mail boat. I guess when you're on an island waiting for the mail is a big activity, or maybe it's because they sell ice cream from the boat.


Around Bear and Pine Island there were lots of kayaks out. More than I've ever seen before. They were coexisting nicely with all the other boats and in most cases they were closer to shore and nowhere near the normal paths of the power boats.

For lunch we took the boat to Meredith. It was very quiet with only a few boats at the docks at 1 pm. We had no trouble getting a good table at the Town Docks and the service was very quick as the waitresses didn't have that much to do. It was all-you-can-eat fish day and I ate way too much for lunch . The fish was fresh and flaky and was the best fish and chips meal I've had in a long time. When we got back on the boat the rain started and by the time we were 100 yards out it started pouring. Since we only have a Bimini top the choice was to go real slow and get a little wet, or get there fast and get soaked. Everyone voted for "soaked" and we zipped up Meredith Bay through the heavy rain.

It's raining again now at 5 pm. We're going to try to cookout tonight if the weather allows it.

**********

The rain stopped and we finally had a nice cookout by the water. Chicken, sausage and burgers. After dinner some neighbors fired off fireworks for over an hour. They just kept coming. It was a great show.

We watched the Red Sox win, 19-17. Wow! Phelps put away 2 more Gold medals. Double wow!

Day 5

The sun is out at 8 am!!!! We're planning to do a lot of tubing today.

**********

Finally we got a perfect day. The sun was out, the wind was light and we took advantage of it. An early sightseeing cruise to Black Cat Island and Becky's Garden and then tubing until lunch. We have a nice double tube and we ran the length of Meredith Bay many times with many zigzags along the way. That double tube is so stable that you can go forever without flipping it.

For dinner we had another great BBQ by the water. Swordfish and steak tips were on the menu and of course more local corn from the farm.

After dinner we all went to the Kellerhouse for $1 night (cone or cup). What, no pistachio? Oh well, the black raspberry was good too. You could see that many people were spending more than a dollar since the make-your-own sundae bar was very busy.

Another Red Sox win finished off the evening.

Day 6

Another beautiful day with great boating conditions. It was overcast when I woke up but the sun soon burned through. Some work kept me off the lake until about 11 but the kids were waiting on the boat with the tube. Same as yesterday, perfect tubing for about 15 miles.

A few of us went over to Boston Seafood for lunch. It was my second meal there this week and I must say it was again very good. I had the calamari plate and it was great and a bargain at $8.99. Try it.

This afternoon was filled with more boating excursions. My wife and I managed to escape for a ride around Governors Island and through the channel to Liliuokalani's for ice coffee. The channel was busy and I had someone in a hurry behind me while I moved at a normal no-wake speed. I thought they were going to hit my transom. What's the rush?

Tonight we went to one of my recent favorite's, Lemon Grass. The food is Asian/fusion style and the flavors are wonderful. Between appetizers and entrees we had Sashimi Salad, Unagi Sushi, Seared Tuna, Pan Fried Haddock and Garlic Shrimp. Everything was shared and prepared perfectly. If you like this style of food you're in for treat.

While I'm typing the Sox won again and Phelps banked number 6, ho-hum (actually really amazing).

Day 7

Today is the last full day of vacation at the Lake and I headed out early on the boat without even checking my email . It was calm and in the 60's and the broads were quiet and calm as you can see:


Moments like this, alone in the middle of the broads with no boats or people in sight are special. You feel like it is all there just for you. I think of that moment often while I'm shoveling snow or buried at work.

I was back by 9 and we started a long tubing run. The kids can't get enough:


We grabbed a quick Dunkin Donuts brunch between boating runs and skipped lunch.

Back at the cottage my daughter's tie-dye creations were drying on the line. These are all her own original creations. You can see she's getting very good at it:


I took a closer look at the damage further down the Weirs Beach Boardwalk. As you can see there is extensive damage all the way down. I heard unofficially that the entire boardwalk and much of the road will have to be redone and replaced:




Friday evening we went to JT's Steak House for one reason. They advertised Prime Rib on Friday nights and one of our group was craving it. I haven't been to JT's in about 10 years and didn't have very good memories of it. The ads said "until it's gone" so we headed over early and were seated at 6. When we ordered we were told that they were already out. The place wasn't very busy so the supply must have been very small, or nonexistent. The Prime Rib eaters were disappointed as they picked out something else. Our large group had a variety of ribs, chicken, seafood and salads and it was all OK but we never quite got over being denied the Prime Rib some had waited all day for.

Later in the evening we heard the reports of the heavy rain that rained out the Red Sox game and dumped 5.5 inches on Wrentham, MA. We didn't see a drop where we were.

To help compensate for the cancelled Weirs Beach show our neighbors lit off lots of fireworks. Again it was a great show and a great way to end the week.

Day 8

This morning it was pack up and head out. Some old friends were in the area for a Church Landing Wedding and we met at the NASWA for breakfast. We really should have had dinner there (in the dining room) during the week. They really have it together and the food was great. Their dining room is nicely decorated and the service has always been attentive. Breakfast at the NASWA on our last day at the Lake has become a tradition for us and we were not disappointed this year either.

On the way home I stopped in Alton Bay to take some pictures and look around. Look for the pictures on PhotoPost soon. As I walked I heard singing in the distance and noticed what seemed to be a Barbershop Quartet serenading a couple across from Pop's. I asked them if they would do a song for the Forum and I recorded the song on my digital camera. They were great and I chatted briefly with them and thanked them before moving on. Later I realized that I should have thought more like a reporter and asked some more questions like why they were there . Here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cOoO8T5aeg

After that I headed down Rt. 28 towards the real world and home. Despite some bad weather we really had a great week. Some of us are returning for a 3 day getaway at the end of August which will mark the end of summer for us.

Thanks for reading and I hope you found some of this interesting. I'm not a great writer but I'll try to blog more about future trips and experiences. Please join in and help get the Blogs going.

Signing off.

Don
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  1. Old Comment
    chipj29's Avatar
    Great blog, Don. You describe your days perfectly, felt like I was on the boat or out to dinner with you.
    Posted 08-21-2008 at 12:42 PM by chipj29 chipj29 is offline
 

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