October 26, 2015
Our friend Cyndy from Colorado was flying into Baltimore to meet us, so we departed the Sassafras River to head to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. As we approached Baltimore, we cruised past Fort McHenry. Here’s a little video tribute (click to view):
There’s little to no room to anchor in the harbor, so we tied up to the city wall, placing us within walking distance of many wonderful shops and restaurants. Cyndy arrived and we headed off to get her some crab cakes – very delicious!
Next it was time to head south down the Chesapeake Bay towards Solomon’s, MD. A little bad weather was approaching so we wanted to be somewhere safe. We decided to anchor in St. Leonard’s Creek up the Patuxent River, where our friends Amy and Barry have a beautiful property (its for sale!). We stayed for several days, using the tender to explore and to go ashore for walks and visits. I caught up with Karen, my best friend from 5th and 6th grade who lives nearby and we had a wonderful dinner with Amy and Barry.
After the windy weather passed, we continued down the bay to the Potomac River. We had a great day for cruising so decided to make the most of it, covering more than 70 miles and cruising quite a ways up the Potomac River, anchoring for the night just outside Mt. Vernon, historic home of George Washington. Though the weather was gray and rainy, we took the tender over for a visit and enjoyed seeing many of the recent renovations and improvements that have been made.
Our next destination was National Harbor, located in Oxon Hill, MD, my hometown. Now a thriving mini-city, with a convention center, high-end residences, restaurants, and soon even a casino, the beautiful waterfront here used to be woods and trails where we rode our ponies. It’s amazing to see the many changes that have taken place here, yet some things remain the same. While there is a new Oxon Hill High School now (a beautiful, state of the art building), the old Seitz Liquors and Hovermale’s Ice Cream stand remain virtually unchanged. It’s a nice combination of new and old. It’s simply amazing to be here, docked at a beautiful marina with amazing facilities with the Capital Wheel as our backdrop.
Our main reason for coming here is to attend my high school reunion. Though I haven’t stayed in close touch with many friends from high school, some of us have recently reconnected via Facebook and other means. A couple of my wonderful classmates also decided to organize a reunion of our elementary school classmates. We had 28 people who started first grade together at Thomas Addison Elementary School in 1963 and went through high school together. Incredibly, 17 of those classmates came to the reunion, coming from as far as Canada and California!
Our old elementary school is currently being renovated and is to be used as a training facility for the new MGM hotel and casino being built nearby. We were able to visit the school and take some photos before heading to National Harbor for a get-together aboard Shear Madness. It was wonderful to catch up with so many classmates and to share our memories of our school days.
Next up was the high school reunion where even more old friends would gather for a wonderful evening. Most of my “best friends” from 4th through 12th grade were in attendance and it was so wonderful to see them all.
It was also a time to catch up with friends and family. Bradley’s daughter Margy with husband Bryant and little ones Tyler and Austin came for a visit to National Harbor and we got to attend some of Tyler’s soccer games, where we saw him score two goals. We also attended a football game at DeMatha High School, where my godson Jaylen is a starting linebacker. Good friend Christeen stopped by with daughter Sophie. Former neighbors Allen and Maryann came for a wonderful visit. Our good friend Fatiha, who used to take good care of us, our house, and our dogs, also stopped in. Another friend, Ann, brought us a wonderful Pho Noodle lunch. And I even got in a couple rounds of golf with Carol, Mary Irene, and Anne at Riverbend and with Larry at my former club TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms. Anne and Mary Irene come by for a visit and wonderful lunch. Fellow cruisers Sean and Louise stopped in for a night on their way up the Potomac to Washington. And sailors Nancy and Ron are in town without their boat, catching up with us for lunch.We also visited our good friends Sudhakar and Bina, enjoying a great dinner at their home.
We also attended some notable events – an amazing Indian Sikh wedding, complete with amazing food and spectacular entertainment. I also attended the annual Fall banquet of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, catching up with many former business associates and friends.
We had a bit of a scare as Hurricane Joaquin formed and could not seem to make up his mind which way he wanted to go. We felt pretty safe here and prepared for the worst, but fortunately he remained well offshore, bringing us only rain and some modest winds. It did rain out a golf outing with my good friend Min and her husband David, but they came for a visit to the boat, bringing us a generous helping of Min’s kim-chi, a favorite!
The reunion theme continued, with a get-together of my former colleagues from Landmark Systems. Although Landmark was acquired back in 2002, we still have a strong group of folks who remain in contact and love to get together on occasion to catch up and reminisce. It was a good turnout and we all had a wonderful time. And not to be left out Bradley had a couple reunions of his own, with high school classmates Michael (Buddy) and wife Catherine and Martha with husband Tom coming over for a boat tour and dinner out. Bradley’s good friend Alan was in town on business from Colorado and along with mutual friend Ken and two work colleagues came by for a visit and dinner.
We’ve still got more friends to catch up with and despite being here for a month, will simply not be able to fit in everything we want to do and everyone we want to see. Maybe we’ll just have to stay a little longer!