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North America » United States » Massachusetts July 27th 2015

July 2 we set sail to Block Island. It's been described as one of the "last great places" in the Western Hemisphere and it has become Natalya's favorite right away. 40% of the place is protected as a wild life sanctuary. The island is sparsely populated and shows as an exemplary community living in harmony with nature. Gingerbread Victorian and Salt Box houses are sprinkled irregularly over the hills and valleys often sitting on dramatic bluffs overlooking the ocean. The local population is a little over one thousand. But in the summer time the tourists make it grow ten-fold! The place where most visiting boats stay is Great Salt Pond. It is beautiful and ideally protected mile-long lagoon. But we did not find ourselves in want for company here! It was July 4th weekend and one ... read more
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...was another knock-around day. In fact, I didn't get dressed all day. I did all my chores wearing my blue and green plaid lounge pants and Mariners t-shirt. I did my laundry, binge blogged (about 6 hours getting caught up) and even went with Mike to gas up the truck in preparation for our midnight ride. Bob gave us really good ideas on how best to do what we want to do tomorrow which included driving overnight and arriving early in the morning. Also in preparation for our drive we tried, somewhat successfully for Mike, not so for me, to nap for a few hours later in the evening so we'd be awake for the drive. Around 11:30 p.m. we began packing: camera, water (frozen and liquid), snacks, sandwiches, my Mariners blanket for when the a/c ... read more


...and another trip to Plymouth. This time to hopefully meet up with more Houlihan cousins. Mike left a phone message about a week ago explaining who he was and who he was trying to reach. The voice on the outgoing message sounded too old to be either cousin, but left the message anyway. The cousins live in the lower half of a duplex. Maybe if the phone belonged to the upper apartment, they'd pass along the message. He never heard back from them so today we took the chance and headed to Plymouth. We made our way to the main street that runs along the waterfront and, of course, turned the wrong way. We should have turned away from downtown. Around the block we go...sort of. At one point in our meandering I turned to Mike ... read more
Cousin Cindy


…Bob snagged Mike to help him at the Nemasket Hill Cemetery. Mike actually volunteered, but Bob didn’t hesitate to take him up on it. While they toiled away mowing, weed-eating and filling holes, Kathy and I ran errands. On our way home from her errands, we drove by the cemetery to see how the work was going. They were nearly finished. Bob appreciated Mike’s help. They got so much accomplished. Mike was a very useful engine. Our schedule this week isn’t nearly as packed with outings as the last two were. We’re doing more “everyday” activities and just hanging out at home. I get the feeling the people around us are worried we’ll get bored if we’re not going and doing, but honestly I like the down time. It also gives me big chunks of time ... read more


…Mike volunteered to go to Kathy’s daughter Amy’s house to wait for the delivery of a new clothes dryer so Kathy and I could keep our breakfast date with Aunt Mary Jane. They and Carol meet for breakfast once each month. Carol wasn’t feeling well this morning so she opted out. Breakfast was leisurely and delicious. Today we were going to try to find Uncle John and Aunt Della. When we were here in 2006 they lived in a condo. Hopefully they’re still there. Mike remembered the name of the condo complex but not how to get to it. It took just a bit of a Google search to find out exactly WHERE “there” was. Off we go. At the condos we were faced with half a dozen separate buildings, each having eight units. We had ... read more
John and Della's New Digs
Patrick and Marsha
Bridgette and Kaiser


...and I finally met the elusive Cousin Patrick. He and Mike had great fun catching up and reminiscing. While we were there in his garage/man cave his wife, Maureen, and daughter, Bridgette, came home for lunch. They both work at a bank in town. Maureen is a nice woman and seems more than able to keep Patrick in line. Bridgette spent part of her lunch time working with her 9 month old German Sheppard. He’ll be a good dog when she’s got him trained. Patrick also has a couple of hens in a coop around the back of the garage. They lay the biggest eggs I’ve ever seen from a chicken. We had chickens and ducks when I was a kid, but I don’t even remember the duck eggs being this big. He had a carton ... read more
The Barnstable County Fair
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North America » United States » Massachusetts July 22nd 2015

Monday Today’s Score Card Elevator 1 – Susan 0 : We started the day early as we knew we had a long day. We got all our luggage together and Susan and I went down to checkout and the get car and pack it. We got in the elevator and on the first floor Susan holds the door for me while I get the luggage cart out. Then Susan heads out of the door and I’ve never seen an elevator move so fast and not stop. It caught her mid stride and pushed her over into the wall. Susan had even seen the door coming and put her hand out to stop the door that was one messed up elevator door. Whoa…. The front desk heard about that. Dunkin Donuts 21.2 : After leaving hotel we ... read more
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...took us to P'Town (P-town). Kathy, Mike and I went out to Plymouth to a passenger ferry that would take us to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod. The 90-minute ferry ride takes you across Cape Cod Bay to about the middle of P'Town. From there you can walk to the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum as well as a plethora of shops and eateries. The monument stands 252 feet and is the tallest all-granite structure in the country. It was built to commemorate the first landing of the pilgrims. Five weeks after landing in what is now Provincetown, they sailed across the bay to the much more suitable area of Plymouth. You can't grow many crops in sand. You can climb to the top of the monument via a series of steps and ramps ... read more
Some of the Boats in the Harbor in Plymouth
One of the Views From the Top of the Pilgrim Monument
Kathy's Idea

North America » United States » Massachusetts July 21st 2015

Tuesday We start our day at the Dunkin Donuts across the street. It was large so we thought that it would be a sit down place but Noooo. We ordered our food and went back to the hotel to eat. None of us were happy with our order but Pam’s was the worst. She ordered a wrap, but that was the most pitiful wrap I had ever seen. When she put her hand in to grab it, she thought the bag was actually empty. We agreed no more Dunkin Donuts. Our first stop was Plymouth Rock. The rock was much smaller than we thought and we read that part of it was in other locations but it looked whole except for the cut thru the middle of it and it looked like they had cemented it ... read more
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...was another casual day. We got to drive the Miata again. This time we took it to another cousin's house. The last two times we came to Massachusetts Mike has tried to get in touch with his cousin, Patrick. Both times were unsuccessful. Third time's a charm? We drove to his house (or what we hoped was still his house), Mike went to the door and knocked, one dog barked, the other just looked out the window, nobody answered. Three strikes, you're out? This time we came prepared; we brought paper and a pencil. Mike left a brief note to Patrick asking him to call. We drove around a bit more before heading back to base camp. Later in the afternoon Kathy (cousin), Mike and I drove to Aunt Mary Jane and Uncle Lenny's house for ... read more
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