Bill and Cathy McArthur Spring/Summer/Fall 2006: 12

   We settled in back at home when we returned from Atlanta on Monday, October 9. Tuesday was a beautiful, warm day. Bill took a bike ride to the new wildlife sanctuary on the site of the former Ponderlodge golf course. The refuge is only a few blocks from our house and is a great place to walk, ride bikes, and look at birds. Later, Cathy and Bill took a walk along the Bay. We went to dinner at Lucky Bones. Dinner was good, but there were an amazing number of other diners. On Wednesday, we took a walk to the new wildlife refuge and got caught in a hard rain. We saw a lot of hawks before the rain came. After lunch, we went to the post office to mail a couple of packages and then to the grocery store. We went to Best Buy on Thursday and bought seasons one and two of "Lost", using the gift card from Son Bill and Stacey. Bill went out for a paddle in his kayak on Friday after a plumber from Al's replaced our worn-out garbage disposal and our kitchen faucet (which started leaking after the plumber left). On Saturday, we went to Wildwood to buy "geezer bikes" at Algie's Place. We think that these fit into our more laid back style than our mountain bikes. While we were waiting for the bikes to be adjusted, our exterminator Tim razzed us in between his doing his wash at the laundromat across the street. When we got home we took a ride in the new wildlife refuge. We ate dinner at the Copper Fish. The week of October 16 was a good one, with warm weather. We took a few bike rides and Bill got out on his kayak for a few longish paddles. On Friday night, October 20, we took our neighbors Joy and Tom to dinner at Lucky Bones. On Saturday we drove to Katie and Tom's house. We visited Kay Keeley and showed her many of our photos from late spring, summer, and early fall on our laptop computer. On Saturday night, Katie and Tom treated us to a great meal at the Knight House in Doylestown. On Sunday, after the obligatory stop at Starbucks, a short walk with Rachel, and another coffee stop at Bucks County Cafe, we headed over to Glen Mills for a visit with Alex and Phil. We returned home at around 6:30 PM. It was windy and chilly on Monday. We were reminded why we like to bail out of here for the cold and windy season. We picked up the RV and winterized it in case we get a freeze before our trip to Key West for Thanksgiving. We also turned off the outside water and drained the pipes. The wind blew hard as the week went on. Cathy went to the gym for her workouts, while Bill braved the elements by walking outdoors, sometimes accompanied by Cathy. On Wednesday morning, we found a schooner washed up on the sandbar out front on the Bay. Bill watched the boat foundering in the surf and saw an oyster boat, the Jack King from Port Norris, try in vain to snag the anchor line to pull the schooner off. Bill found that the two boats were talking on marine channel 6 and hailed the schooner, Young America, and offered any assistance. Later in the afternoon, Bill went down on the beach when the 3 man crew climbed into a life ring and made their way to shore. Luckily, there were friends of the crew on hand to hustle them away in trucks. The schooner remained stuck in the sand. The wind took a break on Friday, October 27. We picked up Don and Bern Ernakovich at the ferry terminal at 9:30 AM and then headed to Atlantic City. We followed a slow police car which was holding back the traffic on the expressway. We parked at a new parking garage near Caesar's and went into the newly renovated Pier at Caesar's. We spent some time in the Apple store there; Bill fell in love with an iMac with a 24" screen. He also learned that the machine has BSD Unix underlying OS X and Windows. We ate lunch at Sonsie, a Boston-based restaurant, which had great food and friendly service with a great view and reasonable prices. Unfortunately, we don't see how the pier will attract much business. We made two Starbucks stops during a very nice day. We finished catching up with all of the past episodes of "Lost" thanks to our two DVD sets, two episodes downloaded from iTunes, and two episodes that we had DVRed. I guess that we're "Losties" now. Rain and lots of heavy wind started on Friday night and continued until Monday morning. We struggled to get outdoors. On Saturday night we attended a birthday party for our friend Carol Matthews linked with a Halloween party. We enjoyed getting together with people that we hadn't seen in a while. On Sunday, Bill did the whole sunday NY Times puzzle without looking anything up. On Monday, when the wind let up, Bill ran 3 miles at Ponderlodge while Cathy went to the gym. Later, we rode our geezer bikes over to Cape May Point. Bill topped off the day with an hour's paddle on a smooth day in the light of a setting sun, including a paddle around the still mired schooner. Bill had a meeting of the Cape May County Pollution Control Financing Authority before a rather late dinner. Tuesday, and especially Wednesday, were unseasonably warm days. Bill spent 2.5 hours out on his kayak on Wednesday. He also ran 3 miles, walked 4 miles, and rode his bike to WaWa for hoagies for dinner. This might have been the last really nice weather for the fall, but hopefully it won't be. On Thursday, November 2, Cathy had an eye doctor appointment where she received eye drops that excluded driving for a while. Bill accompanied her to the appointment and dropped her off at her GED testing session later in the afternoon. After Bill picked up Cathy, we went to Lucky Bones for dinner. The wind blew! Saturday, November 4, was Cathy's 65th birthday. We headed out early and drove to King of Prussia Mall to get Cathy an outfit to wear on our April cruise. We had a good lunch in California Cafe. We arrived at Alex and Phil's at around 3:30 PM. Katie, Tom, and Rachel arrived around 4:30 PM. Alex had hired two baby sitters for the three girls. We all headed out for dinner at the Moshulu, where we had lots of interesting experiences: dinners with Cathy's mother in a wheelchair on the sloping deck; brunch with our French exchange student Eric; lunch before Howie's Porsche burned to a crisp in South Philadelphia; a couple of tense hours trying to get a cab on Greek Weekend; and, a futile attempt to have lunch four days before Pier 34 collapsed. We had a great table with a fabulous view. We could see the Ben Franklin Bridge, the Battleship New Jersey, and the no longer most dangerous city of Camden. Our meals were absolutely fabulous! On Sunday, we celebrated Bridget's 4th birthday. Bill said that it was about time, since it seemed that Bridget had been 3 for a couple of years. We had a nice party with the inevitable chaos of present opening. We headed home in late afternoon and found that the wind had dropped. On Monday, Bill spent 4.5 hours out fishing and paddling on a very smooth Bay. No fish, but a lot of good paddling. After lunch, Cathy walked for 3 miles and Bill walked for 9 miles during a chilly but pleasant afternoon. On Tuesday, we rode our bikes along the Bay and in the new refuge. It rained most of the day Wednesday. Cathy went to aerobics and walked for 3 miles; Bill lifted weights and walked for 9 miles. On Friday we drove to Glen Mills to help Alex cope with a weekend of 2 kids, a dog, morning sickness, and a hunting husband. We also had the opportunity to celebrate Alex's birthday with Katie, Rachel, and Cathy's sister Marianne and husband Bob at the Ruby Tuesdays in Plymouth Meeting. On Saturday we had the chance to see Erin in her last soccer game for this season. Bill drove to Doylestown to pick up a new, smaller kayak for travel and met Tom and Katie and Rachel for lunch. On Monday, we returned home. On monday afternoon, November 13, we picked up the RV from storage. Bill stopped at Chambers repair shop to get new hubcaps installed and get the tires checked for air pressure. Bill picked up a tire gauge and filler tube designed for rear "dualies" from an auto parts store in Rio Grande on the advice of the mechanic. We spent the bulk of the week cleaning and packing the RV. On Wednesday morning, Bill went for a paddle down to the canal in whiteout fog. We had intended to leave on the 2:30 PM ferry on Thursday, but a very strong storm system caused us to alter our plans to leaving very early on Friday morning and heading west and then south, heading for a Thanksgiving vacation in Key West.

        Bill and Cathy