Bill and Cathy McArthur Spring/Summer/Fall 2006: 3

   The weather for the week of May 15th was unstable with many periods of rain and thunderstorms. We worked around the storms and Cathy's schedule at the bookstore to get outdoors when we could. We bought this season's flowers at Marlboro Market on Route 47. Cathy planted the flowers while Bill sprayed the driveway with Roundup to get rid of a big infestation of weeds. On Thursday, May 18th, Bill rode his bike to the lighthouse and walked the beach into Cape May. He saw Piping Plovers, American Oystercatchers, flying Swans, Royal Terns, Least Terns, and the usual gulls and sandpipers. It was windy on the beach, but very nice to be there. Bill bought some slices of pizza at Louie's which we ate in front of the bookstore. Bill got a cappuccino at the Avalon Coffee franchise near Louie's and headed up the beach to his bike and rode home. In the evening we went to the Ocean Grill in Cape May; the food was good, but the prices were up from the previous year. We viewed three DVDs during the week: "The Producers", which proved that a great musical comedy cannot be transferred from a Broadway theatre to the silver screen without losing its magic; "The Family Stone", which was solely a chick flick with a good ensemble cast; and "Derailed", which had some Hitchcockian elements and was a good B movie with a good cast. Bill did a lot of running and walking during the week to get ready for Saturday's "Great Cape May Footrace", in which Bill ran a very slow 5K, but finished with a smile. On Sunday, we started the day with breakfast at Starbucks in Rio Grande, followed by shopping for flowers and other outdoor supplies at various stores. It was a beautiful day until the wind began to blow hard from the west in the afternoon. We managed to get the deck setup for the summer, but were unable to use it in the howling wind. On Sunday night, during dinner, we tried to watch "Baghdad ER" on HBO, but Bill wasn't able to view the horror of it. We hoped that those responsible in America and the Middle East could face it better than us. We remembered with sadness how Eduardo, the older son of the family we stayed with in Spain, had predicted in 2003 how the suicide bombers would punish the Americans in Iraq.

   The wind dominated Monday, May 22. Bill had to dress in winter garb to water the flowers. The wind continued through Tuesday evening. We went to dinner at the Harbor View restaurant for the first time this season on Tuesday night. We decided on a schedule for attending Andrew Ernakovich's wedding near the continental divide in Colorado. We got free flights from Cathy's rewards credit card. Bill used to get a rental car from Hertz for $35 per day. We will be leaving on Thursday, July 27 and returning in the wee hours of Monday, July 31. We also put down a deposit on a cruise for next April. We will have a pre-cruise extension with the "Samba in Rio" package, consisting of a 2 night stay in Rio and 3 excursions. On Thursday night, we enjoyed a great dinner at the new Lucky Bones restaurant, on the site of the former Anchorage and 1919 restaurants. We viewed the DVD, "A History of Violence", and enjoyed it; the cast was top-notch, the story was compelling, and the production was excellent.

   Summer got its unofficial start on Memorial Day weekend. The weather was supposed to be spotty as the weekend began, but the whole weekend was beautifully hot and humid. Bill was able to spend a lot of time outdoors, walking, cycling, running a 5K in Stone Harbor, and kayaking. Cathy worked Saturday and Sunday at the bookstore. We viewed a very gory "Hostel" on DVD. Bill liked it, but it's not for the faint-hearted. We also viewed a very funny "Grandma's Boy", done in the mode of "Old School", but without the high-powered cast. Bill was scanning for birds with his binoculars on Monday morning when he spotted two birds, probably Swifts or Barn Swallows, mating in the air. We finished the weekend by joining Carol and Jim Matthews at their annual party on Monday night. We're happy to be here for our 12th summer!

        Bill and Cathy