Bill and Cathy McArthur Spring/Summer/Fall 2008: 20

    Monday, August 11, was windy and cool all day. Bill had a lot of grill cleaning to do first thing in the morning. Son Bill and family had a lot of organizing and packing to do. After a wonderful visit, they left at about 10:00 AM, heading for the Philadelphia Airport. We got to work cleaning and straightening the house. Then we went out and broke camp for the RV and prepared it for another stint in storage. We ate lunch indoors because of the wind and chilliness. After lunch, we dropped the RV back in its storage lot. We stopped at Starbucks on the way to ACME for a few items. We continued to clean and reorganize the house for the rest of the afternoon. Bill took an indoor shower for the first time this summer. We viewed "You Kill Me" during dinner. The movie reinforced the idea that a good cast doesn't a good movie make. We watched the Olympics until around 11:00 PM.

    Tuesday was another windy day. Bill started the day with a massive move of trash out to the street. We watched some Olympic coverage during breakfast. Bill did 3 crossword puzzles as the morning went on. Cathy went to the gym. Bill went out for a run, but his left calf hurt enough to make him quit after 2 miles. He walked back from the canal on the beach. Cathy went out to lunch with Beth. Bill ate alone in front of the TV since the wind was still blowing hard. We grilled burgers and chicken for dinner and watched the Olympics.

    Wednesday, the wind dropped finally. Cathy went to the gym. Bill left at 9:52 AM for a paddle around Cape Island. When he rounded Cape May Point, another kayaker hailed him. The man said he was a senior Cape May Point lifeguard and was going to simulate a drowning. His captain knew of his plan, but the guards on the stands didn't have any clue what he was going to do. He felt that the guards were being inattentive to what was happening in the ocean and wanted to make a point. He told Bill that he was going to flip out of his kayak and start waving his arms for help. He wanted Bill to wave his arms and yell when he flipped. Bill did so, and the Cape May Point guards were very slow to respond. They would suffer for their inattention. Bill continued around the island without incident and completed the 21.5 mile trip in 4:45, which included a 20 minute stop in Cape May Harbor for lunch. Bill laid low the rest of the afternoon. We went out to dinner at Tisha's and enjoyed the meal and our good location on the side porch. We used the gift certificate given to us by our kids and their spouses for our anniversary. We watched the Olympics when we returned home.

    Thursday morning, Bill had a Urologist's appointment in Somers Point. We stopped at Shore Memorial Hospital firs    Wednesday to pick up the films from the renal scan. Bill postponed the procedure scheduled for August 22 due to an insurance foul-up caused by the doctor's office billing staff. After lunch, we rode our bikes for 20 miles. We ate dinner in the Raw Bar at the Lobster House. We only had to wait for 30 minutes in the crowded area, so we felt lucky. We watched the Olympics later.

    Friday, Cathy went to the gym and then bought haddock and went to ACME. Bill went out on an early fishing trip with neighbor Tom. The two caught a bunch of fish near the mouth of the Bay. After lunch, Bill played in the surf of the Bay in his Yak Board. The west wind had the Bay frothing. Alex, Phil, and family arrived around 4:00 PM. We had a great haddock dinner on the deck. We watched the Olympics after dinner.

    Saturday, Cathy and Alex went to the gym. Bill cleaned furniture on the deck. Jim Sosna brought chairs and a table over for our Monday cookout. Bill worked on cleaning the chairs. After lunch, Alex, Phil, and the girls went to the beach. Cathy babysat Garrett. We ate dinner on the deck. Everybody but Bill had tacos; Bill had grilled eggplant. We watched the Olympics after dinner.

    Sunday morning, Phil went to the Tuckahoe Inn triathlon bright and early. Later, everybody but Bill went into Cape May in two cars. Bill ate an early lunch and headed out for a 10 mile paddle down to the first jetty of Cape May Point. On the way back, Bill fought the current, but had a good workout. When he was near the canal, Bill towed a disabled jet ski into the beach. When he returned, Bill went fishing for an hour on his kayak. He caught the smallest croaker that he'd ever seen and pulled a blue crab up to the surface, hanging on an artificial bloodworm. Phil and the girls had remained in Cape May while Alex, Cathy, and Garrett had come back in early afternoon. Around 5:00 PM, Bill, Cathy, Alex, and Garrett drove into Cape May to visit Bill's sister Joan and friend Ralph at their room in the Coachman Motel. Bill's sister-in-law Joann, nieces Julie and Joan, with her husband Paul, and grandnieces Elizabeth, Jane, Jillian, and Colleen were there. Joan and Ralph had a sandwich spread available for dinner. Bill and Cathy went back home while the others went to Dairy Queen for a snack.

    Monday, August 18, Bill and Cathy worked all day to put on a family reunion cookout. Bill headed to the Lobster House to arrive at its opening at 8:00 AM to buy 7 pounds of swordfish steaks. A bit later, Cathy went to ACME to pick up some items. Later in the morning, Bill and Cathy stopped at the RV to pick up the Sirius boombox on the way to Joe Canal's for wine, beer, and ice and Shop-rite to get sodas. After lunch, Bill took a 6 mile walk, including 2 miles with Alex and 3 miles back on the beach. When he returned, Bill did some last minute setup chores and flew a kite from his fishing pole bungeed to the deck. Later, the rest of the reunion crowd arrived, including Bill's brother Bob and his daughter Julia. We had a fabulous banquet and great reunion. Just before dinner, most of the crowd went down to the beach to walk around a bit. Our fans on the deck allowed us to party on after sundown out there bug free. At the end of the evening, we were all treated to some music and video from Ralph's group Lighthouse.

    Tuesday, Bill and Cathy hustled to clean and straighten after the activities of the day before. Alex, Phil, and family packed up and loaded their car. We all headed in to Cape May around 11:00 AM and parked in the lot near the Washington Mall. We walked on the mall a bit and did some shopping, which for Bill meant buying a cappuccino. We ate a good outdoor lunch at Gecko's. After lunch, we said our goodbyes as the Stoops had to drive back home. Cathy and Bill met with the rest of the reunion crowd at the Coachman swimming pool. Bill and Bob walked the beach to Cape May Point. We chilled out a bit after returning home. At a bit before 6:00 PM, Joan, Ralph, Bob, and Joann picked us up to drive over to Wildwood Crest for dinner. We enjoyed a great meal and conversation. When we returned home, we watched some Olympics.

    Wednesday morning, Cathy went to the gym. Bill's left calf and right Achilles' tendon were still sore, so he stayed home and cleaned out the two coolers used for Monday's cookout. Bill talked to Bob on the Cape May beach. When Cathy came home, we headed into Cape May and met Bob and Julie on the beach. We four went to lunch at Gecko's. We made dinner plans and Cathy and Bill drove home after lunch. Bill went out for a 2.5 hour paddle up Bay. We drove into Cape May to meet with the folks at the Coachman and drive two cars to Panico's in West Cape May. Cathy had made reservations in the afternoon for our group of 8. We had the usual good meal in the old church at Panico's. After dinner, Cathy and Bill headed home to watch the Olympic coverage. Bill was dubious about the sprinter Bolt from Jamaica who ran so far ahead of the competition. The last time he saw that kind of performance was with Ben Johnson of Canada who was busted for drugging. What was supercharging Bolt he wondered?

    Thursday morning, Bob and Julia picked up Bill for the morning session at the Raging Waters park in Wildwood. They met Joan, Paul, and the girls at the waterpark. All of them had a ball playing on all of the waterslides and even relaxing on the Lazy River. Cathy met the group for a pizza lunch on the boardwalk. Bob, Julia, and Bill stopped at Starbucks on the way to drop Bill off at home. Cathy and Bill drove to Coachman's for a half hour on the deck. Afterward, we all traveled in two vehicles to the Lobster House. Bill and Joan worked on finding a table and chairs, while the others worked on ordering food. We had a good meal with a nice view of the water. After dinner, Bill and Cathy joined Bob and Julie at an ice cream shop where Bill enjoyed a bowl of frozen yogurt.

    Friday morning, Bill launched at 7:00 AM for a 39 mile training paddle to East Point Lighthouse. He was surprised by the unpredicted northwest wind which slowed him down on his way up the Bay. The expected mild east wind was at Bill's back for the 8 mile run across the "top" of the Bay. About the time that Bill neared East Point Light, the east wind picked up to about 20 knots. Bill only lingered 20 minutes over lunch and then launched into some nasty wind and waves. Bill tried to hug the coast, but the east wind continued to plague him for the 8 miles back across to the north/south shoreline. Bill finally made it to the protected shore and had an easier paddle from there to home. Cathy made a delicious pasta dinner.

    Saturday, we left at 7:00 AM and drove to the Port Imperial ferry terminal in Weehawkin. After a few minute wait, we rode a ferry for a short ride over the Hudson River to 39th Street and 12 Avenue. With our luggage as backpacks, we walked up 12th Avenue to 42nd Street, over to 7th Avenue and the Times Square area, where we stopped for some refreshments at Starbucks. We continued up 7th Avenue to 53rd Street and then over to 3rd Avenue and our hotel, The Marriott Courtyard Midtown. We were in the lobby by 11:30 AM. We checked-in and waited for our friends Jack and Sue Beatty and Jim and Chris Devine to arrive. We were all in the hotel by 12:30 PM, so we walked to Rosie O'Grady's saloon and restaurant for a light lunch. We walked to our 2:00 PM show, The Jersey Boys. We all loved the show which featured the music we grew up with. Later in the afternoon, we got in two cabs and rode to the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge. We walked across and enjoyed the sights of Manhattan from that vantage point. Our next adventure was to ride the subway back to within a couple of blocks of our hotel. After a brief respite and a short wine and beer party in the Beatty's room, we walked to our 5 star dinner restaurant, Cellini's. We had great meals. After dinner, we walked a few steps to Bill's Speakeasy bar for a round. Later, everyone but Bill returned to the Beatty's room for a nightcap. Bill headed to bed.

    Sunday, Bill got up at a bit after 6:00 AM and went out for a latte at Starbucks and a NY Times. Around 7:30 AM, Bill and Cathy went to a bakery for some breakfast and coffee. We went back to the room and read the paper. We met the others at Starbucks at around 10:00 AM (beats of a different drummer). Afterward, we said our farewells and Bill and Cathy walked to the ferry terminal via a big flea market on Madison Avenue and a small flea market in Hell's Kitchen. We took the short ride on the ferry and Cathy ate a light lunch at the terminal. Bill sucked down a Red Bull. We had a somewhat slow, crowded ride back home and arrived at around 4:00 PM. Cathy went out to ACME while Bill got on his computer. We had a good Tortellini dinner and enjoyed the sunset before viewing the wrapup of the Olympics.

        Bill and Cathy