Happy Holidays 2000

These notes record the events of the period from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, November 22

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy. The wind howled and it was in the low 30s. I did a bit of work and then got things organized and packed the Rav and put our bikes on it. This was a year when our children were elsewhere for Thanksgiving, so we had decided to travel to Chincoteague, VA for the holiday. We left on the 1:40 PM ferry to Lewes, DE. After an easy drive, we checked in at the Driftwood Motel at around 5:30 PM. Our usual first dinner stop, the Landmark Crab House, was closed for the season. We settled for a great meal at the Pony Pines, which is under new management. After dinner, we went to the only show for the only film at the only theater in Chincoteague and saw The Contender - much better than I expected.

Thanksgiving Day

I awoke at 7:00 AM. We went to breakfast at Maria's where we enjoyed a breakfast buffet surrounded by duck hunters and tourists. Afterward, we got on our bikes and rode toward the Refuge on Assateague Island. We rode several trails in the cold air and bright sunshine. We saw a Yellowlegs Sandpiper at the edge of a creek. As we rode toward the Wildlife Loop from the beach, we saw thousands of Snow Geese flying in disarray, honking loudly. Instinctively, I looked up above the geese and saw two Bald Eagles, the cause of the excitement. We also saw a big buck and several ponies. We ate lunch at Skippers where we had excellent flounder sandwiches. We drove back into the Refuge and took the "Special Drive", a 7.5 mile service road which is only open to motor vehicles on Thanksgiving weekend. It was very dusty and not that special. We drove to the beach and walked north for a while. As the sun went down, we drove out of the Refuge and Cathy dropped me off at a small creek to fish for a while. Cathy caught as much fish as I did back in the motel room. We went to dinner at the Village Restaurant and had a disappointing, almost raw, piece of tuna.

Friday, November 24

I awoke at 7:00 AM, as Cathy slept on for a while. I went out and fished the creek until the sun came up. It was a cold, fishless, but pretty morning. I heard a common loon call over the  water, probably wondering why I was fishing when it was too cold for any fish to be in the creek. After I returned, we went to Skippers for a good breakfast buffet. Then we rode our bikes to the ocean and walked along Tom's Cove to the old Coast Guard Station. We walked back along the ocean beach and I saw a big Rockfish (striped bass' southern moniker) break and figuratively thumb its nose at me. We ate lunch at Maria's where I had pizza. We went to the Waterfowl Show at Chincoteague's sad-looking high school. There were some nice carvings, but we don't collect (nor, apparently, do we catch fish). Then we went to a gift shop called The Brant to buy a couple of gifts. We drove back to the ocean so I could fish a bit more. There was a bit of bird action, but no fish came my way. We went to dinner at Wrights' Seafood Restaurant on the mainland (DelMarVa's version of the Oyster Creek Inn). We had a good meal in an interesting place.

Saturday, November 25

I awoke at 7:00 AM. It was a gray day, temperature in the low 40s, and a strengthening NE wind. We ate breakfast at Don's Restaurant on Main Street - ordinary, but good. We decided to hit the road, so we packed the Rav and left. We stopped at a Walmart outside of Ocean City, MD looking for a desk for Erin. We didn't find an appropriate one so we stopped at a K-Mart near Rehoboth Beach and bought one. We ate lunch at Pizza Hut. Then we took the 1:40 PM ferry back to North Cape May. The Bay was somewhat rough on the crossing. The wind picked up as we unpacked the car. Cathy went to the ACME; the rain started as she returned. I was feeling somewhat sluggish and had some yellow phlegm. We watched some of the Virgina Tech/Virginia game and thought of Katie and Tom shivering in the rain. We talked to Bill and Alex.

Sunday, November 26

I awoke at 7:30 AM feeling stuffed up and sluggish. The rain had fallen hard all night and into the morning. We went to Carol's 9:00 AM aerobics class. The rain had stopped, but it was very humid and warm. I decided not to accompany Cathy to church because of my warm-weather claustrophobia. I made a sheet of 6 wallet-sized photos of Erin for Cathy to include in Christmas cards. We ate lunch at home. Then we went to see Unbreakable - strange, but entertaining. We went to the Lobster House for a takeout dinner - not bad.

Monday, November 27

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy. I talked to Cory about three DO photo packages for my sibs. I traded emails with Polly Mathys about my trip to Alvernia College on Wednesday. I rode my bike to North Beach to lift weights for a while. Crystal had finished painting our sign; I made arrangements to pick it up later and leave $50 for Crystal. When I got home I called Fred Riedel at Wildwood Golf, returning his call, but he was away for a few days. I researched IS'97 and printed out some sections for my trip to Alvernia. I did a walk/run to North Beach for Becky's 6 PM class.

Tuesday, November 28

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy. I called Cape Savings to find out how to pay extra on our home equity loan. I also went to Cory's to pick up the mounted photos we had chosen as gifts. When I got home I ate lunch and went for a kayak paddle up Bay. It was beautiful out on the water. I got my stuff ready for my trip to Reading. I packed the car and drove to Sharon's yoga class and Carol's aerobics class. I left at 7 PM for Reading. To my surprise, I pulled into Econolodge before 10 PM. It was a so-so motel. I watched a bit of TV and was ready to sleep at 11:45 PM.

Wednesday, November 29

I awoke at at 5:50 AM. I showered and went downstairs for the free continental breakfast. I headed to Alvernia's campus and arrived around 8 AM. I went to the bookstore and looked at the CIS books. Then I went to the Admissions Office and picked up a catalog and program sheet. I found some changes and updated my IS'97 worksheets. I met with Polly Mathys at 9 AM. She's a ball of energy! I was very impressed with her and her program. We discussed a number of issues. I ate lunch with the academic VP, the chair of English/Communications/CIS, and a Psychology professor. Polly and I talked some more after lunch. I left around 2:20 PM and was home by 5:20 PM. We went to Becky's 6 PM aerobics class. I picked up a pizza for dinner.

Thursday, November 30

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy. The first order of business was to write my two page report for Alvernia. I labored to do a good job and spent a couple of hours on it. I emailed the report to Polly Mathys. Next, I worked on changes to APS Wireless with a lot of back and forth emailing with Mark at APS. Steve Sheftz came over with an application for MUA membership. I said I'd try to fill it out tomorrow. I changed the email address of the Aqua Trails website. We drove to Chris' (subbing for Carol) aerobics class.

Friday, December 1

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy. Right after Cathy left for school, she came back in with the report of a flat tire. Cathy took the Jeep. I had trouble jacking the Rav high enough. I called Shore Toyota about the jacking problem but they didn't know any more than I. I finally piled tiles about five inches high in order to jack the car high enough to remove the flat. Once I got the spare on I went to the Mobile station to get the flat fixed. Then I went to the township offices to submit another application for the MUA Board. When I returned home, Ron Clancy called about his Christmas Classics website. He wants his order form to be secure and wants to install SurePay Manager. I made phone calls to his host, NetConex, SurePay, and Excite to try to sort things out. I downloaded the SurePay SDK. It involves XML and ASP. We went to the Vo-Tech Christmas party at Bellevue Tavern and did a lot of dancing. I ate two lettuce sandwiches because they ran out of vegetarian lasagna.

Saturday, December 2

I awoke at 7:00 AM. It was 32° with a light breeze. We went to Chris' 9:30 AM aerobics class, but I lifted weights and rode the stationary bike. Then we spent a long time in a crowded ACME. When we got home I had an email from Mike Price on NetConex. He had set some things for SSL and made some changes on the website. Unfortunately, the order form didn't work in the "secure forms" subdirectory. I emailed Mike Price. I re-established the original order form. I spent the early afternoon polishing the lantern at the top of the stairs with Brasso while I watched Bush vs. Gore in Leon County Court on TV. We brought our wreath frame to the Garden Market in Rio Grande. We ate dinner at Alfe's - great as always. I had a bad nosebleed - left nostril as always.
    We talked to Alex during the early afternoon.

Sunday, December 3

I awoke at 6:30 AM. We got on the 8:40 AM ferry to Lewes. We met Don and Bernie at the terminal. The temperature began at 23° at our house and it wasn't much warmer at Lewes. We walked the eight mile route from Cape Henlopen to Rehoboth Beach with the wind mostly at our backs. Then we ate brunch at the Blue Moon restaurant in Rehoboth Beach. We only had time for a quick stop back at Don and Bernie's before catching the 3:20 PM ferry back to Cape May. There was a gorgeous red sunset and afterglow. We watched Bush vs. Gore in the Florida court as we ate a pasta dinner. We talked to Katie and Bill.

Monday, December 4

I awoke at 6 AM with Cathy. I looked for an email from Mike Price about Christmas Classics - none. I rode my bike to the gym to lift weights. I mailed Christmas cards and bills afterwards. When I got home, I called Ron Clancy of Christmas Classics and told him that I really couldn't help in the current computing environment. He wasn't happy. I put in a call to Mike Price's answering machine asking him to help Ron. Lyn Walker of APS called to discuss some website details. I made changes to the ATT, Cellular One, and Nextel pages and emailed Lyn for her comments. Cathy and I went to the Cape May County Pollution Control Financing Authority meeting and dinner at the Pelican Club. The meal was outstanding and the group had a good time.

Tuesday, December 5

I awoke at 6 AM with Cathy. I applied foam insulation and reattached the trim on the front door. Unfortunately, the contractor did considerable damage to the trim (in addition to not completing the job). We'll have to replace the trim at some point. I called and then drove to the Garden Mart to pick up the wreath, complete with greens and lights. I drove back at 20-25 mph. I left the wreath on top of the Jeep until later. I faxed and mailed my contract to TerraShare for my guru website. I went out for a brief kayak paddle in the 41° air. The Bay was a bit choppy, so I cut it short. I did a walk/run to Sharon's yoga class and stayed for Carol's aerobics class.

Wednesday, December 6

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy. I drove to North Beach for weight-lifting and Becky's 9:30 AM aerobics class. After lunch I ran errands and mailed packages to Bob and Joan. I picked up a hoagie for Cathy's dinner tomorrow night and bought a 100' rope for our wreath. I drove to Becky's 6 PM aerobics class and picked up a pizza afterward. Cathy worked at GED testing and got home at 10 PM.

Thursday, December 7

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy. The west wind was howling and the temperature hovered around 40°. I worked on the sea kayaking guru website. I wrapped the Crawley's Xmas present in brown paper and mailed it at the post office. I stopped on the way to get some cash from the ATM at our bank. Then I went to Sears to buy spotlights and lightbulbs. The Florida court battles over the month-long presidential election droned on. John Beranek, Theta Chi's president while I was there at FSU in 1960/61, appeared on C-Span. He's had a successful career as a lawyer, judge, and now a lawyer again. I worked on stretching my calves. I went to Carol's 6 PM aerobics class. Cathy worked at GED testing again and didn't get home until 10:20 PM.

Friday, December 8

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy. I started to ride my bike to the gym, but ran over a 3" screw which caused a flat tire about 3/4 mile from our house. When I got home I discovered that my other tube also had a leak. I also had a nosebleed. I put four patches on the two tubes and tested for leaks. I reasssembled the bike and put it away. I went for a paddle down to the canal. It was quiet and dismal; the water was gray. I saw red-throated loons and perhaps a couple of red-breasted mergansers. I went to the bank to get new bills for gifts. I also bought a bottle of CLR to get the iron residue out of the toilet tanks. When I got home, I put up our newly painted sign. We helped at bingo where I called the second half.

Saturday, December 9

I awoke at 6:57 AM. The temperature was in the mid-30s. We went to Becky's 9:30 AM interval training class. When we got home, we put up the big wreath with difficulty. Later, we ran some errands in Rio Grande and Cape May Court House. As we returned we saw the wreath and the green and red spotlights lit up; everything looked great. We ate dinner at Cucina Rosa where Gloria bought us dessert.

Sunday, December 10

I awoke at 7:00 AM. Karen called at around 8 to say that Carol was sick and couldn't teach aerobics this morning. I put my wetsuit on and headed out to paddle up Bay. The air temperature began at 36° but quickly moved into the 40s. The water temperature was 39°. The east wind picked up as I paddled, but it was a good two hour trip to Norbury's Landing and back. We went to church and Dock Mike's. Then we went to Woodbine Developmental Center to see Jen Krefski's Christmas show. It was very uplifting to see the retarded adults put on an entertaining show. Afterward, we headed home via Kmart. We talked to Alex. Katie flew out to Puerto Rico early this afternoon. Paula called about fishing tomorrow on the Miss Chris. It rained all evening.

Monday, December 11

I awoke at 4:50 AM before the alarm. I called Paula at 6 AM. It was foggy and a bit breezy with an air temperature of 36°. I left a bit after 6 and stopped at the Miss Chris to drop off my rods. I headed to Paula's condo on the Cape May harbor unit 201. I met Paula's husband Ed and his brother Joey heading north to work. Paula and I headed to the Miss Chris at about 7 AM. Jamie joined us at 7:30 AM. We staked out the starboard corner of the stern as our turf. We bought clams at the bait store. Our group was joined by some anglers from the Porgy III which had canceled for today; we ended up with 19 people, mostly men. We sailed at 8 AM in the fog. We went out in the fog to 20 minute slew and fished close to the clammer, Captain Frank. We bailed fish! I caught 6, Jamie caught 4, and Paula caught 2. We kept 9 fish. The boat limited out including captain and mate (63 fish). My cooler was full. We went to Paula's condo where Paula and Jamie's husband, OB, filleted the fish after pictures. I came home and marinated one filet and froze 11 packets. We went to Becky's 6 PM aerobics class. We had a great striper dinner!

Tuesday, December 12

The wind was howling as I awoke at 6 AM with Cathy. The temperature was a mild 49° and dropped all day. A full moon high tide hit around 8 AM; the Bay looked scary! I put up a web page on CapeMayBeach.com for Monday's fishing and another for A Charlie Brown Christmas. After lunch I did some research on Charleston. I emailed my brother Jack to tell him our holiday plans. I did a run/walk to Sharon's yoga class and Carol's aerobics class.

Wednesday, December 13

It was 27° with no wind when I awoke at 6 AM with Cathy. I rode my bike to North Beach for Becky's 9:30 AM aerobics class. Afterward I lifted weights and stayed for Sharon's yoga class. I'm trying to practice yoga 2-3 times per week. When I got home I sent out some emails and ate lunch. I talked with Barbara Petrecelli about reinstalling Windows on her laptop. Then I went for a paddle to the canal. It was 34° with a light north wind. I was pleased with the performance of my new kayaking gloves. The Bay was very calm and had a winter look about it. I took a long hot shower when I returned. Soon it was time to go to Becky's 6 PM aerobics class. Six hours of exercise today - I love a life of moderation. I deserved the pizza I picked up on the way home. We watched and listened to Al Gore finally conceding and George W. Bush speaking as president-elect. Earlier in the day I got tossed out of the CNN chat room for a tasteless joke about Hillary Clinton.

Thursday, December 14

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy after a night of howling east wind, rattling rain, and thumping wreath. The wind lightened and shifted to the west as we arose. I did some research on John McArthur Jr., the architect of Philadelphia's City Hall. I found that he was born in Scotland and I found his birth and death dates. I also discovered that he designed the Presbyterian church in Media. I submitted clients to Google and its directory. Yahoo! accepted Wildwood Linen and Murphy Fence. I sent emails to the Jasmine Inn in old town Charleston, SC and the Wicker House in Key West. I ran all the way to Carol's aerobics class. This was my first run of over 3 miles since my injury in October.

Friday, December 15

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy. I worked on bringing the events and running pages on CapeMayBeach.com up to date. During the early afternoon I chose a tree at the tree farm on Indian Trail Road. I brought it home on top of the Jeep. I scrubbed the upstairs bathroom and rearranged the living room for Christmas. When Cathy got home we brought in the tree, set it up, and trimmed it. I jumped in the shower and we were off to dinner at Peaches where they had a slow night. We had a great meal. We took a mini-tour of Cape May to see the lights before returning home.

Around midnight, after we were asleep, Ray Agostini called and left the message that Jen's water had broken and they were heading for the hospital. Ray said that they were covered for the weekend. [Subsequently, we learned that they had a third boy.]

Saturday, December 16

I awoke at 5:15 AM, before the alarm. At 6:30 AM I drove to the Welcome Center in Cape May. Sharon led a 1.5 hour yoga class with other students Terry and Karen. It was quiet and we could hear our breathing in addition to the ticking of a large wall clock. As we practiced, it began to rain and the south wind blew. I drove home, picked up Cathy and went to Barbara's (subbing for her daughter Chris) interval class. We shopped at Acme after class. After lunch we started getting ready for the evening's dinner party. We rearranged furniture, cleaned bathrooms, polished silver, and prepared a vegetable lasagna. We went over to Tom and Joy's for hors d'oeuvres with Jim and Fran. Then we returned to our house for the entree and dessert. We broke up around 10 PM. It got windier and rainier overnight.

Sunday, December 17

I slept in until 7 AM. It was windy and rainy with temperature near 60°. We could hear thunder rumbling over DelMarVa. We went to Carol's aerobics class. When we got home I took a shower and we headed north up the parkway in the rain and southeast wind. We ate lunch at the Somers Point Pizza Hut. Then we went to Borders and Hamilton Mall for some shopping. We got back around 4 PM. We talked to Bill, Alex, and Katie as the west wind started. The wind howled as I grilled striper and it continued to howl all night.

Monday, December 18

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy. It was cold (30°) and windy. I drove to North Beach to lift weights and ride the stationary bike. I stopped for gas on the way back. I worked on Beyond Power Yoga for a while and did some Sun Salutations. We drove to Becky's 6 PM aerobics class.

Tuesday, December 19

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy. The wind had calmed, it was sunny and cold (30°). I took advantage of the flat Bay and paddled down to the concrete ship in the Necky. I saw some Bonaparte Gulls flitting in their social groups. I also saw a few red-throated loons and red-breasted mergansers. There were few boats in evidence. It warmed to 44° as I paddled and was very comfortable. During the afternoon I read Beyond Power Yoga and discovered some things about meditation and breathing. I ran to Sharon's yoga class and stayed for Carol's aerobics class. I got emails from Jim Ernst about some changes for the King Nummy Trail website and Brian Cole for a new website.

Wednesday, December 20

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy after hearing the wind howl off and on all night. It was 26° and the wind ripped another strip of flashing half off the front of the house. I drove to North Beach for Becky's 9:30 AM aerobics class and stayed for Sharon's yoga class. After I got home I updated King Nummy Trail's website. I also set up a "brainstorming" page for Beach Street. I straightened up the upstairs. I received a notice from the Post Office and picked up the package I had sent to Joan - I forgot the street address. Cathy and I drove to Becky's 6 PM aerobics class. Afterward we picked up a pizza.

Thursday, December 21

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy. I left at 10 AM to pick up Bill at the Philadelphia Airport. His flight was slightly late and came in at 12:45 PM. We stopped at the Commodore Coffee Shop to get lunch for Bill and a latte for me. We went to dinner at the Pelican Club - consistently good.

Friday, December 22

I awoke at 6:00 AM with Cathy to a surprising snowfall of 3-4". I drove Cathy to work. When I got home I paddled down to the canal. It was 33° with a very light wind. I wore the new hat that Bill gave me - lightweight and very warm. Bill and I picked up Cathy at her school at about 12:15 PM. Alex, Phil, and Erin arrived at 2 PM. Katie arrived at 3:30 PM; Tom had to work for a half day on Saturday. We went to Cucina Rosa for a birthday celebration for Katie. We has an upstairs room all to ourselves. I took Katie and Bill on a tour of Cape May's Christmas lights after dinner.

Saturday, December 23

I awoke on the living room floor at about 7 AM. Because of the icy wind we had dragged the futon from the solarium to the living room. Luckily we had our electric blanket. The wind howled all night. I didn't sleep until 5 AM. We set up Erin's trains during the day and arranged the presents. We went to the gym for Chris' interval training class. Tom arrived around 2 PM. Bill and I whipped the rest in a game of our new Trivial Pursuit Millenium Edition. We had a great striper dinner using Caribbean Jerk marinade and serving asparagus in addition to "striper helper". We viewed Where the Heart Is - chick flick with a few entertaining moments. During the afternoon we had our water heater replaced by Al's Plumbing after Cathy discovered a leak.

Sunday, December 24

I awoke on the floor at about 7 AM. A few of us went to the gym for Carol's aerobics class. The wind started to pick up during the day. We all went to 4 PM mass at St. John of God. Erin behaved very well in church. After mass we took a family picture and then played Beyond Balderdash, won by Tom. We had a great Ouzo Shrimp dinner. The wind really started to howl as we turned in for the night.


I awoke at 7 AM after listening to the wind howl all night. The rest of the house staggered awake to the sounds of Christmas music. The temperature was 19° with a 25 mph west wind. We had planned to stay inside anyway. After a light breakfast, we opened presents. Tom was finally the target of the family joke of ceramic shoes. Everyone was appreciative of Tom's gift-wrapping skills. Erin received a desk and a hand-made teddy bear from her maternal grandparents. I gave Cathy a Yamaha keyboard so she can learn to play the piano. Bill made pancakes for brunch. Then Katie, Bill, and I made the stuffing. We got the turkey on at 12:50 PM. We played Trivial Pursuit as I peeled potatoes, boiled water, and completed other preparations. Phil and Bill barely edged out Cathy, Alex, and me in a curtailed game. The turkey came out of the oven browned and ready for Phil to carve, while the well-appointed dinner table awaited. The Christmas feast was excellent! We enjoyed Blazing Saddles and Office Space on the new DVD that Bill gave us.

Tuesday, December 26

I awoke at 645 AM as the wind continued to blow. Tom and Katie left around 10 AM. Phil, Alex, and Erin left around 1 PM. Cathy, Bill, and I went to the North Cape May Cinema to see Cast Away - very entertaining, but too much chick stuff. We headed to Wildwood to eat at Alfe's but they were closed, as were Blue Claw and Water's Edge. We ended up with an overpriced meal at the Ebbitt Room, which kept Cathy's credit card (as we would discover on Wednesday). Bill and I watched Clerks on DVD ("Only a dumb-ass wouldn't like it.", according to Silent Bob Smith, the creator).

Wednesday, December 27

I awoke at 5:30 AM with Cathy. I slept much better in my own bed with a diminished wind. We left at 6:45 AM heading toward Philadelphia Airport. We arrived at about 8:30 AM and discovered that Bill's flight was postponed until 10:30 AM. Cathy and I met with my brother Jack at 10 AM. We had a nice two hour visit and ate lunch in the airport food court. Jack was staying at his daughter Joan's home near New York City and made the trek down to meet with us. We exchanged gifts. At about noon we headed down I95. Cathy began to read Beach Music aloud to help us get a feeling for the Charleston area. We had heavy traffic until about 40 miles south of Washington DC. We stopped at Ashland, NC for dinner at a Pizza Hut. We spent the night in a Holiday Inn in Rocky Mount, NC. We called the Ebbitt Room and Bill on the new cell phone that Alex and Phil gave us.

Thursday, December 28

I awoke at 6 AM and jumped in the shower. I had set the cell phone's alarm for 6:30 AM and we listened for it to sound off. We ate a non-complementary breakfast at the Inn and hit the road around 8 AM. Traffic on I95 began light, but became heavy by 9 AM. We headed toward North Myrtle Beach from South of the Border in the rain. We stopped to see the Crawleys at their condo in the gated golf community, Tidewater. We had a good, hearty gumbo lunch and caught up with each other. We headed south on Route 17 at about 3 PM into increasing rain. We stopped at an Eckert's to buy umbrellas just before crossing the Cooper River Bridge into Charleston, SC. Cathy used her navigation skills to guide us right to the Indigo Inn's parking lot. We checked in and followed Lorenzo the Bellman in the wind and rain across the street to the Jasmine Inn and our Canton Room, with decorative fireplace, four-poster bed, and sitting room. I tipped him $20, which kept him smiling for a few days. We made reservations for a tour in the morning and 82 Queen for dinner tomorrow night. We walked around the corner in the wind and rain to Hymen's Seafood - great meal! We had crispy flounder and cajun amberjack. They had three lists of fish that could be ordered #1 (cheap junk fish), #2 (you'd eat it if real hungry), and #3 (good fish). On the #1 list was something called "Hokie". We wondered if it was because the Virginia Tech Hokies were set to clobber the Clemson (from SC) Tigers in the Gator Bowl on January 1. We tried a bit of walking after dinner, but it was too nasty. I called Katie and Tom on the cell phone when we returned to the room.

Friday, December 29

I awoke at 6:30 AM and showered. I went downstairs to get coffee for both of us. At 7:30 AM we went down to bring breakfast up to our room. We ate in the sitting room and felt pampered (rightly so). At around 9 AM we went to the office at Indigo Inn to wait for a pick up for our tour. We were picked up at 9:15 AM by a jitney. We were joined by a couple in Virginia Tech outfits who were ultimately headed for the Gator Bowl. We got on a full jitney at the Visitor Center and headed out on a tour of Charleston with our guide, Elizabeth Jane. We got a good overview of Charleston's history and architecture. After the tour we walked to the city marina and took a tour boat to Fort Sumter. We were met by a Park Ranger who explained the history of Fort Sumter. There is a nice view of Charleston from Fort Sumter. The day became nicer as the day went on as the temperature rose into the 40s and the sun shone brightly. When we returned, we ate a light lunch in the Port City Java Café on Calhoun Street. Looking north from the café, we could see the statue of Calhoun gazing at his street and the tallest building in Charleston (by law), a church. Then we took a walking tour of this city of 100,000 souls. We stopped at the Cooper Riverfront for pictures of us with Patriot Point in the background and with Sullivans Island in the background. We returned for wine and cheese in our sitting room. We headed out at 7:10 PM in the Rav to 82 Queen for a good, low country dinner. I had an evil Shrimp & Grits and Cathy had a special Stuffed Filet Mignon. We drove to James Island County Park and its drive-through festival of lights. It was an awesome display of tableaus using myriads of colored light bulbs; many were in apparent motion. We got back to our room after 10 PM.

Saturday, December 30

I awoke at 7 AM and showered. I picked up breakfast downstairs for both of us. The day was bitterly cold and windy. We headed out in the car for Sullivans Island. We stopped at Fort Moultrie and viewed a video. Then, we climbed on the roof where Cathy huddled behind a wall while I snapped a shot of Fort Sumter from Fort Moultrie. We drove closer to the ugly Sullivans Island Lighthouse. Then we went to Isle of Palms and toured it to the end. We crossed the Cooper River, Charleston, and the Ashley River, and entered James Island. We ate lunch at a Pizza Hut and talked to Katie and Tom on the road to Savannah (and, ultimately, the Gator Bowl). We continued on to Folly Beach where I walked to the end of this barrier island. I took a photo of the Folly Beach Lighthouse with Sullivans Island lighthouse in the distance. We searched for Fort Johnson where the very first shot of the Civil War emanated; I finally found an historical marker in a NOAA complex with a locked gate. I walked through and took a photo of Fort Sumter as it appeared from Fort Johnson. We went back to Mount Pleasant and shopped in Staples. Then we did a drive-by of Patriots Point. We headed back to the Jasmine Inn where I soaked in the outdoor hot tub (and froze on the walk back inside). Later, after a shower and cheese and crackers, we walked to the Library at Vendue for a good dinner in a cozy environment.

New Year's Eve

We awoke at 5:05 AM before the alarm. We were checked out and on the road at 5:45 AM. I had a nosebleed as we headed out I26. Traffic was light early and moderate later. Cathy continued reading Beach Music; it was much more interesting now that we had some knowledge of Charleston. We ate breakfast at a Shoney's after driving 120 miles. We ate lunch south of Richmond. We arrived home at 5:50 PM. The trip was 725 miles in 12 hours. We were both very tired. We picked up a pizza and Gladiator on DVD - pretty good but not believable. I couldn't stay up until midnight and folded at 10 PM. As the old year slipped away, the temperature was 30°, the wind was blowing from the northwest at about 8 mph, and there was a light snow cover.

Here are the statistics for 2000:
Running Miles: 322.4
Dinners out: 87
Video rentals: 38
Kayak trips: 106
Pizzas: 74
Aerobics classes
Becky: 94
Carol: 84
Other: 60

Total: 238

William G. McArthur