UPDATE #24 09/16/06 thru 09/27/06
We are very interested in hearing from ya’all.
If you have missed out on any of the previous emails and would like us to
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let me know if these emails containing pictures are too large and we will send
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period 4/1 thru 9/15 has been covered in Updates 1 through 23.
#24 09/16/06 through
As you may remember, we have been in St. Charles, Missouri since our
arrival on September 13, 2006. We
have paid the marina for a month long stay.
Although our plan is to continue our way south before that time, it is
often more economical to rent by the month than by the day or week.
In our case at this marina, the breakeven cost was at eight days.
We knew that we wanted to stay at least that long.
We will try to do this update in a
slightly different way. We will
cover our days in a broader way and include pictures and descriptions in a more
condensed format. Most of you have
not met Fred’s family. This,
hopefully, will be an opportunity for you to become more familiar with them and
understand why they mean so much to him. They
are very dear and truly loved. You
can fully expect to hear some of the kinds of bragging that might be appropriate
for a Dad and Granddad.
SATURDAY ST. CHARLES,
After a restful night on the boat, we hopped into the car that Doug has
lent us and headed to the nearby McDonald’s for gourmet breakfast.
What a surprise, Doug, Lisa, Austin, and Ashley came in.
To refresh your memories, Doug is Fred’s son, Lisa is his
daughter-in-law, and Austin and Ashley are his grandkids.
Ken and Suki were there too. They
are the maternal grandparents of Austin and Ashley.
Austin was all decked out in his Tae
kwon Do outfit. This morning, he
was to demonstrate his skills to the Master.
The skill levels determine the level and corresponding belt color.
As you see in the picture, Austin has attained a level of Green/White.
He has been doing an exceptional job of expanding his talent and skill.
Tae Kwon Do is the martial arts form originating in Korea.
Austin’s Grandmother, Suki, is of Korean heritage.
Austin follows naturally and upholds the honor of his own heritage.
We are all very proud of his accomplishments.
It was an absolutely glorious day and nearly perfect for our planned
family cruise aboard AMARSE. We
gathered supplies and cleaned up the boat in preparation for our afternoon
sightseeing voyage on the Mississippi River.
With Doug and Austin, and Sharyn and Jeff, we
headed down river along the magnificent limestone bluffs that rise sharply along
the Illinois bank. I think that
this is some of the prettiest scenery to be found on our trip.
It was sunny and warm and the waters were smooth and relaxing.
Judy prepared a wonderful lunch of deli-style sandwiches including some
wonderful side dishes.
Sharyn and Jeff enjoyed the view from
and Austin are the greatest Dad and Son since Fred and Doug.
The bluffs stretch for miles in this area.
The road alongside has been cited as “one of the ten best motorcycling
roads in the country”. In the
later fall, it will be a blaze of color as the leaves change.
Unfortunately, Lisa and Ashley couldn’t join us this afternoon.
After several hours of cruising to Portage De Sioux and Grafton, we
returned to Polestar Marina in St. Charles.
We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting and relaxing on the sundeck
of AMARSE. The evening included a
burger cookout at Doug and Lisa’s house.
PawPaw Fred and Austin were having a
great time together. It’s a good
thing that Austin was being gentle with Granddad.
and Lisa have a great home and a great family.
Doug has completely remodeled the house and the workmanship is
incredible. It amazes me at how
much he can accomplish and how well he does everything. I am so honored to be his Dad.
This visit has been my first opportunity to see Ashley.
She is only eight months old. We
didn’t get to visit before we left on the Loop trip that has kept us away now
for about six of those months. She
sure is fun and has a wonderful way of charming everyone (especially her PawPaw
We sat around that evening and watched the cartoon movie “Ice Age”.
It was fun.
09/17/06 ST. CHARLES, MO (SIDE TRIP TO LAKE OF THE OZARKS)
It was a cold and rainy day. Doug
wanted us to join him for a trip to his house at the Lake of the Ozarks.
It’s about a two and a half hour ride there.
He has a great place on the side of a hill that overlooks the tranquil
beauty of the lake. The huge trees
surround the land and enhance the incredible view. We had visited here last year and thoroughly enjoyed every
When we arrived, it was still raining.
There are some fairly steep steps leading down to the side door.
We warned each other to be extremely careful for slippery conditions.
Guess what? About half way
down, Judy lost her footing and bounced down half a flight of steps.
I think I was about to say something when my feet went out from under me
too. We were now both down in a
heap at the foot of the stairs. Fortunately,
no serious injuries for either of us, however, we both knew that there were lots
of bruises and soreness on the way. As
well as ourselves, I think we scared the daylights out of Doug.
Doug has been working constantly on remodeling and upgrading the place.
We were amazed at all that he has accomplished.
It looks like a totally different place on the inside and the workmanship
is incredible. The guy has great
talent and skill.
Due to the stormy conditions, the electric power was inoperative through
the area. We decided to get some lunch and head back to St. Charles.
We went to our favorite spot on the lake.
Backwater Jack’s serves the absolute best Grouper Fish Sandwich in the
entire world. Once again, we were
The rain continued for the entire ride
back and throughout the night.
MONDAY/TUESDAY ST. CHARLES, MO
Doug had arranged to take off on Monday and Tuesday to spend some quality
time with us. He agreed to help on some projects on AMARSE.
We undertook the installation of a new VHF marine radio for the lower
helm. The new Uniden 525 would be a
nice replacement for the old unit that was very outdated.
This new unit would contain many new features including the attachment of
a wireless, remote control that would enable us to use the radio from the upper
helm giving us several frequencies available at the same time.
Nice! We even made up a new
faceplate out of black starboard plastic using his table saw, router, and drill
We moved the rudder indicator and,
then, installed a Garmin 182C GPS unit at the lower helm. We would now have VHF communications and GPS navigation
available at the lower helm for those colder days that will be coming all too
I have been unsure of the reliability
of the main batteries aboard AMARSE. They
were the ones that were in the boat when we got it in February.
Not knowing the history, I decided that we should replace them.
These batteries are huge and very, very heavy. They are situated in the
very bottom of the engine room under the floor and down near the keel. There is
no way on this earth that I could do the change-out.
Fortunately, Doug said that he would help. We found a suitable replacement set in St. Louis.
Doug was able to muscle the monsters around and successfully exchange
them. He also found some wires that
were not very well assembled and made the necessary repairs including soldering
some new lugs on some heavy lead wires. He
replaces several terminals and cleaned up all the fittings.
What a guy!!!!!! I
tell you, my friends, it is a mighty fine son that helps out his old Pop like
Both Judy and I enjoyed the evenings of visiting with
family. It is so wonderful that
everyone loves Judy and that they recognize how important she is in my life.
She is always treated with all the caring and respect of a beloved family
Doug had to return to the daily grind at work.
I am so grateful for the help he has given us over the last few days.
Judy and I continued to work on
finishing up these projects and adding some new ones. We finished the VHF. The
remote was hard wired into a locker at the upper helm.
We could now recharge the UNIDEN WHAM X 4 unit right there.
We installed a additional GPS antenna and wired the circuits to power the
GPS through a dedicated circuit breaker. Judy
worked on all kinds of interior and exterior projects and cleanup.
It is so nice to have a life partner that works so hard every day to make
our lives better and more enjoyable.
There is a little bar in Alton,
Illinois that is quite famous and well known to me.
Fast Eddie’s Bar & Grill has been filling beer glasses and serving
great, cheap food for many years. When
I lived here many years ago, I frequented this place on many occasions.
I was anxious for Judy to enjoy it too.
Their food prices have not changed much over the years.
Burgers are $1, big shrimps are $.29 each, kabobs are $1.29, etc.
We gorged and washed it all down with some fantastic Blue Moon ale.
BIRTHDAY, JEFF CASSIDY. WE
On Thursday evening, we went to watch Austin at Tae Kwon
Do. We were delighted to watch the
Master present Austin with his advancement.
Austin had demonstrated all the necessary moves, form, skill, and ability
to move up to the next level. The
Master proudly wrapped the new “Blue Belt” around his waist as he stood tall
to receive the honors.
was fun to watch Austin and the others as they practiced the honorable martial
arts of Tae Kwon Do in the Korean tradition.
As you can see from the display on the wall in the studio, these are the
different belt colors that represent the many levels of skill.
Austin now proudly wears the “Blue Belt”.
It is at about the middle level of the range.
09/22/06 FRIDAY ST. CHARLES, MO (SIDE TRIP TO BRANSON, MO)
We met Jeff and Sharyn at their home in St. Charles at 8 am.
In their car, we headed out for the weekend in Branson, Missouri.
They have a beautiful condominium down there that has a wonderful view of
Table Rock Lake. We are to have the
honor of being their guests.
It is about a four hour drive (not
counting any stops). We did stop
for some coffee not far into the trip. As
we turned south out of Springfield, MO, the lunch hour was rapidly approaching.
There is a famous place called Lambert’s.
It is renowned as “the home of the throwed rolls”.
What’s that all about? Well,
my friends, the waiters walk around and actually throw a fresh, hot roll over to
anyone that waves. There are hot
rolls constantly flying around the rooms. It’s
quite unique. They serve real
country home cooking in large portions. That
country girl, Judy, chose Chicken Livers while I gobbled down the pot roast
beef. The waiters bring around
large bowls of fried okra, macaroni and tomatoes, potatoes and onions, and
sorghum molasses. The place is an
experience to be sure and the food is always good.
NO, there is no room for dessert!
As many of you know, Branson is famous for all the country music shows.
There are many dozens of theaters and shows that are home to many famous
names. After relaxing for the
afternoon at their lovely condo, we reserved tickets for a show starring the
Gatlin Brothers and, co-starring, Pam Tillis.
It was a beautiful theater and a wonderful show.
Pam Tillis was exceptional and, for us, was the real hit of the night.
Of course, Judy and I knew most of the songs that she made famous.
For Jeff and Sharyn, most of the music was new and unfamiliar.
They sure seemed to enjoy the show too.
Branson is well known for having numerous buffet style restaurants
throughout the town. Jeff and
Sharyn took us to their favorite buffet at the Grand Jubilee.
It was really delicious and they made me one of the best omelets I’ve
Jeff and Fred spent the rest of the
day resting and relaxing around the condo.
Sharyn and Judy went in search of bargains at the outlet mall.
It was nice that everybody could do exactly what he or she wanted.
Dinner was at McGuffy’s Restaurant.
The place is decorated with the theme of the “McGuffy Reader”.
History buffs will remember that the McGuffy Reader was one of the first
primary school books available in this country.
Many years ago, most school learning was based on this textbook.
Judy just couldn’t resist the urge to “monkey around” outside the
restaurant. Don’t they make a
After dinner, we went to the downtown area by Lake Tanycomo.
This newly developed section is called Branson Landing.
It hosts a myriad of specialty shops and restaurants designed to attract
a more affluent group of young people to the community.
The Saturday night outdoor concert was the Motown Experience.
This group performs regularly in one of the theaters up on the strip.
We had great fun singing along to those old favorites that were so
popular many years ago.
The waterfront also sports a fantastic display of shooting fountains,
fire bursts, lights, and music. It
is quite a nice display and a real crowd pleaser.
The display occurs for several minutes each half hour.
We strolled around the complex and window shopped after the show.
Now, my friends, let me paraphrase an old nursery rhyme,
Judy had a little lamb,
She also had a bear.
I’ve never seen her little lamb,
But I love to see her bare.
you, Thank you!!! So
tell me folks, “How is that for poetic license?”
SUNDAY BRANSON, MO
TO ST. CHARLES, MO
We enjoyed breakfast at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant.
There is usually a waiting line but it is worth it.
The rest of the morning was shared with relaxing and chatting with these
wonderful young folks. It is such a
pleasure to see their life doing well and to see the happiness that fills their
hearts. We thank them so much for
sharing it with us.
After the long drive back to St. Charles, Sharyn still had some projects
to finish up that night. We bid
them good night and headed back to the boat.
On the way, we decided to check out a little bar and grill that the kids
had recommended. Located in old
downtown St. Charles, “Lloyd and Harry’s” serves up food in the same style
copied from Fast Eddie’s in Alton. We
enjoyed the same type of great Blue Moon Ale, shrimp, and burgers.
With joyous memories of a great weekend with Jeff and Sharyn, Judy and I
were comfortable and enjoyed another wonderful night aboard AMARSE.
Today was a great day to take care of odds and ends.
Of course, we did a lot of little boat chores too.
Judy tackled the laundry chore. I
removed the bent propeller from the dinghy outboard motor.
As you may remember, we bent it while shooting the rapids in the Georgian
Bay of Canada. We used this close
proximity of a prop shop to do the repairs. Central Propeller was most cooperative in getting the work
done quickly and economically.
Judy and I suggested that if we would
bring the food, perhaps Doug and family would provide the house.
They agreed and we brought three large roasted chickens, mashed potatoes,
croissants, and triple chocolate cake.
We gathered around the table at Doug and Lisa’s and enjoyed the
sumptuous feast. It was nice that
Allen Corti could join us too. He
has been a great friend of Doug’s and the family for many years.
Allen is a very skilled guy that does very nice work at remodeling and
construction. He has generously
helped Doug a lot on many projects.
I think Ashley liked the triple chocolate cake the best.
Austin really loves his baby sister.
He is gentle with her and takes very good care of her.
Today was another day of intense maintenance work on AMARSE.
As many of you know, these boats require a significant amount of
preventative maintenance to keep running smoothly.
As I get older, it gets tougher and tougher to get around in the small,
confined compartments deep inside the boat and engine room.
The list was still long and I had worked myself to near exhaustion by
I had reached a point of frustration with a pump that I was using to
change transmission fluid. Then, wouldn’t you know it, the support braces on the lower
floorboards broke. Fortunately, my
son Doug, offered to come over after work and help out. He jumped in and took over for his tired out Dad.
He fixed the pump, finished the transmission, and reinforced the floor
braces. What a guy!
Thanks, Thanks, Thanks, Doug!!!!!!
We cleaned up a bit and chose Lloyd
and Harry’s Bar & Grill. Doug
and Lisa schmoozed one of the other grandparents into watching the grandkids
while Mommy and Daddy joined us for beers and stuff.
The place isn’t very fancy but it is good and it is fun.
THURSDAY ST. CHARLES,
OK, today was another full day of boat maintenance.
For those of you that are interested in mechanical things, here is the
partial list of the stuff we’ve accomplished during this stay:
Much, much more including lots of straightening and cleaning.
My heartiest thanks to Judy and Doug.
You guyz make my life great!!!!
The kids were celebrating their Mom’s birthday tonight.
Judy and I decided to go to my favorite of restaurants.
Maggiano’s Little Italy is a small chain of places that have the look
and feel of an old family-run restaurant. The
food is incredibly delicious and the portions are huge.
Judy and I can share a half order of Caesar Salad and then split an order
of Lasagna. It is, without
question, the best lasagna in the world. I
would urge all of you that enjoy Italian food to locate a Maggiano’s soon and
treat yourself to the finest. My
friend, John Neumeister, introduced me to Maggiano’s in Denver, Colorado.
Since then, it has been my restaurant of choice.
John and I have enjoyed these great dining establishments in several
different cities across the US.
I will continue the update in the next installment.
I don’t want to make these email postings too large for some of the
computers that have slower internet services.
I’ll try to get the next one out soon and eventually catch up.
Thanks for your patience.
ATTENTION: SPECIAL NOTE:
My Verizon AirCard that operates my
computer internet still operates slowly and sporadically.
The coverage areas are not as good as we had hoped.
We will be sending out updates when we can.
Judy has Cingular Wireless cell phone
service. It seems to work even
better than the Verizon Wireless. Judy
can be reached at 361-550-5353 and Fred can be reached at 210-296-4933.
We can be reached at either number.
Please call us if you like, we’d really like to hear from you.
is pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY". Our website is: www.amarse.net
it out while we will attempt to keep you informed via email
We would like to hear more about what
is happening in your lives. Let us
know as we very interested in what’s going on with our friends and family.
Please call or email us with your thoughts and comments and ideas too.
Reed and Judy Law
Fred H. Reed
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