UPDATE#10 04/01 thru 04/30/08

Howdy Everybody,

The adventures of 2008 from 1/1/08 through 3/31/08 have been published on the website.  We continue with this latest edition,

 UPDATE 2008 # 10.


 UPDATE 2008 #10   04/01/08 through 04/30/08.

At last update, AMARSE was resting at Nettles Island Marina, Hutchinson Island, Jensen Beach, Florida.



     Today is April Fool’s Day.  It also marks the two-year anniversary of our cruising lifestyle.  It began in Houston, Texas on that memorable day as we set out for the beginning of our cruise of America’s Great Loop adventure.  Since then, we have visited the waterways of many states and two foreign countries.

     After recently returning from the Abacos in the Bahamas, we are docked at the Nettles Island Marina, Jensen Beach, Florida.  We are planning to have Dave perform our spring maintenance on AMARSE while we head for Texas for a visit.

     We drove to Ft. Pierce to check out the boat surplus parts warehouse.  We bought a few things but most of the stuff was not applicable to AMARSE.

     The highlight of the day was the opportunity to visit with Scott and Mary Coles of MASCOT.  They were great neighbors on Dock 4 in Boat Harbour this winter.  They are passing through on their way north to the Boston area.  After cocktails at the Cranky Conch Tiki Hut at the marina, we went to the Surfside Restaurant on Hutchinson Island.  It was the perfect night for Pizza and Beer.



During these few days, we devoted ourselves to various projects around the boat.  We accomplished lots of chores, organized parts and materials for Dave to do maintenance, completed and published log update #9, and planned some upcoming land trips.  Of course, we were sure to allot enough time to enjoy life in this area and enjoy a great meal at Longhorn Steakhouse, one of my favorites.



     We were up and at it when the alarm sounded at 7am.  We had the car packed up and off at 8am.  Gas at Sam’s Club was $3.45/gal for premium grade, which was up a nickel from yesterday.  Our destination was Hollywood, Florida to the lovely home of my daughter, Sharyn, and her terrific husband, Jeff.  Both of us are excited to see her again.  Unfortunately, Jeff is still in Missouri taking care of some business.

     Along the way, we stopped at Leather Express in West Palm Beach to check out some Ekones chairs for the boat.  They are just too expensive.  The two chairs that we liked best would cost almost $6000.  I told the salesman that if I paid that much for a chair, my rear end would hurt so bad that I would never be able to sit down again.  He didn’t laugh.

     In Ft. Lauderdale, we went to Bass Pro Shops huge store.  They had a mirror that would fit in our cockpit to replace the deteriorated one.

     By 12:20pm, we had arrived at the lovely condo that views the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the ICW to the west.  There were lots of hugs and kisses for everyone.  I am so happy to be with my daughter.

     Judy and Sharyn soon moved the focus to their hobby of jewelry making.  Sharyn became hooked during her visit to AMARSE this past winter.  She proudly displays her artistic creations.


     Sharyn recommended a restaurant that has long been acclaimed for its excellence.  Jaxson’s Restaurant has been renowned for the food and ice cream specialties.  Everything was delicious.


     They even make a huge ice cream sundae that is served in a stainless steel sink mounted on a base of plumbing pipes.  We did not try one but we did see some folks gorging themselves.


     While I took an afternoon nap, Judy and Sharyn went shopping for jewelry supplies at the local craft stores. 

     I have wanted to see some Jai-alai action for sometime.  It has been years since I have heard the loud crack sound of the pelota (ball) smack hard against the fronton wall as the players sling it from the cesta (racket cup).  I find it to be a fascinating game.  The court is in the next town of Dania.  The games started at 7pm.


     Jai-alai has been around the south Florida area for many, many years.  It used to be very popular and famous for its option for betting on the winners.  For some reason that is a mystery to me, the sport has fallen out of favor.  As you can see, the stands are virtually empty.  Someone told us that the arena must stay open, even at a loss, because they must maintain their gambling license.  If they close, they lose it.


      About 10pm, Sharyn took us to the area Broadwalk.  The beachfront is lined with shops and restaurants.  Her favorite choice was Little Venice Pizza.  The pizza was very good and the Blue Moon beer was great.


     I called our friend, Joe DeMaris, aboard ADAMAS DE MARIS, and he happily informed us that he had just completed the gulfstream crossing and had arrived safely in Ft. Pierce, Fl. on Friday night.

     Overnight, there were lots of big storms.



     Sharyn and Jeff are active in the Calvary Chapel church.  At 10am, we joined her for the inaugural service of a branch church in Hollywood, FL.  Interestingly, the chapel has chosen the site to be collocated at the Fishing Hall of Fame auditorium. 

     Our next destination was the Ft. Lauderdale riverfront for Sunday Jazz.  It was bright, sunny, and hot now, however, there had been significant rain showers earlier this morning.  Only one band was performing as most had cancelled due to weather.  The girls seemed to enjoy soaking up the sun.


     Who could resist a trip to the Longhorn Café for Sunday dinner?  Of course, I had to have the Filet Mignon.  Sharyn chose the Salmon and small Filet, while Judy chose the Southern Fried Chicken Salad.  All were delicious.

     I opted for a nap while the girls focused on jewelry making.  Here are some pictures of a couple of their creations.


     By the time we were ready for dinner, it was already 9pm.  We found a nice little Italian place, Mundi’s Restaurant, for some pizza and beer.  It was pretty good.  We were surprised when a big ol’ frog hopped across the floor.  The restaurant is near a little canal and this is not uncommon.  It was fun watching the waiter trying to gently capture it.  We wondered if tomorrow’s special would be frog’s legs.


     We had long talks tonight.  Sharyn was very interested in learning more about her dad and his thoughts and beliefs.  It was nice to be together.

     After Judy and I went off to bed for the night, Sharyn had to work very late into the morning.



     It was after 9am as we got out of bed.  I ordered a new computer from BestBuy.com to be picked up in Texas.  My current machine is having problems with vertical lines appearing on the screen.  I’m afraid it will die soon.

     Today is our last day here in town and Sharyn asked where we wanted to go eat.  The vote was unanimous, Jaxson’s.  The girls chose the burgers and my choices were this yummie Ruben and a chocolate malt.


     Judy and Sharyn had ice cream sundaes.


     Everyone was much too full for dinner.  The gals did jewelry making while I watched the NCAA finals game with Kansas vs. Memphis.  It was a great game in overtime with Kansas taking the win.  This makes me the winner of the RMHYC contest pool.  Sue Graham came in second.



     We left the car in the secure garage of Sharyn’s condo and she took us to the airport.  Continental flew us to San Antonio after a connection in Houston.  Our great neighbor, Barb, picked us up and took us to our house.  The house was in pretty good condition with only a few shingles having blown down into the back patio area.  I started a strict diet today and so you won’t be hearing much about food in the upcoming updates.  For some of you, this will be a relief; for others, they will be devastated.



     We reinsured the pickup truck and she is running well.  Having used Sta-Bil in the gas tank has kept the fuel from spoiling and clogging up the systems.  The truck also needed inspection and registration today.

     Best Buy had my new computer ready for pickup.  I spent a good portion of the afternoon trying to get it set up for effective use.



     One of the reasons for coming to San Antonio is to take care of medical appointments.  Judy went in for her Mammogram.  I goofed around with the new computer trying to transfer programs, however, I met with limited success.

     Judy kept active with her jewelry making.  She makes such beautiful necklaces.



     At 7am, we were showering and packing up for the trip to Lufkin where two of Judy’s sons live with their wives and her grandkids.  We arrived at Mark and Dawn’s new home at 4:10pm.  At last visit, the house was under construction.  They have done a wonderful job and the home is beautiful.  Her son, Scott, and his wife, Sarah, have purchased Mark’s former home and are renovating it nicely.

     Mark and Dawn have three sons; Scott and Sarah have two daughters.  Unfortunately, Judy’s other son, Chris, is working in Oklahoma and couldn’t be here with Rebecca and daughter, Emily.

     The grandkids were cooling off in the pool.  This is Alex, the youngest grandson.


     This is Nick, the second grandson.


     Sarah watches over her youngest daughter, Ashlyn, and Tyler, Judy’s first grandson.


     We brought four rotisserie chickens from Sam’s Club that provided a nice dinner for the hungry gang.  It was easy to see that Judy was in her glory being with her kids and grandkids.

     Judy opened her cache of jewelry making supplies and soon had everyone intrigued at making various articles of beauty and creativity.  The kids were fascinated.  Grandma is such a hit.


     Everyone enjoyed watching a Star Wars movie, episode #1, with Liam Nielsen, on the big screen TV.  This is Tyler, Judy’s first grandson.


04/12/08   FRIDAY   LUFKIN, TX

     Miscellaneous and enjoyable family visiting stuff took place most of the day.  We had the opportunity to see the many improvements and renovations that Scott and Sarah have accomplished at their home.

      I worked on the computer and on various documents including the preparation of a current will.  Not the most exciting chore, however, it is a necessary part of our existence.  Overall, it was a very enjoyable day and it was great to see Judy enjoying her family with this quality time.





Judy and her grandson, Alex; he is the youngest of the three boys.


     The family held a very nice birthday party at the house for Nick.  He had lots of friends in attendance.


     I wonder what he made his wish for.


      Daughters-in-law, Dawn (L) and Sarah (R) watch over the outside activities at the party.


     Judy’s youngest son, Scott (L) and her oldest, Mark (R), keep a close eye on the party crowd.


     It is easy to see that Tyler has won the slam dunk game over Judy’s oldest granddaughter, Lexi.  Alex looks on from the back.


     Scott and Sarah’s youngest daughter, Ashlyn, always has a big smile for Grandma Judy.


     Judy is very proud of her granddaughter, Lexi.   She always does great work in school and has a fun and cheerful disposition.  There are lots of reasons for Grandma Judy to love this little gal.



     We lazed around at Mark’s for the morning.  I needed to have some documents notarized and Mark made arrangements with his banker to get it done.

     By noon, we were done with the business stuff and began to head for San Antonio.  The obligatory stop at Schoebels Restaurant in Columbus, TX found Judy with a plate of their famous Chicken Tender strips and the salad bar.  I dined on their chicken soup.

     It was about 6:30pm when we finally arrived back at the ranch.



     It was a day for catching up on things around the house.  Judy arranged for a friend to come over and climb up on the roof to check for those missing shingles.  Justin Walton is a long time friend of her son Scott and graciously came to help.  He told us what he needed and we picked up the supplies at Lowe’s.

     I have an appointment for a colonoscopy scheduled for tomorrow.  Oh, joy!  For those of you that have had it done, you know what I’ve been doing today and tonight.  For those of you that have not, I sincerely urge you, I even beg you, to see your doctor about having the procedure done.  It is a painless thing and it is one of the best ways to detect problems early.  If detected early enough, the problems can be minor.  If you wait, they could be fatal.  Just DO IT!  This will be my second colonoscopy.



     Early this morning, I had the colonoscopy by Dr. Delbert Chumley.   I feel very fortunate that he didn’t find any problems and didn’t have to cut anything.  This is the kind of good news that I hope all of you get.  DO NOT PUT THIS OFF if you are over 50.  We have had too many friends that have found problems.  Some found them early enough; others, it was too late.

     Judy had her check up with Dr. Wratten.  They gave her a bone scan to evaluate her bone condition.  Many women have problems in this area.  They now have a baseline for future evaluations.


04/17/08  thru 04/21/08    SAN ANTONIO, TX

     During this period, we occupied ourselves with various chores, paperwork, and times of relaxation.  Justin returned and climbed up on the roof to finish repairing the wind damage.  We thank him very much.  It is so nice to see those youthful friends grown into helpful, caring, and generous adults.



     On Saturday night, Joe Fugate came to the house to visit.  We enjoyed teaching him the fundamentals of the dice game, Farkle. 

     I have also enjoyed watching the NBA Finals basketball games.  Of course, we root heavily for the San Antonio Spurs.



     Our great neighbor, Barb, took us to the San Antonio airport at 7am to catch our 8:40am flight to Puerto Vallarta.  After a connection in Phoenix, we arrived ahead of schedule in PV at 3:05pm. 


     We went to the NH Krystal hotel and checked into our room with the garden view.


     We walked around the property to get the feel of the place.  The views are spectacular and the sound of the surf is like music.  At the side of the hotel building, there are numerous hot tub Jacuzzis. 


     In the evening after dark, we had a nice soak in one of the tubs.


     The hotel hosts a happy hour event every night at 5pm with free beer, soft drinks, and wine.  The snacks consisted of nothing more than peanuts of various flavors.  I considered them to be paltry at best.  We thoroughly enjoyed our walk on the beach and around the beautiful pool area.


     The hotel sits right on the beach only a few hundred feet from the surf.


     The pool area is lovely and is complete with a swim-up bar.


     As the sunset in the western sky over the Pacific Ocean, I focused my eyes in hopes of seeing something that I have been looking for decades.  The illusive “green flash” that can be seen at the precise moment the sun sinks below the horizon.  I have never actually seen it before even though I have tried many times.  I was beginning to believe that it was only a figment of people’s imagination and actually doubted its existence.  This evening was different.  Much to my delight, the green flash presented its magnificence to me in all its glory.  This was a very special moment for me.  I was delighted that another guest also witnessed the phenomenon. 


     Although the green flash eluded Judy on this night, she did get to see it on another evening sunset.


04/23/08 thru 04/30/08   PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO

     Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful coastal resort town on the Pacific that is nestled in a snug bay surrounded by mountains.  The views are spectacular.  To further enjoy the vistas, we upgraded our room to an ocean view with a veranda.  When we walked into the room, the air-conditioning was cranking out frigid air and the thermometer read 62 degrees in the room.  We immediately opened the sliding door and shut down the AC.  The sea breeze was perfect and the sound of the surf was so relaxing.  This is the view north from our veranda.


     This is one of the gals we met at the hotel.  Her name is Kim from Indianapolis area.  She was real nice and became friendly with Judy.


     Puerto Vallarta is a cruise ship port of call for several lines.  In this picture, one of the Princess liners makes its way into port in the early morning.  They will depart again near sunset.


     The weather has been fabulous and the pool area is so beautifully designed and maintained.


     The resort restaurant offers a different buffet concept every night.  The views are great of the pool and ocean.  We didn’t try the food but it looked very buffet-like.

     The complex is largely consisting of condo type accommodations.  The time-share sales folks are constantly hawking the units.  A very large building with many units is under construction.  I like these older styles with the aqueduct fountain.


     The happy hour provided Judy with a cold Superior cerveza and some “paltry” snacks of pretzels and chips.  I don’t think they want to spoil anyone’s appetite for the buffet.


     Sunset is always such a special time at the coast.  The ocean view veranda provides spectacular views.


     This is the main entrance to the NH Krystal hotel.


     A local bus will whisk you to the downtown zone for a mere 55 pesos or 50 cents.  The main area is known as the Malacon.  It sports a fabulous, wide broadwalk that ranges all along the beach on one side and a myriad of shops and restaurants along the other side of the street.  It stretches at least a mile.  All along the way are magnificent sculptures made of bronze.


     Numerous artists have been busy along the beach making these fabulous sand sculptures.


      This one commemorates the Our Lady Guadalupe.  She is the most beloved in Mexico.


     Some are quite whimsical. 


     The sand sculptures range for King Neptune to the King of Kings.


     The statue of the boy on a seahorse is the most famous in PV and is recognized as a symbol of the city.



     Another internationally recognized symbol of the city is this ornate ironwork of the cathedral in the city center.


     This bronze statue of folkloric dancers is very colorful and is the only one that I have seen painted.


     We walked nearly the entire length of the Malacon leading to the old town section known as the Zona Romantica.  On previous visits, we have enjoyed the Café de Olla for their excellent Mexican style dishes.  The food here is highly recommended.


     With an icy Pacifico cerveza at hand, Judy selected the deluxe Mexican plate that had samplers of numerous specialties including grilled steak, chili relleno, enchiladas, quesadillas, salsa, rice, and charro beans.  When in PV, don’t miss this place.


     The hotel also has numerous small cottage accommodations called Casitas.  Each has its own pool and is reminiscent of years past when the area was less crowded and popular.  Our tower building is in the background.


     This evening, we gazed upon our final Pacific sunset for this trip.  Tomorrow, May 1st, we depart this coastal paradise. 



     This concludes this edition of the AMARSE Update logs.  We hope you will join us again soon for more of our activities and adventures in the month of May and beyond.




       We sincerely hope that you will review the previous years of compilations to give context to the current editions.  Please let us know if you have any special suggestions and thoughts.


     REMEMBER:  The website is now fully active and you can visit it at any time.  You can review any of the 2006, 2007, or the upcoming 2008 logs and learn more about the crew and our plans.  Enjoy.



   You may contact us via email anytime.

   We will have internet where ever we find WiFi service. 

   Our cell phones have been turned back ON.  Judy has AT&T/CINGULAR service.  Fred has VERIZON service.  Email us if you would like our phone numbers.


"AMARSE".  is pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY".  Our website is:   www.amarse.net   .

Thanks for allowing us to share our life and adventures with you.


Lotsa Luv,

Fred Reed and Judy Law