Goodbye Fireworks, Hello Jazz

Watching 4th of July parade on National Mall

Watching 4th of July parade on National Mall

We had a wonderful 6 weeks in Washington DC, it’s one of my favorite cities.  There is so much to do and it’s easy to get around without a car.

The infamous Tia Megan

The infamous Tia Megan

We saw Tia Megan nearly every day and Jack and I loved her amazing babysitting service.  Here’s how it would go:

  1.  Megan would drive the 6 minutes from her condo to our boat (or 45 minutes if traffic)
  2. Jack and I would dinghy 100 feet to shore and hand off the dinghy to her and hop in her car
  3. She would then dinghy to the boat with the kids and love on and play with them while Jack and I were dining in a nice restaurant in Alexandria VA.
  4. We return by car to our boat, call Megan who then brings the dinghy to pick us up.
  5. She does the dinghy handoff, hops on land and into in her car.

Whew!  You can imagine how hard it is for us to find a babysitter given the circumstances and how thankful we were for Tia Megan’s incredible job.  Thanks Meg!

We did tons of walking and exploring in DC, seeing all the sites and museums a few times.  Many days I went out with my friend Ofa, who has 2 little ones as well, and we would watch each others back on the metro with our big double jog strollers.  I’m sure we walked over 10 miles many days, looking for hidden treasures in thrift stores, walking around the many army bases in the area (her husband works at the Pentagon), enjoying the a/c in the museums, letting the kids run around the National Mall, etc.  Good times.

A Capital 4th of July display

A Capital 4th of July display

We stayed in DC through the 4th of July for the parade on the National Mall in the morning and the fireworks display from the boat at night, spectacular!  It was starting to get hot in DC so we decided to start moving north a couple days later.

The kids were rocked to sleep while mama was fighting sea sickness.

The kids were rocked to sleep while mama was fighting sea sickness.

We sailed up the Chesapeake stopping in various small towns along the way and did a 2 day passage from Cape May, NJ to Block Island, RI.  The kids did fine but it was an uncomfortable passage with a big ocean swell hitting us on the beam (side of the boat) so we rocked back and forth for the first 24 hours as we sailed along.

On arrival to Block Island we pulled the bikes and kid trailer out of the closet and spent the next 10 days cycling around Block Island.  I loved it!  There were enough hills to give me a good workout and the 360 degree ocean views were breathtaking.  One day we decided it was time to move on and we found a windy but calm day to move north 24 miles to Newport RI.

Marietta in the chilly waters of Block Island.

Marietta in the chilly waters of Block Island.

Newport is a neat city with tons of beautiful boats and lots to do.  We arrived a few days before the Newport Jazz Festival with plenty of time to get the scoop on how to best enjoy it.

Cap'n Papa made an awesome dinghy set-up for the Jazz Festival.

Cap’n Papa made an awesome dinghy set-up for the Jazz Festival.

Since tickets have been sold out for months now, we weren’t sure how to go about it.  We soon learned that the main concert stage faces the water and tons of boats anchor right off Fort Adams for the day to watch and listen to the artists.  On Saturday afternoon, we filled the dinghy with provisions and dinner, loaded up the kids and anchored about 300 feet from the stage.  There were tons of boats anchored there but since we took our small tender (dinghy) we went right to the front of the pack.  The 5 boats rafted up together next to us had a small rowboat boat dedicated to being a clam cooker, complete with large propane tank, huge pot, and all the items necessary to have a good seafood and corn/potato boil.  The jazz artists were wonderful and even the kids had a good time people watching and listening to the music.

One of those fine rare moments  when both kids are happy and everyone fed. Newport Jazz Fest 2013.

One of those fine rare moments for mama when both kids are playing happily and everyone is fed. Newport Jazz Fest 2013.

Most of the boats had been there partying all day which made for some amusing antics.  We had so much fun on Saturday, that Sunday we packed up mid-day and headed to the Jazz Fest again.  This time the kids had their swim suits on and we had floating water toys to play with.  Marietta is a little fish and played in the water that was over her head until her lips turned blue (the water temp was 70 degrees).  A good time was had by all and we returned to the Kitty Hawk tired and ready for a good sleep.

Family time in the park.

Family time in the park.

We’ve already biked all around Newport and to neighboring towns.  We frequent the library, the parks, farmers markets, thrift stores and the big supermarket about .5 miles down the street.  Next Thursday we are going to film night on the beach with Tia Megan who arrives on Wednesday, yay!

We just purchased a MIFI mobile internet because we weren’t finding any internet, hence the extremely delayed blog entry.  Hopefully this will help me stay in touch better.

The deckhands are ready to go to the library.

The deckhands are ready to go to the library.

OK, gotta run, there are 4 eyes staring at me and begging to go to the library so I must start packing the backpack and getting things together.  Each outing takes so much planning because we are usually out for the entire day and I have to think of every possible mishap and how to provision for it, not to mention all the food we need for our hearty eating family of four.   More to come!

Washington DC 2013

Washington DC 2013

About Oh, the Places We've Been!

In 2008 I married Jack, the love of my life and the only man that could ever keep up with me. Instead of the nice little French Colonial with a white picket fence, we opted to make our home on the 46-foot catamaran "Let it Be". Since living on a sailboat we've had two kids and sailed thousands of miles along the coast of Central America, the United States, the Bahamas and currently Baja California. Our family of four is always ready for the next adventure and we’re never quite sure where it will take us next. Oh, the places we still have yet to go!
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4 Responses to Goodbye Fireworks, Hello Jazz

  1. Carol Leeman says:

    U live an incredible life, Nicole. I love keeping up with u all!! 🙂

  2. Jane Bales says:

    It is so good to hear from you! Your children are so cute!!! It sounds as if you have really mastered living on a boat! Jane Bales

  3. Barbara Hornak says:

    I so love hearing from you when you post! Also love watching the family grow! That baby Jack that was born in Charleston, SC is getting so big and both children are just beautiful!

  4. Erica Vickers says:

    So glad you guys are having a great time. What a fun summer!! Stay safe, hope to see you again soon.

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