Life Lately {May 2016}

Nick and I were so excited last month when we finally got the call from our sister marina that our boat was back in the water. A few days later we made the short one mile trip down the Chesapeake Bay to deliver Houd Vast back into her slip; we were excited to see many of the same dock neighbors from last summer and meet some new friends, as well.

Nickhelm

NickHV

Rainy weather has kept us from doing much sailing, but it’s given us time to tackle a few more projects – like reinstalling our sun canvas, cleaning and sealing our teak decking, which had weathered and grayed last season, and replacing our entire starter and house battery bank (six batteries total!).

Teakbefore

Teakafter

Nick gets kudos for doing nearly all the boat work on his own, since our first day back in the water ended with me having a broken toe.  I still have a little pain and am walking a bit slowly, but I’m back in regular shoes again!

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Nick and I are loving these ham, cheese and spinach puffs for breakfast from Eat Well; they are easy to make, are very filling, and reheat well, so they can be made ahead and eaten all week. (Vegetarians could easily substitute mushrooms for the ham).

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The lower level of our tiered backyard, also known as The Pit, and where we keep our compost bins, finally saw some action last weekend (we’ve been talking about tackling this area for years). Nick and I  defined a small space and laid down some weed blocking fabric, which we covered with leaf mulch that we had delivered from the city (and are using for another project – post coming soon!). Ultimately, our plan is to build a small fire pit down there and make it into a somewhat usable space. Stay tuned!

Backpit

Nick’s parents, sister and her husband are headed our way this weekend for a few days of visiting and fun! I can’t wait to share highlights from their trip.

Surviving the Snowzilla

Well we survived D.C.’s fourth largest snowstorm on record, and after two days have mostly dug ourselves out from the two-plus feet of snow that covered our area. Until now, our winter has been pretty mild; we actually got our first real snow late last week, when an inch of fluff covered the city a few days ahead of the big blizzard. Over the weekend though, winter arrived in full force.

We started our storm prep early last week by stocking up on a few food items and buying a snow shovel since we didn’t own one.

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The federal government closed Friday at noon and it started snowing shortly after. We woke up Saturday morning to a foot of snow outside. Heat pumps don’t do well in snow and frigid temperatures and the fan on our snow-covered pump froze overnight, so Nick headed outside first thing in the morning to get it cleared and working again (this pump heats our upper bedroom level, while our furnace heats our lowest two levels, which were still toasty warm).

Nickpump

The worst was yet to come though; the heaviest snow and wind were expected Saturday and we picked up another foot of snow during the day.

Housesnow

As anticipated, the heavy winds caused a tree to come down in our area, and for a few hours Saturday we lost our power and heat. Nick and I bundled up with an extra fleece jacket and lit a fire since we weren’t sure how long the power outage would last, but thankfully it was restored later in the day.

Nickshovel

We’ve been slowly digging out ever since; thankfully, Sunday was sunny and mostly warm and the snow was light and fluffy, so it wasn’t too hard to shovel the sidewalk and a path up to the house.

Sarashovel

D.C. averages about 15 inches of snow annually, and we got that and plenty more with this snowstorm, so hopefully we are done for the winter!

Life lately…

June was a very fun and busy month for Nick and me; between work and home, we traveled out-of-state every week of the month. But we loved every minute of it – we enjoyed the warm weather and long days, had all kinds of new adventures on the boat, and got to spend time with our families and friends.

In early June, Nick and I flew to Green Bay to spend a long weekend with my family. We had such a great visit: we spent lots of time playing with our nieces and were able to catch up with several dear friends, my siblings and parents, and extended family at a cousin’s baby shower.

MarisaSara Titletown

Shannon

NickdadDuring our visit, Nick and I were blessed to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, so we gathered the majority of our two families for a brunch. It was so wonderful to have both of our families together (the first time since our wedding) and be surrounded by all of our loved ones, who mean so much to us. It was definitely the highlight of our trip.

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Sadly, we spent our actual anniversary (the following day) stuck in the Pittsburgh airport after our flight to D.C. got diverted because of weather and ultimately canceled. Thankfully we were able to find a nearby hotel room for the night and celebrated our anniversary with a nice dinner a few days later.

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Another one of our adventures in June was our first overnight on the boat away from our marina when we hooked a mooring ball for a night in our favorite city, Annapolis. We spent the afternoon sitting on our back transom with our feet in the water and watching (and waving to) all the boats passing by. In the evening, we called the city harbor water taxi, who picked us up and delivered us to land for dinner.

Annapolismooring2AnnapolismooringThe following weekend we made our way to the nearby Rhode River where we successfully anchored overnight for the first time, and to make it even more exciting, we were joined overnight by our friends Nick and Jessica on their powerboat. We swam, played games and grilled dinner and enjoyed a really nice evening with them on the water (and we didn’t drag anchor!).

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raftup2Raftup3 Later in the month, we joined Nick’s parents, sibling and nieces and nephews in Anna Maria Island, Florida for a weeklong vacation. The 16 of us spent the days splashing in the pool, lounging at the beach, catching sand dollars from our pontoon boat, playing games and paddle boarding, having too much fun with a selfie-stick and eating too many good things. Nick and I loved every minute spent reconnecting with his family – it really was such a great vacation, and I hope we can do it again very soon!

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NickSara

We ended the month back on the boat, where we spent three days out on the water (our first time at anchor for multiple nights!) and were lucky to catch fireworks three nights in a row from nearby cities. We anchored in two creeks across the Chesapeake Bay near Oxford, Maryland and spent the days swimming, paddle boarding, and relaxing with music and reading. According to our cruising guidebook, the area is a popular anchorage since it’s scenic and surrounded by large, lovely homes, but despite it being a holiday weekend, we pretty much had the entire creek to ourselves!

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TrippeCreek

Nickboard

That’s all that has been happening with us! I hope everyone is enjoying the summer as much as we are!

Life lately…

Here are a few updates on life lately.

The chili lime shrimp cups Nick and I made for our Easter appetizers were so quick and delicious; we’ll definitely be making them again. Also, the cherry beer margaritas were amazingly good; we actually made them again a week later (Note: we couldn’t find Cherry 7-Up at the store, so we used strawberry Fanta, which is why ours are more red than the picture in the recipe).
Easterdishes

We got the call a few weeks ago that the weather was warm enough for bottom painting the sailboat,  so we drove up to New Jersey to take off the winter cover.

The boat has been painted and is now in the water, and we are headed up there this weekend to take our first sail of the season! Nickboatcover

The cherry blossoms peaked recently and all of D.C. was covered in the most gorgeous blanket of pink. It’s my favorite time of year in the city (especially since I don’t have allergies 🙂 ).

DCBlossoms

This tomato and spinach frittata recipe has become one of my favorite breakfasts. It’s quick and easy to make and reheats well since Nick and I typically eat it for 2-3 days.

Frittata

We had amazing weather last weekend, temperatures were near 80 degrees; Nick and I took a class at our future marina about the best cruising spots in the Chesapeake Bay, and then we enjoyed a picnic lunch near the docks.

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This might just be the year that the lower level of our backyard, aka the pit, gets a makeover. We are considering some simple landscaping with a fire pit and a few adirondack chairs. Last weekend, Nick and I spent a few hours relocating dozens of tulips and lillies so we could stake out an area to get started on it.

ThepitHave a great weekend, friends and family!