Adirondack waited patiently for us at the St John's Yacht Harbor near Charleston, SC. Jeff and David flew home from there in November for Thanksgiving, doctor visits and a new aortic valve for Jeff on Christmas Eve at the Mayo. It was not our best holiday, but the new pig/cow valve was a good present for Jeff even if he did spend Christmas Day in the ICU. He bounced back fast - out of the hospital four days after surgery and has healed up well. He finished up his cardiac rehab and feels back to 100% - probably even better than before now that all his blood is going out to his body instead of sloshing back through the leaky valve. He has a few more weeks of taking Coumadin (a blood thinner) then can stop and just take his blood pressure meds. It was lovely to be in Minnesota and see family and friends, work a bit at WestMarine (Jeff) and at
two walk-in clinics (Sally), play in the snow, see the ice caves near Bayfield and spend time at Dry Dock - our home in Stillwater.
We ducked out of Minnesota on Tuesday, missing the big snow storm on Thursday that caused the governor to call out the National Guard and declare an emergency. Great timing on our part - Jeff's weather karma continues to work well. We flew to Charleston and the marina manager (a former Minnesotan) picked us up. The boat looked good but needed some clean up and reprovisioning. We are slowly getting projects done - cleaning, new water pump and new sending unit for the black water tank monitor (yuck!). We swapped out our folding bicycles that had been recalled by WestMarine at the local store - we had to say goodbye to "Ruby" and "Rusty," our sweet red bikes and now have two black ones that we have named "Beauty" and "Bart." We took a long bike ride today over to the James Island County Park where there are great bike trails - much safer than the narrow roads nearby to ride. We ran into a fund raiser for the Carolina Coonhound Rescue, a group that rescues, fosters and has dogs for adoption. There were a lot of cute dogs with "Adopt Me" signs.
We haven't spent all our time working. The marina has a loaner car so we drove once into Charleston proper and day before yesterday took the dinghy over (it took about the same amount of time both ways). The city is beautiful and historic, good for walking with a free trolley when you get weary. The weather has been stunning - in the high 70s, so shorts and tee shirts!
Yesterday was rainy, so we borrowed the car, made a WestMarine run (you can never go too often), a grocery store visit then went to see the Angel Oak - a huge live oak tree nearby that may be one of the oldest trees east of the Mississippi. On the way back to the marina, we stopped at a roadside restaurant, JB's Smokeshack, which had a full parking lot. We walked in to find a room filled with picnic tables and two areas with food laid out for a buffet. We asked the guy at the front what we needed to do and he replied, "Pay me money then eat." It was delicious - pulled pork, fried chicken, mac and cheese, potato salad, collard greens, cole slaw, chocolate and banana pudding and more things we didn't even have room to try. We are terrible vegetarians.
We have been watching the Olympics every night; we'll have Olympic withdrawal after tomorrow. We are still trying to sell the old dinghy motor and are waiting for two boxes from MN (the unused gas can to sell with the motor and a box of yarn and books). After they arrive, we will untie the dock lines and point our noses South. Sally