Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.

After a brutal winter in most parts of the country, spring has arrived, finally! We were lucky to have our trip to Washington, D.C. coincide with the the first day of the Cherry Blossom Festival, which began March 26. Magnificent blooms from over 3,000 flowering cherry trees greeted us and the crowd as we braved the chilly and windy weather walking around the Tidal Basin.

We had parked in one of the Jefferson Memorial parking lots, all the way south at Haines Point. Unbeknownst to us, Haines Point looks out at James Creek Marina, where we had docked one sweltering August when we cruised the Potomac River almost ten years ago. It brought back fond memories of our stay at this incredible city.

Have you been to the Cherry Blossom Festival or visited Washington, D.C.? If not, you need to make plans to visit one of these days.

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tornado ripped up dock at Hales Bar Marina

I know this is old news, but if you haven't heard, a tornado moved through the Chattanooga area on Monday, 2/28, flipping a standalone dock at our marina. Per the National Weather Service, 3 tornadoes touched down on southeastern Tennessee that afternoon. The twister that passed through the marina was an EF0 (scale and intensity of a tornado, 0 being the least severe), packed with winds of 85 mph. Businesses and thousands of residents were without power as the tornadoes brought down power lines and annihilated everything in its path.

Unbeknownst to us, a tornado watch was in effect for our area that morning. However, we knew something was up because around 10 a.m., high winds brought white caps and rolling waves into the marina. Mai Thai was rocking and rolling like she was out in the ocean. That a dock float had broken loose from the aforementioned dock and floated past us was an omen for that afternoon.
Dock float broke looseMinutes after the twister hitBoats starting to run away
The aftermath of a twister - dock destroyed at Hales Bar Marina
Around 1 p.m., I was in a different part of town, where I witnessed ominous dark clouds, torrential rain and hail. My husband and a boat neighbor watched the twister come across the river, lifted the dock out of the water and flipped it over and onto the street. The scene unfolded before their eyes in a slow motion fashion. Minutes later, it was all over. A dozen boats were suddenly let loose. What started out as a lazy afternoon for these folks turned into a hectic rescue mission as they called for help and tried to secure those runaway boats.

And who said retired life is boring?

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