Sunday, October 8, 2017

Falling for New England: The Berkshires

So happy to be in New England for the foliage season! Not knowing this October would be the hottest on record (just our luck). We spent our first week in the Berkshires, where fall colors were spotty, with pockets of vibrant reds and yellows here and there.

We stayed at a timeshare called The Ponds at Foxhollow. Sitting on a 223 acre estate, the grounds were impressive, with a narrow meandering entrance drive lined with towering pine trees. The original property owner was Westinghouse who later sold to Vanderbilt, and had changed hands several times since. The condos/timeshare were developed in 1977.
Entrance to The Ponds at Foxhollow, Lenox
Meandering drive
Reflection of the timeshare condo
View from our bedroom
A beautiful sunset on our last day
About the only foliage we saw at Foxhollow
Arts and culture abound in the Berkshires, with the Boston Symphony performing at Tanglewood every summer. There are museums (Norman Rockwell, Mass MoCA, to name a few), art galleries, and plenty of shops and restaurants. We had fun exploring the cute small towns of Lee, Lenox, Stockbridge and Great Barrington, and hiking to Campbell and Bash Bish Falls. We even did a day trip to Albany, New York's capital (which deserves a blog post by itself).
a reflection from a storefront on main street in nearby Stockbridge

The real McCoy, at over 1500 lbs, at the entrance of the Red Lion Inn

We trust Mother Nature will put on a show, if not now, then later this month. We wait patiently. How are the fall colors in your neck of the woods?

This post is shared on Weekend Reflections and on Our World Tuesday.

You might also like:
Fall Colors along the Tennessee River Port of Call: Boston, Massachusetts Fall Colors at the Chattanooga Farmers Market

Friday, September 29, 2017

A walk in the woods at Grundy Lakes State Park, Tracy City,TN

Last Friday was the first day of fall, but the summer heat continued unabated. With Hurricane Maria battering the Caribbean Islands, earthquake in Mexico City, typhoons in Asia and fires across the West, we're fortunate Mother Nature dealt us lingering summer heat (temperature in the mid 80s).

The next morning we awoke to cooler temperatures, so we seized the moment to go for a hike. We continue to discover new trails closer to our marina. This time we found ourselves at Grundy Lakes State Park in Tracy City, about half hour away. The leaves were starting to change colors, and they reflected beautifully in the water. It was a gorgeous day to be outdoors.
Coke oven under the trees




What's your favorite fall hike?
This post is shared on Weekend Reflections.

You might also like:
Fall Colors along the Tennessee River Serendipity ... at Foster Falls Seize the day - hiking at Lookout Mountain

Friday, September 22, 2017

Somewhere (on the lake), Guntersville, Alabama

Last Saturday, we met our friends at Goose Pond Marina in Scottsboro, and went out on their cruiser Beth Kay. Our destination was Somewhere, a restaurant that was highly recommended by their friends. We didn't really care where to go for lunch; it was a beautiful day for a cruise on Guntersville Lake.

Somewhere turned out to be an excellent restaurant with nice ambience and fabulous food. We were all happy with our food and service. Read my review on TripAdvisor.

Plenty of docking for patrons
No, we didn't come on this boat
We came on Beth Kay
Nice reflections of the sailboats

Some guy playing in our wake
We spent several summers zipping around Boston Harbor and beyond for lunch, whale watching and other action-packed activities. This trip transported us back to those sunny, fun-filled days.

This post is shared on Weekend Reflections.

You might also like:
Port of Call: Boston, Massachusetts Cruising the Chesapeake Bay Cool restaurants accessible by boats

Friday, September 15, 2017

A day in the life of a liveaboard, part 5

While I was doing my laundry yesterday, I learned that the Glen-L group will be here for their yearly gathering this weekend. We first saw these boaters at our marina in 2010 (read blog post - Yes, you can. Build a boat yourself). Some were bluewater cruisers before building their own boats.

Not that we're part of the group, but it sure brought back memories of several such gatherings that we've attended over the years - Trawler Fest at Solomons Island, Md, Cruiser's Reunion in Baltimore, and boat shows in Annapolis and Miami. These days, we're living aboard Mai Thai on the Tennessee River, and any event that's water related would pique our interests.

After spending 17 years on Mai Thai, we still love the boating lifestyle. We've enjoyed meeting people from all walks of life, anchoring and swimming in secluded coves, shelling in deserted beaches, viewing meteor showers and eclipses in the wee hours of the morning on the dock, and taking pictures of sunrises and sunsets. Living on the water offers many opportunities to take pictures of reflections at any instant. Thanks to James, I can share my posts on his Weekend Reflections blog.

Here are some pictures of the Glen-L boats I took today:
Don't you just love boat names?




Cabins on the river
What are you reflecting on this weekend?

You might also like:
Gone Cruisin’ Yes, you can. Build a boat yourself A day in the life of a liveaboard

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Weekend Reflections: College Football and Hurricane Irma


While our marina friends were watching college football Saturday,
Previous owners of A Whale of a Tale are passionate fans of the Georgia Bulldog (U of GA)
Hula Girl cheering for the Tennessee Volunteers (U of TN)

Mojo and company rooting for the TN Vols as well
Czech Mate watching the Nebraska Cornhuskers (U of NE-Lincoln)
we were watching the hummingbirds.

Several weeks ago, we had put out three feeders, and were so excited when one came to visit! Now a total of four come by everyday. They are territorial, standing guard at "their" feeder, chasing others away when they come near it. Is is a joy to watch these tiny creatures zip up and down, back and forth with such precision. Many a times, it hovers right in front of our windows, as if to say "look at me, take my picture." We wonder if they can sense a storm coming, and get out of here before it arrives? They usually leave some time this month to S. America, where they spend the winter.
A male ruby-throated hummingbird at one of our feeders

And we're keeping a close eye on monster Hurricane Irma, currently barreling towards the Keys this Sunday morning. We have families and friends all along the Florida west coast - the Tampa Bay area, Ft Myers, Marco Island, and on the east coast - Heathrow, Daytona Beach, Palm Beach and Ft Lauderdale. We hope they stay safe and dry. Keeping our fingers crossed for minimal damage in Florida.

The south won! The TN Volunteers is on a roll, having won 2 games in a row (42-7 against Indiana State), the NE Cornhuskers lost to Oregon (35-42), Georgia Bulldogs won 20-19 against Notre Dame.

This post is shared on Weekend Reflections.

You might also like:
Remnants of Hurricane Ida drench the Mid-Atlantic College football rivalry - Georgia Tech vs Kansas Port of Call: Marco Island, Florida

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Life on the Tennessee River


Cabins on the water at Hales Bar Marina, about 2 hours southeast of Nashville
Viewing the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug 21
Picture taken 10 minutes after the solar eclipse (99% totality) 
One early morning
A hummingbird perched above the feeder

saw a reflection of the boat while feeding the fish
Osprey atop nest and cormorants congregate at the channel marker
This post is shared on Weekend Reflections.

You might also like:
A day in the life of a liveaboard, part 4 Remnants of Hurricane Ida drench the Mid-Atlantic Cruising the Tennessee River at Lake Nickajack