Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

A Fun-filled Memorial Day Weekend

I’ve mentioned before that one of the nicest things about the A-Z Blogging Challenge was meeting a bunch of interesting people online through stories and comments. That I would actually meet one of these blogging travelers in person a month later came as an unexpected bonus!

The second half of April, I discovered Jaye and Dan’s blog “Life Afloat”, where she writes about her minimalistic life on their 33’ sailboat Cinderella. I learned that, over the summer, she and her husband would crew on the tall ship El Galeon a second time. This life-size replica of a Spanish galleon would pull into Newburyport over Memorial Day weekend. And the rest was history as they say…

With our tour guides Jaye and Dan

With our “off duty” tour guides Jaye and Dan in front of the tall ship El Galeon

Mark, our temporary pet Jenny, and I jumped into the car on Friday morning for the 2.5 hour drive to Newburyport, pulling out of work early. Kind of. As Mark experienced many times over the last years, emailing and calling customers outside “the office” is quite inconvenient, but we’re here to please… We had lunch with his parents, dropped Jenny off with his sister-in-law on Plum Island and joined Jaye and Dan for an intriguing tour of El Galeon. To escape the overwhelming crowds visiting the ship, we retreated to a bar for a welcome drink and exchange of life stories. It was an entertaining afternoon, despite the nippy 60°F (15°C) temperature, which was 20 degrees less than predicted!

A visit on the water was combined with a visit on shore with family. Most of Saturday was spent with relatives on Plum Island. I thoroughly enjoyed babysitting Mark’s nieces, the almost 3-year old twins Cera and Lily, while their parents ran errands. They loved our walk on the beach and wiggling their toes in the frigid waves. Getting off our boat and temporarily living in New England has the big advantage of seeing the young ones grow up, and being a part of their lives.

Sunday had us back in Heath to host friends at our comfortable home in the woods. Long-time buddies Ryan and Denise came over for Memorial Day with their son Jake. A tour of the maple farm we live in (I will elaborate in the future) intrigued our company and the big property kept us entertained all afternoon.  Dinner was a home-cooked Mexican feast of shrimp and chicken fajitas – Mark and I love our food!

On Monday, we lucked out with the weather. The predicted rain remained absent. After an extensive pancake breakfast with fresh fruit and luxuriously applied artisanal maple syrup, the five of us took Jenny for a decent walk around Pelham Lake. Staying on level ground prevented clumsy falls and hyperextended joints. Ignore that scream when I slipped on one of the mossy boards over swampy terrain… Will I ever be able to visit this park again without worrying about falling?

The highlight of Memorial Day was a meat fest prepared on the grill. A big-sized grill! The envy of all our cruising friends, I bet. Real BBQ-sets, just like normal-sized fridges and ovens are another beauty of living on land. Add it to our overall enjoyment of this lifestyle! Aaaah, the luxury of luxury… We stuffed our bellies, threw some of our healthy food rules overboard and had enough leftovers for the rest of the week. Mission Memorial Day weekend was accomplished and the unofficial start of summer couldn’t have arrived at a better time. We are both ready for sun, 70-80 degree (20s Celsius) temperatures, green grass and… allergies!

What did you do on Memorial Day Weekend, or your normal, outside of the US weekend?


  1. Always fun to see our familiar ship through the new eyes of visitors! It was a pleasure to meet you, and hope to continue to keep in touch … AFTER we get back to the land of real wifi! 😀

    • We will!!! Enjoy the land of intermittent WiFi. It has its charms and advantages – more quality time in the real world. 🙂

  2. Phew! That was a busy one. 🙂 Amazing what you can pack into a weekend, isn’t it? I shall have to go and say hi to your boating friends. El Galeon looks magnificent and spending time with the twins must be nice.

    • It was a pretty packed weekend, especially with the long drives and food prep on Sunday. Luckily, the weekend had a bonus day. 🙂 I’m really enjoying your Poland posts, Jo!

  3. How fun you got to meet Dan and Jaye and see El Galeon!

    • I’m starting to go down the list of meeting bloggers in person. Still a long way to go to catch up with your encounters. 🙂

  4. Even when you’re not off roaming about the globe, you’re super busy! How exciting and fun everything looks. Here, on Monday we spent the day puttering in the yard, then grilling random meats for consumption. On Sunday, we visited the gravesides of several relatives (a curse or blessing of living close to family), and shared a meal with my wife’s siblings. Somehow, my sunglasses vanished, and I am still trying to place the last when and were. These same sunglasses also vanished for a month after a recent trip to Seattle. I’m starting to wonder if they don’t like me much.

    • Your sunglasses sure like to play hide and seek. As long as they play fairly, you are apt to find them back again. I’m glad you had a nice time with family (and meat) as well! Living close to family create busier times as well. 🙂

  5. I’ve stumped aboard such sailing ships in San Francisco and loved the sense of what it must have been like to journey across the ocean, three months, four months at a time, without a clear sense of what might lie ahead. What a treat your pictures are — and the food looks amazing. While I’m mostly looking back to the 19th Century, I was amused to see we use the same Corning! Memorial Day? Very quiet here. Maybe just days of peace. Stay safe on those paths!

    • Went hiking again today. I am more careful now! 🙂 The interesting (or sad) thing about being on these ships is that I find myself thinking more about the pirate ship movies I have watched than imagine how real life would have been…

  6. What a lovely, sociable weekend! I’ve met three fellow bloggers now and it’s always been great.

  7. Wow what a jam packed weekend! I love meeting other bloggers. So great to make that connection in person after communicating virtually. Seems like you have a huge circle of friends and family. Such treasures in life.

    • Now that we are back on land, we are fortunate to spend more time with our Belgian (me) and American (Mark) families. I’m sure you have met a lot of other bloggers, Sue. I am hoping to start meeting some as well over the years!

  8. Make mine a bratwurst. Totally jealous of a BBQ. I love it when I get to meet blogger friends. Jaye and Dan seem incredibly cool. Will have to check them out. Amazed at how much the twins have grown..but I guess kids to that 🙂

    • They do that and they do it fast! You guys don’t have a grill on Amandla? No need with the cooking skills of the Captain, probably! We used the grill on our boat often, until we decided to sell Irie and we cleaned it thoroughly. After that, we were not allowed to make it dirty again!

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