My friends Laurel and Nate came to visit us in Gulfport. They stayed on the boat with us. They were supposed to come on a Wednesday but their flight got canceled because of the weather in Chicago. That made me feel upset. They ended up coming on Saturday.
The day they came we went to the pool and we ate lunch at the pool it was fun. The next day we went to the Island.
We showed them the tree houses. I built a house in the sand. Another family was there and we borrowed their paddle board.
When we came back to the marina we got our paddle boards out and paddle boarded the rest of the afternoon. Laurel kept on falling in on purpose!
The next day we went to Stella’s and we went to the library. After that we played at a park on the beach in Gulfport and then drove to St. Pete Beach to see the Gulf of Mexico and collect shells. We spent the rest of the day at the pool. In the evenings we played a lot of Monopoly. Laurel had all of the $500s and $100s!
Rock Climbing and the Gulf
Tuesday morning they had to leave. I didn’t want them to go because I was having a lot of fun.
We just got back from visiting our grandparents in Cape Coral. We stayed at Grandma Cathy and Jim’s condo. We had lots of fun. We got to go shopping with Grandma. I used my own money to buy some toys and Molly bought some lip gloss. We also walked through the farmer’s market in Cape Coral. We went swimming and used our snorkels.
While we were there we also went to Looperpalooza in Ft. Myers. We did a presentation on the Story of our Loop. I talked about the Bahamas and some of what we did in Washington, D.C.
My parents went on a little trip by themselves for two days and we stayed with Grandma.
When we got back to the boat our other grandparents came. They are staying on the boat with us. We took them to the Gulfport farmer’s market Tuesday.
Yesterday we went to Ybor City with them.
We went to the Ybor City Museum. The museum was set in an old bakery. There was a ginormous really big oven. There was fake bread in it. They had to use a really long pole to put the bread in the oven.
We learned a lot about the making of cigars from tobacco. People from Cuba lived in Ybor City and started the cigar factories. There were a lot of roosters and and chickens running around outside. We saw chicken eggs laid inside a utility pole.
If it warms up tomorrow we might take our grandparents to the island.
12 days ago we got to Gulfport, FL. There is an island with three tree houses. We can climb the tree houses. We took our friends Matthew and Allison to the island and played there with them. Their boat name is Livin’ the Dream. We want to take our friends the Wilsons there today.
There is a cute little town. 2 years ago on the great loop Molly got interviewed and was in the newspaper, the Gulfport Gabber. There is a nice Library we get to check out 3 books at a time.
We have friends, Gabi and John, with a marina close by. Gabi let us come swim in her marina’s pool and took us to the beach.
We rode our bikes around the neighborhoods. There are some really pretty houses. We also rode our bikes to the library to do school there.
Daddy’s uncle Geff played the oboe in a band. After the concert there was a circus called the Sailor Circus. There were a lot of cool tricks that they did in the circus. It was all kids performing in the circus.
This whole river trip I have been so excited to see Dolphins. I remember when we pulled into Mobile Bay on our loop and dolphins were jumping. It’s like the dolphins are welcoming you. So when dad said we are getting close to the bay I went out on the bow with Maddy. Then we went to the cock pit because they like to chase the wake. We first saw one behind a fishing boat. They like the fishing boats’ wake. We also saw two off the bow of a container ship and they were jumping in the water the ship was pushing.
I also like to watch the pelicans dive when they see a fish. They are a little funny to watch because when they see one they just go splat into the water. After we saw our first few dolphins Maddy and I went back down stairs to play, then mom called us up and said there were dolphins. We went out front and there were only two at first off the bow, then there were three. They were not above the surface. They stayed below but we could look down and see them. Then they drifted away and one jumped fully out of the water. It was so cool to see. Then we went to the back of the boat and there was a pod of six dolphins behind us and they were playing in our wake, then they got way behind us but it was so cool to see. And we saw the pod of six in the gulf ICW not out in the bay.
When we got to the Wharf we immediately got off the boat and went to Lulu’s where we went to meet the Herbons and played for a long time in the sand. We had an awesome time.
Yesterday my family and I got to Mobile Bay. On the way to Orange Beach my mom, dad, sister Molly and I saw a lot of dolphins. We were so happy to see dolphins! Molly and my mom saw a dolphin drift away from the bow and fully jump out of the water.
When we were tied up we went up to the office to check in. After that we got into a Lyft to go to Lulu’s. We met up with our friends that have kids. We played in the sand. We all played family together. We had dinner there together. It was so much fun but we had to go back to our boats.
We arrived in Demopolis on Wednesday the seventh. There were rain storms that day so we sped up and went on plane so did Livin The Dream. So we sped up to beat the storm and instead we got there in the worst of it. So that failed to try and beat the storm. We were traveling with a few other boats that could not go fast but the ones that could sped up then docked in the worst of it. When the other boats that could not go fast came in it had stopped raining. After we got there mom and dad decided we were not going to leave the next day so we stayed an extra day.
That night I played scrabble with Matthew and Maddy played dolls with Allison. Those are the kids from Livin The Dream. Then we all painted rocks together.
After we cleaned up we went back to Livin The Dream and played there while mom and dad went to a departure meeting for the next morning.
The next day mom walked into town that morning and when she came back she said there’s a playground and some shops and a library. When she got back I was doing a little school then we left and walked to town with the Zeeffs. You do have to walk on the side of the highway a little but not for real long and it’s a pretty big shoulder. We played at the park but everything was wet because it had rained then when we were at the park it started raining so we hid under a pavilion.
Then after it stopped raining we went to the Library and after the Library we looked in two stores.
When we started walking back we found a merry-go-round and played on that.
After we went back to the marina we got the courtesy car and ran to Walmart but we only got fruit and not a lot of things because we are leaving to go back Chicago in a few days.
This summer we took a trip to Canada and went to the north channel and the Benjamin islands. It was super fun and amazing, especially the Benjamins. We met up with three other families: the Herbons on INNTW, the Zeefs on Livin the Dream, and the Wilsons on La Cigale. The Herbons and Zeeffs are doing the Loop for the first time.
Now we are heading down to Florida and the boat will stay down in Florida for the winter. We will be back and forth from the boat and home because dad would like to be home some for working and Maddy has orthodontic work being done.
It has been really chilly lately. We went to the AGLCA fall rendezvous and the boat stayed in Grafton, IL while we went to the fall AGLCA rendezvous. We traveled from Grafton, IL to Green Turtle Bay in Kentucky with the Wilsons. Then the Wilsons got hung up in Green turtle waiting on parts.
We were at Aqua yacht harbor for Halloween. We trick or treated with INNTW and Livin the Dream.
We have been traveling with INNTW and Livin the Dream. Yesterday Livin the Dream and we pulled off with another boat into Smithville, Mississippi because of wind but INNTW went on. Today Livin the Dream and Destination (the other boat we have been traveling with) and we are headed to Columbus, Mississippi.
We went to New York and my favorite thing was the Statue of Liberty. The first time I saw her was on the ferry.
When we got to the Statue of Liberty we did the audio tour. The Statue of Liberty is big! She got here in thousands of pieces. You can see the seams of the pieces.
Her torch lights up at night. Light shines on it. I think the Statue of Liberty is special and it’s really tall and big.
When we left New York we went past the Statue of Liberty on the boat and took pictures.
We boated to Atlantic City to see friends we met on the trip. The next morning we saw Gabi and John. They brought breakfast for us. Then we went to the beach and boogie boarded.
A little later we went to the boardwalk.
That night we saw some friends we met in the Bahamas and had dinner with them. The next day we saw our friends from the Bahamas again and went to their home. Helayna made pancakes for us and we swam.
Then we went to Gabi and John’s home. They have a cute doggie. We put a crab trap in the water. Then Gabi took us to the beach while the trap sat in the water. We jumped and played in the waves. I had so much fun.
When we got back from the beach we checked the crab trap and it had a bunch. Gabi took us kayaking in their canal. She had to go over and get another kayak from their friends. It was really fun. We kayaked down a little ways in their canal and then we kayaked back.
A little later we ate dinner and had ice cream with Magic Shell on top. Soon after we left. The next morning we left the marina.
We arrived at Great Kills Yacht Club just before dinnertime. The next morning we got up and took the train to the Staten Island ferry. Then we took the Staten Island ferry to Battery Park.
We then bought our tickets for the Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty ferry. We went to the Statue of Liberty first. It was so cool to see. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France. They had it completely built and then they had to break it into 350 pieces and 214 wooden crates. Each ear had its own crate. When you look up at Lady Liberty you can still see the seams of where it was put back together. The Statue of Liberty sits inside an old fort.
Next we went to Ellis Island. Ellis Island is where all the immigrants came in. When they came in the doctors marked them with chalk so that they knew what they are testing them for. There were some very unlucky people that got sent back. I felt badly for the people who got sent back because they had made this long long journey just to be told they would be sent back to their home country. We took the audio tour. One girl in the audio tour said her mom was using a sheet as a sack. She wanted one too so her mom made her one out of a pillow case to carry her belongings.
On the second day we rode the express bus all the way to central park. We climbed rocks. There was one humongous rock that we climbed. We could see the zoo from on top of that rock. The top of that rock was also the perfect height to see the NYC skyline. I could have spent all day in central park. We had crepes for lunch in the park.
After lunch we walked around New York City. We went to Times Square. There are screens everywhere and people everywhere. There was a line down an entire block waiting to stand at a photo place. We also sat in these spinning red chairs. Then we went and got Frostys from Wendy’s.
Late afternoon we went to the 9/11 museum. I had learned about it in school a little but it was really crazy to actually see it. One of the firehouses was right around the corner. The whole front of one of the fire trucks was burned off. Next to that fire truck was one of the fire fighter’s hats. It made me feel sad to see how bad the damage was to the firetruck. They could have walked there but they needed the firetruck for all of the water and to try to get people out of the upper levels.
Then we went into one room and we listened to the phone calls and the crashing and all fire sirens. All of the people rushed down the stairs. One lady threw her shoes out the window and just ran down the stairs barefoot. Then I started thinking of all the people on the planes so excited for vacation, or heading home and then got killed. I eventually said I am ready to leave and I am getting overwhelmed. That was on my mind the rest of the night.
The next day we left the marina on our boat and took pictures in front of the Statue of Liberty. It was fun to actually see our boat in front of the Statue of Liberty on the water. And to be able to see the Statue of Liberty from our boat. I would like to go back to New York City some day.