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September 26, 2012 / M.E.

Philadelphia. Pennsylvania

My cousin, Frances, and I were exploring Philadelphia when we decided to stop in at the American Philosophical Society. We weren’t allowed to go into the research rooms but in the lobby they had exhibits of photos from the installation of the railway system and Lewis and Clark’s journals. It was incredible to see the intricately drawn maps and ledgers of Lewis and Clark’s journals and the old black and white images from the railway installations in the West. These moments were such an extraordinary piece of American history and it’s so encouraging to see these type of recordings being preserved.

September 15, 2012 / M.E.

Philly Photo. Philadelphia. Pennsylvania

September 5, 2012 / M.E.

Bear Mountain. Connecticut

A feather I found on the Bear Mountain trail.

We went hiking the other day up Bear Mountain in Connecticut. Some parts of the Appalachian Trail actually intersect with the Bear Mountain trail and when we reached the top of the mountain and we were taking in the view, a hiker came along. Our conversation went something like this…

Matt’s uncle: “Hi, how are you today.”

The hiker: “I’m fine, thanks.”

Matt’s uncle: “Where did you come from?”

The hiker: “Springer Mountain”

Matt’s uncle: “Where is that?”

The hiker: “Georgia”

Needless to say, we were intrigued by the guy’s story, so we invited him to come sit with us on a bluff overlooking the valley. The guy was in his 20’s and he had started hiking the Appalachian Trail in April. He had walked 1,500 miles to that point and was hoping to finish the trail by late October. He said that he was the 967th person to hike the trail this year and that the success rate of doing the entire trail is only about 20%. It’s always worth talking to people to find out their story because you never know what people might have to tell you.

Appalachian Hiker On Top Of Bear Mountain

August 27, 2012 / M.E.

At Sea In The City

We arrived in New York on Friday just in time for an afternoon motor-sail. The weather was beautiful and it was an absolute treat to be out on the water. We sailed in the Hudson River up to the Statue of Liberty and then crossed the bay to the East River.

We passed by the Brooklyn Bridge and I was thrilled to see one of my favorite restaurants, The River Cafe, nestled under the bridge. Several sea planes were flying overhead and it was exciting to watch the take-offs and landings. If you ever have an opportunity to sail in New York City, do it!

Sailing Up The East River

The Brooklyn Bridge and The River Cafe

Moet Sailboat

Sea Plane

Sailing In The City

The Brooklyn Bridge

The Old Domino Sugar Factory

August 25, 2012 / M.E.

Wednesday Night Races

Since I’m so far behind on my posts, I’ve decided that I’ll try a different blogging method. Each day I’ll try to post a picture, comment or something just so you can follow along on our adventure.

So we arrived in Baltimore, Maryland on Wednesday night just in time for the Wednesday Night Sail Races. We docked our boat at the marina that we will be keeping our boat at while we are on our road trip up North. The owner of the marina, Phil, invited us to go out on his boat for the race.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the sailing world, Wednesdays in the summertime are a pretty big day in the sailing community. Almost anywhere you go on the waterfront, sailing and yacht clubs host the Wednesday night sail races. Boats line up at an imaginary line that is usually marked with a marker. A committee boat displays a sign that signifies which pre-determined course participants should take for the race. The committee boat blows a horn for the start of the race and the boats are off!

In our case, the boats didn’t really go anywhere as there wasn’t much wind. We made the most of it though and after about two hours and plenty of tacking back and forth, we crossed the imaginary finish line in 2nd place. On our way out to the races, I took this great shot of Matt doing his favorite thing in the world…sailing!

July 13, 2012 / M.E.

The Hyppo Cafe. St. Augustine. Florida

My cousin, Stephen, is an adventurer. He’s gone to Siberia in the middle of winter, voyaged through China’s ancient cities, walked the old streets of Russia and spent numerous trips spending time with family in Sicily. His newest venture is something a little bit different but just as interesting.

Stephen recently opened his new cafe, The Hyppo Cafe, along the 312 Bridge in St. Augustine, Florida. A couple of days before I left for our sailing adventure up north, I was able to visit the Hyppo Cafe to see what the cafe had to offer.

The interior is original in itself with recycled church pews used as booths, framed art on the walls of old Florida and paintings by local artists. The menu is listed out on chalkboards above the counter with descriptions of all of the delectable selections in an easy-to-read format. Leather chairs beckon customers to lounge around awhile and enjoy their tea or coffee while reading a book or working on the computer.

The Hyppo Cafe serves an assortment of sandwiches and baked goods, as well as coffee, tea and espresso. I ordered a cappuccino and was thrilled when it came out with a hippo glazed over the steamed milk! However, perhaps the most popular item that entices customers are the Hyppo paletas.

In 2010, Stephen opened his first store, a paleta shop called, The Hyppo. In Spanish, paleta means popsicle but the Hyppo popsicles aren’t anything like what you would buy in a store. Made with fresh fruit and spices, these cold treats are delicious with unique flavors. Paleta flavor choices include: Cucumber Lemon Mint, Blueberry Cinnamon and Avocado Cream but are subject to change depending on the season.

With such an original concept, it’s no surprise that The Hyppo was listed in Conde Naste Traveler’s December 2011 edition as a place to stop on a Florida road trip. Whether you live in St. Augustine or you’re just visiting, make The Hyppo a priority on your list and you’ll feel like you’ve been on an adventure yourself after the experience.

The Hyppo Paleta Shop is located at 48 Charlotte Street in downtown St. Augustine, Florida and The Hyppo Cafe is located at 1765 Tree Boulevard, Suite 5, off of the 312 Bridge in St. Augustine, Florida.

July 11, 2012 / M.E.

Goat Cheese, Cranberry and Walnut Salad

I made this Goat Cheese, Cranberry and Walnut Salad while we were in Yorktown. Salad is one of the easiest things to do on a boat and this salad is so delicious and refreshing. Basic ingredients include: mixed spring greens, crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberry and walnut. This can vary from time to time depending on people’s preferences and what you have on hand. Sometimes I substitute the walnut for almonds because walnuts are generally on the expensive side at the grocery store. You can also add tomato or mandarin oranges slices to add another element to the salad.

For dressing I make a Key Lime Dressing which is made up of ¼ cup of lime juice, 1 table of minced garlic, ½ cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of honey, salt and pepper. If you have access to a blender, you could blend all of the ingredients together but seeing as to the fact that I don’t have any way to power up a blender, mixing the ingredients in a bowl does the trick just as well.

Just another day of cooking on a boat. Be looking for more recipes from Kokoi’s galley!

July 10, 2012 / M.E.

Williamsburg. Virginia

We left Jamestown and headed for Colonial Williamsburg. While we loved seeing the moss covered roofs, the sheep and cows grazing in the fields and white picket fences surrounding colonial homes; Matt and I both felt that the sight was definitely geared more towards tourists. As we walked around, people dressed up in costume gave tours and sold goods along the road. We even joked at one point that we wouldn’t be surprised if there was a cart vendor around selling turkey legs to hungry visitors. It isn’t that we didn’t like Williamsburg, only that it felt more like a theme park than an actual historical sight.

We decided to grab lunch at the closest restaurant which happened to be The Cheese Shop, a cute grocery that sells gourmet goods, cheeses and sandwiches.

Matt and I enjoyed wonderful sandwiches, which were very reasonably priced, and had a picnic lunch under a tree along one of the lanes.

When we finished our picnic lunch, we decided to take a look at one of the gardens. The gardens were my favorite part of Williamsburg because they had practically every plant you could think of growing. Beautiful flowers blossomed out of artichokes, enormous sunflowers hung down above our heads and various herbs grew in little pots under a tent, while a man dressed as a colonial farmer hoed a portion of the garden.

Artichoke Flower

We enjoyed the sights and smells of the garden for awhile before we decided it was time to head back towards Yorktown. We had enjoyed a busy day full of exploring and we were ready to get back to the boat and relax!

July 10, 2012 / M.E.

Jamestown. Virginia

Note: I have incorporated the link to the Pocahontas soundtrack to go along with the adventure that we took to Jamestown as I feel this will truly enhance your reading experience!

Our trip to Jamestown can only be accounted for as Pocahontas enthusiasm. I guess it is sad that I relate the history of the first settlement in America to a Disney movie but I couldn’t help myself. I remember the first time that I saw Disney’s Pocahontas. Finally a Disney character that ran through corn fields, canoed the river bends, tasted the sun-sweet berries of the earth and painted with all the colors of the wind…I was hooked. I had the t-shirt, the VHS and the soundtrack on cassette (which I still have to this day). Needless to say I was excited to see all of my 8-year-old Pocahontas expectations come to life.

We took the free shuttle from Yorktown to Williamsburg and from Williamsburg transferred to another shuttle which took us to Historic Jamestown. Please let me note that at this point Pocahontas fever had taken over and I sang songs from the Pocahontas soundtrack to Matt the entire voyage there. (See  “Just Around The Riverbend” track)

We arrived in Jamestown, walked through the National Park Service doors and were there greeted with the sad reminders that with all things wonderful there comes a price. Ten dollars for a sticker that allows you entry to see a piece of history?! I was heartbroken. No student discount. No Triple A discount. Nothing. Matt knew how excited I was so he was willing to pay the price. As we approached the counter, the park ranger welcomed us and asked us how our day was going. I, of course, wasn’t hesitant in expressing my utter disappointment for the over priced entry fee to see a piece of American history. Perhaps it was my, “This is our one opportunity to see a piece of history…” line, as I drew the wallet out of the backpack pocket but just as soon as I started to pull out those precious dollar bills, the park ranger slipped us the coveted stickers. I literally had tears well up in my eyes as I put my sticker on. We were in!

It didn’t take long for me to burst out through the doors, walk hastily along a boardwalk and straight to the monument dedicated to the Virginia Company. (See “The Virginia Company” track)

Down the trail we went towards the Pocahontas statue. I wasn’t expecting the Disney Pocahontas, in fact, my fascination with Pocahontas may have started with the Disney movie but in all honesty, my fascination is focused more by what an amazing person she must have been in real life. Pocahontas was only 22 years old when she died in England. Her life was short but she did great and profound things while she lived. She supposedly saved John Smith’s life from the hand of her father, Powhatan. She married John Rolfe, a settler from Jamestown, thus forging a peaceful relationship between the Indians and settlers for generations. She sailed across the Atlantic and was received by Queen Anne. Perhaps you can understand a little better now, why I think Pocahontas is so incredible! (See “Colors of the Wind” track)

At the sight of where Jamestown was founded, an archeology group was working on an excavation. (See “Mine, Mine, Mine” track)

On to the John Smith statue. Again, Disney made John Smith look way more good looking than he was in real life.

A few things to know about John Smith that you may not have known.

1. John Smith was a slave at one point in time. He fought as a soldier in the Netherlands and Hungary until he was captured and sold into slavery in Russia. He escaped from his master in Russia by murdering him and making his way back to Hungary. When he made it back to England, he joined the expedition to form a settlement in Jamestown.

2. He was a mapmaker. During the summer of 1608, he explored and mapped the Chesapeake during a 3,000 mile voyage in an open boat. He also explored and mapped the coastline from Cape Cod to Maine.

3. He was elected as governor of Jamestown for a one-year term in 1608.

After walking around in the heat for a bit, we made our way to the Archaearium, a museum on the Jamestown grounds. Here we investigated the uncovered relics of the historic Jamestown settlement. It’s incredible how many items archeologists have been able to uncover over the years and how many different places these items have come from.

Most of the glass beads that were brought from England during the colonization of Jamestown were made in Venice, Italy and were used in trade with the Indians.

The jug above was made in Frechen, Germany in the early 17th century.

Archeologists suggest that this shark tooth fossil was found by a settler on the James River Beach.

Freshwater pearls were highly valued by both the Indians and settlers.

The settlers believed in mermaids! This mermaid mount was meant for attaching onto a box or leather belt. The mermaid holding a mirror and comb was a popular motif in the 17th century.

As we left the Jamestown settlement  for Williamsburg, I was happy to have seen such a remarkable piece of history. This wasn’t the land of the Disney Pocahontas. It was the land of the real Pocahontas. A land where people had actually lived and breathed and worked hard to make this land a great one.

July 10, 2012 / M.E.

Yorktown. Virginia

We arrived in Yorktown, Virginia from Hampton right around sunset but rather than sitting at anchor with cotton candy clouds floating over the water, we had a storm coming our way. Matt and I have become very efficient at getting everything prepared for storms. I take everything out of the cockpit and put it safely away downstairs while Matt checks the deck for anything that might fly away in high winds. We then work together to get the windows for the full enclosure installed, this keeps us dry in the cockpit during the inevitable downpours. While storms can be scary when you’re out on the water, the best part about them is that they will eventually have to end at some point. This particular storm lasted for about four hours and then passed.

The next day, we were met with blue skys with cheery, white clouds slowly passing by. A great day for exploring! We left Kokoi at anchor and headed to the dinghy dock at York Yacht Haven Marina. After hoping on to land and taking a few steps, I stopped in my tracks when I saw this little guy.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love bunnies. At least, I think that they are cute. I wouldn’t necessarily want to own one but I was so excited to see this little bunny hopping around the marina.

Matt and I made our way to downtown Yorktown and to the Yorktown battlefields, the sight where America won its independence from Britain after General Cornwallis’ surrender in the Revolutionary War.  At the battlefields we caught the free shuttle that took us to Williamsburg and Jamestown. (I have created seperate posts for these adventures in order to shorten the length of this adventure.)

When we arrived back in Yorktown from our adventures in Jamestown and Williamsburg, we stopped in at the Yorktown Visitor’s Center to check out the museum inside. While the museum was small, they have some amazing items to see; among which are original tents that George Washington used during the Revolutionary War, a regimental flag from the Revolutionary War and a French engraving of the Marquis de Lafayette with his servant James Armistead Lafayette.

The silk flag above was a regimental flag that was carried in the Revolutionary War. The embroidered symbols, “SETC” stand for “Sincere Et Constanter”, which translates to “Upright and Steadfast”.

The French engraving above depicts the Marquis de Lafayette and his servant James Armistead Lafayette. James was a spy against the British for the Marquis in Yorktown during the Revolutionary War. His service and reports ultimately assisted in helping George Washington and the Marquis conquer the British in the Battle at Yorktown. In 1786, the General Assembly of Virginia freed James of his service to the Marquis. After acquiring freedom, James took up the name Lafayette in honor of the Marquis, who helped petition for his emancipation.

We left the museum and headed towards downtown Yorktown. Here we stumbled across the Nelson House. Thomas Nelson was the governor of Virginia in 1781 and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was a key player in the Revolutionary War and played a significant role in promoting the seperation of America from England.

The Nelson House

On our way back to the boat, we spotted another friendly, woodland creature. A woodchuck! I think this is the first woodchuck that I have ever seen in real life. He was just munching on some grass in a field.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

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