Some goings on in New Jersey, May 10 – June 5, 2019. Oceanport Landing Marina & Liberty Landing Marina

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Oceanport Landing Marina view at dusk

Boy oh boy, we were super busy during our stay at Oceanport Landing Marina!  This is our “annual appointment” time of year, so we both had a slew of those.  We also had people we wanted to see, errands to run, repairs/oil change for Misty (prepping for the Loop!), Rob’s tooth implant was being completed, and Nancy was having foot surgery on May 20.  Phew!

Our dear friends of 30+ years, Annie and Tom Bisset, retired to their beautiful home in Ocean Grove, so a visit to the Jersey Shore is incomplete without seeing them!  We had a great time enjoying Mojitos on our back deck, then dinner at The Marina at Oceanport Landing.

With Annie and Tom

The next week was consumed by errands and doctor’s appointments, so it was nice to take a breath and visit our close friends Jen and Andy Gallogly, who live just outside of Philadelphia in Cherry Hill. Jen, Rob and I took the train down to “the City” (Phili), went to Rittenhouse Needlepoint to drop off Nancy’s mermaid piece, and Andy picked us up for dinner at Dandelion.  We had a wonderful meal, after dodging inside from the rain at our sidewalk table!  As usual, it was great to catch up and relax in their lovely home.

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Rob, Nancy, Jen and Andy

We unfortunately had to race back to the boat the next day to ensure that we had a pump out before Nancy’s surgery on Monday.  Our college friend Dave New and his girlfriend Ami Wieners came at 4 to enjoy a beer on Misty’s back deck before heading over to Blu Grotto at Monmouth Racetrack in Oceanport.  Dave’s band, “Alternate Groove” was performing, so we headed over for an evening of dinner and music.  It was a beautiful night to hang out on the boat, then on the lawn at Blu Grotto, enjoying their delicious pizza.

Alternate Groove and the delicious brick oven pizza at the Blu Grotto

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Nancy, Rob, Dave and Ami at Blu Grotto

The weekend continued to be sunny and warm, and a bit breezy, but as long as it wasn’t raining, we were fine with it!  Our friends and neighbors from Bethlehem Township, NJ, the Gillums and the Desaulniers, were coming down to visit for the afternoon.  We had a great time catching up and reminiscing, not to mention the food!  We usually all contribute to the feast, and this gang can cook. Needless to say, everything was delicious!

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Rob, Doug, Nancy, Diane, Gary and Janine aboard Misty

Since Nancy was having foot surgery on Monday, we took the opportunity to walk along the promenade in Long Branch before she can’t!  After the boardwalk promenade was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy, the town has done an amazing job rebuilding the promenade, the waterfront area and restoring the dunes.

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Long Branch promenade

Alas, the day has come.  On May 20th, Nancy had her foot surgery in the morning, and spent the next three days in bed to recover.  On Friday, she emerged from our cabin to hobble to doctor’s appointments.

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Post op

After our doctor’s appointments and a stop at the storage locker, we headed up to Milford, PA to visit with our friends Mike and Lori McKean.  We had a relaxing afternoon and evening at their peaceful home in the woods. Nancy sat with her foot up with an ice pack, and we enjoyed spending time catching up.  After a delicious dinner from the grill, we were paid a visit from a Mama bear and her three yearlings.  While they have been to their yard before, the bears had never before gotten this close to the house.  They were particularly interested in the yummy smelling grill! They were literally 5 feet away from us, and stuck around for a little while as we watched them from the porch…it was amazing!!

Rob’s cousin Mary Alice and her husband Fred recently built a house in Lavalette, and invited us for a BBQ Sunday afternoon to celebrate their daughter Sarah’s engagement the night before!  It was a fun evening with three of their 5 kids and their friends and fiances, some of Rob’s other cousins, nieces, nephews and a few dogs!

Fred, Jim, Jeanie, Mike, Erin, Rob, Nancy and Mary, and sisters Jeanie and Mary in Lavalette, NJ

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Mary and Fred’s lovely new home in Lavelette

Misty was finally getting some attention in the yard, our punch list being addressed, and we were busy with continued errands and appointments (Rob more than Nancy, who spent a fair amount of time with her foot propped up on pillows!).  We needed to replace a very noisy, old, rusted davit motor, change zincs, oil and some minor rub rail repair before getting on our way.

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Everything is in full bloom here in NJ, and it’s making Nancy miss her garden on Farrow Lane.  To compensate, a small blue hydrangea plant has been adorning our back deck!

Rob had read about the burgers at Barnacle Bills in Sea Bright, so we decided to indulge.  And, yes, they were delicious burgers but very decadent!

We were really enjoying our slip on the bulkhead at the marina.  They put us there to minimize Nancy’s walking to and from the boat and the car or marina building, and it helped a lot.  We didn’t get the striking sunrises we had on the floating docks, but it was still lovely.

Before we returned our rental car, we spent a full day running errands and provisioning.    Since we had postponed going out for Mother’s Day, we instead had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants: Red’s Lobster Pot just inside the Manasquan Inlet.  

We’ve been going to Red’s for about 15 years, and even though it’s changed hands in the past few years, it’s still wonderful.  They’ve changed the decor a bit, but the menu is still pretty much the same, and their specials board is still remarkable.  We shared the Portobello mushroom stuffed with shrimp & lobster, topped with gorgonzola cheese to start.  It’s a carry over favorite from the previous owners, and it’s still incredible!  Rob enjoyed a special codfish Francaise, and I thoroughly enjoyed their always perfect shrimp scampi!  Oh, don’t forget the key lime pie we split for dessert (Rob’s idea)!

Shrimp scampi is a goal for me…I’ve tried SO MANY recipes, and still can’t find one I like as much as Red’s!

Just across the street from Red’s is the Point Pleasant Beach Fisherman’s Memorial, standing guard over the Manasquan Inlet (along with TowBoat US, evidently!).

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We got a lot done in Oceanport, and had a great visit here, but we’re looking forward to moving again…next stop, Liberty Landing Marina in New York Harbor.

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Last night in Oceanport

We have gone in out of New York Harbor a number of times, once on a cruise ship, and several times on our first Misty when the boys were younger, and several times on our “new” Misty (#7 in the LeMoine history of boats named Misty).  It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, a bit foggy, choppy seas, or hopefully sunshine, it’s always a thrill!

The run up to Liberty Landing is only 34 miles, so we didn’t leave Oceanport until 9:15.  We had hazy sun, but calm seas, and the day was expected to get up to 80 degrees.  Before we continued our journey up to Raritan Bay, we made a quick stop at Bahr’s Landing for fuel…it was, unfortunately too early for a Lobster Roll!

  Our entry to New York Harbor did not disappoint!

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We loved our slip at Liberty Landing, as for the first time, we weren’t in the transient area, and were a bit more removed from the action.  Our spot was quiet, and we had an amazing view!

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Our friends Jolanda and Marcus, who we met at Trawlerfest in Stuart, FL in March ’18, live on their 52″ Jefferson, Sky’s the Limit, across the causeway at Hudson Point Marina.  In fact, shortly after we arrived, Marcus called us and stood on his aft deck, waving, so we could see how close we were to them.  We took our Dinghy over in the evening, and enjoyed a fun visit with them and their wonderful neighbors at the marina.

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Rob, Nancy, Jolanda and Marcus

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Beautiful dinghy ride home from Sky’s the Limit

Despite recovering from foot surgery, Nancy was determined to get into NYC.  While there is absolutely nothing to be missed about her commuting there for work for 32 years, there is plenty to miss about NYC ❤️!  While we couldn’t do most of the things on our bucket list, due to too much walking, we compromised.  We took the ferry over to lower Manhattan, grabbed a cab and headed over to the 9/11 memorial and Eataly in The Oculus. As predicted, the cab driver wasn’t particularly thrilled about the short ride…oh, well!

Just as you get off the ferry, there’s a beautiful pond and garden along the promenade.  They’ve done such an amazing job with rebuilding Lower Manhattan!

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The Glade is the newest addition to the 9/11 Memorial Park, honoring rescue & recovery workers affected by toxin exposure after 9/11 on “The Pile”

Eataly has two locations in NYC:  Flatiron on 23rd & 5th, and Downtown in the Oculus.  We wandered and shopped, and stopped for a delicious lunch at Pasta & Pizza, one of their more casual restaurants (we’ve eaten here at their 5th Ave. location).  Rob had an amazing pasta dish with wild mushrooms, and I enjoyed a pizza with burrata, gorgonzola, red onion, sausage and olives. It was all delicious!!

The shopping at Eataly is just as amazing as the food in the restaurants.  We stocked up on some pastas, bread, sauce, pesto, pizza dough and cheese!  It’s not only delicious, but it’s all beautiful to look at!

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We fortunately had great weather while we were in Liberty Landing other than some wind, so we were able to enjoy a nice, long bike ride along the water in Liberty State Park.

A beautiful, but windy, ride along the causeway in Liberty State Park

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Empty Sky

“Empty Sky” is the official State of New Jersey’s Memorial that honors the memory of the 749 people that lived in or had ties to New Jersey that lost their lives at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

The brushed stainless steel twin walls are 210 feet long, the width of each side of the World Trade Center Towers. They rise 30 feet, standing parallel to each other with a 12-foot wide paved path of bluestone between them. The walkway of the memorial walls are lined up perfectly with the space in between where the towers once stood. Like the World Trade Center, the stainless steel reflects the constantly changing light of day.  They are placed in such a way that when you stand back from the memorial, looking towards lower Manhattan, you can visualize the spot where the World Trade towers stood.  On the outside of “Empty Sky” are several pieces of steel from the Towers ruins.

On our last evening, we had a great visit with our Drew U. friend Dave New (remember the guy in the band “Alternate Groove” at the Blu Grotto?) and Ami Wieners.  They boarded Misty around 5 pm, and we took a short cruise through New York Harbor before we settled into a nice evening with dinner and “Little Beers” back at the dock as the sun went down.

A little pre-dinner cruise in New York Harbor

A beautiful evening view

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Little Beers!!   “There are good ships and wood ships, and ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships, and may they always be!” – as taught to us by Joe Tignor, M/V Bandwagon 

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Good night, New York City, tomorrow we head up the Hudson!

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