July 6, 2008

A perfect July 4th weekend - complete with waterskiing

VALOIS, New York, USA - The July 4th, 2008 weekend is history - along with several cases of beer, enough wine to put on another wedding and tons of food.

Tons of food. There are no hungry people in our extended family tonight.

The three-days turned out to a perfect long weekend for boating. Instead of predicted rain and thunderstorms, we had beautiful sun, moderate temperatures and very light winds, perfect for tooling around in the Spirit of Louise.

After a great dinner at Cousin Ruth's house on July 4th, we traveled down the lake to Watkins Glen (via boat) to watch the village fireworks with several hundred other vessels, including a brand-new pontoon boat purchased by amigos Barney and Marsha.

Barney & Marsha's new pontoon boat
The new boat

We ended up rafting up with Barney & Company to watch the fireworks, along with Cousin Ruth's clan in Ruth's boat. At the end of display, it was a little like Indianapolis with all the boats starting up simultaneously and then roaring back up the lake to go home.

I haven't seen so much choppy water since being out in the ocean off the coast of Mexico.

The weekend also included a trip to the Watkins Glen race track to take a look at the Grand Prix race and other events (like wine tastings) that were going on all weekend.

There was soooo much going on that it will take a separate blog (Tomorrow? Maybe...) to talk about everything, but I did get a chance to chat briefly with Miss Watkins Glen, whose main job (besides walking around and looking gorgeous) was to sing the National Anthem right before the major races.

Captain & Miss Watkins Glen
Saying hello to Miss Watkins Glen

Somewhere in all of the weekend we also fit in another party (with a live band) and - drum roll please - I went water skiing, probably for the first time in five or six years.

I had wanted to ski for the past two years, but my shoulder problems - and the Admiral - clearly indicated it wasn't a good idea. I did get a go-ahead late last summer from my physical therapist here in Watkins to water ski, with the caveat that I should not do any weird tricks or fall.

Well, Jaysus, what kind of fun is that?

But this year - with my 60th birthday coming up this summer - I announced months ago that I would ski, shoulder aches or not. As it turned out, Cousin Ruth's girls Jennifer and Kate were water skiing over the weekend so barely an hour after wrapping my arms (ok, ok, one arm) around Miss Watkins Glen, I suited up and took a spin on water skis.

Who knows that the weather will be like on my birthday?

I had forgotten that when you put water skis on out of the water they loosen a lot in the water. But even though I was slip-sliding like I had on size 14 shoes (I wear a 9 1/2 thank you very much) I had a good, if somewhat wobbly run, even if the ending wasn't exactly textbook.

Exactly textbook? Okay, okay, okay!

I fell spectacularly, in a rolling heap, much to the amusement of the neighbors sitting on their docks, the Admiral and my relatives on Ruth's dock. But my shoulders are fine and even the knee that was repaired a couple of years ago held up its responsibilities without complaint. We'll see how it does when I try slalom skiing.

No tricks were attempted this time, but the summer is just getting started and I have my physical therapist's phone number on speed dial, just in case.

I wonder if Miss Watkins Glen is a water skier?

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