June 24, 2010

What's summer without a nice summer cold to cap things off?

VALOIS, New York, USA - After a three-day weekend that included a great beach party Friday, attending the Cardboard Boat Races (and party) Saturday, and then Jenn and Carl's wedding (and reception) Sunday afternoon and evening, I was about as hydrated as I could be, and felt great. Three parties in three days and ready for more lake fun.


And feeling great lasted right until Wednesday morning when I woke up at 6 a.m. with a sore throat, a cough - and a head cold - one of those cement-head-type colds in which everything you see and hear seems to be going on behind a heavy gauze curtain. After talking with Hector amiga Karen Schamel, I learned that the cold was making the rounds of all of Schuyler County.

And here I thought I was patient zero.

But on this second day of the cold, I feel a little better, perhaps a combination of yesterday afternoon's boating, ample hydration, and warm sun to bake the cold out. I wish today were as warm. Maybe it will be soon.

Jenn and Carl
Jenn and Carl's vows on Sunday

Entry in the cardboard boat race

Yesterday, Admiral Fox had to barrel off for appointments, leaving me (and my cement-solid head, no comments please) alone at the house for the day. After doing some dock improvements, I decided the best thing for my cold was a trip across the lake (by pontoon boat, of course) to the Showboat Restaurant and Bar, about five miles away on the east side of Seneca Lake.

The place has good docking facilities, excellent cold beer,  passable hamburgers and fries, and occasionally waitresses who could be aspiring to work at a Hooters restaurant. It seemed the perfect place for a destination cruise - and to sit around for the afternoon.

Alas, when I arrived shortly after noon, ready for a beer and a burger, a 16-year-old fellow - wielding a power drill in the bar - told me that the restaurant might be opening this coming weekend. "I think they'll be open then," he said.

I think I will call ahead before taking a voyage there again.

Showboat bar - closed
The Showboat's outside bar - closed until further notice

It was nice to return to our dock, however, and see how my handiwork from earlier in the day looked from the water.

I added white bumper strips to the pilings so visiting boats - and the Spirit of Louise, of course - could moor without having to reach into dark boat lockers to find fenders, and then tie them on to protect the vessel. I got the idea for the strips from Eric and Tina Hazlitt's dock, though I should have spent a little more time asking around how to actually install the pieces.

(Ever dropped an electric drill into the water? How about a box of screws? A screwdriver?)

Still, Wednesday morning, even with a head that felt like it was full of slow-drying cement, I was able to install the strips and now we are ready to inaugurate the Valois Point Yacht Club.

Or at least as soon as I get the bar built on the end of the dock.

On Facebook, I put up a photo of the dock and sunshade, indicating that all I needed now was a bar - and barflies - to complete the picture. I immediately had volunteers for the barfly positions.

This should be fun...

Valois Point Yacht Club dock
Valois Point Yacht Club dock

From Mexico, there was some good news (even if expensive) in the last week: Our palapa's new roof is almost finished at The Pink Flamingo in Arroyo Seco.

The original roof - covered with interlocking ceramic tiles - was so heavy it was cracking the support beams and making strange creaking noises. Conventional wisdom said it would not last another rainy season. The monsoon rains can add tons of weight to the roof during downpours.

Our amigo and neighbor Chon took on the project (along with a crew of Arroyo Seco workers), stripping off the tiles and replacing them with an attractive laminate material that looks very similar, but weighs about 10 percent of the original roof.

Admiral Fox and I will sleep better knowing the palapa will still be standing when we go home to Mexico in December, even if we are many pesos poorer.

We'll drown our sorrows (about how many pesos we had to lay out) down on the dock at the VPYC - when I get the bar built ...

Chon on the roof
Chon hard at work replacing the roof

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