Father’s Day Weekend

It’s been a pretty incredible weekend, and the sun hasn’t even gone down on Sunday yet (though I think it’s fair to say we’re pretty tired, and ready to stay in for the night).

We’ve had good food, spent time with good friends, and had an awful lot of good times on the water this weekend. Here are just a few pics from the weekend.

Sunrise SUP on Saturday

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Beach day on Saturday with friends — a crowded day at the beach! Guy got a haircut immediately after this. No, really. 


Sunrise SUP session on Sunday. Managed to get in and out before the kids woke up! Glassy water today aside from some large rollers that came in from a passing barge ship.

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Today, of course, we celebrated Father’s Day. We got G a giant fish balloon (Guy destroyed it less than an hour later playing chase around the house with Nell), a cake, a sweet (if I do say so myself) dock bar shirt, and a beautiful day on the water. Mom and Dad very, very nicely offered to watch the kids for the day so G and I could head out on the boat, so I dropped them off, got G Starbucks, and off we went.

Taylor Island

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Our goal was a restaurant on Slaughter Creek off Taylor Island, but the tide was lower than low today, and we decided it was too shallow to head into the creek, so we turned north and headed to Tilghman Island, which turned out to be an excellent choice.  We boated over to Knapps Narrows, which was packed with boat traffic going back and forth under the drawbridge, and found a great restaurant right on the Bay side of the bridge that happened to have a boat parking space right out in front.

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(This weekend is subtitled “Happy Father’s Day, let’s see how much shrimp we can eat in one weekend.”)

Our funny little route today took us by all sorts of great scenery from Taylors Island to tiny James Island and Crab Cove to the Sharps Island Lighthouse.


The Sharps Island Light is actually the third lighthouse to sit in that spot. It was constructed in 1882 and was only deactivated in 2010. It has been leaning since 1977 when it was damaged by ice (though, the structure before this light was actually forced off its foundation by an ice floe and floated five miles down the Chesapeake–with its keepers still inside–so, really, the lean isn’t that bad).

The Sharps Island Light is on the National Register of Historic Places and also one of the features along Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.  I had been hoping to do a mini lighthouse tour this summer, so I guess we’re starting with this one!

As for the kids, they had a fab day fishing and playing in the water at Mom and Dad’s. Nell has officially caught way more fish than I have this season. Or ever.

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Monday again?

It was a fabulous family- and friend- filled weekend. We topped it off with the beach and boat, and seafood and sunshine.

After a weekend of slumber parties and playtime, Nell was distraught to say goodbye to everyone last night. But K and Liz had to get back to Brooklyn, and Mom and Dad back to Poppy. So we took Nell for a bike ride around the neighborhood — she’s learning to pedal on her own — until the sun was almost gone and she was ready to fall asleep, snuggled up in her new elephant pajamas from Kenya.

I didn’t have my camera out this weekend (as Nell would say, “I’m too busy right now”), so you get the weekend from my phone.

Stoney’s Broomes Island




Nell and G on the tube


Guy napping on K during our boat ride. Liz was captain while G tubed.


Beach day — Nell played with Liz in the water, and Guy will apparently nap on K anywhere.



A neighbor caught me on the paddle board headed north up the Chesapeake.

SUP Chesapeake Bay

Nell modeling her new Kenya dress, which she adores. (Please ignore the ketchup around her mouth and focus on the awesome dress.)



Toddler on the Water

Last night in bed, Nellie climbed on top of G, lowered her face until she was just inches above his, and then whispered,

“Daddy, do you want to build a snowman?”

She is funny and unpredictable these days.


She is also fearless and embracing the beach and the Bay this summer in ways we could only imagine in 2012 when we found this house and thought about raising her here.

She puts on her life vest eagerly, excited for adventures on the water.


Like spotting these cownose rays playing in the water just after dawn on Saturday morning as we boated out into the Bay:

When we found a wide open spot on the Bay, G shut the boat engine off, and Nell and I climbed into the big red tube.  She sat on the edge, swirling her toes through the water, scooting closer and closer to the edge of the tube until–Whoops!–she slid right off.  I was holding her life vest, and when I pulled her back onto the tube, she laughed, and put her toes right back in the water.


Christmas came early this year with the acquisition of a paddle board — something I have very much wanted since last summer when I saw a lady paddling her daughter around on the Bay.

It’s hard finding time to exercise and doing things that feel like they’re just for me these days, but paddle boarding is something I can do with Nell that doesn’t feel like a compromise.  And in a couple of years, Guy will also be able to join me on the board (at which point I will hopefully be really good at it — it’s been a seriously long time since I was on a surfboard!).

We’ve only just begun on our paddle boarding journey, and Nell is already obsessed with surfing, as she calls it.  She had G and me out there paddling for an eternity yesterday.

They look pretty good on the water together!

greg nell board

“ALL ABOARD!” she yelled as we paddled out.  “OVER THE MOUNTAIN!” she yelled out as we went over a wave. “GO OUT THAT WAY!” she cried, pointing out to the horizon past the cab pots and the end of the jetty.


The child is fearless.

“AGAIN!  AGAIN!”  She could have stayed on that board for hours (of course, her arms weren’t doing any of the work!).



“Can we go surfing again?” Nell asked me last night.

“And can we bring the big red tube also?”


It’s pretty hard to argue with that.

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If you look closely in the little summer scene above, you’ll catch my dad holding the umbrella in the yellow chair, my mom with the hat, me with Guy, and … oh? where is Nell?  She is behind the log on the left side — a little blonde head wearing a green inner tube waiting Not Very Patiently to get back in the water after getting her sunscreen.

And speaking of Guy, this little dude is no slouch on the water either.


And he starts swim lessons this week!


Pictures of Southern Maryland

We had no plans this weekend, which means, of course, that our weekend was packed.  It was too beautiful outside to laze around or do much indoors, and we took advantage of the gorgeous extended summer days October gave us this week.

We spent most of yesterday at the beach, playing in the sand, swimming in the Bay with the puppies, and tubing up and down the shoreline.  Surprisingly, despite the hot sun and the cool, calm waters yesterday, we had the beach to ourselves.

Some early morning shots

After dragging Nellie back to the house in the late afternoon, G took us out for a surprise.  Christmas came early this year, and I am now the proud owner of the most amazing camera in the world, thanks to G who wanted me to have it before baby boy’s arrival.  I am a long way from learning everything this camera can do (the video tutorial lost me before the ‘advanced features’ section even started…), but we had plenty of opportunities to test it out today.  (Which is an advance apology for the insane number of photos about to bomb this post.)

Sunday started early today with a pancake picnic in Nellie’s bedroom.  (Pumpkin pancakes, of course, because it’s October, and that is what you eat in October.)  After breakfast, we jumped on the boat to catch the morning from the Bay.

Today was an exploration day — we crossed the Bay and cruised the line of the Eastern shore.

James Island and Taylors Island.

Nellie fell asleep on the boat, so we let her nap in the cabin for a little while in the marina while G and I relaxed on the back of the boat.  We brought her inside in time to catch some football and eat lunch, before it was time to head out again — first for a short walk to our beach to find some shells and dig in the sand.

It’s been far too long since our last trip to Flag Ponds Nature Park, and today was the perfect day to go hiking around the park.  Nellie was pumped for a special trip to a new beach, so off we went.

We went to Flag Ponds when I was pregnant with Nell also (also at about 37w and change).  For a refresh of how wonderfully tiny I was back then, you can zoom back in time: http://www.raisingnell.com/flag-ponds/.  And here’s today’s Flag Ponds shot.  Baby minus 2.5 weeks.

As we were leaving Flag Ponds, Nellie started looking for slides, so we took her to a huge nearby park so she could enjoy swings and slides.

G took the camera’s inaugural video while we were at the park — Nellie discovered the sit ‘n spin and she was in heaven.  I don’t think she has seen one before, and it rounded out our park trip.

By the time we left the park, the temperature was cool and it was getting dark.  We went to Starbucks and sat outside with hot chocolate and mocha — the perfect end to a full weekend.  We’re back home now, and two of us are exhausted.  The tiny toddler, however, is singing and dancing and watching Olivia.  So even after all that… she’s still not ready for bed.

Three Days

Long weekends sounds like a concert in a field near our house.  Like Florida Georgia Line and Gary Allan, who is — and always has been since the days of my very first pink iPod full of country music — one of my very, very favorites.

Long weekends smell like funnel cake and pit beef sandwiches and popcorn, as a tiny toddler makes her way around and around the Merry-Go-Round after seeing every single cow that made its way to the Maryland State Fair.  Several of the various farms even let her pet their calves — she was in heaven.

Long weekends look like high fashion runways, toddler style.  Like beach style — with balloons and purses…

…and boat style, which is generally accompanied by an expression that she is WAY too cool for photos.

And long weekends feel like hot sun, cool water, and wind in a toddler’s hair as Daddy pulls her around the beach in a tube.  It’s tubing for two year olds, and Nellie could have been tugged around all day long.

And because long weekends are also perfect for watching movies, here are a couple videos of G and Nell enjoying the beach (well, one of them was probably enjoying it a little bit more than the other).