So why am I writing this blog........?

This blog is a way for me to record and reflect upon my day to day life and all the changes that have happened to me over the past 2 years. In a nut-shell I moved from the rich, bustling streets of London to the sleepy suburbs of Washington DC all in the name of love. My biggest reward in this adventure has been the love of my wonderful husband and the birth of our beautiful daughter. However this transition is not and has not been an easy one; it's been filled with tremendous highs and devastating lows- all part of life's rich tapestry and part of my story that I want to share as a mother, wife and of course as an English girl settling into life across the pond.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Holiday Cruise; Third Destination- St. Michael's and a BIG storm...

On Friday morning we left Mears Point Marina early to get to our next destination before the day got too hot.  We were bound for St. Michael's where we had already booked a transient slip, securing our slot to have air conditioning- a must when the temperature is forecast for 37/38 centigrade (100 F).  Our first adventure of the day (and there were a few!) was to negotiate a narrow draw bridge that would take us from the Chester River into the Eastern Bay.  We had to call the bridge tender 10 minutes before we arrived to give him time to stop the traffic and raise the bridge.

It took us 3 hours to sail from Kent Island to St. Michael's, the day was hot and still so once again there was no wind to sail.  Below is a picture of the lighthouse as you enter the marina in St. Michael's.

Yesterday was a ridiculously hot day, too hot for an English girl and a baby....yes, I'm sure that everyone reading this back home in the UK is now tutting and thinking 'poor you..' but it really was quite unbearable.  We spent a bit of time walking around the town and had lunch in a restaurant called The Great Pickle but we soon had to surrender to the heat and spent as much time as we could inside, lapping up the air conditioning.  I still seemed to come down with some kind of heat stroke by the evening so an early night (or so we thought) was on the cards. 

At around midnight Doug and I woke to a lightened sky and intense rocking...........from the West came the most monstrous storm that ravished Virginia and Maryland from South of Norfolk way up past Baltimore (that's pretty huge!).  Here's a picture of the banshe herself:

This satellite picture is taken approximately 2 and a half hours after the storm hit us, we're the blue circle just to the left of the centre. Neither Doug or I were expecting this and gales raged at around 55 MPH.  In the words of Doug:

 "The storm hit us around midnight with sudden very high winds, lightning, and then massive amounts of rain. I got on deck in time to double up our docklines and then we waited it out for about an hour. After that it was just rain and more rain for another couple of hours. 

The storm was about 100 miles wide at the widest point and 150 miles from north to south. It was moving East-Northeast, so all of that red in the upper right corner that you see in the attached picture gave us a solid pounding. I estimated the wind to be 50-60 miles per hour, but that was in the dark and after having been woken from a solid sleep. A friend told us that in his neighborhood, which is about 20 miles inland, they recorded 80 miles per hour.

We've heard many places around the DC area are without power. Some of our dock friends are actually moving on to their boat because they've been told it may be 5 days till the power is restored." 

Tabitha coped remarkably well and was not deterred by the situation.  I'm pretty sure that she would have slept through the whole storm had it not been for Doug's searching in the boat for his extra dock lines.  Once the shock of the situation had subsided she quickly slipped back to sleep and was oblivious to all that was going on around her.  I stayed awake until about 1.30am and Doug lasted out until the storm subsided at around 3am.  I must say, I have never experienced or witnessed myself such extreme weather, although there was a moment when I was a bit scared (probably due to the surprise) it was exhilarating and Doug handled the situation with calm and confidence like any true sea captain would.

The storm has blown some of the heat away and today has been slightly cooler, we've had a relaxing time in the pool and plan to leave St. Michael's early to get back to the Marina.  We've worked out that our cruise has been a solid round 75 miles of fun and adventure, shame that it has to come to an end. 

As I'm sitting here writing this entry, I'm struck by how lucky I am to have this backdrop to my life, I can't deny that it's idyllic.  Tabby is fast asleep and the prosecco is slipping down quite nicely thank you- the perfect evening after the perfect storm.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Holiday Cruise; Second Destination- Kent Island

Tabby had her first full night of sleep last night which is (was) AMAZING!! Both Doug and I feel rested and we're optimistic for a repeat performance tonight........we'll see......

We left Annapolis at around 11.30am following a leisurely morning.  We weren't in any hurry to set sail as we knew that we had a reasonably short journey to our next destination; Kent Island where we planned to spend the night at a marina called Mears Point.  The weather was beautiful and we made good time on our journey which took around 4 hours.  We motored most of the way but did manage to get a bit of sailing in.

We had to pass under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge which spans 4 miles across the bay.  It was exciting passing under such a huge and oppressive structure, we suddenly felt very small.

We arrived into Mears Point Marina at about 3.30pm, straightened Jubilee out and then headed straight to the pool to let Tabitha cool off and have a splash around.  The Marina is pleasant enough but is very close to a busy main road and the facilities seem a little tired.  It makes me realise how lucky we are to have a slip at Herrington Harbour.

                                                         cooling off in the baby pool

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


PS- I forgot to introduce your to the newest member of our boat family.......

Meet Tomato, TomAto and Bob, our three tomato plants.  We are now officially self sufficient!

Holiday cruise; first destination- Annapolis

It is a rare day when Doug finally manages to switch off his phone, ignore his email and announce that he is going to take a holiday so we've embraced the holiday spirit and have embarked upon a 'no- plan get away cruise'.  Let me elaborate on the 'no-plan' part, basically we have no where in particular to go in no particular timeframe so we have the luxury of seeing what the weather does and in which direction the wind blows us....literally.

So on Tuesday we set sail to Annapolis, 18.5 miles away up the bay.  We battled against a 20 mph hour head wind and 2-3 foot waves, so the crossing was safe but choppy to say the least.  We made the journey in 4 hours, most of which Tabitha spent asleep in my arms.


Annapolis is the capital city of Maryland and is home to the United States Naval Academy.  It's a town that oozes charm and history  The residential streets are a refreshing, higgledy-piggledy mix of houses that are all shapes, sizes and colours.

There is an air of piratesque fun but also a sense of respect toward the young naval recruits who proudly wander the streets with family and friends.  As we had arrived late into the afternoon we decided to take it easy on Tuesday night with a view to staying the whole day on Wednesday (today) and setting sail for destination 2 on Thursday.

                                               The night time view from Jubilee to Annapolis

It's been a hot one today reaching a high of 88F.  We all woke early and took a morning stroll around the academy.

Once breakfast had been consumed and Tabby had woken from her morning nap we hit the streets of Annapolis for some retail therapy and lunch.  Tabitha was given her first balloon which was a cause of great excitement and amusement.

                                               That balloon looks very familiar Tabitha......!

This evening as Doug and I were relaxing with a G&T in hand we were reprimanded (in a playful way) by a British man for flying our Union Jack flag upside down.  Once in conversation we learned that he and a group of disabled and abled bodied cyclists had just finished a 9 day cycle across America for the charity 'Help the Heroes'.  'BEEP!"- my internal cycle radar immediately sounded as I quizzed them on their adventure.  As we chatted more to the friendly group we were humbled by the feat they had just achieved and would suggest that if anyone wants to give to a worthy charitable cause check out the help for heroes website (

We've had a really relaxing first installment of our cruise.  We've checked the weather for the next few days and it would appear that it is only going to get hotter.  It's undecided where we will sail to next, there's talk that we may head back to the marina as it's going to reach 100 on Friday.....who knows......

                                                              Playtime on the boat!

House Update

I know I promised that I wouldn't do this again but here's another back dated entry......sorry!!  On Friday we made another trip out to Brambleton to check on the progress of the new house.  Things are looking good.............

As you can see they have poured the concrete for the floor of the basement and the garage.  They have also started to frame the internal walls in the basement.

The next stage is for the beams to be put across the basement floor which will form the first level floor- exciting!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Gym, Annapolis

Yesterday morning Tabitha and I drove 20 minutes into Annapolis so that we could have a free trial session at 'My Gym' (  This isn't a gym for me but a children's fitness center.....don't worry, I'm not cracking the whip and putting Tabby on the treadmill just yet, it's an activity and play center for babies and toddlers.  The class that Tabby signed up for is called 'Tiny Tykes' and is for babies who are aged 7 to 13 months.  The 45 minute session consisted of stretches, singing songs, free play and exploration amongst the apparatus, independent play, puppet shows and focussed activities on particular motor skills, balance and agility.  The two girls who were leading the session were oozing with big smiles and enthusiasm and kept a fast pace so that the babies didn't get bored and despondent. I had great confidence that they knew what they were doing and that the session had been properly thought out and planned.

Tabitha appeared to really enjoy her time at Tiny Tykes and was very, very excited.  She has so much energy at the moment and is desperately trying to crawl, so it was great to have a big, safe space where she could just go for it!  As well as the weekly class, we can go to the 'free play' sessions that are held there most days.  In essence we can turn up and play on the equipment in the cool, air conditioned studio.....perfect for boat dwellers and a wannabe crawler!

PS- I promise more pictures in my next blog entry..!!!! x

Monday, June 18, 2012

Blog Cheat....

I'm afraid that I'm being a bit of a 'blog cheat' today by lumping last week into one post.....very lazy.  I must admit the week that has just passed was a bit of a strange one, in truth I lost a few days due to sickness.  Some sort of 48 hour bug hit me hard on Wednesday and that night was the first time in 6 weeks that I longed to be back on dry land and living in a house.....we'll say no more!  Doug looked after me in my hour of need and took the day off work on Thursday to help me look after Tabitha as I just didn't have the strength to be on my own.  A couple of days passed where I felt weak and tired but I'm all fully recovered now.

Following our cruise to St. Michael's last weekend we were planning to sail there again on Friday as a special Fathers Day (weekend) treat but due to my state all plans changed and we decided to have a quiet weekend at the Marina instead.

On Saturday we travelled out to the house.  Again we were pleased to see that good progress is being made.  The foundation passed the inspection on Tuesday and they should begin to pour the concrete for the garage and basement floor this week.  On the way back to the boat we stopped in Reston and were surprised to see that it was the 'Reston Festival of Food'.  The town center was closed to cars and all the local restaurants had stalls with small samples of their dishes to try- yum!  There was also live music which was fun.

Sunday was an exciting day- Doug's first Fathers Day.  I had planned to get up very early to take part in a summer solstice yoga session on the beach from 5.30-6.30am with the yoga teacher I take Saturday morning classes with.  I was relying on my little 'baby alarm' to wake me up at the usual 4.30am but much to my surprise I was the first one awake at 7am- shame about the yoga (my karma was upset all day!) but what bliss to have a lie in.  Tabitha made a great fuss of Doug and showered him with cards and gifts.  I'm afraid that's about as good as it got for poor old Doug as illness blew my plans to stock up the fridge with the ingredients for french toast (Doug's favourite breakfast) and the rest of the day was taken up with boat chores and a trip to Walmart (UK equivalent....Matalan...but not as nice..)

Let's hope that as we enter into week 6 that I'm a bit healthier and will have more to report back.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekend Cruise to St. Michaels

Over the weekend Doug, Tabby and I all set sail  for St. Michael's, a quaint colonial town brimming with Chesapeake Bay history.  On Saturday morning we left for our epic over night sail with enough rations to sink a ship......the wind was reasonable and was blowing between 5-10 knots which meant that although we were unable to sail all the way we were able to let a bit of wind tickle old Jubilee's sails.

After 5 hours of sailing-motoring we arrived into St. Michaels harbour and dropped anchor next to our friends Sunny and Glen who had also sailed from the marina that morning on their boat Solare.  We rafted the two boats together and settled in for the night with drinks and a BBQ after I had a quick swim in the bay.  Tabitha settled quickly and even managed to sleep through a firework display from a wedding in the town. The night was so peaceful on the water.

                                                        Our bedtime view from Jubilee

We were all awake at the break of dawn.  I swam in the bay again and we breakfasted on board. At around 11am we took Sunny and Glen's dingy over to St. Michael's for lunch and a look around the shops.  The town is really lovely, very picturesque with a really good selection of restaurants and shops.  Our visit was a brief one that wetted my appetite to return again.

  The town of St. Michaels

On our return to the marina mother nature was not on our side so we had to motor all the way back.  Tabby was in her element playing throughout the sail and much to Doug's delight she seems to have an alarming interest in his new navigation electronics for the boat.....a true sailor in the making...!

House Week 2...

Fridays will now be renamed as 'check on the new house day'......For the last few weeks we have driven the long, hot and sticky journey from the Chesapeake Bay out to Brambleton to check on progress.  Last Friday was no exception.  Amid the banging and growling of diggers and cement mixers Doug and I were both amazed and excited to see that in a week the foundation, walls for the basement and floor have all been built......EXCITING!  

This picture shows the beginnings of the house looking from the front.  The corner wall that you can see will be the study and the far wall right at the back will be the garage. To the right of the digger claw will be the front door and the dining room.

This is the view from inside the basement from the back looking out to the front.  To the left of the picture will be Doug's 'Command Centre'.......don't ask......?!!

The foundation is due to be inspected tomorrow (Tuesday).  Once this is done they will start to build onwards and upwards!  We are being told that we should be in by September but Doug and I are both secretly harboring the hope that the house will be completed sooner.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The first sail of the season

Doug and I woke up on Sunday morning and decided it was time to blow a few cobwebs away and take Jubilee out for a sail.  Before any sea voyage was to be started we felt it was imperative that Tabitha tried out her life jacket for size.  As you can see she was all smiles.

Here we are out on the waves..

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Our Jubilee Party

As any true Brit would, I felt compelled to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee over the weekend and what better place to celebrate but on Jubilee herself?!   As always, Doug was amazing and was a brilliant help in all the organising.  Armed with a special parcel full of Union Jack bunting and flags (courtesy of Mum) he merrily decorated Jubilee in way she has never been seen before.  The union Jack waved proudly in the air and was surrounded by other commonwealth flags including the flag of Canada and British Columbia given to us by our friend Sunny on the dock.

We invited all our friends from the dock and kept them fed and watered with that truly English drink of Pimms and Lemonade and custom designed chocolate and vanilla cup-cakes from the very exclusive Georgetown Cup-Cake- they were absolutely delicious!   The afternoon and early evening all blended into one amid a few lines of 'god save the queen' and demands for some more of that 'warm, sweet drink.'

Everyone seemed to have a ball.  Tabitha of course was the star of the show and looked stunning in her special party outfit...........

Towards the end of the evening Doug, myself and Tabby, Chris and Becky (our friends from Annapolis) and Meg, Jim and Joey had a BBQ in one of the picnic areas.  Tabby who usually has a melt down by 6.30pm was in the party spirit and stayed up late playing with her little friend Joey well into the evening.  We had great fun, lots of laughs not to mention the fact that I learned that Meg also has a slight obsession with the shop Anthropologie......

Two little cuties....

I'm sure that old Queenie would have been proud of her Jubilee party on the good ship Jubilee!

At Last!

We drove to the new house on Friday and were so excited (and relieved) to see that they have finally begun to build- yay!  The digger was busy at work and we could actually see a house shaped hole in the ground!  It's all starting to feel very real and living on the boat seems like less of a leap of faith!

Only 6 weeks behind schedule......