by Bob Bob

Block Island behind us, and our first boat show of the season looming, we cruised into Newport awaiting directions from the dock master at the Newport Yachting Center. Once settled into our slip, we greeted our fellow boat company associates-turned-friends as they pulled in. We sort of equate the boat shows to being in the circus! We unpack our wares, work the show, pack up again, head to the next location, and do it all again!

The next day, Monday, the fun began! We had to turn our live aboard vessel into a boat show masterpiece. John began with polishing all the outside stainless steel (a big job), I scrubbed the dinghy, and then we washed every square inch of the outside. Tuesday a friend came down from Boston to visit and (lucky me!) I got the afternoon off! Newport is a very fun place to visit….lots of marine history, beautiful mansions, cute shops, and excellent restaurants. One note about our favorite restaurant Rhode Island Quahog Company, a place we love to visit every year for their excellent clam chowder (definitely the best I’ve ever had)…apparently out of business! We were devestated. But despite the demise of the Rhode Island Quahog Company, definitely put Newport on your “go to” list if you haven’t been there already.

Wednesday it was back to work…thoroughly cleaning the inside of the boat, and setting everything up. We were eagerly anticipating the kick-off of the fall boat show season, so we were charged up and the work was fun and invigorating. Thursday through Sunday we worked the show under sunny, blue skies. We have, in past years, experienced nor’easters where the rain was falling sideways, so we were particularly appreciative of the lovely fall weather. The attendance was bigger than we’d ever seen, altho that’s not necessarily indicative of boat buyers. But everybody was in a good mood and having a grand time. Best of all, one of our owners who resides in Newport, pointed us in the direction of a restaurant called “@ the Deck” where on Monday nights you can get a gigantic lobster roll + fries for only $6.95. It was such a great deal that even John walked out saying “I almost feel like I didn’t pay enough” !!! And if you know John, you’ll really appreciate that comment!

Monday we had planned to make the trek down Long Island Sound to our next gig in Norwalk, CT. But the winds and the waves were just too big, so most of us decided to hang out and make the trip on Tuesday. It was a good chance to relax and enjoy the town (AND allowed us to get that lobster roll. Sometimes being delayed isn’t so bad!) Tuesday brought calmer winds and waves, and we headed out.

Safely docked at Norwalk Cove Marina, the washing began once again, only this time in a more abbreviated fashion. I took time off on Wednesday to have lunch with some childhood girl friends who still live in the area, which was very fun. Thursday we were ready when the show opened at 10. Our dogs, M.E. and Macey, went to doggie day care (the only boat show that provides this service) and had a blast! We worked hard during the days and had fun at night reconnecting with more old friends.