On Wednesday Rachel and I went canoeing. Just off Empire Boulevard in Webster is a little water wilderness: Florida without the alligators but with turtles, ducks, birds, a swan and the two us exploring the waterways as no Gracie or Kluyt has before!
After we are supplied with swimvests, peddles and the canoe we ask the renter: “Where should we go?”
“Go out that way for half an hour and then turn back!”, comes the reply. Easy. I’m sure the Iroquois were equally helpful and pointed when Lewis and Clark came through.
We get in and peddle away. I suspect regular canoe-ers don’t describe their activity as peddling but we are weaving from left to right on the waterway and so peddling seems an adequate description. After a while we became a little more coordinated about who peddles on the left side and who on the right. On wood logs we see turtles basking in the sun. I try to take a picture but we float too close and they slip under water. Didn’t know there were turtles in New York, though.
Further down there’s a stream to the right, we steer into it but it turns out a dead end so we turn back. A little later there’s another turn-off to the right. We take it and this one does seem to carry on through the reeds. It gets smaller and smaller eventually becoming just twice as wide as our canoe is.
A little later, while we are hard at work not getting stuck in the reeds on the left then on the right, we hear voices up ahead. Around the bend a kayak appears with an elderly man as, ehh, skillfully navigating his kayak as we are our canoe. We pull to the side which is now a rather relative action as the stream is about as wide as our canoe. But with a little pushing and pulling the kayak passes us. He is all covered in green weed. “How long does this carry on?” he asks. “Gets wider quite soon,” we answer. Behind him is a young guy in another kayak. His son we decide. He daftly maneuvers his kayak past us all relaxed and in clean white dress.
We push on. The trail gets narrower and narrower. We look on our watches and see that already half an hour has sped us by. Better turn around because it doesn’t look like we’ll get to open water soon this way. Makes us wonder what route the son took the dad on his first kayaking expedition. Alright, turn around, but the path between the reeds is about as wide as the canoe.
Easy, Rachel and I just turn around in our seats and so I am now at the front and Rachel at the back. We zigzag back and get back to the open water. We have the wind in the back now. Ahead of us is a swan. Obviously impressed by our skill and grace she veers in a wide right turn and we pass her by. A little while later we are back at the rental place and dock the ship.
While we are waiting for the rental person to come over so we can pay for the rental, we look around in the shop. Lots of vests, peddles and other essential kayaking resources but also little waterproof boots for dogs! That’s just reason enough to get a puppy!
Next we carry on along Empire Boulevard to the cinema a few miles further up. Checking on the times for “Get Smart”. The next showing is in an hour and 40 minutes. We go the to desk to buy tickets. The agent, surprised: “But it isn’t in another hour and a half!?”
“We know,” we say, “we’re going to have lunch first” and get back into Dr Frits to head over to AppleBee’s. They have Mango-Banana smoothies, just have to have one. Rachel sadly must settle for a Diet Coke as all their smoothies seem to have banana in them to which she’s allergic. I order a Bruschetta Burger. Had one a few weeks ago but then tomatoes were unhealthy. Now the FDA has decided that tomatoes are no longer dangerous and so I have a chance to enjoy the recipe at full.
Back to the cinema. We’re well in time to watch all the previews and decide that we must also see “The Love Guru”, “Hell-boy 2”, “The X-Files” and “Wall-E”. A busy summer! The movie starts and we happily giggle away at the adventures of Maxwell Smart and Agent 99.
On the way back we come past our temporary apartment when we moved here 3 1/2 years ago. We are most happy to drive past it on our way to our Castle in Brunswick Street.