September 9-19, 2012
Experienced Loopers had told us that we would love Green Turtle Bay Marina and that we would probably spend a week there, recuperating from the challenging trip on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Also, the marina offers a tempting deal – stay 5 nights and get two more nights free – so you can hardly pass up the opportunity to stay a week. We ended up staying even longer, as we waited a few more days to connect with friend Mike Fasoldt from Glendale, who was traveling through the area on his way to Nebraska.
There is no doubt we were all pretty exhausted after the rivers!
And the boat was really dirty and in need of a good clean-up. So for the first several days in Green Turtle Bay, we spent most of each morning cleaning inside and out. Craig also spent a full day repairing the adhesive that holds the davit hardware to our dinghy. The adhesive takes two days to cure, so this was a good opportunity to get that job done. By the time we left GTB, Blue Heron was spotless. To paraphrase friend Marc from Marc’s Ark, you can’t keep a boat clean no matter what you do, but it felt good to get her back in “pre-river” form, at least until the next onslaught of spiders and other messy bugs.
But our stay in Green Turtle Bay wasn’t all work and no play. It was a good place to pamper ourselves a bit, and we took advantage of the swimming pool and really nice spa (pedicure!). I took an Aqua Zumba class one morning that was pretty laughable. The iPod speakers weren’t working, so the instructor was the only one who could hear the music and the rest of us had to try to follow along without any clue as to what might be coming next. But it got us moving for an hour, and it was free, so no complaints.
One day we rode our bikes into the little town of Grand Rivers. Nice little place with a few shops and restaurants. After all the ice cream stops we’ve made along the Loop, we couldn’t pass up this one!
The marina was full of other Loopers, maybe ten or twelve boats. One night a group of us went to Patti’s 1880’s Restaurant, an almost obligatory stop on the Loop, and home of the famous 2 inch pork chop. That sounded like way too much meat for me, but Craig ordered it and enjoyed it for dinner that night and for lunch the next two days.
We also had a fun dinner one night at a tiny place called Sugar and Spice, run by an accomplished chef and restaurateur who in her golden years has decided to limit herself to giving cooking lessons and preparing private meals for small groups in her home. Eight of us (Muriel June, Paddy Wagon, Say Good-Bye and Blue Heron) were served a wonderful meal in the dining room adjoining her kitchen.
The chef’s name is Marilyn and her assistant is Norma Jean, if you can believe that. Marilyn’s husband picked us up from the marina and drove us back after dinner. He’s blind as a bat, and drives very slowly (“watching for deer,” he says), but it was a very short trip and we got there and back safely. It was a fun, different sort of evening.
There is a small, Branson-style musical theater in Grand Rivers, and one night we went to “The Super 60’s Show,” two and a half hours of non-stop 60’s music and dancing built around a very loose storyline. It was really well done, loads of fun, and had us singing along (for the next few days, actually).
Our last day in Green Turtle Bay, friend Mike arrived and spent the night on board with us. The next morning, we took him for a short ride on Lake Barkley before he hit the road again. It was good to see him, and we appreciated the several items he brought us from home. (Including more shorts for Craig, who destroys clothing in the engine room at an alarming rate!)
After 10 days, the boat was clean, we were rejuvenated, and it was time to move along. So we said good-bye to Green Turtle Bay and their wonderful, helpful staff and promised to come back again. It would be a fun trip from Cincinnati after we finish the Loop.
Love their logo!
Next, peaceful cruising on Kentucky Lake.
(Real-time update – On October 2, we are preparing to leave Ditto Landing marina just south of Huntsville, Alabama, on the Tennessee River, heading next for Guntersville.)