Tag Archives: travel

Our State Fair is a Great State Fair

The old song. Rogers and Hammerstein. Anyone?

We’re going to the New York State Fair in about a week and a half. Can’t wait! Carnival rides? Animal and agricultural exhibits? Old-timey reenactments? A haunted house? Tents featuring local foods? Visit, hell. I might just move in. I used to totally do the whole all-the-rides thing, but as I’m sure many others have learned, age is now preventing me from going on anything that spins or goes in a circle. Especially if it’s going fast. I’ll still totally do rollercoasters, ferris wheels, haunted houses, halls of mirrors, and water rides though. Awesome.

I’ve never been to a state fair. I generally find the county fairs small and boring, so I’m awfully excited about the super-sized version. I was looking at the exhibits and schedules, and I started taking down a list of things I can’t miss. (Luckily,  someone whose name starts with “Mere” and ends with “dith” who we’re going to be visiting in Syracuse, has a very similar list to mine.) And I suppose, to be fair, a lot of the things on my list are sort of quick walk-throughs or short look-ats. Hey, what would be on the top of your list for your state fair?

This is my Short List …

  • 18th century farm life demos in the Agricultural Museum
  • The barns … can’t miss the Ag & Livestock shows!
  • Empire State Theatre & Musical Instrument Museum … with Organ Recitals!
  • Pie, jam, jelly, cakes, et al
  • The Dairy Barn – New York State milk for cheap, and local cheese!
  • The Haunted House
  • The (Landmarked) Horticulture House, exhibits of NYS native flora
  • International Exhibit – Empanadas, Bratwurst, Tempura, Baklava …
  • Iroquois Village – Including gifts, food, traditional crafts for the Six Nations
  • Petting Zoo. They have a giraffe. ‘Nuff said.
  • Pride of New York General Store – Featuring only NYS items

The list is already long! This doesn’t even include whatever few rides we might want to avail ourselves of. Well, one thing’s for sure. There’s no way I’m going to miss the life size butter and cheese sculptures!



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Sure Signs

Well, we may very well indeed get another snow storm to round out the Winter.

But yesterday, in this little village in the Northern Adirondacks, it was undoubtedly Spring. There’s no arguing the point. What else am I to think when all the obvious signs are in place? The driveway is clear. It’s over 40 degrees, the Sun is super bright, and I had a need for sunglasses yesterday. The snow is melting, and the grass is showing. Sounds like Spring, no? Further evidence? Isn’t it Spring when the first hotdogs start showing up out in the yard? Well, there wasn’t a grill, but there was a helluva hot dog. This is what I saw when I looked out my window yesterday afternoon.


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The Virtual Vacation

I find that when I am reading a particular subject, I am largely transported there for some days. It’s gotten to the point where I really have a great deal of fun deciding, “I’m going to England this week.” I stop by the library, grab a few books, and I’m off.

I checked out the Fodor’s Guide to London a few weeks ago. I remember really loving the Fodor’s New York as a kid, so I thought I might like it. Interesting enough, but it was really pretty dry. I think I was really looking more for English Countryside than London. And it didn’t quite immerse me in the UK like I would have liked.

However, last week I checked out Turn Left at the Pub, Walking Tours of the English Countryside. Awesome. Absolutely awesome.

I’ve found that I’m in love with the village of Lower Slaughter. Get this – In Lower Slaughter, a stream runs down the middle of town, with the shops and homes set just a few yards back. Almost seems as if the stream were the High Street. (Pictured.) Awesome.

Next week, I’m going to Provence. Where do you go on Virtual Vacation?


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Back in Action

And, here I am, friends.

downsized_1013090712I’m totally back into the swing of my little Adirondack charms-of-the-country world. That’s how it feels this morning anyway – the first snow outside is gorgeous, I tromped over through the blanketed evergreens to visit friends this morning, the dog romped in the fluff for a while, and I’m having my coffee and my toast by the window, watching the flakes come down. 

Yesterday was a little less idyllic – I finished up the clean-up and haul-off on one side of the house. But no matter. Today isn’t about reality. The flakes are coming down a bit harder as I type, and my only plans today involve snow-exploring and hot chocolate. 

The trip to Philadelphia was wonderful, and thanks so much for the well-wishes via comments here and Facebook friends. It was nice to have you with me. The show went nicely, and I got to play an awesome 9′ Steinway. Super fun. I’ll have a short video-of-questionable-quality up in a few days. Just a little tour of the space and a few notes on the big piano. 

downsized_1010091533Know what I really loved though? New Hope, Pennsylvania. I had never been, and a side trip with friends showed me what I was missing. It’s an absolutely gorgeous little town – super quaint and unlike many quaint downtowns – really quite bustling. Dozens of interesting stores, lots of variety, beautiful buildings, and a serious anchor in the form of a major regional theatre. With all these shops and restaurants, a few B&Bs, and the theatre – people everywhere. This place is a total destination. Anyhow. I was very impressed. New Hope is just about the best model of a revitalized downtown I’ve seen in a very long time. (Saranac Lake, where art thou?)


Are things good around here? They’re as good as they’re going to get, and that’s something to celebrate. It’s a beautiful day in the Adirondacks.


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Playing With History

Friends, I’m in Philadelphia. 

Photo 6And don’t even think of going by to pester the girls (Miss Mona, Gwen, Shelley, and Doatsy Mae the chickens) – the neighbors are watching them. Said awesome neighbors are watching the dog and the hens, and we had a right nice drive down to The City of Brotherly Love. We’re at a friend’s home for the stay-over, and in the Edgar Allan Poe department, check out the Fortuitous Feline lodged here!

I think I’ve mentioned before – I adore Philadelphia. Absolutely adore it. Although, you’d expect as much, coming from a person who has watched the John Adams mini-series at least six times. Tomorrow, I’ll be in rehearsal at 2pm, and we’ll be performing the show at 7pm. I have to say, I’m more than a little excited. I do love playing it, and performing it on a 9′ Steinway is certainly better than a stick in the eye. 

I brought my Fl!p camera and tripod to video the show, but we perform it by candlelight and oil lamps only, so we’ll see if it comes out. Perhaps I’ll have some vid for you on Monday.

RittenhouseSquare1If you’re the curious history-buff type – We’re going to be playing in a space right on Rittenhouse Sqaure in the historic area, which is awfully cool. One of my favorite Philly places, along with Elfreth’s Alley. According to our friends at Wikipedia, “Rittenhouse Square is one of the five original open-space parks planned by William Penn and his surveyor Thomas Holme during the late 17th century in central Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.” 

You have an awesome weekend too!


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Go!ng W!ld

Know anything about Adirondack Natural History?

I do. Thanks to The Wild Center. We took a trip over to this gem of a small museum in Tupper Lake weekend before last, and it is pretty awesome. And I might add, the best gift shop in the Adirondacks, for my money. How lucky we are here in the Adirondacks, to have this awesome place and The Adirondack Museum right in our midst. Friends, I’m a total Museum Person, and I lived in NYC for twenty years. I’ve seen the-best-of-the-best museum-wise, and these two places totally rank.

If a picture paints a thousand words, here’s six-thousand.








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The Inflatawheelycraft

Remember that wicked evening thunderstorm?

000_1590I forgot the house no longer had a roof. My inflatable canoe was still in the kitchen, inside the old house. Needless to say, it filled with filthy old-house water, filtered through 100 year old beams and rotted insulation. Tasty. Well, I dumped it out, and then realized I could just take it out the old back door to rinse it off. Needing some place to dry it out upside down, well … there’s always the carriage. And when I got it up there – Voila! A new Adirondack vehicle! The Inflatawheelycraft!



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