Tuesday, November 4, 2014

England Trip

At the end of October this year Michelle and I celebrated our 30th anniversary a little early by taking a trip to England together.  We took about 1,500 pictures, but I'm sure we can eventually pare that down to just a few to post here.  Here is one picture for now.

Until we post more pictures, the map below should give you an idea of the ground we covered.  For the first 6 days we drove to various places, staying somewhere different each night.  We drove over 600 miles and saw Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, Bath, Gloucester Cathedral, Gadfield Elm Chapel, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick Castle, Kenilworth Castle, Brooksby Manor, Cambridge University, Canterbury Cathedral, the White Cliffs of Dover, Dover Castle, and of course, the many sights in London. (The underlined cities are the places we stayed.)

Here is a map of our travels before we got to London. The start and end point was Gatwick Airport and we did the circuit in clockwise fashion from there. Driving on the left-hand side of the road, in a manual transmission car, shifting with my left hand, was interesting to say the least; but we made it!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saratoga & North Creek Railway

Today we went with Steve and Lisa Smith on the Saratoga & North Creek Railway. The day started off rainy and we were afraid that all the leaves would have already fallen off because we were headed even further North. But as you can see from the pictures, it turned out to be a beautiful day.

The funniest thing happened.  After we'd been going for about 1/2 hour on the train the conductor came by and said that because the rain had brought leaves down onto the track making it slippery they were going to have to back up and start forward again.  So they backed all the way back to the station in Saratoga.  Then they VERY SLOWLY started heading back to North Creek.  It took forever.  We left the station at 10:00am and were supposed to arrive at 12:12pm.  We didn't end up getting to North Creek until 2:00pm.  We were scheduled to have 3.5 hours in North Creek, but they told us they were going to keep to the schedule of leaving at 3:45pm giving us only 1 hour 45 minutes there.  As it turned out we didn't end up leaving until 4:30pm which got us into the station in Saratoga at 7:00pm - an hour later than scheduled.

Lisa and I.

Can you believe how beautiful it was!
And the mist from the rain just made it look even prettier.
The contrast between the cloudy sky and the vibrant colors was amazing.

Glen and Steve.

We ate at a cute little cafe - Cafe Sarah.  Glen and I had ham, brie, apple, and onion sandwiches on a baguette.  Lisa and Steve had fresh mozzarella with basil pesto and tomato paninis.  And we all got yummy cookies.  It was a great place to eat.

We were a little disappointed that we didn't have more time in North Creek.  But after eating lunch and looking the the Hudson River Trading Company store, there wasn't much else to do.  So then we didn't feel as bad that we didn't have more time.  What a fun way to spend a Fall day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Arkell Museum in Cahajoharie, NY

Today I went to the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie, NY. It is a museum that has an extensive collection of American paintings, primarily from 1860–1940, as well as historical exhibits about the history of the Mohawk River Valley and of the Beech-Nut babyfood company.

The Canajoharie Library was founded in 1924, and a gallery was added in 1927. The museum was originally built to house copies of European masterpieces and original 19th-century American paintings collected by Bartlett Arkell, then the town's leading industrialist.

The permanent collection includes twenty-one paintings by Winslow Homer, works by all members of The Eight, and paintings by leading American Impressionists such as Childe Hassam. George Inness and Ralph Blakelock are also well represented by several works in this impressive collection. American paintings from the 20th century include realist and regionalist works by Paul Sample, Ogden Pleissner and Thomas Hart Benton.

 I got a postcard of this Winslow Homer called The Pumpkin Patch.  It reminds me of living here in the Mohawk Valley.

This was another of my favorite Winslow Homer paintings.  It's hard to tell from the photo, the the actual painting was wonderful!

On the drive home we headed over to Palentine Bridge and saw some Amish horse and buggies.

I live in an incredibly beautiful part of upstate New York.  And it is at it's most glorious in the Fall!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Lake George in the Fall

Saturday Glen and I went to Lake George. It was Museum Day Live! An annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket… for free.

So we got tickets to Fort William Henry at the South end of Lake George. We’ve lived here in upstate New York for almost 26 years and have never gone into the fort. So we took advantage of the free pass and went and saw it.
You can see the trees starting to change colors off in the distant hills.  It was such a nice day!

Our tour guide talked all about the fort and the history.  He also shot off the cannon, a riffle, and threw a grenade (well, something that looked like a grenade).

We were in the stocks.  And it wasn't comfortable at all.  After just a few minutes our thighs were starting to hurt.  If you had to stand there very long you would be really miserable!  But I guess that was the point, wasn't it.

The fort was completely destroyed in 1757 during the French and Indian War.  But it was rebuilt in the 50s using the original building plans that were still in a file somewhere in England.

The trees surrounding Lake George haven’t changed a whole lot, but it was still beautiful.  After we toured the fort we went walking along the shoreline.  We ran into Kathy and Lauren Sullivan and Ken, Cindy, and Parker Jensen.  The Sullivan’s were sitting in Adirondak chairs overlooking the lake and the Jensen’s walked by and were talking to them when we walked up.  We all had a nice chat before heading our own directions.

Glen and I walked around the bottom of the lake and then up and then headed back to the car.
We went to the Barnsider Smoke House for dinner.  It’s become somewhat of a tradition lately.  We’ve eaten there at least three times over the last couple of years.  They have fantastic ribs!

Talk about a beautiful place to live.  I always feel so blessed this time of year to be able to live here where Fall is so beautiful!

Then we headed home.  Glen had to pack for his trip to Qatar and I had to go to the General Women’s Broadcast.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Happy 18th Birthday Lauren!

Happy 18th Birthday Lauren!  We love you!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hudson River Valley

Today I went to the Vanderbilt Mansion, the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Val-Kill, Eleanor Roosevelt's home after her husband passed away.  It was a beautiful day and it was really fun to go see something I've wanted to see for a long time.

 You can see why they choose this piece of property.  The views of the Hudson Valley were incredible!

 This home was the smallest of the 43 mansions built by Vanderbilt children.  Hard to imagine the bigger ones isn't it!

Just down Route 9 a little further South is the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt. This is the home he was born in and the one he died in.

Because we were there the day after Memorial Day there were still all these wreaths by FDR's grave.

Nancy Crapo and I

This is Val-Kill, Eleanore Roosevelt's home after FDR passed away.

 The Parks Service person said that they have preserved this home because of Eleanore's work with the United Nation. She met with many really important leaders of countries here.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Flute Recital

Lauren was in a flute recital of Brittany Feuerstein.  She was in a flute quartet with her at Schenectady County Community College.  They had a week long music camp last summer where they learned about chamber music, then they gave Professor Brett Wery some ideas for the kind of music they'd like him to write for them.  Mr. Wery spent his sabbatical semester writing the piece "a tough and resilient town" about the Boston bombing.  The quartet got to debut the piece at a performance in January. 

Brittany asked if the quartet would come perform the 
piece again for her recital, which they did. 
They also played an arrangement of the
 "Stars and Stripes" that Brittany had arranged.

   In the piece Lauren gets to play the alto flute for parts of it.  

 L to R: Samantha Burgess (she played a duet with Brittany) 
Brittany Fuerstein, Alex DuMont, Graham Wolfe, and Lauren.