We said goodbye to Vicky & Frank's farm and the lovely menagerie of beasts and hit the road again. We headed east along the lesser traveled road in lieu of the freeway and drove right on by the Jell-O Museum. How could we do that?! It took a lot of restraint. Have I made you my grandma's jello salad?! Legendary.
Onward to the finger lake(s).
"See that lake out the window boys? That's still the same lake!"
Halfway down Seneca Lake we stopped for some lunch at The Showboat. The menu proudly told its fun history and I quickly noted that Captain Kangeroo came there often. The kids were more interested in grilled cheese.
I include this photo, sorry mom, purely to say that this is where my mom lost her wallet, on the patio of this restaurant on the shore of this really really deep deep lake. It shows how close she was to losing it in the lake, n'ere to be seen again. Thankfully it was found, dry and complete, a few days later and returned. Happy ending at the Captain Kangeroo Cafe.
Our next stop was somewhat near the south end of the lake: Watkins Glen. Did I ever come here when I was little? I can't remember. But seeing how close it was to where we lived, I kept wondering why not. It is a lovely, beautiful, scenic place! With over 800 steps along the path to view all of its wonders. (I'm starting to understand maybe why they didn't bring me here. maybe I was a complainer when I was little... I'll have to ask.)
But we started in high spirits. So much green and interesting rocky bits and wonderfully carved rocks and waterways. Every step was a picture.
(Thank you generous person for offering to take a picture with ME in it! AND for not taking off with my expensive brand new camera/phone! New Yorkers are the best.)
Here's where things started to get shaky. In bad parenting example #1, I had come on this hike unprepared: I had not packed water. Plenty of water in the car. Not a drop with us. We were about 1/2 way up (or 1/2 way down?) and Jbird was thirsty. We were surrounded by water, but couldn't drink any. (Yes, Dad, your oft spoken quote from Rime of the Ancient Mariner rang through my head.) There was crankiness followed by madness that resulted in running away and then slipping on wet rocks and falling (bad parenting example #2 he's wearing crocs, not proper walking shoes.) Then there is utter sadness. Followed by my carrying him up the remainder of the path. (Thanks to all those who volunteered a guess after my Facebook post. In truth, I don't know just how many steps I carried him, but it had to be 100? 200? )
At the end of our travails, we were rewarded with ice cream, a playscape and a shuttle ($3 per person!) back down the glen. Whew! Here's mom at the top. What a trooper.
Onward we drove to perfect Quaker Lake. My great aunt and uncle had a house there and growing up, that's where we'd be on Sundays all summer long. My brother raced sunfish sailboats with my cousins and uncle. I would braid my other cousin's hair and swim and swim and hunt for blueberries and other treasures. On rainy days we'd play endless games and count daddy long legs in the pink bathroom (that was probably just me...) It was a wonderful place to spend a summer. The boys got to see it for themselves a couple of years ago and even Nbear could remember the route and was getting more excited as we got closer and closer.
At last! Yeah! Here's some people we know!
fruits of our labor at the duty free. Ah.
The first thing the boys did upon waking up the following morning was to run down to the lake to lay some squirt-gun traps for George, to pick up the battle where it left off 2 years ago.
This was followed by several days of the following scenes:
Duck Feeding (check out how clear that water is folks!)
Sailing. Or getting ready to sail. So many boats. So little time.
Eating. Outside. Always.
Thanks Jim for all of the fabulous pizza. Bacon Pizza is FABULOUS. who knew?
Yes. Pancakes on the grill.
Dishes. Thanks mom!
When we weren't doing all that other stuff we were playing games till all hours.
Also can't forget the fireworks.
and then it was time to go. Until next time.