If I had a million dollars

I wouldn’t be as worried about this as I am. What a great start to a Tuesday. 

Everyone is fine physically. Thanks go out to a couple coworkers who stopped on their way into the office and even left me their car to get to the office with. 

Sigh. Oh Bother. 

 

Sailing…takes me away

Just 7 days longer and away we go……Goodbye New England, Hello Bermuda!Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 8.37.58 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 8.37.18 PMNext Sunday we toss the bags in the trunk, The Kiddo in the backseat, and we head or NJ for our fabulous Celebrity cruise. I won’t have  a connection but will post some pictures and updates once we are back. The best part is the day after we come back is the first day of school!

 

Grapehounds 2015

Last week we ventured out for the annual Grapehounds Wine Tour. We packed up the Doggies, The Kid and all of our stuff (in the new Cargo box attached to the back of the car) and set out for Fun and Frivolity. As you can see, The Kid wanted to get in on the selfie action.

Our first stop of our travel Thursday was Las Chicas Taqueria in Owego, NY, a staple in the food consumption of a winery weekend.The Hubby had a burrito, I had the Enchiladas and The Kiddo had a Taco and Chips. I know I say this every time but the food here really is fabulous.

We arrived at the hotel around mid afternoon and checked in, we picked a new Motel this year based on some things we had heard from others. It was slightly cheaper than the place we usually stay and just a tad closer to town. Overall it was a good place, lots of space for The Kid to play in with a Basketball court and open fields. We had 2 queen beds and a sofa but still plenty of room for the puppies so that we weren’t all on top of each other. The bonus was the balcony we had, though really only big enough for 2 chairs for The Hubby and I it was a welcome addition to the room.

Thursday night in addition to the Welcome reception (and check in for the weekend) we met up with our friends in the area (more on them later) for a concert at one of the Wineries on the West Shore. Fox Run Vineyards was hosting a Garlic Festival over the weekend which included a kick off concert with a band from Vancouver called The Town Pants. The above picture is Duane who is one of the founders of this Celtic Roots Musical group. Along with guitar the band includes Drums, Banjo, standing Bass, and Fiddle. This is not normally our type of music but I must say they are a very good group and we thoroughly enjoyed the concert.

THIS VIEW!

How can you not love it

Friday found us on the East Side of Seneca Lake, as we are wont to do we started at the furthest stop which happened to be a Brewery/Distillery and worked our way south back to the Motel which was on the West Side of the lake. In all we stopped at 6 wineries in addition to the Brewery and grabbed lunch at this roadside place called Big Johnson’s. Now say what you will about these local yokel places on the side of the road, but the Burger I had was damn good. We were a few tattoos and some leather short of actually fitting in there, but it was lunch time and we sat outside. The service was what we expected and the people extremely accommodating to let us have the dogs with us near the table.

7 Wineries you say, yes 7 in one day! There are so many wineries on each side of the lake and most are practically next door to each other or maybe a 1/4 of a mile down the road it’s easy to hit that many or more. We could have probably visited 1 or 2 more but the ones we stopped at were most of our favorites in the area so we tend to linger and chit chat not just taste and run.

Our friend Amanda works at Atwater Winery, which is celebrating their 15th Anniversary this year, and she created these limited edition labels for 4 of their wines. My 2 Favorites are the ones in the middle, the white Running and the Blue Standing. The Blue bottle also happens to be Celcius their Ice Wine option. I won’t even get into how many bottles I came home with.
Here’s Duncan! It’s unusual he sits still long enough to let me snap a picture of him. Mabel felt the need to walk away so all we get to see of her is her tail.

Friday night we met up with our favorite Pickle Hollow resident Toppie Smellie from The Smellcast Podcast. He is always so gracious in meeting us when we are in town. We had a lovely dinner at Falls Restaurant and Tavern (or The Rustic Lodge as we call it), then we all walked across the street for dessert at Not Your Daddy’s Ice Cream.

Saturday our schedule was dictated by 2 very different items, the first was out of our control the 2nd was scheduled. This weekend along with Grapehounds invading the lake, The Watkins Glen Italian Festival was taking place. The last few years these were scheduled on different weekends but worlds collided again this year. We needed to be on whichever side of the lake we were going to be on before 11. See there is only 1 road that can get you through Downtown Watkins and that road was to be closed from 12-3 for the Parade. Since we felt the wrath of Parade traffic a few years ago we knew we wanted to be nowhere near it so we opted for the West Shore Wineries that day.

We started the day off with breakfast at the Penn Yan Diner with one of The Hubbies former Navy Shipmates and his son who live in the area we were visiting. Tiny does not begin to describe this place. If i recall correctly  there was seating for 20 not including the lunch counter space which was maybe an additional 8. Not surprisingly there was a crowd waiting for tables. There were pancakes and eggs and french toast all around the table, I opted for what is called The Uncle Terry, a biscuit sliced in half smothered in sausage gravy, topped with Eggs (I had mine scrambled but should have gone with over easy), served with a side of hashbrowns. Everyone was super jealous of my amazing breakfast.

One of the draws to the weekend is the Host Winery where all of the greyhound vendors set up shop to hawk their wares. We stopped by on our way to the northern most participating location so The Hubby could pick up some stickers for the Car and Cargo box. I found a cute windsock which I purchased and then off we went to Winery hop. Again we hit 6 wineries and a brewery called Climbing Bines which has Hops growing on their property instead of grapes. The stops on Saturdays winery listed also included one of our favorites Lakewood Vineyards where Tracy works, he also happens to be the husband of Amanda from Atwater (it’s so incestuous up there with the wineries). Saturday ended with dinner, wine, good conversation, and S’mores made over a good old fashioned camp fire built by the hubby at Tracy and Amanda’s house.

Since we were on the West Side of the lake that meant we could have lunch at the FLX Wienery. The best food in a 10 mile radius (and I don’t just say that because there is no other food within 10 miles). The Hubby had 2 corn dogs, a Zweigles White Hot and a Shirk’s Smoked Dog. The Kiddo had a basic hamburger with nothing on it because ya know he’s 8. I had the The Kraut, a Bratwurst with Brown Mustar, Kraut, Herbs, and Fried Onions, plus we all shared a Lake Salt Fries. Yes we ate every last drop of that food.

Duncan and Mabel enjoyed their trip but were very tired at the end of each day.

 

I really do not get tired of this view.

Sunday we wrapped up the tour with a few more winery visits. We did 2 up at the northern end of the lake grabbed some lunch at Fingerlicks then headed on down to 3 of the East shore wineries we missed on Friday. Overall it was a slower paced day that ended with Dinner at The Seneca Lodge (talk about Rustic) and then another night of Ice Cream. Then it was back to the motel to get a good nights sleep for the ride home the next day.

I will leave you with this shot of Hector Falls. We pass by here on the East side of the Lake. We had to stop and get a couple pics on our way back to the motel on Sunday afternoon. The best part is we can see these falls from the motel room balcony, barely make them out with the naked eye but with the good camera I was able to take some nice pictures.

~Until Next Year!

Up Periscope

What a weekend. I’ll get the the title of post later on but first a few other things.

This weekend was The Kiddos TaeKwonDo Test for his Orange Belt. As much fun as it is for the kids, it is by far less fun for the adults who have to sit through it some months. This month wasn’t too bad as there were only 10 kids going for their next belt in range from White (first belt) to Blue (3 before Black).

The test always starts with the National Anthem as sung by Celine Dion (yeah I know, maybe the Master just likes her) then on to warm up exercises, push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, etc. From there the class moves onto the more interesting stuff like kicks and board breaking.

Here is the Kiddo on one of his rounds of kicking, they change the style each time the group makes a complete lap around the room to each of the 4 stations.
After the group kicks and what not, we move onto the demonstration of form. In order to move up to the next belt you need to have mastered the current belts 10(ish) steps of form, I say ish because I am not really sure how many moves there are and everyone counts in Korean.

New to The Kiddos belt is Sparring. Once you reach Yellow belt you are required to Spar with the other students, and Spar as part of the belt test to move on. It is not required that you Win at sparring but that you demonstrate the proper sparring technique. W

We will find out this week whether The Kiddo has passed completely or if he has to redo any of the  pieces and then the following week he will be presented with his belt.
After the Belt test and our normal Saturday errands we gathered at a local steak house to celebrate our Nieces 5th Birthday. Now she had Mac & Cheese, it was her Dad (my brother) who wanted the steak. It was a nice night filled with good food, good drinks, and great company.

Now onto the story around the title, Sunday’s day trip over to the USS Nautilus Submarine Museum and The Hubby’s Reunion from one of the subs he was on. When The Hubby was in the Navy he was stationed in CT and worked at the museum for a few years so when the Reunion came up he decided we were going to go early and tour the Sub and indoor exhibits.

Man the torpedos
I didn’t realize they used actual fancy china on these submarines. I guess it was only the officers who got it.  On deck prior to heading down into the depths of the tiny doorways and small passageways.

We spent about and hour and a half looking at all there was to see and The Kiddo had a relatively good time. We then headed back into the car and made our way over to the Park that the picnic was to be held in. It was a beautiful day and the grounds had a nice playground for The Kiddo to play in. We had Hamburgers and Chips and The Hubby got to hang out with a few of his SubMates from when he was on this particular Sub. The Kiddo played and I wandered. the worst part of the day was all of the traffic we sat in on the way home. Ce la vie.

Now on to a new week and 2 more parades (after having last week off from paraded I can’t complain about them), and next week we head out for Grapehounds 2015!

Lake, woes be gone

4th of July Weekend found us with an extra day off on Friday the 3rd, so we packed up The Kiddo and the car and headed out to our friends lake house in Sullivan County, NY for the weekend. It was nice to unwind with nothing to do but eat and drink and enjoy the country air.

We headed out around 9am, grabbed some breakfast and gassed up the car and hit the road. We had a few alternate routes to take to avoid some traffic but still managed to make it in time for lunch.

This is the view from their deck.The house is co-owned by our 2 friends and their Brother and Sister-in-law. It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since it was built. It’s a 3 bedroom open air plan house with a decent size kitchen, large living room, loft off of the upstairs bedroom and a full size basement.
The Neighbors decided to do some afternoon floating in the lake and on our friends dock. None of us complained at all. As it would turn out we saw quite a bit of the neighbors over the weekend. Around dinner time on Friday 3 of them came knocking on our door asking if we had any spare charcoal as they miscalculated and ran out before they could finish cooking dinner. Our friends use Gas so they did one better and offered up the grill for them to use as we were not quite ready to cook dinner yet. Brock and Mike and Liza were a delight to sit and chat with while they cooked. They were each half of the 3 couples who were up from Brooklyn who crashed their friends place while they were honeymooning in France.

No holiday weekend is complete without a Cheese and Salami Plate. We enjoyed this on Saturday after our trip to the Farmers Market and a dip in the lake for The Kiddo and I.

The Hubby decided he wanted a Fire to enjoy on Saturday evening. The weather all day wasn’t the best, mostly cloudy but spots of rain off and on. Here is my Boy Scout with his kindling going to make a fabulous fire we all sat around. Even The Kiddo enjoyed it while eating his ice cream before bed.

FIRE!

Saturday night and the lake is as still as could be and almost mirror like.

The Kiddo had to have one last swim in the lake on Sunday Morning between breakfast and lunch before we packed up and headed home. We all enjoyed ourselves and look forward to getting back up there again soon.

The work week has been pretty uneventful. We have 3 parades coming up this weekend, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Let’s hope the weather cooperates with us and the only moisture we have to contend with is from sweat and not rain.

Parade-a-palooza and Daddy’s Day

Last past weekend was the first of a few trips we have planned. The Drum Corps was hired to march in Lake George, NY for the annual Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemen Association Convention parade.

Normally The Hubby and I drive up on Friday morning and get there in time for lunch. This year we talked about it and decided to head up there after work on Thursday which allowed us a bit more Family time before all the hulabaloo started.

  We started with dinner out just the 3 of us, The Hubby had a local beer, I had a margarita and The Kiddo had Pepsi.

Friday we got up went and had a lovely breakfast, and then wandered the Village, doing some shopping. The day started a little overcast as you can see from the picture of the lake above.  IMG_4370 Once the clouds burned off The Kiddo and I took the opportunity to head to the pool and get some swimming and relaxing in. He enjoyed the pool both days and  practiced with his Snorkel for the cruise later this summer.

Along with the Dress Parade on the Saturday of the weekend there is a Mardi Gras parade on Friday night. A small group of us decided to go with a Super Hero T-Shirt and Cape ensemble. I of course had to go the extra mile and wear my new Kilt while marching. It was certainly well received.The Shirt happens to be the Sales Team shirt I designed last year.  The Hubby wore his new Kilt as well to watch the parade. Look at those legs….

Now I am all about the Dress Uniforms for the Firemen on the day of the Parade but I certainly did not complain about this view prior to the parade starting.

We were in the escort division which was nice since we had a shorter march (even though we walked to our line up spot, then all the way back to the hotel after the parade). Unfortunately the Corps did not win any trophies but our Color Guard walked away with the Best Color Guard Non Firematic award.

After the parade on Saturday we had some more pool time then headed out to meet our friends Walt and Ken for dinner. They live not far from Lake George and they were actually both in town for a change so we took the opportunity to get together. Walt always travels with some sort of action figure and this time he didn’t disappoint with the 11th Doctor.

Sunday was Fathers Day along with the day we packed up to head home. The above picture takes me back to when I was The Kiddo’s age. The Lone Bull was the place for Family breakfast every year when my family would visit. It wasn’t the same without Mom but I felt I needed to continue the tradition she started with my family and introduce The Kiddo to the Cow syrup pitchers.

After breakfast we went back to the hotel packed up the car and headed out in the rain. Our first stop were the outlets a couple exits down the thruway from the Hotel. There were the typical stores we avoided, but did find some good deals on some shoes. Naturally we stopped at Rileys one of the biggest Souvenior shops there and picked up a few t-shirts for The Kiddo (who has already worn all of them). After our little shopping trip, and based on a tip from one of the drum corps members, we headed over to Sushi Yoshi for lunch. They were running a Fathers Day Special, bring in your Kid and Dads eat Free! Best Idea ever. The Hubby had Sushi, I had Mongolian Beef and The Kiddo had Chicken Wings. The best part was both The Hubby and I got our meals for free! CHA-CHING!

Back in the car we went and onward home. I unpacked our clothes, did some laundry, made out lunches for Monday and then a lovely dinner. All in all pretty quiet and subdued for our first Fathers Day.

With no school and summer camp not starting until this week I ended up working from home with the Kiddo on Monday and Tuesday. Monday was also a trip to the Vet for our Foster Dog Vic to have his staples removed from his leg. Weds and Thurs I had to drag The Kiddo to the office with me, he enjoyed it a little, he prefers The Hubbies office since there is Wifi there.

Tuesday night found us at the little hole in the wall restaurant by our house for dinner with the extended family for Dad’s Birthday. Wednesday was another parade, no rest for the weary, followed by a rainy weekend of errands and hanging around the house.

Well that about catches y’all up with the goings on round here.

Forward March

Well Parade season is under way, we have 6 under our belts so far with another coming up this weekend along with a Flag Day Ceremony performance.

Last Saturday we had the pleasure of celebrating our friend Geoffs 40th Birthday. It was a nice gathering of friends in a pot luck style picnic. I brought a fabulous Corn and Black Bean Salad and some interesting cookie I made. They were so simple to make using a box cake mix, a tub of cool whip, and an Egg.

Other than parades it’s been pretty quiet with activities with the exception of a day trip over the border to Birds of Prey exhibit. We have seen signs for this previously and one thing or another got in the way of us attending. Honestly we were surprised at how big it was but disappointed there weren’t more Birds doing bird things. The other disappointment was we totally missed seeing Neil Patrick Harris there with his family.


    

After our day out with The Kid and our Nephew the Hubby and I had to go pay our respects to our good friend who lost his sister. These are the types of friends you would do anything for. We are on the calendar to spend July 4th weekend with them at their Lake house and hob knob as some pretend Sullivan County Gays.

But before we hob knob we have another weekend away with the Drum Corps in Lake George, NY. Not just a get away but we have 2 parades to march that weekend. The first one is the Friday Night Mardi Gras parade where all of the fire departments either dress up in crazy costumes and/or have some funky floats. Saturday is the Dress Parade where the Fire Departments and bands compete for best in the area. The last time we marched in this parade I was the Drum Major and the Corps won Best Overall.

Thats about all for now, work has been work, not too crazy not too quiet. Some lunch time walks have been had which is always a thrill when the Geese families are out on the path around the pond. Hiss indeed!