Sunday, May 7, 2017

Back to life!Vacation OVER! Doesn't mean I can't have an adventure.

Upstate NY
April 14-26th 2017

I got back from vacation just before most everyone else in NY took theirs. Friday stared Spring break for most of the kids in the area, and Sunday was Easter! I didn't have much time to prepare for Easter goodies for the kido's. Gavin is the only kid left in the house (although Alexis lives here, she is never home) so there was no annual egg hunt. Grateful I had purchased some candy with coupons before I left for vacation. This Easter bunny filled a few eggs with candy 1 had a $20- bill and threw the rest of the candy contents into two baskets. One for Gavin one for Alexis. least I tried.
The first full week back to work was busy catching up. Having missed 9 days of my "normal" life really can effect a person. It took a few days but soon I was back into my routine.
I found the gift I received was NOT having to get this child up each morning to go to school. Ahh school breaks. Funny when they were little I couldn't wait for them to get back to school.
Instead of doing what I should on Easter Sunday (get to church) I headed to home depot and purchased paint for my dining room. The rest of Sunday was spent with rollers and brushes. DONE!! It has only taken 10 years.

 The following Monday was a dental appointment. (Truly back to routine) and what I thought was my last ASL class. I was convinced that my American Sign language class was at its last class and I was not prepared for a test. Fortunate for me I had one more class before the course ended. Whew.

Tuesday evening was Broadway in CNY:

 Barb  and I enjoyed the performance of Beautiful: The Carole King Story.
 I absolutely LOVED it! It may have been one of my favorites of the season.The whole week before the scheduled evening, I had been deciding in my head that I would be disappointed. I was far from it. I knew so many more songs then I had thought I would. I think the only one I didn't know was the shows title. The music was wonderful and I highly recommend to anyone who likes the theater.
That weekend, Tammy and I met up with the Outdoor women and did some "muddy" but impressive hiking at Chimney Bluffs state park.

First Tammy and I had lunch at The Pasta House in village of Wolcott, NY.

 Tammy opted for Pizza and I had this rice ball concoction. I was told it is a big favorite in NYC, I took the risk, I ate it, but it was pretty bland, I can't recall the name, but it was pretty much a fried rice ball with a few pieces of ground sausage in it. I was not impressed.

Lunch over we headed to the state park. The day couldn't have been more beautiful, but one day of sunshine does not dry up the trails very quickly and we have had so much rain over the last few weeks nearly everything is flooding.

 I thought this picture looked more like an ocean view then Lake Ontario. Beautiful for sure.

 The lake had assented onto the  land and there was erosion along the banks. 
 We made our way into the woods just beginning to feel the affects of the spring rains on our feet. The trail lead us into the woods and we began to see some signs of spring.

 Tiny flowers were peeking up through the wooded floor.
 The wooded trail lead us up, up up to the beginnings of the cliffs.

 Where trail once was we began to see narrow muddy messes that loomed frightfully near the edge of slippery doom.
 Mud, small ponds and dangerously unstable trail edges keep us closer to inland and creating our own trails. We would step on down branches, rocks and cling to the edges while holding on to trees to avoid feet being planted into the deep muck.

 Might want to avoid clinging to these tree' they seem to be clinging to the banks themselves.
 There were plenty of trees that didn't make it.

The only way to go...was straight down......(although it doesn't look that steep in this picture) it would not be a pleasant fall. 

 The view of the lake was amazing and it made cutting into the trail disappointing not to be right there on the edge.
 Another steep upward jaunt and soon we were in view of the signature Chimney cliffs.
 These natural creations are incredible.
 The group stopped for a bit to view these incredible natural structures so foreign to NY. We noticed a couple sitting in one of the cliff's valleys. (See above). I can imagine the view is amazing, but there is no way I would make my way down there. These cliffs are so unstable right now. Anything could happen.

 A group picture was fun.
 Perhaps they need to move this sign up farther on the trail.
 We found a critter on the trail...I simply had to chase this little guy down to catch a picture. He had a friend with him who slithered in the opposite direction closer to the cliff edge before I could get a picture of the two together.

And there he goes.....
The cliff trail soon jetted into the deep wood eventually taking is back to the entrance. These were some of the muddiest parts of the trail. We found we were more often then not creating our own as these trails were submerged in water.

It was yucky but the nature sounds and sights PLUS the knowledge that the exit was up ahead kept me going.
Somewhere in this tree is a woodpecker. When we entered this small clearing we could hear him pecking at a tree. I tried to locate him up in the trees, but he kept bobbing in and out of the branches.
 This is an example of the trails we made ourselves as they were much drier then the actual trail.
  Here is a picture of the last few steps before we were at the end. Muddy trails.
 And all of our muddy feet.

I was so grateful to have my hiking boots, but Tammy's feet were soaked to her bare feet.
Despite the mud and dangling near the edge of death. It was a great hike, I plan to venture out with these awesome women more in the future.

That Tuesday I got a text from my eldest son. He stated he was in the hospital. YIKES!!!

I rushed to the hospital. He had somehow cut and crushed his index finger while at work. He was okay, but as a mom, it was pretty scary and he made it sound like he had cut his finger off.
After waiting in the ED for hours he was finally seen and I got to see the mess his finger was in. EWWWWWEE!!! The biggest concern was infection as he works with metals and oil. (He's a welder). The docs cleaned it up gave his some antibiotics and stitched him up.He was soon good to go. He may never have his nail return but he should have full use of his finger. Whew!!!

That Saturday I spent time with my Close to my heart gals as the Hearts a Flutter team meeting. It was a small group of us, but we had fun and Sandy had some great new ideas. Plus we got to play with the new products. LOVELY papers!!!!

Great friends, great products and hello would you get a load of this LUNCH!!!!

Sunday Mark my mother in law and I dug out the front garden. It is a real mess, It still is a real mess. It has rained nearly everyday so we have put off addressing the garden for now. So much work needs to be done on the house and the yard. The pool looks like a muddy pond. YUCK.
Great end to a wonderful month. Vacation truly does not have to end just because you are home!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Girls Florida vacation: Homeward bound Day 9

Punta Gordia Florida to NY!
April 13th 2017

Our Vacation has come to an end.

We made the morning lazy. Reviewed what we could pack and what may be a carry on. I somehow had much more stuffed in my bag then when I went down. By 11 we made our way to Hurricane Charlies for some lunch. Our plane did not leave until 3:30 so we had a very long lunch. While I anxiously awaited my daughter to meet us as she was with a friend Kelly and Patty were confident she would make it to the hotel in time to get to the airport.

She made it with time to ingest some boneless wings I had order for her. We were then off to the airport. The return ride I was fully aware of. Although I had a few cocktails before we left I was not nearly intoxicated. Only one panic attack while were were descending into Niagara Falls. Getting better I think.

We landed in NY sometime around 6:30ish...then my daughter and I still had to get to Rochester then to Auburn and finally home. The ride there was so much more exciting and comfortable. (Maybe I need to be drunk for all trips even the ones on the ground.)
My daughter and I finally made it gratefully home around 10pm. Pooped but satisfied. I had such a great time with my gal pals and it was even more wonderful with my daughter.
One of the best things about vacation is coming home. Funny how one of my future goals is to be a full time RVer and yet I was homesick after 7 days. I think I need hubby with me.
Well that be it. MY 9 DAY VACATION with the GALS!!!
I am so grateful for my friends and the times we spent together. The adventures are always fun, but the best part was the company, Love you Ladies!!! Thanks for the good times. TTFN

Friday, May 5, 2017

Girls Florida vacation Day 8: On to Punta Gorda

Good bye Cape Coral On to Punta Gorda.
April  2017

Our last full day in Florida with these girls, and I think it may have been one of my favorite days.

We had spent the morning cleaning the rental house. All clothing was washed and the house looked spotless. Soon we were saying goodbye to our vacation home and heading to find a place for lunch before we said last goodbyes to Kelly's son.

We dropped off Matt and then headed to our hotel in Punt Gourda. The hotel was right on the bay and we quickly settled in and headed to the bar. (imagine that).

Hurricane Charlies is the restaurant/bar attached to our hotel. We ordered cocktails, I had a bucket of something yummy and filled with rum.

Punta Gorda was one of the areas hit pretty hard by Hurricane Charley in 2004. Thus the name of the place. It was pretty devastating, New York may have snowstorms and it can get pretty cold, but we've never seen what damage a hurricane can do.

We thought about relaxing by the pool, but there was an overcast and we wanted to see what was happening in Punta Gorda.

The skies over the bay was looking dark. The rain never came however.

We were told about an area called Fishermen's Village. Although it is a marina, there are also several shops and eateries.

We enjoyed the opportunity to purchase souvenirs and had dinner.

Of course we had to have a cocktail. I found it so incredible that nearly everywhere we went there was always a place to score a drink with a piece of fruit sticking out of it.
We decided on dinner at Harpoon Harry's right on the dip of the dock. We were able to seat ourselves and found a location right on the water. I am so glad we did too.

Shortly after we sat down...we saw two (maybe three) dolphins dancing in the waves next to us. I was THRILLED!!!
I took several pictures through out our dining experience as they stay in the area for most of our meal. I never caught a good shot as they were so quick. Its not like those trained dolphins one see's at Marine Land and they were not performing for all of us gawkers having our meals.

The meal itself could have been S&*% on a shingle for all I could have cared. I think I had a chicken Cesar wrap but most of my attention had been out on the water. My eyes would span the vast water and I would get excited when a wave would glimmer off the setting sun tricking me into thinking I was seeing those incredible creatures, then just when I thought they may have left, I would catch them playfully jumping with one another and I would be all excited again.

Perhaps I'm like a silly little girl,  but this had to be the best part of the trip. To think this is simply an everyday occurrence for some people amazes me. Is it like seeing a deer run by in NY? Who am I fooling, I always get excited when I see a deer in a field in NY anyways,

The sun was setting beneath the clouds illuminating the sky. It was incredible.
The whole evening was simply the best. Although I missed my family and I was actually kind of missing my routine back at home. I could have stayed here forever.

After dinner we did a little more shopping. We tried several skin care products in one of the stores and spent several minutes after application trying to decide if the wrinkles were really fading,
The evening did not end with the setting sun although Fishermen's village was pretty much closing for the night. Back at the hotel however there was a band at Charlie's and while making a wrong turn returning to the hotel I spotted what looked like a a beach party including flaming torches. We did not know what it was or if it was a private party but after deciding that the band was not for us we walked the Punta Gorda walking path which eventually led us right to the Tiki bar, Say What?

This is paradise. This cute little outdoor bar featured colorful wooden loungers and a fire pit and the NY Rangers playing on tv. 

A couple cocktails, and cool breeze and some good conversation. WOW!!!
We sat with a very nice couple who lived in Miami. They informed us that they take small vacations around Florida and were spending a few days away from work. They also once lived in NY.
Could it get any better then this?

We soon tired and decided to call it a night. The trail runs right along the water and although I did not have my camera with me I attempted to get a picture of the night sky over looking the two bridges.

It was most certainly an incredible unforgettable day. Nice that our last was one of the best.