Saturday, June 23, 2018

ADK expo, Sonnenberg Gardens & and evening of Floyd, Pink Floyd that is.

June 10th 2018
Finger Lakes area of NY
Liverpool, NY- Sharkeys

The first weekend in June always seems to be a busy time. There are concerts, graduations, weddings festivals, reunions and gatherings. This time of year always seems to be when people start to connect for the warm weather. Generally I recall the first weeks of June as always being HOT and HUMID, as well as the first weekend to really show off your new summer clothing. I have enjoyed the slow entrance into the warmer summer this year however a. Because I really am not as receptive to the heat as I once was and b. Our central air is on the fritz.

So yes I have welcomed this cool beginning of summer.
Ahh! Perfect weather to enjoy an Outdoor Expo.
On Saturday, I went with my mother and Aimee to the ADK/Finger Lakes Outdoor expo in a town outside of Honeoye Falls, NY.  For weeks prior I was convinced the event would be in the when Aimee corrected me, I was a little disappointed but still excited to go. It actually worked out for the better because on this little outing I also got to enjoy The Stonenberg Gardens, an area I have wanted to visit for some time now.

First up however was the ADK/Finger Lakes Outdoor expo.

We started our adventure by trying out Disc golf.  I had seen this before in other blogs as well as in local parks, but never actually tried it.

We were given the rules, and provided with discs to use and off we went on this two hole course set up for the event. Rules are simple, its like putt putt only there is no golf clubs and no ball. (There is not a hole either, so really it is not golf in any since of the word.) BUT....the premise is the same. Throw this smaller sized Frisbee at the metal chained stands. If it goes in you score.

Aimee was the ultimate winner. My disc always seem to fly to the left. Might need to stand more to the right if I play again. None of us made it on one shot.
We then meandered along at all the booths that offered information about things OUTDOORS. There was information about hikes, clubs, wildlife organizations, petitions to sign, demonstrations to watch, boating, rowing, kayaking.....There was free kayaking but we decided to take a hike instead.
Some of the boats....pretty cool.

My mother enjoyed speaking with this gentleman about fossils and precious stones/minerals. My Great Grandfather was all about these things, and my mother recalled some of her own memories with him.
I think she really enjoyed the opportunity. We also got to see some animals. Like these cute little bunnies.
...and Tom the Turkey. He was the so LOUD. Every few seconds he would make all kinds of noise. He scared me a few times.
He would ruffle his feathers and get all tense and make these incredible gobbles....
I was simply fascinated with him.
there was this cute little pig

and a friendly lama....

This giant bunny. He reminded me of watership down.
this great looking turtle.
and some "headless" chickens. Yep That was what they are called. Can't see their heads can you?

We also saw a police officer on horseback....

After maximizing our time at the Expo we signed up to take a guided hike. There really was no need for a guide, but I think the purpose was to offer unfamiliar to hiking people an opportunity to try a hike. We hiked along with a small group of kids who had come along from a school bus.
Perhaps we could take the helicopter go.
My mother was actually a better guide then the guides.
My mother has always been an outdoor girl and she has a head full of nature based information.

She noticed this plant with it's "fruit", Identified mushrooms, discussed what side moss grows, why such embankment was like it was, noticed that a stone fence was buried in the ground along our path and determined it was one a farm.
She knows almost all plant and  flower names. This is a wild rose.
I thought this tree was cool. Kind of looks like a critter is climbing up it in the wood knot.
We hiked to a water tower and back down to the park after. The hike was just about a mile or so. Nothing to strenuous.

It was after lunch when we got bac, so we decided to head into the closet town and had lunch at Simply Crepes. I am so in love with this place located in Canadaquia, NY. I started my meal with a raspberry smoothie...YUM!

This time I had the Buffalo Chicken wrap. It was also very YUMMY.
We discussed stopping at Sonnenberg Gardens, which is about a mile from the main street in Canandaigua.
The grounds and mansion were once the summer home of a wealthy family; Fredrick and Mark Clark Thompson during the Victorian era.The name, Sonnenberg, was kept when the family purchased the property in 1863. Sonnenberg means sunny hill in German.
After a stroll through some of the several green houses, we caught a golf cart and took a ride, with a tour up to the mansion. 

Pictured below is a glimpse of the home. Mary Thompson, the daughter of a NY state governor, was raised in the area and spent most of her summers here while Fredrick a banker, remained at their home in NYC. We were told that guests of the Thompson's were encouraged to bring gifts of tree's and flowers to plant on the property.
These trees below for example are not native to the area. (I cannot recall the name).
Some of the tree's have grown to enormous sizes. This one pictured below has been the back drop to several senior pictures, portfolio's and engagement announcements.

As we rode up the hill, we were told of several things about the mansion including the many stages that the property had gone through over the years. Mary lovingly oversaw the property develop to include over 9 distinct gardens. Up until her husbands death, and beyond she shared her home and offered visits from the community. 
After Mary's own death, the mansion and property was left to a nephew who then sold the property to the local government. The government used the property as part of the VA hospital. For years the grounds and the property was left for these purposes, over the years several of the gardens and the vast assortment of statues were left in ruin or looted.
 In 1972 the property was transferred to a local non-for profit organization that continues to run the property today.  In 1973 the property was open to the public.
The statues that remain were some of the oddest I have ever seen....

Weird hun?
But there were also some beauties...
Inside the mansion was stunning.

Although we were told that many of the items featured within the home were not original to Mary and Fredrick, the pieces are genuine to the time period.

Pictures of Mrs Mary Clark Thompson. 

As she was in her 20's and a very royal glow in her elder years. We were told that she had actually not liked this painting of herself (the second painting) and refused to pay for it once completed. It was found many years later in someone's property and donated to the estate.
Mary was very generous with donations and gave much of her time developing to colleges, and the arts. She was one of the original founders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a benefactor of the Bronx Zoo. She also gave to several churches, helped to develop a swimming school on Canandaigua lake, a retirement home named after her parents, and built the FF. Thompson hospital.
Mary was also largely invested in the preservation of the Native American culture and contributed funds to the State Museum in Albany.

A view of The Italian Garden.. Although pretty now, I can only imagine what it once looked like.
The bedroom that looks over the vast garden.

The area over looking the main living space was actually built with the intent of having musician's perform. If you look to the right of the picture you can see where the loft jets out slightly to create a small stage.
I thought this was charming and had to get a picture of it.

Once we had completed a tour of the home itself, we ventured into the many gardens.
We found many sculptures. Another odd looking one looms over one of the largest fountains.
They are certainly interesting.

This is the remains of what was once the temple of Diana. It once held a marble statue of Diana; Goddess of the hunt. It was removed and the massive rock roof was lowered for safety as the structure had deteriorated over the years.
The pool area, called the Roman Bath was once lined with turquoise tiles, and water to fill the pool was pumped as well as heated from Canandaqua lake.  Even in it's deterioration, this pool is much more inviting then my one at home. I imagine the pool parties that this could have offered.
The Japanese Garden was my favorite.
As beautiful as these gardens are today, I can only imagine just how amazing they once were.
Japanese tea house. A nip of tea and some calming yoga among the bonzi trees.

The Sub-Rosa Garden
This charming little garden was once led to through a maze of hedges. It was a hidden garden. Flowers were not intended for this space, but instead the vast color of greens against stark white marble was the allure. Once four statues adored the area to represent the four seasons.  Perhaps a wonderful place to enjoy a romantic novel while listening to the babble of the fountains.

There were not many roses in the Rose Garden. The rose garden may have once been amazing. Today (I was told by my mother it is not rose season, and roses are incredibly difficult to grow.) it was a mass of prickly vines and tiny buds. I choose not to take any pictures, because it actually looked sad. Additionally someone was doing mowing in the area while we were there so we did not stay long. I was however mighty impressed with this tower that overlooked the roses.
What it must have been like to have a lunch overlooking the roses as their faint perfume lofted in the air.
The old fashion Garden was the only garden that actually had flowers blooming in them. In the background is the VA hospital as well as a tent for an upcoming wedding. The property if host to many wedding ceremonies.
I can not for the life of me recall the name of these flowers. My mother would know, she even knew some interesting information about the symmetry and mathematics around petal formation. It had something to do with multiplying some number with something. I really was paying attention, but I had been confused when she told me and recall is even worse,.

A look at the tower from the other side and main entrance to the mansion. Ivy scales the massive stone walls.
Apparently Mary had several pets. Here is the pet cemetery. We were told that the head stones had been scattered though out the grounds, and it is unlikely that Fido was actually buried here.
Rock Garden was once three gardens, one included several pools and a covered bridge. (I did not get a picture) This site is actually were many wedding pictures are taken but according to our golf cart guide, there is a massive leak in the bottom of the pool which is a real pain to take care of. So they do not have the pools filled most of the time. There is also a summer house or rather a grotto which had been built into the stone to blend in with the surroundings.
This area appeared to be the least updated and cared for area of the estate. All of the grounds are attended to by volunteers and sustained by funds donated, from the weddings and events held on the property and the entrance fees. It is clear that the gardens and the home is loved dearly by those individuals who have donated their time to the place.

It is very calming.

After we had exhausted the gardens we made our way back down the hill to the main parking lot and greenhouses. This was where the flowers were and wow they were beauties.

These do not look like any run of the mill green house. How about a stone wall full of ferns and a metal gate door. A green house just for cactus.
How about a green house full of orchids.

We had enjoyed the grounds and had a full afternoon. It was actually getting late, and we still wanted to go to the winery located on the property for a few tastes before we left.

We enjoyed a few sweet wines. Even my mother had a taste, and she does not drink...ever. She had one glass and got silly. It was entertaining. All fun until she realized she had lost her wallet.
We had the whole place searching for her wallet. She even took off walking back up the hill looking. We had wandered over so much of the property is was a wonder where she may have lost it. Finally a voice over a walkie talkie announced it was found in the gift store. Exactly where she had been when she realized she had lost it. Wow...what an adventure, and we missed the opportunity to enjoy my mothers silliness after consuming her wine.
and what a GREAT day. My mother shared stories all the way home. She spoke about growing up and the times she had with her family. The summers my Grandfather was a forest ranger with Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons National Park. She spoke about the several homes she lived in that her father and mother actually built themselves. Stories about my Great Grandfather and the property in Iowa. She even shared some stories about me as a little girl. Poor Aimee.
It was such a nice time. I was very grateful to have the time with my mother and my friend.

THE DAY WAS NOT OVER.....After dropping my mother off, Aimee and I uncorked a bottle (or two) of wine we had purchased from our days adventure and awaited Renee's return from a wedding.
We had plans to attend an outdoor concert at Sharkey's

Sadly I have forgotten the name of the band. Sorry guys. The band was a Pink Floyd tribute band and they were pretty amazing. Only disappointment was the set was to short. I could have enjoyed the music much longer. 

Of course the time with my friends is great too. David, Carmen, Renee, Aimee and I having fun.

Pink Floyd was/is one of my favorite bands. I know all of their music. Perhaps one of my most favorite things about enjoying these types of shows is singing along to the music and NOT CARING what anyone else thinks. (Only I do not like this when I am voice kind of ruins it.)

They had a great light show too. 

How can I possible top this incredible day. What fun was had. On to the next thing....TTFN