Serendopeity

The faculty of making stupid discoveries by accident. The name of my first Fantasy Football Team. Neither of which have anything to do with this blog. I just like the word. Deal with it !!!!!!

Monthly Archives: June 2009

That which does not kill you will make you stronger…

Not bloody likely but I would like to think that it will.

I am back from Minneapolis.  What an awesome time and incredible weekend.  I will be writing about it later this week (I hope).  Unfortuneatly life has once again thrown me a curve ball and I am still trying to hit it out of the park to no avail.

If I drank I would be drunk.  If  I smoked dope I would be high.  And if I had any room in the freezer I would fill it with Chunky Monkey and eat it all!!!!!

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Minneapolis here I come!

I will be taking a break from blogging for a couple of days.  I am off to Minneapolis to my cousin Kate’s and her new husband Al’s wedding reception.  (and also to check out the Mall of America). LOL

However, before finishing packing today the reservations for Lake George in October were made.  Mom, dad, Aunt Betty and I will be travelling to Lake George the first weekend in October.  This is the same time of year that I was there last year and it was beautiful. The weather was great and the trees were all out in colour so it was the perfect time to go.  Autumn being my favourite season: warm days, cool nights – I am sure that everyone will enjoy the trip. And it will be time – mom and dad haven”t been away for a couple of years and it will be a nice way to end the summer.  That weekend is the weekend before Thanksgiving so there will be some pre-Columbus Day sales going on too.  Gee, you would think that I was a shopaholic or something LOL.

So if you are dropping by and notice nothing new here, my trip is why.  I will be taking lots of pics in Minneapolis – both scenic and family.  I haven’t seen this side of the family in a long time – too long.  It will be fun to catch up.

While I am away, Craig and Sue will be running bowling on Thursday afternoon…I am sorry I am going to miss that – it is always a good source of laughter.  I am sure that I will hear some stories when I get home.

 

Have a great weekend everyone – be safe.

Nancy

Day 6 – Time to head home :(

No sleeping in this morning, it is time to get the car packed and head north back to Canada.  I got all my stuff ready last night, it’s not as big a pile as Rick thought it would be LOL.  Hell, we have room for loads more, although I think that asking him to stop at WalMart or any other store would be pushing my luck at this point.

Since it is our last morning we are all going to a breakfast buffet at Mario’s, the same Mario’s that we had dinner at the first night we were here. If breakfast is as good as dinner was, Mario’s will become my new favourite place to eat in Lake George.  I am not sure, how much I will be able to eat.  Mornings are never a good time for me to eat, I don’t know if my throat shrinks at night or what but most mornings I have to wait an hour or two before I try anything other than maybe some grapefruit and of course my coffee.   ( I can not live without coffee!!!)

Packing the car was easy – and after we walked over to Mario’s.  Everyone must have had the same idea because there was a line of waiting people, but the hostess said it wouldn’t be that long so we decided to wait.  While waiting we were talking to some people from New Jersey.  Why is it that as soon as someone asks you where you are from and you say Ontario, the first thing they say back is “Oh we have been to Canada.”, like it was some big deal, life altering thing.  Crossing the border is not that difficult, nor is it a major deal.  I used to cross at Niagara Falls every couple of weeks just to grocery shop.  But I suppose that if you don’t live that close to the border, perhaps it is a bigger deal than I thought.  Living an hour from another country has always been where I live, except for a couple of years in Alberta.  Buffalo and Niagara Falls were a short drive away and even as kids were regularly crossed into the US.

We finally got a table for breakfast.  It was a great buffet.  Fresh fruit, eggs bennedict, muffins, danishes, eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, french toast, pancakes  and even an omlette station where the owner personally made your made-to-order omlette.  I tell ya, how is a girl to choose?

I went with the french toast and some fruit.  Of course coffee by the gallon – my morning just wouldn’t be the same without my java fix! Then I had some hash browns and eggs bennedict.  I know, I know, for someone who cannot eat, that seems like a lot of food, but it wasn’t really.  I only took 1/2 piece of french toast and a couple of pieces of watermelon.  A little bit of hash browns and the eggs bennedict – I only ate the ham and egg really LOL.  I could have done without the sauce even but they were already made…the eggs bennedict was the one thing that wasn’t up to par for Mario’s.  I would think that having them on a buffet table is a little to blame.  The eggs were hard cooked and not runny like they should have been.  All in all it was a very good breakfast and now I won’t have to eat till much later tonight.  Mario’s once again lived up to their reputation.  It is by far one of the places that I would highly recommend if you are in the Lake George area.  Overall the value for the money, the ambience of the restaurant itself, the helpful and very pleasant wait staff and the very delicious  food makes it one of the better establishments to visit.  I would go back in a minute.

So, with breakfast out of the way, the moment I was dreading since first arriving was upon us.  We said good bye to MaryJane and Adam in the parking lot, they were going to go on ahead and make a stop in Watertown, we were going to take our time and go the scenic route.

Before leaving the Manager of the motel Scott and his new bride Deidre came out to say good bye and take the famous “Wall of Shame” photo.  I had forgotten all about that and this time I GOT TO BE IN THE PIC.  LOL.  Every year at the end of  Bike Week, Scott takes a picture of the guests who were there at Lake Haven for Americade.  Apparently he has been doing this for years and when I first visited last fall there were 100’s of pics up on the wall of the office. This year when we checked in all the pics were gone!!!!  But not for long, instead of having them up on the wall there is now a digital frame that sits on the counter and runs through all the pictures.  The next time I am there I will now be in one of the pics too!!!!!  YEA!   I know, I get way too excited about such trivial things LOL.

Hugs all around and it was time to go!  I didn’t want to leave but I knew that we had too.  It would  be a short ride home, it always was coming back from vacation but it would be nice to see everyone and the dogs too.  I had taken all the pictures off my camera card before I left home but managed to sneak a couple in of the dogs before I left so I would be able to look at them while I was gone.  Ok, so I am a suck for the dogs LOL.

The big baby Bosco

The big baby Bosco

 

 

The little baby Maggie

The little baby Maggie

I think I slept for a while on the way home.  I know we stopped for coffee and doughnuts at Dunkin Donuts.  It would be my last cup of DD in the US. Luckily enough I bought a couple of bags of coffee to take home with me.  I really like DD coffee, even more so than Tim Horton’s coffee here.  And I have to say the jelly donuts at DD are real jelly donuts with so much jelly in them that I usually end up wearing some of it.  I have to find a supplier in the US who will send me bags of coffee at regular intervals LOL.

We got to the border, passports in hand and after answering the usual questions we were told to have a nice day and that was it.  We were back on Canadian soil, no problem.  No inspection of the car, no harrassment, nothing.  On a tangent – I was talking to someone when we were away and discussing the passport issue.  All people entering the US by car now must have a valid passport as ID.  This is not such a bad thing except Canadian Passports are one of the biggest rip offs going.  Our passports last for only 5 years, whereas everyone else in the world gets them for 10.  They are cost prohibative – $20+ for pictures, $87 for the document itself.  And the Canadian Government was actually very smart for a change on the passport issue.  When the US government first announced that passports would be needed to enter the US, even by Canadians, my government kinda sorta made a little fuss, but didn’t do a whole lot about it.  They did more talking than anything else with no real action at all.  But, they were smart in doing so – or not doing anything as it were – now anyone coming back into Canada had to have a passport.  No more fumbling for a birth cert and picture ID.   Canada Customs actually had a new and innovative way of identifying people without having the back lash from the public that they would have had it been their idea and not the US’s.  Way to go Canada, you are finally learning how to play the game LOLOLOL.

So that’s it folks.  The daily event calendar of the road trip of a lifetime.  I haven’t had a chance to sit down with Sue yet and tell her exactly what an awesome time I had or to thank her and Rick properly for taking me with them.  I can never put into words just how great a time I had, although I think they both know already.  I desperately needed the break and it was a most welcome break at that.  Hopefully I will get a chance to tell them soon.  I am off to Minneapolis and my cousin Kate’s and her new husband Al’s wedding reception on Thursday.  I have never been to Minneapolis so I am looking forward to it but most of all I am looking forward to seeing my relatives who I haven’t seen for a long time. 

Thank you for reading my adventure.  I hope it hasn’t bored you too much.  It was fun for me to write it, I got to relive everything all over again.  I haven’t done that with many trips – I tend to come home and they fade into the background but I will remember this one frequently.

Americade 2009 is one for the books now – I can hardly wait till next year.  June 7th – June 12th, Lake George, NY – BE THERE – I will !!!!

Everybody loves a Parade!

One of the great things about staying at Lake Haven Motel is it’s strategic positioning in Lake George.  The village sits on Hwy 9 and the split for the North/South direction and then Hwy 9A is right outside the front door.  Hwy 9 south just happens to be the main street of Lake George so anyone coming in or out from the north end of town goes right by.  This year, we were lucky enough to be “bumped” upstairs and thus, had an excellent view of the comings and goings.  It’s a strange intersection, more like 5 corners instead of 4 which also means that the traffic lights are a little screwy and different from how most people are used to having traffic lights.  With 2 different roads converging to the north, the traffic coming from the south and the side street thrown into the fray there really is a lot of traffic.  Thank god there was no traffic circle – that would have just made me cry LOL. Additionally the “official” campgrounds of Americade are up Hwy 9 so anyone who is staying there comes by the motel to get into town. Noisy, yes for the most part, but also a great place to watch the parade.

The parade route starts in town, moves north to the split in the road, and doubles back south.  The turn around point is right in front of the motel giving us a birds eye view of the parade.  Rick and Adam chose to stay on the deck and watch, while Sue, MaryJane and I went down to the street.  Good thing we did too, because if we had not I would have missed Officer Awesome…

Office Awesome is a Warren County Sheriff .  It was his job to direct the traffic before the parade, turn the traffic lights on and off and hold back the traffic with the help of barricades during the parade.  I call him Officer Awesome because, well, wasn’t he one of the cutest things that I had seen all week.  Don’t get me wrong, there were plently of good looking men there, but O.A. was by far the hunkiest.  If there was a Warren County Sheriff Calendar, O.A. would be their front and centre man!!! (and I would have definately bought 1 or 10)

See what I mean????

Officer Awesome

Officer Awesome

So maybe this pic doesn’t do him justice, but believe me when I say he was a hottie!!!

Office Awesome playing with the traffic lights

Office Awesome playing with the traffic lights

The man was ripped…Hmmm perhaps I really should think about starting to date again.  I will have to look him up the next time I am in town.

As we are standing there waiting for the parade to start O.A. moved the barricades to block the traffic coming from the 2 north routes.  This also meant that traffic from the south was blocked from going north.  Some people got a little upset about this and tried to give O.A. a hard time.  But being the good cop that he was he stood his ground.  I mean, come on.  Unless you have been living in a cave somewhere, everyone in Lake George that weekend had to have known that it was Bike Week.  That being said, not a minute went by when on the radio there wasn’t an announcement about the parade beginning at 10:00 am.  So it wasn’t rocket science to have known that if you had to be somewhere that morning you would have to have some extra time to get there or wait until around 10:30 when the parade had been by and was over.

I still cannot believe the number of people who were whinning and domplaining about the baricades.  Hello  –  wake up and smell the coffee people!!!!  But the good news was that I got to watch O.A. at work and it made waiting for the parade to come by pretty painless LOL.

The parade was a parade.  Anyone with a bike could enter.  And it seemed like alot of people did.  All parade riders had yellow balloons to distinguish them from those who were not  parade riders but I got the feeling that it mattered not.  All makes and models of bikes were represented – most of the bikes were customized to some extent.  And if the bike wasn’t, the rider(s) sure were.

"Aunt Sam"

"Aunt Sam"

Parade riders

Parade riders

Even the trailers were customized!

Even the trailers were customized!

 

One thing I did notice that was kind of neat – a lot of riders have stuffed animals strapped in on the back of their bikes.  I asked Sue about this and it a common thing for a lot of riders.  Some had trailers behind or sidecars attached and their pets came along for the ride LOL.  I even saw one bike with a German Sheppard sitting on the back seat.  He was wearing goggles and a seatbelt.  LOL – and no, it wasn’t after the Bailey’s nightcap, it was hours before LOL.  I can just see Bosco on the back of a bike…well, actually I can’t LOL but maybe on the back of that trike???? I think he would like it – he could see everything going on around him and that would make him happy.  We could even use his tail as a wind rudder LOLOLOL. 

The parade took about 1/2 an hour to blow by and then it was over.  A lot of riders would be leaving today – they had a trip back home to make and since I saw plates from as far away as Florida and Louisiana, it was a good two day trip for them.  I stuck around to watch O.A. direct the traffic for a bit and then headed back upstairs.  Today I have to pack up my stuff and hope that it will all fit into Rick’s car.  I keep telling him that I ordered a roof carrier at WalMart and we had to stop there on the way home to pick it and some more stuff up to take home.  Poor Rick – I don’t know if he kinda sorta believes me or if he knows that I am just teasing him.  After our first trip down here last fall I told him that when we got home I was going to have a trailer hitch installed on his car for the next trip.  Over the last couple of months I bring it up every once in a while just to see the look on his face LOL.  But not to worry – I am sure there is plenty of room in the car and then some.  I did volunteer to bring the Lincoln but he said “NO!”.  LOL. 

We are going to hang around the pool this afternoon and just chillax.  Maybe play some cards or dice.  It’s a beautiful day.  The sun is out and it is warm.  I think we are going to take a short walk downtown but everytime I do I end up buying something so maybe it’s not a good plan for me to go…

We did go and I didn’t buy anything – imagine that LOL.  We got back and lounged around the pool for a bit – played a couple of games of dice, talked with some others staying at the motel.  The water was warm – once you got in and under, but the air was cooler than the water so it seemed a little cold at first.  There were some younger kids playing in the water and they were having a great time.  One of them, Matthew, a 6 year old,  got to ride in the parade with his dad earlier.  I am so jealous.  Next year I want to be in the parade!!! 

Dinner tonight was at the Tamarack Inn right next door to the motel.  Sue and I split a prime rib dinner – it was the first place that let us split a dinner without a service charge ranging from $7 – $10.  I can understand why a place would want the patrons to order full meals but at the same time the amount of food that gets wasted daily from my plate alone is enough to feed at least 2 other people. I am not complaining – there was a time when I would have finished everything on my plate.  But now that I am unable to do that I feel bad when I have to send food back to the kitchen.  I know I have said it before but the portion sizes for a person like myself who cannot eat that much is a little crazy and although I often take the remainder of my food with me when I leave I very seldom manage to eat it later and instead I end up throwing it out.  I like the places that allow me to order from the seniors menu or the kids menu. 

Back to the Tamarack – the food was ok – nothing special.  As I said Sue and I split a Prime Rib dinner and it was good. The meat was tender with just enough fat on it that I could get it down.  It is kind of difficult to do anything to a baked potato and the veggie of the day was glazed carrots that were very good. 

That being said, there were a couple of things that will ensure that I don’t go back to this establishment the next time I am in Lake George.  First off – the menu.  Every restaurant in town had specials for Bike Week.  Now, whether they were really “specials” or not, I have no way to tell.  Whoever loaded the menus at Tamarack with the “Specials” sheet should be fired.  The pages were slid in over the regular menu. We looked under the pages and the regular menu had the same dishes on it as the “Specials” menu for the most part. However, most of the items were priced $2 – $3 less than the “specials”.  I asked the waitress about it and she said she would ask in the kitchen and let me know.  Her answer when she returned was that she was told that they were old menus.  Sorry, they were not “old” .  Paper tends to age and especially in an environment like a restaurant where they are subjected to daily handling.   Strike One for Tamarack.

Adam ordered steammed clams – one of the “specials”.  It was a bowl of  12 steamers.  It smelled great and looked really good however there were 4 clams that had not opened during the steamming process.  The dish never should have left the kitchen with unopened clams. They are inedible and could cause some serious trouble if eaten by someone who did not know any better.  Luckily Adam did.  When this was mentioned to the waitress, her reply was that she would tell the kitchen. Nothing more, nothing less.  Strike Two for Tamarack.

Last but not least, the bill.  When the bill came I checked it as I was picking up the tab.  Everyone had been taking turns and it was my turn.  We had ordered 4 prime rib specials at $12.99 each in addition to appetizers and drinks.   On the bill we were charged $14.99 for only 3 dinners.  Ok, not a bad thing right.  However when I pointed this out to the cashier she altered the bill to read 4 @12.99 instead of 3 @ 14.99.  I am not mathematician in fact I hate math but when she recalculated the bill it was almost $5.00 cheaper than before adding in the 4th dinner.  Strike three Tamarack.

I am a reasonable person.  Each of these things on their own I could accept; it was busy and none of us is exempt from making mistakes.  However, all these things at one meal I cannot.  Tamarack  Inn will never see me again and if asked I will tell anyone to avoid it.  Sorry – but in a town that relies on it’s tourist dollars on the biggest weekend of the season and with a repeat clientele for the most part – Tamarack needs to learn some new business strategy if they want people to come back.

A quick walk downtown for the last time and it was time to pack up and get things ready to leave tomorrow.  It didn’t take me as long as I thought it would.  Rick was a little surprised how I could manage to take everything and repack it so it didn’t look like nearly as much as it had when it was scattered all over LOL.  He had taken a “before” picture of the corner and teased that he was going to show it to Canada Customs when we re-entered Canada. I made my list for Customs and surprised myself at how I little I was over the allowable amount.  So, a little creative accounting here, a lost receipt there and I was good to go.  Hopefully we will not be the random car that gets pulled in LOLOLOLOL.

Tomorrow is our last day here and at some point we will be heading back to Canada and home.  I have mixed feelings about that.  I would really like to stay another couple of days just to relax and unwind but I know that I have to get back.  I have responsibilities at home that I cannot just shrug off  and ignore.  I do know that everyone is alright but I also do miss them.  I don’t know how that is possible but it is LOL. 

Sipping Bailey’s on the deck tonight, Sue asked me if I was having a good time ; I seemed very quiet. Hell ya, even if I never get back to Lake George I will always remember  my first Bike Week.

You are not leaving this house dressed like that young lady!!!!!

Day 4 was an R&R day. We had nothing planned and had hoped for some nice weather so we could hang around the pool but the sun didn’t co-operate and it was overcast all day with a threat of rain. Instead of sitting around we decided that we would go play some mini-golf. I can’t remember the last time I played mini-golf, that’s how long ago it was but hey, I am on vacation and vacations are for having fun. We all piled in the car and headed for Pirate’s Cove.

 Pirates Cove is a chain of Mini-Golf emporiums that stretch from Florida all the way up to the Canadian Border. You find them mostly in heavily “touristed” areas. Places like Atlantic City and Myrtle Beach and in areas where Golf is a predominate sport. I know that Hilton Head had a lot of Mini-golf courses in addition to Championship Golf Courses.

The owner let the 5 of us play on one team – there is supposed to be a 4 player limit – but we were not splitting up so he really had no choice LOL. Either all 5 or none and it didn’t look like there was a line-up waiting behind us to play. I was up first and wouldn’t you know it, a hole in one. LOL. We played our 18 holes, having a blast along the way. Balls that I thought were going to go right in the cup didn’t and some shots that should have been completely wrong went in. Go figure. When it was all over a hour or so later, the only one of us not to get a hole in one was Rick and lo and behold he managed to win the game. I am not sure how that worked but since I was keeping score I can’t complain LOL.

 After mini-golf we went to Saratoga to have dinner at a place called the Golden Corral. It is a buffet with just about everything you could possibly think of on it. A full range of salads and salad bar fixings, steak, ham, 2 kinds of fish, spaghetti, pizza – you name it, they had it. The cornbread was excellent and I could have very well eaten just that but I was a good girl and had some steak and a whack of salad with both veggies and fruit. But, the best thing was the Bread Pudding on the dessert buffet. I broke my own rule of scoping out everything before deciding on what to eat, only because I knew that if I saw the desserts first I wouldn’t eat properly and that would just throw my body out of sync. I had been doing really well up to this point and wanted to remain pain and vomiting free for the week, so like I said I ate fairly healthy under the circumstances. But I have to stress again the amount of food available was incredible. What I would like to know is how an establishment can put out that much food and even with a full house that night, manage to make any money when it was under $11 per person. That’s just crazy – a great deal but nonetheless still crazy.

After dinner we headed back to Lake George. It was Friday night and Americade was now in full swing. Every type of bike imaginable was there and even a lot of vintage cars showed up. We got stuck in traffic coming back – everyone was out on the main street it would seem and while sitting there I looked to my right and Holy Cow – I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Sitting on a bike right beside the car was a man and a woman. He had on regular clothes – jeans, jacket etc but she was completely dressed wrong for a bike. She was wearing a helmet, I will give her that but the rest of the outfit!!!! In addition to the almost not there halter top and the Daisy Duke shorts she was wearing fishnet stockings and high heels. Ok, so I am no fashion maven and would rather wear comfy clothing (read jeans, t-shirt or better yet sweatpants and sneakers), but I probably wouldn’t be caught dead in what she was wearing (even if I was a size 2). I mean, come on – I could understand if she was on a girl’s night out and looking for something to do after the bars closed but not on a motorcycle. Aside from the obvious reasons, what about safety issues??? Even I know that if you hit the pavement in a get up like that there is going to be no way to protect your skin. I watched 3 bikes go down while I was there and while no one was hurt (well maybe a little bit of their pride) they still had to dust themselves off when they got up. None of them had anything less than jeans and jackets on which in all likelihood probably saved them a little bit of pain later and a lot of broken skin. Somehow I don’t see how picking gravel and dirt out of cuts would make for a really great weekend, but then again what do I know?

 We were all really tired after a day of frivolity, lots of food and oh ya, I think there might have been a stop at WalMart in there somewhere so we opted not to walk into town upon returning to the motel and instead we hit the deck for…you guessed it – a Bailey’s moment LOL. There might have been more than one moment that night LOL, Sue and I sat up till I don’t know what time just chatting and sipping. When it was time to finally go to bed standing up proved to be a little more difficult than I thought it would be. No I wasn’t drunk, or even close but I did have a nice glow on. I can remember when I could drink a lot of people under the table. No, I am not bragging, just stating a fact. That was a long time ago. Since then and since the surgery et al, drinking has not been a big part of my routine. It takes very little to make my head spin these days – besides the fact that alcohol goes straight through my system now – I think that with all the meds I take render my  tolerance low for anything other than juice or soda LOL. I drink a lot of coffee, more than I probably should,  but I have never had a problem with caffeine and there doesn’t seem to be one now. Coffee is the first thing I ingest in the morning and usually the last thing before bed. (In fact it is 2:01 am right now and I just took the last gulp out of my mug.) Oh well, some things just cannot be explained.

The black flies have been out in full force and the souvenirs that I will never lose from my week at Americade in 2009 are the scars from where the little suckers took chunks out of my flesh. One bite, not so bad; two bites and they are looking for trouble! The third bite made half my face puff up. Luckily there was not a fourth bite although I did have one fly up my nose. Killed that one pretty quick, the last thing I needed was to have to go to a hospital and get a shot for a damn bug bite. That would not have made for a good vacation.

 I am counting down the days now till I have to return home. Tomorrow is out last full day here and I am not looking forward to having to pack all my stuff up and head back on Sunday. The parade happens in the a.m. and they should be going passed here around 10:10. Any one with a bike can get in the parade and if all the bikes that I have seen so far participate then it is going to be a parade like nothing I have ever seen before. I am looking forward to it though; I am getting quite an education about motorcycles since arriving. I can tell the difference in the sounds of different engines, I have seen more manufacturers names that I ever knew existed in the building of bikes and the customizing of some of them is amazing. The colours, the designs – it is all truly fascinating to me. And the people are something to see; it has been a people-watching bonanza. From the size of the crowds to the outfits there has never really been a dull moment. I am going to have to find a CD recording of the roar of engines when I get home or I will never be able to get any sleep LOL.

 

A teaser for the parade…

Stuck behind the barricade for the parade!

Stuck behind the barricade for the parade!

 

 Tomorrow – Day 5 , the parade and Officer Awesome!

Sidebar – Too funny to skip!

Tonight I was going to write about Day 4 and the girl in the fishnet stockings but I am going to delay that post for a day.  Something hilarious happened today and since we can all use a laugh once in a while I am going to tell the story.

I haven’t written about BINGO and Bowling lately  because there really hasn’t been anything earth shattering  funny to talk about but that changed today.

We went bowling today – The Senior Bowling Brigade, Sue, Craig and I.  We haven’t been for a while and it was time to get out and do something, and the bowling alley is air conditioned. A good place to spend an afternoon on a muggy, overcast, rainy day.

Everything was going great – we had 2 teams.  Ivy, Grace and Mom were one team.  Craig, Dad and I were the second team.  Sue didn’t feel like bowling so she was our  cheerleader today!

Our first game went by uneventfully.  However, in the second game on one of Ivy’s turns to bowl, she gets up, throws the ball and knocks over two pins.  We tell her she has another turn.  She turns around and starts walking toward the pins.  At that exact moment in time I was about to hurl the ball in my lane and I had to stop.  Ivy was on her way down the lane to knock over the pins LOL.  I started to laugh, turned around and looked at Sue who was also starting to laugh hysterically.  That got me going too – I could barely bowl.  She managed to get Ivy back and to pick up another ball but it was too late.  I was laughing, Craig was laughing and Sue had tears rolling down her face.

But that wasn’t the kicker…

When you walk into the bowling alley you have to take off your shoes.  There is a long carpet runner at the front door where everyone leaves their shoes.  We were not the only ones in the alley today – there was a group of 5 other women who had come in just after us.  We were leavingathe bowling alley and mom was complaining that her shoes weren’t fitting properly.  I told her that I would fix them when we sat down for a coffee next door.  We get our coffees and are sitting at the table – mom cannot get her shoes on.  Well she has one on, but the right foot refuses to go into the show.  We are all telling her that it is because she has sweat socks on in the middle of summer and she should be wearing lighter socks.  Finally out of exasperation more than aanything I tell her to take the shoes off and put mine on.  I will wear hers home.  We switch shoes and I notice there are some pretty snazzy insoles in the shoes but as fast as I noticed it the thought was gone.

After coffee we went home, mom wearing my shoes and I hers.  As I am getting out of the car I look down and realize that these are not mom’s shoes. They do look similar to moms but they are not hers!!!  No wonder they didn’t fit her.  I put my own shoes on and went rushing back to the bowling alley.  As soon as I walked in the owner Gary says, Oh you got my message…Nope I hadn’t been home yet but I knew what he was calling about.   LOL.  Suffice to say that the remainder of my afternoon was spent tracking down the rightful owner of said shoes and delivering them to her door. 

Later tonight at dinner Craig told me that he was glad he had been with us today because if he had not been and I had told him the story about the afternoon it still would have been funny but not nearly as much as seeing it for himself.  The minute that we started talking about it both of us were in stitches.

Now, you may think we are cruel to be laughing at something that is clearly no fault of Ivy’s nor Mom’s.  However, I have to say that when you live with and are a caregiver to anyone with any form of dementia you tend to see things in a different light and in this case we are dealing with Alzhiemer’s Disease.  Mom, Dad and Ivy have all been diagnosed with the disease and sometimes you just have to laugh.  In my case if I didn’t I would spend too much time crying and to be honest – life is too short for that.  So, yes, we do tend to turn some “events” into more than they probably should be but, at the same time, it helps keep us sane in an otherwise insane situation.  We are not laughing at the person per se, we are laughing at the situation. 

My mother does some pretty strange things that I find to be very amusing.  For instance, although she has a closet full of beautiful clothes she prefers to wear my fathers clothing.  The t-shirts are not too bad however, when she is determined to wear his pants some funny things usually occur.  Like, them falling down in the grocery store!!!!  Yes, I know, not funny at the time but relating the story later to Sue had us both in tears. 

Sometimes laughter truly is the best medicine!!!

 I attend seminars conducted by the Alzhiemers Society on coping with and living with people who have dementia.  Through these seminars I have not only met some really awesome people but I have also  learned how to try and cope on a day to day basis with all the “quirks” of my loved ones.  And somedays it is not easy, but I have learned one very important thing.  If no one is getting hurt then it is not a big deal. And I try my damnedest to remember that.  I don’t always score an “A” on that front but I do try and that is the main thing.

Sorry if you were counting on reading about the girl with fishnets (LOL Steve) but I thought we all needed a break from my vacation!

This is the Bowling Brigade:

The bowling brigade:  Ivy, Grace, Ron(dad) and Carol(mom)

The bowling brigade: Ivy, Grace, Ron(dad) and Carol(mom)

Later,

N

Thought for the day…

Map out your future, but do it in pencil.

Cool Runnings – Day 4

Thursday was a day for a little road tripping so off we went.  Whiteface Mountain is the tallest mountain in the area or so I am told.  It was also part of the Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid.  On the way to the mountain you drive by the Olympic Sports Complex.  We stopped here for a bit to see what the deal was because you can actually ride the Bobsled Run that was used in the Olympics.  How amazing is that?  So the particulars of it all are this:  you must be at least 48″ or 4 feet tall.  It costs $65.00, but you get a 4×6 pic of yourself probably screaming your head off or throwing up, a t-shirt, a pin and a lifetime membership in the World Bobsledding Assoc. Your run includes a driver and instructor – which is probably a good thing, the liability insurance alone must cost a fortune, and taking the run solo would not be good business practise from an insurance point of view.  I still count “Cool Runnings”, the story of the Jamaican Bobsled Team at the Calgary Winter Olympics as one of my favourite movies and standing there contemplating taking the run all I could see was the 4 of them freezing their butts off in the Calgary winter  and counting down in German LOLOLOL.  Who’da thunk it, a Jamaican Bobsled Team but I digress (as usual).

Adam wanted to take the run and so did I, but times being what they are the price tag was a little steep for this trip but next time – I am going and Sue also wants too. She said she would have but thought the height requirement was 60 inches and she wouldn’t have passed it – but she misread it and we are going next year.

The Bobsled run in the background, Olympic Sports Complex, Lake Placid NY. The Bobsled run in the background, Olympic Sports Complex, Lake Placid NY.

On our way into the complex we stopped to take some silly photos and I noticed that there was a butterfly stuck in the grill of the car and it was still alive.  Poor thing 😦  so i gingerly tapped it so it would come off the grill.  I am not sure if it was stuck there or holding on for dear life but it kinda sorta fell to the ground and started fluttering around.  Within a minute there was another little butterfly with it, as if it had been following us just waiting for an opportunity to meet up with it’s friend once more.  The two of  them fluttered around for a couple of seconds and the next thing I knew, they flew off together.  This made me very happy – I hate to think that I participated in the death of something – I am just strange that way. One day on my way to work a Seagull flew into my car and was dead!  I cried all the way to work.  I don’t really like seagulls, but I would never kill one intentionally.  And but again, I digress…

Here is the butterfly:

saved from death!

saved from death!

After leaving the sports complex we drove to a little shop that sold  handcrafted cedar and pine furniture among some other cool stuff.  Look what I found:

Looks like Bosco!!!

Looks like Bosco!!!

You would think that if  Bosco had a modelling career before I got him, he would have at least told me so we could be collecting royalties!!!  It was nice to see this though because by now I was really missing the dogs.

The furniture really was beautiful, all red cedar and highly polished.  It always amazes me when I see stuff like this – it is hard to believe that someone actually takes the time to build it.

Hand Made Cedar Furniture

Hand Made Cedar Furniture

They also had a “novelty” chair on site and Sue was determined to sit in it!  I had to boost her up and you can see why here:

My name is Edith Ann and I am 5 years old...

My name is Edith Ann and I am 5 years old...

For some reason Lily Tomlin and Laugh In popped into my head and for the rest of the day it made me laugh everytime I thought about it.  We left the store and headed to Whiteface, but not before stopping at an A&W for lunch.  I tell ya, you Americans have it made.  It was a real drive-in A&W with many more things on the menu that A&W has here in Canada.  BUT, the rootbeer wasn’t as good which really surprised me since the A&W Vanilla Cream Soda that I can only get in the US rocks!!!!!

When we finally arrived at Whiteface (after a little “lost” detour) we were told that the elevator to the top was not working.  That didn’t stop us so up we drove.  Wow!  What an incredible drive.  They mark off the elevation above sea level as you are driving up.  At the top it is 4600+ feet.  We got as far as we could in the car and then got out to check out the walk to the top.  With the thin air, temperature hovering around 45 degrees and my A&W lunch sitting in between my lungs I didn’t get too far up to the top.  I had to stop and come back down, I was having a tough time breathing.  Adam made it to the top and he has some awesome pics from up there.  Mine are from the bottom looking up LOL.

The lookout tower at the top of Whiteface.

The lookout tower at the top of Whiteface.

Adam is my hero – the path up to the top is just that, a path of rock.  In some places there is not a whole lot to keep you from falling off the mountain.  He made it up to the top and back down without a scratch.  Way to go Adam, I couldn’t have done it!

While we were up there you can see for miles, in fact on this day the visibility was 70 miles.  It is an amazing view and looking down is not as scary as I thought it would be.  Actually it is quite beautiful.  I have been to and driven through the Rockies in Alberta, the Poconos in PA, driven Route 66  and seen the Grand Canyon but each time I see a view like this it astonishes me to think that somehow, some mystical force over the course of the last gazzillion years could produce this.

View from Whiteface

View from Whiteface

This is Mirror Lake.  Looking at it from ground level it is just another lake, yes it is beautiful but from up here on Whiteface it is easy to see how it got it’s name.  Who named it all those years ago, and how did they get up the mountain to see it?  The road up isn’t that old and the lake has been there forever – how did they know it was a mirror image?  These are questions that I know I will never be able to answer and that drives me crazy LOL.

The day that we spent getting to Whiteface and the time we spent at the top will always stay in my mind.  The older I get the more I have learned to appreciate the wonders of the world. Sometimes without question and other times with lots that have been known to make my brain hurt because I know there are no answers.  God, evolution, Aliens;  the possibilities are endless.

The ride back to Lake George brought us into town with yet more bikes arriving.  By now, every parking spot was full downtown.  The local grocery store (if you could call it that) had a woman in the parking lot marking license plates – if you left your car and didn’t go into the store – your car would be gone when you got back.  So some of us went into the grocery store and some of us went across the street to the liquor store…yep, we were out of Bailey’s and what would a night on the deck be without Bailey’s.

Dinner at this great little place we found in the fall – The Shoreline Restaurant.  Sitting on the patio, overlooking Lake George.  It was getting cool but at least this time we remembered to take our sweaters LOL.  As always, the meal was fabulous.  I had a ceasar salad and a chicken quesadia.  The salsa was homemade and I could have eaten it on its own!  I even remembered to order Sweet Tea this time!  The highlight of the menu that night was the “boneless ribs” that Sue ordered.  She said they were excellent.  Although I am sure that “boneless ribs” is just another name for Pork Loin!!!  Whatever the case,  Shoreline gets a 9/10 and we will be going back there next time.

Another great day  – tomorrow is supposed to be a rest and relaxation day, some pool time and maybe a nap or two…ya right !!!!! LOLOLOL.

Although I am missing the animals and even the ‘rents I really don’t want to think about going home on Sunday.  I think part of it is that I don’t want to have pack – the 2 outfits have grown exponentially to a huge pile sitting beside my bed LOL.  So much for promises made to myself, but the other thing is that I am finally rested up and relaxed and I know that in another couple of days it is back to reality and you know what – sometimes reality DOES suck!!!!

 

Tomorrow Pirates Cove and the girl in the Fishnet stockings.

Outlet shopping – does it get any better than this? Day 3

A quick stop at the Harley Davidson dealer landed me a pink Harley mug.  Too funny – pink in a Harley store.  This is now my favourite mug ever and everyone here at home had been warned that no one and I mean no one but me uses the pink Harley mug.  That way if I break it I only have myself to kill…

You know that old adage when in Rome…

Well, when in an area with outlet shopping…

And I did.  I had promised myself that the only thing I was going to buy on this trip was an outfit for the wedding reception I am going to in Minneapolis next week.  Well, I hate breaking promises and go far out of my way not to but this time, I failed miserably.  Not only did I buy an outfit, I bought 2.  Yep, that is correct I now have 2 outfits to pack  and  subsequently iron upon arrival in Minneapolis.  They will require ironing as summer fabric tends to be of the cotton or linen persuasion and wrinkles horribly when packed into a suitcase.  Oh woe is me – I hate ironing!!!!  Got shoes to wear too, but after wearing them home I decided that they weren’t quite what I wanted so a quick trip around here was required.  Got the shoes! I still need a purse but that will come this week or I might even wait till the Mall of America.  I mean, hey if you can’t find a purse at the largest mall ever, what is the world coming to?

Last year on our trip I was introduced to a store called “Big Dogs”.  It was an awesome store and we were told at the time that it was closing.  They had a lot of good deals (clothes) so we loaded up pretty good.  Well, they are still open but the quality of the stuff they sell has gone downhill.  Yes, it was cheap, but not only in price 😦

I didn’t get anything at Big Dogs – and it was quite a disappointment.  But I made up for it at other stores LOL.  I think I single handedly help to boost the US economy. 

Found a new store called Harry and Davids – a gourmet place with lots of “fun” food stuff.  Picked up some Pumpkin butter and my favourite Orange Marmalade.  They were sampling Iced Coffee the day we were there – Sorry, McD’s still wins that one by a longshot.

There was also a store that sold accessories…my father wears braces on his pants.  He likes the ones that button not clip on.  Before I went away I had been in Sears to pick some up (The only store around here that sells them).  They were $35 a pair.  I picked up 3 pair but ended up leaving them in the store when Sears refused to take my mother’s Sears card which I had used very extensively at Christmas.  Since I was Nancy not Carol no sale.  As a matter of principle I refused to pay cash or use my Visa card. Hell, its not like I was trying to buy a ride on lawn mower or something and it sure is nice to know that Sears is doing so well during this recession that they don’t need my $100.00.  Anyhow I digress…

I am so glad that I didn’t buy the braces at Sears because lo ahd behold I get to the accessory store and they have then there – same brand Van Heusen but instead of $35.00 they are $11.25.  Hmmm.  So I picked up a couple of pair for dad and a belt to match.  

Lunch was a non event – the food was ok, the service passable.  However, when we were presented with the bill we were told that there had been an 18% gratuity already added.  This did not sit well with me and as a person who has been a waitress I will tell you why. The problem with added gratuities is that  the waitstaff already know they are getting a damn good tip so there is no incentive to do a good job,  or go out of your way for a customer.  A request for anything can go unheard and unfilled because, why bother – you are going to get a tip anyway.  Leaving a tip for any waitstaff should be left up to the customer not mandated by the management of  any establishment. Reward them for doing an excellent job, not just for showing up at work on their given shift.  Additionally,  the menu clearly states that any party of 6 or more will automatically be charged the 18%.  We were a party of five, not six.  When I mentioned this to our server I was met with a blank stare.  However, since I was being treated to lunch I let the issue drop.  If I had been picking up the tab there would have been some major discussion before it was paid.  And no, I am not cheap.  My standard tip is about 20% of the bill if the service warrants it.  Now, I can hear you saying that I tip more than the 18% but and this is a biggie – if the service warrants it.  If it doesn’t then I tip accordingly.  I know that alot of wait staff depend on tips but hey, earn them like the rest of the world!!!

The outlet mall parking lot was also the resting place of the Boss Hoss trikes.  In addition to the one I fell in love with, there were a couple more.  The red one had a trunk with more capacity than my Lincoln. 

A trunk big enough to carry just about anything

A trunk big enough to carry just about anything

For the bargin basement price of only $53,000 this beauty can be yours...

For the bargin basement price of only $53,000 this beauty can be yours...

But I am still sticking with my favourite…

sigh...the new love of my life.  (well except for Officer Awesome thatyou will meet on Day 6!!)

sigh...the new love of my life. (well except for Officer Awesome thatyou will meet on Day 6!!)

SO all my American friends, do you know how lucky you are to live in a country with WalMart Superstores????  We have then here in Canada but they pale in comparison with the ones you have!  Being in one in the US is like being in shopping heaven.  Everything from A-Z and then some.  I adore WalMart SS in the US.  I would move there just for that reason alone.  How sad is that – giving up free medical for a WalMart SuperStore?  Even better if it is situated beside a Sam’s Club.  Yep – we tried those here too but they didn’t go over well so they are all but gone now north of the border. Shopping in one is amazing.  You can get everything on your grocery list and more.  Yes, I truly love WalMart Superstores.
After a long day of shopping it was back to Lake Haven.  It was not a particularly nice day so we opted for a picnic around the pool at the nieghbouring motel with MaryJane and Adam. And then once again headed into town.    A lot more bikes have arrived and even more will roll in tomorrow.  I am so used to the roar of engines that it is only when they stop I notice them or more I notice the quiet in their place.  A very strange sensation if I do say so LOL.
A short time later it was…you guessed it: sit on the deck, watch the bikes go by and sip  Bailey’s Time.
Tomorrow we are off to Whiteface Mountain and Day 4.

A 3 Hour Tour – Day 2

OK so it wasn’t 3 hours it was only 2 and it wasn’t a cabin cruiser it was a steamboat LOL.  But no matter what the vehicle or the time frame it was a really nice way to spend some time on the Lake. (BTW – how did MaryAnne, Ginger and Mrs. Howell have all those clothes on board?)

When we were in Lake George last fall we went on an boat tour of Lake George.  It was on an honest-to-goodness Steamboat and everytime the steam whistle blew we got covered in mist.  The boat was called the Mini-Haw-Haw and it is one of the last steamboats in the US that runs under real steam power.  You can even walk through the room where the steam machine thingy is (ok so maybe I didn’t pay attention to the terminology LOL) and see how the steam is produced.

This time we went on another boat the Ste. Sacrement.  We took the 2 hour cruise which included a buffet lunch and with the extra hour the boat cruised further north into the Lake than the one we had been on previously.

Lunch was pleasant – a buffet that included Roast beef, ham, turkey, a lot of different salads, potatoes, rolls, soup – all the standard stuff.  Dessert was a Tiramisu that was very good – light on the coffee.  After lunch we were able to either stay at our table and watch the lake go by or hit the outer decks and bask in the sun.  We chose to bask in the sun. 

 Lake George is a fairly large lake and at it’s deepest runs about 200 feet. The village of Lake George sits to the west of the lake.  Behind the village is a set of hills.  There are a few homes setting up high in the hills – what magnificent views they must have    To the east, another  ridge of high hills encloses it with the cottages and homes sitting at the bottom of the hills.  The hills on both sides of the  lake  essentially puts Lake George and the surrounding areas in the valley at the south end of Adirondack Park.

 The tour took us north up the lake.  We passed Millionaires Row – which is aptly named – some of the “cottages” are bigger than what I would call a mansion on this side of the border.  Some of them that were once single family homes have been converted into resorts of the Rich and Famous kind.  The one thing I noticed about alot of them was the size of the surrounding property and the “boat houses”.  The boat houses ranged from your basic boathouse to buildings that were more like floating cottages.  Most had at least 2 garage doors and decks on top.  Alot had been modelled after the original style of the building on the property.  It was actually kind of cool to see a boathouse that was a mini version of the main house/cottage.  The properties were all nicely manicured and since it was the beginning of June, alot of flowers were in bloom.  We also passed the Sagamore Hotel and Resort.  This was the third version of the original hotel and it is much more grand than the original.  It immediately brough to mind the movie Dirty Dancing.  Although the movie wasn’t filmed there it could have been.  For some reason the Sagamore sounded very familiar to me but I am not sure why and I still haven’t figured it out. But I will after some more research.  I am by no means a cheap person but I refused to pay $37.00 for a paperback book on the boat with the history of the Sagamore! I may be a tourist but I am not stupid LOL.

The Sagamore Hotel and Resort

The Sagamore Hotel and Resort

Rick has much better pictures on his camera so I will have to get them from him and post them later.

After the boat docked everyone went on their separate ways.  Adam and I chose to hit the vendors that were set up for Americade.  Most of them were Motorcycle related and since I don’t own a bike I skipped over the majority of the booths.  My search was more for other things – like jewelry.  I did manage to find a vendor who sold the type of jewelry I was looking for.  I had been to Niagara Falls last summer and found a store that sold awesome stuff.  I picked up a ring and earrings to match.  They were a little pricey but good value for the price.  At Lake George I found the necklace to match.  Right there on Day 2 my trip was made! LOL.  I still had to find an outfit for my cousin Kate’s wedding reception in Minneapolis but that wouldn’t come until Shopping Day LOL.

I watched a bike being airbrushed and it was truly a work of art. 

There were a myriad of vendors selling everything that one could ask for if you owned a bike.  Alas I don’t so after a quick cruise by we left the vendors.

Walking back to the motel took me by the main Harley set up.  Here you could test drive a Harley and there was a pretty good line up for it.  I couldn’t test drive one – no motorcycle licsence – but I watched for a little bit and it was kind of funny.  Most of the “test drivers” were men and they all looked really excited to be waiting to test drive a Harley.  LOL.  Going by the Harley area also took me passed a long line of bikes…

Harley Row

  Harley Row

 

and still...more bikes

and still...more bikes

I started walking back to the motel and that’s when I discovered that although it is uphill,  if you walk on the west side of the street it is a little less of an incline, almost like a race track that is banked.  This was good info to know as we walked back and forth all the time and it didn’t seem to be as much of a daunting task if you were on the west side LOL.

Back at the motel Sue and Rick were poolside catching some sun so I joined them and got a bit of colour finally…

Rick decided to skip dinner and take a nap so Sue, MaryJane, Adam and I headed back into town to see what was on the menu.  We ended up at JC Montana’s on the patio.  Everyting on the menu sounded great – I hate menu’s for that reason LOL, again I settled on appetizers – a bowl of steammed mussels and a small ceasar salad.  The problem was that it had started getting cooler and after spending some time in the sun all day Sue and I were freezing.  We hadn’t brought jackets – when we left the motel the sun was still out, but now the clouds were starting to come in and with them the cooler night air.  What is a tourist too do????  Well, you just go next door to the T-Shirt shop and get a warm sweater LOL.

Sue and I both went and she found a fleece in her size no problem.  They didn’t have my size but the guy in the store said he would run down the street to the other store and check.  They didn’t have one either but he said that he would go up to the stock room and look there.  By this time dinner was on the table so I told him “Thanks but I gotta go”.  Sue and I went back to the patio to eat.  Next thing I know the guy from the store is there with my shirt which was still warm from the printing of the logo on it LOL.  Sue and I are now called the “DILLIGAF” twins due to our orange fleece’s LOL.

If you don’t know what DILLIGAF is ask me and I will tell you privately LOL this is a family blog!!!!!

After a quick walk around town to check out the bikes and some people watching it was back to the deck for a Bailey’s…(does anyone notice a trend here LOL?)  Time to rest up – tomorrow is shopping day – YEAH!!!!!!