23 July 2010

What I did on my summer vacation

I keep waiting to be coherent, but it's not happening.
Oh well.

We had a lovely camping trip to upstate New York. We made a two day trip of it and went down through Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Mark loaned us his van and his GPS since out little Prizm is on her last legs and wouldn't make the trip even if she were big enough for a camping trip. We're extremely grateful for the loan, but we have come to the conclusion that Mark was absolutely right about the GPS being a mixed blessing at best...about half the time it was our savior, as it allowed us to find lodging and bathrooms when and where we needed them -- and about half the time it was Satan spawn as it led us down the merry path to...Canada. We weren't carrying passports, but regardless of what we did, the silly creature wanted to take us across the border. We did eventually convince it, but we wasted a fair amount of time back tracking as we realized where we were headed.

We stopped for the first night at Niagara Falls and had a quick look around next morning before heading out for Syracuse to visit with Glenna and Rich while we had lunch.

We were very grateful for the use of their kitchen for a civilized meal on the road!

Rich and I were good friends back in college at CW Post Center, LIU and we hadn't seen each other in 32 years. Glenna is his lovely lady and life partner.

This is an older photo of them because we were so engrossed in our reminiscence and catching up that we all forgot completely about cameras. Next time!

Next we headed straight to the family homestead away up north where there are more stars than I could ever remember! My brother, David, and sister in law, Tricia, were gracious in letting us pitch a tent in the yard to get our camping fix for the year (coffee in the early morning light outside the tent is a treat not matched by any amount of civilized convenience!)

But once everyone was up for the day, it was a merry round of socializing! The Durocher family reunion is, I think, a 44 year or so tradition. Two days of eating, talking, talking, eating, and more talking. Oh, and did I mention talking? My Dad used to laugh about how my mother and her eight sisters could sit in a room together and hold 4 simultaneous conversations, in which all of them took part, and none of which used entire sentences because they read each others minds. I think they still do! ;) (The two brother seem to keep up just fine -- one as 'the big brother and family authority on all things' and the other by listening quietly. )

After two days of family fun, artesian well water, and the deep sense of being HOME in a place that I only actually lived in for one year, it was time to head out again.

We got a late start, so though we saw Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Cottage & Museum and museum and Almanzo Wilder's childhood home, we had to take a note to actually stop and explore them another time. Our real adventure on the way home was stopping at an organic farm in Gouverneur, New York to buy milk straight from the cow! I'm not sure who was happier, us or the farmer. ;)

I'm not sure where we stopped for the night...we pushed on until neither of us could see straight (about 11pm) and pulled into the first shelter that the GPS presented to us. We pushed right through the next day, too.

Jack was an amazing trooper through it all. He only lost his cool once, toward the end of day two of driving up to Cadyville, and then a stop under some trees to stretch, run, hop, and then ground and center settled him right down again. Mostly we read Percy Jackson and we talked and sang silly songs. It was really fun!

Janice, you wondered what we ended up doing for food. Oddly, it was so hot that we were really not interested in eating -- mostly we wanted water. But we roasted a chicken the night before we left and had that for dinner at the hotel the first night. We also made a salad at Rich and Glenna's apartment. Other than that, we made do with fruit, nuts, Lara bars, and way too many (safe) potato chips.

That's a pretty brief summary -- but though it was six days and we had a wonderful time, it's all one big happy blur.


  1. Sounds like an amazing trip!!

    I got a GPS a year or two ago. It definitely takes some getting used to. How annoying that yours was so insistent on taking you to Canada. :( I haven't tried using mine to find lodging and bathrooms, but this does seem like a really worthwhile feature. My big GPS bugaboo was when I was in Boston and I'd drive through a tunnel and the GPS would totally lose track of where I was. Then it would stop giving me directions for where to go, but I would not realize it and would do whatever was still left on the screen from when I entered the tunnel. That would take me someplace totally wrong, and we would end up looping through all kinds of unintended places.

    I do like my GPS for everyday bopping around Ann Arbor. If I'm not sure which path to a place is faster, I'll use the GPS to find out. Sometimes there are trips where I've been wondering for years which route is faster, so it's nice to have an arbiter for that. Or if I need to take a kid on a playdate to an unfamiliar place, I can use the GPS to find a super-fast route instead of looking at a map.

    This is a very long shot, but... At CW Post, did you ever run across a professor / department head named Julian Mates? He was my uncle. He died last week.

    Anyway, it sounds like an *amazing* trip!! I'm glad you could go!

  2. Hi, Valerie,

    I don't remember meeting Professor Mates. What did he teach? I am so sorry to hear that your Uncle died.

  3. I think he taught something about literature. Let me Google up his obituary. Ah, here it is:

    Evidently he taught and did a lot of different things. The obituary has several paragraphs about it -- too long to quote here. But it seems likely that you interacted with him in some way, even if only to hear the school song sung, which he helped to compose.


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