Well, we are freshly back from our trip to New York and Connecticut. Having family in both states makes visiting both pretty easy as the distance between the two states isn't too terrible.
We packed light, as we'd have access to a washer/dryer while back east. Turns out it was a good plan because as it was we were loaded down with backpacks and computer cases and kid stuff. I've never dragged so much stuff onto a plane before!
The kiddos really loved the plane ride over. They were glued to the window the whole time, only taking breaks to fight and play - take your pick! LOL - it really wasn't that bad. I brought a bunch of dollar store toys with me for them to explore and that kept them busy when they weren't checking out the view.
So my cousins wedding was on Saturday. George and April got married at the Historical Society in Lodi, NY - it used to be a church and I could see why. High wooden ceilings, beautiful stained glass. The service was short and sweet and the reception was fun, too. I had so much energy. I managed to get Noel to dance with me a little although he preferred sitting and taking pictures. The kiddos wanted to dance - Madelaine only if you were holding her, though. The reception was held at Veterans Hall. That's not what it was called but I can't think of the exact name right now.
We had a bonfire afterwards at the grooms house - a Christmas tree plantation - because the hall only stayed open until ten. The bonfire had to have been at least 10 feet high and was the largest I've seen - even bigger than the ones we used to have on Seneca Lake. I did my first jello shots there. Anyone who knows me knows that I hardly ever drink - usually just a glass of wine with my dinner once a month or so but those little things were so tasty! I must have had 7 or 8 of them. Half were made with wine and half with vodka. I was a little tipsy by the end and had laughed harder than I've laughed in a long time. The college kids that were there and their stories probably had something to do with it.
My family and my brother and his oldest daughter Logan were all staying at a little cottage that my parents had rented on Cayuga lake - so that's where we headed back to. The kids had the upstairs bunks and Ethan had the front enclosed porch. Noel and I had a back room. The little place was cute and was owned by my mothers second cousins Dar and Barb. I found out while I was there that my grandfather had built the kitchen. The place was right on the lake and there was a dock. We got lots of great pics of the kids out on it.
My Uncle Gary and cousin Mary came by in their motorboat and took us for a ride. We went across the lake which was about a mile and a half wide and saw Wells College, which used to be an all female college. Saw some kayakers while we were out there.
There was a reunion at the old Usher barn, which is a simply amazing piece of craftmanship. It's huge with a large lofty ceiling. I'll have to post pics. There's no way for me to describe it appropriately. About 40 family members showed up for the reunion and we got a pic of all the first cousins on some hay bales inside the barn. Mary, George, Kim, Eric, Sarita, Ethan, and Charlene. The kids played in the dirt outside when they weren't eating and seemed to have a wonderful time.
The next couple of days to went to Taughannock Falls, the tallest waterfall on the east coast, I believe. We walked in the quarter mile and Logan and McKenna had a misunderstanding which led to Logan crying the entire time. I love the girl, but several times during the trip I found myself yelling at her to mind her manners and respect her father. If you're reading this Tish, I didn't want her behavior to rub off on McKenna, otherwise I would've let Ethan do his 1-2-3 thing with her. Other than a few times, she and McKenna got on really well together and McKenna enjoyed playing with her.
We had a dinner party one of the nights for all of the aunts, uncles and cousins and basically had a Thanksgiving meal - it was also my birthday, so I think that was the excuse for having it! :) Earlier that day Dad had taken me wine tasting. The fingerlake region is swarming with vineyards and wineries and most are incredibly beautiful. We went to Lucas Vineyards and picked up a red Tugboat wine and a "Nautie" white wine called Miss Adventurous. They were both excellent, as were many of the others we tasted while we were there. We had our wine with the dinner and it was really yummy.
Next morning we stuffed ourselves on homemade cinnamon rolls that my lovely cousin Mary made. I think is was Friday that we went to Rochester to the Museum of Play for kids and they had a blast. Bridges and ships and science areas and fancy old kitchens with hand pumps at the kitchen sink and tons of other stuff for them to explore. The entire museum was one big library, too. Everywhere you go there would be a wall of books here or just a little end table with 3 books there. It was the cutest thing. The kids especially loved the mini supermarket where they could "buy" things and check themselves out at the register.
Saturday night we spent at my sister's cabin in the Adirondack mountains near Forestport. Her little magical place is so beautifully decorated. There's a little rock lined path up to her door and an pretty little wooden rocking chair made of twigs outside her front door. A little creek hung over with trees flows quietly by and she can see it through a huge window when she wakes up in the morning. Some of the antiques and things she has collected throughout her life decorate the cabin and there's really not a square inch of wall showing! There's a little loft upstairs where Noel and I stayed the night with Eli and the girls and Logan shared a blow-up mattress downstairs. Madelaine really loved the loft and was up there a lot scaring us because she kept leaning out onto the scythe that acted as a rail at the top. We had a delicious pork roast for dinner and concord grapes to munch on. We sat at their campfire with Tiki torches around the perimeter after dinner. It really was incredible and when we come back east again I want to spend more time there.
As I am running out of time I will blog about the Connecticut portion of our trip next time!