Saranac Ice Palace

The 2010 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is about to kick off and I was planning on stopping by. My parents visited the Ice Castle last year and I never got the chance so it was on the list for this year. You can see a Time Lapse of the build from last year below:

They started building the one for this year this past week and you can watch the progress on the Webcam below (updated every few seconds):

Ice Palace Webcam

With all the rain and the warm temperatures… It doesn’t look good for the palace, but here’s hoping it only slowed the process and didn’t kill it.

Hope I get to see it this year.

Diamond Sportsmen’s Club Camp

campI’m not sure how this happened but I don’t believe I’ve mentioned my parents new haven here yet. A few years back we lost our second camp (also not mentioned her as of yet) to a leasing issue and my parents decided they’d had enough. Next time, they’d buy one.  For about two years, my family had been on the market. They hadn’t been actively looking, but things had cropped up here and there without anything very enticing.

Last summer things changed. My father heard about this little camp on a somewhat large privately owned club that was up for sale. I’m not sure what it was exactly but something caught his eye so he high-tailed it up there to check it out and liked it so much that he brought my mother up a few days later.

IMG_2004They had actually seen the ad for the same camp the previous fall but thought it was overpriced.  After a winter of not selling the price fell and after seeing the ad for the second time they are now the proud new owners of their own little slice of the Adirondack Pie.

A little over a year later and the camp has given us many new friends, one nice Buck, a new four-wheeler, a few thousand miles on the snowmobiles, 2 tired puppies, and too many feasts to count.

As the second year of ownership begins, we’re (almost) done with first major camp project.  A nice big Toy Shed to keep everything dry.  Now it’s time to relax, shoot some bucks, enjoy the camp over the winter and prep for next year.

The camp is perfect size for two people, but when you add another two (or three) and some huskies, it gets a little cramped. Next year we plan to more than double the size, two new bed rooms and a larger living space later and we should be all set.

Can’t wait. I love spending time up there almost as much as my father does.

Oregon Coast to Seaside

Tuesday was relaxing.  We got up and had the continental breakfast (we made it a point to eat itevery day, no sense spending money on a meal that was included with your hotel).  We took our time checking out and headed to do laundry.  Since we’re here for 3 weeks we intentionally only packed enough for 1 to lighten the load. This only took us a little over an hour (thank you 45lb dryers!) which was just about perfect since right then we got a call to meet at Fudruckers for lunch.  “Sounds good!” we said and headed over.

ecola-state-parkAfter lunch (Michael at a 1lb burger…) with the family (George, Stacie, Mom, Dad, Michael, Michelle, Rachel and myself) everyone took a leisurely drive through the countryside to get a good view of Mt hood.  We stopped outside a ranch of some sort where we could see it pretty clearly.

Here, we said our goodbyes (I think Rachel and Michelle were the most saddened) and struck out for the coast.  We had already been to Cannon beach and south to Tullamook but we hadn’t made it to Ecola State Park and we figured, since we had the time, what better way to get to Seattle than to take the coast the whole way.

Sunset at Ecola was amazing.  However; since we started out so late we only made it as far as Seaside, which turned out to be a very cute town but extremely touristy.  There we stayed at the Sandy Cove Inn which was adorable.  It was family owned and apparently had been purchased and renovated by the current owners about 2 years ago.  It was one of those theme places, where every room has a theme.

Thus ended our first real night on the road.

Rehearsal and Dinner at Portland City Grill

The rehearsal went off without a hitch at the beautiful Aerie at Eagle Landing.  Because Smitty wasn’t flying in until Saturday morning, I acted as a stand-in groomsmen, which was a first but fun.

Sunset over PortlandAfter the rehearsal always comes the good part… the dinner.  For this particular event we ate at the Portland City Grill on the 30th floor of the US Bancorp building.  The view was incredible, and we were blessed with a gorgeous sunset way up over the west hills.  Pictures can’t do it justice, and since I only brought my 50mm portrait lens (without a polarized filter through glass at night) my pictures of the city and the skyline were all but useless.  Since it was also Michael’s birthday George and Stacie had a cake for him which was absolutely delicious!

You’ll just have to trust me, the view from the Portland City Grill is well worth the cost of a meal, it truly is spectacular.

Wegmans Henrietta

Wegmans just opened a new store in Henrietta NY replacing one of their oldest remaining stores.  My Mother-in-Law Karen is the Floral manager and has worked at the Henrietta store for over 30 years. naturally the local news wanted to know what she had to say about the new store.

For those of you who don’t know what wegmans is it’s a grocery store.  It’s a grocery store that people will drive hours to get to.  It’s a grocery store that’s privately owned.  It’s a grocery store that college kids hang out in at 4am.  It’s a grocery store that’s a small European market in one building.  I could go on, because I have worked there just like most Rochestarians.  In fact I met my wife there.  It’s a community staple.

So you can see that it actually is a big deal when they open a new store in the area and close an old one.

RIP Store #21.

Surprise!

My father-in-law George just turned 50 on sunday (August 3rd).  It’s kind of a big deal.  To celebrate the occasion my mother-in-law and the rest of the family had been planning a surprise birthday party for months.  To add to the fun George Jr flew in, unknown to George Sr, from Portland Oregon and stepped out from behind everyone just as dad thought he’d said hello to everyone.  You can just see the rush of emotion in his face as the realization hits him that his son is here.

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As plans do, everything to keep George out of the house fell through so Rachel and I made a last minute ditch effort to fix it.  We managed to get him out of the house for a few hours by bribing him with lunch and a movie (Dark Knight).

Life In The Country

Sunrise in Marion My parents are off on another adventure. This time they’re in Florida. I wonder if this will become a recurring theme now that my Father is retired? My mother claims that she’s going to work forever just for the health insurance benefits she gets through Wegmans so maybe not. I can’t imagine she’ll hold out quite that long, especially at this pace, though.

I’m happy for them. They’ve worked their whole lives and now get to reap the rewards. I hope they take even more trips so I can see the pictures. Or maybe next time they’ll take us with them? Or maybe we’ll take them with us.

While they’re gone this time we’re watching the house, well not the house really but my 17 year old dog Chewy. She was born in the middle of the Ice Storm of 1991 and is probably the healthiest 17 year old dog you’ll ever see.

I never realized while growing up here but the scenery is quite beautiful. My parents live in Marion Ny in the same house that I grew up in. While I was growing up it was completely surrounded by fields, valleys and farms. now there are 3 houses across the street instead of fields, and they mostly block the view. Even so the colors of the trees on the other side of the valley are always gorgeous and I had forgotten the sunrises were often so amazing. I woke up to a beautiful sunrise Thursday morning. What a wonderful way to start the day.