Sunday, October 25, 2009

Are you tired of fall yet?

I'm not.

My parents are here from the California desert. First visit to see little old me in 2.5 years. And this place is nothing like where they live. So I had to drag them out in the cold, wind, and rain to get pictures of fall foliage.

I took them to a trailhead that is part of the Appalachian Trail. It was so quiet, and so beautiful.

I wanted my parents to walk across the Delaware River to New Jersey, and this is what we saw along the way.

I also took them to a local resort to check out their fall displays (and Dad got to sample their scotch).

We finished up with a shot from my neighborhood. Pretty, no?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I waited 13 years for this

Back in 1996, I was dating a young man who liked music, especially jazz and blues. I went to visit him (it was a long-distance relationship, after all) and he said we were going to see Koko Taylor. I, not being a jazz/blues fan, had no idea who she was, but she promised me that it would be fabulous.

We headed out in the rain to the concert venue. Turns out Koko was singing in the side lounge, and They Might Be Giants were performing in the main ballroom. I might have wanted to see They Might Be Giants instead. I might have mentioned it to the boyfriend. He might have looked hurt. We went to see Koko.

She was great, don't get me wrong. Amazing voice, great band. But it was a tiny room and the boyfriend wanted to be right up by the speakers. I literally thought my ears were going to bleed. And everyone was smoking (which was something you could do back then), so I could barely see, and the air was so thick I probably could have chewed it.

I still wanted to see They Might be Giants.

Fast forward to the late summer of this year. The boyfriend is a distant memory and Koko Taylor has gone to the great blues hall in the sky. They Might Be Giants are still around, performing all of their favorites, and some new stuff, including a series of songs from children's albums (score! instant gifts for the nephews and niece!). J gets a flyer in the mail that, as part of their homecoming weekend, his alma mater is having They Might Be Giants for an afternoon kids' show AND an adults-only show later in the evening. For $5. We get tickets.

They did not disappoint. They had a great opening act (check out Guggenheim Grotto when you get a chance--their harmonies are amazing). They played a rocking 90-minute set, filled with songs old and new, hysterical stories of the last time they were in town, and a lot of fun. We had a blast.

SO worth it. And only $5 ;)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

!@$#@% Nor'Easter

The weather report has been warning us of the possibility of snow, but we weren't ready to believe it. This morning the weather report was snow above 1500 feet, and we decided that we weren't getting any (seeing as we're at 900 feet).

By lunchtime, DH was e-mailing me that the snow had been falling since 9am, and we could get 4 inches before it was all over. I was heading home by 2:30.

It's still snowing. And cold. Low of 32.

There goes the basil...

Monday, October 12, 2009

A reason to love where I live

If you know me at all, you know that I'm not always thrilled with where I live. It's pretty far from a big city, which makes trips to do some serious shopping or attend cultural events a bit of a challenge. Not to mention that fact that I'm convinced that the worst drivers from NY and NJ are now living in my area.

But this time of year makes me happy to live in the Poconos. The leaves are turning, and the air is getting crisp with the coming of fall. I get to pull out my sweaters and skirts in those rich autumn colors. And make a lot of food that involves pumpkins and apples.

J was out of town over the weekend, so he didn't have to listen to his wife shouting at him to pull over to get yet another picture of the fall leaves. I headed out on my own and got the following shots. Enjoy!

(And by the way, these were all taken less than a mile from our front door)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Would you like some cheese with that wine?

We recently celebrated 4 years of wedded bliss, and I decided that we weren't busy enough on the weekends, so we should take a little anniversary vacation. The Finger Lakes sounded nice, so I randomly picked a town to book a B&B and we headed up north.

This was our home away from home for the weekend, The Inn on the Main in Canandaigua, NY. Perfect location on Main St a few blocks from the main roads to wine country, a huge house with lots of room to roam, and lovely hosts.

This is an evening view, giving you some idea of how BIG the house was.

And this was our room. We also had a big bathroom and jacuzzi tub, as well as a sofa for snuggling and watching DVDs. Not like we had nearly enough time to do it all, but it was oh-so comfy.

The first night we were there, we had dinner at a great pub called McGregor's. Home of the 74 beers on tap. We had a blast. We drank some beer. We chatted with the bartenders and some of the patrons. And the food was great!

Of course, we can't be in the Finger Lakes wine region without visiting some wineries. We generally stuck with the Canandaigua Wine Trail, but did go off the beaten path here and there.

We posed for a picture at Widmer Winery, makers of Manischewitz. We passed on the tasting ;)

We decided on one fancy dinner, at the Belhurst Castle. Plus they had wine tastings. It was a beautiful setting, and we had a nice time. And the merlot wasn't bad, either ;)

My friend Chris recommended the Lamoreaux Winery, but sadly, they were closed when we went to visit. But the grounds helped us decide that we might need to make another trip to check things out. Well, that and Chris's recommendation that they make a mean riesling.

Before we knew it, it was time to head home. But we didn't want to take the highway back. We had all day, and the colors are just starting to turn.

We saw this beautiful waterfall at the south end of Seneca Lake.

And just to confirm that PA has some scenery to offer, this was a shot just over the border from NY.
So now we're home with 2 boxes full of wine, a few other souvenirs from our trip, and some great memories of a fun weekend. I couldn't ask for much more.