Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More Fall Colors in New York

We are staying at the Red Rock Ponds Campground here and it is one of the nicest places we've stayed at.  The park is gorgeous and the owners are just wonderful.  When we first arrived, there were only a few trees with leaves changing colors.  In just a matter of days, we are seeing more and more around us.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Walk Along the Erie Canal

One of the many nice things about staying at the campground we are at right now, is that it's next to the Erie Canal.  There is a very nice bike/walking trail next to the canal.  The weather has been wonderful for walking.  All of which makes me happy.
One of my kids even gave in to my pathetic begging to come and walk the path with me.  I'll let you guess which one since I was not allowed to take pictures of that person even if they were kind enough to walk with me.

 It is just so beautiful here.  The perfect place to walk and see the area.

 There is red rock along the shore of the canal. 
 And it is really educational.  There is a long, interesting history to this canal.  I already have a few books to dig into so we can learn some of that history.  We might actually get to those books now that I'm taking a day's break from cooking to catch up on blogging and do some other things.  In the meantime here is an overview of this fun place:  New York State Canals

Living the life in New York!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall Produce

We've been in fresh produce heaven since we arrived in Holley.  I can walk across the street to the above produce stand and that's just one of many in this area.  I'm taking advantage of the bounty and trying to do some batch cooking to make some home cooked goodness that we can eat now and freeze some for later.

Normally I take time each morning to have some quiet time.  I do many different things during this time.  It doesn't matter so much what I do, just that I have some quiet time that is good for me and gets me to be a bit more centered before I face the day.  The part that is consistent is that I take this time to stop and be mindful of things I am grateful for so I call it my Gratitude Walk, even if I'm not walking while doing it. 

With all the prepping I've been doing for the cooking, I've used this as my quiet time.  Interestingly enough, it has also been easy for me to do some pondering of things I'm grateful for too while handling all the fresh fruits and veggies.  While cooking is not one of my favorite things to do, I do find that I like it so much more when I am using whole foods.  It is something that I am in awe of each time I do handle them.  I can't help but be aware of the fact that the earth gives us these precious gifts and that whole process is just spectacular in its own way.  I think of all of the parts that go into the process in order for food to grow from seed to maturity.  Food that nourishes us with its life giving properties and tastes so wonderful to boot.  Yesterday I was chopping tomatoes and realized it just feels as if each time I do come in contact with this kind of food in this way, I am literally pulling up a chair to God's table to eat.

 So what goodies have I managed to cook up this week?  Two batches of bolognese sauce, (Mira gave me her recipe for the Bolognese Sauce which is similar to Pastor Ryan's), two batches of marinara sauce, two batches of chunky vegetable spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, a huge batch of chili, fried apples like Cracker Barrel makes, apple dumplings, apple crisp, apple butter, applesauce and coleslaw.  Nathan has made his oh so good salsa and still wants to make another huge batch.  I still have butternut squash and pumpkins to use.  I'm guessing we'll get some extras to take with us before we leave.  I'm going to miss it when we do leave, but we'll soon be back in Florida where we can get year round fresh produce again. 

Now if I could just find a way to get someone else to clean up the mess after I cook, I might not mind this cooking stuff at all!

Living the life in New York!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just A Hint of Fall Colors

The first day we arrived here, we saw one tree that had red leaves.  Just in the few days since, we've seen so many more change color.  It is still just in the beginning stages, but if feels like Fall to us now.  I love it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Niagara Falls

This is one of those things that I had on my Bucket List when we started traveling.  This is also one of those things that lived up to its hype.  It is also one of those things that is so incredible, that words can't even begin to describe it.
It is also one of those things that pictures can't truly capture it.  I still tried.  I wanted to post about a hundred of my shots from this wonderful day, but I forced myself to pare it down to a size I could actually upload using our connection.
To be up close and feel and hear the power was really something.  It reminded me of how much grander things found in nature are than things that man builds.
Not to mention, it was just beautiful.  Really, really take your breath away beautiful!
Living the life in the land of natural wonders!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Booze and Fast Cars

As if this area didn't have enough neat things already, it also has lots of booze and fast cars.  There are vineyards, winery, and distilleries galore.  And there are classic car and race car related things everywhere too.  Watkins Glen has car shaped road signs and plaques in the sidewalks.
 The first weekend we were here, there was a Classic Car event.  I didn't grab many pictures of the cars because the area was so congested, it made it hard to drive, let alone snap pictures.  Aric got to stand by some other beauties at the library one day.
 From Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce website: The community recently celebrated its 60th anniversary of road racing. The checkered flag first dropped here in 1948 … a time when man and machine used the village streets and hillsides for its race course. Today, Watkins Glen International hosts a full calendar of international motor racing events on a world-class raceway. The original racetrack has been recognized on the National Register of Historic Places … the Village celebrates its road racing heritage each year with the Watkins Glen Vintage Grand Prix Festival…where the cars return to streets for a day of racing on the original course.
 And their information about the agriculture here: 
Seneca Lake provides the ideal climatic environment for the areas wine-making enterprises and we lay claim to being the second largest wine producing region in the United States … second only to Napa Valley.
 Over 700 feet deep, Seneca Lake’s glacial “lake effect” shelters the lush vineyards that flank her shores.
 Retaining residual summer warmth in the winter and winter’s cold in the spring, the vineyards receive protection from disastrous spring frosts during grape formation and early fall frosts before the harvest.
 In 2005 the area boasted 42 wineries on Seneca Lake … currently, more than 50 wineries, of the over 90 in the Finger Lakes region, open their doors to visitors from all over the world.

 Beautiful, just beautiful!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Watkins Glen State Park Take Two

We headed back over to Watkins Glen State Park late this afternoon.  I'm happy to report that the skies stayed sunny this time so we were able to stay and see all of the waterfalls.  This has been one of the most surprising things that we've seen so far.  Meaning it was unexpectedly awesome.

The hike is not very long, but the entire walk is breathtaking so it was one of my favorite hikes so far.  We went late in the afternoon so the lighting was fabulous, giving this place an almost fairy land glow.  We especially loved this place:
From the state park website:  Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks, with a reputation for leaving visitors spellbound.
Within two miles, the glen's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course.
The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. Rim trails overlook the gorge.
 This place was so awe inspiring.  I'm so glad we were able to see it.  It is days like this that I am so incredibly grateful for this life we are living right now and the chance to take in our country's beauty in new ways.  It keeps me grounded in all of the reasons that we do this, even when some parts can feel difficult.  It's more than worth it.

Living the life in New York!

More Pictures of Watkins Glen State Park

Monday, September 13, 2010

Harris Hill in Elmira New York

Aric and I went with Nathan to help him work today, so I was able to see more of this area.  It is just beautiful here.  Here is a waterfall on the side of the road:
 And Aric getting close to the action:
We drove all around the area, finishing up with stopping at a park.  Nathan was looking for something on the GPS, so I got out to look around at the Rails to Trails bike path there.  There was a gentlemen standing there looking at the lake.  He seemed so sad, with the kind of heavy grief that is normally from losing a loved one.  I told Nathan I wanted to go and just hug him and when I said that, he looked over and waved like he felt our love.  It was so neat.

After that, we headed to Harris Hill, in Elmira.  We had a client there, so we visited him first.  Then we went up the hill to the Soaring Center Museum which was closed.  There was an overlook there that was really wonderful.  We sat in one of the swings there and watched the sunset.
Living the life in New York!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Today we wanted to visit Watkins Glen State Park.  When we woke up, it was raining pretty hard but it was supposed to clear up late afternoon.  So we waited until we thought the rain has passed to head out.  We got there and started the hike and were in complete awe of the beauty there.  Unfortunately, we were there about 30 minutes and it started to rain again, so we left.  We plan to come back over again sometime later this week when the weather is nicer.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

More New York Landscape

Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York

While in Corning, we stopped at the Corning Museum of Glass.
 We were not there for very long, but what we did see was great.  We loved this: 

Corning, New York

Today we visited Corning.  It was very rainy and cloudy, but the town was still so pretty.  From a local publication we picked up:  Corning, New York is a small city with a cosmopolitan flair and a captivating history. Nestled in a river valley with steep hills, Corning is also a southern gateway into the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of Central New York. Corning is world renowned for its glassmaking past and present. Discover the art, history, and science of glass at the state of the art Corning Museum of Glass.