Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Two weeks of non-stop Food, Family, Friends, Familiar Favorites and Fun

Pour a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and sit down, this is going to be a long one.....

We left our special spot on Conesus Lake Monday morning.    Thanks, again, to Jerry and Pelle for their warm hospitality and for allowing us to spend a couple weeks at this, their special place. 


Beluga in her old spot next to a new deck

Staying at the lake was an integral part of this summer's Food, Family, Friends, Familiar Favorites and Fun tour and we've been busy - very busy.

I'm getting the hang of my new laptop, thanks to our old company's IT guy, John, and his infinite patience.     I still have a few things to figure out but, for the most part, I'm feeling fairly comfortable with this new thing.     (I'm still having problems getting my photos from the cameras to the laptop but I'll get it eventually!)

We've been rocketing down memory lane while visiting with friends and family.   Some places looked the same, some very different.  Tons of very happy memories rode with us, some bittersweet pictures and a few unpleasant snapshots snuck in from time to time.     We'll tuck those away and concentrate on the wonderful friends and experiences we enjoyed.  

We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and Dave backed old Beluga down the familiar driveway like he's done it before!     The next day we were invited to Cindy P and Walter's "new" house for a pizza supper.       We haven't seen the property before so it was fun to see where they've settled and get a little taste of their life there.

here she comes with desert!

Jagger waits patiently for us to come out

We sat outside on the patio in their beautiful, green back yard and enjoyed yummy little fruit tarts after a dinner of pizza and wine.    Cindy and Walter gave us a short demonstration of Jagger's scent training work and Ms B was crouched nearby, intently watching a couple of exhibitionist squirrels just outside the fence.    Sweet old Luke took it all in from Cindy's lap.

Walter, Cindy and sweet Luke

Later in the evening, on our way home, we saw a white doe grazing in a large field near the lake.     She was quite far away from us but her dazzling white coat caught our eye.     There is (was?) a small herd of white deer at the Seneca Army Depot on one of the other Finger Lakes (Seneca Lake) about an hour east of us but we've never seen a single deer like this anywhere near us before.  

The photos are very bad, my little camera was zoomed out as far as it could in order to catch sight of her.     Don't ask how I know she was a she.....     

 Unlike the Seneca Depot deer, she did not appear to be albino....her large ears looked to be brown and there was a brown blaze down her nose.

We saw her every evening at dusk.   So beautiful.   I hope no one takes advantage of her lack of camouflage come hunting season.   I'd hate to think of her beautiful head hanging over someone's fireplace.....

The next day our old friend Judi came (laden with goodies from Buffalo) for an overnight.    The weather didn't cooperate that evening, but we were able to enjoy some of the goodies she brought at second cup on the deck the next morning.    We talked and talked and laughed and laughed and ate and ate.    Even after 67 years of friendship, we never run out of things to talk about.    Nice.

Hi Judi!

After Judi left for home, Dave and I went to one of our old time favorite hamburger joints - Tom Wahls.     We ate there on the first day of our honeymoon trip (and, don't tell anyone, but I still have the root beer glass we stole that day).....   Food is still exactly, deliciously the same, even the frosted mugs of homemade root beer.   Judi was invited, of course, but she declined, stating she was just too full from the Paula's donuts at second cup.     

Tom Wahl's steakburger, mmmm

 I can now see that showing you what we did and who we saw, in order, is going to be  hard.....Maybe I'll just show you the pictures with comments instead. 

I didn't take any pictures at the two routine doctor visits I had.   After one of them we traveled a little north of Rochester to Webster for a lunch date with our good friend Barb.    She met us at a new French restaurant and afterward we went to her town house for a bit of desert and companionship.   It was good catching up.

Hi Barb!

she just wanted to rub her cheek on his fork, that's all.....

 After the other appointment, we drove down to Perry, NY and the Charcoal Corral to meet the fabulous Fred and his sweet wife Jeanie.     On Thursdays during the summer, the little restaurant/miniature golf, drive in theater venue holds a cruise night that draws lots of old cars.     They fill the grassy lawns around the buildings and it's fun to get a hot dog, and (in my case) ice cream, then check out all the beautiful hot rods.   

the horseradish hot dog guys!

Oh Fred.....

 As the evening wore on, we noticed lots of folks beginning to line the road leading out of the venue and into the town of Perry.      As we watched we saw why....the old cars leaving were giving everyone a real show on their way home.  

a nice burnout!

Concern for our safety kept us from getting very close, but we were close enough to see the smoke and smell the rubber and hear the crazy noise.   What a hoot!     Evidently the local police were somewhere else that evening or they chose to look the other way in the interest of giving the locals a great show.   Either way we had a ball.      One guy was really full of himself, really showing off,  but he started his burnout before he turned the corner, lost control, and his wheel (complete with the axle attached) flew off and headed in the other direction through the fields.    Glad we weren't close.        Embarrassing and very expensive.   It never pays to show off...

the road was filled with rubber marks!

We had a couple great dinners with friends Tom and Robin.  It was so good catching up in person, nothing like it.

my chicken and waffle sliders!

 They have a new pup, Jack, and we fell in love.   We love Tom and Robin too.

Tom and Jack

 I'm not good at taking pictures of people, I make them look too posed, or cut off their feet, or just plain forget to include one or all of them.    It's not because I'm not having fun (probably BECAUSE I am having fun) or that I don't care about the un-included (is that a word?) it's just me I guess.    No pictures of Jeanie, no pictures of Robin, no pictures of Jerry and Pele, no pictures of my laptop savior John.   

 Mea culpa

One evening we met Cindy P, Walter and their beautiful daughter, Geneva at the nearby Yard of Ale.   She lives in Ithaca (about an hour southeast of Geneseo) and came in specially to see us, thanks G! The waitress taking care of us that evening was another blast from the past - Laurie.    When Jesse was small he (we) took Suzuki piano lessons on Thursday nights.     After his (our) lesson we'd all have dinner at a now defunct local restaurant - Station 42.    It was a great family run Italian restaurant with grandma's homemade sauce and pizza fritte for dessert.    Laurie was our waitress there, every Thursday, for years.    Such a wonderful surprise to see her again!

Before she went back to Ithaca Geneva had lunch with Cindy and I at Letchworth State Park's Glen Iris Inn.    They have opened a lovely new outdoor patio beside the thundering middle falls and we enjoyed the sunny warm day amid the well tended gardens.  

the color coordinated girls

We spent Father's Day at Dave's brother Mike's summer spot on tiny Lake Alice, near Lake Ontario.    Mike and his wife Arline have two adult kids, Mike and Shelly.   Since it was Father's Day, we were  lucky to be able to visit with them all,  it's been way too long.    We spent the day outside, visiting, catching up, taking a boat ride and sharing a picnic supper.

Parade to the boat

Hey Mikey!

Shelly, Mike, Mike and Arline on her candy apple red scooter

Are you tired yet?    It was a really really busy two weeks.    Just a few more, I promise.

Up to Webster again, this time we were invited to old friends Cindy and Norm Kraft's home for dinner.    Dave and Norm grew up together and we've all been friends since before we were all married.

Cindy made a wonderful dinner complete with Dave's favorite, Rhubarb pie.   She makes the best pie crust ever.        After dinner their daughter, Melanie, dropped by with her family to say hello.    It was a whirlwind visit!

Norm, Quinn, Melanie and Cindy 
(the two other little blondies were busy elsewhere)

One of our last, but definitely not least, visits was with Tracy.    She started out being Jesse's babysitter when he was 18 months old and she was an 18 year old  student at SUNY Geneseo.    Actually, she took care of our entire household when we traveled, dogs, cats and horses along with little Jesse.    She became a dear and valued friend through the years.    We were so happy she could meet us at one of our old favorites, Phillips European (yes, again, another old favorite!).

Phillips is famous for their decadent desserts....Tracy and I gobbled ours up too fast for a picture, Dave cooperated.

Our very last visit was in Amherst, NY, near where we both grew up.    My family is very small - two cousins on my mother's side and three on my father's side.    Those three and their spouses were gathering at Cousin Linda's house for a casual dinner.     We see each other rarely so it was nice of Linda to organize this meet up when two of us were "in town"

Since Amherst (near Buffalo) is quite a distance from Geneseo, we stayed overnight at Judi's house that evening before heading back home on Sunday morning.    Our last good visit with her, sigh.

bye Judi

Tonight we're in smoky Ohio, on our way to Spokane.   It was raining when we left Geneseo, it rained all the way to our first stop last night and much of today.   


hail at lunch time.....

We're settling down to our quiet life on the road now.   It was absolutely wonderful to see everyone (we did miss two special people, Lisa and JoAnn, but it couldn't be helped)  and wander along memory lane.    We're happily exhausted but looking forward to the next chapter of this journey.



  1. That was a lot! Glad to see you got to visit with all of your friends, except two. Nice trip. The weather looks awful at the end. It's warm here, it's been thundering a little, but thus far, no rain.

    1. Yes, its been a great trip so far. Keep the nice weather up there for us, will you?

  2. Whew! Lots of partying with very special people. And you are definitely enjoying all of your "F"s ! It must have been nostalgic as you parked on a familiar turf a beloved place of sometime ago. You got rain and we got the triple digits, we just reached 107 today! Looking forward to see your final F, exciting! - ML

    1. Yes nostalgic for sure. I've been watching the Wickenburg weather with interest. no humidity will be welcome, no matter what the numbers are!

  3. You were busy, Very Busy! But that's not a surprise, from the years you lived in the area it would hold both the allure to visit and still be home to many friends. You remember lot of special places and friends shared their favorites with you. Very nice blog as you share your memory lane.

  4. You summer adventure sounds a lot like ours. Friends, family, visiting your old stomping grounds. You cannot help but get melancholy on trips like this with fond memories. Glad you had a good time.

    1. Seems like this is the summer for looking back. Now, we're looking forward with great excitement!

  5. Whew--I can see why you need a rest--Mike would say, "I'm socialized out!" But what fun to catch up with so many of your friends and family. Your family is smaller than Michael's--he has 7 cousins. Then there is me--I have so many cousins I can't count them all. Wishing you safe travels to Spokane and that first grandchild!

    1. Mike is a wise man....all socialized out is spot on! Thanks for the good travel wishes!

  6. What a wonderful two weeks. And totally awesome to see Beluga in the familiar driveway like so many years in the past. What a whirlwind visit...a trip down memory lane and making new memories along the way. I like "happily exhausted"! Safe travels to Spokane and "looking forward with great excitement" ! We can hardly wait !

    1. Beluga settled into her "old" spot nicely, I think she was happy to be there again, she always loved the lake views. We did have a great time.

  7. I know so many of the names from our conversations over time. I feel like I know all these people. Good to actually see them in person! It's good you had a couple weeks to visit with everyone and get all caught up. It's always fun to revisit old stomping grounds. Sure sounds like a very successful stop. The new deck at the cottage looks great. And Beluga looked right at home! Hope the rain lets up for you. Safe travels as you move west.

    1. We have definitely intertwined our lives during our years on the road, lots of stories told.....You have met or "know" lots of our friends as we do yours.....I wonder what ...... is doing right now? The deck that the cottage is sporting now is very nice, wish we had thought of it! Rain has let up, now we're into thick smoke! Ah well, it is what it is!

  8. I enjoyed seeing so many of the friends and family that you've mentioned throughout the years. What a rich two weeks you had! It reminds me of our visits "home" when home was still Ashland. We always left after a few weeks feeling grateful for all of our good friends, and exhausted by the crazy amount of socializing we squeezed into a brief time. Selfishly, I'm glad you don't know anyone else in Flat Rock except for us, LOL!! We had you all to ourselves!

    I love that you still have the root beer glass from your honeymoon trip. Safe travels to Spokane, and the new life adventures that await!

  9. you know......grateful and exhausted!

  10. Jodee Gravel6/28/23, 7:41 PM

    So much wonderful! Sweet that layers of families came to visit you as well. Especially nice you were able to stay at the lakehouse. Looks like the new deck fits right in, and is lovely for hosting fun reunions. You can tell Walter and Cindy are so happy to see you guys :-)) That torte looks like a piece of art, bet it was yummy. You got a lot of people pics of your new memories.

    1. This trip has been so much fun so far, but now we're into the "grind" of it, the day to day driving to get from point A to point B. Rain, smoke, trucks, construction, you know the drill.....I'm not complaining (maybe just a little....) but it's hard to shift gears. Fun ahead though!

  11. I know that I did not stop smiling the whole time you were in NY! It was one fun day after another and I really got a lot of pleasure watching you and Dave traverse the region to visit friends and family and old haunts. There is such a special treasure of a friend who has history with us -- that sense of continuity, of knowledge, of a shared life together with all its frailties as well as joys. The older I get the more I appreciate that with you and Dave -- I really can't express how much it means that you made that trip to reconnect with all your old roots (but, of course, FOOD naturally played an important role here!) And I know that all your friends - from across the country and here -- are really wishing you well in your next role as Grandparents! Your enthusiasm and love for that little unborn baby girl knows no bounds ....and it's been sweet to watch and enjoy from afar. Safe journey, my friends. Cindy

    1. It was very gratifying to be so welcomed, especially by you. Old friends are a special and valued treasure, as you so beautifully said. Shared experiences, good and bad, exciting and scary are part of the fabric of our friendships. The time spent at our old home will not be taken for granted, or forgotten. Long ago, around a girl scouts' campfire we sang "make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold" You're one of the most golden friends.......

  12. Yes, yes I *am* exhausted and feeling quite full 😂 You really packed a lot of what you love into two weeks, and I hope your westward travels go quietly and smoothly. You have so many wonderful new memories of trusty favorites to enjoy as you go, heading toward such an exciting new chapter for your lives.

    1. Well, travels aren't exactly going quietly, nasty weather with rain, hail, thunder and smoke seem to be accompanying us but that's the way it is! Our travels thus far have been wonderful so I'm not complaining, even though it may seem that I am......