Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Few Days Away

On Thursday of last week we drove to Ithaca to visit our firstborn and her husband, and our youngest daughter, who has recently moved back from Maryland.

We spent the afternoon visiting a couple of fun places: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which includes a 10 acre pond and more than four miles of trails that wind through a variety of habitats used by birds and other wildlife. Our time was limited and the wind was cold, so we just spent a little time in the beautiful, recently modernized building, which has a wonderful viewing area of the pond and feeding area, as well as displays, exhibits and a neat gift shop.

These two Canadian Geese posed nicely for me.

The geese that I tried (and failed) to get a photo of for the previous post are the same as these handsome birds. We see and hear flocks of them on the river below our farm.

The area is called Sapsucker Woods

Our daughters with their dad

Beautiful Helleborus - Lenten Rose

Next we revisited the
Cornell Plantations where Kylie and Ko were married in September of last year. What a vast difference between then and now! (you can see photos taken in September of 2006 if you click the link) In September the gardens were in full and colorful bloom, but now they are stripped right back to the dirt, with just a few spring bulbs poking through. Very little was blooming but they had a wonderful collection of lovely Hellebores.

This was the first time I've ever seen Hellebores other than in pictures! I've read about them for years, and seen wonderful pictures of them on Sigrun's and Claire's blogs, but have never grown them. They're now on my "must have" list! Of course I took several photos, so I may post more later on, along with some pictures of the gardens looking very bare. There were several lovely colors (pinks, deep reds and white). They sure are hard to photograph with their pretty downturned faces.

Winter Aconite - Eranthis hyemalis

This is another flower I've never seen before. I photographed this batch growing near the cute little place that Kathy, our youngest, has just moved into, but they also had it growing at The Plantations.


Late Friday morning we said goodbye to the kids and headed for Hammondsport, a quaint little tourist town at the bottom of Keuka Lake. This large area in upstate NY is known as the Finger Lake region and is especially famous for its wineries. This link just shows a map of the lakes and surrounding area. You can find all sorts of information on the area if you Google "Finger Lakes". It's a wonderful area for a vacation, with lots to see and do.

"Jenny" - The Curtiss JN-4

Our destination was the Glenn Curtiss Museum, a place my husband has been anxious to explore.
Glenn Curtiss was a mechanical genius who opened a bike shop in Hammondsport in 1907 and soon afterward built a motorcycle with an 8-cylinder engine and drove it a record 136 miles-per-hour at Ormond Beach, Florida. He held the title "Fastest Man on Earth" on a motorcycle until 1930! He went on to build many famous aeroplanes, perhaps the most recognized being the "Jenny", in which both Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart learned to fly.

It's a fascinating museum and well worth a visit, with lots more to see than I've mentioned.

1930 Harley Davidson

This old Harley made us think of Sandy of
Abandoned in Pasadena, and her husband Jimmy. So this photo is especially for them :)

Dr. Frank's winery Posted by Picasa

On the recommendation of one of Kathy's friends, we just had to pay a visit to Dr. Frank's winery on glorious Keuka Lake. The grape vines in the above photo, and the surrounding countryside are still cloaked in shades of brown, but soon everything will be verdant shades of green once again.


Then it was on to our son and DIL's to stay overnight and spend a little time with those precious grandsons. Ross has been busy over the winter months constructing some wooden toys for them. He made a big tractor trailor, complete with a bulldozer to haul around, and also a couple of smaller semi-trailors, a small truck and a car. The boys were thrilled with their new toys.

Wooden Toys

New Camera - Canon Digital Rebel XTi

My sneaky husband surprised me with a new toy too! Earlier in the week he surrepticiously asked Andrew to shop online for him, and they strung me along for a while, telling me Andrew had bought himself a new camera. Finally Ross confessed that he'd bought the camera as an anniversary present for me. I was speechless...but only for a few minutes :) Oh boy, am I going to have fun with that!
What a guy!

The boys were making a sand pizza :)

Fun in the sandbox
Posted by Picasa
The weather was rather chilly, but at least we had sunshine and there were plenty of opportunities to try out the new camera. I have so much to learn...and I haven't even finished learning all I want to know about the little Canon PowerShot yet! So you know what I'll be doing over the Easter vacation, which begins tomorrow.

A whole week off school! Oh joy!

The weather forecast is miserable, but I'm sure I'll find plenty to do inside. We had freezing winds and snow flurries today. I've been seeing similar descriptions of cold on blogs over most of the US and Canada, with lots of snow up north. Take a look at the snow pictures that Midlife Mom has posted!

Last Tuesday I did some cleaning up in the gardens and took some photographs of our crocuses which are now blooming! I'll post photos of them soon. I'm itching to get out and do more!

Have a lovely Easter everyone!


Val said...[Reply]

Thanks for the lovely informative post, and some great photos (enjoy the new camera!) Welcome to the realms of hellebore fans, I am new myself. I must make sure I get some varieties that flower early and late to spread the delight.

Have a good Easter weekend, luckily for us in UK it seems to coincide with a sunny spell.

Carolanne said...[Reply]

The photos are great and I'm sure you'll enjoy the new camera, too.

Those wooden toys look like a lot of fun to play with!

Anonymous said...[Reply]

You just have a lovely family. Your photos are always fun. I can't wait to see what you do with that new camera...You are already taking exceptional photos.

Take care,

Motherkitty said...[Reply]

Kerri, so glad you had a wonderful trip visiting the family and seeing many great sights along the way. Loved the pictures, especially the one of the new camera. What a nice (sneaky) way to give you a fabulous anniversary present. Use it in good health. And, we expect many wonderful pictures from you.

I once took a driving trip throughout the state of New York and several of the areas we visited were Cooperstown and the Finger Lakes. The entire state is gorgeous, even though you receive a lot of snow. (It's cold here but fortunately no snow.)

Have a wonderful Easter. Looking forward to many beautiful pictures from you.

Apple said...[Reply]

I am so glad you went last weekend. It feels like winter will never end but I say that almost every year.

The camera is a perfect gift! The boys will get years of play out of their new trucks. Fate was smiling on you and Ross when you met, your love shines through your entire family. :-) Happy Easter and enjoy Spring Break!

Annie in Austin said...[Reply]

Once again, Kerri, you've gone to interesting places that we like to see and hear about. Thanks for taking us with you, for sharing your joy with us and Happy Easter!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Susie said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,
What a lovely post! Bill loved seeing the wooden toys. Ross did a great job on them! He also would like to see that museum. Someday...
Sounds like a wonderful getaway for the two of you. That camera was truly a perfect surprise for your anniversary!! Love the picture of you with the boys :)
Enjoy your Easter break! Sending you lots of sunny wishes
love and ((hugs))

InlandEmpireGirl said...[Reply]

What a wonderful post! I love seeing places other people go for trips. The camera... what a lovely surprise. I look forward to seeing the pictures. The Cornell Plantations look beautiful. Thanks for the link back. That did help me remember summer will come someday. We had snow here early in the week, but today there is sunshine. It is still so cold!!
Happy Easter.

Sandy said...[Reply]

What a wonderful trip you had, seeing family and so many other things and what a sneaky Ross...He is so sweet and so thoughtful. I love your new camera and I'm green with envy for one. I'm sure we'll be seeing many more pictures but I honestly don't know how your pictures can be any better than they already are. I've always thought that you and Alice take the most clear and beautiful pictures of anyone I know (except for Motherkitty and she doesn't show enough of her camera know-how on her blog).

I went over to Midlife Mom's blog and I haven't seen that much snow since the 1960's when we use to get that much snow. We are having cold weather right now, but no snow. I have slept with the electric blanket on for two nights now and I'm ready for warm weather.

I love going through museums and looking at all the old stuff and that motorcycle is sure old and it doesn't look very comfortable to ride. Since I started riding at such an old age, I look for comfort in a bike. hehehe

Ross is so talented and those wooden trucks and cars I'm sure will be played with and then treasured for years to come by your handsome little grandsons.

Happy Easter to you & Ross.

Moi said...[Reply]

Congratulations on the new camera....that was extremely sweet of your husband...And ur pics coupled with tid-bits from your family are delightful..:)
Happy Easter to u too :)

"Early Bird" said...[Reply]

What a lovely trip you had, thanks so much for taking us along!

Laurie & Chris said...[Reply]

It sounds like you had a great time. What a nice surprise from your hubby!! I can't wait to see the more photos.Happy Easter!!

clairesgarden said...[Reply]

your trip looks so lovely , glad you had a nice time.
look forward to seeing your new camera in action

jellyhead said...[Reply]

How lovely to hear about your travels, and to see photos of you, Ross, your girls, and your grandsons. The wooden toys look pretty snazzy, too!

Ross did well with his anniversary present for you, didn't he?! Lucky you!

Have a wonderful Easter!

PEA said...[Reply]

Such a wonderful getaway you had and visited such beautiful places! I am very impressed with the wooden toys that Ross made for the boys, it must have delighted him to see them enjoying them so much:-) Ooooh a new camera...can your pictures get any better than the ones you've been taking??? They are always so breathtaking! It looks and feels like winter here again crocuses don't dare bloom, they're scared! lol Happy Easter to you and yours my friend! xoxo

pmo3ws said...[Reply]

I agree with everyone, that's a great informative post Kerri! Those grandsons are getting big! (Great toys!) I love your new camera. Take care and happy Easter!

Geraldo said...[Reply]


I lived in Endicott from '82 to '84 and the Finger Lakes were a short trip away. Those were very happy times, my sons were just beginning school and living in a small town in another country was a great experience for all of us. Thansk for bringing me back such good memories! Have a Happy Easter, and have fun with your new camera!

Zoey said...[Reply]

The new camera is taking nice pics--I enjoyed them all. The grandsons do seem to be loving the toys Ross made. What a nice Grandpa. I bet he enjoyed every minute making them.

I hope you and your family have a happy Easter, Kerri.

Val said...[Reply]

So THAT'S where you've been! I had on my to do list to email you this morning.

Hellebores are all the rage here, especially in our garden as they're good in the shade.

Loved the photos of your little guys making a sand pizza (hee hee!). Seeing them makes me nostalgic for my two at that age - we'd usually spend Easter camping at our place in the bush, and it was the ideal place to hide Easter eggs. They had a sand box, and some of their toys are still there as a reminder.

I'm very envious of your visit to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology!

Bored Insomniac said...[Reply]

Happy Easter... I love the pictures. Families are grandchildren are the best!

HORIZON said...[Reply]

Hiya Kerri.
Love the picture of the Canadian geese- that’s a massive pond they have to play in! What do you say to those birds to get them to pose? Hubby and l were up at the crack of dawn this morn- had done our shopping before 9am then went and sat by the bay watching the Eider Duck- unfortunately l didn’t have my camera with me.
I remember well the lovely pics of Kylie and Ko- the gardens were stunning too. Can imagine you there trying to get a good shot of the Helleborus ;)
Wow- l just went through your link for the Finger Lakes region. Went to the property section and just can’t believe how brilliant and cheap these homes are. I’m going to tell hubby to sell up now! I love homes with wrap around decking.
What a great husband you have Kerri- between the surprise camera and wooden toys- l am very impressed! Looking forward to all the many more photographs you’ll be snapping.
The photos on Midlife Mom’s blog had me shivering- hope things warm up for May for you all.
Loved all the pics- that’s a really nice one of you with the boys- hope they didn’t try to tempt you into a bite of that pizza-lol.
Hugs and bests for Easter! Enjoy your time at home.

Teresa Calcao said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,
It's so rewarding spending time with a family........It gives us motivation to do so much more.....
Happy Easter!

Linda said...[Reply]

It looks like you had a wonderful time Kerri.
Wishing you and your family a blessed EAster.

Blackswamp_Girl said...[Reply]

Lovely pictures, Kerri. I wish I could see my hellebores right now, but they are covered with snow! :( The foliage is very handsome, though, so I bet you will enjoy them year-round once you get some.

Sonia said...[Reply]

It sounds you had a joyful and lovely time! Love all photos! It's a pleasure to see your beautiful and joyful family!

Sonia said...[Reply]

Me again. Have a Lovely and Happy Easter!

Cris said...[Reply]

Kerri! I was reading your blog backwards and now I see you got yourself a nice Canon!!! I also have a Canon, a G6 model and have so much fun with it, the lens on these cameras are great, I just found out about super macro. What lovely links you added to this post, such nice blogs! Take care.

Alice said...[Reply]

Hello from Townsville, Kerri. What a wonderful few days you had. Isn't Ross just the sweetest chap (but you knew that already) buying you that lovely camera. I know you'll soon be taking photos that will be the envy of us all. You deserve it as you really have an eye the beauty of nature.

Anonymous said...[Reply]