Friday, June 10, 2016

McIntosh, Binghamton, NY and The Finger Lakes Cider House, NY

Hi Dear Folk,

I think this was Friday evening you loose track after a while.  Mr B and I drove up on Thursday, The Boy drove up on Friday in his new/old Miata, he had a previous commitment and could not come up until Friday, the prior week he had come home as college was finished and he had the chance to catch a ride home. Yes so this must be Friday.

Mr. B. and The Boy had a prior appointment at MacIntosh Labs in Binghamton, NY.  They were to meet there at 10:00 AM for a plant tour.  So about a one hour drive for Mr. B. and a three hour drive for Rob coming from home.

McIntosh has manufactured handcrafted high-end audio equipment since 1949.  Their encounter with McIntosh was thru a friend who found an early 1970's amplifier in a dumpster; with a little bartering he said that Rob could have it.  At that time it did not work, but Mr. B. took it too a friend and he got it working.  It had obviously been used by a band and Rob was hoping it was one of ten bought by the Grateful Dead for a concert tour.  It's somewhat possible to narrow it down by the serial numbers and the shop they were bought at.  Not sure where they are on that.  They enjoyed their visit and afterwards stopped off at a Czech Restaurant for lunch.

In the mean time I stayed back at the digs being without transport, but I didn't mind because it was a lovely day, I read, and then later on walked over to the Stewart Park at the bottom of Lake Cayuga, which was a short walk across the road from where I was staying and found a lovely piece of drift wood, plus they have these delightful swing seats that I enjoyed.

By the time the boys got back it was gone three, more running around and then eventually on the road at about 6:30PM for dinner here.

And here we are at the Finger Lakes Cider House for an evening of Music and Food.  Rob and I were going to try a flight of ciders unfortunately they ran out of flights to serve the cider in, so we just went for a glass each of cider.  I had a cheese and locally produced sausage crepe the boys had a la carte meatballs and asparagus cream soup.  It was all very good along with a local band.

Here is the view out back looking down to Lake Cayuga in the far distance.

After this we drove on another few miles along the lake to Cayuga Lake Creamery for an ice-cream each.  Mr B landed up with a free ice-cream some how they made one up that nobody claimed.  If it had been coconut which is what I chose, he would not have claimed it, I love coconut he hates it.


PS:  Mr B loves the McIntosh amp because it is powerful enough to run his magneplaner speakers with, they take more power than many other speakers on the market.  So the boys are happy campers in their audio world.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Our Digs

Hi Dear Folk,

We had such fun staying here, Bob reworked the wiring on the stereo speakers which gave him joy and I was happy to chill all on our own.

The property is a former switchback to the railroad (circa 1830)  The buildings were sympathetically restored by British visual artist Paul Chambers, who lovingly restored them from a derelict state.  One building out back which is still in a derelict state, an old shed has painted across it, The end of history and I think Paul Chambers may have written that there, because he was all about preserving the old and not sweeping it away.

These floor boards are two lengths of my feet wide.

Bedroom balcony with a view of Lake Cayuga.

Above is the owner Wylie's house.

Once you got the hang of coming up and down the steps it was fine.

No bathroom or any water one had to take a little walk across to our host's house next door.  If you can live with that and we're used to camping, it was a lovely little place to stay at.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Boy's Graduation Ithaca 22nd May 2016

Hi Folk,

Well it started out a true Ithaca day, overcast and spitting, but that is what it pretty much stayed at all day except for a two hour break of brilliant sunshine late in the afternoon, when we went back to shoot some photos on campus with Rob's camera on a tripod, at that point the campus was devoid of people.

The procession into the stadium.

Here we are at out seats on the stadium grass, fortunately we had dressed appropriately.

The guest speaker was an ex Ithaca Grad who became a journalist Adam Ellick  who first brought to light the Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Youstafzai, it was a good speech.  The whole ceremony only lasted one and a half hours, I was prepared for a much longer event, it is a smaller college so probably that is why with around 1,500 graduates.

Rob on his way back after graduating.

All together, partaking off some food and meeting Rob's fellow classmates and parents.

Ithaca College is built on just about the highest point in Ithaca, so here we are looking down across the fountains to Lake Cayuga in the background.  One of the buildings at the top is quite a few stories high and I always thought the view from the top of that building must be spectacular.

Wonder if she was in one of Rob's classes.

By the campus pond.

This is a Mexican spread put on by a friend of Rob's, Melanie's  parents were visiting from Texas to pick her up for the summer, actually she still has another year at Ithaca.  It was a wonderful meal with Mole a Mexican dish with chocolate and chicken, which reminds me of the movie Chocolat, guacamole and other good things.

I honestly think that Hispanic people are born with a hospitable gene, they put us northern Europeans to shame when it comes to showing hospitality to strangers.  We had a great time.

Melanie's dad works for Riviana.  I learnt that all Rice is produced by one company in American and that is Riviana, and Riviana is owned by a Spanish company Ebro,  the only rice they do not produce is Uncle Bens.  In fact they produce all Rice and Pasta in the USA, with the one exception, and about one third of the world's consumption of those two products.  So it doesn't matter what package of rice and pasta you buy from the least expensive to the most expensive, it basically ships out of the same hopper, it's all in the packaging.  It was a most informative conversation, the bigger world of market domination.

We made our adieus and set off to take more photos on campus and then back to The Boy's for the grand packing up.  Yes that is quite a feat.

All went well and it was a lovely day.  It is an accomplishment to finish four years of intense education, we were proud of him and he is our Boy.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

By The Cocalico Creek, Amish Country, Pennsylvania

Hi Dear Folk,

By the Cocalico Creek, yes that is the name and I think it is so American sounding co and calico.  This is where Marianne and Jerry moved to, it is a home with a view, and what a lovely view across the fields.

Sharing happy times in the kitchen.

And just across the road is the Cocalico Creek, which is lush and green now with all this rain.

Down the road is this covered bridge, they never cease to fascinate me, the way they bend the big arch beams inside.  Here's the gang.

Butcher's Mill Covered Bridge, Lancaster County, built 1881 with Burr Arch Trusses.

Down the road in the other direction.

Chilling out at the end of a happy day.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Tomato Pie Cafe, Lititz, Pennsylvania - Heart of The Amish Country

Hi Dear Folk,

Where did May go?  I'm jumping ahead of myself to post this and then will need to backtrack to Ithaca and Rob's Graduation, but this is where I went on Monday to Lititz, PA see here.  In the early 1700's Lititz was settled by the Moravians from the Czech Republic

This is our little group, going round clockwise starting on the left, Janice, Maryanne and Jerry who live up here, Joni my old flat mate, Linda and Tommy who live in Tennessee, Tommy is Maryanne's brother, me and Nancy my other flat mate from times past.

We are at the Tomato Pie Cafe and of course they are known for Tomato Pies, many of us had the tomato pie, but one order came out incorrectly and it was tomato pie with kimchi, and they were kind enough to leave it with us and get the corrected dish for Janice.  We were able to sample this and it was delicious.  I don't think it is on their menu all the time, but would definitely have that next time if it is on the menu.

The Tomato Pie Cafe on the outside, Victorian with lots of old rooms.  All three of us girls piled into the bathroom upstairs and then realized that there was only one toilet behind a screen and was in a very large room. We didn't mind but then someone else tried to come in, well you have to stick with family and that's was us girls have become.

This lovely park is across the road from the Cafe.  Behind the old railway station is the chocolate factory, but because most shops were closed for the holiday it was quite quiet in Lititz, it is usually pretty crowded, especially on a weekend.

How I come to hardly have any ducks in my photos is a mystery, because they certainly loved this pond and stream.

And a stop on the way back to Marianne's at the Hoover Farm Nursery, this was just one of many greenhouses and outside gardens.   Marianne said this was quite small for the Amish area.

I bought some Sugar Sweet Cherry tomatoes, a German Heirloom tomato and a Bougainvillea, which always remind me of Cadiz in Spain, where you walk through the very narrow streets in deep shade with three and four story old buildings with overlapping bay windows and all of a sudden it opens out to a square with bright sunlight and bougainvilleas and what a contrast of darkness and light, smell and colour.

I also treated myself to an aluminum wall hanging garden, I have yet to think what I might put in there, but I'm thinking herbs, by the back door.

Well that's my whirlwind post, which is appropriate as May seems to have passed in a whirlwind of activity.

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