Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Look Out Below...

We're back on Long Island and I'm trying to plow through the photos I took on the trip. I seem to have a chronic problem of taking tons of images and getting few to none posted. But this was so overwhelming, I have to share.

On our third day in the Adirondacks, we happened upon this beautiful waterfall. The Adirondacks are full of falls, many of them are miles off the road. But this one was easily accessible by a very short path, and seemed to be a spot well known but not overly crowded.

My kids love to go to waterfalls...and so do I. We love to scramble up the rocks and there's something so pleasurable about perching near the edge of a falls just in range of the cool spray. There were a few folks swimming in the pools at the base of the falls, and I'm sure we would have been too if the air temperature had been higher. Seventy degrees is a little chilly to venture into cold mountain water. At least, for some of us.

However, there were a few brave souls....and I DO mean brave!

As much as this terrifies me to consider, how I wish I had the nerve to do it. It looks like SO much fun!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


It's our last morning at Lake Placid. It's chilly and the clouds are heavy and full of drama as they roll over the mountains. The shadows and light are constantly changing on the peaks. I could watch forever.

I love this area....the Adirondaks. It's another place I would not hesitate to return to. I'd even consider living here if I could. I've learned a couple of things over the last couple of years. I love altitude, and I connect more with lakes than the ocean.

Is it just me...or are vacations complicated? Overall, the five of us ave had a good time together. But, there have been points of such incredible frustration (on my part). The maintenance level of the members of this family is exhausting. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail, but there were so many times I'd look at one of them and think "just get over it!" "IT" was never worth the negative energy being put forth, and certainly not worth unloading said energy on everyone else. I love these four people but some of them (2 in particular) are really difficult to spend extended time with. They're just too needy, and pissy when their needs are not met. And somehow...if I try and address that fact, it all gets turned around and becomes about ME. I just don't get how that happens.

So, as beautiful as it is here....as happy as I feel in these surroundings, I'm ready to get back to LI where we can go our separate ways and have some space. It makes me sad that THAT is what I'm looking forward to. It's not supposed to be this way, is it? I'm haunted with wondering where I went wrong.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Space....well, I can dream...

Earlier in the week we spent a few hours kayaking on Lake Placid. I was surprised at the boathouses on the lake. One after another, we paddled past beautiful structures built to provide housing for watercraft, often with a room or two above.

But when I saw this one....all I could imagine was what a great space it would be for an escape. A studio perhaps. I love the windows all around, and the beautiful view in every direction. I know realistically, it's not weatherized and would be miserably cold during an upstate NY winter. But if it could be...I think I'd love a space like this. I'll keep dreaming.

That's Joel paddling by....

my space

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weather....or not.

View from our room of Mirror Lake and the village of Lake Placid.

Weather is always such a big factor in a vacation....especially with my family. And, so far, the weather has been iffy at best.

I try and plan for all weather possibilities. I always want something to do. Ideally, we'd be out enjoying the area by hiking to high peaks or looking for waterfalls. But, no one really wants to get five miles out and then caught in a pouring rain. Yesterday, we got rained on a couple of times, but the rain was light and short lived so it wasn't bad at all.

Just in case, I always pack books, projects, misc. art supplies...things to engage us if we can't be out. I usually can keep myself, and one or two of the kids busy and happy. My "strict" girl scout upbringing = always prepared!

Aaron looked at the weather forecast last night and went into a bit of a funk. Today, it's supposed to be overcast and chilly...high 50's. He grumbles like there's something we can do about it. I'm actually glad to hear that the weather is supposed to be cool. Since I've passed age 50...I'm too warm all the time anyway. I'm much more willing to venture out appropriately layered for cool weather than walk into the blast furnace of real SUMMER weather. I find this weather, a relief.

No one else in the family is up yet....I've got to get them moving so we won't miss breakfast. Then, the discussion will begin....with all the overtones of disgust because it's not sunny and 80 degrees. What to do, what to do? I think I can jolly my children through it and "save the day". In regards to the husband, I'm not so sure.

I will now don my smiling face of optimism.....

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I'm a little embarrassed at how long it's been since I sat down to write in this blog. I'll be honest, I've been discouraged at how the community has just kind of died back. I miss my visitors, but I'm just as guilty of not getting around the neighborhood the way I used to. But, I want to keep trying.

My lack of posts is not due to a lack of things going on. On the contrary, it's been a bit of a whirlwind. I'll give the very short version, and then try and fill in some blanks with follow up posts.

Most of my attention and energy has revolved around Arielle. She and I went to Allentown for a visit in May. She had her prom here in NY in June, and that was followed by her high school graduation, including grandparents coming to visit. I cannot believe we have two of the three kids through high school! It just went WAY too fast.

Of course, upcoming graduation meant we spent a lot of time over the last few months squaring away the college decision. She decided on UMass in Amherst.

Right before the 4th of July, I took her up to Amherst for her freshman orientation. I had never been there before I fell completely in love with the area. I would move there in a heartbeat!

The orientation didn't involve me at all. I dropped her off, and had two days to "play" while she was attending sessions and tours and making her schedule. But, I got a bonus! I have an very, VERY old friend who lives in the area. I hadn't seen her in thirty two years! As a matter of fact, we'd only been in touch twice in all that time. So, we were reunited and it was WONDERFUL! That's an entire story by itself that I want to share. I just need to sit still long enough to tell it.

I'm teaching aquatic fitness regularly at a national chain exercise club. I'm not particularly impressed with the way the program is run, but I am loving being back to teaching. I have a teaching style that is distinctly unique from the other instructors. This is going to sound snotty....but it's true. I'm the only instructor they have who has been educated specifically to teach in the water. I'm sure the other instructors are very effective in their particular areas of fitness expertise. But, what one knows about spin, or aerobic dance doesn't exactly translate to the water. The exercise mechanics in water are in many ways opposite to working on land. We had a "master" class for instructors recently and I learned two of them don't even swim! This just strikes me as....off. The good news is that the participants love my class....and tell me so on a regular basis. I'm getting a solid following.

We're leaving tomorrow on a family vacation up to Lake Placid, NY. I am so, SO looking forward to the trip. We will be in a setting that (to me) is just about perfect....a mountain lake region. I will be able to walk out the door of our hotel and take a three mile walk around a lake. I expect I'll be out a dawn every morning...weather permitting...either walking or out in my kayak. I'm also hoping to do some waterfall photography. It's something I've done some research on, but haven't had the opportunity to practice. No waterfalls on Long Island.

We started our vacation week today with a trip into Manhattan and a Broadway show. We promised Adrienne....uh....at least 10 years ago that we'd go see Phantom of the Opera. Well, we finally get her there.

I'll have to say, I wasn't really all that excited seeing the show....but I loved it. Visually, it was just a feast. I was so fascinated with the staging and THE COSTUMES!! Being the textile junkie that I am, I was just dying to get up close to those costumes....all that color and texture. They look so detailed and intricate from the audience, I can only imagine what went into them. I was looking on the internet for some images of the masquerade ball scene (which was spectacular)...but can find nothing that begins to do it justice. I'll keep looking.

So, that's the scoop in a nutshell. I really will try and do a post or two while we are traveling. I've neglected my photo blog just about as much as this one. But, I'll promise to try and do better if anyone is still with me.

Oh....and one more thing...

Something very exciting is brewing. Something I've worked toward, but have not dared believe was possible, for a long time. I won't say it yet because....while it's clearly in the works, its not cast in stone. I'm afraid, I'll jinx it.