Friday, October 21, 2016

Turning 65 ain't all that bad...

This year was another big birthday...
I turned 65!
If you've been around for five or so years, you might remember My surprise party! for my 60th birthday.
This year, my birthday was a little more sedate, just a quiet day at the river with a few friends and family...
Look what Mr.K gave me for the big day:
Yes!  it's a VW Beetle convertible! 
My dream car!  I've been lusting after one forever.  I think I've had 9 VW's since I got my first Beetle in 1974.  Needless to say, I was am thrilled.
One of the first things I did was plan a road trip.
I headed due north, first to Clayton, NY, on the St. Lawrence River.
I've been going for more than 30 years. 
I love the Thousand Islands!
I got to stay at the new Thousand Island Harbor Hotel,
Which is a wonderful place to stay!
Mark and I spent many summer days (and occasionally winter days too) watching the river.
He loved ships.  It was so cool to walk into my room and look out the window to see this...
How ironic...Not only did he love ships, but he loved to sail as well!
In two nights, I became thoroughly spoiled...
The weather was so beautiful, I ate dinner on the patio...
They had fire pits where everyone seemed to want to hang out...
My friend, Patricia, came over from Canada for lunch.
The food at the hotel is so good, we ate on the patio..
and then we sat in these chairs...
That were set up along the river. 
Since we only see each other once a year, we had a lot of catching up to do.
We had a five hour lunch!
My first morning, I woke up just before six.  I heard a strange noise, a humming sound.
Then I realized...
It was a ship!
I tried to get a photo...
That was the best I could do.  See the ship in the middle of the photo?
The next day I had to try my courage and drive across the Thousand Islands Bridge... 

I did not take this photo.   I was hanging on to the steering wheel with both hands!
I managed to visit all my favorite places...Cape Vincent, Clayton and Alexander Bay
Complete with lunch at another favorite...Bella's in Clayton!

They have wonderful food...a deck overlooking the water and cuddly throws on the back of the chairs in case it's a chilly day or night (and they do have plenty of those!).

Before I knew it, it was time to head south.
I was going to Canton, NY to spend time with Mark's family.
We had three wild and crazy nights of Pinochle...until someone delt this  
hand to Aunt Anne...

Barb, Mark's cousin, it such an amazing cook
but we did manage to go out and have a meal with eyes
with Aunt Anne and her daughter, Jenny...

And we went house hunting.
Barb has been house hunting for quite a while. 
 Just before I got there, she had put an offer in on a house.  The realtor called to say that
the owners had countered her offer.
Barb was a little bummed and said she needed time to think about it.
Barb, Aunt Anne and I jumped in the car and went out to see if there was anything interesting for sale.
There really wasn't, but the next day, the realtor called to say
that the owners of this...
waterfront property that had this...
Overlooking this...
Brandy Brook
that empties into the mighty St. Lawrence...
We accepting offers and were motivated sellers...
Long story short, Barb moves in next month!
Guess I'll be making lots and lots of road trips!
I had one more stop on the way home;
Oneida, NY.
That's where my Uncle Frank raised his family.
I had three cousins still there but had not seen them for years and years!
My cousin, Mark, was gracious enough to invite us for dinner
(and a photo session).
Mark and his wife, Laurie, have the most incredible Victorian home...
It's a work of love and lovingly restored!
It was so wonderful to sit on the screened in back porch and see
faces that looked like family!
Here's beauty and the beasts...
That's Frankie, Mickey and Mark.
can you tell we're related?
We talked, laughed, and had a wonderful time.
I was sorry to see the evening end...
But I had a few kids, a grandson, a couple of dogs and a plant-killing husband waiting at home...
So I headed south.
6 days, 1,287 miles and all but 2 hours total with the top up.
It was so good to be home, even if my peace lily did not make it!

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