Airplane, America, Amtrak, Boat, Car, Cookies, Cranberry, Desert, Dinner, Fall, Family, Food, Friends, Holidays, New York, Pie, Pumpkin, Snow, Sweet Potato, Thanksgiving, Train, Travel, Turkey, USA, Winter
Adirondacks, America, Beer, Breakfast, Camping, Canoe, Dinner, Fall, Fall Color, Family, Food, Fort Ticonderoga, Ice Cream, Kayak, Lake George, Lunch, Mail, Manhattan, New York, Post Office, Postcard, Summer, USA, USPS, Vacation, Wine
It was the weekend of August 11th & 12th and our family made the 194 mile trip from our home here in Endwell to Lake George, NY to kayak and visit Fort Ticonderoga. Lake George sits on the southern end of New York’s massive 6.3 million acre Adirondack Park.
On Monday morning before heading north to Fort Ticonderoga I stopped in the Lake George, NY Post Office to mail 10 postcards around 0930. At the counter now and the only one in there I waited 5-6 minutes to be waited on while a few clerks gabbed behind the scenes. Once being waited on I informed the clerk all postcards had proper postage and I was requesting to have them hand canceled. I promptly received the glare of death and was told in a stern manner that the United States Post Office does not hand cancel! Ok I’m mad! In response, I politely informed the clerk that this was odd as I have not been in a Post Office that does not hand cancel (except in Grand Central Station, which is a whole other story) and asked if the Postmaster was available in order to clarify.
As you can see by my image provided the clerk finally obliged and I received my hand cancels on all 10 postcards. Cannot wait to return next year and ask again.
I had never had a cup of coffee until I was twenty. I was commuting into Manhattan on the 5:45 AM train to work. I had also been dating a girl who happened to work at the local bakery in town. So on my way to the train station I would stop in for coffee and a good morning kiss. Cream and sugar was the routine and off I went. Fast forwarding twenty one years and I was still drinking coffee “Dunkin Donuts” with cream and sugar. I never had a thing for black coffee. Too strong, too bitter but last year while visiting my parents I discovered Trader Joe’s coffee. A medium roast and as the label suggests “An exceptionally smooth cup of coffee”. I’m here to tell you they are correct. Some of the best coffee I have ever tasted.
However recently while spending time with friends I was turned onto Green Mountain Coffee “Wild Mountain Blueberry” again another exceptionally smooth cup of coffee. On a recent trip to Vermont I was able to find this coffee, now I’m hooked!
So if you have any suggestions on coffee to try that is smooth and not bitter please share them as I would greatly appreciate it.
Here’s to a hot cup of Joe!
Adventure, America, Amtrak, Apple, Bakery, Bear Mountain, Boston, Breakfast, Breakneck Mountain, Breakneck Ridge, California, Chelsea, Chelsea Market, Chicago, Coffee, CSX, Cupcakes, Dallas, Diner, Dinner, Emeril, Empire State Building, Farmers Market, Food, Food Network, Freedom Tower, Grand Central, Grand Central Terminal, High Line, Hiking, Hudson River, Hudson Valley, iPad, iPhone, Letter, Los Angeles, Lunch, Mailbox, Manhattan, Metro North, New York, New York City, Obama, Pancakes, Postcard, President, Running, Swimming, Train, Travel, USA, Vacation, Water, West Point
This past weekend was quite an adventurous one to say the least. Saturday morning we woke at 0530 and drove 140 miles to Peekskill, New York in order to catch our train into Manhattan.
Weather was perfect on Saturday and the hour train ride was just as beautiful as the railroad follows the Hudson River most of the way into New York. Arriving at the famed Grand Central Terminal which celebrates one hundred years in 2013.
Early on Sunday morning I went out for my run while Julie and the boys were sleeping. It was a cool morning and quiet. I made some chit chat with the Military Police at the entrance of West Point and discovered a farmers market being set up in town also. After a nine mile run it was back to the motel for a shower and breakfast. We decided to head for the farmers market for breakfast. Some strawberries, pumpkin bread, mini cherry pies and a cup of coffee we were all set for our easy hike at Breakneck Ridge. Arriving at the trail head we packed very little. Actually we didn’t pack a dam thing except my two very heavy cameras. No water, food, etc… Heck the placemat said it was an easy hike. Off we went! The trail started off smoothly and then all of a sudden it got steep, and we had to start scaling some very large rocks. Not to be deterred we pressed on seeing as the flag pole we saw from the highway below did not look to far up. That was a pretty hefty climb up and we thought how the hell would we get back down?In order to get down we were told we had to continue up. We looked up and said are you fucking kidding me! I mean it was shear rock face. Michael now nicknamed “The Mountain Goat” was a machine he loved this and scaled these rock faces like it was nothing. Along the way we bumped into two guys who really helped us out. They provided us with water and kept tabs on Max and helped him if needed as did I. I had no issues except two expensive cameras and lens strapped to me like the rifle of a soldier trying to climb. Julie and Max had a bit more difficulty. At one point Julie started to lose grip and slide a bit down the face of a rock. I was scared to death! Cameras thrown off I was after her to grab her hand if needed. She was able to take hold of a crevice and pull herself up. Up and Up we went and literally I took no other pictures as all I could do is concentrate on my family at this point. Finally we reached the summit. The view of the Hudson Valley north and south was amazing. According to Mapmyhike.com we began at 148 feet of elevation and ended at 1,200 feet of elevation. A gain of 983 feet in under a mile. Map My Hike rates this climb a a Category One “Cat 1 Climb – These rated climbs are the next most difficult after HC climbs. The exactly same methodology is used in determining their difficulty as HC climbs but they fall next in terms of overall difficulty. All climb scores are based on distance, grade/elevation change, and maximum elevation.” which is only surpassed by a category HC “HC climb – “Hors Categorie” – (a French term for above category) climbs are the hardest rating/score given to any climb. All climb scores are based on distance, grade/elevation change, and maximum elevation. The combination of these factors drives all final climb categories and there is no subjective analysis used in the final scoring of any climb score. HC climbs will traditionally be very long (over 10 miles), very steep (average grades above 8 to 10%), or very high (above 11,000 feet) but again some extremely steep or long climbs could alone qualify it as an HC rated climb.” Julie doesn’t sweat so she gets heated, dizzy quickly. Out of water now and Julie not feeling well I found an ice cold stream where I refilled our empty water bottle. Not to drink unless it was an emergency but to use to keep her cool. Making our way down the mountain and finally reaching our car, we were dirty, tired, hungry and accomplished. I am so proud of my sons. Michael is a natural and he and I will move on to tackle Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks. Max on the other hand not as thrilled with the hike and scared at points saying he couldn’t go on, went on and he overcame. Love you!
We drove north now to Beacon, New York for food and made our way to the Yankee Clipper diner http://www.beaconyankeeclipper.com. The menu was huge as expected in a diner. I went right for the full stack of blueberry pancakes with whipped cream, powdered sugar and warm syrup. AHHHHHHHHH! Finished with our lunch we were promising the boys they could swim at the Bear Mountain pool at BEar Mountain State Park. We arrived only to find the pool doesn’t open to June 22nd. We decided it was time to head back home but made a brief drive to the top of Bear Mountain for one last view of the Hudson Valley.
Arriving home around 1900 tired and hungry again, we took a moment to reflect on the weekends events. We came to the conclusion that we love being a family with the good, bad and indifferent. Here is to our next adventure starting on June 24th as we fly to California for vacation.
10K, 15K, 5K, Alcohol, America, Baseball, Beer, Bicycle, Boston, Boston Marathon, Camera, Cars, Cross Country, Cycling, Dinner, Eating, Facebook, Film, Fitness, Food, Half Marathon, Happiness, Health, Manhattan, Marathon, New England, New Hampshire, New York, New York Mets, Olympics, Photography, President, President Obama, Running, Sports, Track, Track Meet, Travel, Triathlon, Twitter, Vacation, Vermont, Wine, Yankees, Yogurt
This afternoons weather in Central New York was cloudy, windy and a bit chilly. This however did not put a damper on Michael’s track meet at Susquehanna Valley. Michael’s school Maine Endwell competed along with Susquehanna Valley, Union Endicott and Norwich in a modified track meet. Michael ran in the one and two hundred meter dash and took part in the long jump. He put in an impressive performance in the dashes but I’ll be honest I couldn’t see the long jump. But if you ask him how he did I get “I did fine Dad”…. Thursday we will do it again.
10K, 15K, 5K, America, Baseball, Beer, Bicycle, Boston, Camera, Cars, Cooking, Cycling, Dinner, Eating, Family, Food, Half Marathon, Health, Hiking, Kayak, Kodak, Life, Manhattan, Marathon, New England, New Hampshire, New York, New York City, Olympics, Photography, President, Racing, Railroad, Running, Running Shoes, Sports, Summer, Swimming, Train, Travel, Triathlon, USA, Vacation
Flipping through my mental rolodex to the afternoon of February 24th 2012 standing on a scale in my doctors office watching in horror while the nurse continue to slide the weight on the scale higher and higher. The weight kept climbing like the thermometer on a summer afternoon. Two hundred pounds, two hundred and fifty, finally the mercury stopped at three hundred and eight pounds. I was mortified!
Later that afternoon sitting on our couch depressed I made a life altering decision, I was not only going to lose weight but I would get myself into shape at age forty. The very next day I made a drastic change to my diet. I began to walk six miles a day five days a week and slowly things began to change for me. My body started feeling better. The digestive issues I had been having were suddenly gone. I began to have more energy and my walking began to speed up.
Fast forward to an afternoon in late April as I returned from the local store where I had bought some fertilizer for our lawn. After lifting these extremely heavy bags from the car I happened to notice each bag weighed forty five pounds. Stepping back for a moment and standing there in amazement realizing I had lost forty five pounds at this point and lifting those bags of fertilizer really put what had happened to me in perspective.
A week later several friends had begun to push me to run a 5K race. Now I had not run since playing high school lacrosse twenty two years prior. I was resisting all I could but my curiosity would eventually get to me. However we signed up as a family and had planned to walk it. Race day finally arrived and as we got there the half marathoners had begun to come in. The atmosphere was electrifying. I was so excited to be a part of what was going on but really having no clue what was going on. All I knew is that it felt good. As we stood waiting for the gun my wife looks at me and says “You know you want to run”. I politely replied no I’m going to walk, BANG, the gun goes off and the tightly packed crowd of runners begin to take off. My wife looks at me and says again “You know you want to run” and I looked back with a huge smile and I was off. About a mile into it I am feeling great as a gentle pat on my back gets my attention and woooosh, my thirteen year old son goes flying on by. With the finish line in sight and my adrenaline pumping I noticed all those half marathoners clapping and cheering as we crossed the finish line. Wow, what a sense of community I thought. Runners of all skill levels cheering and supporting one another. I was hooked! My first ever 5K race was now complete, finishing in 35:19.
Immediately the next month I signed up for another 5K road race in my former hometown of Kings Park, New York. I finished in 26:38, I was stoked! I shaved over eight minutes off my time from the previous month.
The trend would continue over the next several months. Along the way my healthy diet and continued exercise would lead me to lose a total of one hundred and fifteen pounds by Christmas and launch me into the maintaining phase. I have run several races this year so far but my favorite was this past Sunday. I took part in the Seneca 7. The Seneca 7 is a 77.7 mile relay race around Seneca Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes Region. Consisting of seven person teams with each member running three legs each totaling eleven miles. My first leg (3.2 miles) I happened to PR with a 21:16 time at hand off. I have to tell you I was shocked because the last five tenths of this leg had an elevation gain of one hundred and twenty feet. I was ecstatic to say the least.
As I add more pages to my rolodex I do have to admit I have become a RunJunkEe.
10K, 15K, 5K, America, Beer, Bicycle, Boston, Camera, Cross Country, Cycling, Dinner, Eating, Family, Film, Food, Friends, Half Marathon, Hiking, Kayak, Kodak, Manhattan, Marathon, New York, New York City, Olympics, President, Racing, Running, Track, Travel, USA, Vacation
My son Michael joined his schools track team “Maine-Endwell Spartans” for the first time this year. Today’s weather was absolutely perfect for his first ever track meet. Sunshine, sixty degrees and a light breeze. Michael usually errs on the side of caution when entering an unknown environment. He chose the 100M Dash, High Jump and the Long Jump to compete in. Michael had a rough time with the high jump however he did come away with a great attitude and the drive to do better = Score! My wife and I really enjoyed watching Michael compete along with all the other kids and the different events. A completely different animal compared to cross country. Walking to the car afterwards Michael commented, even though he didn’t do as well as he had hoped, he had a blast doing it. Just imagine all that fun without an Xbox! Who would have thought….