Saturday, August 2, 2008

Wine Country

Greetings from beautiful Canandaigua-at least yesterday was beautiful, we awoke to a rainy morning today.

Yesterday was one of those perfect days that will stay with us for as long as our minds hold out! We left Apollo Drive when it was convenient in the morning, no need to rush, we had a drive of less than an hour. The day was sunny and clear, with temps forecasted for the low 80's. Once in Canandaigua we parked at the City Pier and started to get ready for a bike ride. While doing the normal futzing that goes along with getting ready to ride, our friends Mary Jo and Dave, who recently moved to Canandaigua, walked up to us! They were out for their morning constitutional with their son who was in town for a visit. Mary Jo said she saw my yellow beetle and knew who it belonged to. Dave does a lot of biking in this area so he was a good resource before we pedaled away, including a suggestion for a lunch stop. 

We ended up riding 40 miles, which was about 10 more than Jim had wanted, but it was fine. We ate lunch in Rushville at a place called Loomis Barn. We had to ask where this place was as we rode through Rushville, and probably never would have gotten there on our own as it ended up being south of town and we were heading north. But we found it and we're glad we did. The Loomis Barn is actually a furniture store with a couple of other businesses attached to it, one of which is the Corn House Cafe. We had a nice lunch and enjoyed the air conditioning. 
Here is a pretty view, with Canandaigua Lake in the distance.

After we returned to the car at the pier, we went into downtown for a walk up and down Main Street. Surprise-there was a needle work store!! In that store we discovered a display of "locally grown" alpaca roving and yarn. Apparently there are several alpaca farms in the area and together they produce yarns and rovings. We will have to keep our eyes out for grazing alpacas as we travel around this area in the next couple of days. 

We are staying at the Morgan Samuels Inn, a lovely place with beautiful gardens.
We stayed here many years ago and were quickly reminded of what a nice place it is. Jim loves the fact that there is a large plate of homemade chocolate chips cookies awaiting him every time he walks through the front door! The innkeeper, Brad, recommended and made us at dinner reservations at the New York State Wine and Culinary Center. It was such a lovely evening that we chose to eat dinner on the outside deck of the restaurant, which was perfect. The deck was on the second floor of the Center so we had a view of the lake and all the happenings out there on a gorgeous Friday night. Our meal was prepared using foods that are from NYS and we washed down every bite of our meal with a tasty NYS Riesling wine. Before heading back to the B&B we walked out the pier and watched the fisher-people and the boats returning to the marina as the sun set behind us. A perfect day!

Now, of course, the rain has arrived, as forecasted. We have some things we want to do that we can manage rain or shine. Fortunately we have tickets under the shelter for tonight's RPO concert, but we do hope to be able to picnic on the  lawn before the concert.  

Hope all is well.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Heading Out Again

Well, three days at home, it must be time to go away again! 

Jim got home from DC this afternoon around 4:30 PM. He quickly unpacked from that trip, got a load of laundry started and started packing for our long weekend in Canandaigua. 

We are staying at the Morgan Samuels Inn in Canandaigua. We stayed at this B&B many years ago and remember having a wonderful stay. We plan to do some biking in the area, weather permitting, and then we have concert tickets at CMAC for Saturday and Sunday night. Saturday night the RPO is performing, with a big finale of the 1812 Overture including cannons and fireworks! Always a crowd-pleaser! On Sunday night we will be hearing/seeing Sheryl Crow. I've been listening to her latest album so I can sing along!!! We'll come back early Monday morning so Jim can go to work. It should be a fun weekend. 

The past couple of days have been filled with lots of household chores. I won't bore you with the details. I did go to a local yarn shop for a morning of spinning yesterday and that was most enjoyable. It seems the only time I get to spin is when I go to this shop on Wednesday mornings.

Tucker called tonight and was on cloud nine because he just bought a new guitar. I will post a photo when he sends one. It is a Martin something or other model and he was anxious to make some music with it. I am including a photo that Tucker sent last week while I was riding my bike. This photo is from a place he called Big Indian. 

Time to think about what I've forgotten to pack. 

Hope all is well. 

Monday, July 28, 2008


Reporting from home! It's good to be home after a wonderful adventure to the midwest.

Last night I went to the Toledo Mud Hens Baseball game and it was a very enjoyable way to spend the early evening. I had a single seat between a family of 4 and 2 older gentlemen. I got talking to the older men and it turns out that one of the guys is a retired school principal and his wife is a former Physical Education teacher. She was kayaking in northern Michigan at the time! I left the game after 5 innings, with the Mud Hens losing. I was getting sleepy while sitting at the game and wanted to drive back to my hotel while there was still daylight and before the masses left the game. I was glad I went to the game.

I was up and on the road at 8 this morning and had an easy drive back to Rochester. The traffic was managable and the road construction was minimal. I arrived here, just as the rain started, about 2 PM. I got a load of laundry started and got most of my stuff put away.

So, here are a bunch of photos from the past week. I will try to put a caption under each one. 

First night of camping in Missouri Valley, Iowa.

Watermelon and fresh corn- fuel until we can have pie in the next town!

Bell tower in Jefferson, Iowa. We camped in Jefferson.

View from the top of the bell tower.

Statue of Abe Lincoln, in Jefferson, wearing a bike helmet!

View of my bike, resting while I get something to eat!

Waiting for a train to pass. On RAGBRAI, bikers usually have the right of way, 
except when it comes to trains. Then we wait!

Butterfly on a flower at the Reiman Gardens on the campus of
 Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

Port-a-potties. Never had a bad one on this trip and they always had paper!

This is one of 2 trailers that followed the ride 
and offered computers and free phone service.

Sally and I posing for a photo in State Center, Iowa. We are in town before the bulk of the riders, later in the day one could barely move through this Main Street.

A chance to try your "hand" at milking a cow, in one of the overnight towns, 
sponsored by the local dairy association. I was a natural!

A typical camp spot. This is when you hope your neighbor doesn't snore.
 It doesn't always work out that way!

Breakfast bratwurst and sauerkraut-the breakfast of champions!

Corn yarn vendor! Do you think I made a purchase?

Bluegrass entertainment, Hen House Prowlers, on the Last Night Out in Tipton, Iowa.

Last Night Out Beer, Tipton, Iowa

Dipping our front wheels in the Mighty Mississippi River, Le Claire, Iowa

Dip Site later in the day on Saturday.

So there is a taste of our Iowa bike ride. All the training I did in advance of the ride paid off and the weather, although exciting at times, was pretty good. And as always the Iowa hospitality was second to none. The receptions we received as we rode into each and every town was enthusiastic and genuinely warm. 

Tomorrow Jim goes to Washington, DC for 3 days and comes home in time for our long weekend in Canandaigua.

No blog tomorrow. I have lots to do and it is all probably stuff you don't want to read about!

Hope all is well.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Halfway Home

Reporting from Maumee, Ohio.

I was on the road by 8 AM, and then I realized that I would lose an hour today so it was really like starting at 9. No problem. My drive was uneventful and I cruised through the area south of Chicago, most of the time going 70 mph! It certainly wasn't traffic free, but I just got in the left lane (no trucks) and went with the flow. I made one stop along the Indiana part of I-80 for gas and lunch and was here at my hotel just before 3 PM.

The highlight of my drive was when my cell phone rang and it was Joanie calling just to chat! They had left their home this morning heading for Jenny Lake, via a night in Rochester and were just a ways ahead of me on the interstate!! We chatted for a while and it sure made 10-15 miles go by in a jiffy! Thanks for the call Joanie. If my phone had rung while I was flying through Chicago, I would not have answered it!

I slept good last night and have not felt really tired today until I sat down here at the hotel! After checking the weather, I bought a ticket to tonight's Toledo Mudhen's baseball game! The game is almost sold out so I was only able to get a single seat in the middle of a section, so I'm hoping I'm not sitting in the middle of a bunch of yahoos! Maybe I'll catch a nap before I go to the game.

I listened to a bunch of my knitting podcasts while driving today and learned a few things. Tomorrow I plan on finishing my book on tape. Jeannie left me a comment on one of my earlier posts about the availability of books on tape at Cracker Barrel Restaurants. Apparently you can borrow a set of tapes at one Cracker Barrel restaurant and return it to another restaurant! That is very cool and I am glad to know that.

I am looking forward to getting home tomorrow. It will be good to see Jim and Corey and share my RAGBRAI experience with them. I will transfer my photos from the camera to the computer so I can put some in the blog. Also, Jim and I are going to Canandaigua for a long weekend on Friday so I need to get all my stuff from this trip cleaned up and put away and get ready for that. Some of my gear from this trip will be set aside so it is ready to go in a couple of weeks when I pack up for my Great Hudson River Valley Pedal.

Nap time.

Hope all is well.