Normally we don't spend that kind of money for a birthday gift but we do more than usual for the 16th, 18th and 21st for our kids. (None of those birthday presents involved automobiles.)
After hanging around Saratoga Springs for a bit waiting for the bar that Blake left his debit card at to open, we finally get on the road to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame around lunch. David and Blake think this is going to an all day thing - checking out the Hall. But both are also feeling laid back and happy today so they indulge me when I want to pull over to shoot photos.
This happens really often, I see a lot of things I would like to take pictures of. I try to temper my desire to stop every quarter mile. David has gotten better over the years at not getting all whiney and impatient when i want to stop and sometimes even actively encourages me to stop. Why not, he points out on this day? We have the whole day.
So we stop both on the way there and on the way back. We all get out and take pictures. Blake tries to learn how to use his new toy and I try to show him some things about aperture and shutter speed. Here are some of my photos from that day:
On the way back from Cooperstown we pass Glimmerglass State Park. I comment that I would like to go through and see if there is anything interesting in there and David convinces me to turn around and go back.
Right away we find a covered bridge. Not just any covered bridge, the Hyde Hall covered bridge. This bridge, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is the oldest existing covered bridge in the United States. It was restored in 1967 by the state of New York.
There's David squatting to take a photo from the other side. At least I hope that's what he is doing.
The bridge from another bridge.
In the very back of the park we find Hyde Hall, a National Historic Landmark. Tours of this building are available but in the continuing story of my life, not while we are here.
We see wildlife in the park too. As we leave the covered bridge and on the way out, there is a family of deer grazing near the playground and "beach" area. I put beach in quotes because this is a lake, not the ocean so I think they use the term beach loosely. The beach is also closed now for the winter.
We see a beaver, my first to ever see in person. We actually see two, or maybe the same one twice, but they are too fast to photograph. This started a whole thing about beavers, and not in a good way either.
As usual when I travel with others, I write down (or make David type in my phone when I am driving) my favorite one-liners, most of these this time - but not all - are courtesy of Blake.
- That makes me want to flamenco dance.
- My farts smell like burning trash?
- We ain't old, I can't eat at 4 o'clock!
- Beaver are usually camera shy.
- Did y'all put deodorant in the car?
- BYOB: Bring your own beaver
- I'm still immature, but in a different way.
- It's comfortable, yet stimulating.
- I just drooled on the table.
- If you do it, let me get my camera out first.
- Did you see that cow scratching itself on that tree?
- That was the Madonna, not an angel dumbass.
- I'd be a pretty hot English guy.
- You know what I've noticed has become a lot more mainstream lately? Porn.
That last one came up when no one was even talking. Blake just suddenly pops off with that from the backseat. Maybe porn is mainstream for 21 year old boys in the Navy but it isn't mainstream for most 40-something grandmothers. Blake's best comment came when we returned to the bar in Saratoga to retrieve his debit card.
We decided to stay and have something to eat - and more beer for the boys. After this toast to their time together Blake said, "Can we kiss now, that was a pretty intimate moment right there."
Luckily David wasn't in the process of drinking his beer or he might have snorted it through his nose. This happened before because of something inappropriate someone said while playing Catchphrase at home (I am sure it was Blake). It is interesting to note that when you shoot beer out of your nose, it will foam. A lot. Me, Blake and Amanda (our oldest daughter who was also home when this happened) laughed so much we cried. Rumor has it that I might have even wet myself a little but that can't be proven. David didn't laugh. He was sick the rest of the day.
I made David spit iced tea all over our middle child Miranda during dinner once too. I think he is getting smarter about refraining from actively drinking while Blake and I are talking.
The City Tavern offers a lot of different kinds of beer.
The boys try a couple they are unfamiliar with to varying degrees of success. Once nice thing they do here is allow you to sample a small amount (about 2 oz) before you commit.
They also have a large variety of specialty pizzas, all served on a cutting board. This is mine. I asked for a cross between The Greek and The Big Fat Greek. The Greek had only vegetables, the Big Fat Greek only meat. I had them give me both. This pizza has a garlic butter sauce instead of tomato sauce as the base and it was very good. David's had BBQ sauce instead of tomato and he liked his as well.
We make it out of the bar this time with Blake's debit card and without him vomiting in the parking lot when we get to his apartment. Tomorrow is our last day and we only have until about noon before we have to drive back to Connecticut to the airport. We will spend it once again taking photos, this time at Saratoga National Historic Park. That story next time.