We’re Back

We heard you missed us. Just got back from a pair of trips upstate. It was very relaxing and enjoyable. The first trip was to Buffalo and Rochester to see family and friends. It was really hot up there the whole time, with tropical-style rain every day too. After all these years my parents bought an air conditioner for their guest room, which was quite nice. We spent the 4th of July with my folks and saw the parade and fireworks show in their neighborhood. It’s good to be up there for the 4th cuz the fireworks are better than anyplace around here.

I brought up my skates, put on new wheels while I was there, and enjoyed skating around the smooth streets of their flat neighborhood. We visited Denis and his family and spent a day in the pool. Larry and Jackie had a graduation party for their oldest son Timothy, who just finished high school and is going to UB in the fall as an honors scholar. I saw Larry’s mom and sisters for the first time in years. Each of them in turn commented on how Larry took over their living room with his drums when we were in high school. His house was where our band rehearsed. I guess we didn’t sound as good as we thought we did back then.

Jeannie and I went back home for a few days to catch up on work and things. We had a nice night out with Nick and Lisa, walking the High Line down to a brew pub in Chelsea. I also worked on origami stuff. I did the design and prefolding for a Great Dodecahedron in origami for the upcoming Origami Heaven exhibit. And I finally got sample chapter of page layouts back from my publisher. It looks great except for a few minor issues with fonts. And I took some more photos to fill in missing bits for the cover, etc.

Then we were on the road again for a tour upstate. We started in Albany, where we met up with Martin and his family. It was good to see them all, although I never got a chance to sit down with Martin and go over my version of his song. Lots of yummy fresh eggs.

We went into town to see the state capitol complex one day. The tour of the capitol building was pretty fascinating. The building is great reflection of the political process, overly ornate and massively over budget, with conflicting and competing grand visions from a succession of architects who were fired and replaced mid-project. Apparently Teddy Roosevelt kicked out all the stone cutters when he took office, leaving the Senate chamber unfinished with rows of carvings abandoned half done. Also learned how the Statue of Liberty is really a giant robot that stands guard in the harbor to protect the eastern seaboard against an invasion of Godzilla monsters.

The next day we lit out for historic Fort Ticonderoga. Michelle had asked to visit after studying it an history class and having been impressed at our visit to Fort Niagara a couple summers ago. Ticonderoga was really interesting too, with a re-enactor giving a vivid account of the history of the place and various battles. There was also some pretty cool exhibits of period weapons and other artifacts. The fort itself was largely a re-creation, with the French having blown up a large part of it before abandoning their position in the 1760’s. It was another really hot day.

After that it was on to Lake George. I’d never been there before, but it was very relaxing and charming, a classic old-school resort town. We were there mid-week, so nothing was very crowded. After Florida last year it was a welcome relief. We stayed at a place called the Georgian, which we picked mainly because it was right on the lake and had a pool bar. This turned out to be just the thing, as it was in the 90’s the whole time we were there. We hit the pool as soon as we got in, and spent most of the next day there lounging around, and a good part of the third day too. Just a beautiful scene, and the hotel people were really great. We also walked around town, went out to dinner, went swimming in the lake, went on a cruise on an historic steamboat, and rented a powerboat one morning to explore on our own. Lots of fun. Lots of folk music and twelve-string guitars around.

The third destination was Saranac Lake to visit our friends Mark and Kelly. Mark is one of my oldest friends so its always great to see him and catch up. We went hiking, swimming at a local lake, played some cards and just hung out. Learned that jade comes from Godzilla teeth just ivory comes from elephant tusks. Went to the Wild Center, a cool museum about the biology and geology of the forest, where we learned about mutant wolf-hybrid coyotes who hunt in packs. Kelly had some cool art books, and while I was up there I worked out a crease pattern for my origami Penrose Tessellation. Lots of heat and rain up there too. Mark’s band had a memorable gig that was interrupted by a cloudburst and windstorm so intense it threw around boats and party tents.

It was a great trip, but its good to be home. Today it’s yardwork and laundry and back to normal tomorrow. We just found out or local grocery store is closing. This is too bad; I really like the place. They’re walking distance from our house and are nice and small, so you can get in and out quickly. They also have great meat and produce. Also, it looks like the elm tree in our front yard is turning sick. A couple of the branches have wilted and the leaves turned brown. This is really too bad cuz it’s a champion elm, over a hundred years old and one of the tallest trees in the neighborhood. It’ll be sad if it doesn’t make it.

I’d hoped to hop on music projects as soon as I got back, but first I need a couple more days to finish my exhibit for Origami Heaven. More on that soon.

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