The Summer of George

We just got back from a mini vacation upstate. One can’t really do big traveling in these pandemic times. We couldn’t do camping this summer, and we couldn’t go down to Ocean City, things we do almost every year. So instead we planned a trip that was sort of a morph of the two. A few days of lakes and woods and mountains, and a bit of a beach resort, albeit on a lake. It was fun to get a break from our daily routine, and good for the soul.

The first day we drove up to visit Martin and his family, whom we hadn’t seen since Xmas. Good to say they’re all doing well. Charlie is getting good at origami. They have alot more ducks and chickens than they used to. We basically hung out on his porch and talked the whole time. Martin had just finished reading a book on prog rock called The Show That Never Ends, and by coincidence Jeannie and I were listening to Pink Floyd and Supertramp on the the car ride up, so there was some fun discussion around that.

We spent the next couple day at Lake George in the Adirondacks. Lake George village is a tiny town on the edge of a lake in the middle of a vast forest. And although it seems pretty dense locally, there’s only a handful of hotels, and it attracts people regionally rather than from further away. Walking around, the density of people is more than I’d seen in a long time, but the main drag is only one street, a few blocks long and it was easy to maintain distance.

We stayed at hotel called the Georgean which was like a mini resort. The rooms were like a motel and opened directly to the outside, so we felt a bit safer over that. Down by the lake’s edge was a area with a swimming pool and an outdoor bar with food, overlooking the lake, so we were able to eat outside and enjoy the view. The food was really good; we all had burgers and fancy drinks.

The hotel also has a little strip of private beach. Jeannie and I noticed they had sailboats that you can rent, so the next morning we went down to do just that. Only problem was there was no wind. So instead we got some kayaks, which was lot of fun too. In the afternoon we went around the opposite side of the lake and took a hike up to a ridge with some great views. It was a beautiful day to spend outside.

That evening we ate in the fancy restaurant attached to the Marriot across the street. All the places had a long wait for a table so we walked around town and spotted chainsaw bears. This place had outdoor seating too, and it started to get cold at night for the first time since the spring. They had a fun drink: a Manhattan with bacon and maple sugar. Yummy.

Next morning we got up and it was raining. We went out to breakfast and headed home since there was nothing to do outdoors. On the ride home we listened to Pink Floyd The Wall, an album that I haven’t heard since the 1980’s because it was just so overplayed. I must say it stands the test of time pretty well, and in some sense is surely a masterpiece with alot of great songs. David Gilmour’s guitar solos are just out of this world. On the downside, it’s a concept album about wallowing in self-pity. Roger Waters’ shrieking and quavering vocals are not exactly pleasant to listen to, sort of the polar opposite of someone like, say, Billie Holiday bringing beauty to dark emotional territory. Luckily he only does about half the singing.

Being a double album, it’s also kinda long. Sides 2 and 3 definitely drag on. (I think just about the only double album I can listen to straight through is Songs in the Key of Life.) There’s probably a great 3-sides of music in there, and someone should just cut out the all connecting bits and semi-songs where it’s just Roger and a piano or a synth and some sound effects. While they’re at it, they should edit Animals down to 22 minutes or so and put that on side four.

Since we got home earlier then expected I read that prog rock book that night. Over all pretty interesting, except the author made some pretty obvious errors describing the ELP album Brain Salad Surgery. Ah well.

Now we’re coming down to the end of summer. I must the weather in August has been really nice, especially compared to the heat of July. Lots of mornings in the 70’s and afternoons in the low to mid 80’s. Enough rain that I didn’t even have to water the lawn. Everything has been growing like crazy and I did lots of extra trimming in the yard the last few weeks. Now the days are getting shorter and the nights cooler. Michelle starts school next week.

There’s stuff going on these days with music and origami, and the Global Jukebox, but I’ll save that for another post. Also coming soon: the patio expansion project.

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