Friday, July 9, 2021

'21/#27 Friends From Home Wherever We Roam

 It is back to work after a crazy 4th of July weekend and a trip to Pennsylvania. The holiday weekend involved lots of campfire wood and tons of ice. That alone was a full time job but then everything else that goes into running the General Store also needed to be done. Fortunately we have a good crew that works well together and the weekend went off without a hitch. Maybe a few minor hitches but nothing all of us couldn't deal with.

We were looking forward to our days off because we had plans to see a very good friend near Erie, PA. Terry is a friend we made during our time in Zephyrhills and has move back to his home state of Pennsylvania to be near family. We are happy that he is doing so well. When he knew we were coming he made plans for us to check off a few more lighthouse from Mary's list. These were places near his home of many years that he had never been to. It takes a visitor to get you to see things in your own backyard sometimes. 

Three lighthouses, some good food, and most important great company. And we got to catch up, briefly, with Terry's son Dustin. All in all a very good trip that could happen because we were "in the neighborhood". 

Arriving home at a reasonable hour allowed us to do some laundry, get groceries, and relax before we started another weekend in the General Store. The rest of the summer should be steady but not crazy until the park goes back to weekends only. We will make plans and see more of what Western NY has to offer and share it in the blog and on Facebook.

I am going to rest and have a little something to eat before we go to work at Darien Lakes near our home in Corfu because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Monday, June 28, 2021

'21/#26 Lots Of Jello


I have talked about how Jello intrudes on our travels so it was appropriate to visit where all this Jello business started. I was all excited when we got there to see that Jello comes from cows but Mary set me straight. The museum was all things Jello. From how and who invented it to the original marketing to it's current place in our society. Needless to say, but the jello behaved itself while we did some of this exploring.
Jello Jello everywhere!

Jello through the ages.

Hope his Jello didn't get shaken!

One of the reasons we went to the Jello Museum was because of friends. Yes our friends have found us again. Wendy and Charlie are friends from our days in Zephyrhills and are also RVers so it didn't surprise us that they were in the area. We never pass on any opportunity to catch up with friends wherever we are. After the museum and a history lesson about LeRoy NY we went out for a good lunch with great company. Who could ask for more?

The rest of our time off was relaxing and getting things done around the house (on wheels) and in town. Then another three day work week and now we are in our three day weekend. We are working an extra day because of the Fourth of July holiday and expect to be busy.

Well I will sign off now so we can get on with our days off in our home in Corfu, NY because...

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Friday, June 25, 2021

'21/#25 More Lighthouses

The last blog talked about lighthouses on Lake Ontario. The next day we went west and saw some on Lake Erie between Buffalo and the NY/Pennsylvania border. The first was the Barcelona Lighthouse in Westfield NY.  This lighthouse is one of the more rustic we have seen so far. It was completed in 1829 and it shows the creative use of the materials at hand. Though it is no longer used as a navigation aid it is still lit and on the US National Historic Register.
Just a few miles up the coast we found Dunkirk Light. This light is almost as old but was constructed with more, shall I say refined, materials.

The property also contains a museum and a number of artifacts about the light, the people who manned it, and the history of navigation on the Great Lakes. As is expected there is a gift shop but Mary tried to get her own souviner.

It was time to head homeward so we planned on stopping at one more light house in Buffalo. It turned out that the Buffalo Main Lighthouse was on Coast Guard Station property and the gate was locked. Our disapointment was soon washed away. I saw what looked like a flock of birds flying in fomation as birds are known to do, but the sun was reflected off one of them. That is when I realized that they were not birds. Way off in the distance the Navy's Blue Angels were practicing for the weekend show over the Buffalo waterfront. The planes flew straight at us and practiced their routine right in front of us as we joined hundreds of others who had pulled their cars over for an impromptu and seemingly private performance just for us. No crowds, no jostling for position, and best of all no ticket needed. It was the perfect end to another perfect day.

With a great time on our days off it was back to work for the weekend.  It was another busy couple of days but as usual we had fun with our coworkers and the campground guests. This is our life here in western New York. Adventures, exploring, work, and having fun doing it all.

Until the next blog this is goodbye from our home at Darien Lakes because,

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Friday, June 18, 2021

'21/#24 A Little Light(house) Hunting

 Mary is feeling much better so we are back to doing what we do. That is exploring the area we call home for the season. Since we are near Buffalo NY we are also near two of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. We have all seen the maps and learned the geography and heard the stories but until you see it in person you may not realize how big these lakes are. They are more like fresh water inland seas. Since they are all connected and lead to the St Lawrence River and out to the Atlantic it is a major shipping channel.With major shipping, great expanses of water, and weather that can make travel hazardous there was a need for safety along the shores which led to the construction of lighthouses. The Great lakes has over 200 active lighthouse and many more that are now defunct or nonexistant. 

This all leads me to Mary's fascination with lighthouses. There is a certain awe in their construction and their location in harms way of the weather. To many, including Mary, there is a certain romantic quality to them and respect for those who manned them in the days of lighthouse keepers. Therefore, whenever the opportunity arises we visit these sentinals of the shoreline. 

This week we took two days and went lighthouse hunting. Day one we drove along the shore of Lake Ontario and found Oak Orchard Lighthouse and Braddock Point Lighthouse. Driving through rural and rustic Northwest New York reminds us that there is more to New York than New York City.

At Oak Orchard Light we got a good taste of a beautiful summer day on the shore of Lake Ontario. Yep, we ran back to the truck to put on jackets. The sun was shining , the wind was blowing, and no matter what the locals said, it was cold!

Moving on down the Lake Ontario State Parkway we found Braddock Point Lighthouse. It has been turned into a bed and breakfast but was closed when we got there so we took our pictures where could. This is one of the prettier lighthouses we have seen as it was restored to be more than a functional navigation aid. Maybe we can get back when it is open. 

On the way home we stopped in a few stores in Rochester. We had a hankering for some treats and found a kosher market and an Italian bakery. Mmmmm!!  Mary has posted some of the pics on Facebook. 

I will continue later on since it is time for me to get ready for work. So until the next blog this is goodbye from our home in upstate New York because....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Friday, June 11, 2021

'21/#23 Life As Usual

 This week we had all kinds of plans to go exploring but..... You know what they say about the best laid palns. Like I have said before, we are not on vacation. This is our lifestyle and like everyone's life a little rain must fall. I am talking about metaphoric rain since the weather was absolutely perfect for sightseeing. This "rain" I speak of is an ear infection that took all the adventure out of Mary. Now don't get excited! It was not Covid! It was just an ear infection like the many Mary has had over the years. 

So this week was trips to the urgent care clinic, the pharmacy, and the grocery store. Lots of fluid and rest was the order of the day and I took advantage of the down time to get some rest myself. Mary is feeling much better and after four days of concentrating on getting well she is up to going back to work. Well there is always next week.

On another note, we did put a bird feeder right outside our window. It has been entertaining and something we can enjoy from inside. Not only did we have an assortment of birds but a couple of chipmunks also decided to partake of the buffett we set out. This was a dollar store purchase but now that the chipmunk is taking more than his share we have gotten another bird feeder that should (HAHA) keep him out. We also bought a 20# bag of bird feed. So much for keeping it a cheap dollar store purchase. Oh well, it is now part of our entertainment budget.

It is time for me to have something to eat and get ready for work so this is goodbye until the next blog from our home in Corfu, NY because......

Home is where we park it, 

Frank and Mary

Saturday, June 5, 2021

'21/#22 This Is Why We Do What We Do


I last talked about how busy we were and how much work we did on Memorial Day weekend, but there is more to our life than work. Retirement allows us not to work and working allows us to do more in retirement. As much fun as we have working with and meeting new people we look forward to our days off even more. Also with a work schedule it helps me remember what day it is. HAHAHA!!

On our days after the holiday we took care of our usual chores in and around the house. We also set aside a day for just us. We took a drive up to Lake Ontario and Old Fort Niagara. We learned a little about the history of the area and stood on ground that at different times was claimed by the Seneca indians, the French, the British, and America. The bloody battles fought over control of travel and commerce are as old as man and continue in other parts of the world to this day. In spite of the violent history the area is quite beautiful and serene as we walk around the restored fort. 

We also took a stroll down by the beach. For anyone who has not seen any of the Great Lakes it makes all lakes you previously know look like puddles. It was a sunny calm day this time but I have personally witnessed winter storms that produced six foot waves freezing as they crashed on the shore and that was considered an average storm. I did not want to be there when a bad storm arrived. You can't see it in the pictures but the city of Toronto is just barely visible accross the lake and only because of the 1815 foot CN Tower. Also as Mary points to Toronto she had to check, and the water temperature is BRRRR, yet people were still wading into the water. Just a bit too cold for us transplanted Floridians.

Well it is time to get ready for work. We are planning another excursion up to Lake Ontario but this time we will head east and time permitting check out the city of Rochester... or maybe next week. As I said working gives us  the time and the means to do and see other parts of the country at our leisure and as extensively as we want.

So until the next blog so long from our home in upstate NY because....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

'21/#21 They're Back!

 Memorial Day is the official start of the summer season and with people starting to come out of their winter as well as their Covid cocoons Darien Lakes amusement park was in full swing. That coupled with short staffing made for a hectic weekend. The weather didn't cooperate the first day but cleared up to salvage the rest of the weekend. 

We work in the General Store attached to the campground so our busy times were early in the day and late at night. Mornings are when everyone wants to rent golf carts, scooters, and wagons. These rentals are all handled through our store. During the day the people traffic is steady with campers looking for forgotten essentials, and the deli counter has a rush around lunch time as guests and employees come here for sustenance. Inventory is checked and filled while the store is maintained to prepare for the evening rush. 

The store is open for one hour after the park closes so everyone heading to their campsite will stop in for something. It could be something to eat after a long day on the rides or one to eight bundles of firewood to keep warm by their tent or RV. We can't forget the ingredients for that campfire treat, S'mores! Of course the kids want candy or soda or plush souvenirs. The parents are trying to talk them out of some or all of it with varying rates of success all while looking for some rest after a long day of fun. It's what parents have done for kids for generations and what kids don't appreciate until they are parents themselves. And the cycle continues.

We were exhausted at the end of the weekend but it felt good getting back to work. I personally have become sedentary, which is a fancy word for lazy, over the past month or so. I have some sore muscles that haven't been used in a while but I am feeling better already. I like to think of it as going to the gym and getting paid for it. Whatever motivates me works.

That is enough for now. I have more to share but that will come in the next blog from our home at Darien Lakes because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary