Saturday, May 31, 2014

Beautiful Morning in Sodus, NY

A few hundred feet from the B&B
just after sunrise
   I just missed the actual sun peeping up over the horizon moment, but, nonetheless, the start of my day was amazingly beautiful and serene!  Walked to the lake, took pics, read my book and returned to shower and have a scrumptious breakfast served in elegant style by Jerry!

Lake Ontario... yes, I'm sure... lol
Bright Spot-
Jerry shared that after many years of Claudine, his wife, raising the children while he worked, they decided to try to find a way to work together in a laid back kinda way.  They had always loved visiting bed & breakfasts over the years and when this one went up for sale in such an idea location...they bought it!  That was 4 years ago and they still love it...especially meeting people from all over the country as well as their international guests at the Carriage House Inn B&B.
Carriage House Inn B&B

Breakfast room at the B&B
  Jerry is one of those folks that carries a permanent smile in his eyes which makes talking with him especially delightful.  Thanks Jerry for the conversation and the gluten-free morning juice, hot tea, a fresh 4-fruit and yogurt salad parfait, an applesauce muffin and an egg n cheese omelet with sausage links!  I'm gonna need a pretty long bike ride later on to work THAT off!

Sailing lessons on Seneca Lake in Geneva, NY
largest of the finger lakes

R & R and B & B

   Gotta love spontaneous decisions!  On my way to Sodus Point, NY, I caught a glimpse of a billboard along the highway that said, "Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame and Museum NEXT EXIT"! Well, alright, talked me into it!  Aborting the original plan of stopping at a lakeside beach resort on my way, I jumped off the exit in Cleveland, Ohio and "I got a ticket to ride"!  What fun it was! Videos and pictures and outfits and guitars of WAY back when it all began clear up to the present were available to see.  There were even music booths where you go in and choose a song of a particular genre and listen to a short clip.  Crazy things were hanging from the ceiling and there were 6 levels!  Time well spent.
   I made 2 pit stops in 5 1/2 to see a man about a horse and one for ice cream!  When I arrived at the Carriage House Inn B&B, I was delighted to see that it was situated on a gorgeous piece of property and within walking and visual distance to Lake Ontario!  I was greeted by Jerry in a true "mi casa es su casa" fashion.  After I freshened up, I went down to the a lakeside restaurant, had a decadent seafood dinner including lobster bisque, a 'drink' on the deck and hung around to listen to the live was great!   I turned in early so I could catch the sunrise!
Rock n Roll Hall of Fame
in Cleveland, Ohio

A Sly gettup
"I Wanna Take You Highya"

Janis Joplin's Porche

A 5' long hot dog hanging from the ceiling
Sitting area - Lake can be seen from there pillows ever!!!

A personal water slide...
how cool is THAT?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Double Header

                                                    A Case of Mistaken Identity
    I get up this morning all psyched to go to the beach along Lake what if I have to ride my bike up and down for 3+ miles each way...won't be the first time...:)  I arrived to find just a lovely little beach with a swarm of little ones doing somersaults, playing tag and eating snacks.   Must have been a field trip...boy, were they adorable!
   I took my bike down onto the sand, removed the sneakers and socks and waded in the beautiful lake.  Waves crashing on the rocks as I put my towel down so I could just lay there and listen! Aaaahhhh!!!   After a bit, I rode to the other side of a wharf, parked my bike and walked up onto a railed platform that overlooked a tiny white lighthouse!  The breeze was keeping me cool in the heat of the day.  I met a young man there.  His name was Nathan and he'd just gotten out of school for the summer two days ago.  Bright Spot- He was very friendly and easy to talk to but he didn't think he had anything particularly good to share.  We talked awhile and he proceeded to tell me how for the last couple summers he has come to this very spot on Lake Erie nearly every single day.  He shared that he found it quiet and peaceful and that even though he lives pretty far that, for him, it was worth the hike!  My guess is that he was about 18.  In my opinion, Nathan's good news is that he, at such a young age, recognizes the value of peaceful surroundings and goes out of his way to experience them.  He told me about a few places to eat and then I left.  As I was riding away, I turned around and watched this young man for a few minutes.  He was fully present in his moment...I could feel it.  What a joy to witness.
   In case you didn't catch that he comes to Lake ERIE nearly everyday...let me just say that I was totally stunned when he said that!  I'm thinking I'm at Lake Huron the whole morning..LOL  Well, I wasn't at the lake that I thought I was, but I was definitely at the RIGHT lake!
   Upon my arrival back at the campground, there was a Bright Spot waiting for me in the office/store.  I was commenting, as I pulled an icy cold drink out of the fridge, that my thighs must have disappeared since I couldn't feel them.  Jill, who was working, laughed at me!  She and I struck up a conversation that lead to a fabulous 'feel good' story!  Five years ago Jill was working at a job she didn't like...the money was great but the atmosphere was toxic!  Two friends of hers, Reuben and Keith had recently left their jobs at GM and bought this campground.  They invited her to come work for them.  At first, she shunned the offer mostly because of a cut in salary she'd have to take. It didn't take long before she started working for them part time and the 'breath of fresh air' she began to experience here prompted her to leave the other job and come aboard full time.  That was 5 years ago and she hasn't looked back!  Jill has a lightness about her that shines in her eyes and her joy is palpable!  I'm sure that everyone who comes through here and has an opportunity to be in her presence would agree!  
Lake ERIE lighthouse

Lake ERIE waves

Piggies in Lake ERIE

         Travel Companion
Some friends were leery of me traveling alone on this adventure.  I attempted to put their minds at ease by explaining that I have always known somehow that I'd be safe wherever I went and in whatever I did.  Today, it was clear to me that I am not on this journey alone.  I am being watched over and taken care of every minute of every day.  A couple of relatively simple occurrences during my trip this morning really made that belief ring true loud and clear.
1- Before I left for the lake, I uncharacteristically completely reversed my usual bike trip packing process.  In the backpack went the folding seat only to save my back and in my basket went the book, the journal, the pen, the water, the snacks, the towel, etc!   When I was ready to read and munch at the beach, I suddenly noticed that I didn't have my backpack with me and was very disappointed, thinking for a moment that everything was in it.  Then, it dawned on me that I HAD what I needed because of the change in packing!
2- Riding along the path away from the lighthouse area, something large flew right into my eye, completely bypassing my sunglasses!  Automatically I reached for my eye and not only did I knock my glasses off but I totally wiped out.  I knew in that split second that "I was going down!"  The bike went out from under me and I landed on the OTHER SIDE of two very large stone slabs onto the soft wet grass.  I laid there checking my limbs one at a time and then got up to find my regular glasses.  They had a tiny scratch off to the left of the left lens, my sunglasses were fine, my bike was in perfect condition and I wasn't even sore.
Couldn't have done any of the above without a traveling companion.

Willow Wonderland and Its Beings

 I'm catching up a bit here.  Yesterday morning was the first time I was able to see the campgrounds since I got in so late Tuesday night.  So I hopped on my bike and explored the place.  It was worth the is quite beautiful here.  The property is situated on the Huron River and many folks live here full time in their RVs as well as on the other side of the marina in more traditional houses.  It was a lovely day of exploring outside and inside and reading!
Willow Tree
Perfect reflection
White crane looking for lunch

River through the Willow
Kisses from "inside" the willow tree 
For Alorah in celebration of her "changes"

Snack time

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Saugatuk...Perfect End to Michigan Visit

  Before I left the campground, I headed for the dunes and laid in the early morning sun.  I was feeling kinda silly and decided to take some self portraits....I ended up with something even more fun than that!
Well, I started off zoned in on
 moi and my cool "t"

Then I broadened my scope and noticed
me taking a picture of me as
reflected in the sand.

Then...I found me in my shades!
AND the sun peeking through the tree!

THEN...when I saw a bunny in my shades,
I knew it was time to end the
photo shoot...LOL

   I packed up and headed for Saugatuk, a little artsy town about 25 minutes away that so many people I met here told me I needed to see!  I stopped at the Douglas/Saugatuk Visitor's Center and there I had the pleasure of meeting Dani with a Bright Spot- She and her husband Bill are celebrating their 2nd anniversary on June 9th!  They also bought a rancher with a fenced yard in a great little neighborhood in Jennisen, MI.  Dani was very excited about both events!  I think she's a keeper, Bill!!!  I'll be saying "Hey" to everyone in Dani's old stomping grounds when I get to Tennessee.
   Saugatuk was worth the stop.  It was adorable!  Cute little shops, marinas, and similar to South Haven and St. Joe in that it had no shortage of wine tasting or ice cream!!!
   I was on my way back to Van-Go when I saw a sign that intrigued me... Star of Saugatuk...boat cruises!!!  This tiny little decision brought me great joy AND into Ohio at a very dark, late hour...oh, well!  Sometime a girl's gotta change her plans regardless of consequences!
Beautiful parks

Adorable quaint cafes

Interesting artwork

Silly shops

Brave duck/lings

Clever yacht names
Multiple willows
The only "chain ferry"
left in the country!
The boat chain is connected to a chain at the dock and
it goes the width of the river and back

Caught daydreaming :)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Fun at Dune Lake

  What a fun-filled day!  I had breakfast with neighbors where I met Sandy, their friend.  She is from Australia and has a delightful accent!  She has 2 girls almost the same age as Emma and Leah.  We were talking about my journey and she told me of some great places to see in the Vermont/New Hampshire areas.  We had the big map and the campground directory going!  She was so helpful and very was a blast!  Then I hung out reading in my hammock which is always wonderful.  
   About 4:00 I made the deviled eggs for the group cookout and potluck.   Doug grilled a ton of barbecued chicken that was nothing short of fabulous!  Thanks, Doug!  Lots of good food was there to share and, of course, we all ate a bit too much!
   Ann and Mark know this couple who raises chickens and goats and sells delicious eggs and goat milk and cheese.  Ann invited me to go along to get some eggs.  Well, what a wonderful surprise I found when we arrived.  Bright Spot- for the couple, Madeline and Roland, 2 baby goats were born last Saturday and Bright Spot- for me...I got to hold one!!!!  OMG- he was so soft and cuddly!  I held 'Mork'...his sister's name is 'Mindy' cool!
   Please keep good thoughts for Madeline...she broke her leg in 15 places in February.  She is healing nicely, but is ready to 'get up and go'!
   When we returned, Mark had the karaoke system all set up for the kids and did we have spectacular entertainment for the next couple of hours!!!  The kids had a blast and sang with great enthusiasm!
   The final event of the day was a hay ride through the campground.  By then the mosquitoes were out in force, so it was time to go in!  So much fun!
   Only one more day here...these 11 days have been full and fun!
Doug at the grill

Group cookout with Silly Sandy waving!
Ann and me

Girls and goats-round one

Girls and goats-round two

Me holding Mork!

Ann and Mindy
Me and Mork

Somebody is thirsty!!!

Doug and Lisa waving after a fun hayride

I have no clue what this is-
accidental shot obviously-
but very cool!
Karaoke Kids

Karaoke Kids