Saturday, August 28, 2010

From Norwich to Earlville and In Between Adventure

Carol K. asked me to go to her daughter in laws art supply shop in Norwich for a GRAND RE-OPENING today.
We met up in New Berlin and drove to Norwich. We arrived a bit early and looked around THE ARTIST'S PALETTE. It is a great store and it is also an art gallery. Here is a picture of Jill Kraft (Carol's daughter in law) in front of her store.

A guy dressed like BIG FOOT (a guy named Jesse) arrived and he tried to attract visitors by standing in the road with a sign.
They had free hot dogs and cookies and soda. I purchased a turquoise bracelet and a book.

When we were finished at the art gallery/store, Carol drove me around Norwich, showing me some points of interest such as train depots, parks, etc. We had a really nice time at a park along a river, we even put our feet in the icy water. Then Carol drove me around Norwich a bit more, showing me two old train depots, a cute little
(old) diner and a ghost sign on a huge building near one of the depots.

Carol wanted to show me a house she and her family used to live in, in the hamlet of
Preston. It is a gorgeous area and we found the house and looked around a little bit. Preston does not really have much to offer, they do not have a post office.

After that, we headed towards Earlville, where we planed to have a roast pork dinner at the fire hall. On the way we stopped in Sherburne, to look for a geocache. We were not successful, and decided to take a slight detour to go to Smyrna to look for a geocache. After a quick stop to pick up some bottles of water, we headed to Smyrna. Once in Smyrna, we found the geocache, went to a yard sale and then explored the Main Street area a bit. We found a really neat and very old Mom and Pop type store. Here is a picture.

We arrived in Earlville around 4:30 p.m. and had the pork dinner at the firehall. It was very good. Then Carol drove me back to New Berlin, where I had left my car.
We got held up a bit because of a parade that was setting up to go down the main street in New Berlin.

All in all, it turned out to be a great day!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Franklin and Walton Adventure

Connie and I took a day trip to Walton today, stopping in Franklin along the way. The main purpose of the trip was to go to Tony's Shoe Store in Walton. Connie had heard about Tony's from her handyman. Tony is known for his adjustments to shoes to make them fit better.

We met up at 8:40 at Home Depot. We headed towards Walton. We stopped at the BEEHIVE (restaurant) in Franklin. We bought muffins and then continued on our drive. We arrived at Tony's Shoe Store about 9:40 a.m.

I was lucky enough to get a parking spot directly across the street. Connie wanted to take a few minutes to have a snack, so I took my shoes and went in. I met Frank (the owner of this 98 year old shoe store) and told him about my shoe issues. He agreed to stretch the two pairs of shoes I had. He brought out some New Balance shoes in my size and I tried them on. I purchased two pair, one black and one white.

By this time, Connie had joined us. I was finished, so I took off to look around Walton while she finished up her business with Frank. I just did some general exploring. I found a couple of abandoned buildings, took a picture of an interesting church and also found a huge beautiful mansion called THE MUSIC HOUSE. I took a couple pictures of historical signs before heading back to TONY's. I was lucky enough to get the same parking spot directly across the street and Connie walked out of the shoe store just as I pulled up.

We put her bags in my car and I suggested we go up to the diner for lunch. Papa's Diner is a classic old time diner complete with all the shiny metal.
We ordered lunch and took it to a rest area along a river a couple of miles away.

After lunch, we went into four antique shops. I made a couple of small purchases at Craftiques, and here is a picture of the owner of that delightful small shop:
and then I went back to Tony's to pick up the shoes he was stretching for me. Then we went to a nearby park where a geocache was hidden. We found the geocache and enjoyed our walk in the woods.

Then it was time to head home. Once again we stopped in Franklin for a few minutes break. It was a great day!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bainbridge Adventure with Carol

My plans for today were to go geocaching with Leslie, but we woke up to rain so we scratched that plan. I had that "all dressed up and no place to go feeling" and thought to myself "well, there must be something to do that won't be ruined by the rain. I realized I needed fresh fruits and vegetables, so I decided on a trip to Bainbridge to go to THE FROGPOND (a huge fruit and vegetable stand). I called Leslie and suggested we go to Bainbridge, but she said she decided to stay home because her mother was not doing very well. I called Carol K. and she jumped on the idea and she arrived at my house within the hour.

We headed out to Bainbridge. On the way Carol said she would like to stop at KMart in Sidney to look for some sneakers for her grandson. We went but she could not find anything in his size. I found a few items. Then we had lunch in LITTLE CAESER'S.

When we got to Bainbridge, we went to the Mennonite Store first and then to FrogPond.
Carol and I shopped and loaded stuff into the back of my mini van and then we both realized we forgot one or two items, so we shopped a second time!

As we drove back through Bainbridge to start our drive home, I noticed a car in front of the small museum. I said to Carol "lets check to see if it is open". It was open and we stopped and spent about forty minutes there. It is really a cute little museum. Its amazing how many large businesses used to be in Bainbridge. I took several pictures which can be seen here:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Terry's Birthday Adventure

I think Terry and I have started a tradition. Last year she and I went to Margaretsville and Andes on her birthday. This year, she chose Cherry Valley. Today was her sixtieth birthday. We met up at McDonalds at 9:15 for breakfast and then we headed out. I filled Terry's gas tank up as a birthday gift to her.

Our first stop was DOLLHOUSE HALL OF FAME. It is a new attraction, located south of Cooperstown on County Rd. 33. We had a bit of trouble finding it because we did not know it was part of COOPERSTOWN COUNTRY WAREHOUSE.
But when we did find it, we were pleasantly surprised. There is no charge to go in and walk through the display. It is quite large. We spent some time in the shop, looking around.

Then we headed to Cherry Valley. We stopped in Westfield so I could take a ocuple of pictures of the residence that used to be a gas station, years ago.

In Cherry Valley, we looked for the museum. We spent over an hour there and enjoyed every minute of it. The man running it said the items on display came out of the attics of Cherry Valley residents. Here are a couple of pictures:

I particularly liked the l897 Cement Flower Box in the front yard of the museum.
You can see pictures of some of the items on display here:

After that we walked down to Clough's Bookshop. I bought a copy of Louis L'Amour's CONNAGHER, a book I had started to read at Dad's house last weekend. I think Terry bought something, too. We peeked in an ice cream shop that was made up to look like the l950's (unfortunately closed now). We went into IT'S ALL GOOD, which is a health food store, and I bought some peppers from a small vegetable stand just outside of IT'S ALL GOOD. Then we walked back to the car so I could get my purse.

We had lunch at COYOTE'S CAFE. We had the roast beef melt and the turkey melt (we shared) and sweet potato fries.
It was delicious and the service was excellent. I did have a minor incident when I got stuck in their restroom because the lock in the doorknob did not want to work. But someone in the kitchen heard me trying and let me out. When I asked if I was the first person to get stuck in there, she did not answer me.

After lunch, Terry wanted to visit an old friend of hers, the mother of a former patient. We found her place (right across from the old civil war barracks) and we visited with Shirley for about forty minutes. She has a gorgeous home.

Our last stop in Cherry Valley was at the LITHIA SPRING HOUSE.
We only stayed a couple of minutes, long enough to taste the water and take a few pictures. Then it was back to Oneonta.

We stopped at Arby's for iced tea and turnovers and then Terry dropped me off at McDonalds so I could get my car. We agreed that it was a great day and we want to do it again soon!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I had planned to go to Lockport for the 2010 Bowler Family reunion for over a year. About a month before, I suffered a "minimal shoulder fracture", which made a lot of things difficult: including driving. I resigned myself to missing it until my sister Peggy came up with an idea. She offered to drive to Oneonta from Lockport on Thursday, August 12th and then she and I would drive to Lockport on Friday the 13th.
My Dad decided to accompany her, and they arrived late on Thursday night.

We headed out around eleven a.m. on Friday. Our first stop was in Earlville. When I realized we would be driving right through that small town, I suggested we stop and see the Earlville Opera House. Here is a picture of the old restored opera house:

Our second stop was in the town of Hamilton. There is a geocache hidden across the street from a Meneely Bell. I found that quickly and then took some pictures of the small park that holds the bell.

We stopped for lunch at a McDonalds in Cazenovia. Then we were on our way again.

We found a geocache at the Welsh Church near Cazenovia. This old church does not have any plumbing or heating and is only open in the summer months. There is a cemetery attached to it, and the geocache is hidden just outside the cemetery.

Then on to another church. This time it was the Delphi Falls UC in the tiny hamlet of Delphi Falls in the town of Pompey. I had tried to find this geocache a couple of years ago without any success. It was beyond the area where I was looking, and Peggy found it rather quickly.

Our last geocache was at a rest area on Route 20 and Peggy found this one, too.

Peggy asked Dad if he would like to stop in Syracuse to visit his friend, Mary. She lives in a retirement community. Mary spent most of her young childhood living with Dad's family on Phelps Street. We stopped and she was happy to see us, and we visited for about an hour before heading to the thruway. Peggy pointed out the building with a house on top. Here is a picture.

After that we headed home, with one major stop: in Batavia for supper at a chinese restaurant. This particular place had mongolion bbq. It was a great meal.
When we arrived in Lockport, we stopped at Glenwood Cemetery. I wanted to look at my newly purchased plot. We also looked at plots of deceased relatives. It was dusk as we were leaving. I think we got back to Dads place around nine p.m. I was in bed at ten p.m. Earlier, I told Peggy that it was a GLORIOUS DAY. I meant it, too. I had been cooped up in the house since my injury (7/13 a whole month), and it was so good to get out and do things.

First thing Saturday morning, Peggy drove me to a place where they sell cemetery monuments. I chose one and paid for it. It will be placed on my plot at Glenwood Cemetery. Of course, I hope I don't need it for a long time.

Peggy picked me up and we drove out to Cambria where we located the old abandoned LOCKPORT AIR FORCE STATION. Peggy had been once before, but she had only gone in one building. This time we were able to get into THREE buildings. The wierd thing is that some of the air force buildings have been made into apartments that are occupied, and they sit right in the middle of the abandoned buildings. Some are boarded up well, and others are wide open. Here are a couple of pictures taken from that urban exploration excursion.
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After the air force base, Peggy wanted to show me the old train depot in Lockport. I had seen it when I was a kid (and it was already empty at that time), but I appreciated the architecture more this time. Here is a picture.
We ran into Dad and he was going to Niagara Produce, which is one of his favorite stores. It is like a farm market but inside. The prices are pretty good, too. I bought some ice and some green grapes.

It was getting close to the time for the BBQ that Peggy had planned, so we headed back to Phelps Street. I helped Peggy a bit before our guests arrived. Gail, her husband Bob, three sons and two grandkids, Mike and his two daughters, and Susan Bowler who was up from Maryland for the reunion joined Dad, Peggy and I. Peggy fixed chicken and hot dogs on the grill. I ate way too much! We all had a great time. It was Gail's 59th birthday and we had TWO cakes and ice cream. It was another exhausting day and even Dad (who is a nightowl) fell into bed before ten p.m.

Sunday morning, Dad and I picked up my brother Mike and we went to the Christian, Missionary and Alliance Church (Dad's church). After church, Dad and Mike wanted to go for a late breakfast at LaPorts, but I was planning to eat at the TASTE OF LOCKPORT, so I asked them to drop me off on the Big Bridge and I would walk to Dads house from there. I had a great time walking home and taking pictures along the way. Here is a picture of the old cold storage building near the railroad tracks on Hawley Street:

When Peggy got home from church, we headed to THE TASTE OF LOCKPORT. It is an event that is held every year. This was my very first "taste of" experience and it was really enjoyable. Of course I ate too much. I started out with "Reuben Chowder" and then had a BBQ'd Drumstick. After that I had chicken and biscuits, fruit cobbler and a few other items that I can't remember. We were late to the Bowler family reunion, but we arrived in the middle of the White Elephant Auction.

After the reunion, Peggy and I hid a geocache on an abandoned section of Hawley Street. It was Peg's first "hide". She hid an ammo box full of stash. Then Peggy wanted to show me some more old buildings. We saw the old abandoned power station, and some buildings that used to be part of Flintkote. This is a picture of a Flintkote tower.

That night we met Susan at a pizzeria on Main Street in Lockport and the four of us
(Dad, Peg, myself and Susan) had a nice supper together. And then back to Phelps Street. Once again, I was in bed early.

Monday morning, Peggy drove me to the Buffalo Amtrak station. This was my first train ride. Because of my injury, I paid extra for a "business class seat" and it was very roomy. When we got to Rome, I was pleasantly surprised to find an old and authentic station. At one time it must have been a subway station. There was a separate waiting area for women! I took several pictures and waited for Carol Kraft to arrive and take me home. She got lost on the way, so I had plenty of time to take pictures.

It was a great weekend!

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Cooperstown Adventure

Circus Exhibit: Cooperstown Historical Society
Originally uploaded by JuneNY

Linda is recovering from an infection after her total hip replacement, and I am recoverning from a fractured shoulder. Together, we might have the body of one good, whole person! She can drive easily, so she offered to drive so we could get "out and about" today. I planned the very flexible agenda.

She picked me up and I showed her the back way to Cooperstown from my house. Our first stop was the New York State Historical Association (library) in Cooperstown. I wanted to see the circus exhibit that I had read about. It turned out to be very small, but very colorful and interesting. It was mostly posters from long past circuses. There were a couple of postcards and some information about the Seven Sutherland Sisters (and their long hair), which was interesting. The sisters lived in my hometown, Lockport, and had hair that was seven feet long, and they were part of a circus sideshow act.

After the exhibit, we walked behind the library and down to the reconstructed Indian long house. Unfortunately, the pathways around the building are temporarily closed because of some other building going on closeby.

Then to Sperbeck's Groceries. Sperbeck's is an Mom and Pop type store that has been in this location (I believe) since l941. In addition to regular general store type items, they also make sandwiches to take out. Linda and I purchased some snack items including some pickled eggs! We sat on a bench outside the store and had our snacks.

Then I suggested we go to the INDIAN MOUND. Linda had never seen it. Here is a picture.

We decided to head home. On the way, we tried to find the field of sunflowers that Carol told me about the other day, but we did not see it. We stopped at Pop's Place and had waffle cones, and then Linda took me home.

It was a gorgeous day with lots of sunshine, no rain, a nice breeze and moderate temperatures. I had a great time!