Thursday, June 14, 2012

New York State of Mind

Dear Ian,

We kicked off our summer in style this year.  Last week we were jet-setters, off into the wild blue yonder and all that jazz.  We traveled to Cohocton, New York for your first ever summer vacation from school.  And it was a total blast.

You and I left On Saturday, June 2nd, all by ourselves.  Since somebody has to work and be responsible, Daddy stayed home for a few days before coming up and joining us on Thursday the 7th.  So yes, you and I flew in a plane, just the two of us.  And it was actually pretty awesome.

Waiting in the Tallahassee terminal.
You are just the perfect age for this kind of adventure, and despite all of my apprehension and worries, you were amazing.  Daddy dropped us off at the airport, and after checking in and getting our bag all situated, we went to our gate to wait for our plane to arrive.  The whole time we waited, you asked about a zillion questions; you were incessantly curious about this whole adventure.  After a bit, it was time for us to board, and you and I made our way onto our first flight.  This was from Tallahassee to Atlanta, so it was a quickie, and during the flight we read a couple of books, (Caillou Rides on a Plane was one of them.  Smart Mommy) and we played with your construction vehicles on the tray tables in front of us.  You were completely great.  You kept your seat belt on and used your inside voice.  You were also given a pair of wings by the flight attendant, and you kept showing them to me.  I think you were very proud of them.  Our layover in Atlanta was really short, so once we got off our flight, I tossed you in the sling, grabbed our bags, and we jogged from B Concourse to D.  It was a trek, but we made it in time, and even had time to make a quick potty stop.  Those are kinda necessary.  On the flight from the ATL to New York, you slept pretty much the whole way, so that really made life easy, and when we landed, Grandma and Papa were there to pick us up to start our vacation.

This trip was just completely wonderful.  Not only was the weather just perfect (lows in the 40's, highs in the 70's, with just a couple of rainstorms), it was peaceful, relaxing and... perfect.  I think we all needed this.  The barn and house are situated on the piece of property your Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather owned and worked in the 1800's, and there's plenty of room for a boy to run around.  It was great to be able to open the door and just let you go for it; no mosquitoes, no traffic, no nothing.  One snake, but Mommy and Grandma put an end to him.  You would run laps from the house to the maple tree, from the maple tree to the apple tree and back again.  Yet despite all of this fresh air and energy-draining exercise, you were still up with the sun at the unreasonable hour of 5:52am. Every morning but one.  Ugh.  But it got us going, so that way we really got as much out of our time there as possible.

Some of the other things we did: You and Papa rode the cub, and the mower, and the John Deere mower, and then the cub again, and then the mower again...  See a trend?  Then you ran. Then we visited the Posts, the Klines and Steve and Mary next door.  We ate delicious food at The Hole in The Wall and at Jacks Gaslight Grill.  We made an amazing dinner of fresh beef and produce from the farmer's market in Naples.  We planted flowers, gathered rocks, dug up worms and chased frogs.  We caught bass, sunfish, and catfish in the little pond, and we ransacked antique stores and consignment stores looking for treasures.  (Which Mommy found in your $10 Learning Tower.  Word.)  We attended the 125th Anniversary Celebration for the Perry Fire Department, and we admired old barns and new windmills in the scenery.

Words cant really do a lot of good when it comes to describing what a great time we had, so I think the rest of this post should be done in pictures...
 Here you are "meeting" your Great-Great-Great Grandparents.  Somewhere around here I have a picture of me doing this exact same thing when I was not much older than you are in this picture.
 Messing around at the Post Farm and enjoying the beautiful view.  And let's not forget that amazing weather that had us wearing jackets in June.  Awesome.
 One of Grandma's gardens.  The flowers seem to bloom and thrive up there so much better.  And the grass is so soft.  You can easily run around barefooted and not worry about the grass poking your feet.
 You and Papa on one of your many rides on the Cub.  You were in tractor/farm equipment Heaven.  Pretty much every 20 yards we would pass some kind of farm transportation vehicle, and you would just freak out.  It was a hoot!
 Pretend fishing with a stick on the pond.  We did some actual fishing, too, with real fishing poles and worms that we dug up in the garden.  The last night we were there, Mommy and Mary from next door had our very own fishing tournament.  They were really bitin', and you were super excited about seeing us bring them in.
 You and Papa now on the mower.  I think we were bringing up stones and rocks from the "crick."  Our family has this thing with rocks.  One day I will try to explain.
 You and Papa, once again on the Cub.  This time pulling Mommy on the hay rake.  This was not the most comfortable thing to ride on, and it was a little precarious.  I was worried for my safety.
 This picture was just really neat.  Grandma's hostas with rain on them.  It rained a little bit, but it was a nice, soothing rain.  With no humidity before or after.  A refreshing change, I must say.
 A view of the property and barn from the bridge over the creek. 
 A view of the property from behind the house looking at the pond and hollow.
 Mmmm.  Fresh produce.  This was at the Farmer's Market in Naples.  Not only did they sell amazing fresh foods, they sold flowers and knicknacks, too.  And homemade fudge.  We bought some raspberries and blueberries, and we had fun making "ice cream cones" with them.  We would put a blueberry on the top of the raspberry, and it made it look like an ice cream cone.  Then Mommy got the revolutionary idea to put small pieces of the fudge inside the raspberries.  Oh. My. Stars.  It was SO good.
 You visiting the cows at Kline's Dairy.  Doing the farm boy thing.  You loved seeing all the animals.
 You and Daddy with an antique fire truck at the 125th Anniversary Celebration of the Perry Fire Department.  We got to listen to Kelly's Old Timer Band, too, and you were completely mesmerized by the instruments.
 Us by our road sign.  Family tradition...
 The view of some of the hills from the car on our way to the airport to go home.  Sigh.  All good things...
You, completely passed out on the plane.  Perhaps all those 5:52am wake up calls finally caught up to you?  Sign of a great vacation?  Definitely.  

I can't wait to go back, and I think you do, too.  You pretend to see windmills when we go to Publix, and you ask about riding on the cub or going fishing in the pond.  And when I say something like, "Guess where we're going today?" you immediately respond, "New York?" 

Soon, little buddy.  We'll make it happen again soon.  

Your Traveling Partner
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