Archive for the ‘Travel Stuff’ Category

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Monday, May 5th, 2014

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Gift Certificates are available at Adirondack Balloon Flights!!

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Recent Doings

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Wifey and I escaped for a couple of days mid week to visit with my sis and her hubby down in Middlebury CT. Bro-in-law, “The Cap’t, recently took delivery of a new boat that we got a chance to check-out on what turned out to be a beautiful Wednesday to go for a sail on Long Island Sound.

The boat, the boat, the boat!


Snacks and refreshments on the quarterdeck before heading out for a sail on Long Island Sound.


Wifey piloting the "5 Cs" out on The Sound.

The weekend before, wifey and I attended the 35th Jazz Festival at Saratoga for the second year in a row. The Saratoga Jazz Fest originally was The Newport Jazz Festival Saratoga back in 1978. The featured performer the day we went was Chris Botti.

Arriving on SPAC grounds for the Saratoga Jazz Fest around noon on Saturday.


The Amphitheater lawn became a sea of people and coolers on a very hot afternoon.


Chris Botti during his 7:30 PM set. We had good seats inside the Amphitheater.


Another crowd pic.


Esperanza Spalding and her "Radio Music Society" at the 5:50 PM set.

The show started at noon with Mario Abney Group; then at 1:20, Christian McBride Inside Straight – a great group; at 2:40, Michel Camilo “Mano a Mano” with Giovanni Hidalgo and Charles Flores – another good group; then at 4:10, the Mingus Big Band, playing some great standards and music of Charles Mingus; at 5:50, Esperanza Spalding “Radio Music Society”; 7:30 Chris Botti, a great performer; and the evening finished with Maceo Parker at 9:15 (actually closer to 10 start). Having played for the funk master, “Mr James Brown”, I was eager to hear that sound, which much to my chagrin was a bit too loud for my ears, so, we departed after the 3rd song around 10:30. It was a full day of good music and fun.




Grand Junction Trip Part II

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Grand Junction is on the Western Slope of the Rockie Mountains, situated in a valley between the Book Cliffs  to the  north and the Grand Mesa to the south, at the junction of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers. Downtown Grand Junction recently underwent a significant redevelopment, with redone tree-lined walkways, outdoor sculptures, fountains, play areas for the kids, mini parks and many rest areas to enjoy.

One of the many street corner sculptures.


Hanging out in front of Grant's favorite bagel/coffee shop-The Main Street Bagel


Sunset view of the Book Cliffs from the hotel window, the Springhill Suits by Marriott.



Grand Junction is also home of The Colorado National Monument.


Some of the views in the Park


Another Park view.

We took a side trip with Grant over to Moab, Utah. We wanted to check out The Arches National Park, and enjoy the views along scenic Route 128. The Utah border is only a short 30 minute drive from Junction, with Moab about another hour or so, depending on the route you take. Unfortunately we got a late start, which somewhat limited our time that we could take checking out all there was to see and do, between taking time for a short hike around the Fisher Towers, lunch at the Sorrel River Ranch, a stop to check-out the Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage at the Red Cliffs Lodge, numerous pull-offs for photo ops, a quick visit to downtown Moab (a typical tourist town servicing it’s natural attractions), and a limited 3 hour tour of the Arches National Park. Both the Grand Junction and Moab regions are big mountain bike areas, with many trails available for enthusiasts.

At the border.

Desolate eastern Utah, at the beginning of Rt 128, just off the I-70 exit to Cisco Rd (Cisco is a ghost town).


The scenery quickly changes as you head down 128 toward Moab, once you catch-up to the Colorado River past Dewey's Bridge.

At the Fisher Towers Recreation Area.


The view of the Castle Valley and Professor Valley Ridge from the Fisher Towers Rec Area.


Lunch along the Colorado River at the Sorrel River Ranch.


Views of Castle Rock and Professor Valley from Sorrel River Ranch.

Ranch entrance at mile marker 17 on Route 128, a worthy place to stay when visiting the area.


Next stop, the Cowboy Museum at the Red Cliffs Ranch.


If you are a John Wayne cowboy movie fan, you will recognize the scenery of the area.


Memorabilia of the many movies and commercials filmed in the area.

Me en the "Duke"


Back on the road toward Moab, near the Negro Bill Canyon.


Grant and Tow-mater, only worthy pic we found in the touristy City of Moab, tho we did find a great coffee shop that knew how to make a very tasty, non watery iced coffee.


We now are in the Arches National Park, at the Courthouse Towers Viewpoint, facing the Three Gossips, Sheep Rock and Tower of Babel

Click-on the pic to get a bigger view of the "Balanced Rocks".

The contrasting views of the area, rock, red dirt and the snow capped La Sal Mountains

At the end of the trail for us, on the Devils Garden Trail at the Landscape Arch.

 Well, that’s it for this trip’s post. See you on down the trail.









April Trip to Grand Junction, CO

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

While I wait for the grass to dry so I can go mow, after our latest 2 day, 2 + inch rain event, thought that I would blog on a non-balloon related event, an April trip out to Grand Junction, CO to visit with our son Grant and his family. It’s our 4th time to Colorado (2-Golden, 1-Denver/Edwards/Grand Junction, 1-just Grand Junction), since Grant and Katia moved down from Anchorage, Alaska 4 years ago.  Up until this trip, we haven’t had much luck with the weather in Colorado. We got snowed-on both trips to Golden, 1 in late April and 1 early November, rain and snow on the last trip to Edwards & Grand Junction, tho it was nice for the Denver part, but, we only got rain as we got off the plane in Grand Junction this time around. It’s funny, we visited Grant 3 times up in Alaska during the winter, and had great weather on all 3 trips, and, he moves to the high desert which is Colorado, that’s noted for dry wx and sun, and we get rain/snow during our spring and fall trips, except for this time, it was sunny and warm in Junction after rain the night of our arrival.

Since we wanted to fly direct to Grand Junction, this removed our usual go-to choice of Southwest, and flew United instead. We found the United experience to be pleasant and efficient, except for the beater regional jet (a Canadair RJ700 operated by Mesa Airlines) we flew from Alb (Albany) to ORD (O’Hare) on the way out.

Boarding Mesa Airlines beater RJ700 in Albany, a poor choice by United for a regional carrier.


The light show in the tunnel walkway between Concourse B & C, Terminal 1 at O'Hare in Chicago.


United's 757-220 we flew both ways between Denver and O'Hare was a very comfortable plane.


The RJ145 operated by ExpressJet Airlines for the short, 1 hour hop over the Rockies, also was a very comfortable plane to ride.

So, all-in-all, other than the Mesa Airlines beater jet, United was a pleasant experience getting to and from GJT on time.

View of the Rockies from our Embraer RJ145.

Well, it’s time to mow before the storms coming with the cold front get here. I’ll finish this trip blog as a part II.

Been on the Road Again!

Monday, December 12th, 2011

We’ve been on the road again, visiting our friends the Leahy’s in Clayton two weeks ago, and this past Saturday Rick and Roseann for lunch at 2 Brothers in Middlebury VT.

On the road to Clayton on Rt 28, just past North Creek, along the Hudson River.

The further we got up into the Adirondacks, we found snow on the ground. It has been a mild winter so far.


The Rt 28 bridge crossing Long Lake – all open water, no ice so far.


Arriving in Clayton


Casa Leahy on John Street in Clayton.

Tani and Jane enjoying the evening holiday parade in Clayton

great fireworks after the parade.


An early morning stroll down to the river.


Boat on the water – Clayton is part of the 1000 Islands district, right on the St. Lawrence River.


a very sleepy downtown Clayton, early morning.


Wall mural art at the Koffee Kove Restaurant.


Another early morning view of the St. Lawrence River, looking toward Canada.


Sunset over the Adirondacks, heading south on Rt 87, after visiting w/bro Steve in Plattsburgh. It was a good lunch, but a long day of driving – about 4 hours to P’burg from Clayton, and then another 1.45 hrs. to Qby and home.


Last Saturday, we met our friends Rick and Roseann in Middlebury VT for lunch at the 2 Brothers. We went via Crownpoint to cross Lake Champlain on the newly built bridge.


The new bridge over Lake Champlain at Crown Point, toward Vermont.




Recent Doings!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

For Thanksgiving, wifey and I went to my sis’s daughter’s place, for a family gathering over in Avon CT. We returned to Queensbury the next day, to take-in an Adirondack Phantom’s hockey game Sat. night, and a Tony DeSare, “Home for the Holidays” concert at The Wood Theater in downtown GF on Sunday afternoon. It was a great 4 days of visiting, food and fun with fam.

On-the-road, leaving Queensbury early Thanksgiving morning for Avon CT.


At Bob and Jen's place in Avon CT for an extended fam Thanksgiving gathering.


Aunt Tani having fun with Jen's girls.


Unca Chuck and I stopped at Davidson's for a brew, while the ladies did their best for the economic development of downtown Glens Falls retail on Sunday afternoon.


The Tony DeSare Trio - I know it's dark, but take my word, it is a trio, that put on grove Sunday afternoon at The Wood.


Chuck and Tani enjoying the moment after the show at The Wood.


At the Exchange Street Plaza, the end of a great 4 days, Chris, Chuck and Tani.



10/18-25 Trip to Charlottesville VA

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Recently back from a trip down south to visit w/bro Richard and his bride Vicky in Charlottesville VA. It’s a bit of a drive, around 9 hours, but it’s all interstate highway driving, so it’s rather painless, other than the heavy truck traffic on I-81. The worst is when you get stuck behind a snail race of passing trucks up a hill when there are only 2 lanes. Anyhow, the scenery from the highway is somewhat interesting to keep you entertained. One travel tip for anyone who is driving 81 north through Scranton & Wilkes-Barre PA, you may want to consider a go-around if you can, there is a construction back-up between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton that looked rather nasty. Heading back home, we took 80 off 81, to 380 N to 84 to the NYS Thruway. This route took around a 1/2 hour off our drive-time. Our trips to Virginia usually involve visits to wineries, good eats and a Hoos (the Virginia Cavaliers, WaHoos-don’t ask) football game and tailgate.

Here's the first winery on our multi day tour - Keswick


The view inside the tasting room. Virginia wines are similar to New York wines, good but not great; usually better whites than reds. The Viognier is the popular VA white.


Next up was a fav, Horton Cellars. Both wineries are near Gordonsville.


The happy tasters with their Horton souveniers.


Last winery on the day 1 tour is White Hall, near Skyline Drive. I bought a bottle of white, but not worth the drive in my opinion.

That night, we ate out at a Tapas style restaurant, Mas Tapas. It was an interesting place in an out of the way, funky part of town. The building is converted old industrial, with a modern decor. Sorry, no pics, but our food was good, as was our service-we went early. The next morning, we wanted to sample some local diner grub for breakfast. Brother’s bride Vic asked some co-workers at UVA what they would recommend, and they sent us off to The Tavern.

Roof sign says it all!

Portion sizes are huge. Of all the grub on the table, bro's sweet potato pancakes were the best of the lot, and no we didn't eat it all.


On day 2 of the winery tour, we visited Ash Lawn at Highland, the home of the 5th President, James Monroe.


Front of the home, that was an add-on to the original home built by Monroe. The big ash tree to the top-left was around 200 years old.


On the tour, the original part of the home built by Monroe is the white part on the left.


Wifey and Vic checking out the gardens.

For info, click on the link for Ash Lawn-Highland. Next we continued down 795 to the Trump Winery. We checked-in, then checked out-good grief, what an ego! Fortunately, on the same road was the Blenheim Vineyards, which we were told is owned by Dave Mathew’s of the Dave Mathew’s Band. They had some very nice wines and generous pours for tasting.

The Blenheim Vineyards.


Yes, we enjoyed our tasting.


On the way back into Charlottesville, we stopped at the Jefferson Vineyard, across from Monticello. The original vinyard was developed by Thomas Jefferson.

That night, we went out to eat at Orzo Kitchen and wine Bar. The food was good, but I enjoyed a place more that we went on a previous visit, Bang.

Orzo at the Main Street Market.


On next day we started low key with just some Kashie cereal, waiting for Vic to get her work chores done for her boss before we could continue with our food, wine and now Micro Brew Pub tour. We headed toward Crozet on 64, Afton and Wintergreen along 151. Our first stop was The Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton for lunch.



They had a fine selection of brews to sample. Miss Vicky was our dd for the day 3 tour.


Interior look of the brewery.

Next up, we visited a rather small winery, Flying Fox Vineyard. So, so wine, but got a couple of bottles anyway-don’t ask me why, just did?

At the Flying Fox Vinyard.

Heading down 151 for Wintergreen, and a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, we came across a real nice Micro-Brew Pub, Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Roseland.

The Devils Backbone Brewery


We sat out on the patio to sample their wares. Brother and I had a real nice Porter, and the girls had coffee and cookies.


A very fine brew.

Next on the day 3 tour, was a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, back toward 64, Charlottesville and leftovers for dinner from the 1st night’s barbecue take-out.

The girls and the view south-west from the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Overlook view to the west, northwest.

View to the east.

On day 4, no more touring cause it’s Hoos football day and tailgating. We start the day with breakfast at the Bluegrass Grill and Bakery in Downtown Charlottesville, and a visit to the farmers market and a walk down the downtown pedestrian mall.

The Bluegrass Grill


A very tasty breakfast, a bit more upscale than the fare we sampled at the Tavern a couple of days ago. I got corned beef hash again, but w/a poached egg this time, and a side of biscuits and gravy. My one concession to healthy eating (the poached egg that is;-).

Yam art at the farmers market.

View down the pedestrian mall from a previous visit.

 Now, it’s time for some Hoos football and tailgating.

Some folks getttin' in the mood for some football.


Here's our party.


Time to get into the mood.


It's time for some football.


The view into the stadium from the students end.


It's game time!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the Jackson’s 2011 eating and drinking tour of the greater Charlottesville VA area. We did!!

Lake George is Open for Business

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Here are a couple of stories that were in the local paper on how the area is progressing after the storm. Click the hot links, 1 –   2. It seems by all accounts, that the Catskills, south of Albany, area got hit the worst, with some parts receiving more than a foot of rain that caused major flooding. Anything along the the Schoharie River received major damage. While our area did receive some damage for the storm, we had nothing like they did over in Vermont, or down in the Catskills and Schoharie County, which are south of us by about 75-100 miles.  Here’s an ABC news posting that includes some dramatic videos of the flooding in the Catskills and Vermont, plus other areas that were affected by Irene.

Trip to Stumpf Balloon

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

On Friday, wifey and I headed over to Weston VT to hook up with good friends Rick Pollock and Paul Stumpf. Paul had built an experimental balloon for Rick. Rick came down from Shelburne to pick-up his new balloon, and the two were heading off to the Experimental Balloon Meet over in Amherst MA for the weekend. Since it was a nice day and my afternoon flight didn’t meet until 6 PM, we decided to drive over just to see it and them, and have lunch before they left for the meet, and I had to do my afternoon flight.


Stumpf Balloons over on the Andover-Weston Rd

From a prior trip over to Paul's shop to help cut-out the panels for Rick's balloon. That's Rick on the left and Paul on the right.

Cuttin' the panels

The bottom end finished product, of Rick's 2-seater "Hang Balloon"

Then off to have lunch, the parking lot for the VT Country Store in Weston

The Bryant House is part of the Country Store complex, a good place to eat.

Decisions, decisions!!

It's lunch

The main drag of Weston

On the way back to NY, Bromley Mountain Ski area in the summertime.

The view to the southeast across from Bromley.

That’s it for this post!!


Space Shuttle Endeavor

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Back in 2008, the fam got together for a gathering at the brother’s place in Vero Beach FL. Part of the trip was a schlep up to Kennedy Space Center for a tour, just before the launch of STS 126-Endeavor, which just made it’s last launch to the International Space Station today. We drove up north to Satellite Beach, just north of Melbourne to watch the night launch of Endeavor on 11/14/08. It was quite a spectacle, even being about 15-20 miles south of the launch. I’ve posted on my facebook page a video I took of the launch, if you are interested in seeing it, click the highlighted hot link. There were tons of people crowded on the beach and other pull-offs to watch the launch. When it was done, the traffic back-up heading back to the main-land was unbelievable. Fortunately, we just headed down A1A with no traffic.

The Fam tour of Cape Kennedy

The fam heading into Cape Kennedy to take the tour.

On the tour, the assembly building where they put the Shuttle together.

the track they bring the assembled shuttle along to the launch site from the assembly building

Where the track splits to the two shuttle launch sites

Endeavor on it's pad ready to launch

The Apollo rocket

Standing under the Apollot rocket

Sis Kit, bro Richard and me, in front of the Space Shuttle flight simulator

The rocket garden on the way out at the end of a full day