Thursday, June 30, 2011

Celebrating on the Hudson

This is a "re-post" from a couple of years ago. Our Tarrytown, New York car convention/vacation was probably one of my favorites. So this is for those who didn't read it before...

In the past, we have been away on vacation on many 4th of July holidays. It seemed that would be the time Bob's car conventions were scheduled, & away we would go, to places mostly across the Eastern part of the country, places we probably otherwise would never have visited.

The Tappan Zee Bridge crossing the Hudson River
at Tarrytown, New York

One of our favorite vacations was in 1988 when we traveling across that washboard of an excuse for an Interstate, I-80! We were in a one ton, extended cab Chevy, pulling at that time a single car trailer. Karen & Jeff didn't have much leg room on that small back seat, but we were no longer all able to squeeze on a single front seat. All of us remember the rough ride.

Our Dinner Cruise boat on the Hudson River, near New York City
Our car club had scheduled a dinner cruise on a river boat on the Hudson River to view fireworks on the 4th of July. Over 225 people waited outside the hotel for the 5 or 6 buses to come take us to the riverside...and we waited and waited & they never arrived. Frantically, the club president tried to find out where our rides were as the evening was beginning to get late & we were afraid the boat would leave without us. Finally he had us gather in, only to announce that much to his dismay, the buses had gone out on strike & would not be coming! You could hear the moans of disappointment roll through the crowd. Quickly, the president announced that if there was any way possible for you to drive down to the river, the boat was waiting.

We had made friends with a New Jersey couple while there & all of us made a quick decision to pile in Bob's truck & head for the river! Talk about a truck load! Karen, Mary & I climbed in the back seat (remember, it was NOT a full sized seat!) & Lennie put Jeff between his legs in the front seat while Bob drove. Off we went...with only a brief paper with only street names on it, no directions & no map. I remember it being very hilly country with curves & turns everywhere & Bob was driving like a mad man. (Well, maybe not quite that bad...) Amazingly, we came to what looked like a river dock, & there was our group boarding the dinner boat.

I don't remember the dinner being anything spectacular, but think I'll always remember that special July 4th, riding down the Hudson River, watching the beautiful fireworks displays. Just being in that historical part of the country gave us such a feeling of patriotism. Karen & Jeff still talk about it, & I'm pretty sure if those buses had arrived as they were supposed to, we wouldn't have made such an exciting memory.On that same vacation we were able to take a bus tour of New York City. And of course the highlight of that day was our ferry boat ride out to the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. All four of us made the hard climb up the 354 steps inside the statue, up into the crown. It was a hot July day, no air conditioning inside the statue, & the climb seemed to take forever, but once in the crown, the view was worth the trip.

We also got to go to Westpoint Academy for a tour & then a group picnic, also along the Hudson River.

That is just a glimpse of some of our memories of 4th of July's in the past, happy times when our children looked forward to our vacations. Another one of my sentimental journeys...

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Garden of Weedin'

Summer slipped up on me
and I was in a mess.
Our kitchen remodel kept my attention,
back when it was time for me to be outdoors.
Then a knee problem came along and I was in trouble.
I kept waiting, wanting to clear out my gardens
but it never happened.
Thankfully, we were able to get help.

In one day, these two guys cleared out my gardens
and got everything back in shape.
Hubby had hauled in a dump truck load of mulch,
and another day, these two toted it around
and my flower gardens looked beautiful!
I was impressed at how hard they worked.
I am so thankful for my sister-in-law
sharing her helpers with me.

Endless Summer hydrangea
and Martha Washington geranium-on my front porch

New pots of annuals around my fountain
and cleaned out landscaping in the front yard.
Purple Palace heuchera's (coral bells) were mostly taken out.

Side garden, along driveway-
Easter lily, planted last year & just now blooming-
Aztec Gold hosta

Side yard garden
with wagon full of plants to be potted
(which I finally accomplished on Saturday!)
Lucifer ( I can't think of the botanical name at the moment...)
and a little hosta that I love.

White pines, some of which lost their tops
this past winter in our ice storm-
Jolly Bee perennial geranium-
if you don't have this plant, I highly recommend it! -
and a view of the patio/sidewalk garden.

My overgrown gazebo garden

I almost pulled up the yellow flower this spring!
A variegated leaf came up that I didn't remember planting
and I almost jerked it up.  A few days later, I noticed buds
on it so decided it could stay until it bloomed.
I'm not sure what it is, but glad I didn't dig it up.

Raspberry monardo or bee balm--
and way too many Shasta Daisys!

I have had the mauve colored one for years but do not know it's name-
the middle one is Grapette-
and the yellow one is unknown.
I guess I need to start keeping my plant tags...

and oak leaf hydrangeas-
They love my back yard!

For now, things are looking beautiful around here
and I am enjoying getting outdoors once again.
There has been so much rain this season,
it has been hard to get lawn chores done.

One phrase of an old Beatles song keeps going through my mind...

"I get by with a little help from my friends"

and that is what I may need to do from now on...
enlist some help.

(And no...I don't need to get high with a little help from my friends!"