Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Iowa & New York; same-same

Growing up, I knew my parents loved me even though they shipped me and my siblings off to our grandparent’s houses each summer. We spent one month with each set of grandparents. After my father’s parents moved to Wyoming, we were able to visit two different states during our summer vacation. And while it was nice in Wyoming, I still loved Iowa best. I relished the lush green humid environment. It was far from the pseudo-Mediterranean climate of the bay area where I lived the rest of the year.

The most vivid memories I have of those summers in Iowa are of running wild around Sibley – a very small town in northwest Iowa. We were either barefoot or shod in jelly shoes from sunup to sundown. We raided the park store for 3 cent candies and spent every day possible at the town pool. In the late afternoons, tired from exertion and the sun, my sisters and I would gather around the TV and watch The Incredible Hulk, I Dream of Jeannie, or The Dukes of Hazzard while we sipped RC cola. When a particularly good movie came to town, like The Muppets Take Manhattan, the neighborhood kids went as a group.

I think it’s the similarity of the environment that makes me love New York as I do. It has so many of the characteristics that I remember fondly from childhood – fireflies, humid nights, soft grass for bare feet, and a pool to lounge in all the live long day. Jason and I spent several weeks in the Hudson Valley again this summer and it’s always a treat. I spent everyday possible in the pool, watched TV or movies in the evenings, and spent time with my in-laws. It was lovely and I’m already looking forward to next year.

We usually do at least one hike a year on a section of the Appalachian Trail that runs near Hopewell.

I remember these same ferns growing outside my grandparent's farmhouse.

Jason and George showing off their hiking sticks.

We caught a concert while we were in New York. It was at Bascobel - an Federal style home from the 1800's that has been turned into a museum of sorts. This is the view from the lawn where we picnicked before the show.

We saw Tom Rush play a wonderful acoustic set. He's a folk/blues singer/songwriter whose contemporaries are Joni Mitchell and James Taylor.

Jason and George enjoying the show.

On our way up to Bear Mountain State Park.

View of the Hudson from the Bear Mountain Bridge.

Perkins Memorial Tower is at the top of Bear Mountain.
"With its 360-degree panorama, the Perkins Memorial Tower offers spectacular views of the Hudson River, the Bear Mountain Bridge, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Storm King, and Fort Montgomery. Four states are visible (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania), as well as the New York City skyline. The observation floor has interpretive displays that describe the distant views, which include several mountain ranges: the Taconics, Ramapos, Shawangunks, and even the Catskills. Perkins Memorial Drive and Tower truly are a highlight of any visit to Bear Mountain."

If you look closely, you can see the NYC skyline off in the distance.

We went on a little tour of diners while I was in New York. We had pie and coffee at a diner that was featured on an episode of Seinfeld. Then we stopped at the I-84 diner near Fishkill, which is as old as I am.

After our trip to the I-84 diner, we went to the Valley Soaring Club to check out George's glider and do a little maintenance.

First, George mowed while Jason supervised.

Then, Jason mowed while George supervised.

As usual, we went to Pennslyvania for a few days to visit Jason's grandmother. On our way back we stopped in Lititz for a bite to eat near this Hotel. I love the Americana feel of this picture.

The Walkway over the Hudson is an old railroad bridge that has been converted into a pedestrain walkway.

Nice view!


The bridge is in Poughkeepsie, NY.

The weather was fantastic while we were in New York - blue skies almost every day.

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