Sunday, May 17, 2009

Home Again

Well, we arrived home yesterday (Sat), tired but both excited about the trip we had just completed and always excited about getting home as well. Our Trip took us to some wonderful places. We love the Finger Lakes area of upstate NY, we were surprised by the quality of the wines. Even though we had been to Niagara Falls before, it remains one of our favorite places. It was our first visit to Niagara on the Lake, and we loved and will recommend it to our friends as it was recommended to us. The Highlight of the trip was definitely Kentucky with both the Kentucky Horse Park, and spending a day at Churchill Downs. We would love to go back there for the Derby one year. Now that we are home, we are already planning our next road trip which will be about twice as long and take us to the West Coast and Yellowstone among other places. After roughly 3500 miles and 15 states and Canada, we are ready to do it again. We will keep you all informed.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A day of Driving and visiting

We drove quite a bit today passing through several states to see and old friend who lives in Sun City near Hilton Head, SC. We had a nice visit with Bob and seen his lovely home which his wife Kay has put a wonderful stamp on with her tea cup collection. We also seen Bob's home workshop which is extensive and he does all of his work with only one good arm. We were definitely impressed. It was good to see Bob again and hope we can visit with him and Kay again soon.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Bourbon Trail

Well, yesterday was another day in Kentucky and a fun one. We started out on the Bourbon Trail. The Bourbon Trail is a list of seven bourbon distilleries that offer tours and tasting. Well, we went to five of them including, Four Roses, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Heaven Hill and our favorite tour, Makers Mark. We found out that to be a bourbon, the mix has to include at least 51% corn, after that they can use most anything they want with most using some type of wheat or barley. After going through the distilleries we spent the rest of the day smelling the mash wherever we went, but finally by the end of the day when we arrived in Tn it finally subsided. We tasted a bourbon at Makers Mark that was especially good the they make only at Kentucky Derby time, called Makers Mint Julep ....yum yum. Well, tomorrow we start for home, but we are going to swing over to Hilton Head SC to stop and see Bob Clark, an old friend, then homebound by Saturday.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Churchill Downs

What a marvelous day we had today. We spent the day at Churchill Downs. First of all there was almost no one there, so that made it very nice. And what an inexpensive day it turned out to be. First the parking was free, and the entrance fee for seniors is only one dollar. I did buy a program for two dollars and enjoyed the day only making four bets, I wound up loosing $1.40, not bad. Judy and I not really being gamblers were there to enjoy the atmosphere and the surroundings. We both were able to get great photos and again able to get up close and personal with the horses and jockeys. Very few of the favorites won the races today, a lot of underdogs came through to win. We would love to come back here for the Kentucky Derby one day. Judy even got good luck beads because it was our first time here, dang, they didn't work. We are staying in Albany, Indiana tonight which is right outside of Louisville where Judy is working hard on our schedule for tomorrow......"The Bourbon Trail"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kentucky Horse Park

Wow, that kind of explains our day at the Kentucky Horse Park. Today we got to get up close and personal with Kentucky Derby Winners, Preakness Winners and some of the most famous horses of recent times. We started our day with a Horse Farm Tour that took us to three operating horse farms. First they were all extremely beautiful with horse barns that look like fabulous houses and just as clean. Our first stop was a breeding farm where high priced stud horses do their work. We seen horses with $75000 stud fees and being used two and three times a day. We then went to another stud farm that was even larger than the first and where we seen all the tools of the trade, ask me about the Gigolo sometime. Next we went to a farm that housed the pregnant mares and the new colts where the youngest colt we seen was ten days old. After all that we returned to the Park where they have 50 different breeds of horses from around the world as well as several museums. A couple of amazing facts about "Man of War". His stride was 28 feet long, much longer than most horses, Secretariat for example was four feet shorter. Man of War was only beaten once in his career, but a horse called "Upset", Ironic isn't it.
We took a ride on a horse pulled trolley, went to the Horse Hall of Fame show, the all breeds show and did a lot of walking around through museums and halls. We would recommend this as a destination vacation, because it is fabulous.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

West Virginia to Kentucky

Well, today was a day that we kind of just drove. We left mid morning and started for Lexington, Kentucky. The drive through West Virginia was very nice. The scenery was very nice, we were driving through mountains and rolling hills covered with trees in every shade of green, the traffic was light and the drive was enjoyable. We Stopped in Charleston, and took pictures of the Capitol building and in Weston for a picture as well. We arrived in Lexington in late afternoon and we are looking forward to tomorrow and the Horse Farm Tour and the Horse Farm Park.

Monday, May 11, 2009


We left Niagara Falls this morning and started toward West Virginia. Judy who is so good at finding places for us to see, found a place for us to go in Pittsburgh, the Duquesne Incline. This cable car railroad system was built in 1877 and one of the top attractions in Pittsburgh and rated one of the most romantic attractions in the country. I am not sure why, but it was a fun ride to the top where we were able to get great pictures of the city and its rivers. After the ride we headed toward West Virginia where we will spent the night in Morgantown. Tomorrow we already have places to see in West Virginia.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Niagara on the Lake and Maid of the Mist

What a full and wonderful day this has been. We crossed the border into Canada today with no problems and headed to Niagara on the Lake. Niagara on the lake is a small quaint community that is called the quaintest town in Canada and we have to agree. The town is adorned with spring flowers this time of the year and is filled with great shops and places to eat. We walked around for a couple of hours, took a lot of great pictures and headed back to Niagara Falls, but not before stopping at a winery for some wine tasting. We both commented that there seems to be more vineyards in this part of Ontario than we seen in New York. The wine was good and we headed back to the States side to again go on the Maid of the Mist. The wind today was in excess of 50-60 mph in gusts so part of the big observation tower was closed. The boats were running so we boarded the boat and headed to Horseshoe Falls, with the mist and the wind blowing, it was quite an experience, but one we wouldn't have missed for anything. We did get wet, but it was sure fun. Tomorrow we are heading towards Kentucky with a stop in West Virginia.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Niagara Falls

We left Watkins Glen this morning and stopped at four wineries for a little more tasting and had a great lunch at one of them then headed for Niagara Falls. We checked into our hotel about 3 PM and then drove down to goats island and walked around. The falls are absolutely outstanding, even tho we have been here before, their magnificence will blow you away. I have already forgotten how many gallons a minute go over the falls, but will write it down next time and let you know. We were back to the hotel early (I think the wine finally caught up to us) and will be getting up early and heading to Canada and Niagara on the Lake which we have been told is one of the quaintest little towns they have ever seen. After Niagara on the lake, more of the falls and tomorrow night when they light them up, we will be watching.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Another Day of Wine Tasting

What a wonderful day of wine tasting we had. We tasted wine at nine wineries today. OK, So that is a lot, but we tasted normally only a couple at each winery and Judy being the designated driver was very careful. Of course we stopped for a long lunch overlooking Seneca Lake. First let me talk about the wine. The Riesling here are exceptional with most wineries specializing in that variety. We also found some nice chardonnays and some other sweet wines that were quite good. The people in the tasting rooms were well versed in wine and were extremely engaging and interesting. Now about the area that we are visiting is outstanding. Seneca Lake is beautiful and of course being the spring of the year a lot of the plants are just blooming making the area even more interesting. We are looking forward to another day here then we will be on our way to Niagara Falls.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

We bought our first Wine

We left Staten Island early this morning and had a beautiful drive to Watkins Glenn, NY. The drive was in low overcast clouds but that seemed to make the Poconos in PA even more intriguing. When we arrived in Watkins Glen we went to the local chamber of commerce and got some information but more importantly pointed us to the local wine association offices where we bought a Riesling pass ( for $12) which allows us to taste wine at 27 different wineries. Now I know we will not go to that many wineries but it will still be cheaper than paying for tasting at each one we go to. We had some time today so before we checked into our motel we stopped at two wineries and of course this time of the year we were the only tasters there. We tasted some good wines at both and decided to buy one for the road. We won't do this often, heck how many bottles can you get in an already full trunk. Tomorrow we will visit more wineries, with Judy taking it easy and being the designated driver. If you click on the link to the right that says pictures from this trip you will see many more pictures from this trip and we upload more every day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Staten Island

We left Steve's this morning after a wonderful stay. Steve and Patty are wonderful hosts and of course it was wonderful to see Mike and Matt and Matt's girlfriend Christina. Wonderful food was eaten, great games of cribbage played and the conversations were wonderful. We arrived in Staten Island with no traffic problems and registered at our normal motel (the Hampton Inn). About 5 we went over to Judy's brother Eddie and his wife Carol, with daughter Kim arriving in a few minutes. It was nice to see them again and then we headed off to a great local German restaurant where we had some great food, maybe too much Riesling and apple snaps, we are back at the hotel ready to start our adventure into the NY wine country tomorrow.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Celebration at Steves

Well, today was a day where Patti cooked delicious goodies and a lot of Matt's friends came to celebrate with him. Plans were for an outdoor grilling and party, but the rain drove it all inside except for Steve in the drizzle grilling the brats and burgers. Matt has some wonderful friends and it was a fun day, but another of those lousy days of cribbage for me, oh well, there is another day tomorrow and maybe my luck will change.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Matts Graduation

Today was the big day for Matt, his college graduation. A big day for Steve & Patti too, two kids through college with Mike having graduated two years ago. The weather was tolerable, with umbrellas popping up with each brief drizzle, but the speakers kept it nice and short and a great time was had by not only the graduates but all the guests as well. Matt majored in Business which seemed to be one of the largest groups of the 1800 graduates. One thing a person can always be sure of when visiting Patti, lots of great food, and today was no exception. We even started dinner with a little champagne and a nice toast to Mike and Matt. Oh, by the way, everybody beat up on me in cribbage today, so tomorrow, REVENGE TIME.

Arriving at Steve & Patti's

We were up early this morning to be sure and get started before the construction started near Rocky Mount. thank goodness we missed it all. The drive thru Washington DC was effortless even though we upset Jill (our GPS) by going a different way than we wanted. But after a couple of "recalculating" she guided us the rest of the way to West Chester, Pa. A lot of cribbage was played today, with me being able to beat everyone but the ladies who continually beat up on me. Tomorrow morning it is Matt's college graduation, and our wish now is "PLEASE NO RAIN" Then probably more cribbage.

The Road to Rocky Mount

The longest day for us on any road trip is always the first and today was no exception. As always it took us three hours to get our of Florida and having driven this road often it is usually a very boring easy trip. Today we drove over 600 miles before our stop in Rocky Mount. One of the things that we have always noted on this drive is as soon as we reached the South Carolina border we keep seeing billboards for South of the Border. South of the Border is a shopping area in SC just south of the NC border. The have literally hundreds for billboards along the interstate all across SC, some of them rather funny, so this time I took a picture or two of the billboards, Yes the first day out can be kind of boring. Tomorrow, Steve & Patti's and some cribbage.

Our First 2009 Road Trip

We enjoyed our Road trips two years ago, so we decided that 2009 would be the year of another two road trips. The first one will take us to our grandsons Matt's college graduation, then into Staten Island, NY to visit Judy's Brother and family. Then we will go into Manhattan for a couple of days to get our theater fix. Then we will head to the Finger Lakes Area of upstate New York to visit some wineries then onto Niagara Falls (again) and Niagara on the Lake. After we get our fill of Niagara Falls we will travel through West Virginia to Louisville to visit Louisville Downs. Then another fun part, we will visit bourbon distilleries by taking the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky and then eventually home.So we are busy packing the car, programming our GPS (We have a new one called Jill). Judy had the trip all planned on Microsoft Streets and Trips, so we have a pretty good idea of our agenda. Again we will keep a running journal on here for our friends and family