Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stable Pit and Pub Closes!

In mid-August, our beloved Pit and Pub suddenly closed down. It is scheduled to be sold at auction in September. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Going Home

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer Pictures

We're packing the cottage up, getting ready to fly home in a few days. Here's a look back at the summer.

Bob, stuck inside on a call - But it's better that he's on a call here than back at the office.

Ready for s'mores.

Sport - 'before' - notice the nose.

Sport on his new thyroid medication. He's much perkier, AND he has his black nose back.

Bob's cousin Justina with her new baby Brayden.

Kate and Ben by an Amish buggy at an auction.

At a local nursery.

Proof that I did it.

At the beach.

Bob won the raffle at the Cozy Cottage Tour lunch at the Iroquois Club. His prize was a print of a Kate Hilton painting of the Midway Dock. Couldn't be a more appropriate person to win.

Kate catching her first fish.

William catching his first fish.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Amish in Nearby Atlantic

Atlantic is only a few miles away and it is just beautiful. While driving through this mostly Amish community it's not uncommon to see Amish kids running barefoot and Amish women hanging laundry to dry.

Clothes drying at an Amish farm.
The best Amish farm stand - Weeping Willow Farm Stand is all organic and affordable. The stand literally sits in the middle of this family's fields and you can watch the kids wheeling the wheelbarrow of produce to the stand. The sign says 'we're out picking vegetables. Leave your money in the slot'.
I love this sign in the window of the Atlantic bulk foods store. The sign on the left says, "Please do not leave your children in your buggy unattended' and the one on the right says, "All horses must be tied at hitching rail".

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trial

Bob and I visited some of the wineries along the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail. It is amazing how many vineyards you pass while driving along the shores of Lake Erie. It's also amazing how different the wine is from wine produced in California.
We started our wine tasting adventure in Westfield, New York - home to Welch's Grape Juice. Knowing that, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the sweetness of the wines. At one winery, they even boasted that one of the wines we were tasting was, on a sweetness scale, close to Pepsi. Hum. Turns out that that sweet wine made a great Sangria for us, so all was not a loss. We also found a wonderful ice wine.
The scenery is beautiful in this area.
The Johnson Estate Winery has been growing grapes for over 100 years and is New York's oldest winery.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Amish at the Mall

You know you're in Amish country when you see this at the outlets...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Presque Isle, Erie

We spent a beautiful day in Presque Isle in Erie. We also made our first visit to the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, which sits at the entrance to Presque Isle.
Presque Isle, meaning almost an island, juts out into Lake Erie and is covered with beaches and hiking and biking trails.

William insisted on wearing these fake glasses most of the day (and much of the summer, actually). He got a lot of double takes.

William in the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.
A tree in Presque Isle.
The kids looking for stones to skip on the lake. Lake Erie is so massive that you'd think you were at the ocean.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sport on Martha Stewart Radio Blog!

If you've been following along, then you know that Sport's Michael Jackson costume took first place at the Bark Park's costume contest over the weekend. Well, the fun doesn't end there! I was listening to the Martha Stewart Living radio program on Satellite radio as I was returning from an early morning trip to the airport on Monday. I felt compelled to call in when they invited listeners to answer the question 'How Martha Were You?'. While I didn't win the Martha Stewart apron they awarded to the person deemed most Martha (I have a feeling that one of the callers who extracted honey or catered a wedding for 100 may have won), I did earn a few chuckles from the hosts. They asked a number of questions and requested that I email them a photo, which I did. Guess they liked the picture because they then asked if they could use it on their blog!! They sent confirmation last night that Sport would be featured on this morning's post. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve - couldn't sleep all night. Well, the big morning has arrived. Check out the post on Martha Stewart Living's Radio Blog.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Weekend Visitors

We had a wonderful weekend with the family.
From the pictures, you'd think all we did was sit around and eat. That's not entirely the case, but we did have plenty of time to catch up.

Playing our new favorite card game, 31. Bob was the big winner this time.

Dinner at our cottage.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sport Takes 1st Place in Bark Park Costume Contest!

Conneaut Lake Bark Park hosted a Canine Carnival on Saturday. Located at the site of Bob's grandfather's old farm, this new addition to Conneaut Lake has been fabulous about hosting events for the community this summer. My mom and I decided to put our creative energy to use and enter our dogs in the costume contest. Sport won first place in the costume contest! That actually means that I feel like I won first place in the contest, as Sport cannot sew and didn't come up with the idea himself.

Sport went as Michael Jackson, "King of Poop". It's hard to see, but he is wearing one white, sequined glove on his left paw. We even played 'Beat It' as he walked the stage.

Getting into his costume with part of our cheering section.

Pip, as a lifeguard, on the left, with Sport and some of the competition.

Not to be left out, Pip won 'Smallest Puppy' and 'Shortest Tail' in the Puppy contest.
My mom with Pip.

Sport's first place prize.

Sport thoroughly enjoying his well-earned bone from his prize stash.

Making the costume.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Outdoor Movies

Whenever it's warm enough at night (which is not very often this year), we watch an outdoor movie.

Our set-up, using the screen from the Midway Hotel. If we want an even bigger picture, we'll use the side of the house or shed as our screen.

Pip projected onto the screen.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chautauqua Institution, New York

I've been lucky enough to make two trips to Chautauqua in the past week. Chautauqua Institution is just an hour an a half away, on the shore of Chautauqua Lake in New York. Founded in 1874, the summer retreat is based on four pillars: arts, education, religion and recreation. Over the years, the Institution has hosted speakers that include: Susan B. Anthony, Lucille Ball, Gary Trudeau, Tim Zagat, Amelia Earhart and many Presidents. Visitors park their cars outside the gates, then walk the picturesque streets. As you stroll around the perfectly manicured grounds, you feel transported into another world. Musicians, artists and speakers seem to be around every corner.

Bob on one of the brick covered streets

Bob and I visited during Cinema Week (each week has its own theme). We heard Matthew Modine speak in an outdoor amphitheater.

An artists painting.

Ben sitting on a chair in someone's yard. Their sign invites visitors to sit, relax and think awhile.

Me with my mom, aunt and kids.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Snails Pace Acres

We love visiting Mike (Bob's mother's cousin) and Curly at their home - Snails Pace Acres. Even though their farm is only a mile from our cottage, it seems like a different world. The kids ride horses, find kittens hidden in the barn or catch frogs in the pond.

Curly showing off his new horse Diamond, purchased last spring at a horse auction. Even though they've had up to 22 horses at a time, Mike's always been the one buying the horses. This was the first horse that Curly has purchased.

Bad llama in llama jail. Mike and Curly agreed to take on a llama boarder last spring, only to find out that the llama was aggressive. They discovered this when they heard Oliver's (their llama's) screams and found this llama atop Oliver with chunks of Oliver's hair in his mouth.

Kate and Ben in the barn with Bertha.

Oliver with his pal Speedy. The two are never separated. When the kids were little they rode Speedy.

Oliver - Mike and Curly's good llama.