Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Syracuse Nature Trail

Well, to wrap up our Labor Day weekend with one more day of family fun, we decided to make it to one more nature trail that we heard about in the Syracuse vicinity. When we started getting closer to the trail, we could not believe the amount of traffic on the roads and the number of people who were out and about. They seemed to be expecting a crowd though, as getting parked seemed to go really smoothly. There seemed to be some sort of festival going on around the park.


 We were really glad to see the trail head sign once we got there.


Sean and Nathan lead the way.


“Hey! Lavender!”


After the short but vigorous walk around the trail we decided to forego the trail mix and took advantage of the Doug’s Fish Fry booth that happened to be sitting at the trails end.


As we made our way back to the car, we stumbled across some sort of opening ceremony for an establishment called the Shamrock Bar.  We had the feeling as if we might be related to half the people standing around there but we didn’t stand around long enough to find out. We wanted to beat the rush as it looked as if they were all about to storm the bar.


At this point we just decided that we might just as well enjoy the festival since we were here. “If you can’t beat ‘um, join ‘um.” Above we got an eagle-eye view of the nature trail from a ferris wheel that had been conveniently assembled for the festivities.


As we continued to make our way back to our car we came upon some sort of presentation that had drawn quite a crowd. Asking around, a performance by an artist named Drake Bell was just about to begin. As it turns out he is a character from a popular TV show called Drake and Josh on the Disney Channel that Sean and Nathan just love. Drake_Bell

Judging by the piercing screams of all of the teenaged girls surrounding the stage, he put on a good show.


It ened up being a great day…The End.


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Lamoka Lake


We had the chance to take the canoe out for the afternoon this past Sunday. You may recognize the canoe in the banner as being the family canoe that use to reside at the camp in Old Forge. The canoe now belongs to Dale, but we are canoe sitting until they can get it to Tennessee. Until then, we thought we would take advantage of having it in our possession. We found a little lake in the Southern Finger Lakes in a paddle guide that sounded like a perfect outing. It was called Lamoka Lake.



Once we got out on the water there was an Island calling to be explored.



A quick internet search indicated that there were suppose to be some pretty big bass in the lake but we didn’t have much luck finding any of them.


Sean had taken the opportunity to throw out a line while we were beached on the island.

skipping rocks

Nathan took the opportunity to go for a little swim and to skip some rocks.


It was a wonderful day to be out on the water. We also felt more confident about putting a canoe on our car a setting out for a day trip from home such as this. We can see ourselves doing this more often in the years to come.

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Well, we just returned from a week-long family vacation in the Adirondacks. We camped for the week at Rollins Pond, located in between Tupper and Saranac Lake. This is the third year that we have camped for a week there. It is one of our favorite Adirondack destinations.

Our front porch looking out

Here is the campsite we called home for most of the week.

What is this

Ash borer sign

When we pulled into the site, Steve couldn’t believe his eyes. Hoping to leave his life as an entomologist at home for the week, he was slightly amused to see an insect trap hanging in the tree across from our site.

Sitting around the campfire

Sitting around the campfire is always a central activity over the week of camping. This year the weather was pretty cooperative for campfires all week.

Poking stick III

One of our traditions when camping is using a wood burner and inscribing our campfire poking stick with the year and location of our camping trip.

Rascal the chipmunk

We had a pair of friendly chipmunks that seemed to like to see what we were up to when we would have meals. We named this one Rascal. He seemed the most mischievous of the two. The other was named Bob at first. But we thought that maybe the second one was Rascal’s love interest so Bob became Bobette.

Stephanie and nathan take a dip

One of the reasons that we love Rollins pond is that most of the sites are right along the water. Above Stephanie and Nathan enjoy a dip at our site.

splish splash

There is also a public beach at the campground. Here Sean and Nathan are mixing it up a little bit while the life guards were flirting.

All in all, it was a wonderful week and we are already dreaming again about our week or two there again next year, or even considering an autumn weekend to the area. Enjoy the rest of our posts from our week.

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trail to Mt

This year we tried a new mountain climb in the Rollins Pond area. We chose Mt. Arab. We had heard that it was worth the climb as The Friends of Mt. Arab have made a great effort to restore the fire tower and cabin atop the mountain.

Mt Arab summit

Once we got to the top, it certainly was worth the view. The hike was a little more strenuous for the adults than it was the kids. We think they actually climbed the mountain twice as they would run ahead, and then run back as we made our way up the mountain.

Mt Arab cabin-3

At the top of the mountain is a restored cabin that was used by the observer who spent the fire season looking out for fires. The cabin is now occupied for the summer by a guide to greet hikers as they reach the tower.

Mt Arab Fire Tower

Here, Sean is standing at the foot of the fire tower.


We all made it up to the top of the tower.


You are here.

Mt Arab bench

“Hey someone built a bench here!  Sean, take our picture.”

Lake Arab

What a great hike!

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morning fishing

This year, fishing took a higher priority than it has in past years. Dale can be thanked for that, as he has inspired the boys to want to fish more often.

Steve has been particularly interested in bass fishing this summer, and he has been determined to get himself photographed holding a big ole bass by the mouth. He caught one that fit the bill when we visited Long Lake over Memorial Day weekend, but there wasn’t a camera or anyone to get his picture with that one.

The second night of the Rollins Pond trip, Steve decided to throw a few casts just after sunset and another opportunity for that photo-op presented itself. As he landed the fish he urged Nathan to run up the hill to the campsite and grab the camera. When he returned he was ready to snap the picture.


This was Nathan’s first attempt at the photograph. At this point the bass was nicknamed “Bassquatch”. Steve tried to continue to hold the fish by the lip and help Nathan get the camera set so that the flash would go off.

bassquatch - 2

Steve struck the classic fishermans pose with the fish and Nathan snapped away. As Nathan tried to show Steve the picture of his fish the bass made a valiant flip and flop from the grasp of Steve’s fingers, eluding Steve of the postcard picture with a big ole bass. As you can clearly see though, the 15-20″ bass was certainly a memorable catch.


Tuesday morning was by far the best fishing of the week. Sean in particular had a great day. He  caught too many pumpkin seeds to count, and a few perch and a small bass.


On Saturday night Steve and Nathan headed out for a dusk fishing excursion.


Boy it was worth it too. Nathan landed this 13″ bull head all by himself. He still hasn’t stopped talking about it.

I think the boys have found a new pastime.

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We spent our 4th of July afternoon on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake at Sampson State Park. It was our first time visiting there even though it is only 20 minutes from our front porch.


Our first stop inside the park was the memorial museums remembering the men and women that served our Navy and Air Force during World War II. Over 350,000 military personnel traveled through this site when it was a basic training facility for the Navy and Air Force in the 40’s and 50’s. It was closed as a military base in 1956 and became a state park in the late 60’s. The museum was added in 1995.


Here Nathan checks out the park through the periscope that extends up above the museum.


Sean spent a little while in an F-16 trainer. We met a very nice veteran who explained some of the functions of different things. Apparently once trainees demontrated enough knowledge and skill in the trainer, they get a chance to become a real F-16 pilot. Not very many make it beyond the trainer. Sean got a little concerned when he explained the process of getting ejected from your jet when your plane is going down.


We took a walk down by the docks and marina. It was so windy and choppy on the lake, it looked as though even the sea gulls weren’t sure if they should dare take flight.


Stephanie and Sean holding onto each other so they wouldn’t blow away.


From there we took a few moments to have a snack and play in the picnic area.NateLaxAtSampsonSteveLaxAtSampson

Steve and Nathan had a moment to play Lacrosse. As it turns out the Seneca Indians had a village on this site until the 1600’s when they were run out of town.


No 4th of July would be complete without bundling up and heading out for some pyrotechnics.

We hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday weekend!

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Today we celebrated Nathan’s first Holy Communion. Nathan worked very hard and put his whole heart into his preparations for this sacrament.


Here Nathan poses with Father Bill after the mass.


Here Nathan poses with his big brother, Father Bill, and his God Parents Aunt Pam and Uncle Brian.


The whole family.


Grandpa and the boys pose in front of the statue of Nathan’s favorite Saint – Saint Francis of Assisi.


Grandma and Aunt Susan relax and enjoy the party.


It was wonderful to share the day with both Grandmas.


… and Grandpas.

We are so very proud of Nathan on this very special occasion.

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