Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cycling/Shopping the Erie Canal - wrap up

Yes, it's over and I am back home, but I wanted to finish my coverage of the bike ride.  WiFi options were not the best at the last few places we stayed, so I decided to just wait until I got back home to let you know how it all ended!!

Day 6 - Rome to Canajoharie: 
     As I mentioned, the bikers' tent city was at the Fort Stanwix National Monument when we were in Rome.  What I didn't share was the fabulous dessert that we enjoyed at Coalyard Charlie's, a tavern from the original days of the Erie Canal. I don't usually post food pictures, but I need to share this dish - it was a sundae, but I don't remember the name. Suffice it to say that it was heavenly and could have been shared by 4 people -  2 brownies, 3-4 scoops of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream,nuts and at least 3 different sauces.
Can you say YUMMY!!!

I did my shopping first thing in the morning at Tiger Lily Quilt Company in Utica.  This was a great shop that is in one of the old textile mills in the city and it is across the street from the Utica Brewing Company.  That was on Peter's list, but he decided 10:15 AM was a little too early to be sampling beer.  I see that on a return trip!! Owner Donna was out, but I did get to visit with Luann, who is the store manager and also a quilt designer and instructor. As I picked up fat quarters for Paula and I, I came across a beautiful batik quilt top and low and behold it was made from Phyllis Anderson's Sweet and Sassy Template.  I took a picture and sent it right off to Phyllis.  It's always so nice to come across dear friends' designs, fabric, books, etc.  It's when I have one of my "I know this person" moments (these often happen in JoAnn's when I'm in their magazine section). I live my life vicariously through other people's fame!!!

Tent city that night was at Canajoharie High School, which we knew was at the top of a very long hill, so I met Peter in town.  Good friends, Susan and Ed, taught in Canajoharie, so we've been up that hill before!!  We did drive up to the top later and saw the great t-shirts that were for sale:  "I Survived the Canajoharie Climb!"  Very appropriate!!  Riding down the next morning must have been like being on a roller coaster!

Day 7 - Canajoharie to Schenectady:
   The morning didn't start out too well - flat front tire on the bike - but the bike mechanic had it fixed in no time and Peter was off down the hill!!  No shopping for me today.  I just enjoyed the drive along the Canal (basically along the Thruway).  I'd forgotten how beautiful that area is in the summer.  It's so lush and green and the beautiful weather was just an added bonus. Lunch today was provided by the Pattersonville Volunteer Fire Dept.

This was the last night, so there was a huge pasta dinner and entertainment for everyone at the tent city on the grounds of the Jewish Community Center in Niskayuna.  The Erie Canal Bikers Choir (bet you didn't know they had one) sang some great songs and some of the bikers told jokes and sang a couple of songs.  There were even some awards:  Most Flat Tires in a Day (5), Most Flat Tires in the Whole Ride (6 - unfortunately the same person), Oldest Rider (90), Youngest Rider (9).  Peter and I stayed in the Stockade Inn in Schenectady - a neat inn from the 1800's.

Erie Canal Bikers Choir in their bright green shirt

Day 8 - Schenectady to Albany:
    Peter really enjoyed this day.  He stopped at a lot of the scenic spots along the way:  Cohoes Falls, Peebles State Park.  The ride ended at the Visitor's Center in Albany.  Riders were greeted by family and friends and a great band!!  We ended our ride at Friendly's - had to get one last visit in before I headed back to Florida, the land of no Friendly's!!  Then it was on to our son's house for one last visit.  Peter relaxed and shared the book he bought for the girls: The Erie Canal, illustrated by Peter Spier.  He actually illustrated the song and the girls had me rereading/singing before they went to bed.
Congratulations Peter - you did an awesome job!!!

Peter left that evening for Syracuse so he could continue the "history" trip. He and his brother are taking 2 nephews to Gettysburg.  Both of them are Civil War enthusiasts, so they are passing it on to the next generation!  One of my suggestions was a stop at the monument to the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry, which has a statue of Sallie the dog at the base.  Sallie and her story was the inspiration for our Sallie's Quilt.
Jacob, Donny and Sallie

I flew home on Monday and I am at work on RCQ stuff.  Actually, I am getting the kits ready for the Marcus Fabrics Friends and Companions Sew-Along.  They should ship out tomorrow.  If you haven't ordered, there's still time.  Checkout our website and order your kit today.  You'll have it in time to start the first block on August 1st with Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts.

Today I caught up on all sorts of business things, wrote a short To Do list and then wrote the long term To Do list - boy am I going to be busy for awhile!!!  I can happily say I almost finished the short list and hopefully this evening I can work on some of that long term stuff!!  But first I am off to be the cheering aunt.  Niece Paige has her last swim meet tonight, so I am going to watch.  She's 8 and a good little swimmer.  Caitlin began swimming at this age, so I enjoy the chance to see another little girl starting out.

Next will be catching up on all of my DVR'd shows!!  Unfortunately some were deleted as the machine filled up, so I'm hoping I can catch most of them On Demand. Big sewing day tomorrow, so that is just perfect for some TV viewing!

Until next time, happy quilting,
Mary Ellen

1 comment:

  1. I've enjoyed reading your posts about Cycling the Erie Canal. I did the ride in 2006 and loved it. Your posts have helped me to relive it and remember how much I enjoyed it. Maybe I'll do it again next year!

    Laura Lane