Greatest Hits #1-5

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I can't travel right now. :( There is too much to do around here to get ready for winter, and my daughter InJane is in the middle of a big science lab project. To assuage my wanderlust, I've sifted through my "greatest hits" of the past year and a half. I thought it would be neat to share them with any of you newer readers who might have missed them from the archive section! Just going through the pictures and narrative makes me happy as I recollect the fun travels we've had! It is so hard to choose my favorites, because I love them all! I've really tried to whittle them down to the top ten. Here's the first half of the greatest hits:

By the way-- the pictures are small. Click on them if you want to see a larger version.

1. Fort Ontario in Oswego, NY

By far, this has been one of my most popular posts, earning honorable mentions in blogs around the world. The weather was beautiful that day, so all my photos of the cobalt blue NY sky are breathtaking.

This is my favorite photo of the trip:

Beautiful Lake View

Just look at that sky! Here's a photo of the fort's exterior:

View From Berms

Here's a photo of the nuclear power plant at Three Mile Island. Last year, this photo and my post was visited from someone in North Korea searching for "nuclear power plants." :-o

Nuclear Power Plant in Distance

Fort Ontario was fun and very educational. The history of the fort covers centuries of Canadian and American history. The fort's location at Lake Ontario was a very important trading post during the fur trade in the 1700's. It also served as a bastion for the Canada/New York border during the French-and-Indian War in 1753, and in the American Revolution in 1776. A lot of the artifacts and displays we saw were about the fort's importance as a training ground for Union soldiers during the Civil War of 1861. There was also an interesting display of all the Jewish emigrants who found refuge at the fort during the reich of terror in Europe in the 30's and 40's.

The kids especially delighted in an underground fortress built as an armory by Civil War soldiers. Delicate stalactites had formed on the stone ceilings, and it felt medieval! It was a terrific adventure. Read more here.

2. Old Stone Fort, Schoharie, NY

My photos, most of which were taken inside, didn't turn out as plentiful and clear as I'd hoped, but this visit was a blast! We plan to go there again, with Mr. Mecomber next time.

Old Stone Fort Entre

There is so much to see at this place, and it just oozes h i s t o r y. Original artifacts from early American history were our favorites: real 1776 money, the oldest fire engine in the U.S., letters and personal objects from Revolutionary generals (and Tories), an amazing letter written by scallywag Mohawk Indian Joseph Brant, and a land sale deed signed in blood by the Indians who sold it to the white man.

Old Stone Fort Cases

It wasn't only about early America, however! There were amazing displays from World War I and II, including weapons and uniforms; barbaric Philipino spears and helmets from the 19th century, whales' teeth, stuffed birds, dental tools, dolls, toys, books, and the weirdest things I'd ever seen: hair wreaths.

Besides all this, there were several outbuildings housing antique technology tools and farm tools, and a period-style schoolhouse with "hands-on" displays. This little jewel of a museum was one of the best I've ever visited, and I've seen a lot of museums. Read more here.

3. Lorenzo House in Cazenovia, NY

This lovely historic home and property is a short drive from where we live. It was built in 1807 by the Dutch patroons who helped settled Cazenovia.

Lorenzo back entrance

It is in excellent condition with many of the original artifacts to the house. Lorenzo was passed down to family members over the centuries, which explains its good condition and rich content. We were free to roams the grounds and outbuildings. There is an exquisite garden on the property with all sorts of verdant hideouts and nooks that delighted the children.

Gardens at Lorenzo

Admission for touring the house was inexpensive and well-worth the cost. The interior of the house still leaves me speechless with its opulence. Read more here.

4. Fort Stanwix in Rome, NY in and again in July 2007

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you've come to realize that our family loves Fort Stanwix. We just can't help it! It has everything! Free admission, adventure, artifacts, museums, music, marching lines, hand-on displays, trails, movies, and friendly park rangers dressed up like soldiers! They even have reenactments and tutorials about Revolutionary life for us. I've been to several forts in New York State, and so far, none other even comes close to Fort Stanwix.


In the Alley

What's Fort Dinner

At the Cannon

We've been there so many times, and every time we love it more. The park has added a very cosmopolitian museum called the Marinus Willett Visitor Center. It is small but stunning and there is never nothing to do here.

Marinus Willet Visitors Center

If there is any one thing that I'd recommend visiting in all of Central New York, it would be this fort. Read more about our great fun when we visited it in July 2006 and July 2007. We also took a quickie special trip to the Marinus Willett Visitor Center in April 2007, read more on that here.

5. Verona Beach State Park, Verona, NY

We aren't "beach" people; that is, we don't like to lollygag on the beach sands getting a tan or building sand castles. We are a little more active than that-- we prefer a good adventure and romping around than laying on a beach towel. Verona State Park surprised us-- we romped and romped!

Verona State Park is a small park and beach on the eastern edge of Oneida Lake. The lake is known for being a bit tempestuous, and enjoyed showing off its flair for we the lastest visitors.

We had the advantage of arriving early in the morning, before the crowds filled the beach. There was so much to explore-- tide pools, playgrounds, trails along the shore, zebra mussles, shells, and swimming in the ferocious waves. Swimming was very enjoyable, because the shore slopes very slowly toward the lake. You could wade out 200 feet and be in water only two feet deep. The water temperature was warmer than the air temperature, too.

It was a very pleasant trip to this little beach. There was something for everyone, except lunch. Read more here for details.

Stay tuned for more of our Greatest Hits!

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