Greatest Hits #6-10

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm continuing my Greatest Hits series of past travels. As I explained before, it helps tide me over until we can get out again. It also helps the newer readers who have missed out on all the fun! The first five Greatest Hits are here. Remember, you can click on any picture to view a larger version.

6. A Summer Weekend in Albany

This was so much fun! It was the first time I ever really made an itinerary for a trip; at other times I usually get a good idea and then "wing-it." My reason for extra planning was that we had to cram in as much as we possibly could in a weekend. I think we did all right, judging by the exhaustion experienced when we got home!

In a flurry of activity, we got up early Sunday morning to attend the historical Dutch Reformed Church of Pearl Street. When the congregation learned that we were from out of town and that we were interested in history, they gave us a first-class tour.

05 Church at North Pearl St

We visited the U.S.S. Slater, the only Destroyer Escort ship still afloat. The ship was in service during World War II. After, in 1951 as part of the Truman Doctrine, the Slater was handed over to the Greeks for training of their troops. We got the ship back in the 1990's, complete with funky Greek decor.

05 Dave at the Helm

We drove around Albany's historical district, too, which was very enjoyable. A whole day was spent at the New York State Museum. We spent an entire day and didn't even see everything! This was the crowning point of the trip. The museum is loaded with something for everyone-- I won't list the minutae here. Go see for yourself what fun we had, it's right here.

05 Kids on Pedestals

7. Canal Town Museum, Canastota, NY

Sometimes you just hop in the car and start driving and you never know what fun you're going to find. And sometimes you find a tour guide who just loves his job and gives the customer his best. And sometimes you get a really good deal on admission prices just because it's a good day. For our trip to Canastota, all three happened to us that day. What an unexpected, happy trip!

You wouldn't think that this squat little place would house the heart and history of Canastota and the gem of the Erie Canal, but it does.

Canal Museum Exterior w Guide

Am I overexaggerating by saying that everything is in this building, and everything was invented in Canastota? Maybe... but only a little.

Canal Trying Out the Fluter

Canal Washing Laundry

This is a place to bring the kids. Bring the field trips here. It was so educational that my kids are stil benefitting from it. And it was a lesson they loved to learn. Joe DiGiorgio, the curator, made learning so much fun! Our trip here remains dear to our heart and we remember it fondly. This is a must-see place. And if you see Joe, tell him Mrs. Mecomber says "hey"! Read more here.

8. Baron von Steuben Memorial Site

This was another off the cuff trip-- just a drive to the Adirondacks-- and we were overwhelmed with pleasurable surprise.

We are American history buffs, and had wanted to see Steuben's home and burial site for years. I don't know what took us so long to get up here! It is exquisite. I cannot relay our experience with enough justice here in a few sentences. I recommend you read about our trip and then go see this place. It is beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

Rest in peace, Baron von Steuben. More here.

9. Buck Mountain, Pilot Knob, NY

We traveled across the state to Lake George, NY. I was nearly faint from its beauty. Truly there is no place like the Adirondacks of New York State. Our journey to Buck Mountain began after we left Ticonderoga, NY. We drove all around Lake George and encountered a few setbacks (lengthier drive than originally thought, a long detour away from our destination, etc). At least the scenery was beautiful.

Happy InJane on Rt9

Buck Mountain is one of many state-owned parcels open to the public for hiking and exploration. It is a 3-mile hike to the summit that affords a spectacular view of Lake George below. Unfortunately, we didn't get to the summit! Yet the hike to the first mile and back was one we will treasure. And even though the hike was very strenuous, the kids absolutely loved it.

Sniffy Hiking

We have determined to return and we shall climb the mountain! More photos and narrative here.

10. Shako:wi Cultural Center, Oneida, NY

This is a lovely museum established by and about the Oneida Indian tribe (one of the Iroquois Six Nations) of New York State. They have done a spectacular job, and admission was free, too! The only downside was that I couldn't take photos.

Shakowi Bldg

The building is very impressive-- crafted by hand by the Oneidas of Adirondack White Pine. We were awed.

Shakowi Big Logs

Inside were aftifacts both ancient and modern. Everything detailed the culture and history of the Oneidas. The Oneidas were the only Iroquois tribe to join the American side in the fight for independence from Britain in 1776. The treaties our nation made with these honorable allies are very precious. Many examples hang on the walls. Other displays depict the plight of the Oneidas when the state thwarted the terms of the treaties. These problems exist to this day. You can read more about this and our fabulous discoveries at the cultural center here.

There is the Top Ten Greatest Hits- at least in my opinion. I've blogged about dozens of visits; it was difficult to pick only 10. If you;d like to learn more about our travels, the archives to thr right have them all listed by year and month. Please be sure to stop by from time to time and offer suggestions or talk about the great places you have seen and visited! Until then, happy trails to you!

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