August/September 2017 – Back Home Again For Chris in the Cortland, N.Y. Area

We moved west from Albany,  to the beautiful upstate New York town of Ithaca, to visit with Chris’ friends from 35 years ago when she first landed in the US. It was a Thursday move, and it took 8 hours for a 3 hour trip, ( Steve had meetings and conference calls along the way), Rest areas are a life-saver for us when necessary, so well landscaped and a good opportunity to put a slide out and make lunch. Very comfortable.

We arrived at our campground at around 5pm. It took us awhile to traverse Ithaca, as not only was it Labor Day weekend, but college students from both Cornell and Ithaca College had just returned, so it was pretty crowded in the downtown area.

Spruce Row Campsite is about 6 miles north of Ithaca and on the northwest side of Cayuga Lake one of the Finger Lakes and in wine country.

It’s quite a rustic campground, but we quickly learned this was a “real” campground, with ” real” campers.

A bunch of campers around us starting the nightly campfires

We met our neighbors, who like the last campground, either us or them were turned the wrong way, and we would face them every time we left the coach. Difference was, these people were really nice, friendly and with a big group of friends who occupied 5 campsites around us. Some of those friends from nearby remembered fondly the bar in Cortland that Chris once co-owned. It was a crazy place in town where people tended to let loose to sounds of live bands, our kind of people.

Chris’ first campfire experience

This campfire, plus 3 or 4 others around us would be aflame from morning to night, and every evening we’d be invited to join them.

It would be the true campsite experience we hadn’t had before, keep in mind we’d never lit a campfire, and before this, camping was a Motel 6.

Chris tasted her first s’mores, sat at her first campfire, and we both enjoyed evenings with our new companions under their lazer lights in the trees.

The guy next door made a most delicious pizza dough and treated us all to pizza made in his own pizza oven.

Chris watches her Eastenders while the neighbors are playing Corn Hole

Chris gets recruited for her first Corn Hole game by the neighbors.

There were a lot of firsts here at this campground

Saturday morning we drove into Ithaca to meet up with Chris’ friend Louisa at the local farmers market

2 guys laying down some tunes as you entered

 

Louisa showing off her mosaic in front of the Science Center. She and local artists had been working on this project for 4 years

A true labor of love

Local residents had been donating pieces of china and personal artifacts which were incorporated

 

We then headed to Watkins Glen to see the falls.

It is really hard to believe they used to run Grand Prix Formula 1 race in this little town every year through the narrow streets here.

View of the falls

We headed out to see some more falls in the Ithaca area.

Ithaca Falls

To end the day we went to dinner at Gil and Louisa’s house  in Ithaca where old friends Jane and John Walker joined us.

It’s funny that you can spend 35 years away and in no time, you’re catching up and remembering all the nuances and idiosyncrasies that you’d forgotten.

It was a wonderful time, stories from the old days, and non-stop laughter.

Four great forever friends

The next day we left for Pennsylvania, but vowed to return in the not too distant future