Well, another busy couple of days for us. After the weekend’s pork fat overdose we just stayed around the rig on Monday. Neil did laundry while Connie worked at her virtual job. After that they cleaned up the house for a couple of hours and just were homebodies. Tuesday the fun started again. After a bit more work by Connie they went to Tivoli Bay which is series of marshy inlets off of the Hudson for a kayak trip. It was a steep carry down to the water but once in they had a nice paddle for 2 ½ hours. Probably a mile and a half out as the tide started to come in…with the result that it was a pretty constant paddle to get anywhere. They say hundreds of Red Winged Blackbirds, some little swallows or kites that they couldn’t really identify, and a Great Blue Heron on the way out. They got out to the railroad bridge where the inlet enters the Hudson and decided to turn around. Coming back in was a nice float; the current basically carried them along with just a bit of paddling to maintain course. On the way back in…more Red Winged Blackbirds and an otter. The otter submerged before they drifted close enough to get a picture and they weren’t able to get the iPhone out of the dry bag fast enough to catch the blackbirds so you’ll have to be content with a couple shots of the mountains and streams. Neil took a little movie but it didn’t work out so well so I’m not gonna post it.Overall it was a really great paddle. They got back to the dock and Neil broke down the kayak while Connie walked up and got the car from the parking lot…then trudged up the hill, packed and headed home. Neil is going to research a smaller point and shoot waterproof camera for their kayak trips because while the iPhone is the best camera phone going it’s still a camera phone and trying to carry the Nikon digital SLR in the kayak is just too hard. That way they’ll be able to get better pictures out on the water.
Today was a trip down to the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) to have lunch at the American Beauty Restaurant. After giving a neighbor in the park a jump for his TOAD and a quick run by Neil they headed off for lunch. Connie had a smoked chicken breast which was very good. Neil had some wine braised short ribs which were kinda tasty but were texturally more like pulled pork than the short rib consistency he was expecting. The cheddar biscuits were excellent and the beer was decent (albeit not served in a cold glass). Neil thought it was decent but probably wouldn’t go back there as it was nothing outstanding. Here’s a shot of Connie quaffing her beer and of the front of the main building.
Next they headed off to the Duchess County Fair for the afternoon. It was your typical fair…midway, cows, ice cream, mediocre entertainment, and all sorts of food. They watched the horse show jumping demonstration for awhile, went by the pregnant cow barn and watched the two newborn calves try to nurse (pretty much unsuccessfully), wandered around awhile, saw a golden retriever that was the spitting image of their long passed puppy Kara (my buddy’s namesake) and pretty much passed on food since they were still full from lunch. They finally split a garlic and butter pretzel for dinner and Connie had a soft serve frozen custard cone then they headed home. Stopped by the Feed and Seed to buy a can of white spray Rustoleum paint for the steel plate Neil glued to the roof for the new magnetic mount cell phone extender antenna then got home just in time to fold up the kayak (which was drying on the picnic table) and stuff it into BAT before the rains fell. It rained for 20 minutes or so and really cooled the air off…it feels a lot better now.
That’s about it; we’re packing up and heading for East Haddam, CT near Essex for a week. Don’t know what’s planned for the week except I know Neil is going over to Spiro’s Pizza in New London for a pie at least. Spiro is long gone from the place but he was this Greek submarine sailer during WW2 and after the war opened up a pizza place in New London near the US Submarine Base there. It was a small joint that always had lines out the wazoo so he came out with pitchers of beer and told sea stores while you were waiting. Sometime in the ’80s they moved to a larger building out north from the base and the lines are gone but the food is just as good. Back in the day whenever a sub from Charleston would go to New London for training they would always take orders from the rest of the squadron and would usually bring back a hundred or two frozen unbaked pies from Spiro’s for their mates. I wonder if it will be as good as they remembered…will let you know later.