Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mofo Knows

Here we are strolling around the village and saw this ape guarding a bike from Pennsylvania. We had dinner at a local place and sat outside where it was quite chilly. As you can see the view across the lake is spectacular. That's one of the steamships coming in to dock after a sightseeing cruise. And Jeff is enjoying really good clam chowder.

Red Rubber Ball

Finally got some sunshine and it is windy and cold. I guess you can't have it all. Jeff and I worked on Saturday and I was scheduled on the boats. It was interesting because the river has gotten so high that our docks are literally out to sea. We've set planks in the water to reach the docks and I have to tell you that the water is cold. It felt good to get home and take a warm shower and wash off the mud. Time for a pedicure!

Jeff woke up this morning (Sunday) with a head cold and he has been miserable all day. I did laundry and then we took a ride into Lake George Village. They were having a tow truck exhibition and the first photo shows a mega tow truck. It is also the beginning of Americade, which is a motorcycle rally. It will be going on all week and they expect upwards of 60,000 motorcycles. Lots of the folks are staying in our campground and have started arriving. Some of the bikes and trikes pull tiny trailers which hold a pop out tent and storage space. I saw many woman driving their own bikes and I say "Yeah!"

The Mallard ducks are a female and the brighter male swimming in Lake George. And that's Jeff standing near a fountain in the middle of town.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Meal to Die For

We must have missed this one the last time we were in Arizona. Trust me - we won't pass it up next time.

Let the Sun Shine

Woke up to another grey day, but by 2pm the sky began to clear and behold, the sun is there, but still behind clouds. I worked at the gem mining from 3 to 5 and then rented the pedal carts from 5 to 6. Very slow today as there aren't many campers expected this weekend. Lake George Village is hosting the Elvis weekend and we're having Rock 'n Roll weekend.
My last gig was on wagon duty which is lots of fun. I drove the second time around and Jeff hopped on as a passenger. He is so funny and encouraged all the little kids to clap, sing and dance. I had brought along my duck quacker (from a Duck Tour) and tooted along as I drove. When I got done I found Jeff visiting with our next door neighbors. He made friends while walking by and they insisted he join them for dinner. Even better he brought me a plate full of delicious eggplant, stuffed shrimp and vegetables.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Thursday morning and it rained all night and is still gloomy and drizzly at 10am. Another good day to hang out and relax. This afternoon we went to the movies and saw Angels and Demons. We loved it and found it true to the book which we had enjoyed.

Back to the campground where we made dinner, read and watched TV.

Keep the Whole World Singing

The title of this blog posting is the title of the official song of SPEQSQSA - the organization of barbershop singers. I have decided that this is going to be one of my goals this summer - and maybe in life.

One of the saddest stories I have heard comes from Jerry Schwartz, a friend up north who has run the JCC teen travel camp for over 25 years. He takes his campers all over the country, and the kids spend a lot of time together. I asked him if the kids still sing the same songs we sang when we were kids in camp. He told me that they spent all their travel time with iPods plugged into their ears. They barely even talk.

Now this may not be a big deal compared to all the terrible crises in the world, but it struck me to the core. Singing camp songs is one of the great memories of my childhood. So what to do?

As I mentioned in a previous blog, Judy and I are putting together a singing and story night for the kids here and their parents. I hope to get the kids (and their parents) singing and show them how much fun it is.

My mission started last night. There was a potluck dinner for all the employees. I am sure Judy will fill you in on all the details. (She made a yummy cake, but that's a different story.) One of our fellow workampers and his wife like karaoke and have a professional-grade setup with about 2,000 songs. They planned to have us do karaoke. Before they started I asked the woman running the event if she would like me to lead a sing-along, and she did. So I led the group in "Rock My Soul" which has 3 parts and is a lot of fun.

There were 2 classes of people there - those who sang and those who thought I was from Mars. Luckily most of the Fun and Games staff were in the first category. Despite the many blank looks I got, I intend to keep plugging away at every chance I get. I intend to keep the whole world singing, one person at a time.

(To no one's surprise Judy and I both got up to sing karaoke.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Wonder of You

A busy day as we had employee orientation from 8 to 11 am. Our campground is owned by a large corporation who have many properties nationwide and our general manager runs the meeting. All of the department managers speak and introduce their staff. Over 120 people work here at Lake George Escape and it is a well oiled machine.

Our department is called "fun and games" and we are the ambassadors of fun. When our managers Jan & Jim give their spiel our 28 funsters put on funny hats and props and run around the room throwing out candy. Lots of fun for all of us. I was in western motif with a cowboy hat and bandana. Jeff wore a grass skirt and coconut bra along with a monster mask. Thank G-d he wore it over his clothes.

After the orientation we were on call until 5 pm. No one needed the shuttle or wanted to go boating, so we stayed home and read books since it was pouring rain all day. At 6 o'clock there was an employee potluck dinner at the grill. What a great spread of food and we all ate well. I made a chocolate cake and decorated it like a flag with blueberries and red sugar stripes. The entertainment was karaoke and only a few of us were brave enough to get up there and sing. Jeff did "Splish, Splash, I Was Taking a Bath" and in honor of the Elvis festival this coming weekend, I sang "The Wonder of You."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Green Green Grass of Home

It is truly green and lush here and a beautiful, sunny day. We're enjoying the good weather now as it is supposed to rain all week. It's Tuesday and the campground is almost deserted. I love taking long walks with Ziggy and exploring every little road and creek. We saw two goose families this morning as they swam around in the Frog Pond.

Jeff and I are "on call" this afternoon for the shuttle and boat rentals. If any guest wants these services, we will hop to attention. If not we're hanging around and waiting. Oops! Here's my call. Nine people want to rent four canoes so I biked down to the boat area and took care of everything.

Later we did some grocery shopping and I'm baking a cake for the employee potluck dinner tomorrow night.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Row, Row, Row Your Boat - Please?!?!

Yesterday I had the shift that Judy had had the day before. I was Evergreen Square Host and then on to the boats. I am not your average host, however. I wandered around with a large water gun and my Uncle Sam hat and, in addition to greeting guests, I would squirt the occasional kid (or adult). Reactions ranged from looks that said, "Don't do it!" to wives pointing to their husbands behind their backs saying, "Squirt him!" All in all it was a fun time.

Then it was on to boats. The weather was nice and it was crazy there. Judy had been there for a couple of hours and had everything pretty much under control when I got there. The electric boats had been in use all day, and their batteries were pretty low. Against our better judgment we let 3 of them go out in one group. One was fine. One barely made it back, and one didn't. I mounted up my trusty kayak and went to get them. About halfway up I found them coming back being towed by one of the group that had taken a kayak.

The bad news - obviously - is that they were not pleased. But we have been given a lot of leeway to keep the customers happy. They were leaving the next day so they could not come back. We had the authority to arrange a full refund for all of them (the 3 electric boats and the kayak) without having to get anyone's approval. They were delighted and impressed that we had that authority. Our boss said we had done exactly the right thing.

Later in the afternoon I had a group of 6 post-college girls that took out 3 double kayaks. They wanted to shoot a video entitled "Boats and Ho's" and were dressed up in bizarre costumes. They didn't know what they were doing and didn't pay attention when I gave them a lesson. So they went downstream - always a bad way to start out - and started doing their video. They totally ignored me when I yelled at them and they kept drifting downstream. So once again I hopped into my trusty kayak and went to the rescue. Two of the 3 kayaks managed some how to get back. The 3rd pair of girls were so uncoordinated as to be unbelievable. It took about 20 minutes for me to coach them upstream a couple of hundred yards.

But they weren't my favorite. Two couples went out in canoes right at 7:00 PM - an hour before we closed. The guys claimed to be whitewater kayakers, so I didn't pay too much attention to them. At 8:15, when they hadn't returned, I called for help. One of my bosses came down. She called security and asked them to check out their campsite to see if anyone could get in touch with them. No one could.

My boss then took one of our barely charged electric boats - and a flashlight - and headed upstream to look for them. About 15 minutes later they came merrily paddling UP the river. I radioed my boss, and she came back and yelled at them. When I asked them why they were so late I got an answer that will go down in the annals of the joys of dealing with the public. "We couldn't find the way back."

Sugar Shack

Yesterday was beautiful weather and I worked the boat rental from 1 to 6. Nothing special except that my sunglasses fell into the water and disappeared into the mud. Hopefully I will see them again when the river recedes.

Today we had off and took a ride to a maple sugar shack and restaurant. Only 45 minutes to find out that they're closed on Mondays. We were truly in the middle of nowhere and saw this horse and buggy sign. We had driven around the bottom Lake George and up the edge of NY State where it touches Vermont. We drove on and had lunch at a pizza place before reaching the top of Lake George and passed through the narrow strip that runs between that lake and Lake Champlain. The we headed south along Route 9N (don't ask) towards Lake George. The water photo is the gorgeous lake taken from Bolton Landing. We stopped there for a stroll and some chatchka shopping. Also enjoyed some Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Back at the campground it was quiet as most of the weekend guests had left. I walked Ziggy and went for a bike ride where I spotted several goose families. It's going to be freezing tonight so we brought in the plants, had dinner and watched TV.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Why Shouldn't My Goose

Here's a cute photo of the goose family enjoying an evening swim in the river.
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Row, Row, Row Your Boat

I slept until 10:00 today and that felt great! Ziggy and I hung out until my work started at 2:00pm. It is so fun to ride your bicycle to your job and Jeff has gotten us big baskets to carry all our stuff, just like when we were kids.
My first assignment was to be the host at Evergreen Square. You stroll the grounds and help out where needed. Today there was a cookout under the red and white striped tent with hamburgers, hot dogs and other treats. Along with that were field games ending with a tug of war. Jeff had helped serve up the food and he and I both ended up helping to rent the pedal carts. It was a mob scene and some of the time every cart was out on the grounds.

At 3:45 I pedaled over to the boat ramps along the river. This was my first time working there and I was to close up alone at 8pm. Another worker named Darrell was there when I arrived and we worked together for a while. I love being near the water and sending happy people adrift in kayaks and canoes. We had four teenage girls in double kayaks who had never paddled before. They were funny to watch, but finally got the hang of it and did well. I took out a single kayak and then an electric boat just so I could have the experience. You have to be careful to stay out of the current going upstream and then go into the current coming downstream so it does all the work.

I had so many nice people in the boats and some special memories were made for some families. One couple and their two girls were from Upper Makefield, just a few miles from where we lived in Yardley. And last night we met a man who works in Trenton. It is fun to meet people and find out what a small world this is.

My job consisted of handing out life jackets, dragging the boats into the water and giving out oars and instructions. At closing I had to lock up all the boats and make sure all the electric boats are hooked up to their chargers. Finally I hosed everything down to remove most of the mud. Jeff and Ziggy walked down to visit as I was closing and I enjoyed seeing them, even though Ziggy did some river swimming and was particularly muddy, but happy. We also saw two families of geese with goslings.

When I was finally done, just after 8:00, I biked to the square again to return the radio and clock out. I got home and took a hot shower while Jeff built a campfire. A perfect end to a perfect day.

I'm So-o-o Tired

On the first day of training, our boss, Jim, told us 2 things about this job. One - we would love it. Two - we would be tired at the end of the day. So far he's batting 2 for 2. We are having a great time, and we are pooped when we come back home. Last night I went to bed at 9:30 (OK - I know that's not unusual for some of you Sun City folks.) and I slept through the night.

Today I worked in the store from 9 - noon. Then I had lunch at a burger and hot dog barbecue run for the guests. Then this afternoon I worked on the pedal carts where we were MOBBED! A significant part of the time guests had to wait because all the pedal carts had been rented. (Remember - it's a BIG holiday weekend.)

Part of my job this afternoon was also to wander around and make myself useful, so I bit the bullet and joined in a water fight with some of the other kids. To make a long story short - I lost. One 12 year old nailed me with a water balloon then caught me with my water gun empty. It wasn't a pretty sight.

Since I got off work before Judy I went down to the boat dock to visit her where she was working. Not to waste a good opportunity I took out an electric boat. The pictures above are the river next to the campground (taken with my cell phone).

Ed. Note

I wouldn't dream of editing Judy's blog postings, but the title of her blog last night (remember, she does song titles) should have been That's S'moré.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Born In The USA

Today was lots of fun. I hung around this morning and then worked all afternoon and evening. I helped decorate the campground by putting up balloon bouquets and banners on the wagon and pool fence. Jeff was working at the boat rental. All the staff members are wearing red, white and blue hats and leis. There is a festive atmosphere everywhere. Meanwhile hundreds of families arrived and set up their sites.

Tonight Jeff and I helped at the s'mores and bonfire. We worked with another couple who run this every week and set up a serving area and good, patriotic music. We served s'mores from 7:30 to 9 and a huge bonfire was lit at 9pm. We handed out free marshmallows on metal skewers and after the guests roasted them we added the chocolate and graham crackers making s'mores. Jeff was grooving to the music and made the kids dance or march in order to get their treats. We had so much fun and the families really enjoyed this special time.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Twist

Tonight I drove the tractor/wagon ride and we play great "old" music including The Twist. As the driver I get to sing and sway while pulling the wagon with about 40 passengers. Lots of fun!

It was hot today and we had boat training this morning. We learned how to work with the canoes, kayaks, row boats and electric boats all of which we rent. We got to take out canoes and I paddled upstream and then floated back down. Later I worked on the gem mining sluice and rented pedal carts. I'll get photos of all of these activity centers to post later.

It's getting crowded and lots of families arrived today to start the holiday weekend. Our swimming pools are open and heated to a lovely temperature which the kids love.

The weekend should be lots of fun with a huge cookout planned along with old fashioned games like sack races. Keep checking in to find reports on all our fun.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stand By Me

This has nothing whatsoever to do with our adventure this summer. I just think it's a really cool project.

There is an organization called Playing for Change that travels around the world recording people singing the same song - in this case Stand by Me. Rather than try to explain it, I would rather just let you experience it. For more of their projects, click here.


Sally Go Round The Roses

Heard this song yesterday and it always brings back happy memories. Jeff gave me a beautiful bouquet of pink roses the other day and we are still enjoying them, although Jeff sneezes and gets all stuffy when he is too near them.
Did the laundry this morning and the rest of the day was ours to play. The top photo is the Frog Pond in our campground. The bottom shows our Memorial Day decorations. We expect over 2000 guests to arrive for the holiday weekend. Jeff and I have a full schedule driving the shuttle and wagon ride. We'll also be renting the boats and helping out at the bonfire on Friday night.
Ziggy is loving it here and she and I take several long walks every day. Tomorrow should be up in the 80's and I look forward to warmer weather.
Happy Holidays to all of you and remember our Vets. My Dad served in the US Army in WWII and I am very proud of his service to our country.

The campers are coming! The campers are coming!

Another lazy day at Lake George. But this is the last one we will have for a while. Tomorrow is the beginning of the long Memorial Day weekend and things will be in full swing starting Thursday afternoon. We will be trained in the morning to work the boats and they will also be in operation in the afternoon.

I will be back driving the shuttle in the afternoon (hopefully with more passengers) and then work the boats in the evening. Judy will work the mining and pedal carts and then gets to drive the tractor (lucky her!). We get Monday and Tuesday off next week, and it looks as if that may be a permanent thing. We won't know for sure until at least the middle-end of June when we are in the regular season.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Blueberry Hill

Another day off and we drove down near Albany to visit the Sam's Club. It's about an hour ride and we also stopped at a Michael's to shop for patriotic decorations. The workampers put up decorations around the campground and also decorate their own RV's to set a festive mood. This coming weekend is Memorial Day so flags and Uncle Sam hats are plentiful.

We got a yummy rotisserie chicken which we ate for dinner and I made mashed potatoes and a blueberry cobbler. We sat outside in our screen porch and it was great. The weather has turned warm and a quiet evening with good music and TV is the end of a perfect day.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?

Although there is plenty of room in HaRVey the RV, sometimes some people take up more than their share. Judy takes extra closet space. I take extra space for my tools and computer stuff. And then there is Ziggy. She has no concept whatsoever that wherever she happens to be isn't just the right place.

When I tell people that she allows us to sleep in her bed, this is what I mean. Ziggy was already in bed. Then Judy got into bed. And what about poor Jeff? He has to be the bad guy and make Ziggy move.

But don't feel too bad for her. She just scrunches down a little facing the foot of the bed and shares her special parts with us.

Younger Than Springtime

Another cold day in the beautiful north. We're off today and enjoying the spring weather and flowers. It's still quite cold and expected to be freezing tonight. We've got lilacs blooming and tulips and the grass is so, so green. We did some housekeeping and then went out exploring. Had lunch just south of Lake George Village and did grocery shopping. This cute bird with the yellow crown was perched on a branch outside our window. I'm having trouble finding him in my Audubon Field Guide. Anyone know what he is?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

You are here...

Here are 2 views of the RV Resort where we are staying. The top is the official site map. The bottom is a satellite view I downloaded from Google Earth with annotations. If you click on the image you can see it much larger. We are in one of those rural areas where the satellite coverage is not very detailed. You can see that the quality of the image near the entrance is from a much poorer-quality frame that the one the rest of the image is in. Luckily, most of the resort has higher resolution. (Note that the 2 views are 90 degrees off from each other.)

This is billed as a 5-star RV resort, and I would not try to disagree with that rating. Most of the campsites are just beautiful, and there is a site for every taste. You can be in the middle of things with or without hookups. You can be out in the boondocks on a pond, near the laundry and showers on a river or watch your kids from a site around Evergreen Square.

They really cater to kids here. During our training we were told time and again how people love to come here because their kids love it so much. But hearing it from the guests is something else entirely. There are lots of happy faces here, and I think our Fun & Games Department has a lot to do with that.

I was a little apprehensive because the resort is owned by a large corporation and I expected lots of rigidity. I think there is some of that in the other departments. But the heads of our department - Jim & Jan Stella - have a great deal of autonomy. They really want us to use our judgment when dealing with the guests rather than follow a set of rules.

We have a very strong Mission Statement for the resort which I won't repeat here, but it involves creating lifelong memories. I like to think of us as the Memories Department. I think it fits.

Sunday In The Park With George

A beautiful, chilly day following a horrendous night of rain. Everything is pristine and green and smells great! We slept late again and Ziggy and I took a nice walk. She is enjoying this so much - so many places to stroll and smell. I actually made us bacon and eggs for breakfast/lunch and then spent some time outside taking photos of the birds at our feeder.
Jeff, Ziggy, and I took a long walk around the perimeter of the grounds. Most of the guests have left and it is quiet. We stopped at the "Lodge" and had ice cream cones and met up with some of our fellow workampers. What a nice way to spend a leisurely afternoon.
We are not really roughing it here. We have cell phones, a full kitchen with microwave/convection, two TV's with cable, DVR, internet access and a screened porch. The queen size bed is challenging since Ziggy gets in first and she takes up lots of room, but we're managing. We've both got our lap tops and a printer/copier along with a sizable collection of books to read. We've even got our NetFlix movies coming here.
I do love talking with my friends on the phone and e-mail. please keep those calls and notes coming and I'll do my best to stay in touch.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


So we started our real work yesterday. Along with a trainer Judy and I had shuttle duty last night. That means that we drove the 15-passenger van on a route between here, our sister campground 7 miles away, and Lake George Village. In season we will also go to the factory outlet stores as well as Great Escape - the Six Flags amusement park.

The problem is that there were no passengers - nil, zip, nuttin'. So we drove the same route over and over (and over and over) with no passengers for over 5 hours. But at least we learned the route.

This morning I had another 4 hours of shuttle duty, most of which I drove solo. About 9:30 I got really excited - 6 passengers! There were part of a group of Bounder (a brand of motorhome) owners here for a jamboree.

We had a ball - joking and schmoozing. I dropped them off in town and then picked them up again 2 trips later. They had had a great time. They told me about the bakery next to our dropoff point and how good it was. (I had already heard that.) What I didn't know is that the bakery is owned by friends of Rachel Ray who grew up in Lake George. Who knew?

After shuttle duty they put me to work at the kid's store where they sell all kinds of chachkas as well as accept payment for the pedal carts, boating, tubing trips, etc. I learned very quickly that I do not love working retail. It is very tedious.

But the good news is that they are setting me up to work on the tubing trips when the weather gets warm. The tubing staff typically works half a day in the store and half a day working with the tubers. More on that in a future blog.

Saturday Morning

I always loved this song from The Cuckoo's Nest. Today is Saturday and I reported for work at 9am and worked in our central "fun" area. I wandered around the playground and pushed some kids on swings and the see-saws. Lots of the guests are from Canada and the kids prefer to speak French. I'll get a good chance to resurrect my French language skills.

My second task was renting the pedal carts, which are funky looky trikes. That was fun as I had a few customers and then I helped to deflate the bouncy air houses. Wow - it's time for lunch. This afternoon I had shuttle duty again and drove back and forth to Lake George Village. I actually had four teenage boys and it was good to finally have passengers.

It's almost 6:00 now and time for dinner and bed. We are off for the next few days,

Friday, May 15, 2009

Another Opn'n, Another Show

Our first day of work is today and by evening the RV's and trailers are coming in droves. So many families coming to enjoy the weekend. Jeff and I have our first shift tonight driving the shuttle that takes guests into Lake George Village. Unfortunately there are no passengers all night (until 10pm) but we certainly know the route well.

I am aghast that Jeff posted the video of my tractor driving. I actually did quite well, but backing up was a bit challenging with that long, long, wagon attached. I made a pot roast in the crock pot for our dinner, so we are eating well.

Gotta get ready for a full day tomorrow.

No, No - I meant your OTHER left!

Training can be fun! Here is Judy learning how to back up the tractor for the Wagon Trail Ride. OK, the video is a little long, but I didn't want to show only the bad parts. Feel free to skip around.

This is the hardest part of driving the lovingly-maintained 1949-vintage Ford tractor. Each night we take groups of guests on a ride around the campground. The wagon has a sound system which we are encouraged to play loudly. Usually the music is 50s/60s stuff, but we have appropriate playlists for special weekends (Halloween, Luau, etc.). Yes - the 1949 tractor has an iPod-powered sound system.

We are encourage to act silly and get the guests singing along. (Gee - I wonder why they hired US?) Tonight is our first night of guest interaction. We'll let you know how it goes.

By the way - Judy is wearing our official uniform. Bright-colored T-shirt (in a variety of colors), khaki pants, and the bucket hat.

Thanks again to Al & Eileen
for the Flip video camera we used for this video.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rainy Day

Finally a whole day off and it's raining. I slept so late and it felt great! The temperature is mid 50's and it's grey and gloomy. Add a little wind and a perfect day to stay inside.

I spent most of the day surfing the web and watching TV. I did see a fox trot by and that is the second one I've seen here. Also saw a river otter (or beaver) in the pond across from our site and there's a great blue heron hanging around also. I can't wait to get some photos of the wildlife and also a cute little woodpecker that perches upside down in a nearby tree.

Our site is looking good and Jeff has set up four solar lights along the front walkway. I brought along some plants and our ceramic alligator to make this just like home.

We went out to dinner tonight in Warrensburg (1 mile away) and made a quick stop in the super market. More TV and we'll be off to bed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Farmer In The Dell

Finally got our internet service today and catching up on e-mail and this blog. We spent the morning practicing driving the tractor and backing up the wagon into its parking space. I'm getting new muscles and enjoying being outside most of the day.

Our campsite is shaping up nicely and we've found a place for most things. I did a little laundry this afternoon and Jeff did some shopping at WalMart. It's now after midnight and I'm stuck watching 50 First Dates and then I'll go to bed. No work tomorrow, but we officially start on Friday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Purple People Eaters

Tuesday and day two of training. We drive our bikes down to the activity office and then we're off to learn the route that the shuttle uses to take guests to Lake George Village as that's another part of our job. Later we learn all abut the pedal carts which are rented in the main center near the pools. We may also have duties near the swimming pools or in the Honey Bear store which has all kinds of cool things for kids to purchase. There are also crafts for the kids, but there's another group of staffers who do that work.

The campground has a nice restaurant and several laundry facilities. Employees get free laundry and discounts in the restaurant and other area attractions. We still need to learn about the tubing and boat rentals, but those water activities don't start for a few weeks. There are other things like the weekly campfires which we hope to participate in and maybe more. The campground opens this Friday and we'll get a better feel for what we do and how everything runs.

We finish up around 3:00pm and decide to go out. We drive down below Lake George and have dinner at a nice Italian place with a good salad bar. Afterwards we saw the new Star Trek movie which is great!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hi Ho Hi Ho

Hi Ho Hi Ho It's off to work we go... It's been a while since we've had a job, but today we report to personnel at 8:00am and fill in lots of forms. The we report to our new boss Jim to start training. There are seven new employees in fun and games and we have so much to learn. The camp has lots of fun activities and we have to be able to cover all the positions and handle most situations.

Jim and his wife Jan are the fun and games managers and they are well organized and truly fun people. They have prepared a comprehensive manual and we begin to learn about different areas of the campground and activities. After a lunch break we go out to drive the tractor that pulls the nightly wagon ride. We all enjoyed driving the old tractor and backing it into the tight parking spot. Then we drove it over to the main center and attached it to the wagon. The wagon is long and can seat 40 - 50 people for each ride around the grounds. In addition to hitching everything up we get to select music to play and blast it loud during the ride. The idea is to get everyone singing and swaying. We're encouraged to stand, sing, wave and act real silly while driving safely. I enjoyed my turn and drove the tractor well.

We're really worn out and after dinner and more work on our site we're off to sleep.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Never On Sunday

Sunday is not always a day of rest. Today we finish setting up our camp and go into nearby Warrensburg to have lunch and shop for groceries. It's a little cold here and I'm back to wearing long sleeve shirts and a polar fleece. A bit of a change from Sun City where it has gotten into the 90's. Here we get to go through spring again and pollen season too.

At night there is a welcome party for the employees that have arrived. We all bring snacks and watch the movie The Long, Long Trailer with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The campground has about 600 sites and 115 employees, many of them living here in their RV's. Our department is called fun and games and we have 27 people whose job is to make sure the guests enjoy themselves. We're finding out quickly that we have landed the best gig at the camp.

Off to bed as training begins in the morning.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah...

Saturday morning and we're heading north to the Adirondacks. NJ Turnpike to the Garden State Parkway and the NY Thruway to the Northway. We arrive late afternoon and find a beautiful campground with large, wooded sites. We are just off the highway and back up to the Schroon River. There are two more large ponds on the grounds.

We are assigned to a large, wooded site near the river and we get everything set up before dark. Jeff has just gotten us a screen room that zips to the awning and we are very pleased with it. A quick dinner and off to bed - lots of work tomorrow.

Friday, May 08, 2009

9 to 5

Here we are waking up across from the city that never sleeps. We slept great and spend the day relaxing and enjoying the views. Late afternoon we walk to the PATH and see a funny sight. A young Chasid man with payss (long, curled sideburns) is driving a Smart Car. Oh yes, we are not in Bluffton anymore.

We take the train to Penn Station and walk to the theatre district. We are meeting our young friend Michael Mindlin for dinner and then to see him perform in the new Broadway musical 9 to 5. Michael's mother, Linda, and his late dad, Stu, are dear friends and we are so proud of Michael. We ate at a burger place and then Michael was off to the Marriott Marquis Theatre. Jeff and I headed up to the top of the Marriott and had cocktails in the revolving lounge.

At 7:30 we headed down to the theatre and had excellent seats in the second row of the mezzanine. 9 to 5 is fun and an extremely talented cast. The show is taken from the movie and there are 19 musical numbers with all the music written by Dolly Parton. Michael is one of eight dancers and featured in many numbers. It is wonderful to see him onstage and he's really an outstanding performer. The audience loves the show and we are so thrilled to be here. Afterwards we go backstage and meet Michael. He walks us around and onto the stage so we can see where all the sets and props are stored. Then we went to Allison Janney's dressing room to visit. This is so great - she is so gracious and beautiful. Tall and very thin, Alison shook our hands and chatted with us for a few minutes. I told her that Jeff was her biggest West Wing fan and she said how much she had enjoyed doing that series. I decided not to ask for a photo and we left.

After saying goodbye to Michael we headed back to the PATH station using one of the pedal cabs instead of walking. The poor guy was working so hard that I'm sure his legs hurt him the next day. We got back to the campground and fell asleep smiling.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

America (Simon & Garfunkle)

Thursday and we're driving north. We detour around the DC area and take the Delaware Memorial Bridge to the NJ Turnpike. Jeff comes up with a great idea to visit our parent's cemeteries near Trenton. So we head to that familiar area to put stones on the graves and it is quite emotional.

Just before 5:00pm we arrive in Jersey City, NJ. Jeff has cleverly found us a campground just across from lower Manhattan. It is a gravel parking lot, but the views are fantastic. In addition to the NYC skyline, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are just off to our left. A commuter ferry to the financial district is right next to us and we are surrounded by marinas with some very nice boats. Even better, the PATH train to New York is only five blocks and an easy walk.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

On The Road Again

Today is Wednesday and we finish packing and leave Sun City just after noon. A pleasant ride through the Carolinas and spendthe night in a WalMart in the Richmond area.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

It's Party Time!

Today is the day that Jan & Ray Mintz are throwing our farewell party. It caps a very busy weekend. Yesterday there was a neighborhood Cinco de Mayo party (see photo above), and last night we went to see The Bobs in concert. (Anybody who knows The Bobs and my offbeat taste can understand why this was such a treat.)

We finally got HaRVey the RV back from the shop. Everything seems to be working and it's nice and clean. I won't talk about the size of the bill, but over $1400 of it was paid by my extended warranty company.

We spoke to our contact at the RV park a few days ago, and she said they are all ready for us. The weather has been beautiful and unseasonably warm. They are busy painting and sprucing up. Our site has been assigned, and they are ready for us to start training on May 11.

For anyone who cares to get in touch with us, here is our itinerary.

May 10 – September 8, 2009
Lake George Escape RV Park
PO Box 431
175 East Schroon River Road
Lake George, NY 12845
(800) 327-3188

We will have e-mail service, and our cell phones will be on and (hopefully) working. If you call our home phone it will forward to Judy’s cell.

In addition, we will be at Liberty Harbor Marina & RV Park
11 Luis Munoz Marin Blvd., Jersey City, NJ 07302
the nights of Thursday, May 8 thru Saturday, May 9.