Monday, June 29, 2009

Wagon Train

This morning Ziggy and I saw a new frog at our pond. He's quite handsome in his camouflage suit. I worked at boats all morning and saw a flock of geese swim by. There were ten adults and nine goslings. The young 'uns are almost as big as the parents and the little males are starting to get the white mask. So cute!

An uneventful day, but at least it was warm and by mid afternoon the sun began to shine. I hope we're done with the rain for a while. While I was renting out the pedal carts I had visitors - Jeff and Ziggy. They walked down to see me and then hitched a ride home on the wagon train shuttle. Ziggy wasn't sure about the loud music, but Jeff said she behaved.

How to Keep a Kid Busy

When we first started learning about Lake George Escape we knew it was a 5-star rated RV resort that was supposed to be very family-friendly. What we have learned is that not only is this place family-friendly, it almost redefines the term.

Aside from the stuff that is going on all day, every day - swimming, tubing, beachfront, boats, pedal carts, etc. - there is a calendar published every week with all the special events each day. I tell our guests that they simply MUST carry a copy of the schedule with them (copies are available all over the resort) or they will have no idea of what is going on.

I have attached this week's calendar (it is 2-sided). You can blow it up by clicking on each image. If you think this schedule sounds really neat, so do our guests! (Yes - there actually is a $1.99 breakfast buffet every day.) For something REALLY special check out Wednesday evening at 8:00 PM!

This is why our guests keep coming back year after year. Oh - by the way - the campsites are beautiful, too.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Battle of New Orleans

Okay, we weren't in New Orleans, but Carol and I did drive to Fort Ticonderoga to see a reenactment from the French and Indian War. We started the day by heading north and stopping to shop and eat in Bolton Landing. We agree that it is a cuter town than Lake George, but much smaller. Heading out we encountered more rain and got to Ticonderoga in time to see the end of the battle. Kudos to the reenactors for their costumes and dedication. There were whole families there dressed in authentic looking clothing complete with weapons. I laughed at the guys who were the indians as they wore loincloths and not much else except war paint. We walked around the tent area and looked at the sutlers selling clothing, weapons and colonial stuff for cooking and recreation.

Afterwards we visited the fort and saw many cannon and their small museum. The fort sits on a small area of land between Lake George on its south and Lake Champlain to the north.

Back at the campground we joined Jeff for dinner at the buffet at our grill. Later we built a fire and sat around enjoying the warmth and glow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sailing, Sailing

This morning Carol, Jeff and I set sail on the MINNE - HA - HA complete with paddle wheel and calliope. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate and the rain plagued us most of the day. We took an hour cruise on Lake George and saw some magnificent homes and estates. The boat was comfortable and had lots of inside seating, but the calliope was missing a few pipes and sounded awful.
After the cruise we had a disappointing lunch along the waterfront and visited a craft fair in Shepard Park in Lake George Village. We did some shopping at WalMart and went back to the campground. Ziggy and I took a long walk and found a new, handsome frog in the last photo.
We went to dinner at the Log Jam and enjoyed good food and ambience. After some s'mores back at camp we read, watched TV and got some sleep.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Slip, Sliding Away

Top photo is me working at the water slide. What fun the kids had sliding down the slippery slope. In the morning I helped at the Bounce House, so I was very popular today. Jeff and I worked the wagon this evening and here's Jeff driving our 1949 Ford tractor.
Today was "pickle day" and all the employees got a 50% discount in the store and grill. Jeff and I got up early and went shopping at 8 am so we could shop before we were scheduled to work. My sister Carol drove out to visit and will spend the weekend with us. She rode around with me in the golf cart as we followed the wagon. Later we went out to dinner and had a chance to relax.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'm Being Swallowed By A Boa Constrictor

The rousing title song opened our campfire tonight. This was the premiere of a weekly event that Jeff and I host. We had 22 guests at our event and lots of fun. We held it behind the big tent near our sports field and built a nice fire which we sat around. Jeff sang a few songs, we led the group in singing and I read a ghost story.

It was a good crowd - the adults loved it and asked for more singing. The kids mostly refused to sing and thought the scary story wasn't frightening and I was worried that the kids might cry or be afraid to go to sleep. Oh what they see on TV & movies has numbed them. Anyway the adults enjoyed the whole thing and we'll look forward to next week and the challenge of enticing the young ones to participate more.

Ghostly Happenings

Judy and I had our first campfire tonight with sing-alongs and ghost stories. It was quite successful - especially considering the low guest count we have right now.

I did a couple of performance numbers and had the guests do some sing-alongs. Then Judy told a ghost story (see picture). All in all we had a good time. We have some tweaking to do, but this will be a fun experience.

Possibly the only downside for me was the reaction of the tweens. I expected teenagers to be too cool for this stuff, but the tweens made it a point to not participate, even though they clearly knew many of the words. (Note the group on the blanket to Judy's left.) Their loss. Their parents had a great time.

My Hero!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Tonight we had a potluck dinner for the employees and more karaoke. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and we had enjoyed working outdoors. I made an eggplant casserole for the dinner and then sang the title song. Our "fun 'n games" group sang a song too and we ended with Amazing Grace. A fun night.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sea of Love

This morning is grey and dreary and I spent most of it at the boat dock. Again there were no customers and I passed the time sweeping our rental trailer and reading. One high point was a large group of geese on the other side of the river. There were six adults and maybe a dozen goslings. They were eating grass near the river and all of a sudden the adults ushered the youngsters into the water as a fox strolled by. I couldn't believe my eyes and glad that they were alert and the fox was not successful at hunting while I was watching.
Click on the photo to enlarge and see the little ones.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Summertime, Summertime, Sum Sum Summertime... Happy Father's Day!

First day of summer and Father's Day too. We had a relaxing day with sleeping late and then working. I was at boats all afternoon and not a single customer. It's been raining for days and the river is so high and fast that boating isn't very popular. We had a simple dinner and a night of TV.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Tide is High

Yet another gloomy day - when will it end? The river is very high and many of the campground sites and roads are flooded. Had a haircut this morning and then we stopped at the supermarket. After all the chores were done we headed up to Brant Lake for dinner with friends. I met Ruth Ryan playing pickleball at Sun City. I liked her right away as she is bubbly, friendly and laughs easily. As we talked we realized that I would be spending the summer about 20 minutes from her lake house.

Tonight Jeff, Ziggy and I drove up there. Ruth and her husband Tom have a beautiful home facing the picturesque lake with their own dock/sitting area right on the lake. They also have a boat and jet skis which we hope to see when the sun appears. Ziggy was invited to meet their chocolate lab, Molly, who is also 11 years old. The two dogs got along well and that is a miracle for Ziggy who likes people and usually doesn't do that well mingling with dogs. Ziggy liked the dock area and even did some wading in the lake.

We had a pleasant evening with a terrific meal and good conversation. It's weird that Ruth and Tom know two more couples on their lake that also live in Sun City in the winter season. Anyway we ate, drank and talked and then headed home. Tomorrow we work and Jeff will be driving the shuttle starting at 9am. I am working with the boats in the afternoon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Squat & Gobble

Those readers not from Bluffton won't recognize the name (above) of one of my favorite restaurants. It's the closest thing we have to a diner in South Carolina.

But it describes our experience here as well. For the past three summers we have moved almost daily from place to place. This year we are squatting in one place for almost 4 months (and gobbling food like it's going out of style). The difference is like night and day.

Because we do not have to set up and knock down we have options we are not used to. We have a screen room - and a hammock - and a bird feeder - and solar walkway lights. We have DIGITAL cable with a DVR and VERY high-speed Internet.

It's funny how you sometimes get to thinking that your way of doing things is the only - or at least the most common - way. I certainly felt that way about RVing. But most of the workampers here take this long-term approach most of the time. Probably half of the workampers are either true full-timers (have no other home) or partial full-timers (have a very small home that they sometimes return to).

For instance, the assistant managers of Fun & Games have a 40-year-old mobile home in Florida that they call home. But they spend much of their time workamping. The managers of our department do their job here, then dash off to their home in Texas. They then turn around and get on a plane for France where they have jobs assisting exchange student near the German border. They live in a castle for three months. Not much of a chance to keep up with friends at home, but a cool way to live.

Other couples own or have long-term rental sites in Florida, Alabama, and Arizona. They head back there in the winter. Most take some kind of job just to keep busy. It can involve working in a restaurant, driving a school bus, or working maintenance at their campground.

Many of these couples have rigs a little more sophisticated than ours. Some have washer/dryer units. Some can have fancy kitchens, king-sized beds and lots of other amenities. I won't say that they have everything in a 300 sq. ft. RV that we have in a 2500 sq. ft. house, but they sure aren't roughing it!

Some people don't feel the need to have constant contact with old friends. These people are completely comfortable making new sets of friends every few months. I don't think we could do that. We miss our home and friends a lot. Cell phones and e-mail sure do help. But having said that, we love it up here and have no regrets.

15 Miles On The Erie Canal

A wonderful day of driving in the beautiful countryside, seeing a great play, and visiting with a dear friend. We decided to drive to Cortland, NY today to see Jared Miller perform a role in a regional theatre production. It took about 3 1/2 hours to get there and I'm not sure exactly where we were, but just below Syracuse. Much of the drive was along the Mohawk River and the Erie Canal which runs from Albany to Buffalo. Thank goodness for GPS - you plug in the information and voila- you arrive.

We got to the theatre in time to pick up sandwiches and eat them at a picnic table before the show. We wanted to surprise Jared so he didn't know we were coming and we had a short reunion before the performance. Jared and Brian have been friends since they were little boys and we have adored Jared as we watched him grow up. He and Brian and their "gang" hung out at our house and we were there as they became teens, the college years and now adults. Last year Jared married a lovely gal named Sarah and we were unable to attend the wedding since we were working in Alaska. So when Brian mentioned that Jared was performing in upstate NY we had to go.

The Cortland Repertory Theatre is a gem. Housed in an old building in a small park, it has a charming theatre on the second floor. It seats about 275 and the chairs were comfy and roomy. The matinee audience was mostly seniors and we felt young in the grey hair crowd. The play was a hoot and we enjoyed the writing, direction and performances. I Hate Hamlet is a comedy with some funny characters and great lines. We loved Jared's character and the other five actors too. We particularly liked the ghost of John Barrymore dressed in his Hamlet costume complete with tights.

After the play we took Jared to a local outdoor BBQ place where we ordered and then ate at picnic tables on a manicured lawn with beautiful flower beds. All the other cast members were there too and we sat with the three women actors. Great conversation and then sadly our visit was over. Jared had an evening performance and we had to drive 3 1/2 hours back to Lake George.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

More rain - where is the sun? While we were on the mountain (my last post) it was actually hailing at the campground. Glad we missed that storm.

This morning it is pouring, but Ziggy and I took a nice walk anyway. I didn't take my camera and what a mistake. I saw a duck with seven ducklings right along our path and then a great blue heron zoomed right over our heads. Jeff and I are on call again for the shuttle and boats. I doubt that we'll be busy, but we have to hang around in case we get a call.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

An International Day

I don't think either of us has mentioned the international contingent here. Each year Tonya - the HR director - goes to an international job fair to recruit students for the summer. She has had a great deal of success with students from Poland. This year we also have students from India, England, and Nigeria.

Yesterday I met my first three of them, Evelina (sp?), Evelina, and Sarah, when they needed a ride into the village. The Evelinas are Polish, and Sarah is a Brit. They are lovely young women who are quite sophisticated travelers. Their English is good (especially Sarah's!), and they are charming. It turns out that Judy had met the same three earlier in the day.

Yesterday I was on shuttle duty and drove into Warrensburg - the nearest town - to pick up some more students from the bus. These four were also Polish - 2 girls and 2 boys.

The students are housed in trailers. (The boys and girls are far apart.) They are pretty nice facilities, and the students' compensation includes meals. I don't know how much they get paid, but it seems like a pretty good deal.

Two of the students I met will be working with us in the Fun & Games department. Others will be working in the fun house (arcade) and in the cafe. It's a great experience for the students, and another learning opportunity for our guests.

Our regular season schedule starts Friday, and then we will start to get a feel for what the summer will really be like. The REAL season starts the following week when the New York schools let out.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Beautiful Vista

Judy wrote yesterday about our trip up Prospect Mountain. Above is a panorama from a lookout that I stitched together from a series of photos. You can click on the image for a larger view.

This photo is the south end of Lake George taken from the southwest. The village would be just off the right edge of the photo.

Monday, June 15, 2009

You and Me and the Rain on the Roof

Woke up to another sunny day and Ziggy and I took a nice walk in the woods. Then I rode my bike to get the mail and newspaper and stopped at our sandy beach. I saw this interesting turtle in the shallow water. He has a very long tail and a bumpy shell.

Since it was so beautiful we decided to take a ride to the summit of Prospect Mountain. You reach this 2030' peak by going into Lake George and following the Veterans Memorial Parkway which winds up the mountain. There are lookout areas and trails to hike up there and a shuttle bus takes you to the very top. We saw this cute chipmunk there and this is the first one that stood still long enough for me to take a photo. The ones at the campground never stay in one place more than a second.

Of course the weather turned nasty and we could hear thunder and see lightning about a mile away. Decided the top of a mountain is not the best place to be in a thunderstorm so I shot this neat picture of the distant rain and we descended.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

You Go, Gal

Neal Mooney sent me this, and I thought it was worth sharing. I especially like her reason for not worrying about being alone.

Today was tubing training. We had to paddle canoes up to the tubing drop-off point (about a mile) and back again. Our boss wanted to make sure we were comfortable enough in a canoe to be able to guide the tubers. Everything was great. And there was only one minor incident where a canoe overturned. Luckily I had left my cell phone on shore.

Are You Going To Scarborough Fair?

I went to an art fair today and saw some beautiful jewelry and crafts. Woke up and luckily was not sick after our escapade last night. Jeff had tubing training so I went with another gal and spent a pleasant afternoon in Glens Falls. It was one of those juried craft shows with all the vendors in white tents. We had a good time shopping and walking on a sunny, warm day.

Jeff mentioned the little critter that ate his tootsie rolls. Well I was lucky enough to see the little guy and he is a least weasel. Abut 7" long with a short tail and big brown eyes. Hope he isn't sick from eating all that chocolate.

The Drowned Rat Brigade

Judy's blog entry pretty much described the Mardi Gras wagon ride, but you have to see what the riders really looked like. When the guests ask whether events are still on in the rain, our boss says that the answer is, "If you're crazy enough to come, we're crazy enough to go!" Some of these folks actually came with us for all three rides. Notice the nice, serene ambient noise we enjoyed.

As Judy said, we threw Tootsie Rolls to the guests. When we got back, my jacket was waterlogged so I left it out in the screen room. I had left some Tootsie Rolls in my jacket pocket. This morning there were Tootsie Roll wrappers all over the screen room and muddy little critter footprints all over my jacket. I just hope there aren't critter pellets in my jacket pocket. Ah - the joys of communing with nature.

This afternoon some of us are going for tubing training. The tubing starts next week. The river is still really cold, and we are wondering just how many guests will want to go tubing. But, "If you're crazy enough to come, we're crazy enough to go!"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Take Me To The Mardi Gras (Paul Simon)

Hooray I finally get to use this title for my post! It is Mardi Gras day here at camp and the weather is plain lousy. I did laundry this morning and then reported for work at 1 pm. We are decorating and getting ready for a grand celebration and then came the rains. Our games department held candy bar bingo in the indoor recreation room and it was packed. I handed out beads to everyone and it was a jovial group. By the way - the cost of playing is one candy bar per card - and a full size bar, not those tiny, snack ones. The winner gets to choose two candy bars and everyone else at their table gets to pick one bar. Of course everyone is happy.
We had a quick dinner and reported back to work at 5:30. I put on my crown and robe along with many strands of beads and three or four huge gems on my fingers. Underneath I had on my purple raincoat and lightweight khaki pants with sneaks and socks. I strolled around the grounds and visited the restaurant. I invited everyone to join me on the royal carriage ride around my estate. People were kind of incredulous and asked if we would go in the rain. Of course we would and we did. Lots of people got into the swing of things and the photos show some of my admirerers.

To our astonishment there was a crowd waiting to go on the first ride at 6:30. Most wore rain slickers or had umbrellas. We gave everyone handfulls of beads to throw to the onlookers and each of the kids got a horn to blow. In addition Jeff and I had bags of tootsie rolls to toss.

What fun we had riding around with the music blaring. Jeff and I stood in the front row and our driver and escort wore jester costumes. All the passengers blew horns, tossed beads and screamed with delight. As we drove campers came to the road and waved. We pelted them with beads and candy and I gave a regal wave. We were soaked, but it was really fun. I said to Jeff, "Our friends will never believe this!"

Two industrious boys were scouts and rode through the woods and took shortcuts to arrive everywhere the wagon was and got more beads thrown at them. Many riders reboarded and we took the wagon out three times. In the end we were wet through and through and the wagon was full of trash. We all pitched in and cleaned up and we finally bicycled home and took hot showers. After a heating pad on my neck and a mug of hot chocolate I am feeling much better.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Another rainy morning turned into a beautiful sunny day. Jeff and I went to the movies and saw the latest Night at the Museum. Cute - but not memorable. Had a quick dinner and some grocery shopping. We came back to the campground and bicycled down to the Friday night s'mores to roast some marshmallows.

The top photo is a wild iris and the bottom is the foot path that crosses the Frog Pond.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009


We're getting ready for Mardi Gras this weekend. Jeff is posing with our welcome moose and they've hung a banner at the main lodge. The campground looks so festive and ready for the big parade on Saturday night. Jeff and I will be riding on the wagon as king and queen complete with robes and crowns. The riders will be throwing beads and candy.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Wild Thing

A quiet day and revisitng my "wild" friends. This frog is always at the same place near the pond and he allows Ziggy and me to get very close without flinching. Later in the day I saw my duck friends and the babies are almost as large as their mom.
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Monday, June 08, 2009

Up A Lazy River

Another gorgeous day in Paradise. We're off today and I spent the morning talking on the phone to dear friends and walking with Ziggy. In the afternoon we decided to take out kayaks and get some exercise. The first photo shows Jeff leaving our boat area and the river looks as smooth as glass. As we got near our sandy beach there is a right angle turn and we were paddling hard to make our way upstream. Finally got to "the bridge" and rested. That is one mile by road and the place where we put our tubing trips in the water. Coming back is literally a breeze with the air and water current helping and all we did was the steering.

Back home I read the newspaper and did the puzzles. The campground gives out a free paper every day to guests (and me) and they have a crossword, jumble, sudoku and cryptogram. That keeps me busy and I love it.

Now is time to think about dinner and I'm having grilled trout on the barbie with a baked sweet potato. Roughing it is not so bad. Wish you were here!

It Sure Beats Working

Today Judy and I took out a couple of kayaks. I'm sure she will have pictures, but here's a video for you. As you can tell from the video, it sure is pretty up here.

Oh - we got some news. Next week is our Mardi Gras weekend, and Judy and I will be king and queen! Film at 11.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbing

A robin red breast - we see this bird every day and take its beauty for granted. Today we scouted out the bicycle path that goes for miles south of Lake George. Ended up in Hudson Falls and checked out the locks in the feeder canal. Later we stopped at a big supermarket called Price Chopper and enjoyed buying groceries with fresh produce and a real deli counter. Came home and did laundry and now I am watching the Tony awards.

Most of our motorcycles have gone home and the campground is quiet again. This coming weekend we celebrate Mardi Gras so we need to prepare for lots of fun.
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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

Today Jeff worked in the gem mining. Okay we don't have diamonds, but the kids are sure excited to find quartzite and amethyst. The bags of dirt also include arrow heads and shark teeth. It's pretty cool!

Later I worked at boats and several geese families assembled on the opposite bank of the river. It is fun to watch the goslings grow.
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Friday, June 05, 2009

New York, New York

Jeff and I drove to Blue Mountain Lake today and visited the Adirondack Museum. It's above 50 miles each way and a beautiful drive on country roads. As we passed through Warrensburg there were more motorcycles than the last time and everyone seems to be having a great time. We've met people our age who have been coming to this rally for over 20 years. Must be lots of fun.

When we reached the museum we found a rustic setting with several large buildings and smaller structures with exhibits. Some of our favorites were the transportation and boat areas. There were stage coaches, buckboards, old carriages and cars. The boat section explained how to make guide boats, canoes and kayaks. They had old racing boats and other interesting things. There was an old schoolhouse on the property and an area devoted to hunting and kids camps. We had lunch in their cafe and saw the hummingbird at a feeder at the window. The view of Blue Mountain Lake was taken from our table.

We got back and had dinner and then enjoyed a campfire at our site.