DAY 5 -- Lollygagging about
Trip Start Jun 13, 2004
7Trip End Jun 19, 2004
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We headed off to a little Polish restaurant for breakfast, since the really cool vintage coffee shop at the hotel a couple doors down from us seems to refuse to open, EVER. *snort* (can you tell we were disgruntled? We felt cheated, it looked so cool from outside, and it had tons of plate glass windows, so it was a real tease!) At any rate, we were lured into the Polish restaurant by the promise of crepes. I can tell you that if Tristan and I went to Paris together, we would never stop eating, because there are creperies on practically every corner there, it seems.
Breakfast was great. The restaurant is open-ended, so as you dine the fresh lake air comes in and you can gaze at the lake in a stupor as you wait for the coffee to kick in. Tristan had strawberry blintzes, and I had Polish-style eggs with yellow Polish cheese and tomatoes, garnished with pickles. Pickles with breakfast make me giggle! The eggs were terrific, and so were the blintzes. We were stuffed! When we got back to our cabin, we found Chris eating her breakfast of Corn Pops, toast and jam, and a molasses cookie. Cookies for breakfast make me giggle too.
The important business of breakfast done, we found some Scooby Doo cartoons on TV and sat on our butts for a while. Then eventually we ambled up the street to the post office, which still has some really cool old decorative fixtures from its early days, like the little counter where you can address your mail, etc. Beautiful!
Then we wandered off to the local Price Chopper grocery via the back lanes behind the main drag, despite the friendly warnings of Ann, our motel manager, who told us how they overcharge for everything there because of the tourists. It wasn't too bad, since we weren't really buying anything.
We picked up some fabulous Koffee Kup glazed doughnuts and the latest issue of the Weekly World News. We were hoping for some cool postcards or something in the way of souvenirs tucked into a dusty corner, but in this we were, as usual, disappointed. We wandered back to the cabin, finding an occasional Budweiser can beneath a bush left over from the Americade antics from the week before. Back at the cabin we continued lollygagging and sat around and read. Lunch, of course, was made up of Koffee Kup doughnuts and tea.
Eventually we headed off in the afternoon to catch up with my friend Bob Walp, up in Chestertown. On the way we passed some grafitti on Route 9 between Warrensburg and Chestertown that had the names "Spunky" and "Pudgie" linked by an infinity sign. Cool!
We managed to find Bob's small woodshop where he sells prints, handmade books, and beautiful handmade cutting boards without too much trouble. I went upstairs to see his art studio in the attic, which is quite beautiful, with lots of new woodwork and white paint, well-lit and equipped for doing what he does best. Looking out the back window I saw a youth in a tricorn hat and a man striding off into the wood with old rifles propped over their shoulders, as if out of some kind of time warp. Shortly after, a number of shots rang out in the quiet countryside, through the trees.
These turned out to be Bob's brother and niece, Mark and Eliza. Eliza was off to perform target practice on an art project that had turned out not to her liking, a red mannequin head of some sort. Kapow! That tells you just how cool Eliza is. Or, if you haven't figured it out, let me tell you -- Eliza is COOL.
Her father, Mark, is also an artist. We all visited with them for a little while before heading off to Bob's house for dinner. Mark paints fantastic paintings. When I think of what they put me in mind of, I'll tell you... sort of a mix of N.C. Wyeth's palette and bolder versions of his figures, all mixed up in narrative symbolic canvases... does that make any sense? Anyways, I wish I had extra $$$ so I could buy one of them, because they haunt me now in my memories. Beautiful. At any rate, we had a good sitdown around their table and felt very at home.
While we were there, we found out that a couple of houses down from Bob's shop (which is next door to Mark's house), is the house that the creator of Captain Marvel (you know, SHAZAM!) owned and spent summers in. The folks that bought it later told Bob that the upstairs bathroom had been covered in doodles and they had covered it over when renovating. Tristan had a heart attack. Talk about lost art!!! SHee whillikers.
From there we followed Bob over to his house, where we met Trudy, his lovely wife. :) Trudy is terrific. We also met their cats. So between the three of us and the two of them, it was a house full of cat people, always a good thing. Bob built the house himself (with help from additional labor, of course) and it is gorgeous. A wonder of huge windows and well-planned spacing. A lot of the wood furnishings in the house are also his.
Dinner was delicious -- the first time Tristan and I (and Chris, I'm guessing) had ever had taupenaude. It was part of the red sauce over pasta that Trudy served us. This was accompanied by a terrific salad and a delicious strawberry rhubarb pie. Let me say that Trudy knows how to cook!!! :) Once again, we were stuffed. Coffee made the rounds, and the guys got to talking about wireless Mac networks and all that good stuff. The rest of us rambled about conversationally.
By the time we left, there were fireflies winking around the driveway, and there was a certain amount of rustling in the undergrowth that made us wonder what was out there in the woods (oh, please let it be an improbable Sasquatch!). A cat popped its head out at one point, but I don't think it was alone! All in all it was a terrific day.
STAY TUNED FOR DAY 6!!!