Following our trip to Fort Lauderdale, we made our way to upstate New York for some relaxation by the lake. When you fly into the local airport, it’s so small you end up on these little tiny planes that seat about ten people. In fact they’re so tiny that the co-pilot acts as the flight attendant and does the safety demonstration before climbing into the cockpit. And on these planes they don’t shut the door–something I love, especially as we were seated in the front two seats! So I got to watch the pilot flip switches, push buttons, pull levers, every whirl around this big wheel thing. It was awesome. Especially when they missed the runway the first time and just before our wheels were supposed to touch the ground, whoosh, we were headed up again.
Once in Chautauqua, we enjoyed time with family, outings on the boat, the gorgeous produce from the farm stands. After a year of paying Parisian prices for produce, it was an absolute thrill to be able to load up our rental car with bags of fresh, lovely, local peaches, blueberries, corn-on-the-cob, lettuce, zucchini, and watermelon. My mother-in-law had also started her own garden so we had homegrown romaine lettuce, zucchini, squash, parsley and even got to taste the first of her tomatoes! Yummy!
We also had quite a bit of work to do and moving details to figure out. But it was nice to be able to do all that while looking at the lake.
And you can also encounter The Chautauquan Daily boys. Think newsies. And seriously, how do you say no to a kid trying to sell you a paper? Of course, the fact that Scotty did this job when he was younger means I know about the terrible profit margins these kids earn!
And our time on the lake was lovely–there may be nothing more relaxing that driving out to the center of a body of water, cutting the engine, and then just sitting there reading a good book or a copy of The Economist.
I really didn’t end up taking many pictures while we were in NY. In fact, I haven’t been taking many pictures since we left Paris. Once again, all of these were taken on my phone, so excuse the poor quality.
Our nine days in Chautauqua were the respite we needed–with the exception of one day spent driving all over kingdom-come in search of a car. That was a major fail. Lesson learned, do not try to buy cars in NY. It’s too complicated and they come with lots of rust.
We spent the last day packing up our rental car–and SUV we packed to the gills with things we had been storing in Scotty’s parent’s attic. And then we were off to the bookstore to pick up something for me to read on the roadtrip. And we struck out for St. Louis.
When we pulled into St. Louis, we got a phone call from our hosts, the lovely Glen and Audrey. They had arranged a surprise for us! Knowing we’d been staying with other people for weeks now, they had arranged for us to stay at a beautiful hotel in our old neighborhood. What a gift! We decided to capitalize on this gift and headed down to our old favorite date spot. In a very “full-circle” moment, we were seated in the exact same table where we had made the decision to move overseas over six years earlier! It was such a bittersweet moment as we realized that that adventure is over. We are so grateful for all that those years away taught us and also so grateful that we have such wonderful friends and family to come back to. We were soon joined by a dear old friend and ended up talking and reminiscing until the wee hours. It was a great welcome back.