Friday, August 29, 2014

Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour

Even though it was a long drive from our campground in Wilmington, NY we decided to spend one of our vacation days driving to Vermont for a Ben & Jerry's factory tour. We are both huge fans of Ben & Jerry's (who isn't, right?) and have long talked of visiting the factory in Waterbury, VT. It was a lovely scenic drive and may well have been my first visit to Vermont.

The tour itself was nothing special. We watched two videos, one on the history of the company and a shorter one on the production line. I was disappointed that, although it was a manufacturing day and after noon, the production line was not running, so we didn't get to see any ice cream being made. The highlight of the tour was the sample of cotton candy we got to enjoy at the end.

Not surprisingly, it was an absolute madhouse, even though it was a week day. I'd hate to imagine how much longer the lines would be on a weekend. I'm glad we did it, and now I can cross it off the list and never do it again. Once was definitely enough.



On the way to the factory we missed the turn off for the ferry (plus, we'd not done any research on times, locations, or cost). Before heading back to camp, my husband hopped on his phone and GPS and found the best ferry across Lake Champlain for our route. It cut many miles and lots of time from our return trip. And best of all, it was super cool. I enjoyed the ferry ride more than the factory tour!




Thursday, August 14, 2014

Camping: Wilmington Notch

Our most recent campering adventure took us north to Wilmington Notch State Campground in Wilmington, NY. This is a very small campground (54 sites) and does not offer the types of private, treed sites we prefer. However, the choices for camping with a travel trailer in the Lake Placid area are fairly slim. We decided to try it once and then decide if we'd ever camp there again. The verdict: NO. The camp sites are in what basically amounts to an open field with an occasional tall tree. There is no privacy between sites AT ALL. The sites are not clearly defined either, so we had neighbors decide to set up their tent within spitting distance of our camper. I hope they enjoyed the sounds of our flushing toilet at 2AM. The fire pits are no more than a few feet from the campground road, so when you're sitting around the fire anyone that walks by is RIGHT there.

Beyond the lack of privacy, there were other disappointments with the campground. The fire pits were in shambles, literally crumbling at our feet. My husband was at a complete loss without a chopping block, usually provided in most state campgrounds. He surmised that was part of the problem with the fire pits, because people were using them as chopping blocks, thus accelerating their demise. There was also garbage strewn around our site when we checked in, a rarity at the state campgrounds we've camped at in the past. And lastly, the bathrooms were gross. There was no soap (eeew!) and the showers were tiny. The shower head was well below the top of my head, and I'm not an excessively tall woman. The water was scalding, with no option to adjust the temperature.

Needless to say, we spent as little time as possible at the campground. It would probably be fine if all you were doing was crashing for the night before or after climbing an Adirondack High Peak, but it's not the kind of place you want to spend time at.

I didn't bother to take many photos and none of the ones I took actually show how undesirable the place was. All of the trees you see on the far side are actually the edge of the campground and provide just a little screening between Route 86 and the sites. This picture was taken before the neighbors arrived and set up their tent right off our back bumper. Most of the sites were occupied every night, although there was a high turn-over rate.


Next time we travel to the Lake Placid region I would rather pay more to stay at a private campground and have full hook-ups. That way even though we'd still lack privacy we could at least avoid the public bathrooms and showers.

Hopefully in future posts I will share some of the fun things we did away from camp.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

August Break: Days 1-7


From the August Break, 2014 website:

"This is a community project that has no real rules – the idea is to simply take a photograph every day for the whole of August. That’s it. Pause, look around you and shoot what you see. Live inside each moment. Pay attention to what’s there."

This is the first month long photo project I've taken part in. I like that there are no real rules. Do with it what you will. I used the prompts provided for the first 7 days and took the pictures with my Samsung Galaxy S5.

Lunch: leftover pizza, sugar snap peas, and a chocolate chip cookie (in the paper bag)

Pattern: two new Thirty-One bags my husband bought me to help ensure a successful party hosted by a friend of his

Window: heading north with the camper

Orange: riding the Essex Ferry across Lake Champlain

Three: milk, coffee, and hot water for tea

Reflection: clouds and trees while my husband fishes the Ausable. Also: hundreds of mosquito larvae!

Today is... check out day. Time to pack up the camper and head home.

Don't forget to check out the blog roll for other participants.