Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If I Had a Couple Million Spare Dollars....

... I'd buy a house on a lake somewhere.

That's more or less what we've been doing this past week or so - hanging out at various bodies of water in New York State. It's been great fun.

The problem is, when you're running from lake to lake, you have no time to blog. And now, there is simply too much to blog about. We've been that busy.

So, without further ado, a few highlights:

We spent the better part of a week at the Mirror Lake Inn at Lake Placid. It was kind of a splurge, but definitely worth it, and I hope we'll return some day. It's not the most kid-friendly hotel (too fancy for that), but they have a private beach, with rafts to swim to and kayaks to paddle on. So the kids were thrilled. They spent many an hour paddling out to the rafts with their Nana just so they could jump off of them. Even Kyra loved it. And on the last day, Shay was even allowed to take out his own kayak.

The boys went to an Olympic show with Pop and their dad. They got to watch ski jumpers train by skiiing down hills and flipping into a swimming pool. Shay got called up for a contest, which he won: two free tickets to the Olympic Gold Medal Experience. So the next day, Bart and I took the boys back to the ski center, and we all got to try out a wheeled luge (except me - I was wearing flip-flops, which apparently aren't so great for braking). Then we learned how to bobsled, and we got to practice on the athletes' starting track. We also toured the ski jump complex, riding the elevator to the top, and we took a tour of the athletes' living quarters and training facility.

Shay was excited to learn that one of our tour guides is training as a marathoner. The other was a former skeleton driver - yikes.

From Lake Placid we went to Alexandria Bay, on the border with Canada, for a family reunion. I didn't know a single person there, but they couldn't have been nicer. The kids met loads of cousins and spent a couple of days playing baseball, swimming and generally running around. We took a ferry to Boldt Castle, but we didn't have much luck exploring - there's always at least 1of4 having a major meltdown by this point in our summer, so I had to bring several kids out of the castle before I could finish the tour. Ainsley and Kyra were particularly fascinated, looking for princesses behind every rock and tree. The boys seemed interested in the tragic history behind the castle.

Later we went on a nighttime boat tour of the 1000 islands. Our budding photographer Shay took zillions of pictures of houses built on tiny islands in the middle of the river. Ainsley kept asking "Where castle go?"

Now we're back "home" at Nana and Pop's. We spent one day at Cooperstown, visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Farmer's Museum before heading to the beach for a picnic, a swim and s'mores. Another day was spent at the Utica Zoo. One day was passed underground at Howes Caverns. And of course there were those critical hours I spent at the hair salon.

Just typing this not-complete list has left me exhausted. So I'm off to bed, I hope, and I'll finish this up later. Here are a few photos of Lake Placid. I'll try to get more up, but you know: I still haven't sorted and posted our Seattle pix. So don't sit around hitting your refresh key or anything like that.


Liz said... [Reply]

I love this post. You're up in my old stomping grounds (in fact my parents still live in Albany). We did the Lake Placid in Summer trip when I was 9 and my sister was 3, so your description of the aerials into the pool and your pictures were like a trip down memory lane (and actually made me a bit homesick!) And Howe Caverns was always a favorite day trip when we had out-of-town guests.

Further family also did the 1000 Islands trip, complete with a visit to Boldt Castle.

Sounds like you're making the most of your home leave. Keep enjoying!

globalgal said... [Reply]

While this is not related to your post, I just had to share my good news! My husband got the visa to the US! Finally, after a month of deliberation, the verdict is in. I also wanted to tell you that somehow or other I've gotten to be friends with quite a few of the military attache wives from the Embassy and what a delightful group of ladies - I mentioned your name and some really nice things were said. I hope your summer continues to go well! Enjoy!

fsowannabe said... [Reply]

Wow! You guys are having a blast! My wife and I dream of a home on the water, too - we dream of the Outer Banks.

A Daring Adventure said... [Reply]

You all are




I love those pictures!! And I can't get over the gorgeous mountains in the background!

Roger Kent said... [Reply]

Dear Wonderful FS Person doing a Thankless Job!

Greetings. I am a Training and Development profession living in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.

I am responding to two RFP’s for the Foreign Service Institute for “experiential learning” (ropes courses etc.) in Leadership and Team Building. I can give you the two proposal numbers, one for civil service FS folks and the other for FS Officers, if you wish to verify.

I was wondering if you have a moment to answer two questions:

Q1: What are the particular challenges of leadership and/or teambuilding that you find in a Foreign Service posting?

Q2: If there were one thing you would like FS Staff to know before a posting overseas about the interpersonal/leadership challenges of this assignment what would it be?

One proposal is due Friday 7/30 and the other Wednesday 8/13. I would not mention your comment by name in developing my proposal only by continent: “…from a Foreign Service officer currently serving in Africa”

I am happy to Skype you at your convenience if you don’t feel like putting finger to keyboard.

Thank you.

Roger Kent
Nevada City, CA

I know not how to aid you, save in the assurance of one of mature age, and much severe experience, that you can not fail, if you resolutely determine, that you will not.
-- A. Lincoln July 22, 1860 Letter to George Latham

Donna said... [Reply]

Awesome news, global gal. Thanks for keeping me posted. And - I'm glad you've met up with some good people. I wonder who it is speaking highly of me? I have some favs amongst those military spouses. I'm definitely missing my friends over here in VA.

Donna said... [Reply]

@Roger - don't know if I'm the right person to answer your questions, but...

Q1- leadership/teambuilding can be hindered by the fact that the team is constantly changing as people rotate in and out of post. The different perspectives (local staff vs American) can also hinder teambuilding, as we all have different perspectives on how things should work due to cultural differences.

I don't know about your second question. Anyone else out there have an answer?

Please. Write your own stuff.