Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wed. Sept. 17th… Begging forgiveness for missing the blog!!

Hi all, I’m now begging everyone’s forgiveness for neglecting to blog yesterday, because as soon as we got the animals taken care of yesterday, Vicki, bonnie and I took off for a day of sightseeing on the mountain.

Monday evening after Bonnie arrived, we sat and talked for a bit, then went to Westmere to dine at the Ichiban Restaurant. We then headed home with some desert items because Vicki's entire family was coming to our house to meet Bonnie and visit for awhile and have coffee and desserts. Bonnie and Vick's parents were especially excited to meet one another and we had a great evening.

The extravaganza started out at the "2 Kids Bakery" in Greenville, where we had a fantastic lunch consisting of sandwiches and soup. Next we traveled to Palenville and turned up through the clove to Haines Falls, allowing Bonnie to drink in the beauty of the Catskills most alluring spot……… the Katterskill Clove and Bastion Falls. After passing through Haines Falls, Tannersville and Hunter, we turned on route 42 and drove toShandakan where we then took route 28 to Emerson Place in Mt. Tremper. There we visited the shops and ultimately ended up in the little shop that houses the worlds largest Kaleidoscope. Below is text from their website at :

“What happens after ex-hippies go to business school? Perhaps they build things like the World's Largest Kaleidoscope, anchor of the Catskill Corners boutique mall, "New York's most innovative family entertainment complex." A mysterious pair of eyes are painted on the converted grain silo that houses the 60-foot tall Kaatskill Kaleidoscope. Nearby, a giant fiberglass fish leaps from a pond; the front half of a fire engine sticks out of an attached restaurant. Like nearly everything in the Catskills, a slick film of hucksterism coats this attraction -- but it's not necessarily a bad thing. The $250,000 Kaleidoscope was designed by '60s psychedelic artist Isaac Abrams and his son Raphael, opening in 1996. The elder Abrams calls it the "first cathedral of the third millennium." It is the brainchild of Catskills developer Dean Gitter, a local P.T. Barnum. Visitors walk through the mall to get to the Kaleidoscope, while their senses are assaulted by scented candles and Space Age Bachelor Pad music. The merchandise-to-attraction ratio is high -- the trademarked words "World's Largest KaleidoscopeTM" appear on a plethora of gifts and souvenirs.

"While your eyes enjoy the visual explosion,
you are energized by a multidimensional soundtrack of music and effects."

The show is ten minutes of frenzied fractal imagery, very loosely based on the history of America. We see the faces of Civil War soldiers, Lincoln, Stalin, Marilyn Monroe, Native Americans, kaleidoscopic patterns of American flags. Loud synths and corporate guitar riffs blend one era seamlessly into the next. The presentation finally finds its rhythm with a whirling pattern of marijuana leaves and audio snippets from Martin Luther King's "I have a dream."

This was the height of the days tour and I knew Bonnie and Vicki would enjoy browsing the shops and looking at the hundreds of beautifully, handcrafted, kaleidoscopes on display and for sale within the store.

After that, we started on down the road, on our way to Woodstock, NY, where we delivered Bonnie into the world of Hippies, modern art culture and old world 60’s psychedelic Woodstock CHARM. Every person in the world should be able to say “I’ve been to Woodstock…… and it’s a fabulous experience.”

And now……… Bonnie can say this! She HAS been to Woodstock and entered some shops, walked the streets and crossed the “Square” (fully equipped with a 60’s Hippie left-over) and left with an excited feeling.

We then drove home, stopping in Windham, for a couple of bottles of after dinner wines, from the famous Windham Winery, then home to the Cluckin’ “A” Critter Farm to leave the dogs out before going to Green Hill Café for a succulent veal Parmigiana and spaghetti dinner, second to nothing Bonnie has ever had.

That, completing a full and enriching days journey, we returned home to chat awhile before retiring for the night, since Bonnie was planning to leave early this morning for Mississippi, which she just did. What a fabulous visit for Vicki and I, let alone Bonnie.

Again…..Thank you….. to everyone for your patience with me as I forgot the blog to entertain my beloved cousin Bonnie. Below are pictures of yesterdays travels and some of what we saw.

Bonnie, my cousin arriving to visit with us.

Devils Tombstone State Park

A beautiful property in Hunter designed by Vicki's Brother Richie.

Beautiful landscape & mountains just outside of Hunter

A beautiful waterfall, near the top of the cut between Lexington & Shandakan, on route 42.

The Kaleidoscope silo at Emerson Place on route 28

The "square" at Woodstock, NY...... Full of visitors, artists, musicians and leftover 1960's Hippies still "trapped in the moment."

Home again to a beautiful sunset over the Pupskill Lake Pond. ( are you watching Billy and Spencer?)

Poindexter came to welcome Vicki, Bonnie and I home last evening.                 (He's a one bird Welcome Wagon!)

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