The Beauty Around Us

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Monumental Publication

A new booklet, which was published by the General Joseph Warren Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) of Warren, PA, contains photographs that I took.

I thank the local DAR chapter for asking for my participation in this project of documenting monuments that the General Joseph Warren Chapter DAR of Warren, PA have established over the years.

1000 Islands Vacation – Day 2 Continued

As I wrote in my previous blog post, we enjoyed a boat cruise on the St. Lawrence River during our second day of vacation.  At the end of the boat cruise we were given the option to disembark at Heart Island, at an additional admission fee of $9.00 each, which we did.  Heart Island is home to Boldt Castle.  We could spend as much time as desired on the island and take any Uncle Sam boat back to Alexandria Bay.  We spent approximately 2 hours on the island during which time we watched a short video about George Boldt, the early death of his wife and the restoration of the castle and enjoyed a self-guided tour of the castle, its outbuildings and the island grounds .

Heart Island

Boldt Castle

George C. Boldt came to America in 1864 from Prussia, the son of poor parents.  He became the most successful hotel magnate in America managing and profit sharing the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, as well as the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Mr. Boldt began construction on Boldt Castle in 1900, as a tribute to his beloved wife Louise. Mrs. Boldt passed away suddenly, in January 1904, just months before the completion of the castle. Mr. Boldt was inconsolable and immediately stopped all construction on Heart Island, leaving the property vacant for over seventy years. In 1977 the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property and decided that through the use of all net revenues from the castle operation it would be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.  Since 1977, several million dollars have been applied to rehabilitating, restoring and improving the Heart Island structures.

Boldt Castle rises six stories from the foundation level of the indoor pool
to the highest towered room.  The castle contains 120 rooms.

We toured the ground floor, second floor, third floor, fourth floor and the foundation of the castle.

After our interior tour of Boldt Castle, we spent our remaining time admiring the outbuildings and the island grounds.

the Heart Island Gazebo

Alster Tower

The design of Alster Tower looks like a defense tower.  The Alster Tower, often referred to as the Playhouse, however, was intended for the entertainment of guests. The Alster Tower plans included a room for dancing, a bowling alley, a billiard room, library, bedrooms, cafe, grill and kitchen.

The interior of Alster Tower is currently under renovation.

The Entry Arch

The Entry Arch
Alster Tower in the background

The Power House and Clock Tower

The Power House originally housed two generators
that supplied electricity to Heart Island.

Italian Garden
The four marble statues represent the four seasons.

the Dove-Cote Tower

The Dove-Cote Tower once housed an elevated water tank, which supplied water to the island structures. It was topped with a dove house, where fancy fowl were collected.

When we were ready to leave Heart Island, we did not have a long wait for a shuttle boat.  Shuttle boat returns were every half hour at 10 minutes after and 20 minutes to the hour.

We rode this shuttle boat back to Alexandria Bay from Heart Island.

The return trip was quick, only a 10-minute ride.

One last look at Heart Island from the shuttle boat

We ate lunch at Coleman’s Dock of the Bay.

Coleman’s Dock of the Bay

Bob ordered a Philly Cheese steak sandwich, and I ordered a pulled pork sandwich. Accompanying our sandwiches were house chips. We added a basket of onion rings with a Creole dip to our order. Lunch was good, especially the onion rings.

We returned to our hotel, Capt.’s Inn & Suites, around 4:00 pm.

In the early evening we took a drive to Tibbetts Point Lighthouse.  The lighthouse, which is located in Cape Vincent, NY, was less than a 30-mile drive (along NY State Route 12) from our hotel.

Tibbetts Point Lighthouse
This lighthouse marks the point where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River.

We made it back to our hotel from Tibbetts Point Lighthouse only a short time before a storm hit. Thunder, lightning and rain was intense. At 8:15 pm the electricity went out at our hotel. The electricity was still out, when we went to bed 2 hours later. Sometime during the night our electricity was restored.

Music in the Park: Border Ride

Each summer, residents and visitors alike have the opportunity to attend free Music in the Park concerts held on most Friday evenings at Soldiers and Sailors park, located along the banks of the Allegheny River, in the heart of downtown Warren. This year’s Music in the Park program began on June 3 and ends on September 2. Music genres includes rock, country, bluegrass, and jazz.  Bob and I attended this past Friday night’s Border Ride concert.

Border Ride

Members of the band are: Cathy Pearson (fiddle), Scott Pearson (mandolin and fiddle), Jimmy Metz (banjo, Dobro and vocals), Darla Evans (bass and vocals), and Nelson Boosel (guitar and vocals).

Border Ride is a bluegrass band.  We enjoyed very much listening to the 2-hour concert.  Each band member performs passionately.  In addition to the music, we enjoyed the dynamics of the band.  Border Ride has fun, while performing.

Here is a short video clip that I created from three video captures.  The video will give you some idea of Border Ride’s impressive musical talent.  Be sure to click on HD for best video quality.

If you would like to learn more about this wonderful bluegrass band, you may do so by visiting the Border Ride website.  If you enjoy bluegrass music and have the opportunity to do so, please take in one of Border Ride’s concerts.  You will not be disappointed!

Red, White and Blue Balloon Rally at Letchworth State Park

We planned to go to BJ’s Wholesale Club yesterday afternoon. I had other thoughts, though, after receiving a NY State Park newsletter via email. On the front page of the newsletter was information about the 15th annual Red, White and Blue Balloon Rally at Letchworth State Park. The first balloon launch was planned for 6:00 pm.

Bob came home from work at noon. I told him about the balloon rally at Letchworth State Park. I asked if he wanted to go to BJ’s, as planned, or BJ’s and Letchworth State Park, or just Letchworth State Park. By 12:30 pm we were on our way to Letchworth State Park.

Shortly before 2:00 pm we stopped for lunch at Subway in Franklinville, NY.  We arrived at Letchworth State Park, via the Castile entrance, around 3:00 pm. There was no fee to enter the park. According to the park’s website, a daily vehicle entrance fee of $10.00 began today. The entrance fee will be collected between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm and will be collected through October 16, 2017.  We passed by Archery Field, the location for the balloon launch. We visited Upper Falls, Middle Falls, and Inspiration Point.

Upper Falls

Upper Falls

Middle Falls

Middle Falls

Middle Falls
view from Glen Iris Inn grounds

Inspiration Point
view of Upper and Middle Falls

We returned to Archery Field at 4:00 pm.  There was ample parking alongside Archery Field, owing to the fact that we arrived early.  We had a 2-hour wait until launch time.

We didn’t think through our spur-of-the-moment drive to Letchworth State Park.  We didn’t bring water; we didn’t bring chairs (although we did claim a picnic table at Archery Field); and we didn’t bring reading material.  We DID have AT&T LTE service, so Internet WAS available.  I discovered that there is supposed to be a concession stand at Archery Field, during the balloon launch. Two men, park personnel I believe, had the concession tent in their truck. At 5:15 pm they were still waiting for the concessions and the individuals who would be manning the concession stand. The concession stand did not materialize during yesterday evening’s balloon launch.

At 6:00 pm there was no activity visible that a balloon launch was imminent.  At 6:30 pm hot air balloons began to be pulled out; burners were tested; and balloons began to be filled with air.  At 7:00 pm the first hot air balloon was launched, followed by many more balloons. I photographed the balloons from Archery Field, as well as from the Archery Field gorge overlook.

We departed Letchworth StatePark around 8:00 pm, after the last balloon had left Archery Field. We returned home around 10:45 pm.

This was the first time Bob and I attended the Red, White and Blue Balloon Rally.  I am so happy that we drove to Letchworth State Park to attend the rally.  The hot air balloon launch was a spectacular event!

National Train Day

Today is National Train Day.  There are at least two events in my local area commemorating National Train Day.

It is a rainy and chilly day, a day that I didn’t feel like spending too much time in the outdoors.  My husband and I did drive to Sam’s Club in Jamestown, NY this morning.  We usually go shopping at Sam’s Club once a month.  We stopped in Falconer, NY on our way home.  A photographer friend shared the fact that the locomotive that will steam into Jamestown at noon today prepares for its journey in Falconer.  Hence, the reason for our stop in Falconer.  I am happy that we made the stop.

American Viscose Company of Roanoke VA had Locomotive #6 built in 1925 by Baldwin Locomotive Works Philadelphia, PA. It was scrapped in the early 1960s to Gem City Iron & Metal Company of Pulaski, VA. Number 6 was purchased by Scott Symans of Dunkirk NY in 2004 and completely restored to operating condition between 2004 and 2007.

 

The following video, captured by a drone, shows Viscose Company #6 steaming into the Jamestown Railroad Station at last year’s National Train Day event.

Dancing in the Sky

I saw this video shared on a friend’s Facebook page, who shared it from another friend’s page.  “Dancing in the Sky” by Dani and Lizzy has been shared thousands of times on Facebook and YouTube, for just reason.  The words of the song are beautiful and heartfelt.  The vocals are amazing!

“Dancing in the Sky” lyrics

What does it look like in heaven
Is it peaceful and free like they say
Does the sun shine bright forever
Have your fears and your pain gone away

‘Cause here on earth it feels like everything … good is missing, since you left
Here on earth everything is different, there is an emptiness

I hope you’re dancing in the sky
I hope you’re singing with the angels’ choir
I hope the angels, know what they have
I bet it’s nice up in heaven since you arrived

Tell me, what do you do up in heaven
Are your days filled with love and light
Is there music? Is there art and invention
Tell me are you happy and more alive

‘Cause here on earth it feels like everything … good is missing, since you left
Here on earth everything is different, there is an emptiness

I hope you’re dancing in the sky
I hope you’re singing with the angels’ choir
I hope the angels, know what they have
I bet it’s nice up in heaven since you arrived

If you would like to know more about Dani and Lizzy, you may do so by clicking here.

Little Drummer Boy

Pentatonix is an a cappella group from Arlington, TX. These five vocalists present an amazing presentation of the Christmas classic, “Little Drummer Boy”,  in the following video!

Pentatonix competed in NBC’s “The Sing-Off”. “The Sing-Off” is a singing competition for a cappella groups. Pentatonix won the competition in 2011, earning $200,000 and a recording contract with Sony. The official website of Pentatonix may be found by clicking here.

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