Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My Adirondack summer vacation

The beauty of NYS.
For my family's vacation this year we decided to stay in state and traveled to an area we weren't familiar with: the Adirondacks. The trip took almost four hours and I was reminded just how beautiful New York State is. We went to North Country, drove through Lake Placid, and along such visually stunning scenic routes, I was afraid I'd overload my phone with my picture taking. Our destination was in Keene Valley in Essex County at a camp located in Owls Head on Indian Lake.

There's something special about entering that driveway to our camp each year (it's our fourth year of lakeside vacations), the way the trees bend to keep it private, the wilderness aspect of the surroundings, and then when the road opens a bit to reveal the cabin or house. I really loved where we stayed this year. It was obvious the home had been built in the 1800's and had many original doors, window frames and details, mixed in with more modern day appliances and such. Calling where we stayed a "camp" is something my mind still hasn't settled around, but that's the term used in that area.

The scenic driveway.
We could see Indian Lake from the wraparound porch and the view was gorgeous. Inside, the home was spacious with just the right amount of rustic elements to make it charming and homey. The bedrooms were up the stairs and the banister was made of tree branches. Little things like that detail catch a visitor's eye and make the place seem extra 'special.'

Having my three kids around was especially nice, since my oldest daughter graduated college in May and has since moved out. The lake was a good size and the lowest depth of any we've been to. The weather was a mix of clouds and sun, with one day of rain and showers on most of the remaining days. The rain and chilly nights didn't bother me, not when freshly made s'mores and ice cold Coronas were plentiful. Once night settled in, common loons serenaded us with their calls.

Indian Lake at twilight.
We tried fishing (nothing to catch on this trip), kayaking, canoeing, paddle boating, and simply sitting on the dock and soaking in the sun and views. Most mornings were spent on the deck with coffee in hand, watching the wildlife and hearing the occasional waves lap against the shore. A chipmunk kept us entertained with his or her frequent perusals around the porch in search of a dropped treat. A squirrel also acted the same way, even though its trips weren't as much. There was a nest of baby birds in the breezeway outside the kitchen. As I prepared dinner for my own family, their hungry cries floated in through the windows. I'd take breaks to watch mom and dad feed their chicks. Every morning we checked on them to see how they'd changed. When our week was up, taking in their amazing transformation from scrawny to fluffy babies made us appreciate the gifts of life we witnessed. We also took a few trips into the town of Monroe to check out a farmer's market and have lunch at a bar and grill (at a place called Mo's-we liked it).

Advice my family readily took.
I didn't write as much as I had planned to. I think my muse went on vacation too. What I did do was read--a lot. I read four books, two novellas, and started a handful of novels. I'm all caught up on Sarah J. Maas's fantastic New Adult fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, (though it is marketed as YA), featuring my favorite YA couple, Feyre and Rhysand. Too bad vacations aren't allowed on Velaris. That's one place I'd love to visit. Our camp provided the perfect backdrop to get lost inside a fantastical land of fae with incredible powers and an endearing love story.  I also re-read Throne of Glass and can now continue on with that series.

The lovely landscape did inspire my imagination and I jotted down lots of notes and ideas. I plotted out one novella and planned out another. I've returned rejuvenated and ready to work. And that's what a vacation is really supposed to do: recharge the batteries and offer a break from our everyday existence. I only wished it lasted longer.

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