Sunday, September 29, 2013

Essex, NY

I did a lot of looking around, trying to decide just where to stay on our week-long vacation to Lake Champlain.  I knew we'd stay on the New York side, as it made for the shortest drive.  It was not difficult to settle on the lovely village of Essex.  The entire hamlet is on the National Register of Historic Places and retains the quiet and charm of a small town.  There are a few places to eat and to shop, but there are no chains or fast food.  We had to go out of town for groceries, but we enjoyed breakfast almost every morning at a cute general store overlooking the lake, and ate two gourmet dinners, at Chez Lin and Ray's, and also at The Essex Inn.  There was also a cute ice cream shop where we tried to beat the heat, and a playground and little beach where we played with Wyle.  It was a safe place to walk around and the pace of life was perfect for our little family.  Every home was beautiful, and every public space was clean and tidy.  It was really a nice place to call our home away from home for  a week.  I have only one word of warning - if you stay, bring some earplugs!  There is a church bell that rings every hour, day AND night.  By the end of the week I had ceased to notice it, but it cost me some sleep the first few nights!

To learn more of this town's history, visit the Historic Essex site.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Essex From the Water

Here is a view of the town of Essex, NY, from the water.  The entire charming hamlet is designated as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.  I'll show you photos of the town in my next post.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Our Charming Rustic Rental

Here is the rustic house we rented in Essex, NY.  I was completely charmed we we saw it upon arrival, and it suited our needs perfectly during our week-long stay.  Grandpa stayed upstairs, and in the afternoons we'd sit on the upstairs deck, enjoying a breeze.  We stayed downstairs, in a large bedroom that accommodated Wyle's Pack'n'Play in the corner with our bed at the other end of the room.  We could close it off while she was sleeping with big barn doors, and continue to cook in the kitchen and relax in the dining room in the front of the house.  I loved the rustic feel and it was just enough space for us.  I will remember our time here fondly.  And I'll show you photos of the town of Essex, next time.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Knight's Point State Park

We stopped at Knight's Point State Park as well during our day trip to the northern islands of Lake Champlain.  It was a pretty, quiet little spot, and the whole family had a fun time walking around and playing.  Wyle particularly liked the old beached boat full of sand and toys.  Grandpa was happy to find some shade (it was a warm day, for sure).  There were canoes just waiting to be used, right along the shore.  It was a lovely spot to end our day, and we headed home, through Vermont and back across the ferry to where we were staying in Essex, NY.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Blue Shed Doors


These lovely blue doors belong to a maintenance shed in one of the cemeteries we poked around in.  We found a lot of Bri's relatives on those northern Lake Champlain islands, long ago buried.  Bri spent a lot of trip researching that wing of his family and found a lot of interesting facts.  Best of all was getting to actually see the land those people worked.  Somehow seeing the land (not so unchanged in the last century) connects you to your family history, in a way that you cannot feel otherwise.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Barn and Field

There seemed to be a lot of open spaces on the islands at the top of Lake Champlain.  I think there was once much more farmland, and nature has begun reclaiming it with fields of tall grasses and flowers.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Alburg Dunes State Park

On our second day of vacation, we drove up from Essex, NY, to the top of Lake Champlain, through the islands, and stopped at a couple of the Vermont state parks in the area.  Our first stop was at Alburg Dunes State Park.  We didn't know it was a hot attraction for the locals, boasting a sandy little stretch of beach that everyone seemed to be out enjoying.  Despite being out without bathing suits, Bri couldn't resist letting the little girl play in the water.  Thank goodness I always travel with a spare set of clothes.  She was wet from head to toe by the time she was done.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Lake Champlain

Hi everyone!  I have time for just a quick post today so I thought I would finally show you a photo of Lake Champlain.  I loved the way the water looked in this shot, though I never did get the 'perfect' photo of the lake I was looking for during our trip.  But that's ok - sometimes you have to remember you are on vacation, and the memories matter more than the shots you got.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fort Ticonderoga


On the first day of our vacation to the Lake Champlain region, we visited Fort Ticonderoga.  What you see here is a restoration of the 1755 fort, completed by the Pell family in the early 1900s.  It is quite grand and includes a museum inside the fort, reenactors and even a lunch spot.  

This place is significant not only to the history of the region, but to that of the nation.  It was used by both the French and the British during the French and Indian War.  Later, it was held by the British when it was taken by the American forces of the Green Mountain Boys in one of the first victories of the American Revolution.  Though it was recaptured and then burned by the British, the cannons that were taken from here by the Americans were relocated to Boston where they were used against the British army in 1776, forcing them from the city.