Better late than never, right? We had a fabulous time visiting my parents in Albany over Memorial Day weekend this year – hurray for three day weekends! As usual, I took hundreds of pictures, and I can’t even share a tenth of them here without crashing everyone’s computers – but I can’t let such a delightful weekend go by without sharing a few highlights.
We took Friday off and drove across the state to start our fun a day early. When we told my mom that we’d be coming for a visit she planned a fun barbecue with family friends. Peanut was thrilled to see her Aunt D.
And Nugget was thrilled to discover a singing teapot. He carried it around the entire weekend and it ended up coming back in our suitcase. (Sorry, Mom. I didn’t realize until I got home.)
On Saturday, my parents planned a fun family outing to Massachusetts! For those who don’t know upstate geography, Albany is on the far eastern edge of New York State, and trips to western Massachusetts, and to Vermont for that matter, are easy and quick. We headed for Williamstown, an adorable college town not far from where I grew up. First stop, though, was the summit of Mount Greylock!
We drove up to the top of the mountain (you can hike it, but we wanted to move the day along, and we hadn’t brought our hiking gear anyway). On our way up, we paused at an overlook and took in the views of Adams, Massachusetts. Gorgeous!
Nugget, as usual, was unimpressed.
At the top of the mountain, we found a little trail leading from the parking area to the summit and its expansive views. Peanut attempted to hitch a ride…
And soon we saw this inspiring sight!
Truly spectacular. Nugget was still unimpressed.
It takes a lot to get his approval. He’s got high standards. Especially for a baby.
We spent a good hour, at least, on the summit – exploring, snapping pictures, picking flowers. My parents made a new friend (everywhere we go…) and Peanut was her fabulous self.
I was excited to discover a few boulders scattered around the summit area, carved with quotes from famous authors who had visited and loved Mount Greylock. Including Thoreau!
He’s the godfather of introverts. I bow to you, greatest of all hermits.
From Greylock, we headed into Williamstown proper. Steve had never been there (how had I not taken him?) and I waxed rhapsodic about Clark Art Institute and Williams College on the car ride into the town. He loved it and was impressed by the way the gorgeous, historic college town seemed to pop up out of the wilderness. That’s western Massachusetts for you! I love it there and really should spend more time exploring. Note to self.
After a tasty lunch at the Purple Pub (those fried pickle slices!) we headed back to my parents’ house. The kids napped in the car, and they were ready for some serious water play when we rolled up the driveway.
It’s not a party until you have watered your babies.
Nana set up a sprinkler for Peanut to run through, but she wasn’t into it. Saw that coming. Nugget, however, enjoyed his watering can shower.
And some beach ball time. Followed by ice cream, of course.
Nana brought a small bowl of vanilla for Nugget and a medium bowl of chocolate for Peanut. Peanut had no interest in eating – why would you want ice cream when there are so many things to pour water on? – so Nugget polished off both bowls. The kid was seriously messy and seriously sugar-high after that.
Chocolate monster face!
The next day, I escaped for a two hour long coffee and catch-up date with J, my best friend from high school. We’ve both had some major life changes since the last time we chatted and we had a lot of catching up to do. I love the way we are able to pick up the conversation as if from yesterday, no matter how many months go by without a phone call. (We both have kids and busy schedules, and while I knew we both wish we saw each other more, and talked to each other a lot more, we do the best we can. It’s good to have a friendship that you can depend on no matter how much time goes by.) After chatting for way too long – considering I had folks waiting on me – I rushed back to my parents’ house and we headed for… the LAKE!
No summertime visit to Albany is complete without a day spent on the Sacandaga. My parents have a cabin there, and it’s our favorite summer spot. Unfortunately, the weather forecast for the afternoon was not cooperative. Weather gods, you need to appreciate my schedule a little better!
We hadn’t been there long before the storm clouds started to roll in.
But we still managed to get in a little outdoor play time and quite a few pictures before moving inside for the rest of the afternoon. My parents had picked my grandmother up on the way, and she was thrilled to see the kids. She hadn’t seen Nugget since last July! It had been way too long – he’s changed a lot since then. I wish we didn’t live so far away…
When the rain broke, Nugget did some SUPing. Just kidding. But he’s almost ready to get out on the lake! I’m sure we’ll be getting back there before too long. Before I know it, he’ll be zipping around in his own little kayak!
No pictures from Monday – but I managed to pack more fun into the morning before we had to head back to Buffalo. I snuck away for another coffee date – this time with the lovely Christine – and we had a delightful hour sipping coffee and chatting as hard as we could in a cute local coffeehouse she’d recently discovered. After what didn’t seem like nearly enough time, I had to break away and head back to my parents’ house to pick up my mom and Nugget for a visit with my other grandmother. Nugget thought her wheelchair was a truck and appreciatively shouted “vroom vroom!” every time we moved. It was hilarious, and also a little heartbreaking, because I wish she could see him every weekend.
And so ended a very full weekend – full of friends, full of family, full of food. I left with a fuller camera roll and lots of memories. Until the next visit!
How was your Memorial Day? Did you travel or host visitors?