Yesterday, after my oldest daughter returned home from her best friendís wedding on the beaches of Florida and after going to the ding-danged emergency room (again!) to make sure my finger was still correctly set (it was thank you God! Iíd heard it snap while making beds, but it was nothing) Fred and I finally set off for his house in Connecticut with our puppy in tow. Fredís son, Josh, was going to watch him for us for the next two weeks of our vacation.

Vacation! YAAY! We were really on vacation! We could sleep late and make love every morning while exploring new, exciting places all afternoon.


Puppy decided that he had to sleep with us or cry all night. While with us he had to crawl all over us *ALL NIGHT*! GRRRR! The next morning I was not only bone tired but we discovered that the futon we slept on would slide as we moved in the bed and telegraph what we were up to, to his son downstairs below us, if you know what I mean.

So we hit the road and made it to NY where things definitely started looking up. We visited Joyce and LA. I was supposed to see Stephanie too but discovered that I not only didnít have her phone number but I was running out of time. In any case I had a wonderful time visiting my friends and Fred really liked them too. That relieved me because I was afraid heíd be bored and hate it but he had a familiarity with the area we were visiting and jumped right in with the conversations and fit right in.

First we visited Joyce and her beautiful daughter, A.

Fred and I were fascinated by their herd of baby goats from this springís birthing.

I finally got to see what Iíve been reading about for so long, her new milking parlor and her cheese making/ageing room. It was fascinating to see it all and ask questions about it all and how she pulled it all together. Joyce has proven to be not only a talented cheese maker but a very resourceful one too.

Her daughter, A., had just had her birthday party sleep over the night before and was very tired, poor child, and Joyce herself couldnít have been much better off but they both went out of their way to make us feel comfortable and we had a great visit. Itís so strange visiting journaling friends. They know you so well and you know them yet youíve never physically met, and there you are talking up a storm like you never parted, never mind just met!

Iíve watched her throughout the last few years go through some tough times with her husband, care for and lose her mother, care for her father, start making cheese and selling it at a farmers market, get booted by inspectors in a political move by the market, make a cheese room that passed inspection, then a milking parlor, all the while doubling her herd almost every year and she still canít keep up with demand! I have some private hopes for this woman and her child that are too complicated to explain but really, I donít see what can stop her anymore.

After trying not to overstay our welcome we left after about an hour and a half and headed over to see LA. BTW we had my cheapo GPS from Geeks dot com for under 100 bucks and it worked flawlessly. But even with that little factoid would anyone have doubts that they had arrived at LAís when they were greeted by this on the front of the house?

Mick opened the door, greeted us and welcomed us in as the smell of incense met our noses. LA came out of her office, met Fred and gave me the tour. People, you know how she calls it ďThe Hobbit HouseĒ? Well let me tell you something. Itís a HUGE house that can only be called small in comparison to her last house which (I think she said) had !!!27!!! ROOMS!!! and it sits on a double lot that has to cover an acre surrounded by more woods. No wonder she has deer and turkeys and all kinds of forest animals in her yard!

I met Wolf too and that kid is not only good looking but smart too. I found him to be very social, polite, helpful and VERY observant. I mentioned in passing that we were going to Hershey Park and he transfigured out of thin air (I swear it!) a coupon for Hershey Park for us and he seems to collect facts that he memorizes, accurately, especially about cars.

Wanting to be welcomed back we left LA and family after about an hour and a half and went to an Italian place we found with our GPS (same shopping center as the liqueur store near our hotel) and had a DELICIOUS homemade lasagna at what looked like a pizza joint but it had a full restaurant hidden in the back. BTW did you know that a liqueur store can sell booze in NY but not the soda for its mixer? Strange.

Afterwards we checked into our hotel and we FINALLY got to sleep late and roll around in bed to our hearts content. Right now we are going to visit Allison, Fredís old high school sweety, who lives in Pennsylvania, on our way to Lancaster County, Amish country.

Allison & hubby

If you want to follow our adventures you can follow our car at this LINK TO FINDU.COM because Fred has the car wired up with all his amateur radio packet transmitting stuff so we show up on the web.

EDIT: We just met up with Allison and her husband, very charming people, they gave us a suggestion to visit Centralia PA on our way because itís a ghost town that burned out years ago and STILL is burning! Apparently a coal mine caught fire after people started tossing garbage down the old used up mines and now itís following a vein, burning all the way and moving towards a new town. They also suggested an amusement park called Knobles which holds two of the top ten wooden coasters in the USA. I love spontaneous things. I hope we can make at least one of these things and just set the GPS for Centralia. Now all I need is an internet connection. (The hotelís was broken .. grrrr)

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Day One