Darien Lake

Before I Say Good Night!

Today was a fun day for the kids.  We went to Darien Lake Theme Park for the day.  We met up with some other friends and spent a fun-filled day.  The kids rode rides and played in the water at the waterpark.  I walked around and was totally amazed when my foot didn’t hurt at all!  I even switched from wearing sneakers that I thought would provide great cushioning for the foot, to flipflops when I grew increasingly hot!  I had no problem with pain…..even walking about inn flipflops.

We got back home around nine-thirty. We stopped along the way at Tom Wahl’s to pick up some burgers and celebratory 99 cent floats. This was the last day to get the deal on the floats, so it seemed almost mandatory!

Here is a photo, untouched, that I took of a butterfly among the flowers….

It was a beautiful day.  The temperature stayed in the mid-eighties at the hottest, and there was a cooling breeze the entire day.

This is just so cool!

Last evening,  I went for a little walk down to the lake at the campground.  I wanted a photo for my journal since I had missed the day before. No matter how hard I tried to connect,  I just could not.  Bound and determined to get a “Blip”,  I found a rather cute (or ugly!)  capture. Thankfully, it published just fine last night.

While I am at it, here is the photo that did not upload the night before.  These ducks were at Darien Lake Park.

Okay, so back to last night. After my frog photo,  I walked back to the campsite when what should happen to be parked directly kitty-corner to our site?

Yes! That is a Scotty camper that is a 2010 remake of a camper  produced in 1963. As I looked at it,  I noticed Scottie statues placed here and there. Sure enough, guess what ELSE was there?

That is Flora,the Wheaten Scottie,  and her brother, Murdo, a Brindle. On the Scottie forums, when a Scottie lies down with his legs straight out like that, it is called “froggin'”!

I spoke to the friendly couple who owned the camper and pups.  They were so happy to hear about our Scotties, too!  They are both of Scottish descent and Frank plays the bagpipes!  Of course they would have a Scottycamper and two Scotties!!! It was so fun talking with them.  They gave me a card and we are going to keep in touch.

Before we left this morning,  Bonnie and Frank came over and took a picture of Michelle and I with Angus and Murphy!  I really enjoy camping because one often meets such nice people!

Sabbath Rest

Today is Sunday and I am taking a day off!  I am so tired…we have been running around so much and trying to get things in order before cold weather sets in. Thankfully, we need precious little firewood. We still have about eight cords left over from last year.  I’m not exactly sure how that happened, as we did use the furnace until around Christmas, but we wouldn’t have used very much wood from October until Christmas….

I haven’t been taking very many photos lately as we have been running about in the truck and there just hasn’t been a whole lot of interesting things to see!  Mark, Ben, and I have been looking a little at snowmobiles since we grow weary of just sitting inside the house  in the winter!  And, after seeing Lewis County’s beautiful snowmobile trails,  we feel we might have gotten the “bug”!  Since winter is one of my favorite seasons, I would love to get out and enjoy it more! We also discovered that our own area has a wonderful trail system, provided enough snow falls!

Well, enough about winter. As much as I love it and look forward to it,  I’ll not wish time away!  It is a far too limited quantity as it is!

Here are some photos I took right around the house. I really like the look of Queen Anne’s Lace before it matures and opens.

And Goldenrod up close is really quite pretty!

I think one of the most awesome late summer bouquets would have to be Goldenrod and Bachelor’s Buttons combined. The rich gold and purple colors are so royal looking!

I found a bumblebee working his way through the Bachelor’s Buttons.  Just look at the amount of pollen this little bee is toting around on its body!

Mark, Ben, and I went for a little ride in the woods on our ATV’s.  I really like the way these toadstools grew at the base of a tree.  Couldn’t have arranged them any better.

Yesterday afternoon,  we took off with the kids and headed to Darien Lake.  We stopped at Tom Wahl’s along the way, as we had buy one cheeseburger, get a second free, coupons.  Since Tom Wahl’s burgers are reknowned far and wide throughout Rochester, we do pick these up once in a while.  We stopped at the store and found out they are also having an anniversary sale on their rootbeer floats.  They are on sale for 99 cents.  Oh my!  The “ice cream” in the float is actually frozen custard….all I can say is that is very good Tom Wahl’s isn’t located too close to our house!

I took a few photos of the kids…

The kids both love the rollercoasters.  I think I just like watching!

I took this photo simply because the Marigolds were just so very pretty!

By the time we got home, we were all so tired, we went right to bed.  It was a beautiful day, though, with the temperatures in a very comfortable range.   It sure was nice to spend the day outside without getting overheated!

KB 2010/ Sunday and Monday

Yes!  We are enjoying our time here at Kingdom Bound!

The only problem that is hindering my total enjoyment is the }heat{!  Oh my. It is so warm and humid.

Sunday night,  we got to see The Newsboys in concert;  all I can say is, WOW! Last year when we saw The Newsboys, it was shortly after Peter Furler had announcd he was no longer going to be touring with the group.  Michael Tait was working in his new capacity as lead singer and he seemed just a little subdued.  This year,  Michael  looked as comfortable and at home as he could be.

On Monday evening, we went to a concert to hear NewWorldSon.  This group, from Niagara Falls, Ontario, is one of Mark’s favorites….they have a “bluesy” sound that Mark really appreciates.  We had bought one of their CD’s the previous night, so I brought it along with me. Yes! They had an autograph session following the concert so I waited in line for about 45 minutes to get their autographs on the CD for Mark.  Surprise, surprise!

The big show of the night was Mercy Me.  Well, Bart Millard was as fabulous as ever and we enjoyed yet another concert! 

All throughout Kingdom Bound, there are a few different stages and one can choose just where they would like to go to hear what they like. The kids generally come and sit with us during the big concert of the night so we can all leave together.  It is quite late when we get back to the camper and sleep seems rather diminished.  All is well, though!  Only one more day to go after tonight. Then the kids will begin counting the days down until Kingdom Bound 2011!

Sunday Saturation!

Late yesterday afternoon, (around 3pm) we decided to take a ride to Darien Lake so the kids could try out the new waterpark that opened last weekend.  We arrived at the park at 5 o’clock.  The kids went in to the park and Mark and I sat in the truck with the Scottie boys.  The waterpark closes at 7 pm, so we met the kids and they changed their clothes,  then went into the amusement park.

Mark and I had initially planned to walk and roll around the park, but I was so tired that I just enjoyed sitting still!  At about 9:30, the kids came to the truck and Mark went with them to the area where the laser light show is held each night.  I chose to stay in the truck as I just don’t want any more bouts with mosquitoes!  I have had my fill!

The show began and even though the parking lot is located on the opposite side of the park,  I could hear strains of music from the show.   As the first fireworks went off, I nearly jumped out of my skin, not realizing what it was. After that, I was fine, but Angus was *not*!  The poor little fellow didn’t understand and he grew rather frightened.  I should have thought to turn the radio on to drown the noise, but poor little Angus did his best to tunnel below the seats, trying to hide from the loud explosions. Murphy, on the other hand, was snuggled up against me, sound asleep and oblivious to the whole event.

The colorful lights on the right side of these photos are on a large tower where crazed people actually pay money to be dropped down on huge bungee cords to bounce up and down…I was disappointed by my photos of the fireworks, but I was using the small p&s Panasonic.  With a near-hysterical terrier in the seat with me,  I found myself a bit debilitated!

When the show ended, Mark and the kids reappeared  and we were off toward home.  As we drove home, there was no threat of rain, but when we returned home at about 1 am,  the heavens let loose! The rain came down so heavily! I finally fell asleep to the sound of rain pelting the roof of the house.

This morning,  the skies were overcast and dreary, but there was no rain.  Finally, at about 10 am,  Mark and I headed up to the park so I could walk.  As we drove up the road, the rain began to fall.  It varied in amounts and velocity as we drove,  but when we reached the park, there was only a mist.  We were surprised, however, by a parking lot full of vehicles.  Mark finally found a spot to park and encouraged me to go ahead….he was staying in the truck as it would be difficult for him to roll through puddles and the rims of the wheelchair become slippery when wet.

I hopped out of the truck and began to walk.  As I worked my way around the track, I saw a small sign for a soccer tournament.  The field was divided into two separate playing areas and there were many, many players out on the field.  I continued my walk, feeling sorry for the participants, as there were very few spectators.  As I completed about 3/4 of the first lap, the mist suddenly became rain…and quite heavy at that!  Not only was the rain making its entrance, but I was confronted with winds that nearly blew the headset I was using on my I-pod off my head!

I rushed back to the truck, where I sat and waited until the rain slowed back up to a heavy mist once again.  I was determined,  figuring if those soccer players were that dedicated, so I could be in getting in two miles! (which I did!)

Later this afternoon,  I drove down to Naples to pick up a few groceries for dinner.  As I drove through Woodville,  I just had to stop to see what is new at the lake.  Oh my! The goose families I had previously seen were no where to be seen. Their babies have grown so much, large “teens” with the soft yellow fluff now replaced with gray coloring.  I did see a new goose family and a couple of Mallard hens with their ducklings in tow.

I just love the wild irises growing along the lake.  They are so lush and thick this year.

I have no idea how old these tiny ducklings are, but they are about 1/3 the size of the goslings! They were so little, they looked like little polka-dots in the water! What was funny, though, was as I observed them,  I saw them scoot about in the water as though they were jet-propelled!  They would take a peck at one another, then shoot rapidly across the water! They were just so adorable.

There were two hens with their broods following closely behind.  Another interesting observation was that while the geese did lead their brood into the water, they stayed close to the shore,  as though waiting for any danger or threat to leave.  The ducks immediately hopped into the water and swam away from the shore.  It is also noteworthy that the goose males assist with the rearing of their offspring while the Mallard drakes are nowhere to be found.

Now, since I had the telephoto lens mounted on the Nikon, I decided to take a shot ( yes, haha!) at capturing a Mallard hen who was sleeping or maybe resting atop a log floating on the surface of the water.

I was pleased with that last photo as the duck was out quite far and the photo has a still life feel to it! If you enlarge these photos, you can see “the mist” was still continuing at this point!  The good..or bad…news is, just before the sun submerged over the hills,  bright blue skies once again showed up! Yes, the weatherman has said the chilly damp weather of today is now behind us!

Guess Where We Were Yesterday?

Yes, we spent the day at Darien Lake.  Since we attend Kingdom Bound every year, we save some money by buying season passes to the park.  It isn’t that far away and the kids love going, so we try to get a few visits in every summer.

The park just opened last week and it is really exciting because this year, they are expanding and opening a big waterpark.  I know the kids are going to want to spend even more time there now!  What was really amazing is the fact that there was a construction crew there working on a Sunday.  Memorial Day weekend is coming up rapidly and the waterpark is set to open that weekend.  Our kids are soo excited!

Mark and I went out and enjoyed crusing along in the park.  It was a beautiful day, not too hot and certainly not too chilly.  Since the crowd was rather sparse, I was able to get some photos that I never can take any other time without throngs of people!

The park is very family-friendly, but we also see a lot of older people there too.  Located in the country, about 20 or so miles from Buffalo, it is a great way to enjoy the out-of-doors with young people!

There are still some extra little touches that are yet to be done like putting up flowers, but we noticed the Boomerang (rollercoaster) and Ferris Wheel are sporting fresh paint.  In the first photo, one can see the fresh paint on the waterslides…..quite a contrast between the old faded colors and new ones!

Friday Scenes from Darien Lake State Park

On Friday morning,  I hopped onto my bicycle and rode around the park.   We have talked about taking bicycles camping with us for a long time, but this is the first time we actually took them.  My bicycle is a Schwinn touring bike I bought in 1985.  The poor bicycle has hung in the basement from hangers since 1992, when we built this house!

My bike was removed from the hangers a few days before we left.  Mark pumped the tires to the recommended pressure and asked if I wanted to hop onto the bike…..was he kidding?  That bike has had the same tires and inner tubes for twenty-four years!  So, I hopped on and rode the bike around the house.  I was in total awe.  #1. The tires were okay.  #2.  I could still ride the bike!!!   It seemed like I was defying some act of balance or something,  riding around on those ridiculously skinny tires.  They certainly aren’t anything like those big beefy treads on the kids’ mountain bikes!

I rode all around the park on paved roads, as well as gravel-covered roads.  I road up little hills and absolutely astonished myself!  The great thing about those skinny wheels is that I can literally glide for long periods of time without pedalling.  Suddenly, I felt just like a kid again….man,  I really missed riding my bike!

Mark drove off in the morning over to the parking lot by the lake.  That was where I met him and convinced him he could do a little exploration of the park in a wheelchair.  We strolled and rolled out to the island where I spotted the duck with her brood….

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Perhaps the reason this picnic table was precariously balancing at the water’s edge was just so the little ducklings could rest under it in the event they got too warm?

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Mark and I crossed back over the pretty bridge.  Of course, Mark being a mechanical engineer,  stopped for quite some time to marvel at the lovely bridge.  *I* just thought it was pretty.  *He* examined the structure, pointing out various elements and oogling over the Minnesota company who made it.  Then a brief discussion about how much it must have cost to truck such a structure all that distance followed.

We then went over to marvel at the pretty pavilion that had a fabulously flowering Butterfly Bush planted near the entrance.

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We talked all about glue-laminated beams and even felt how smoothly the beams were sanded.  Even in the most severe weather, the exposed beams were still smooth as could be.  Mark also informed me the pavilion held twenty-six tables.  We finally left and went over to look over the barbeque pit, then the other more rustic pavilion.

As we looked around the other, less “picture perfect” pavilion, a nest built in the corner of the building caught my eye.  We all know that curiosity arose and I sprung up onto a table to take a closer look. (with the camera, of course!)

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In looking at the nest, I am pretty sure it was built by a robin.  The orange object in the center of the nest is a little funnel-shaped mouth, wide open awaiting nourishment!  I immediately hopped back down again and told Mark we had better leave right away so the mother bird could feed her youngsters.  (I saw one more beak pop up as well.)

The two extra days we spent at the park were nice and it was the first time we explored even though we have camped here many times! Having the bikes along really made a difference.

And now, I shall leave you with a little something to warm the cockles of your heart….(and anything else that might be chilled!)

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Scenes Around Darien Lake State Park

On Thursday, (the day after Kingdom Bound ended),  Michelle and Ben went over to help their friends pack up their tent and belongings, as they were heading back home.  The kids were gone for a couple of hours, and when they returned,  Michelle said she was freezing and took a blanket to the truck where she plopped down on the back seat and fell sound asleep.

I awakened Michelle some time later….he face was bright red and she said her throat was sore.  I felt her forehead and it was obvious she had a nasty fever.  I made her drink lots of water throughout the day and gave her some Tylenol in hopes of reducing the fever. 

Mark went out for a bit while I tidied the camper.   I had gotten Michelle on the bed in the camper and as she slept, I took a brief walk around the park.  Ben stayed in the camper to keep an eye on Michelle.

During Kingdom Bound, the campground turns into a little tent city.  There are tents everywhere!  Instead of showing photos of campers and tents and such, I decided to show some of the more “nature-oriented” sides of the park!

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Yes, the above cell tower is what helped us remain “connected”!

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The park has a small lake located within, however, it was shut down as an employee told me the ph of the water is too low to allow swimming and boating.  There is also a picnic area and pavilions for parties and reunions.  The building below is located near a rustic pavilion.  This little building, with its vented roof reminds me of a maple sugar house.  I went over to have a closer look and was surprised to see that there were not only four barbeque grills, but also a deep barbeque pit for grilling chicken and such! (how I longed for that Chicken BBQ from the previous Saturday!!)

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I should have loaded these photos more logically, but I have previously discussed the fact that logic is *not* one of my strengths!

The bridge below is a beauty made of steel and leading to a small island on the lake, complete with grills and picnic tables!  How romantic…a picnic on the island!

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There is another pavilion (NOT on the island) with the most awesome glue-laminated arches!  It is beautiful! And as I walked down the path closer to it, the smell of cooking food nearly overwhelmed me!  I wondered if *I* was invited??

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Mark said when he went out to get our food later, three tour buses loaded with kids stopped at the pavilion. Lucky kids! A picnic in the country!  I could hear someone on a bullhorn telling the kids “one can of soda per person!”

The photo below is of the island.

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The cattails are near the island and mama ducks and their ducklings hang out near them!

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I have a few more photos of the park that I took on Friday.  Mark and I wandered around a little….he in the wheelchair only after I convinced him it was totally possible to roll around the grounds.

Oh, and on Friday?  Since Michelle was feeling better (not entirely)  we went and picked up some food and had a lovely little picnic on one of the tables on the island!!!

Kingdom Bound

On day three of Kingdom Bound, We got to see DecembeRadio and then the big show was Israel Houghton.  (AKA Israel and New Breed)  Both groups were fantastic! 

I was so psyched about Wednesday,  and seeing the Newsboys, I failed to realize how quickly the time was passing and that Kingdom Bound 2009 was coming to a rapid close. I personally think the festival should continue on for the entire week, but  I guess that would be quite hard to accomplish.

When Wednesday finally rolled around,  we spent the day as usual, dropping the kids off for “doing the amusement park”,  then Mark and I wandered around a bit.   One of the kids’ friends’ parents asked if we wanted to join them for dinner at a little local restaurant. We decided to go, but when they said they were leaving at six,  Mark told me to take the kids and go, as he wanted to see one of the performing groups.

We had a nice dinner with the Whites and then made our way back to the park.  By the time we arrived, the entire parking lot looked like nothing more than a sea of shining vehicles!  Thankfully,  we have a handicapped placard and I was able to secure a spot rather easily.

I made it back to see Natalie Grant.  After her, there was a very personable fellow from New Zealand, named Phil Joel performing.  He was excellent!

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Finally, it was getting close to 9:30 and the NEWSBOYS!!! Woohoo!   The questions that remained in my mind was How on earth will the Newsboys ever be the same without Peter Furler at the lead?  How could Michael Tait  of DC Talk fame ever fill in for the wonderful Australian voice we had come to know and love so?

Well, let me tell you…..

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Michael Tait was FABULOUS!  He is a great singer.  A great performer! A great person!

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About midway through their show,  the Newsboys came back into the crowd where they had a small stage (stage B) set up in the crowd to do a few songs!  Michael led the way just a Peter had done before him.

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And I got to see MY favorite drummer of allllll time.  Another Aussie….Duncan Phillips.

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Sorry that photo is fuzzy, but I have come to the realization that Duncan must never, ever, sit still!  See those colorful drumsticks?   Even when the band wasn’t playing, he was using them as shakers….yes, they seemed to have built in shakers!

Towards the end of the show, I think my heart nearly came to a grinding HALT when….. 

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Peter Furler nonchalantly walked out onto the stage!!!  Peter and Michael performed a song together and Peter kinda “passed the mantle” on to Michael.

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When the  show ended, the crowd went nuts, clapping and asking for another song.  Of course, as they do every year, the band obliged!  This time, they came out and Michael grinned, saying they had a song specially prepared for this.

The band burst forth in a DC Talk song called Jesus  Freak. The crowd roared with excitement and everyone loved it.

And then, it was over.  Kingdom Bound 2009.  Only a memory. But OH what a good one!!!