Picking out a campsite is an art in itself. It has to be level, not too close to neighbors, nicely wooded, and a big old pine tree doesn’t hurt. In fact, the more pine trees, the better! I love the pine needles- their color, smell and cushioning underfoot. The late afternoon or evening sun has a way of giving a special glow to a campsite, making it feel safe and warm…..until the sun sets!
The orange roof. Some artist designed Hojos fully aware of how wonderful that roof would look against a blue sky! Genius! Howard Johnson, thank you! You gave us a wonderful hotel, orange sherbet and a restaurant that made the BEST cheeseburgers. I feel for today’s youth, they don’t get to fully appreciate the whole experience. I imagine being on vacation, and pulling into a Howard Johnson’s for dinner. Life just got a little better!
My mother used to say whenever she saw that sign, all her troubles would melt away. There is something about seeing the sign for the Adirondack Park that makes everything just better! Food tastes better, we sleep better, birds get a notice- everything just seems more special if it happens inside the Adirondack Park.
Waking up in the summer just sort of happens. No alarm clocks, no one yelling “GET UP”. Sleeping with white sheets and a chenille bedspread, with the window open, and the sheer curtain gently blowing is a childhood memory I wish I had. Instead, I decided to paint it for myself, and for you! Savor the morning.
Cramming the four kids in the station wagon was always an adventure. Claiming your spot in the car was paramount. “I get the window!” “Called it!” and “You get the middle.” -these were just a few of the phrases we would yell while climbing into the car. I wouldn’t really know where we were going, but I was just happy to be going anywhere. Seeing the exit to Lake George meant fun! Hope we pull off here…..
My father kept our camping log all the years we camped. This page has the story of the day I won the “floating mattress!”
It was July 16, 1971. The perfect summer day as I recall. My father was hosting the annual work picnic. I won a green raft that day for my athletic ability in the egg race! It was my biggest claim to fame as a 9 year old. I remember reaching into a tub of iced cold soda with what seemed like every variety ever invented. It was sheer heaven- all the FREE SODA I could drink! Pull the ring tab- wear it on your finger for a bit before carelessly dropping it somewhere in the grass. Take that long first sip…..ahhhhhhhhhh. Life was good.
We didn’t have water bottles- there was no sippy box, pouch or fancy energy drink. If you were outside playing, and you were thirsty, you would simply turn on the spigot, bend down a bit, wait for about 10 seconds until the cold water reached the end of the hose, then take a long, long gulp swallowing, swallowing and swallowing. Of course, you would then offer the hose to the next sweaty, out of breath neighborhood friend. If you were on your game that day, you might remember to turn off the hose. Or, your father might step in huge puddle and yell out ” Who left the dam hose on?”
Making Kool-Aid was hit-or-miss. First, you had to have packet. Chances are, we didn’t have enough sugar to fill the measuring cup. Next, to find the pitcher- (dump out whatever old drink was brewing in that!) After accidentally snorting the unsweetened powder when you opened it, get your spoon, add sugar, stir, then pray that you would have ice in the ice-cube maker! If all was right with the world, you would have the perfect sugary cup of cherry Kool-Aid. All in a summer’s days work!
Remember Saratoga Vichy Water? Well, they also made Saratoga Ginger Ale! Of course, everyone had the Vichy water. My mother had it for every “adult” party. Each time there was a spill, it was “Grab the Vichy water!!” Not gonna lie, we usually had Canada Dry Ginger Ale. I resurrected this bottle from the Round Lake Antique Fest and thought I’d put the little sister of Vichy in the spotlight. What is Vichy water, anyway?
After ripping the plastic strip off the can, removing the aluminum disk from the end, I would hold that can for a few seconds then wait for the “scccuuuupppppp” sound as the plop of pink creamy ice fell into the pitcher. I remember being in such a hurry to make it that filling 3 whole cans of water seemed like an eternity. The sticky, gooey mess would be left on the counter, along with whatever utensil could find to make it. Then, after selecting a glass as impressive as this pink drink, I would find the perfect spot to enjoy it. The ritual involved with pink lemonade hasn’t changed much and while buying a carton may seem easier, there is something about the canned frozen pink lemonade that remains my prefered method of classic, summer-must enjoyment.