I realize that I am nearly a week behind. It is June 22 today and we have survived 2 days in Boston. I will post day 5 also. Looks like everying his sharing some good news and summer adventures. That is nice. Hugs and love to all, Lauri
The Adventures of Lauri and Rose on the Road in America
June 16 Thursday, Day 4
We breakfasted on cold cereal, toast, coffee and juice in the Econolodge lobby before heading downtown Albany. I had called the capitol tour desk to get directions to parking before we left.
The drive into town was quick and easy. However, I drove passed the visitors parking because the sign said it was full. I turned the corner and headed back through the Empire Plaza tunnel and pulled into what turned out to be a permit-only section. I told the man who was at the gate that we were looking for visitor parking with spaces reserved for those who have handicap permits. He was very patient and told me I just had to pull into the visitors’ lot and tell them what I needed and they would let me in even if the sign said full. OK. Now, the only problem was getting turned round and headed back in the right direction. The parking attendant took care of getting me out of his lot using a pass to open the two gates (one in and one out). I suspect he has done this before. It took a bit of doing, but I finally got headed the right direction again. I pulled into the entrance to the “full” visitors’ lot. The guard asked if we had a handicap permit after I told him that’s what we needed. Then he asked to see a picture ID. I asked if he wanted Mother’s or mine. “Yours, you are the driver.” I fished out my drivers’ license which he took a good long look at before letting us in. We paid the $2 parking fee and started to look for the handicap parking places. I turned down one lane, only to discover there were no places and no where to turn around. So, I carefully backed up. These are tight quarters for Mother’s Chrysler. Around the next corner and down the next aisle I finally found available parking places. I pulled in, turned off the car, and we just sat for a few minutes catching our breath.
We finally decided to get moving. I got Mother’s walker out of the back seat and we headed for the elevator to the concourse level. Once there, we headed toward the capitol. Like many places, there is tight security to get in the building. That meant passing through a metal detector and having purses x-rayed. Mother was “wanded” as her artificial hip set off the metal detector. It beeped again as the guard passed it over her hip. But, he waved us through with a nod when she said she has a new hip joint. If he had needed proof, she carries a card that identifies her joint replacement.
We found our way to the elevator that took us up to the first floor. The woman at the information desk said we could wait there for the tour although the others would be coming from the concourse level. It tours out there was only one other person, a younger man, on our tour. The guide used the elevator as we moved from floor to floor to accommodate Mother and her walker. We enjoyed seeing the capitol with its unique collection of carved faces throughout the building.
After the tour we headed back to the concourse to see if we could find a shop with some of the souvenirs we were looking for. But, we came up empty. Hopefully, we will find something when we drive back across New York on the way home.
We head back to the parking garage to leave town. I had no trouble finding the route north, but Mother was not so sure and was surprised that I did it so easily. After driving around the city the previous afternoon, I finally have a feel for my way around.
We picked up the freeway heading north. Our next destination is a tiny village called Putnam Station on the shores of Lake Champlain. We stopped at a rest area along the freeway to get directions to Putnam Station, so we did not miss it. We also got a recommendation for lunch at a restaurant called The Log Jam in the Lake George area, just a few more miles up the road. The restaurant was a cute log structure. We had a generous cup of soup (New England Clam Chowder for Mother and cream of chicken with crapake mushrooms for me). The food was good. We also tried one more souvenir shop just up the road, but it did not have what we were looking for either.
Putnam Station is where Mother’s grandfather James Harvey Woodstock was born. She has never been here before. Wes and I made the trip here in 1998. It took some doing and several miles of narrow two-lane roads to reach the village, but we did it. There is not much there, only a few houses, a church and a couple of cemeteries. It was one of those cemeteries where I wanted to take her to see the graves of her great-grandfather and great-great grandfather. This is a very old cemetery and many of the stones are falling over and even more have deteriorated to the point they are unreadable, but we could make out the Woodstock name on the markers. One of them may be the grave of the William Woodstock who fought in the Revolutionary War, but it is hard to be sure. The ground was very wet after another day of showers. I’m not sure Mother was as enthused as I was at finding these old family graves, but she took some photos and can tell her sister she has been to see where their grandfather was born.
The next task was to get across Lake Champlain. I drove further north and mother navigated. We did pretty good, not getting lost once. I was soon crossing yet another stretch of water as we reached Vermont. I stopped where Mother could take her sign photo before continuing on the two-lane highway.
We successfully wound our what across the rural area, through small towns toward a stretch of Interstate 87 that would take us to Montpelier, the state capitol. It is not fast driving, especially in the persistent drizzle. Then we reached the town of Shelburne where we encountered major road construction. We inched our way along 3.2 miles bumper to bumper. I was getting really tired. Finally, the traffic eased a bit and we were at the freeway entrance. It was not too many more miles before we would be in Montpelier. We decided to make one more rest area stop, and were shocked to discover we needed sweaters and jackets when we got out of the car. Instead of the mild 70-degree temps, it must have been in the 50s. Brrrr!!! We got good directions to our motel from the helpful man at the rest area, and a welcome cup of hot coffee.
The clouds hung low in the Green Mountains through which we were traveling. It is beautiful country, but then there are few places in the United States that are not beautiful in their own way. I was surprised and amused to see “Watch For Moose” signs along the freeway. A moose was one of the things I certainly did not want to see on the freeway, and we did not.
I exited the freeway and headed for Montpelier and our motel, yet another Econolodge. I made a right turn up the hill where the man at the rest area and I had decided it was located. Once more Mother was sure it was the wrong direction, but around another bend, there was the Econolodge. We checked in and unpacked the car. The next task was supper. Mother checked the AAA Tour Book and we settled on the Main Street Bar and Grill an establishment run by students at the New England Culinary Institute. We had fish and chips what were hot and tasty. Mother had a local Vermont lager beer, and I had a glass of a light, fruity German wine. We left satisfied and headed back to the motel to collapse for the night. We are spending two nights here. Tomorrow is a full day of sightseeing.
"Go confidently into the direction of your dreams. Live the life you always imagined" Thoreau
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.