Walmarts, Waterfalls, Wineries and Icecream

Memorial Day weekend 2016

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photo courtesy – everyone and a stranger

This weekend also included multiple trips to local walmarts, (our version of buying milk and eggs from friendly farms with dogs and pigs), a pitstop at the Black Bear winery (a winery that made wine from sorts of fruits and berries, but grapes), the Taughannock falls and icecreams the Cayuga Lake Creamery.

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Photo  Courtesy – everyone

Of the Black Bear winery, I have to say that the girl pouring at tasting was most thorough, washing out the glasses after each tasting and providing some background on the wine as well. We didn’t like any wine enough to buy, but it was a fun experience.

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Taughannock Falls in Summer and Winter

The last time we were at the Taughannock falls was two winters ago when we drove up all the way hoping to see the Niagara falls frozen over. There too much water, flowing too fast in the Niagara for it to completely freeze over, so on the way back we stopped over at the Taughannock falls.  On the same trip we ate so ice-cream at the Cayuga Lake Creamery, which we haven’t gotten over since. Never did we imagine we’d be back to either of these places.

Of Fathers, Daughters and Sons

Aug 1, 2015

akashs bday group pic

They say San Diego has the best zoo in the world. It truly is a magnificent zoo. After a lot of debate about not having his party in the park as always and wanting a reptile birthday, our little boy got to bring in his BIG FIVE at reptile house at San Diego Zoo. Appa and I visited together for Akash’s 1st and 3rd birthdays. We even had our own little adventure on our way to his first. Incidentally my first time at San Diego zoo was with Appa too. We ended up walking all around the massive grounds just looking for the bus stops. By the end, both of us were exhausted. I guess I should have seen the signs, but it was a lot of walking and we were still a little jet lagged.  Appa, we missed you terribly.

Akash's big 5 at the zoo

Junnu leads the pack through the reptile house;pointing out the snakes and at times reading the information plaques

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The babies don’t want to leave the play area. Slides are FUN!!

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Time to munch on the goodies in the goody bag

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Egging goats to fight at the petting zoo

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Snack Time! Tacos and Bro-made Sandwiches

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Singing for Cake

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Buttermilk Falls State Park

Memorial Day 2016

It’s the first weekend of summer; that beautiful time of the year again. How quickly time flies! This time, last year we were in Maine, torn between the majesty of the mountains and the ocean. This year, the husband has been hustled into another camping trip. He somehow convinces the universe that there is no way he can spend two days in a tent and we get the last spot in the campground, but for only one night.

Buttermilk Falls State Park and Binghamton ZooThe hike up Buttermilk falls is a more like a pleasant walk uphill. The day is hot and I am sorely tempted to drench my body and soul under the falling waters.I almost give in, going as far as the edge of the waterfall, but am scared away by the slippery rocks under it.

When we get to the top of the gorge trail, we have two options – we could either go back down via the rim trail or we could go further up, along the bear trail. A few steps into the bear trail and we spot a wood pecker, hard at work. A few more steps and we are joined unexpectedly by rain. We shelter under a tree for a few long minutes before deciding that if we have to get wet, we may as well walk. We shelter again in a shed at the Rim Trail parking lot. Then the sun comes out and we slip and slither our way down.

 

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Halki phulki si hai zindagi, bojh to khwahishon ka hai

Camping in the rain comes with it’s own challenges. In a small window between the showers we struggle to set up our tent. No matter how hard we try, we just couldn’t get it to stand. Once we had ours up, setting up the second tent is a breeze. While the others feel that the rain is ruining everything, I am the sort who can see the rain dragons.  Remember those days when you loved to run barefoot, mud squelching between your toes? It does make it harder though, to cook outdoors or set up camp or even just stay dry, and it sure helps if you have a way to clean up before you get into your tent.

 

Note to self – unless there’s gale and you’re pitching at the end of a cliff, forget the stakes, just lock the pins into the frame and the tent will stand. Easy-Peasy!

Second note to self – carry two bags of coal. We always run short of coal for breakfast.

Binghamton Zoo

I stand firmly with those who believe that animals belong in the wild and must not be caged for the pleasure of human viewing. People no longer have to go to zoos to see wild and exotic creatures, they can see them on the internet.The shooting of Harambe, the silverback gorilla at Cincinnati zoo makes a good case for this argument. On the other hand, the internet can provide more information than zoos do, yet zoos serve well to generate empathy for animals. The sight, sound, smell; the very presence of the animal fills the heart in a way no internet image could.

Binghamton Zoo1We went to the Binghamton Zoo mainly because we were in the area and they have a snow leopard. A small zoo, in a small town; we weren’t expecting much.  The zoo was a pleasant surprise.  The zoo is full of exotic, hard to see species like red pandas, lemurs, cougars, golden timur monkeys, arctic foxes, penguins, the snow leopard.. and then there are peacocks, otters, a bear, owls, eagles, vultures, a nile leopard and some more. The last one hour is free. When the zoo closes the animals retire into a private space beyond the viewing enclosure. Much like a day job.

Binghamton ZooDo pop in if you ever get a chance, and please please please try not to fall into the bear enclosure.