Saturday - June 30

Very windy, hot and humid!    We walked to the Shirt Factory Café for breakfast - this is such a quaint place and fun to read the history about all these Newell shirts which past presidents have worn and other famous folks.
We frequently see "Avocado Toast" on menus but never tried, today that's what I had and it was delicious.   
Avocado Toast
On our way at 9 and only traveled 5 miles with 2 lift bridges and at least 5 others.
We are in Middleport and coming in to tie up along the wall ($10 donation), the wind and current were very strong.    Mark was at the helm (we take turns and when it's calm, I bring us in, but today...I was more than happy to let him do it.)    Trying to hold onto the docking pole and a line to wrap around the cleat...……… wasn't pretty.    Docking pole went into the water (thankfully they float) and took several attempts to lasso that cleat, but finally got it.    Not my best moment!  
Once settled, we got the AC on and took a very quick walk around the 1 block here that is town and next to Catrina.    Our main focus today is LAUNDRY and by golly, we hit the jackpot as there are very few businesses/shops on Main Street, but the back entrance to the Washboard Laundromat is just steps from Catrina and has a ramp making it easy to pull our laundry cart!    Just about every little village has laundry facilities but they are never close to where we are.    So....since we'll never be any closer than this, we decided to wash all our canvas, too, in the large machines - 2 bimini covers and dinghy cover!
5 loads of clothes and 3 loads of canvas later and tah dah....we are happy and clean boaters!  
Walked to Alternative Grounds Caffe for some ice cream - Mark had a chocolate milk shake and I had a cup of peanut butter chip.    Some folks came out of Pony's Irish Pub and said they had just had the most delicious chicken tenders.....she was from Cleveland and never had anything so good.    So...we got an order of 4 to go and along with bleu cheese for dipping - they were very good indeed!
Ryan is in Traverse City, Michigan this weekend watching the Blue Angels.    We have great memories from 2 years ago enjoying the show (and Ryan) with family and friends.
Anne is with Liam at his tournament in Portage, IN and Auntie Karen (Mark's youngest sister) and Connor are in Chatham, IL for his baseball games.....sure thinking of them in this heat!    Auntie said it "feels" like 113...……...oh dear!     Feels like 101 here....
As we were walking to dinner we ran into Tab and Maureen from Long Island who are docked 2 boats behind us.    They were just finishing their laundry and told us about a BBQ place (not many choices for dinner here in Middleport.)    It was 6/10 of a mile and a hot walk but it is windy, so....glad to be in the AC and enjoyed visiting and eating our ribs, chicken and sides - all very good.
We were the only customers at Baby Ribs (featuring the late Mrs. Ribs), our meals were served in to-go containers and corn bread was to be part of the meal, but Brigade said she had eaten it all!!!     A unique place with a food truck as their main business!    Glad we made this memory and enjoyed our visit with Tab and Maureen.
Monique, Eula (owner) and Brigade
Maureen and Tab
Catrina's Captain
How can it be the end of June and 2018 is now 1/2 over....SLOW down TIME, please!
We have one day left to reach the end of the Erie onward to Tonawanda (40 miles)

Friday - June 29

Sunny, warm and breezy.....Mark exercised, we had breakfast and then were off at 9:15 leaving Albion and heading to Medina.    11 miles past lots of farm country including apple orchards, vineyards, corn and soybean fields.    Saw more (what we think....) are farm-to-table fields and/organic (those stripes from a few days ago).    We are just 10 miles south of Lake Ontario.

One of many farms we cruised past today

Passed thru 2 more lift bridges today and they all fly the Erie Canal flag, the New York state flag and of course, the good ole red, white and blue!

Entering Medina
Another cute little village with a welcome from Rusty, the part-time bridge operator and part-time musician (country).    And then a neighbor on another boat came by to tell us about this and that, and as always, "where to eat"!
We walked downtown and found Fitzgibbons Celtic Pub....such a nice day and tables in the shade, so we sat outside and enjoyed fish 'n chips (Mark) and fish Reuben on grilled sourdough (me)

excellent lunch...again
Neat architecture downtown 
This is famous Medina sandstone

After lunch I walked around downtown and Mark was off to get a haircut and bag of ice.

Cute little Visitor's Center
We met back on Catrina, took a little siesta, read and enjoyed the AC as it is really warm today and temps are going to climb thru the weekend - same for much of the country.
Went for a bike ride, found the Medina Waterfall, and then stopped at The Shirt Factory Café.    A great little coffee ship in the old Robert Newell Shirt Factory which goes back to 1900. 
Medina Falls

More sandstone architecture

Enjoyed our iced coffee (Mark) and my pina colada smoothie at this very eclectic place with so much history.   Some of their sandwiches are named after celebrities who have bought shirts from them way back when....Bob Hope, Robert Redford, Rich Little. Roy Rogers, etc.    
Robert Newell operated this shirt factory from 1918-2004. 

 Here's our rosy-cheeked sweetie pie
Luke, Maeve and Mommy went hiking today on the Fonta Flora Trail
Leftovers tonight, stayed in and read our books.

Thursday - June 28

June 28, 1969 
June 28, 2018
A mostly cloudy day till late till around 2ish when the sun came out and temp reached 80 degrees.    We saw more boats today on the canal than all the days put together since we've been cruising.
 NY, OH, FL, and Canada.
A quick trip from Holley (10 miles) crossing under 3 more lift bridges and we were in Albion.    We settled Catrina along the wall (another freebie) and set off for downtown which is right here!    We went a short distance when 3 different people (the ONLY ones we saw on the streets) stopped and asked if they could help us, if we needed a ride, welcoming is that???
The 2nd good Samaritan told us a good place for lunch - "39 Problems" - interesting name but neat place in old building with the brick walls and great food.

Delicious Monte Cristo sandwich (a favorite of Anne's)
Some neat architecture in downtown Albion dating from 1825
and nicely painted park benches - this one of the Albion cemetery
Devastated and heartbroken to hear about today's tragedy in Annapolis - such a beautiful and favorite city of ours.    Why oh why....

So much ugliness and hatred going on in our country....if we didn't watch TV (occasionally) or read the news on the internet, we would have no idea what's going on in the world.    We are up here so far away from it all.....but where is anyone safe these days?
Mark's brother Jim and Lydia have been vacationing in Maine with their RV this past month.    They are now headed home to St. Louis and staying overnight at Kamp Komfort.    Anne, Patrick, Liam and Connor joined them for dinner at Busy Corner!

Patrick, Anne, Liam, Connor, Lydia, Jim

Who needs a fancy schmancy dinner on their anniversary when you can have a "concert in the park" (a Thursday night summer tradition in Albion)?   Tonight's group is "The Lonely Ones" (folk music). Catrina is docked right in front of the park and adjacent is the Albion Fire Department grilling hamburgers and hot dogs!     What a deal!
We sat on Catrina's bridge and enjoyed our cheeseburgers, chips and drinks on this beautiful evening.
It's been a great day and we thank you for all the good wishes!

Wednesday - June 27

Rainy start to the day and then a lull of several hours of no rain.....we had sausage/cheese omelets and toast for breakfast, caught up on e-mails, Mark walked to the post office to mail some cards and exercised and then we hunkered down waiting for all the rain predicted.
We met this gal who set up her easel and paints here at the gazebo this afternoon.  Priscilla lives 1 hour south and had thought she would do the biking trip (Buffalo to Albany - 340 miles).   We talked about all the bikers who do this averaging 50 miles a day and taking a week!    YIKES!!!!   Since this was not feasible for her to do, she is back at painting.    We are the first boat she's painting.  She was so nice to visit with and told more history of the original Erie Canal.

This is Priscilla and her son's home when they are camping!
This afternoon a charter canal boat tied up in front of us, so we have neighbors tonight.
Had a good phone chat with Drew this afternoon and heard all about his orientation the past few days at the University of Iowa.   He's excited and August 14th will be here soon!
He will be a true blue Hawkeye and will be living in the same dorm as his Dad many years ago!
 Tomorrow we are off to Albion and celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary!

Tuesday - June 26

Another perfect day on the water.....Mark walked downtown Spencerport and brought back coffee/latte and a cinnamon roll to share from Café Macchiato    Never met a cinnamon roll we didn't like!    This was excellent
We left around 9:40 and along the way we saw some agriculture - corn fields (not nearly as tall as what we have back in the Midwest) - also fields of ??? below
It appeared to be different things growing with irrigation lines separating making a "stripe" effect?
We decided to stop in Brockport, a college town (SUNY - State University of New York) a short little jaunt and again, went under many bridges and lots of folks enjoying the trail along the canal getting exercise!  What a nice little town to tie up temporarily and walk around.     I found some cute shops and a very nice bookstore.   As we see in almost all of these small towns, antique shops are still going strong up here. Once again, very friendly local folks who want to know where we're from, where we're headed, etc.   Mark's 1/2 of the cinnamon roll had worn off, so he got a blueberry muffin at the Red Bud Café
 (gift shop and tea room).   
While I was walking around, Laura returned my call (one of the orthopedic nurses).    She was very happy to hear my hip is doing sooo much better.    We'll just "wait and see" what happens from here on....but the prednisone has definitely worked and I am so very thankful.   "Hope" has been collapsed and stored away for now.    Sure don't want to jinx this!!!
We moved on 5 miles to Holley where we plan to stay for a few days as there's a 90% chance of rain tomorrow.    Another pretty town with a gazebo along our dock wall, flowers, etc.   We walked about 5 blocks to the downtown - only 1600+ folks reside here.   
Laughed at this sign which is near where we are docked and
now you know the "rest of the story"
 Checked out the pharmacy which had just 1 item each of the various supplies on the shelves.   
Downtown Holley beauties 
Sam's Diner had been recommended as a really good spot to, of course, we checked it out and it was right on.    And so, after we gave ourselves a little talking to about not eating out so much, here we are AGAIN!!!     We are doing our part to support these neat little villages - however, our waistlines are another story,
Good place
Back to the boat, got our bikes and off for a little ride - we heard that a beautiful waterfall made Holley one of the prettiest towns on the Erie Canal.    We found it and it was really neat in a nice park-like setting,
Holley Falls
Back to the boat - I read and napped while Mark tinkered with his new GPS
We only traveled about 11 miles total today but it's in such a relaxed setting - we both agree we've never had this sort of boating experience.    The speed limit on the canal is just 10 mph and we usually cruise around 8 mph.    The depth is just 8-12'.
Dr. John has a green thumb and enjoys planting, digging up and replanting, etc,, so after visiting Catrina and seeing we nomads had NO green living things onboard, he gave us 2 dahlia plants which will bloom in a few weeks.
In all our years of boating, we've never had any plants - mainly cause we're usually cruising much faster and if they should topple over, a big mess + I've never had the "greenest" thumb.    But with this leisurely speed, we are excited about some pretty blooms....will keep you posted! 
Brooke and Drew are in Iowa City for orientation - not that long before he's a Hawkeye and off to college!!!

Here's Catrina in another pretty setting in Holley, New York
Happy 25th Anniversary to our dear friends, Allie and Owen
After 5 days of spending time on and off with John and Cindy....we missed them today!
So fun catching up....see them in another month hopefully!

Monday - June 25

Today I pinched myself and thanked God for this magnificent day -  the perfect blue skies and 70-degree temps (the air was so fresh after the rain), cruising along hearing the birds chirp (just us and nature) and especially that Mark and I are able to do this very enjoyable trip along
 the Erie Canal this summer.
And VERY thankful my hip is feeling much better!
About to cross under the Fairport Bridge which has to be lifted for us
One more walk across the bridge to Fair Pour for coffee (maple/cinnamon latte) and delish pastries before we left Fairport at 9:35 (25 miles, 2 locks and MANY bridges).    We had our full bimini down along with the antenna and radar arch for entire trip - so many of the bridges are really low.    Arrived in Spencerport at 1:15 - another neat little village.    First order of business after settling Catrina along the south wall (free) and lunch, was to get the bikes off and go for a ride along the canal.    From the time we left Fairport the biking/walking/running path follows us and soo many bikers, walkers, runners, babies being pushed in strollers and dogs walked by their masters.    It is a popular place and so serene and pretty.
Only a few boats on the canal today - here's another rental canal boat
The Towpath Canal or Erie Canal Trail follows along where so many years ago the mules pulled the barges after this canal was built which certainly blows our minds.    Thinking of  the tremendous manpower it took to have this excavated and dug out along with 4 miles of digging thru rock (rock cut).   WOW...…a definite engineering feat for its time.
Part of the 4-mile stretch of rock wall
After the bike ride, we walked around downtown , checked out the shops, restaurants, Mark got some ice cream and then we picked up a few groceries at Top's.    On back to Catrina to read and just enjoy this awesome day.

Catrina in Spencerport, New York
John and Cindy live just 4 miles from where we are docked tonight.    They came over around 5:30 and we had drinks and snacks and then off to "Grandpa Sam's Italian Kitchen" for some very good Italian fare. 
Cousin John and Cindy
Looking forward to seeing them again in about a month when we are passing thru this way again.

Sunday - June 24

Off to 8:30 Mass at Church of the Assumption and Father Ed's last day before retiring after 17 years.    Obviously he is very well liked and we could see why - gave a great homily and the entire parish showed a great sense of faith and love.     He is a favorite of John and Cindy + he married Brian and Emma and baptized Lucas.
Mark needed a few things at Home Depot, so off we went and then to Riki's Diner for breakfast.    What a place - great reviews on Trip Advisor and a very popular spot on a Sunday morning.    Luckily there was a table for 2 when we got there as others were waiting; and they kept coming and coming.    Delicious cinnamon bread French Toast for me and Mark was happy with his biscuits and gravy!   
Back to Catrina and wanted a bike ride before we leave this neat little village - rain is in the forecast but wasn't predicted till noon and radar didn't show that it was coming just yet, so around 11ish we took off on the canal path.....didn't get very far and felt the first drops - aarrghhhh……..we went a little further, turned around, locked up the bikes under the pavilion downtown and came back to Catrina.
John and Cindy came in the rain - we visited on Catrina and then walked to The Royal Café for gelato and hot chocolate (Cindy) - very good stuff!
John and Cindy
Beautiful flowers in Fairport 
Italian sounded good on this cool, rainy Sunday night, so we were off (3 blocks) to Mr. Dominic's which both Cindy and Emma had recommended and got great reviews on Trip Advisor.
It's in a huge old house (The Green Lantern Inn), but parking lot was full and we were told there was a long wait....bummer....onto plan B which was to walk towards Catrina and have dinner at The Porterhouse which overlooks Catrina.    We enjoyed our dinners (sea bass for me and tenderloin tips over angel hair for Mark). 
Connor and Liam with their new toys
on Olde Farm Lake

We have so enjoyed the past 4 days here in Fairport!    A wonderful charming village,
But tomorrow we are moving on....Spencerport, here we come!

Saturday - June 23

What a fun day.....rained during the night but then held off for most of the day.    I got a manicure at Pharoh's Harum by Becca and then we walked to the Farmer's Market.    Lots of good-looking food items, flowers, etc., but didn't see anything we had to have.
Drove to Rochester and toured the Susan B. Anthony home - really enjoyed that and now we know the story of how women's voting rights came to be and what an amazing woman she was.  Our docent was Jillian and she was excellent!    We were the only ones in our 11:15 tour so made it nice and personal.    The group following us had at least 15-20 people. 
Us outside the Anthony home on Madison Street - Rochester
After our tour we drove to Cheesy Eddie's - thought it was a lunch spot, but actually a pastry/coffee shop.    But oh my....a real specialty pastry shop with all these wonderful cheesecakes (could buy by the slice, small or large cakes) - Mark had a piece of carrot cake and I had a chocolate chip w/cream cheese cookie.    Both were EXCELLENT!!!
Off to John and Cindy's home and spent the afternoon chatting away - what a fun time to do more yakkin about our families, health issues, questions in the medical field for John, etc.    He taught at the University of Rochester (residency students) and had his practice of Med/peds for 38 years.
It rained later in the afternoon
Around 5:30 we drove to the Mesquite Grill for delicious Mexican fare and more chatter.   Said our good byes and on home.   Such a fun time and a beautiful evening with the sun shining after the rain.
  We stopped at Catrina shortly and then walked to Main Street - today was the Great Race of old cars which came to town - 150 oldies (1972 or earlier) from all over the world.   They left Buffalo today and will be stopping at several towns all the way to Halifax over the next 9 days.
Most of them had left and the clean-up of vendors, loading up cars, etc., was going on, but did get to see some...
This one was called "Miss Daisy"
Check out the old-time head gear

One of the canal boats along the Erie that you can rent out for 3, 4 or 7 days.  
  Price for a week is $2700
So, it was another memorable day here in upstate New York.

Friday - June 22

We were off this morning heading to "Fair Pour" - neat coffee shop across the bridge - my kind of  coffee café with all natural flavors for my latte - I had maple cinnamon and it was delish along with our pastries.    And then we were off to Pittsford just 5 miles away - another neat little village along the canal and where we'll stop when we return this way coming back from Buffalo.
Most of the shops were closed - still too early but I could tell it was "my kind of town"!
On to Rochester and the George Eastman museum and home which is the oldest museum dedicated to photography and opened in 1949.   This was where Kodak all began and so enjoyed touring the museum and his fabulous 35,000 sq. ft. mansion with 15 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, etc.,    George never married - a very good docent (Sherry) and tour.
We had a light lunch at the museum café which was very good and then drove around Rochester.
Along the way we saw so many beautiful older homes and love all the unique architecture!
Back to Fairport and Catrina after a quick stop at Top's for a few groceries.
This afternoon John and Lucas came by and Mark took Lucas for 3 separate dinghy rides - Lucas loved the "little" boat!  
Lucas in the dinghy
Brian, Emma and Evan came on Catrina for drinks/snacks and visiting and then we all enjoyed a great dinner at Mulconry's Irish Pub.
  Back to Catrina for more visiting an then said our good byes to Brain, Emma and boys - hope to see them again soon.    What a delight that Lucas is.....very vocal, but such good manners and just a little sweetie!
And then there's Evan....
Little doll

Thursday - June 21

"Oh what a beautiful morning...oh what a beautiful day" the song goes and it was just that and more!
We walked to Muddy Waters on the canal and a short jaunt from Catrina for breakfast (sandwiches and coffee/tea).    A hang out for the locals and several gals together celebrating a birthday - another friend bought a bundt cake to share - good ole girlfriend fun!
Mark's cousin, John and Cindy and their darling grandson, Lucas (4 on July 1st)) arrived at 10 and after a bit of chatter, we undid the lines, left Palmyra and started cruising on the canal (12 miles and 2 locks).    Cooler temps today but with the wind behind us, so pleasant in the sunshine.   We had some yummy oatmeal, chocolate chip, walnut cookies along the way compliments of Muddy Waters.

Lucas is driving Catrina

Cindy, Lucas, John
Arrived in Fairport (where Lucas lives) - John and Cindy live in Rochester.    Cindy had left a car here and they all went back to Palmyra to get their other car and gave neighbor John (he and Weezie on "Freedom" are here along the wall in front of us) a ride to get their van.    Anyway, all those logistics worked out well.   Said good bye to the kin till later today and Mark and I took off to explore this nice town - we had ice cream at the Ice Cream Factory, walked around, sat in the sunshine and then opened 3 weeks of mail which we had sent to John and Cindy.   Then a short nap. 
Planning to stay here till Monday and should be lots of fun with plenty of shops, eateries, bike path, ice cream shops (3), coffee, etc. all in such a pretty setting along the canal wall.    The fee here is $14 a night (still a bargain)!!!    From what we've seen so far, this little town will live up to being called
"The Crown Jewel on the Erie Canal"

John and Lucas picked us up at 4 and we went to John and Cindy's oldest son Brian's home......Brian, Emma, Lucas and Evan (13 months) have a lovely home and we had such a nice evening visiting, with awesome dinner of Italian Beef sandwiches, roasted potatoes, Asian slaw, watermelon, topped off with strawberry shortcake - all delicious and so nice eating on the patio this beautiful evening.
Can't beat a good home-cooked meal and a real treat for we nomads.

Sitting in their sunroom, I had a good chat with Dr.John who retired from his medical practice 1 year ago.    I gave him the nitty gritty on my hip.     He thinks I will probably need another injection and that should do the trick.    After I'm off the prednisone, I will check in with my PA and see what he suggests as to length between injections (5 weeks ago today was 1st one).    Sure enjoyed his expertise on the hip and other medical topics.
Brian is a pharmacist, so I could fire away with my ???

John and Cindy have 4 sons.   Brian (Fairport), Ben (Asheville), John (Washington DC) and Jeff (Rochester)

Emma, Lucas, Brian, Evan

Jeff (youngest son)
Grandpa and Evan enjoying yummy dessert
John and Cindy have graciously given us Cindy's car to use while we're in Fairport.    So we have wheels and plan to do some serious checking out the area!    Much appreciated!
Came back to Catrina, grabbed a jacket/sweater and walked a short distance to the bandstand where the Thursday night concert was happening - we were near the end and heard John Denver (Country Roads) but then the grand finale was all patriotic music!    Wonderful!!!

Great music in the park

Luke and Daddy out for a ride

So sorry to hear about Charles Krauthammer's passing - a real class act