We discovered that the playground at the Paul Smith's College VIC is just as much fun in winter...
... unless you get your boot stuck in a hole. Of course, your mother will laugh, because she still has dry socks and is watching from the sidelines. Not that this happened to us today. *ahem*
So, we went inside the VIC and attempted to focus on naturey things.
The Girl pretends we're going on a four gazillion mile hike today and points out our route on the topographical diorama. Uh, no.
We did enjoy an art installation that we'd forgotten was going to be there. The Boy took a shine to a $600 painting. Start saving, lad.
Funny story: when The Boy was 3 or 4 years old and we'd just moved back to the North Country from Merry-land, a huge bunch of crows would gather in our backyard every day and have a LOUD conversation. Our crazy little boy would run out into the yard and stand shouting at the crows, "HEY, YOU CROWS!! BE QUIET!!!" Every. Day.
You'll be pleased to know he restrained himself at the art show today and didn't shout once.
Grandma is always trying to make us learn. Sheesh.
Okay, so we did learn something new today, and not just that if you throw a skunk pelt on a boy he'll get a little freaked out. Heh. That too. We learned the term kames. Look it up.
If we had more gumption, we might have rented snowshoes and gone out on the trails. But, whatevs. I like the comfy log furniture inside.
The true highlight of my day? I stopped to gas up the car at the only gas station in Gabriels -- and I say this completely seriously -- it's my FAVORITE gas station. There's one pump, and it's the old-style analog dial numbers kind, where you have to flip the lever down after you lift off the pump handle. No pre-pay or pay-at-the-pump here, suckers. Gas up and THEN go in to pay. The icing on the cake for me was the patron in line ahead of me at the register inside; she was buying a 12-pack of Keystone Light, a can of vienna sausages and lottery tickets. And then got into a late-model Subaru and drove a mile down the road to a really nice house. Ah, it made me smile.
We also made our annual pilgrimage to the Saranac Lake ice castle -- er, palace.
Guess who even remembered to wear her long underwear this year... too much info? Sorry.
Tons of cool ice sculptures this year! Horses and dragons and knights, oh my!
One of the things I love about the Ice Palace is that the ice is harvested in blocks right from Lake Flower and constructed on the lake shore.
The Boy explaining ice harvesting to The Girl. Unused blocks are lining the edge of the frozen lake, in front of them.
This year, contemplating ice harvesting felt a little bittersweet. The Hubs' great uncle Bill used to cut ice from Our Lake and sell it to summer lake folk. It's something the long-time camp owners remember fondly, and one of the roads along the north end of The Lake is still called the Ice House Road.
Great Uncle Bill cutting ice during the winter of 1946-47
We miss Uncle Bill. He died last month at the age of 99, and was a fixture at The Lake for more than 50 years. It's because he started the family business on The Lake in 1946 that we are knee-deep in this Log Adventure, after all. I blame him.
Okay, I credit him. Thanks, HoneyBear. May your fishing spots be forever secret.