The Lights are Off and We’re Buttoned Down

It’s a shame really…everything looks so organized and pretty and the trees are really justpa090057.JPG hitting their full color…and there’s no one here but me to enjoy it…Does this mean I’m really an exhibitionist at heart? Over the past few days we’ve gotten all of the picnic tables stacked in protected places (no small feat when you consider that there’s at least 150 of them scattered over the 40 acres), winterized all of our rentals and seasonal trailers, buttoned pa090058.JPGdown the lobster shack and put away the garden benches and ornaments. Closure feels good though. Last night when we went to bed with the lights of the soda machines turned off, I felt like I could now settle in for a long winter’s nap.

In my quest for fulfilling my first declarations as queen, yesterday Kaylin and I planted 250 daffodil bulbs in the garden closest to Route 1. The catalogue says that these “choice” bulbs will not only fill my garden with color from the first moments of spring until the first warm breezes of summer BUT they will multiply each year for decades to come…so we carefullypa090059.JPG measured out holes 6″ deep and covered them with compost, worm castings and soon more seaweed…please come visit in the Spring and together we’ll see if the pictures in the catalogue are really do-able by average humans.

As for the tree house rental cabin, Steven loved the book I bought and has agreed to the project…we’re going to site it at the top of the knoll (just over the bridge in picture two of this post, amongst the healthy oak trees). Picture three will be the view when you’re standing on the deck (in this photo the tide is low). Our first tree house will be small (sleeping a total of four) and then we’ll try bigger for tree-house number two. It’s so exciting!

With things closed down, I’m going to take JJ the boxer with me for a little road trip and camping expedition. Sadly we’re leaving Steven home to teach at the middle school but who knows, in a few years he might come along too. After visiting for a night or two with family, we’ll going to camp in Rhinebeck, NY while I attend the Sheep and Wool Festival…two days of spinning, weaving, knitting…and wine tasting!

pa090069.JPGYou’d think that my work here of taking reservations would make vacation planning easy but guess again. In order to find a campground close to the festival, I first had to find the state website….they wanted me to tell the search engine which region I was looking for…but didn’t provide me with a searchable map so I could find Rhinebeck and its region…so now I had to do a Google search of the NY tourism regions (why do most bone-head state agencies assume you know the often meaningless words they’ve chosen for their regions…Maine does it too). Once I knew Rhinebeck was in the Taconic region, then I could search for the park (all of the private campgrounds listed on the Rhinebeck Chamber website were either closed or for RV’s only)…but the state park I wanted was listed under two different names that weren’t cross referenced…I finally get to where I wanted to bepa090066.JPG and clicked the “make a reservation” button…well that shoots you to another website. As you may know, in NY you reserve a specific campsite based on a map of icons…so how can I know which site is best for tents? Undeterred, I call the number on the computer screen and get a friendly woman who quickly explains to me that she loves to camp, would love to help me make a reservation but doesn’t have any idea what the campsites look like. Well, I know that things shouldn’t be too crowded next week so I figured I’d make a reservation and then I’d shift to the best open site once I got there. WRONG. In NY first you pay $16.00 for the right to make a reservation and then if you want to change sites, you pay an ADDITIONAL $8 for that privilege…are you kidding me? I’m the first person to know that the comfort of any given site depends largely on your neighbors and your proximity to playgrounds and bathrooms~ particularly if you’re camping in a tent. So I again asked the reservationist to describe the sites to me…sorry, she didn’t have any pictures and had never visited the campground. Sensing my mounting frustration, she offered to give me the park’s direct phone number and although the park attendant couldn’t make a reservation, he’d be able to describe the sites…

OK…I call the state park directly, I leave a message, I wait a few hours, I call again, I leave another message, I wait another couple of hours and a nice guy calls me back…he says take any of the teen sites or number 11…great information…but he also says that things probably won’t be busy so if I want to avoid the reservation fee I could just drive in and pa090075.JPGbook when I got there. There’s another can of worms just tossed into my salad…I tell people all of the time that they don’t need a reservation in the fall…and I’m always surprised when they insist that I take a credit card number and a full reservation~ do they think I’m lying to them? Well now that the shoe is on the other foot, I have to decide whether or not to trust the ranger and not make a reservation…so I decide to watch the website for a few days, see if the sites start to book up and then make a move…

Long story short, I booked a site and I’ll let you know how it works out…I’m eventually going to make my way to Elkhart Indiana and expect to be gone about two weeks. I can promise you, when I get back, we’ll be making some changes to our website so that everyone will know exactly where we’re located and I’ll give you a cheat sheet about the “tourism terms) our state likes to employ…and I won’t inwardly laugh at the next person who INSISTS on making a reservation…he’s not so uptight after all! But for now I’ve got to take our tent into the rec hall and see if I can put it up and tear it down…I don’t want to appear helpless when I get to the site 🙂

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