Over the years we have managed to create a nice group of “photo friends” here in the Land of Blog. As Kathy & I travel, we like to make a point of seeking out our photo friends whenever we are nearby. Interestingly, it seems that the friends we do meet are often the ones farther away. For example, Faye lives near Charlotte after a having lived in Atlanta, but we have never met. We saw Earl numerous times when he lived more than an hour away, but since he moved closer to us we haven’t seen him. We have visited Monte in Colorado a number of times. Although Jeff lives in Wisconsin and Michigan and we have visited him there, we met for the first time in Italy! 😉
When we planned our trip to New England, I knew that we would be “in the neighborhood” of several of our friends and worked to set up some meetings. Paul and Ken, both in the Rochester area of New York, and recent Maine transplant Joe were on the radar.
Joe and his partner Katherine were up for meeting for lunch at a lobster shack on the Maine coast before spending time in Boothbay Harbor. He and I spent a little time photographing in Boothbay before we parted company. We managed to meet up with Ken, his wife Michele and Paul for lunch while we were in Rochester visiting the Eastman Museum.
Photographers being photographers, Joe and I never thought to get a photo of us together, although we each managed to get photos of each other so there is photographic evidence – albeit circumstantial – of us being in the same place! We asked our waitress in Rochester to take our picture, but when I looked at the camera she had never pushed the shutter button! Fortunately we corralled a waiter who was also a photographer, so he did manage to shoot a few photos, although the lighting could have been better. 😉
It’s always nice to put faces and personalities with names and websites. We hope to do some more as we continue to travel! 🙂
Photographers know this, of course. But for the few non-photographers who read my blog (and possibly even the photographers!) this might be interesting.
I took these two photos exactly 30 seconds apart. For the first one, above, there was just the right amount of light filtering through the clouds to provide some shape and contrast to the scene. In the second shot, below, the cloud has moved over the sun and the light has gone flat. Both of these photos are pretty nice, but to me the one with the shaping light and subtle shadows is the superior one.
If you have any interest in cameras and find yourself in central Virginia, the Camera Heritage Museum in Staunton (pronounced STAN-ton) is a must-see. Located in a former camera store, this place is crazy full of cameras of all kinds, and the stuff in the showroom is only part of the collection. According to the guy we talked to (mostly he talked to us!) they have store rooms throughout the city with more cameras. They just don’t have room to display them all. They claim to be the largest camera store open to the public in the US, and although I have nothing to compare it to and even after visiting the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, I believe it!
Check out their website. It tells you more than I can ever tell in a blog post. But you definitely have to see it in person to really appreciate it!
How could you pass up a distillery named ‘Wiggly Bridge?’ You have to stop, right? 😉
Kathy & I enjoy stopping at wineries and distilleries on our road trips. Partly because we like bringing home souvenirs, but mostly (really!) because we love hearing the stories. Each place we visit has a story or two about their history, their products, their facilities and more. Sometimes many stories!
While we were in Rockport, MA, we visited two distilleries. Wiggly Bridge was about an hour up the road and just across the Maine border in York. We combined that with a visit to Bob’s Clam Hut, a local and tourist-favorite clam shack in Kittery. Two for one! 🙂
The story behind Wiggly Bridge is that it started as a bit of a joke between father and son, and turned into a full-time business. They even taught themselves how to build their first still. The distillery is located in an old barn, and windows in the tasting room look down on the distillery. A tour there starts at the bar with a cocktail made with one of their products, moves “across the room” to look at the distilling room, then returns to the bar for a tasting. The distillery produces whisky, rum, vodka, gin and agave spirits. Since this was our first stop we limited ourselves to a whisky and a rum.
After that, we drove back to Gloucester, MA to Ryan & Wood Distillery. Owner and co-founder Bob Ryan did our tasting and told the stories. If it wasn’t for two guys who walked in just as we were finishing our tasting, we might still be there listening to Bob. 😉 But we were “saved” and managed to get away with just four bottles – a rye whisky, a wheat whisky and two gins, one of which is aged in former rye whisky barrels. Yum!
Later in our trip, as we traveled from New Hampshire to Vermont, we stopped at the Vermont Spirits Distillery in Quechee, VT. Their claim to fame is a vodka made from maple sugar. We tried it and it was interesting, but to me it wasn’t something I wanted to bring home. Their 15 Hands bourbon and their bourbon barrel aged gin were pretty tasty, so we did bring home some samples of those.
In New York, we stopped by Finger Lakes Distilling, where we tasted but didn’t buy. We were mostly killing time before a wine tasting. 😉 Their spirits were quite good, but since we were already getting overloaded (in the car, in the car!), we decided to pass until next time.
Also in the photo above is Gunpowder Rye from New England Distilling Co. We didn’t visit there, but Kathy had that at a bar in Maine and loved it so much we had to track some down in Bar Harbor. That also made the trip home!
We visited three wineries in the Finger Lakes Region of NY but bought from only two. We purchased wine from Heron Hill and from Atwater, but chose to pass on wine from Dr. Konstanin Frank. We liked all of the wine but we were kind of choosy about whether we were getting a deal or not. If I can get a good discount and/or free shipping, I’m interested. Otherwise I can always buy online from home. Plus, we already have a pretty good supply on hand at home! 😉
One of the fun things about the Finger Lakes wineries is that we were introduced to several new – to us – varietals. Blaufrankisch is a grape that is widely grown in Europe and was introduced in NY from Austria. Baco Noir is a hybrid winemaking grape created in 1902 by French botanist François Baco. The unique climate in New York state is ideal for growing these types of grapes, and the results are really good. We were quite impressed and will continue to keep NY in mind as a source of good wine!
Oh, yeah, I almost forgot – there was also maple syrup from Vermont! 🙂
We capped off our adventure today with a cruise on Seneca Lake and a visit to both a distillery and a winery. More souvenirs! This is a pretty typical and boring tourist shot but it is a landmark in the town of Watkins Glen.
Kathy & I drove to Rochester today to visit the Eastman House and – more importantly – meet up with some of our photo friends (more on that later). This photo is not necessarily representative of the experience but is one of my favorites for the day.
We’ve got one more day in the Finger Lakes before we head south on Saturday. We should be sleeping in our own bed on Sunday and are looking forward to it!
Other than the Wright Brothers, perhaps no other individual is as important to the history of aviation than Glenn Curtiss. Just a few years after the Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903, Curtiss, almost single handedly, improved and advanced the newfangled airplane to see ever expanding commercial, military and personal application.
Curtiss’ various ventures centered in the area around Hammondsport, New York. The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum is a tribute to this aviation pioneer and is a fascinating place to learn about this area of aviation history.
I’m finding it quite easy to make these early morning excursions when I am in an interesting place to photograph. I went out this morning in front of the lodge where we are staying. It is still cloudy, although forecast to start clearing today. The soft cool morning light made long exposures easy. In this case 7.5 seconds on a tripod gave the water a nice blur while preserving some of the detail.
I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post that we are now officially at 49 states! The last one, of course, is Hawaii. We have plans to go there in February.
We happened upon this spot on our drive from Lake Placid to the Finger Lakes area of New York. Within minutes the breeze picked up and erased the reflections. A reminder to shoot what we see when we see it.
What better symbol of Vermont than a Ben & Jerry’s? While this is not the original – it was torn down long ago – this one is the flagship store in downtown Burlington. The factory is located a few miles east in Waterbury, but the store and visitor center are undergoing renovation and currently closed. We made do with this one. What flavor did we choose? New York Super Fudge Chunk – Chocolate Ice Cream with White & Dark Fudge Chunks, Pecans, Walnuts & Fudge-Covered Almonds!