Sixty-seven years ago my parents met at Lake George where they were camping out on Forked Island. I've always wanted to visit the place of my 'preconception' so I was delighted when Elliott arranged to go to a conference at Lake George this past July. Part of the plan was to visit my father in Grafton, proceed to Lake George, visit our friends Suvir and Charlie's farm in Salem (where I will be returning early October for some fun book related events--stay tuned!) and then return to my father on the way home. The Sagamore Hotel, located by the crystal-clear lake, was very beautiful and restful. The one thing I always miss most when away from home is my Nespresso cappuccino but not this trip as I brought along my portable Nespresso system. Luckily the hotel provided me with a refrigerator to store the milk so I set up my coffee maker and was good to go!
Suvir and Charlie rescued us for delightful lunches at the Chocolate Mill in Glens Falls and Mrs. London's Bakery and Max London's Restaurant in Saratoga (fabulous photos to come in subsequent postings). One of the major highlights of the trip was a pilgrimage to Yaddo Gardens, an artist retreat in Saratoga Springs. I had been looking for the sun dial on which was inscribed a poem that I had seen in a New York City bus over 40 years ago which was attributed to the University of Virginia. I had even called the University in search of the exact words but they assured me there was no such sundial on their campus. Thanks to the Web, after all these years, the week before leaving for our trip, I discovered the true location of the sundial and the name of the poet: Henry Van Dyke. Of course we had to visit it. I discovered that there were two poems on the sun dial. The one that I was looking for, was a perfect and simple expression of love, is decoratively inscribed around the border and so is hard to read. I will write it here: Hours Fly, Flowers Die, New Days, Old Ways Pass By, Love Stays. The Beautiful Flowers of Yaddo Gardens After the conference at Lake George was over, a lovely long drive through winding country roads landed us at Suvir and Charlie's farm where we had a tour of the amazingly beautiful endangered animals that is their mission to preserve. We were delighted by the friendly rooster who preferred to hang out with the sheep to his flock of hens and I held a tiny, fluffy, 3 day old black duckling in my hands. For dinner, we drove an hour to Max London's because Charlie needed to deliver his fresh eggs for their brunch the next morning. (We were delighted to have an excuse to return to eat this fabulous food though we had been looking forward to an Indian dinner cooked by Suvir.) Before departing for Grafton Suvir spoiled us with a marvelous country breakfast he prepared in his beautiful country kitchen. There was meltingly buttery biscuits with crème fraîche, home-made strawberry and blackberry jams (he sent us home with jars of them for us and my dad) eggs fried with a sprinkling of Parmesan that deliciously melted into them so that one wouldn't even know it were there except that it added undefinable flavor, and home-cured bacon. Part 2 will feature photos of Mrs. London's Bakery!