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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Travelogue, Day Four: My Hometown

The shore of Lake Ontario

I was born in, and lived in, Rochester New York for half of my childhood. My extended family still lives there, and I have many, many fond memories of that city. It's fairly rare that I find myself able to travel "home" very often, so I knew that a trip to Corning (only an hour and a half from Rochester) would mean a definite side trip.

On Saturday, the weather was beautiful -- sunny and slightly chilly and just perfect for looking at all the gorgeous fall leaves along the way. We made good time getting up to my grandmother's house, which is in a suburb of Rochester, literally right on the shore of Lake Ontario. It was great to see my grandmother, who is 85 and getting along in years. I brought her a photo album stuffed full of pictures of my family. Her memory isn't what it used to be.
The great thing about my family (well, one of the great things, anyway) is that we all live fairly long lives and most of us maintain our ability to be physically active long into our 80's. That makes me happy. Gram is doing great, and I wish I could see her more.

Kitty and I also spent some time on the lakeshore, which was incredibly windy and blustery!
I have such amazing memories of this beach, from childhood and from college years. I have always loved it, and always spend time skipping stones and looking for beach glass and heart-shaped rocks. I found both, plus some shells tossed up by the nor'easter.

On our walk, I discovered that the house I have coveted since I was a little girl is for sale. It's a beautiful 1907 house with incredible views of the lake and a loooong stretch of property that includes a portion of beachfront. It faces the lake and it just breathtaking. Alas, it is only 3 bedrooms (not enough for my family) and it's way out of our price range. Still, it was fun to think about.

After time at Grandma's, we met up with the wonderful Kerry Bogert for an afternoon (and evening!) of antique/junk/thrift shopping, the BEST margaritas and Mexican food I've ever had, and general hanging-out fun. I got to meet her beautiful children and terrific husband, see her house (I know, you are all jealous after seeing her pictures), and take lots of pictures.

Oh! I forgot! I took a quick side trip on the way to Kerry's house...I drove through the neighborhood I lived in when I was a kid. Seeing my old house is always fun. It's even red again (it has been red and brown over the past 30 years)!

227 Albemarle Street

I even remember our old phone number there. Isn't it funny how some things just stick with you? Of course the house looks smaller, and the driveway much less steep than it did when I was riding my bike down it as a child, but overall the feel was the same. The Japanese maple I climbed, the brick steps at the neighbor's that we all used as "base" for endless games of tag, the carriage house that was the garage...all there, and all the same. I wish I could have seen the inside and the yard, but I was polite and didn't want to intrude on the current owners.

But. I digress.

Back to the shopping! We visited Antiques and Old Lace, All That Jazz, and Rehouse, then went to Maria's in Webster for food and margaritas. Yum!

It was a fantastic day, and I was so happy to hang out with great friends and scour some really outstanding shops for great old stuff! I only bought a few vintage Rochester postcards from the early 1900's, but I was happy.

That night, we stayed at my aunt's house in Webster, and then got up really early to begin our trek back home. It was the end of a terrific, soul-filling trip, and I was happy.

Thanks for sticking with me through my travel stories! Back to art and jewelry in a few days, I promise!


Laura Twiford said...

What a great trip and so full of inspiration! Thanks for taking us along with you!

Melissa Meman said...

I have loved following your travelogue! Such great photos and fun!

Cindy said...

Christine, I enjoyed the trip to NY with you as well! Wow. You covered so much ground and relived so many memories. I think it is fantastic that you had the chance to visit your Grandmother. What I would give to be able to do that! I think about that often as I was so close to my Grandmother in Baltimore.
Your old childhood house is great - so much character! And the way you described your fond memories there, they felt like my own. How bittersweet to see your old house but not be able to go in. A few years ago Randy and I visited the house where I lived in the 2nd and 3rd grades in New Orleans, and it brought back so many memories too. I heard you and Kerry had a great time antiquing! Sure wish I could have been there.
I'm so glad for you that you had this rare opportunity to travel "home" and see friends and family!

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chocoholic said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous time. There is nothing like the East Coast to make you nostalgic and appreciate really old things and history. I didn't really appreciate all the history that surrounded me growing up until after I left for the west coast. Antiques are 100 years old or older. Love the shop and your photo of taking the photo in the mirror- clever!!


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