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October 26, 2007

Pumpkin Picking

Filed under: East End,Fall by Bill @ 3:37 pm

Did a little pumpkin picking on Long Island’s north fork this past weekend. We fought traffic, crowds, and heat, but had a wonderful time. (It’s all part of the experience.)

me holding a green pumpkinI associate pumpkins with flannel shirts and hot soup, not short sleeves and sweat.

The brutally hot weather we had is not all that unusual for this time of year, but this is October and I was hoping for a brisk autumn day.

Left: Every year the pumpkins get uglier and uglier. (Can’t say much about the picker either.) This alien green one came home with us.

Mother Nature gave us blue skies and a lot of sunshine instead, so who am I to argue?

Our first stop was Harbes Family Farm where we picked our pumpkins, walked the corn maze, and had a lunch of roasted corn and fresh pressed apple cider.

Next, we stopped at a few of Long Island’s outstanding wineries. If money were not an issue I’d have a wine cellar stocked with all of my favs…

We also made a stop at Sang Lee Farms for some fresh Long Island Apples, and the Little Cigar Factory for some hand made cigars. I’m not a cigar smoker, but once in a while I’ll have one just to remind myself how much I hate those darn things. (Don’t ask, I don’t understand it either.)

Then we ended the day with a nice dinner at the Modern Snack Bar — not fine dining, but I’ve never felt more at home.

A Cart
We filled two of these carts for a total of 150lbs of pumpkins.

If you haven’t picked your pumpkins yet, finding a place couldn’t be easier. There are signs everywhere for U-Pick style pumpkin farms, and if you want to combine pumpkin picking with wine tasting then just head out to the north fork. Drive east on 25 or 48, and you can’t miss.

October 5, 2007

Into the City

Filed under: New York City by Bill @ 3:35 pm

I had a great time at my 30th high school reunion in New York City this weekend and I just had to share some pictures with you…

The Empire State BuildingIf you’re reader of my website or know me personally you know that I’m a big believer in doing things locally.

Eat local, shop local, drink local, vacation local… Long Island has so much to offer that I just don’t see the point in going elsewhere for things we have right here.

Having said that, one of the things I love about living on Long Island is that it is easy to get away when you want to. Long Island Macarthur Airport is centrally located in Ronkonkoma, and New York City, the greatest city in the world, is about an hour away by train.

Left: The Empire State building as seen from the deck of our boat was an inspiring sight. The building was completed in record time before the age of computer aided everything and is testament to the old adage, when there’s a will there’s a way.

Just think about that for a minute—a 1 hour train ride and you’re in the greatest city on Earth. Then, when you’re done, you get to come back home.

How lucky we Long Islanders are to enjoy the best of urban, suburban, and rural life.

This easy access to New York City factored in to the planning of my 30 year high school reunion (Plainedge HS Class of ’77, you rock! And so do you Jeanne!) and this past weekend we all boarded a 130’ yacht for a nighttime cruise around Manhattan.

We had a fantastic time aboard Majestic Voyages’ Star of America, and the city skyline at night was spectacular.

Here are some pictures.

Nice Yacht
Lord Jim. Not the yacht we were on, but very similar in size and shape. I don’t have any pictures of the Star of America, sorry.

The sun was setting as we began our cruise.

Sailboat and the Statue of Liberty
This was a stunning sight. As we sailed past everyone just stopped talking and looked…

City skyline
The moon over the Brooklyn Bridge. This photo does not do it justice. You had to see it to believe it.

City lights
Another incredible scene. I have goosebumps as I’m typing this because it was just so beautiful.

These pictures were taken on September 30th and we are all outside in perfect comfort. Talk about good weather.

After the cruise we went uptown to American Trash, a nice little bar owned by one of our Alumni.

Well, this trip into the city was a total blast. I do like to stay on Long Island most of the time, but every now and then it’s not a bad idea to take advantage of our proximity to the city.

On a personal note—to all those who had twist my arm to attend the reunion, thank you. I had a great time. And yes, you can say I told you so. -Bill

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