Well…almost! Leaving southeastern Minnesota we traveled east, through Illinois, Michigan and into Canada, overnight in Toronto and finally arriving in Montreal, where everything is in French! I felt like I’m back in Martinique, or in Europe!
While visiting old Montreal (there is so much history there!) one weekend the festivities in that area included 1800 re-enactments, with vendors, music of the times, and everybody was in costume.
We were immersed in French culture again, but only for about 3 days, then we headed east and south to Woodstock NewYork, site of the famous Woodstock concert 50 years ago this year.
We stayed at a cute AirB&B in the woods of the Catskills! One early morning I saw a doe, twin fawns and a buck! Unfortunately I didn’t have my iPhone with so didn’t get a photo. On a walk into town, we saw a huge pile of bear scat! It doesn’t surprise me that there might be bear in the area, I’m just glad we didn’t see one!
Woodstock, in 1969, 50 years ago this year, was the site of the famous Woodstock Festival where peace and love reigned! Well, actually the Woodstock fest did NOT happen in Woodstock NY, but in Bethel NY on Max Yasgurs 600 acre dairy farm located 43 miles (70km) southwest of Woodstock! It was billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”. It attracted 400,000 people, and 32 bands played over those 3 days, despite rain! There is a really good documentary on Woodstock on Netflix, if you get a chance I’d highly recommend watching it! They hadn’t anticipated the huge crowd, maybe no more than 50,000 people, and when they kept selling tickets, they had to move the venue to the diary farm where it was finally held. A 50th anniversary was planned for this year, but unfortunately due to ticketing and legal permit delays, cancellation of investors and other quirks, it was cancelled. Bummer!
Every Sunday in Woodstock, from 4-6pm, there is a community drumming circle, where a bunch of drums are provided and anyone in the community can come and “drum”. And anyone can dance to the drumming! It was quite interesting! I don’t know if some of these folks maybe haven’t left Woodstock in the last 50 years? I’m not sure, but some of them were dancing to their own drums as well!
After leaving Woodstock, we drove to West Point to visit my son, Clint, and his wife, Ashley for 2 weeks. Clint is in the Army and works at West Point. While there, we drove to Mystic Connecticut, a famous wood-building seaport, where the “Mayflower II” was being refurbished and launched while we were there! Mayflower II was given to the USA in the 1950s by the English, as a thanks for our efforts in WWII. Three years ago, she came to Mystic to be repaired and upgraded. The weekend that we were there, she was being launched! What an amazing vessel and such craft! Unfortunately we didn’t stay for the launch, it was getting late for us and we had 2-3 hours to drive back home.
While in New York state, we drove to NYC to visit one of Gregs old colleagues, Keith. While there, we were able to see a Broadway show, “Hamilton” about the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of our founding fathers! It was an AMAZING show! We also visited Trinity Church, where Hamilton is buried, as well as many of our other founding fathers!
Visiting NYC wasn’t without some excitement! Before we went to the Broadway show, near dusk we walked down the street to Times Square, where we witnessed a fight! Quite interesting, no blood was shed, but there was some taunting and provoking going on, until one guy actually punched the other, ended up on the ground were he was pummeled! Finally the guy pummeling the other was pulled off, and they went their separate ways! We were just waiting for a knife or gun to appear, but none did, thankfully!
While in NYC, we took the opportunity to visit the 911 Memorial and Museum. It was so surreal! They’ve built 2 reflecting pools, each of them the footprint of each of the towers. We could have spent more time in the museum, which is 4 floors below ground where the towers stood. So much to see/read, so little time.
Finally, while back in Woodstock, via text, Clint help me design a tattoo (on my right forearm) for my beloved Toto, who I lost in June this year, I miss him terribly. But the artist did a beautiful job in his memory! His portrait is from a photo I took of him while we were still living in Pine Island, and the paw print is his actual paw print that I got from the vet, cast in plaster, after I lost him. Rest in peace little man! Miss you: