A Visit with Nick and An Aside on Taking Photos of Porta-Potties

I would like to start this post with an aside. It’s kind of related to our visit with Tom’s son Nick. I am not good at taking pictures of people. Not so much in the I-don’t-take-good-portraits way but more like in the I-rarely-take-out-my-camera-around-people way. During our four month trip in which we left from Utah to circle Lake Superior, crossing through New York and then going back we spent more than a month in total visiting family and friends. We saw two of Tom’s sons, his daughter and husband and granddaughter, two of his brothers and their wives, one of his sisters, five of his nieces and nephews and spouses and all their kids, his cousin and wife and their son, two of my closest friends, my stepfather, and my sister (jeez, I hope I didn’t forget anyone). And how many photos did I take of these visits? Very, very few. Starting in New York I made a conscious effort to capture these family moments but upon reviewing my photos I’ve realized that I still have maybe one photo of people from here, one from there… and often, none of most people or most places. We have spent days visiting people, staying in their houses, and I have never taken a photo with my phone let alone my camera. This is a fail and one I would like to correct. However, it’s still a work in progress.

So, this brings us to our visit with Tom’s son Nick on Long Island. I still only managed to take a few photos of them together – even though I seemed to have taken plenty in general on our outings – which means that unfortunately one of the few pictures I got of them features porta-potties. I don’t know how I could have failed to check the background while I was taking it, but we’ll chalk it up to me focusing on the beer tasting. The picture, you see, was taken from the patio at the awesome Bluepoint Brewery and I am guessing I was all too involved with sampling all their delicious beer. In addition to the great beer, the brewery had a fantastic patio with an awesome atmosphere (which I completely failed to capture… ahem) that included a lot of really friendly people, live music, and at least a half dozen dogs wandering around dragging their leashes. Bluepoint also gets super bonus points for letting me bring Abbs into the taproom while I was picking up another round.

But anyway, we did so much more on our visit: Nick brought us on two hikes, a stroll through the lovely Garden City, a walk along the North Fork shoreline, and a visit to a winery with his friends, all of which doesn’t include the time we spent hanging out, cooking, and eating meals. The first hike was a walk around Lake Askoti in Harriman State Park which we came to after a short driving tour of the park. There isn’t a trail here and we ended up doing a bit of bushwacking while navigating around some wetlands and whatnot, but it was mostly an easy stroll through an open forest that wasn’t congested by much brush. Between the forest, the beautiful outcroppings of exposed, mossy rock, and the lovely still, blue water of the lake, it was a gorgeous walk.

After leaving Harriman State Park we crossed the Hudson via the quaint stone Bear Mountain Bridge and had our second walk of the day at the Rockefeller State Park Preserve where we saw ducks and turtles balancing on the logs in the pond before we continued our stroll on the wide gravel paths that border picturesque farms and fields. The next day we went east on Long Island out to a vineyard (which I completely forgot the name of) for some tastings and snacks with some friends of his. Since I don’t drink wine I cruised around with Abby to take some photos of the trellises and grapes while everyone went inside to select a couple bottles to bring out to the picnic area. We then staked out a table and chatted for a couple hours before packing up and continuing on to Orient Point, the easternmost point on the North Fork of Long Island.

After driving to the ferry docks on the point we found an access path to the beach near some houses. Cutting through the high dune grass we made our way down to the bright, reflective pebbled shoreline and walked the beach out towards the teakettle-shaped Orient Point Lighthouse. I had a surreal moment when I could easily pick out the familiar towns of New London and Groton, Connecticut across the cerulean waters of the Long Island Sound. It was so odd that I was a dozen or so miles away from an area so well known to me; if the North Fork had extended farther east, I would have been able to see the town in Rhode Island where I had lived in for 10 years. In any case, it was really beautiful along the coast though we only walked around for about an hour before we headed back west to end our afternoon at the aforementioned Bluepoint Brewery.

Although we obviously did a lot of activities during our visit it was really quite relaxing, and just nice. That could possibly have something to do with Nick doing all the driving and tour guiding, but I think all of us ā€“ driver included ā€“ enjoyed the time we spent, the places we explored, and the good conversation.

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Nick and Abby walking around Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Nick and Abby walking around Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Tom and Nick hiking around Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Tom and Nick hiking around Lake Askoti, Harriman State Park, New York

Bear Mountain Bridge, New York

Bear Mountain Bridge, New York

Rockefeller State Park Preserve, New York

Rockefeller State Park Preserve, New York

Ducks at Rockefeller State Park Preserve, New York

Ducks at Rockefeller State Park Preserve, New York

A bad photo of adorable turtles, Rockefeller State Park Preserve, New York

A bad photo of adorable turtles, Rockefeller State Park Preserve, New York

Horse farm bordering Rockefeller State Park Preserve, New York

Horse farm bordering Rockefeller State Park Preserve, New York

Wind-powered vineyard, Long Island

Wind-powered vineyard, Long Island

Vineyard, Long Island

Vineyard, Long Island

Le grapes, Long Island

Le grapes, Long Island

Tom and Nick playing pool at the vineyard, Long Island

Tom and Nick playing pool at the vineyard, Long Island

Orient Point, Long Island, New York

Orient Point, Long Island, New York

Tom, Nick, and Abby walking on the beach at Orient Point, Long Island, New York

Tom, Nick, and Abby walking on the beach at Orient Point, Long Island, New York

Rocks on beach at Orient Point, Long Island, New York

Rocks on beach at Orient Point, Long Island, New York

Ferry and Orient Point Lighthouse, Long Island, New York

Ferry and Orient Point Lighthouse, Long Island, New York

Awesome taps at the awesome Blue Point Brewery, Long Island, New York

Awesome taps at the awesome Blue Point Brewery, Long Island, New York

I very obviously should have taken this photo looking the other way so it would show all the people laughing and talking, the live music, the cool painted picnic tables... and less porta-potty. Clearly I was focused on the beer drinking. Nick and Tom, Blue Point Brewery, Long Island

I very obviously should have taken this photo looking the other way so it would show all the people laughing and talking, the live music, the cool painted picnic tables… and less porta-potty. Clearly I was focused on the beer drinking. Nick and Tom, Blue Point Brewery, Long Island