Jamesville Balloon Fest

Every year we come here and every year the weather doesn’t cooperate to where the hot air balloons can’t take off.  

Tonight it was beautiful.  Just a tad bit too windy.  Any wind above 10 mph is deemed unsafe.  

But at least they blew up the balloons for everyone patiently waiting.  

Balloon Fest has all the usually workings of a carnival as well.  

Rides, games, food and bands. 

I did run into my dad and stepmom there.   So it wasn’t a total loss. 

Kind of a short one. Maybe next year they will fly ūüėā.  

Walking Tour Downtown Syracuse

I fell in love with Downtown Syracuse around the time of was going through management training.

It was a sleepy Sunday afternoon, much like at the time of taking these pictures,   I was living out of my car and I felt like doing some exploring with my night off.

There isn’t much going on and not too many people on the roads on Sundays so I was free to roam around as I wished.

I enjoy all the local art and parks.  All the history in all the distinct sub-neighborhoods and what makes them stand out from each other.

I already covered part of downtown in my Creek Walk Tour. ¬†Now let’s take a look at some of the other parts.

Remember, that this is a walking tour.  I may go back to explore certain places in greater detail like I did when I visited the MOST Museum.


Statue in Clinton Square.  This is the site of a lot of food festivals, The huge Christmas Tree Lighting, and where you can ice skate in the winter


Syracuse – Fayette Firefighters’ Memorial Park, one of downtown’s most beautiful parks

On a rainy day, check out the Onondaga Historical Museum

Metal Sphere Sculpture.


Historical Hotel Syracuse. ¬†Recently restored by the Marriott Group. ¬†I want to stay there so bad. ¬†I hear it’s haunted

Statue of Columbus with the Court House in the back ground

Syracuse’s signature Ice Cream Shop. ¬†Gannon’s


Looking to catch a show?  Check out the Landmark Theater

The side of this building is covered with QR Codes.

Authentic Mexican Restaurant constructed out of an old church.  The Mission

Do these murals creep anyone else out?


War Memorial Auditorium 

Miss Syracuse Diner

Daisy Duke’s Mural

Erie Canal Museum

Red hot  right now .  Empire Brewing Company and restaurant


One of the top 100 places to have a beer.   The Blue Tusk

Down on Frankin, you most stop in an try the Spicy Tomato Oil and Pastabilities


Waffles any which way? ¬†Check out Funk ‘ N Waffles

Finger Lake Circuit : Otisco Lake

Time to take a mini-adventure south of the city to the first of the Finger Lakes that I am going to visit this summer; Otisco Lake

If you aren’t from the New York, the Finger Lakes are a series of long, thin lakes ,that on a map, look like the fingers of a hand.    The area is known for its vineyards and scenic beauty.  

I have actually never been to this lake so it was exciting to head somewhere new.  

It’s a spectacularly calm and relaxing place.  The picture here is of the “causeway”. Where you can fish and swim, if you don’t get caught.  ūüėā. 

Liam was pooped from the ride so I just let him sleep in my arms while I took it all in.  I had forgotten how wonderful and majestic these places can be.  

 He woke up eventually

Not much here in terms of hiking.  Baltimore Woods is nearby, hope to check that out another day. 

Such a isolated little lake.  And that’s a good thing.  I counted one pizza place, one gas station/ convenience store, one Restaurant.  Everything else was lake houses and farms.  Some old and abandoned.  Reminded me of Jeepers Creepers or Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  

Verona Beach State Park

Within walking distance of Slyvan Beach is the scenic Verona Beach Satete Park overlooking Onieda Lake.

The park has gotten quite the face lift in the last few years since I last visited.  

It has something  for everyone.  Complete with playground, baseball field, basketball court, ice cream shop, and food stand.  

A very quiet beach with shallow water.  Safe for the kiddies.  

Just down the road is the historic Verona Lighthouse

Make time for mini adventures

Talk the hand dad…no pictures please

A Walk Around Minoa

I’ve been busy since returning from vacation and I just needed to get outside for a hour in between rain showers to clear the head and get the blood flowing.

There’s not much to say about my little town of Minoa.   It’s primarily just a residential community with a few charming spots.   

You can tell is was a big farming community with in close proximity to the Eerie Canal and a creek running all the way around it. 

Just a 5 Minute drive from Green Lakes State Park. 

Minoa has just about everything you would need if you didn’t have the luxury of a car.  But the businesses have no competition and they know it.  Just their justification for jacking up prices.  $4 gallons of milk anyone?

Just down the road is the park trail

Behold.  Minoa’s “Shopping Center” can’t go wrong with booze and Chinese.  Beware the price though

Train tracks run right behind my house

Nice to see a local hardware store still going strong. 

Volunteer Fire Station with a very small library behind it.  I suggest the Manlius Library instead

Sorry Minoa.  You’re still old

Scenic creek I talking about

I could probably get a deal on a house with a cemetery in the back yard

These dogs heard about the deer on the roof in Syracuse.  

No town is complete without place of worship

Trappers 2 is pretty awesome

  This is where everyone hangs out.  Young and old.  Beer and pizza with happy hour and game specials. 

Lewis park

Cute little Ice Cream stand by Lewis park,. Cash only and at little hole in the wall dive bar, Charlie’s.  Not even 100 yards from my front door. 

Not too exciting but it was a nice walk with the kids.  

Richmond, Virginia

Have some time to kill after checking into the hotel in Ashland, Virginia so we took to the streets in the state’s capital.  

The verdict.   Richmond is boring as all hell.  Most of the businesses shut down at 5pm.

But we did find some nice local artwork. 

Virginia Beach

When my wife and I honeymooned in Virginia Beach we had such a good time that we made a deal that we would come back every 5 years.   Technically, it’s only been four years but since the Tough Mudder is in Virginia we decided to go back plus two or our three boys.  

We arrived Wednesday afternoon and the sun didn’t come out until Friday morning.   It was so windy and cold that Maddex needed two sweatshirts.   So much for lounging on the beach for 5 days.  Oh well.  Still plenty to see. 

Neptune’s Famous Statue

Two classics at  Flipper McCoys 

Huge frozen margaritas at Guads.  

Liam fueling up for the trip to the aquarium.

When Mom and Maddex leave me to play golf.

Fruitie People Donut with cake batter ice cream

Finally…the sun is out. 

Time to hit the beach.

Had a great time with the family.    Now we are off to Richmond.