Not Enjoying Fall Quite So Much

Did I say we'd been enjoying fall?  Because we definitely have been.  Though yesterday I was cursing fall weather (specifically the cold rainy kind) and my ridiculous desire to see fall foliage.

Last year I was super pregnant with MiniM.E. when we decided to go foliage hunting.  Remember this post?  This year I was determined to see some foliage.  After checking the weather (partly to mostly cloudly, high 58) we decided to drive up to Hadley Mountain for a hike.  We'd heard from a friend that the hike was fairly easy and the view was supposed to be fantastic- miles and miles, all the way to Vermont.  I figured from up there, we'd be able to see all sorts of beautiful trees.  And we'd been wanted to take MiniM.E. for a hike in the frame pack since we bought it at the Katrina Trask Consignment Sale in the spring.

When we left it was raining.  Probably the first sign that we should have just driven the car back in the garage and sat in the living room playing Toddler Tunes all day.

When we got to the trailhead parking lot, it was still raining.  Probably the second sign that we should have just called it a nice Saturday drive and turned around.

BUT the parking lot was full.  We even had to park on the street dirt road.  Might as well give it a go, we thought.

So we packed up MiniM.E. with her nylon jacket in the frame pack
and started out.

The hike did not go as expected for a few reasons...

-We have not been hiking in years.  Especially with a 20lb. kid strapped to either of us.
-We did not wear hiking boots.  I actually have some, but have never worn them hiking and was afraid of blisters.  Looking back, the blisters might have been better than rolling my ankles 17 times.
-It was not an easy hike.  Especially the parts where we had to scale 45 degree rock inclines made slippery by the never-ending drizzle.
-MiniM.E. didn't seem to enjoy it.  Was it being in the frame pack and jostled around? The cold? The damp? The constant drips from the trees?  ... Probably all of the above.

Let me say, a year ago if you had told me I would be singing "Wheels on the Bus" for an hour while hiking up a mountain in the rain with a baby strapped to my husband's back I would have laughed hysterically at the mental image that conjured.  Laugh no more... that's totally what happened.

When we arrived at the top, we were greeted with views reminiscent of our trip up Mt. Pilatus in Luzern, Switzerland.  The views were amazing non-existent.  We could see for hundreds of miles tens of feet.

We did get to see one of the few fire towers left in the Adirondacks.

That's as far as I let them climb.  Can't trust a fire tower...
By the time we reached the top (almost two hours later) MiniM.E. was not a happy camper.

Why would you keep going? You ask?  Well... I blame the 4 or 5 "Almost there!"s we received when we were still only half-way.

At least we can say MiniM.E. made it to the top of her first mountain?

We had hoped for a large flat area where she could walk around a little (holding our hands, of course- can't have a baby careening off the top of a mountain...) and where we could eat some snacks.  BUT the top was less than hospitable.

We found the cabin where the firemen who manned the fire towers must have stayed.  It was boarded up but at least there was a porch with a few feet of dry spot.

We had some snacks and MiniM.E. walked around a bit.

But when we didn't let her crawl around on the wet rocks and in the spider-infested swampy grasses, she wasn't happy.

To be honest, I felt pretty much the same way.  We were tired and cold and wet.  There was no view.  AND we had to climb back down.  With cranky baby.  Had we gotten cell phone service I would have called for a rescue helicopter.  But alas... no bars.  Good thing we signed in at the bottom of the mountain...

So we packed up the cold, wet, cranky, tired baby and started back down.

The climb up must have tired her out because she fell asleep right away.

Fortunately when she was rudely awakened by screaming children half-way down, she seemed in good spirits and we only had to sing "Wheels on the Bus" for a few minutes.

I was proud of us for making it up, but SO glad to see the car when we were finally down three hours later.

MiniM.E. was happy to see the car too.  The best part of the day for her was "driving" while we packed up the car.

She was so glad to be warm and dry and off the mountain that she didn't fuss at all on the way home.  And MiniM.E. is not a great car traveler.

The positive of the trip?  We saw some nice foliage on the drive.

When I was taking German lessons, when we learned about seasons there was a statement for each.  For fall, it read "In the fall it is cold in rainy.  The people stay inside."  Lesson learned.


Enjoying Fall

I've mentioned a few times (okay, maybe many times) that I love fall and have been looking forward to it since... oh, about the end of June.  Not that summer isn't great (and what's cuter than a baby in a bathing suit?) but fall has always been my favorite season.

Maybe it's the changing leaves.  The pumpkin flavored everything? The pumpkins themselves? Leaves on the ground?  The crisp morning (and sometimes afternoon) air?  APPLES! Apple picking? Hay rides? Cooler weather means you can wear sweatshirts and sweaters and no one notices the 5 pounds you put on from eating pumpkin flavored everything?  

Probably all of the above.  And more things I haven't thought of in my minute-long ponder over the wonders of my favorite season.

So far we've been enjoying the season.

We played at the Spa Park on an unusually warm day (which was awesome, because there were summer clothes we got as hand-me-downs that MiniM.E. never even wore!).

We went to Congress Park to feed the ducks,

and play with the flowers.

We visited Bowman Orchards.  We played in their awesome wooden playground,

pet their animals,

tested out their fence and Adirondack chairs

sat in some pumpkins

and bought some cider and donuts.

We didn't actually go apple picking... but we bought some apples, so that counts, right?

We took a walk in downtown Ballston Spa.  It wasn't exceptionally "fall-y" but MiniM.E. was wearing a halloween outfit, and it was pretty darn cute.  And we were enjoying the cooler weather.  So I'm going to count it as a fall activity.

on the run

Do people send Halloween cards like Christmas cards? Because if they do, that last picture is definitely my Halloween card...


The Balloon Festival

This past weekend was the Adirondack Balloon Festival.  It sounded like it was going to be pretty awesome, my mom was visiting and usually I just put her to work and she deserved a break, so we decided to go.  It was a four day event and we picked Friday evening.

We arrived at the airport in Queensbury and waited anxiously for the balloons to take off.  The website promised 80+ balloons at 5:00 pm.  We spread out a blanket and waited...

And waited...

Finally at 5:30 some balloons inflated...

but it was too windy for them to take off.  After dragging a baby there we were pretty disappointed.  But oddly intrigued.  A few of the balloonists suggested that the next morning they would take off.  AND it might be foggy, which (contrary to what one might think) would be ideal balloon viewing conditions.

What the hay, we decided.  And woke up at 5:30 to be at the airfield at 6:30 to see the balloons take off.

Things I wish I'd considered:

-It always takes longer than usual to get a baby ready when you have to be somewhere.  We didn't leave until 6:15.

-Contrary to my thinking, hundreds of people chose to wake up ridiculously early on a Saturday to take their families to the airport.  There was a HUGE line of cars.

-We probably should have tried to find a back way to the airport.  The HUGE line hardly moved.

-We might have considered leaving earlier... as we were still in traffic 2 miles from the airport at 6:30 when the balloons were supposed to start.

-Much earlier... we were still a mile away when the balloons floated over our car.

We did finally get to park after sitting in the car for two hours.

There were still a few balloons inflated that weren't going to take off, and MiniM.E. seemed to have a good time.

Especially when we walked through the craft fair and stopped for a while at the kite stand.  She liked it so much that she cried when we left.  And so begins the "crying-and-flailing-when-it's-time-to-go-phase".

So... we decided since we'd already put so much effort in, we would try one last time on Sunday.  Sadly, my mom was back at home after two failed balloon sighting events.  Sorry Mom!

We got up earlier (at 4:30... though we still left later than we planned), found a back way to the airport, avoided the traffic and were waiting on the airfield at 6:00am.  Other than the fact that I have not experienced 50 degree weather in a while and assumed a light sweatshirt would be adequate clothing, it was worth getting up early to see.

AND next year, we'll be pros.