Category Archives: genealogy

A Bit Of The Mid Atlantic States

When the “save the date” arrived for Greg & Tiffany’s wedding, Mo and I sat down and worked out a vacation trip around it in which we could leisurely visit several locations for the first time.

Our trip started on the end of September with Niagara Falls. We could easily see the mist drifting up from Horseshoe Falls in the distance as we landed in Buffalo. Mo had our first stop though for lunch at Sophia’s Restaurant, a Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives-featured restaurant in Buffalo.

After getting settled into our hotel, we walked over to Niagara Falls State Park and made our way over to the American Falls. As we got closer, we could see the Niagara River picking up speed around Goat Island. It was a real eye-opener as we reached the US side of the river and saw what all the rush was about.


Mo poses with American Falls

While the view was outstanding, it was pretty obvious why everyone says to see the falls from the Canadian side — the American side is closer (you’re right on top of American Falls!) but the other side of the river gives a better panorama of all the falls.

After a leisurely stroll across from the falls, we drove further into Canada to the southern shore of Lake Ontario, where we had a nice lunch at Lake House Restaurant overlooking the lake, with the tall buildings of Toronto visible across the lake at the horizon. We then travelled south into Twenty Valley and bought some homemade fudge, and sampled wines from Cave Spring Winery.


American Falls and Horseshoe Falls from the Canadian side

Leaving Niagara Falls, we took the NY Thruway to Syracuse and then northward to Lake Placid. The trees were changing, and there were lots of burgundy and deep orange and red colors, but not so much yellows — maybe we were spoiled by the Aspens of Colorado.

We were also spoiled by the lower elevations compared to Colorado. We hiked several trails while in the Adirondacks, but the most taxing was the 1/5th mile climb from the parking lot to the top of the Whiteface Mountain — a combination of stairs and large rocks. The temps at the top were just a bit above freezing, but the view was outstanding, with Lake Champlain visible to the east and the skyline of Burlington, VT and Montreal visible at the horizon.


Lake Placid from the top of Whiteface Mountain

Just two hours away is Fair Haven, VT, home to several of Mo’s immigrant ancestors. This was a great excuse to visit Vermont for the first time for both of us. We had a chance to hang with the locals as we lunched at The Wooden Soldier, then made our way over to St. Mary’s cemetery, where after a little searching we found the grave markers of Edmund and Mary Pinders, James and Catherine Morgan, and Patrick and Ellen Sloan, who are Mo’s g-g-g-grandparents, g-g-grandparents, and g-g-grandparents, respectively, all originally from Ireland.


Edmund and Mary Pinders’ grave marker

On our route back to Lake Placid we passed Fort Ticonderoga, and we stopped at Swedish Hill Winery, where we made my life more difficult by picking up two more bottles to pack for the flight home (plus a wine glass).

Following our stay at Lake Placid, we spent one night in Lancaster, PA, and the next morning on our way to pick up K at the Philadelphia airport we had a pleasant drive on roads shared with several Amish horse buggies.

This was the first time in Delaware for all three of us, and the wedding and reception at Thousand Acre Farm were beautiful. We enjoyed catching up with the Morgans and with others we’d met a few years back, and our time with them went by much too fast.


the wedding couple with some additional Morgans and tagalongs

(btw, the three wine bottles arrived home unscathed)

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Distant Relatives

I had been trading Christmas emails with the Nilsson family in Sweden for several years after they had discovered (via another person) my genealogy website and found we were related through my father’s father’s family. Kristen is my second cousin once removed. In the latest Christmas email, though, we were asked if we would welcome a visit from them this year, and of course the answer was, “Yes!”

On June 29th my Swedish cousins arrived, and we did our best to show them a bit of St. Louis and to get to know them better. We also discussed our ancestry, and shared information about our families. And K’s dog Belle took to them fairly quickly and was a hit.

We toured around the area, seeing old St. Charles and the riverfront, the Augusta wine region, the Arch, Basilica, Forest Park, and of course eating toasted raviolis at The Hill. Frozen Yogurt also went over big with our Swedish friends. And we learned a lot about Sweden as well.

swedes
Kirsten, Johan, and Lennart at Montelle Winery

After we said our goodbyes to the Nilssons, we departed the next day on a 13-14 hour drive to my parents’ home in Minnesota. Since we’d been there during the county fair the past couple of trips, we decided to visit during calmer times, so we drove up the week before the fair this year. Also, since K is in summer school, this time around she and the dog remained behind.

Our time there was night and day compared to previous years; it was very rewarding to put work aside for a few days and spend time relaxing with family and friends.

up north
Mo, Dad, and Mom at Bergeson’s Nursery

Our vacation time is over for the Summer, but Fall vacation plans are already showing up on the schedule….

Potpourri

Well, I’ve successfully migrated over from Blogger to here in WordPress. Blogger was nice and simple, but trying to format yesterday’s post without acres of vertical whitespace was impossible, and I was already somewhat familiar with WordPress after creating many posts at WGOM for the SBG Library. I’m not entirely happy with the template yet, so that may evolve for a while.

The sun is in its deepest solar minimum in the last 100 years. I’ve been hoping to break out the solar viewers and monitor sunspots again, but its been many months since that was possible. The next few will probably feature only small sunspots as well, which are too small to view without magnification.

I received a fistfull of Twins cards from Matt at Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius as the back end of a trade I made with him.  There were a couple dozen of pre-2000 commons that I already had, and several post-2000 commons that I probably have (still haven’t checked), but looks like a lot of new ones to sleeve and bind.

Getting back to formatting again, I need to spend some more quality time on the genealogy website again.  I still have a slug of Swedish records for my side of the family, and I haven’t done much of anything on Mo’s side in quite some time.  Meanwhile, the documentation that I have posted needs to be added to my Family Tree Maker database so that I can file away the piles of pages on my desk.