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Monday, September 26, 2016

Sampling 1857 Potato Vodka at Barber's Farm in Middleburgh, New York

Eric and I took a drive to Middleburgh on a sunny Sunday to sample 1857 Spirits potato vodka at Barber's Farm Stand.  The family has been farming in this fertile region of the state since 1857.

1857 Spirits has a tasting
room at the Barber's
Farm Stand.

The idea of using potatoes that aren't considered "pretty enough" to be sold at the Farm Stand for vodka isn't a new one.  About four years ago family members took a vodka-making class.  Twenty-four year old Elias, a 6th generation Barber, returned to the farm with his plant biology degree from Cornell University and began learning the process of distilling vodka.

Pumpkins & flowers
 flank the family

1857 Spirits tasting
room is next to the
farm stand.

After an apprenticeship and much research, Elias started distilling 1857 potato vodka.  The "ugly" potatoes come from nearby fields.  The water is supplied from a spring on the farm.

In October 2015 the tasting room opened and vodka sales began.  Just eleven months later, 1857 Spirits are available in liquor stores in the Hudson Valley and Manhattan.  

Eric & I are greeted by one
 of the Barber cousins.

Photos of the farm
& the distillery are
displayed above
1857 Tee Shirts
& Hats

Elias, the family's Vodka
 Distiller, is in the photo
 on the right.

We bought a bottle of
1857 Potato Vodka,
signed by Elias. 

It has a light caramel smell, is smooth, with a light smokey flavor.

The Barber family is very proud of their accomplishment.

1857 Spirits' story is on
the back of the bottle.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Eric & I Drive South to Rotterdam, New York

All great visits come to an end, sigh....  It's time to say goodbye to Barb and Terry and head home.

Today's drive is South

RockClimbers love 
near Keeseville.

The sky is thick with
clouds, as we drive

Bridge construction
continues in the rain.

I love taking pictures of
ribbons of highway.

Fort William Henry are
popular tourist sites.

The Thaddeus Koscusko Bridge
over the Mohawk River

Commuter traffic always slows at this bridge.  The road shoulder narrows significantly here.  I think that drivers assume that the lanes have narrowed and slow down as they cross the bridge.

We are taking the Thruway
west to Exit 26a.

The Pilot Travel Center our
last stop before returning
to Jerry's house.

Welcome to Rotterdam

We're home!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Exploring Winthrop, New York's "Park"

Terry drives us to 

According to Wikipedia, the Hamlet of Winthrop has a population of 510.

Eric & I stand beneath
a pedestal clock.

One of several roofed
picnic tables

A restored stained glass
window from a church
is back lit by the sun.

Eric & me with Uncle Sam

This is an amazing park, but it's not a park.  It's the side lawn of a Winthrop resident.  Terry found eclectic collection of yard art several years ago and enjoys sharing it with others.

The gentleman who lives here
restores all types of artifacts 
& displays some of them 
near his home.

The historical marker in front of the house states that this is the site of America's oldest clock tower. It was built by Stephen Hasham and ran for 189 years.

The Hasham Clock has been
restored & keeps time is
flanked by two carved
statues on the garage.

Restored stained glass windows
grace the side of his garage.

A stained glass Star
of David dominates
part of the lawn.

Eric & the metal globe.

It reminds me of the 1964

Time is a major theme in this private park.

A pedestal clock &
a Stallion

Honoring our military.

A weeping angel surrounded
by flowers.

Eric & I stand beneath a
clock with a Polar Bear.

It's all about time.... in Winthrop, New York.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Watching My Cousins' Soccer Practice in Dannemora, New York


Izzy, in pink, has control
of the soccer ball.

Pappa, Lexi & Grammy
watch the action on
the field.


Beth, in the blue top,
sends a soccer ball
up the field.

Izzy works on her goalkeeping
Practice, practice, practice...  This team works hard and I expect they will do well in their games.

Visiting the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Peru, New York

Just steps away from
Saint Patrick's Church
is a small, windowed

This is Mother Cabrini's Shrine.  Born in Italy in 1850, Maria Francesca Cabrini, became a nun and founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  In 1889 she emigrated to the United States.  Mother Cabrini and her fellow sisters worked in neglected Italian immigrant communities: opening schools, hospitals and orphanages to care for those in need.

Mother Cabrini became a naturalized US citizen in 1909 and died in 1917.  She was canonized and declared a saint of the Roman Catholic Church in 1946.

Known as America's first saint,  Mother Cabrini is known as the Patron Saint of Immigrants. Her life of service to immigrants is celebrated at this shrine.

Cousins, Travis & Trish,
were married here 
last year.

The Shrine was built with
the simplest materials.

Visitors leave small tokens on
the ledge near the statue
of Mother Cabrini.

The Margit Aytur  Memorial
Walk Path is in the woods,
behind the shrine.

Religious scenes are found
 along the path.

This one is Brother Andre
ministering to those in

A Celtic Cross has been 
erected to honor the Irish
families that founded

Walk the Stations of the Cross
during your visit.

Across the road is a stand of White Birch & a meditative area
with seating & a Cross.  

Mother Cabrini's Shrine is lovely.  Surrounded by nature, it is a restful place to pray and restore one's soul.  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Saint Patrick's Church in Peru, New York

Barb and Terry are taking Eric and I to some of their favorite spots in the North Country.  We start our day at a small country church overlooking the Champlain Valley in Peru.

Saint Patrick's Church was
founded in 1839 to serve
the spiritual needs of Irish
immigrants living in this
sparsely populated area.

The ladder to the belfry &
the rope used to ring the
church's bell are in the
St. Patrick's entry.

This Catholic church is
simply decorated.

The altar was made from
local trees. 

The Baptismal Font
is also made from
local trees.

A rosary made with stones
encircles a picture of Mary
at the rear of the church.

 Pictures of Pope John Paul II (Saint John Paul II), Pope Francis
Pope Benedict XVI watch over the worshipers.  

This charming country church continues its mission to serve the community of West Peru as it welcomes visitors from far and wide.