"What a Drag It Is Getting Old!"

Even though this weekend was another festival filled weekend, we decided to pass on the annual Cooperstown Pumpkinfest and stick around the inn. We had lots to do and almost procrastinated by asking each other on an hourly basis, "Want to take a ride over and see what's going on?" I think the time it turned into, "We're not going to make it this year, are we?" was about 2 pm on Sunday. That's ok, there is always next year to see the 1500 lb. pumpkins.

Later in the day on Sunday, George left for his sister's, where he is doing some work for her all week. Hmmm, but that means he will miss an important holiday in our household. The annual, "I can't believe I'm not 18 anymore! How did I get this old! Day!" Tomorrow I turn "One Year Away From 50." That is how I will look at my age for the next year. It was about 8 months ago when the AARP started sending me their unsolicited junkmail. Wait, wait, what, no, I'm too young for this! So far, I have two of their cards in the landfill in Cooperstown. I refuse to accept that I am anywhere old enough to be retired. I also refuse to accept that I have a child in high school, but he keeps reminding me of that on a daily basis! He also took great pleasure in telling me what he learned in school last week. As I was helping Aidan study for his Career and Financial Mgmt. class, I learned that the ages 25-45 are the "Establishment Stage." I am in what is called the "Maintenance Stage." Just shoot me!!

So what to do for this wonderous day tomorrow?? When George is out of town, Aidan and I like to go to the movies and have dinner at the Japanese Restaurant in the big city.....Oneonta! Yep, the home of the Southside Hall, I mean Mall. Living in upstate NY, you get used to shopping at Walmart, BJ's..... or online! Yesterday, one of our guests asked if we had a Borders Bookstore nearby. Really??? Did you not drive around the area and see mostly cows and trees and barns? If you are in the market for a variety of baseball t-shirts, you're in luck! So tomorrow, off we go to the movies at the Southside Mall, where the two anchor stores on each side of the Hall/Mall are JC Penney's (annex/not even a full size store) and the other side - nothing! Yep, the second big anchor store has been empty ever since we moved up here. (Ahhh, how I miss NJ and the land of shopping.) And to put salt on the wounds of my big day, Aidan wants to see a movie called Buried! Really? There has got to be a happy movie that doesn't remind me of the fact that I am 4 years into my "Maintenance Stage"!

Well, Happy Denial Day to me... and to everyone else, have a wonderful week!

Fall Festivals - So Much To Do, So Little Time

It was beautiful and sunny and 70 degrees this weekend here in upstate NY. It was one of the busiest weekends in the area with soooo much going on. It was a Festival Bonanza - two Harvest Fests, an Applefest, a Garlic Festival, and a Kite Festival. We were booked with 1/2 our guests coming up for the Kite Festival and 1/2 our guests up for the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival. I really enjoyed my morning talks with all of my guests this weekend. And I learned a lot about kiting (and not just your average kid's kites, we're talking kites you should have insurance to fly, kites that might kill someone if they fall out of the sky!).

Well, we woke up Saturday morning with so many plans. After we cleaned up breakfast, our first stop was to go to Sharon Springs, then later to the Kite Festival and if there was time, on to the Garlic Festival. This years Sharon Springs Festival was expected to be huge. It is the home of the new reality series on the Planet Green Discovery Channel called The Fabulous Beekman Boys. It is the story of a New York City couple, Josh and Brent who buy a farm in upstate NY and become organic farmers. Josh, a writer, still lives part time in NYC and Brent, a doctor and a one time consultant on The Martha Stewart Show has moved up here full time. They buy the Beekman 1802 Farm and raise goats, make cheese and market goat's milk soap. It is a hilarious look at city boys/gone country boys. Along with Josh and Brent (and the ups and downs of their relationship), is Farmer John and his 100 goats who move onto the farm.

Well, if anyone has ever been up to this area and visited Sharon Springs, it is a sleepy little town, about 15 minutes from our inn. A one time bustling spa and resort town, it is now home to several huge abandoned hotels and an abandoned sulpher spring spa. In the past years, several businesses have popped up to begin its rejuvenation. Josh and Brent bought the Beekman Farm about 3 years ago, but this past summer was the premiere of their reality show. Last years Festival drew 300 people. This year - 3,000 to 5,000 people came and the majority came for one reason - The Beekmans. Yep, and that's why I went. I am a closet reality show watcher and the Beekman is one of my favorites. Josh and Brent (my new best friends in this area) well, actually, I haven't really met them yet, but when I do, I just know they are going to be my new best friends, have breathed a new life into that town. When we got there, there were about 100 people in line with about a 1 & 1/2 hr. wait to meet and greet them. What!  Damn! Well, I'll come back next week, when there is only the usual 3 or 4 people in town and try and meet them then.

Several of our guests came from out of state to see the Beekmans. Two couples came from Massachusetts. The odd thing was that I don't think these guys even knew each other and it wasn't until after they all checked out that I noticed that they lived 2 minutes away from each other - in the same town. Weird! Another guest came with her daughter (they watched the show together). The last guest that came for the Beekmans drove 5 hours and had talked her cousin (who had never heard of them) into coming with her. She was soooo excited to be here and I told her she seemed a little stalkeresque! I told her not to do anything that would involve the cops and our inn being on the news. Well, maybe that could be a good thing. Any publicity is good publicity. Maybe. All throughout the day there were film crews filming next season's show. I think we may have strategically placed ourselves into some (ok, many) of the shots. I'm sure we will be cut out, but maybe one shot will end up on the show. Damn! Why didn't I order those Meadowlark Inn t-shirts we had talked about. We could have been like "Where's Waldo". "Oh I see them again. There's those weird Meadowlark Inn people, right there, in the background!"

So there we were, stalking, I mean enjoying the Harvest Festival, and boy did the time fly. Next thing we knew, it was 4:30 and we missed all the other Festivals. But that's ok. We had a great time. The weather was beautiful. The food was great. We met some really wonderful people. It was a perfect day. And it was nice to see new life breathed into a town that hasn't seen that much action in years. Hopefully, for Sharon Springs sake, they'll stick around for a while. And in the meantime, maybe we can do lunch!!!!!