Home…

You will be pleased to know my journey home was uneventful if long, and I arrived back in Kidderminster at lunchtime today (Tuesday) After the comfort of the JFK to Dublin flight, the Dublin to Birmingham leg was on an 80 seater propeller plane which filled me with some angst! More twists and turns than a theme park rollercoaster, but we landed safely.

A great holiday, great people and great memories… Roll on the next adventure!

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Farewell Ronkonkoma

So my last full day took us to the designer shopping outlet where one or two items were purchased to take home, and then to a pool party at one of the neighbours houses.

I’m now getting ready for my long journey home, two planes and two trains and I will be back in Kidderminster.

It has been a fabulous holiday, meeting the family and doing some sightseeing and it’s good to know I can come back again in the future. The next time I see the family it will be for Dan and Kate’s wedding, now less than a year away!

Hopefully the journey home will be much less eventful than the one here, so for now Goodbye from Long Island 🇺🇸

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The block party

Saturday was spent at the home of Katlyn’s mom in Bellport, at their very first block party. Similar to the street parties I remember from my youth, the road was closed and the whole street joined together to eat drink and enjoy each others company.

The morning brought torrential rain and we kept a close eye on the weather radar, but by 2pm we were bathed once again in glorious sunshine and we were able to get the tents up and start bringing the food out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a bouncy house and cotton candy machine for the kids, who also enjoyed the chance to ride up and down the vehicle free street on their bikes, segways and motorised toy cars.

 

Food and drink was plentiful, the music varied and not too loud to stifle conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were also introduced to Cornhole, an American party game where two teams compete to get beanbags through a hole on a board, I manage the feat three times to my opponents two but we still lost out on single points on the board, but it was out first time playing it, so not too bad!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the night drew on people drifted home and new neighbours joined the party, and of course more food and drink appeared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We left with the party still in full swing to make our way back to Ronkonkomen, and our beds, congratulations to Jackie and her fellow organisers for a brilliant party, we will try and get back for the next one soon!

 

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Sagamore Hill

Today we visited Sagamore Hill the estate of Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt the 26th President of the USA.

He and his family lived on the estate from 1885 until his death in 1919. Known as “The Summer White House” he entertained many many foreign dignitaries at his family home.

Also on the site is Old Orchard House, the former home of his son which is now a museum.

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Cradle of Aviation Museum

Today we followed in the footsteps of Charles Lindbergh and headed out to Garden City to this fascinating museum that records the aerospace history of Long Island.

Located on what was once Mitchel Air Force Base, and together with Roosevelt Field and Hempstead Plains the site was responsible for many historic flights. In 1919 the first transatlantic crossing by an airship from England landed at Roosevelt Field, and in 1927 Charles Lindbergh took off from there to Paris. The museums first acquisition was Lindbergh’s WW1 Curtiss JN-4D discovered in a local barn in 1973.

Over 60 aircraft and models can be viewed, together with a gallery dedicated to space flight. There are  hands on interactive displays for you to enjoy on your visit.

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Huntington

Founded in 1653 Huntington in Suffolk County on the North shore of Long Island has many claims to fame including being the birthplace of poet Walt Whitman.

Today we enjoyed a visit to the Clipper Ship Tea Company shop and sampled the ice cream at Kilwin’s before taking a short drive around the harbour to take in some of the magnificent colonial style homes there.

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New York..New York

Yesterday was my first official visit to New York City, driving back from the Newark airport to Long Island not really counting!

We drove to Mineola train station and took the train to Penn station which is close to Madison Square Garden.

We also glimpsed a view of the Empire State Building but our destination took us in a different direction as we were heading to Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Dedicated in 1886, The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France to the People of America. The copper statue was designed by french sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel.

We then took the ferry across to Ellis Island.

Ellis Island, in Upper New York Bay, was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the U.S. as the United States’ busiest immigrant inspection station for over 60 years from 1892 until 1954. Ellis Island was opened January 1, 1892.

The exhibition areas give you a detailed history of the island and it’s various uses including as an internment camp during both world wars. There are also spectacular views across the bay towards NYC.

After returning across the bay we walked across to the Liberty Tower and the 9/11 memorial.

A very busy and moving day but we did find an Irish pub for light refreshment!

Cheers New York!

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Weekend wind-down

It’s our first weekend here in Ronkonkoma and we are taking time out to relax and hone our photography skills on the abundance of birds, butterflies and insects in the garden. Plus the odd squirrel or 4!

And of course not forgetting the pups! Manny and Roxy like some attention too!

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Port Jefferson

Yesterday’s excursion was out to Port Jefferson , a beautiful, waterfront town located on the north shore of Long Island settled in the 1600s as a rural town, but then becoming a shipbuilding center in the 1800s.Many of the historic buildings and homes still standing belonged to prominent sailors and shipbuilders in the area. Visitors to the town can still take in a slice of history at the Village Center, formerly a shipyard, where builders worked tirelessly to create and launch firstly wooden then later steel ships into the Long Island Sound.

Today, Port Jefferson is widely known as a popular tourist spot in Suffolk County, with a ferry link to and from Connecticut.

As well as the ferry there is a substantial waterfront beach and harbour, and a range of shops to explore. There is also a micro- brewery where you can indulge in beer tasting, and one of the largest vineyards Pindar has a store where you can also do wine tasting.

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Wine tasting on the North Fork

Thursday:

Today we took a drive along the north fork of the island which is winery country. There are 38 vineyards along the wine trail and most of them are open for tasting sessions.

We chose to go to Sparkling Pointe and Jason’s Vineyard.

As it’s name suggests, Sparkling Pointe specialises in sparkling wine and the wine flight we tasted was accompanied with a chocolate tasting!

My first wine tasting experience, and it will definitely not be the last! My favourite was Carnival Rosé and the pomegranate and goji chocolate.

We moved on next to Jason’s Vineyard part of the Pindar group of wineries. Here there was a choice of red, white and rosé from their collection to try, my favourite being a rosé called Andi’s Candy.

There are so many vineyards you can visit on the North Fork, that I’m sure a return visit will be required!

Cheers!

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