We continue to have wonderful experiences workamping although the one condition I insist upon is that we return home in between adventures to reconnect with our children and grandkids whenever possible. Fortunately, our two single children find us and visit wherever we roam, while our kids with kids were both in New Jersey until my daughter and her family recently relocated to a suburb of Binghamton, New York. As a result, our first stop after leaving Cape Cod was in New York! Not only did our five-day stay enable us to spend time with family, but we were also able to explore a part of the country we had not witnessed.
Our weekend was a whirlwind to say the least! From Friday night pizza we jumped to The Cider Mill for warm donuts and coffee and then on to Saturday morning soccer – and I use the word loosely. Basically we watched my 2-year old grandson and 4-year old granddaughter run and run and run – oh, and occasionally kick a soccer ball. It was great! With no rest for the weary, we headed directly to Animal Adventure, which is where April the giraffe lives. Those of you on social media know her to be the giraffe that we waited and waited and watched and waited for her to deliver her baby! Her baby, Tajiri, lives here too, along with over 200 animals – domestic and exotic, in a hands-on environment that promotes interaction and allows visitors to feed most of the animals. It was amazing to see so many children – including my grandchildren – enjoy over 70 different species – not sure they enjoyed it as much as Bill, but we all had fun!
The Saturday evening plan was for Bill and I to go out to dinner with just Kelsey and Ed – an adult night if you will, and as luck would have it, Binghamton was experiencing its very first Restaurant Week, which made it all the more enjoyable! We dined at Lost Dog Café , housed in an old cigar factory in downtown Binghamton, which was excellent…buffalo roasted Brussels sprouts, New York strip steak, their famous rigatoni in vodka cream sauce and assorted desserts.
We stopped for a nightcap around the corner at The Garage, another addition to the ongoing revitalization of Binghamton. Located in an actual old garage, this restaurant was hopping as well, serving Mexican fare. They boast of “tacos and good vibes” and that’s definitely what we were feeling!
Our visit would not be complete without a sleepover with Mims and Grandpa Bill in what Abigail calls the “big car house!” She did, indeed, accompany us to themotorhome and we all slept happily ever after!
A few weeks ago, I noticed as a gentleman was checking out of Atlantic Oaks Campground that he was from the Binghamton area. We chatted about our upcoming visit and upon learning we were staying at Pine Valley Campground, he said, “You must go to Country Hearts. That’s all I’m going to say.” So… Sunday morning, with Abigail in tow, we found the restaurant for breakfast! Uniquely located in the center of a furniture store and gift shop, there was a lot to investigate while we waited and the meal was worth the wait!!
Following breakfast, we took a ride to see Waterman’s Distillery, the whiskey distillery and event venue that is taking shape in Apalachin, NY with the help of Kelsey’s husband Ed! They are in the midst of renovating a barn built in the 1800’s which will serve as the venue, including a tasting room and distilling room. It proves to be quite the project but will be magnificent upon completion. Sunday afternoon was spent with Ed’s family – mom, sister, brother-in-law, nephews and nieces – football, conversation, yard play, and a great barbecue!
What a wonderful weekend with family and we still had two more days in New York! More adventures to follow!
Stay Calm and Travel On…