Every year in August, my dear wife Karen packs her bags and says see ya.
Almost a decade ago, her great friend at work, Chris, invited her to join a trip to Alexandria Bay for a weekend, an annual getaway in which a group of women who’ve known each other since high school age tell their significants to stay right where they are and go away on their own to have a good time.
I’ve come to call it the girls getaway.
Georgia and Cathy live in the Syracuse area, too, and so they’ve come to become my friends as well. Chris? I worked with her and Karen and we were friends before all this unfolded. Others who don’t live around here take part.
Chris since retired, and winters in Florida. Kathy as well. Still, I know husbands Dave and Bruce and Bert. Bert, in fact, we hired to put down our new pergo floor.
Once in a while, we all get together. Georgia summoned us this past weekend for a picnic at Jamesville Beach Park, a jewel some seven miles southeast of Syracuse.
Yes, I thought. A chance to show you three of the girls from the getaway.
We arrived at noon for the party, an 11 a.m. to ??? affair.
Georgia and her family had secured a great spot, a caravan of picnic tables in the shade. Two park-provided grills were at the ready. It was close to the building that housed restrooms. A sand volleyball court and dirt softball field were adjacent, the sandy beach just yonder. Lovely all the way around.
Georgia’s daughter up from North Carolina and her husband had brought their two darling new rescue puppies, Lucy and Bailey. They’re Chugs. That’s a mixture of chihuaha and pug. Bailey loved to jump up on me when I sat near them. And I loved to sit near them. Lucy was the one who wore a pink bow.
Georgia had proclaimed it a bring-a-dish-to-pass affair, and two tables were packed with food. Karen had made a ton of her delicious potato salad, and we’d pulled through KFC and purchased a bucket as the last thing before jumping on the highway. There were burgers and hot dogs off those grills. Tomato pies, a pizza-alternative specialty down from Utica way. Veggie and fruit trays galore. I felt stuffed the whole day.
Chris is also keeper of the scrapbooks, and she pulled them out so the girls could relive the magic. Chris has a great scrapbooking sense of humor. I loved looking over their shoulders. I’d felt like I’d been there from listening to Karen’s stories every year upon her return.
I had a fine time catching up with Bert and Bruce, too. Bert plays guitar and is a huge music lover. He noted that an old friend from his native hometown of Cortland, Jim Catalano, has started writing his music column for the Ithaca Journal again. Jim and I know each other from that craft for decades. Bruce recently became a fan of The Newsroom, catching up on HBO. I bit my tongue when he said he’s yet to watch the final and too-short season three. Bruce mentioned that we should get together come August when our girls are getting away to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Karen and I walked the grounds. We all hung out until the voice over the loudspeaker said the joint was closing at 6 p.m. We all started packing up around 5:30, and helped each other with our stuff to the cars in the parking lot until the space was empty and nearby parties had whisked away all our tables to their caravans. The first neighbors told us that the beach on the reservoir closed at 6, with the lifeguards jumping off their chairs, but the picnic area remained open. We were all ready to leave anyway. Long and happy day.
Click on any gallery photo for a description. Click and hold on the bottom right photo for an enlarged slide show.
Where is your favorite place to swim, and why? What’s your bring-plate to a potluck picnic, and why? What’s your favorite photo, and why?