The girls let us get away with them to Jamesville Beach

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.

Our host, Georgia.

Our lovely host, Georgia.

My dear wife Karen and Chris.

My dear wife Karen and … sorry to bug you … Chris. Another guest is in the middle.

Kathy is happy.

Cathy is happy.

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.

A beautiful grounds.

A beautiful grounds.

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.

Lucy, top, and Bailey.

Lucy, top, and Bailey.

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.

My plate.

My plate.

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.

She's a funny one.

She’s a funny one.

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.

The men left behind.

The men left behind.

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?

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73 thoughts on “The girls let us get away with them to Jamesville Beach

  1. Wow, that looks like a lot of fun Mark. Personally I think it is good when partners get a break from each other to be with their friends occasionally – like Karen and her friends get-a-way to Alexandria Bay. Some folks don’t see it that way, I guess it is personal preference.

    Your picnic looks delightful – awesome collection of yummy food. Nothing like visiting with good friends for an afternoon of cheer.

    Great pictures Mark. Fun people and times.

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  2. It looks so nice there!!! So green. So much water. My favorite food to bring to a potluck is Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins. Why – they are portable, scrumptious and good enough to be eaten for desert. I think my favorite picture is the one of the butterfly, I really like the combination of colors.

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      • It’s a great photo!!!! I’ve been watching this show put out by BBC called the “Human Planet” – beautifully done – but they had an episode on people that live In the desert, and how most of their days are consumed by the thought of and the search for water. I can really relate. But I heard on the Agricultural Radio Show (that’s my alarm in the morning) that we have an El Nino building strength – which is supposed to bring tons of rain this winter. Fingers crossed!!!!!

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      • I raise a toast of my tap water in a glass sitting on the table right next to me here to the building El Nino, S.D. Please please please bring the liquid relief you need on our left coast. ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fantastic gathering, Mr. B! Good location, good friends and good food. What more could a person ask for? Mrs. B is lucky to have such great girlfriends – I don’t know what I would do without mine. πŸ™‚

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  4. Good for Karen to get out (alone) and have some fun with friends…I love our inground pool! I love the Atlantic Ocean at my back yard! I love staying home! We are on our way back from Cumberland Island, Georgia on the Inrtracoastal waterway in our boat and I miss my “five”. The Gatorette and Mr. Gators

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  5. Oh wow, with my cooking skills I fear anything potluck. Do you know I once had to bring in a dish that represented our ethnicity to once of my kids schools so I got an apple pie that I just had to heat up and I burnt it (is that right, burnt vs. burned???…anyway). Yeah, pretty bad.

    I like the turtle.

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  6. Looks like a good time. I got a hankerin for that plate…That’s my fave for photos. The Chugs are adorable, but I love bbq or picnic food πŸ™‚
    I usually get requests for a certain dish, potato salad or Israeli salad usually.
    I prefer lake or sea swimming, but I’ll swim in a pool, too. I really enjoy swimming.

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    • I now will always remember that you are a swimmer, Joey. Happy in the water for you! Cool. I much prefer pools to any natural body because I can pick the depth I venture. And avoid fish, stingy and bitey both. And sharp crap on the bottom with my tender feet. πŸ™‚

      I loved that picnic food, obviously. I don’t eat that much portion-wise anymore, but made an exception this fine day. Good grief, I felt logey because of it. I managed to walk the water line with MDW Karen regardless. I think I would really like to try your Israeli salad because I’ve never! Thanks for pitching in your way, as always, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s unique and special that you can have a sandy beach, water, grass and shade trees, all together. Lovely. I enjoy potlucks, find so many authentic recipes that way. I make a mean redskin potato salad, with a touch of bacon.
    And…about those girls’ getaways…I’ve done that often, it is re-energizing. But, try not to ask what we talk about…better left alone. ☺

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  8. No fair! Food pics:). I’ve not had fried chicken in a looong time and you’ve just given me a craving for it like you wouldn’t believe. Looks delicious and fun!

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  9. These are great pics. The potato salad with paprika makes me wish I could reach in and grab it. I love Chris’s expression up top; like Lucie and Bailey made a no-no, and she is horrified.

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  10. Mark it looks like the perfect place for a potluck. I usually bring German potato salad to potlucks and my fav place to swim?? I love the ocean anywhere tropical! ❀
    Diana xo

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  11. I have 3 favorites. First the girls with your pretty Karen. β™‘β™‘ For you both.
    Next, the moth or butterfly on the red, white and blue tablecloth or napkin. I think this could have a quote and make a great short post.
    Last but not least, for some reason I love food blogs, so your delicious combination plate caught my eye, Mark.
    I am far behind so need to quit and come back for reading all missed posts πŸ™‚

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  12. this looks so fun for everyone and you guys are lucky you were invited to join in! i like to be by the water most anywhere, something about it –
    my go-to is usually a dessert of some sort and mg is a pasta salad making guy. we’re easy )

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  13. Your photos are posters for summer! Food, fun, water…and an adult beverage (or two!)
    I love the warmth your pictures and words convey. I hope you are having a wonderful July xo

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    • We are having a very good one, Michelle. We’re getting set now for our first-ever excursion to Colorado for MDW Karen’s family reunion the end of next week. Rocky Mountains, here we come! That’s a way to wrap up July. Thanks for coming over here, my friend. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • COLORADO!! Woo! Hoo! When are you there and where are you going? I’ve been working in that state for almost 8 years and absolutely love it! Every inch of it! I can’t wait for you to experience it, too. Have a fantastic time (I’ll be there in August). xo

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      • Dang, we won’t cross paths. We’ll be in Estes Park, July 23 to July 28. Karen’s siblings and nieces and nephews are coming in from all over the south and west. Sibs from Alaska, Texas, California and Washington state. Several of them have been to Colorado previously. I have only met one of her sisters and one niece so far. Holy cow, right?!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Estes Park is gorgeous! A fantastic representation of that beautiful state. If you happen to be driving through Kansas, please don’t judge the terrain by what you see on I-70…same goes for Eastern Colorado. We are more an off-the-beaten-path type of folk and that’s where the beauty lies. That said, I have a feeling you already knew that πŸ™‚

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      • I love you sticking up for your state, Michelle. ❀ We're flying in to Denver, and I'm unsure where our driving tours will take us, other than I'm ringleading a trip to see the Rockies vs. the Reds.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Mark … Your great photos stir beautiful memories. Jamesville Beach was a favorite swimming hole for our girls and me when they were young. Beautiful place. And that layout of scrumptious food … hmmmm! Now, I’m hungry. πŸ˜‰

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