My dear wife Karen and I had always made it our custom to walk the Parade of Homes on a weekend day.
That meant sharing the view of the bunch of new houses on display, decorated to the nines, with a whole lot of other curious Central New Yorkers. Even though there are three weekends spread throughout the event, the Saturday-Sunday openings are obviously the most popular.
We went last Wednesday night. And it felt as if we almost had the eight houses along the cul-de-sac in the development of Crane Brook in Manlius, N.Y., to ourselves.
We arrived around 6:30 p.m. With the Parade open until 8 on weekend nights, that gave us plenty of time to explore all eight models, considering that we could roam through the rooms at our own pace.
Karen said we should start with the first house on the right and loop our way back to the left.
Yes, we enjoyed the vastness of these new places, even though we are Little Bitty lovers through and through. Two bedrooms are plenty for us at this stage of life, sure. Would we like more than one bath, sure. Would we talk about of what else we liked about how these lovely houses, yes. Would we dream about the leap we could take if we hit the big lottery, why not?
Our favorite this year was built by Smolen Homes. The Woodford is a sprawling ranch, a Craftsman with three bedrooms on the main floor and another in the quite-finished and fun basement. The house centers around a bright, open main kitchen, eating and living area. We liked everything about it.
I told the builder how much I admired his work. He smiled, but he was busy talking with more serious prospects in the finished basement.
Click on any gallery photo for an enlarged slide show.
We thought the houses held their individuality, but looked similar enough to make it a nice-looking, ready-made neighborhood. It was interesting that two of the grouping on the cul-de-sac were not part of the Parade of Homes. I wondered to Karen if they were originally, and if something happened with builder or home-buyer to make them fall out of the process.
Inside, all were decorated impeccably, with furniture and furnishings labeled by designer and available for purchase. Some designers were there to represent their work.
A few details stood out, especially because Karen pointed and said, Take a picture of that.
She liked the saying to the left. I liked the painting to the right. Come to think of it, I think the combination of the two makes for one wild laundry room.
The little yellow rubber duckies truly dressed up the rock garden basement structure in our favorite house, I thought.
Some of the other features all started to blend in during our visit, one house after the next.
But snap away on my iPhone 6 I did.
I chose the following gallery because of shapes, colors and light textures.
Hover over any photo for a description.
When is the last time you moved, and why did you relocate? How did you go about choosing where you live? What type of dwelling would you like to live in next?