Friday, July 31, 2015

Tales of the Traveling Tote #2 and a Giveaway


We are having more fun with Tales of the Traveling Tote than I ever expected. Our next post will be September 15, and we are going to one of our local, state, national parks. We've had some lovely summer days here.  Sunflowers, daylilies and clematis are blooming their heads off. Miss Aurora has been enjoying our summer weather and is "feeling useful". 

Toted beach towels to our dock at camp (her favorite thing to do in summer)

Toted the snacks for our annual croquet game on Fourth of July weekend at camp

She strolled the meadow at Olana Historic Site (Hudson Valley)

Visited Cedar Grove (Thomas Cole Site)

Enjoyed her overnight stay at Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck, NY

Helped pick out an oak tree at Zone 3 (Inlet, NY)

Made a quick visit to "hang" with the artsy moose at View (Old Forge, NY)

Fit right in at the Adirondack Renaissance Fantasy Festival (Inlet, NY)
We attended the first annual Adirondack Renaissance Fantasy Festival near our camp in Inlet, NY. Thimbleberry the Woodsprite and her bestest friend Foomp were a delight to young and old. We were entertained by the Paddy Nappers, Gypsies, Fairies, battling Knights and belly dancers.

Miss Aurora was welcomed at Woodsy Gifts (Old Forge, NY) 

Hung out on the chair while I was reading a book at camp

We really enjoyed our trip to Rhinebeck, a tree-lined village that is upstate from New York City. A place for adventure, celebration and resting your head at night at a cozy B& B or Inn.  If you take Amtrak, you can get off the train, grab a shuttle and walk to quite a few inns, many fine restaurants and shops.
Talking to the locals was one of our favorite things to do. The Hudson River came up in every conversation, and defines "this side of river" and their preferences on what to do and where to live in the Hudson Valley. Our agenda included dinner at the Liberty Public House, saw Love and Mercy at Upstate Films, fine dining at the Terrapin and The Local, shopped for gifts at the Paper Trail (my favorite store in Rhinebeck) and the Rhinebeck Department Store.

While in Rhinebeck, we went to Olana State Historic Site. Loved this place!
Today Olana is known as one of the most important surviving picturesque landscapes in the United States. Produced during the same period with the same aesthetic and ideological motivations, the landscape at Olana has been compared to Central Park. Olana was one of several grand artist's homes in the Hudson River valley, and was the magnificent estate of Frederic Church.  

Church began the physical landscape design at Olana by searching three years for the ideal property. Frederic had walked and sketched throughout much of New England and elsewhere by that time, but his formative two years studying with Thomas Cole in nearby Catskill, New York, brought him back to the Hudson Valley.
Before you leave, tell me if you enjoy picnics, where you picnic and what you bring. Everyone who leaves a comment with an email link will be entered in my Voyage of Life giveaway. Winner of four photo cards and a surprise gift will be notified on August 14, 2015.

Located in the heart of the Hudson River Valley, the Thomas Cole Site (Catskill, NY) and Frederic Church's Olana (Hudson, NY) are two miles apart directly across the Hudson River from each other, connected by the Rip Van Winkle Bridge.

While we were in Rhinebeck we visited the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, home to Thomas Cole (1801-1848) founder of Hudson River School of Art.

The Voyage of Life, painted by Thomas Cole in 1842, is a series of paintings that represent an allegory of the four stages of human life: childhood, youth, manhood, and old age. The paintings follow a voyager who travels in a boat on a river through the mid-19th-century American wilderness. In each painting, accompanied by a guardian angel, the voyager rides the boat on the River of Life. The landscape, corresponding to the seasons of the year, plays a major role in telling the story. In each picture, the boat's direction of travel is reversed from the previous picture. In childhood, the infant glides from a dark cave into a rich, green landscape. As a youth, the boy takes control of the boat and aims for a shining castle in the sky. In manhood, the adult relies on prayer and religious faith to sustain him through rough waters and a threatening landscape. Finally, the man becomes old and the angel guides him to heaven across the waters of eternity.
MacKenzie Joy is "traveling" to celebrate Colleen's grandson's birthday and toting S'more jars made for another birthday celebration. Her beautiful tote looks so cool, festive and inviting. (Excuse the issue I am having with fonts and spacing on this post. I copied and pasted from emails and it is not working out)
Miss MC la Mer does not have many vacation plans this summer but came to lunch.
Yummy salad and fruit in the new MacKenzie containers...nice day to sit outside under the shade at the picnic table.
Check out my Tote playmates:
Debbie (Miss Aurora) @  Mountain Breaths 
Linda and Miss Rosie @  More Fun Less Laundry
Patti and Miss Kenzie @  Pandoras Box
Sarah and Miss CC @  Hyacinths for the Soul
Welcome our newest playmates:
Rita with Miss Luna C  @  Panoply 
Samantha with Christabel @ Samantha Stone
Tote playmates that don't have a blog
Tami and Miss MC la Mer
Colleen and Miss MacKenzie Joy

If you are enjoying the Tales of the Traveling Tote, I hope you'll visit again in September when Miss Aurora shares her tales of picnicing in a famous park. 

Debbie@Mountain Breaths
Debbie@Mountain Breaths

Hello, I'm Debbie.I enjoy hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the Adirondack Mountains (thus Mountain Breaths). I live in Upstate NY with my supportive husband and have three precious sons..


  1. Debbie, oh these photos! It's hard to choose just one favorite, but that artsy moose and Miss Aurora go perfectly together! What a fun summer you've had, so many adventures, making even the ordinary special. Thanks for welcoming me as part of the TT circle - loads of fun.
    Rita C at Panoply

  2. Hi Debbie! One thing I love about our TT is the reminder of all the places I would like to go! Olana is one of those places. It is not far from us and after seeing your description I can't wait to visit. The grass path just draws me in and I would like to see where it leads. I've seen many moose in the wild in northern NH, but never one quite as stylish as this one! I hope your oak tree thrives! As for picnics, we will picnic anywhere, anytime! It is my favorite way to dine! Linda

  3. This whole thing is just so you.
    That tote is so photogenic..and so are u.Love the last skirt;) And the green top to match Miss Aurora..
    Looks like you have been having the time of your life..Good for you;)

  4. Great pics! We need to all meet "somewhere in the middle" someday!! It was fun joining you on your travels - your camp looks like the perfect getaway for you and Joe. I think Joe needs a MC wallet so he can play along!!

  5. Oh, the moose with Miss Aurora! You shared the best photos, Debbie. I want to jump right into the screen and follow you around. Oh, the places you two have been! I think your wardrobe is the perfect compliment to Miss Aurora. So stylish!!!
    I've been to the Hudson Valley, but your adventures are pulling my heart strings. I want a NY trip, and not just to NYC! You and Patti live in a beautiful state full of great places to visit. Enjoy the weekend at camp!

  6. Oh the places you go, Debbie, I want to go, too!! Miss Aurora seems to fit in no matter what the adventure. Your cabin setting is so tranquil and relaxing. I'd love a visit at the oldest inn in America!
    I look forward to September and visiting a park with you, one of my favorite things that Rich and I used to do.
    I do love picnics, and we used to enjoy them at a hike in a park, before Rich passed away.
    Enjoy your adventures with Miss Aurora! How's her sidekick doing (the mini version)? xo

  7. Cute pictures, Debbie! I love all the places you and your tote having been and are going. I've never been to a Bread and Breakfast either and can't wait to hear how you like it. Not much for picnics here anymore but if you can call a tailgate at a Brewers game or Badger football game, a picnic of sorts, then we like to bring grilled chicken sandwiches on buns and a simple salad, chips and salsa.

  8. Hi! What a great post! I love the Moose, the fairies, and was that a dragon?! Your travels look so much fun! Tales of the Traveling Totes are so neat to see, and this is why!

  9. Love the story of the traveling tote. That tote is adorable. The fairy is so darn cute. What a delightful experience.I have experienced a Bread and Breakfast. It was charming. Love your travels. Yes, we love to picnic, sometimes here at home, Kauai, park, etc. I would have wine, cheese, crackers with assorted meats. There's something food tasting better outdoors. xo

  10. It looks like you have visited some beautiful spots Debbie, with your handy tote in tow! It's too hot to picnic in Alabama right now, but we love to eat breakfast lunch and dinner outside on the beach house porch when the sea breeze is blowing. Thanks for the romp through the beautiful countryside!

  11. So many interesting places! I love your photos of the outdoor tablescape and the sweet frog napkins! I scored the frog entry mat at the Barn Sale and it is the talk of the neighborhood. Thanks for sharing :)

  12. FYI--
    You don't have to have a blog to enter the drawing for the giveaway. I've received four emails asking if I would include their name in the drawing. Sure!!


I'm so happy you decided to stop by my blog. Please leave a comment as I enjoy hearing from each and every one of you!


Appetizers (2) Birthday Week (2) Blog Anniversary (2) Bread (2) Breakfast (4) Breakfast; MacKenzie-Childs (2) Breville Pie Maker (3) Cannoli (3) Chicken (2) Chicken Riggies; Foodie Friday (1) CHRISTMAS 2011 (4) Come To The Table (4) Cookies (2) Dessert (9) Dinner Parties (3) Easter 2012 (2) Events (2) Fairy Garden (2) Favorites on the First (2) Filled Strawberries (4) Flashback Friday (6) Foodie Friday (20) Garden 2009 (3) Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars (2) Halloween (2) Kentucky Derby; Run for the Roses Pie (1) Key West (4) Kick-Off To Summer BBQ (1) Lake Life (2) Lemon (3) Lemon Berry Cake with Mascarpone Filling (2) Let's Dish (13) Let's Dish; Tablescape Thursday (1) MacKenzie-Childs (39) MacKenzie-Childs; Traveling Tote (4) Magazine recipes (2) MAGNOLIA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING (2) Martha's Vineyard (3) McKenzie-Childs (2) Miss Aurora; (1) Monday Mosaic (5) Monday Mosaic; Seasonal Sundays (3) Mother's Day 2012 (3) Mystery Ingredient; Halloween 2013 (2) National Bundt Day (3) Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan (3) Outdoor Wednesdays (2) OWLS (3) Pasta (2) PEONIES (4) Philadelphia Garden Show 2009 (7) Pier One (2) Pork (2) PUMPKIN PIE FUDGE (3) Rhubarb (5) Salads (2) Seafood (2) Seasonal Sundays (9) Showy Lady's-slipper (Cypripedium reginae) (2) Soup (4) Spider Web Pizza (1) St. Patrick's Day (4) Summer 2013 (2) Summer Dessert (3) Sunday Favorites (3) Sycamore Hill Gardens (2) Table For Two (2) Tablescape Thursday (17) Tablescape Thursday; MacKenzie-Childs (2) Thanksgiving (5) Tips and Tidbits; (2) Tybee Island; Georgia; Savannah; (3) Utica Greens; Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook; Escarole (1) Valentine (2) Valentine's Day (3) Vietri (4) Weekends (6) World Famous Paradise Bakery Sugar Cookies with Magnolia Bakery Buttercream Frosting (3) Zucchini Bread (2)