Tales of the Traveling Tote Series

"The Tales of the Traveling Tote"

Did you ever read the teen novel "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"? Anne Brasheres wrote the novel over 12 years ago.  I read it because my high school students were talking about how much they enjoyed the book. 

Simply, it is about 4 girlfriends, all sharing a pair of jeans while they struggle with growing up, realize the importance of friendship, travel and search for love.

As you know,  I am a huge Mackenzie-Childs fan.  Last month they had a sale and I was browsing their website to see if anything caught my eye - as I was certain that I NEEDED something they had on sale!

This tote bag caught my eye:

I quickly pulled out my credit card and purchased it.  I HAD to have it!

  Remembering how much Debbie at Mountain Breaths loves MC Courtly Checks, I quickly sent her a text.  How could we ever live without this? 

And then I sent an email to Sarah at Hyacinths for the Soul because I thought she needed one, too!

Shortly thereafter, the tote bag was removed from their sale web page!  Lucky us!

HOW IS THIS TOTE RELATED TO "THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS"?


Debbie, Sara and I have decided to take the theme of this novel and create a series we will call:

"THE TRAVELING TOTE"

A few times a year we will each write a connected post about the places our tote bags have taken us.  They might include business trips, shopping adventures, weeklong vacations or simply every day escapades!

For now, mine is sitting by the fireplace with cozy throws rolled up and tucked inside!

So, stay tuned, and in a few months we will update you on our adventures!

Oh, and if you have one of these totes, please contact me and "jump on our silly ride"! 
OR
You could purchase their replacement tote and join in on the fun:




The Traveling Tote Series - Part 1


To familiarize yourself with how this series began, read about it HERE

This is the first post and the links of the other participants are at the bottom of this post .





I was quite giddy the day my tote arrived - and I named her Miss Kenzie.


I have to say that I didn't think retirement would be so much fun!  I am fortunate that I can take daily and weekly jaunts when I feel like it.  As I finished this post, and proofread it, I realized that I have been very busy and more than that, very fortunate to be able to have this much fun…. so here goes, a few months of adventures with my Traveling Tote….

When my new tote arrived in February, she sat by the fireplace filled with winter throws - it was a snowy and especially cold winter in Central NY:


This old M-C tote bag has been "retired" and now houses my grandson Carter's, toys:


Miss Kenzie's first trip was in mid February, to Albany, to grade teacher certification exams (holding my iPad, make-up bag and files:


…and then at the end of February she followed me to Boston to celebrate my dear friend's 60th birthday.  She loved to fly but was "squished" in the overhead compartment for over an hour!


On the return trip she housed my "masterpiece" from our painting party:


She followed me to Albany again, in March, for more grading of exams:


On Easter Sunday Miss Kenzie traveled to Rochester, filled with Easter baskets, presents…. 


….and my MC pedestal platter to hold desserts:


Mid April we made another trip to Albany to grade more state exams:


"She" loves to drag me to the Regional Market for fresh veggies and fruit:


At the end of April I made an impulsive decision to buy Miss Kenzie a little sister.  
Introducing "Taylor":


I was giddy again!

Taylor was used recently as a centerpiece for a brunch:


I exchanged summer reading with a friend, and the bag held some of the choices:


I took Taylor "home" the last day of April to Mackenzie-Childs in Aurora, on Cayuga Lake:


We had lunch at Fargo in the village….


…the flowers were blooming outside the pub...


…and we visited the Arts and Design Center across the street - Victoria and Richard MacKenzie-Childs tableware is sold here...


…and the Bet The Farm Winery next door...


Our day continued on in Skaneateles to the historic Sherwood Inn ~ I hung "her" on the hitching post!:


…we had a tasty Bloody Mary and snacks for Happy Hour at the Sherwood!


For Mother's Day we went to Ohio for 5 days to spend time with my daughter and grandson:



And a special Mother's Day treat was hiding inside when we returned home:


Mid May brought us back to Albany to grade more state exams



Albany is almost midway from my home to Boston, so we traveled on a few hours to have dinner with high school friends…....lunch with my niece the next day….….and dinner with my aunt and cousin…


Kenzie and Taylor had a craving to go to the ocean, so we traveled on to Cape Cod to visit with college friends, walk the beach, and of course to do some dining out and shopping!  This is my morning view at my girlfriend's home in Sandwich:


…and then it was time to return home to NY.


I took Miss Kenzie to the Regional market for fresh veggies and flowers, we have been anitiquing, and also on lots of shopping adventures.


At the end of May, Mom and I spent the day in Cazenovia, shopping and lunching on the patio at the Linklaen House:


The first weekend in June we celebrated my husband John's birthday at the Greenwood Winery.  They have an outside pavilion, great entertainment, lots of dancing and tasty wine!  


Outside the pavilion is a small vineyard and a patio with a fire pit!


We look forward to some quick jaunts over the summer and maybe even a picnic or two, so  check back on September 15 for the next post of the Traveling Tote!








Tales of the Traveling Tote #2  

The Places I've Been -



Since our last post in June, these are the places Miss Kenzie and I have been:

ROCHESTER, NY
The end of June we traveled to Rochester for a busy day: We had a baby shower brunch, and a birthday celebration for Carter, my grandson, who turned 6…so Miss Kenzie held some paper goods, homemade canned pickles, beets and relish, and plasticware:


In between both events my sister in law and I stopped off at "The Shops at West Ridge" and Parkleigh's new MacKenzie-Childs store.  It was a grey and gloomy day, so a perfect day to buy "Miss Kenzie and Taylor" a matching umbrella:


LAKE ONTARIO
The 4th of July brought us to Lake Ontario for happy hour:


I am not one to ever forget a bottle to share….


…plastic wine glasses, dishes, napkins, silverware and snacks in a M-C tin:


Fourth of July dinner was at Rudy's in Oswego on Lake Ontario:


It was a hazy day and the water was quite calm!  A fun day by Lake Ontario!


ONEIDA LAKE
July
One of the main roads in our town leads to Oneida Lake, a large lake in central NY….


…where there are beaches, parks, camping grounds, a golf course, and boating…..


There is a gazebo and floating dock and park benches...


…and one of our favorite restaurants!


Here is Miss Kenzie's first shadow pic!!


NEW YORK CITY
July 11 and 12
Mid July Mom and I spent a weekend in New York City.  This is something that she has been wanting to do since she moved up here from Florida a year ago! 

We took the bus to Manhattan and stayed in Times Square.


We toured the city by bus and then walked to Tiffany's, Rockefeller Center, and of course, MacKenzie-Childs (I spy Christabel!):


Lucky me!!


We also had "happy hour" at The Baccarat Hotel - my favorite decor colors- check out the floor


Miss Kenzie was, once again, shoved in the overhead compartment:


MACKENZIE-CHILDS BARN SALE
July 19

The yearly Barn Sale in Aurora, NY is only and hour away from my home and is always an exciting event!  I added a few little pieces to match my Traveling Tote.  The bracelet has been on my wish list and they were out of stock in the Manhattan store last week - Lucky me, I got it here on sale!  The wristlet was an impulsive purchase!!


And here is my favorite MC sales man, all the way from the NYC store, just here to work at the Barn Sale!


If you are in the Manhattan store, ask for Justin!!


DELAWARE, OHIO
July 23-28
My daughter, Sara lives in Ohio and we traveled out there to see her...


…and to spend time with our grandson, Carter….


…who kept us quite busy for 5 days!


I just love the center of town - I always feel like I have walked back into time.  There was an antique car show taking place and all the antique stores and gift shops were open!


On the way home we drove over the Rainbow Bridge, into Canada, to have dinner overlooking Niagara Falls:


The tote was too heavy to carry around this busy tourist area, so I carried my new wristlet and left Miss Kenzie in the car!



We had dinner and drinks overlooking the Falls, stopped at the Duty Free Shop for some wine and liquor, and then drove home!



My tote, purse, wristlet and I have been quite busy this summer - and August will bring us to Cape Cod for 2 weeks as well as to Atlantic City on the Jersey Shore!  

Thanks for traveling along with me!

Ohhh, How I would love one in every color!!






Tales of the Traveling Tote #3

Welcome to Part 3 
of the 
"Tales of the Traveling Tote" 


I grew up in Avon, Massachusetts..


...and one of my favorite things about Avon is D.W. Field Park.  D.W. Field Park is in Avon and Brockton and was donated to the City of Brockton by Daniel Waldo Field. The Park covers 700+ acre's, with 7+ miles of paved roadway, that encompass the park.  It's gentle slopes, many ponds, reservoirs, native trees and wildlife remind all that see it of a time, not so long ago, when the area was a small farming community.


Many visitors walk, jog or ride their bikes throughout the park.  My home was less than a 1/4 mile from the main entrance!

Throughout the years, I have had many picnics in the park...


…and as young teens, we used to be able to swim in one of the ponds.


This was the first place I ever went "parking" with a boyfriend!


And the first place my brother caught a fish!


It's the only local area where you can "feed the ducks"…. and the phrase "feeding the ducks" was also CODE for "parking"….


…there is also an Art Museum!


My high school ring is in the bottom of one of the ponds, but that is a story for another time!
It certainly is one of my favorite places!

………………


In August I returned to Cape Cod and although Scargo Tower is not officially a park, it is historic and  sits atop Scargo Hill, one of the tallest [160 feet (49 m)] and best-known hills on Cape Cod. The tower is located in the town of Dennis, Massachusetts off of Scargo Hill road, to the south of Scargo Lake.




In the background, you can see Scargo Lake as well as Cape Cod Bay.  On a clear day, you can see Provincetown and Plymouth in the distance, but unfortunately it was a gloomy day - but a perfect day to use my new umbrella!





I also spent a few days on Snake Pond...


…in Sandwich...


…the oldest town on Cape Cod!  
The Daniel Webster Inn is a 300 year old Inn and Spa, a wonderful Inn with a lovely restaurant and tavern:


Around the corner is the Grist Mill and Park on Shawme Lake:


This is one of the oldest water mill sites in the US:


My favorite part of Sandwich is the Boardwalk, built over low dunes and Mill Creek.  It's always fun to watch the local kids jump off the bridge at high tide!


I also spent 2 weeks in Provincetown, on the very tip of Cape Cod.  This is where the Pilgrims, aboard the Mayflower, actually stopped before making their way to Plymouth.


I enjoyed many happy hours on the deck….


…and on the beach:


The Race Point Light House is on the National Seashore (I think that constitutes as a park?)...


…and the sunsets at Race Point Beach are stunning:


The next photos do not reflect a "park" but my tote enjoyed Cape Cod so much that I thought you would, too!

This is one of my favorite photos to take in PTown:


This was my view from "work" for 2 weeks...


...and looking to the right of the deck was the Pilgrim Monument:


The nightly dining on the harbor was calm and relaxing:


Breakfast on the beach at sunrise was just so peaceful!


Miss Kenzie and her side kicks certainly have had a wonderful summer and we look forward to creating more special memories!  


The unofficial end of summer in Central NY arrives with the Great NY State Fair.  The last day of the Fair was Labor Day, and most often the school year begins the following day.  I worked 2 days at the Fair this year and it is always a fun way to end summer - and this was certainly an extra-fun summer for me!



The Traveling Tote #4
(Sept 2015)
"The Golden Days of Fall"

Around the corner is the Pumpkin Patch.  We have been going there yearly for over 35 years!


They have the best selection of fresh pumpkins and over the years have added a corn maze, hayrides, and lots of fun for the local children.


My tote carried my hand painted pumpkin...


…for a few photo shoots!


--------

A few weeks ago I took Miss Kenzie back to the "motherland": the Mackenzie-Childs store in Aurora!  
I wish I could fit this farmhouse inside my tote and bring it home with me!


It was a gloomy day, but it's always fun to treat myself with a few special gifts from the store ...


...and to tour the farmhouse...



-------

Every fall we take a trip to the local wineries in the Finger Lakes region in NY.


We traveled around all of Seneca Lake...

 ...visiting 8 wineries and one cidery...

...we even "tailgated" with snacks and wine"!


-----

Another favorite place we visit each fall is Beak 'n Skiff Apple Orchards


 It was just voted the best Apple Orchard in the US !  

It was quite exciting to be recognized by a reader of my blog while in the Orchard - She came running up to me asking "Is this the Traveling Tote?"  It was fun to see you Sherri!!


Six of us went apple picking, tasted beer, hard ciders, gin, vodka and bloody mary mixers!


And we also had lunch: Chicken salad with apples and celery - YUM!


The Empires were delicious and I came home and made a yummy apple sauce!


The third weekend in Oct we drove 7.5 hours to Ohio to see Carter!  The rainbow in the morning promised us a safe trip!  We went to his Karate ceremony, out to dinner, shopping, to the pumpkin patch, played games and even went to a winery!  It was a quick, fun-packed visit!


Throughout the fall I have been going to the Farmer's Market for fresh veggies and spices.  I made some delicious tomato sauce, canning some, freezing some and eating some!


There is nothing like fresh arrabbiata sauce:


Preparing for the Holidays ~ Traveling Tote #5

(Dec 2015)
My Traveling Tote is settling in for a long winter's night! 

Most often, once the weather gets cold, my tote sits in the great room filled with throws.  I am always cold, so this is my "go to" every night as I watch TV!


In November I worked in Albany for a few days and filled my tote with my computer, magazines and a shawl...



...  after work I took a short drive up to Saratoga Springs to walk the shops in town.  My goal was to begin my Christmas shopping.  Saratoga Olive Oil Company has some fabulous oils to taste and I treated myself to a bottle of Garlic Oil....


...and next door was the Savory Pantry, where I picked up some tasty treats for Christmas hostess gifts:


We almost always celebrate my birthday during the first weekend in December. We headed out on a foggy morning:


 This year my daughter, Caitlin, planned the day and we went to Rochester to see "The Christmas Carol".


  After the play we had an early dinner at The Gate House.  


  The following day John, Mom and I celebrated my birthday by having dinner at Santangelo's and the window in our booth was decorated in a Grinch theme:


There are so many events going on in December and there are some I always like to attend. 

These are a few that have become a yearly tradition:

We went to the Erie Canal Museum to see the Gingerbread House Displays:


The Everson Museum holds the Festival of Trees, all the trees are donated to the museum and sold as a fundraiser:



We shopped for the "perfect poinsettia" at Hafner's Garden Center:


And walked around to see the perfectly decorated trees - it is truly a decorator's dream !


            We also saw Lights on the Lake in Syracuse, a drive thru winter wonderland of lights along the Lake:


My large tote carried presents for girlfriends at an annual luncheon to celebrate the holidays:


And a few days later the smaller tote held a hostess gift for breakfast with another girlfriend:


I wrapped for hours one day and my tote held all the rolls of paper:


Over three hours of wrapping!



We shopped at Wegman's for my yearly "Girlfriend's Happy Hour" which I host every December in my home:



And how can you "prepare for the holidays" without a trip to see Santa?


It's a busy time of year, but Christmas is about sharing and spending time with family and friends. It’s about creating happy memories with those you love. Many of these yearly traditions are what I look forward to and it certainly keeps my spirit alive!



The Traveling Tote #6

(March 2016)

Welcome to the 6th edition of the The Traveling Tote!

January was a lazy month for me.  I caught up on cleaning and organizing the house, painting Valentine hearts, St Patty's shamrocks and Easter bunnies, and some antiquing and shopping:

                                         Syracuse Antique Exchange                                                     The House of S. Jaye Vendor Show      



Our neighbor, Paris, came over to "play" one night and loved my tote:


*******************
Snowy winters are very common in central NY, but this year we never got any measurable snow until mid January...


...and it can be quite gloomy, and February brought even more snow...


...I considered hopping on a train...


...but this train was heading north....


...and my totes and I were dreaming of sunshine and warmth.... 


...so I hopped on the internet...


...and made reservations to go south!



So, while you are reading this, I am on my way to the Carolinas for some SUN and to visit some old neighbors and relatives!


The Traveling Tote #7

(June 2016)
At the end of February, 2016, John and I,  along with my totes, headed south.  We left the snow behind for the sand!



A few days were spent with relatives in North Carolina where we had lunch and a tour of the Charlotte Speedway - how could I pass up this cute Nascar Teddy Bear?

And then it was off to Myrtle Beach where our room was on the 17th floor!!  The view was lovely!


My hand painted cell phone cover:              The Hammock Shops :         The Sea Captains for dinner:                                                                      

The weather improved once we returned to NY and it was time to catch up with old friends.

Lunch at Olives Eatery In Baldwinsville with Kathy, where the decor matched my Tote!...


...A trip to Aurora to MacKenzie-Childs with Maureen...


...and how could I pass up a few treasures from M-C?


In March our family celebrated PIRISH - Polish St Patty's Day - a special holiday created by the next generation!


We spent Easter in Ohio with this cute little guy:


I spent a day antiquing and shopping in Delaware, Ohio:


And back in Syracuse, NY I had a lucky find at a local antique store:



In May,  "Taylor" and I bought a new car, and named it "Lily":


And shortly after I went to Cape Cod to take care of a friend who had surgery.  The week was grey and rainy, but we made a few treks to the beach in Sandwich and Falmouth:

East Sandwich Beach:

Falmouth with Martha's Vineyard in the distance:


The Sandwich boardwalk:


It has been a busy 3 months and we have lots plan for the summer!!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY to RITA @ Panoply!!

And speaking of Rita, The Traveling Tote group of women had a secret swap and I received lovely gifts from her!!


Some local reading  from WV, a lovely green Blenko water pitcher, bear claws for summer salads and a soap wrapped in felted wool....


.....I was certainly spoiled in this swap, and just adore the Blenko glassware, which is made in WV:


And it makes for a prefect vase, too:


These have already been used a few times, another made in WV treasure!


One of the best parts of participating in this Traveling Tote series is enjoying the friends I have made.  It's also fun to see where the totes have traveled to, learning about the special places throughout the US and abroad and keeping connected through our love of MacKenzie-Childs products!



The Tales of the Traveling Tote #8
(Sept 2016)

It has been a very busy, but fun-filled 3 months for us!

In June my husband and I took a cruise to Alaska, with stops in Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway and Victoria, BC.  It was a fabulous vacation!


Our trip began and ended in Seattle, visiting the Public Market, The Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and a few wineries in Redmond.



You might be frightened to be face to face with a wild bear, however they were quite friendly and willing to be photographed:


In Skagway, the frontiersmen sported a bag, just like mine.  I am sure they filled it with gold from the Yukon!



The 4th of July weekend was spent celebrating Carter's Magician birthday in Ohio, walking downtown to see the street chalk drawings, the Clipper's game, and watching fireworks!


We also had dinner in Columbus and prayed away the rain before the Clipper's game


A fun July day was spent at Niagara Falls, Canada, dining at Elements, overlooking the Falls:


The Hill Cumorah Pageant was held in mid July.  You can read my post about it here:


We spent a week on Cape Cod - on Snake Pond in Sandwich - perfect weather every day!:



The Mackenzie-Childs Barn Sale was also in July.  Six of us had a great time shopping for the perfect treasures!!

Justin from the NYC store                                    Janine and I getting ready to shop


At the end of July, I spent a few days in Saratoga Springs:


It is a quaint town north of Albany, NY's capital.  There is a race track in this town and there are statues of horses all around. 

This jockey tried to swipe my purse - but I distracted him with my beauty and grabbed it out of his hand!



I am not quite sure how they were able to paint such a close, sexy image of me, but this horse sits in the center of town:


The Museum of Dance is also in Saratoga - and out front are dancers in "the 3rd position",  another thief I was able to catch:


My new purse is made out of the "cosmetic bag": 
I like the idea of having something unique so the cobbler and I created this perfect crossover bag.

**********
Our 36th wedding anniversary in August was spent at the Sunflower Field, Anyela Winery and the Sherwood Inn on Skaneateles Lake.  For 36 years, we have spent our anniversary "on the water" -  from the Caribbean, the Atlantic, the Pacific and many ponds, lakes and rivers in between!


We enjoyed Bloody Marys at the Blue Water Grill before our anniversary dinner at The Sherwood Inn on Skaneateles Lake:


And I should probably introduce my new traveling bag, which will get a lot of use:


And now I am off to work in Albany for a few days.  I love the idea of having matching bags - easy to locate and they make traveling even more fun....


Check out the Mackenzie-Childs website - some of the bags are on sale!
And remember, you can join our Traveling Tote Tribe if you have one!!


Thursday, December 1, 2016


The Tales of the Traveling Tote #9


While working in the Albany area in September, I found a delightful little place in Saratoga Springs called The Wine Bar
u


A clever sign out front:


It was so delightful that I returned a few weeks later for another glass of wine and appetizer!


Across the street is the Saratoga Honey and Tea Shop....and the chocolate honey is "to die for"!


I took a quick jaunt to Massachusetts and stopped in Plymouth one morning....


...to see my old friend, Massasoit who watches over the "rock" and the harbor



I traveled onto to the Cape and one morning brought a muffin and juice to the beach.  A quiet and peaceful spot in September!!


I took the ferry to Martha's Vineyard....


 and spied on Susan Branch's home:


I have been a fan of her art and books since the beginning - here's a stack of my favorites:


 I blogged about that fun day here.


I strolled around Vineyard Haven....


...and you can't go to Oak Bluffs without walking around the "Campground" - NOW, this is what I call camping:


After a fun filled day, I headed back to Falmouth to stroll the town!


And LUCKY ME...this is my best friend's home on the Cape, a special place I get to visit a few times a year :


Once October comes around, I love to go to the "Pumkin Patch" (I just wish they spelled it properly!!), which is in my town. 
  

 And what better way is there to carry home a few pumpkins?


The first week in October we went on our annual apple picking trek to Beak & Skiff, in Lafayette, NY


There are acres and acres of apple trees, hayrides, wine tasting, hard cider, vodka and gin tasting, apple fritters and cider donuts, a great country gift shop and yummy apple cider....


...and the best chicken salad croissants with apples, grapes and nuts!


Columbus day weekend was lots of fun, college friends from Massachusetts came for a few days.  We had a picnic lunch on the Cayuga Wine Trail...


...had lots of tasty snacks which were tucked into Miss Kenzie and..


...Miss Taylor enjoyed the beautiful vineyards....


...and we sampled lots of wine...


...and took too many pics!



The next day we went to the Alexandria Bay in the Thousand Islands and took a boat ride to Boldt Castle:


 A sad love story about this Castle: 
Construction began on Boldt Castle in 1900 at the bidding of millionaire hotel magnate George C. Boldt as a tribute to his beloved wife Louise. Boldt Castle was designed as their summer dream home on the St. Lawrence River, in the heart of the 1000 Islands. However it was not to be, Mrs. Boldt passed away suddenly just months before the completion of the castle. Mr. Boldt was inconsolable and immediately stopped all construction on Heart Island, leaving the property vacant for over seventy years…read more HERE

It was a brisk fall day, so we bundled up for the boat ride over!


Miss Taylor came along, too!


Here's a lovely view of the St Lawrence Seaway from the top of the Castle:


My 3 cohorts peeking from behind the sign!!



And what did we find as we were leaving the town?  The Thousand Island Winery, where this tin soldier had a tote like mine!!


In mid November I spent an afternoon with Peggy, from Rochester.  Peggy has been a loyal follower of my blog for quite a while and we met briefly, in person, a year ago.  This day we spent 4 1/2 hrs having "lunch".  It was such a delightful afternoon and we have so much in common!


Earlier in the month I also met another of my faithful readers, Tricia from Baldwinsville.  We are hoping to get together soon so I can get to know her better!!



Thanksgiving was spent in Ohio:


Carter drank apple juice from a wine glass, Sara made the cutest "turkey shaped cheese dip", the favors were tissue paper turkeys filled with candy, and the traditional shots of blackberry brandy were plenty!!  It was a wonderful week in Ohio!

It sure has been a delightful three months with family and friends, and the Traveling Tote has many more adventures coming up!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Traveling Tote Tribe had an ornament exchange last month and I received these three military nutcrackers.  They are so special because they were from Sarah Hyacinths for the Soul and she bought them at the National WWI Museum in Kansas City, MO.  

The Navy, Air Force and Marines

Each year when I unpack my Christmas ornaments, I will always think of Sarah!!


The Men Behind the Traveling Totes - Jan 31, 2017

The Traveling Tote Ladies always post photos of ourselves with the Traveling Tote and I thought it would be fun to show the "men" behind the the totes!  

My husband John retired from sales almost 9 years ago.  He enjoys all sports, bicycling and has recently enjoyed kayaking on a lake a few miles from our home.  He is a good sport about driving me out to MacKenzie-Childs and always enjoys the Farmhouse Tour.

We have met Victoria and Richard MacKenzie-Childs numerous times and one time he told Richard that he often wondered if we were related because "his name" was on many items in our home!!! And then proceeded to tell Richard he was welcome at our house for Christmas Dinner!

He is always is always teasing me when I ask him to take a photo of me with my tote, but generally is a good sport!!

One of my favorite pics of him was taken in Skagway, Alaska with this statue of 2 frontiersmen:


My birthday was at the beginning of December and he pulled through, supporting my addiction...


...with the "now retired" wristlet:


He was also a big help delivering Christmas gifts this year...


New Years Day, as we were leaving for a party, I made him stop for another photo....obviously he is now getting annoyed with me....


....and when we arrived at the party, his friends told him they liked his "man purse".... I had a feeling that would be the last photo I got of him!!

BUT.... 

...I got one more chance when he carried my bag out to the car for my overnight getaway to my daughter's!!



The Tales of the Traveling Tote # 10

(March , 2017)
Welcome to the 10th edition of Tales of the Traveling Tote!

The last 3 months have been quiet around here, the NY winters can turn anyone into hibernation mode!

So, here's what the my Traveling Totes have been up to:

At the beginning of December my dear friend Maureen, I met Debbie (right) from Mountain Breaths, and her friend Colleen(left) for brunch at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY:


After a scrumptious meal and long chats, we went to a craft show, all donning our different Courtly Check bags:


December was a snowy month, but my totes came in handy for holiday shopping!


My "side kick/delivery man" helped deliver holiday gifts this year:


This is the typical color of Syracuse in January - brown, grey and white!  It can be quite dreary!
And it's been a long winter...



I added a new tote to my stash - don't ask why!


At the end of January, my "newly engaged" daughter and I went to the Finger Lakes for a bridal show  at Glenora Winery and also stopped at a few other wineries for "tastings", Fox Run being one of our favorites!  This daughter will find any excuse to get me on a winery tour!  And I am an easy tag-a-long!


The winery is located on Seneca Lake, the largest of the glacial Finger Lakes of the U.S. state of New York, and the deepest lake entirely within the state. It is promoted as being the lake trout capital of the world, and is host of the National Lake Trout Derby. Because of its depth and relative ease of access, the US Navy uses Seneca Lake to perform test and evaluation of equipment ranging from single element transducers to complex sonar arrays and systems. The lake takes its name from the Seneca nation of Native Americans



This is the north end of Seneca Lake, in the city of Geneva, New York, home of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, a division of Cornell University. At the south end of the lake is the village of Watkins Glen, New York, famed for auto racing and waterfalls.

A few days later, John and I  were invited to the soft opening of the new del Lago Casino, in the same area.  They have a lovely MacKenzie-Childs store in this Casino and you can read about it here.  We enjoyed a few drinks and I made a little purchase at the store - OH, and we gambled away a few dollars, too!


Valentines Day was spent back at del Lago Casino, we are not really gamblers, but enjoy dropping a few dollars in the slots now and then.....


....and John bought me a yellow bloom at Savor, the MC store:


I also picked up a birthday gift, bridal shower gift and a wedding gift:


My totes and I are off to cruise the Caribbean in a few weeks!  
After a long cold, snowy winter, we deserve it!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tales of the Traveling Tote #11

June 2017
The Tales of the Traveling Tote is a series of adventures that share where our Mackenzie Childs tote bags have taken us.  Four times a year a group of bloggers each write a connected post about the places we have been. We have built incredible friendships through our blogs and we hope you enjoy our tales as much as we do!

To read about how it all began, go HERE

So, come along and travel with:
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Katie with Miss Daisy @ Preppy Empty Nester
Linda with Miss Rosie @ More Fun Less Laundry
Linda with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Patti with Miss Kenzie and Miss Taylor @ "Pandora's Box"
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul




Here's my tale....

On March 14 and 15 Storm Stella dumped 27" of snow on us and shut down the town for traveling.  A few days later I ventured outside and took a walk on the Erie Canal....
...and made a little snowman with shamrock wings...


...while we enjoyed a St Patty's Day happy hour in the afternoon sun...


The following week we flew to Miami and hopped on a cruise ship
where my daughter got married on Grand Cayman...


...and we took the Magical Beach Ride to Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras...


...and spent a day in Belize...


...and another day in Passion Isle in Cozumel...


...it was a wonderful vacation with 24 of our family and friends ...


...and my BFF of 44 years also joined us...

...and then it was time to come back to NY...


...to return to the "motherland" for the Mackenzie-Childs Warehouse sale, where I ran into Justin, the Asst Manager from the Manhattan store...


...and then I drove up the road along Cayuga Lake to the store in Aurora.  The store is lovely, but my favorite part is the bright and cheery bathroom!


Before we knew it Easter had arrived and we entertained 14 family members...


...and finally, spring arrived in Central NY.

I enjoyed walks around the Erie Canal in the warm sun...



...trips to the del Lago Casino and the new MacKenzie-Childs store in the Finger Lakes with John...


...an Urban Pop Up Market event at the Sky Armory in Armory Square in Syracuse with girlfriends...


...and a Tito's and Tapas Party at Phoebe's Restaurant with Janine.


Caitlin celebrated Mother's Day early with me and we spent a day in Skaneateles, lunching at Blue Waters, browsing through the gift shops, wine tasting at Anyela's Vineyard and White Birch Winery, beer tasting at Finger Lakes on Tap and ended the day at the Patisserie for some sweet treats!!


I also traveled to Massachusetts for a 2 week escape.  My first stop was in Northborough to have dinner with my first college roommate and 2 other college friends whom I hadn't seen in over 43 years - we opened and closed the restaurant that night:


I took a drive through my hometown of Avon, MA and enjoyed sometime in DW Field Park, one of my favorite places that brings back some great memories:


and then traveled on to Cape Cod to "play" with my BFF, Denise, whom I also met in college:


She lives in a beautiful home on a pond in Sandwich and the weather was beautiful ~ for only a short time!  We had breakfast on the deck overlooking the water....


...and walked along the beach...


...and then the weather turned grey and gloomy!

I was delighted to meet another member of our Traveling Tote group, Katie, from Preppy Empty Nester.  We had lunch in Mashpee and shopped at The Lily Pad:


Because it was a grey, rainy week I did a little exploring.  The Hoxie House is in the center of Sandwich on Shawme Pond and was built around 1675, making it one of the oldest houses on Cape Cod and one of the oldest surviving houses in Massachusetts:


Town Neck Beach was quiet due to the cloudy weather, but soon will be packed with beach-goers:


Before I knew it, it was time to pack my bags, leave the Cape and head to Albany to work for a few days:


It's been a fun-filled three months and I look forward to a relaxing summer!

Tales of the Traveling Tote #13

Dec 1, 2017

 Miss Kenzie:

  

In September, we had quite a few days of 80' weather, so we spent a weekend in the Lake Placid area, which is exactly a 4 hour drive from our home.


The Gondola ride up to the top of Little Whiteface is the fastest gondola trip in in North America and it has the highest vertical drop in the east!

Below, top right, is Lake Placid Lake:


The Ausable River runs along the roadside and even thought the foliage was not vibrant this season, we got to enjoy the beautiful scenery!


Miss Kenzie enjoyed a trip to the Pumpkin Patch....


...as well as our yearly trek to Beak and Skiff Apple Orchard:


In late October the Traveling Tote bloggers met in NYC....



and you can read about that memorable weekend here or view the video here...



...and I enjoyed some shopping and champagne at Henri Bendel:


Herald Square is one of my favorite places to sit and people-watch:


A few days later Mom wanted to go to Mackenzie-Childs, about an hour away, so we spent the day in Aurora.  Miss Kenzie will never pass up the opportunity to return to the "Motherland":


After a very warm October, November arrived with lots of rain and cooler weather and even some snow!

Mom and I saw the Lion King - great show!

At the end of November we went to Ohio for a baby shower for my daughter (expecting grandson #2), To Rochester to spend Thanksgiving with family and I also hosted an engagement party for my other daughter in Rochester, Miss Kenzie spent a lot of time stuffed in the back seat of the car....


...and filled with supplies...


...so now it is time for her to be stuffed with blankets by the fireplace and to settle in for a long, cold, snowy winter:





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