Since we had so much fun last year, I decided to invite myself and my wife back to Bob's girlfriend's family's cabin on the shore of Lake Chautauqua for a weekend of RnR - fortunately Bob and his better half were kind enough to come along.
Here is the view looking left out their front door:
Dr. and mistress Bob got there after their 2 hour drive I believe last Thursday, and myself and Mrs. Zouave arrived there Friday night around 10pm after a days work and our 3 hour drive from Pittsburgh. We got there just in time to see Michael Phelps win his 7th, and most closely contested gold of this year's Olympics - and to start drinking these tropical long island ice tea concoction things that I had at a bar a couple nights earlier and decided to recreate.
Prior to doing anything the next morning, the good doctor decided a refreshing dip in the lake would be a great way to start the day - I settled for a more traditional shower myself, but decided to record the event:
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We then hit the next town down the lake for some sites and some breakfast - the 128 year old Hotel Lenhart provided both:
Seriously, this place had one of the best breakfasts going EVA. $12 for 6 courses and you had like 4-6 choices per course - and they would even let you mix and match courses! Damn, we were eating whole figs for crying out loud. Has anybody ever even seen one of those things when it wasn't part of a newton?
I was too busy stuffing myself on corned beef hash, flapjacks and eggs to even be distracted by the gaudy period decor. Here, Bob and the ladies eagerly await the feasting to commence amongst the horrible wall paper:
That place was so kick ass I even got a walking stick for fourteen bucks. Here, I rest and contemplate the wisdom of my purchase:
After barely walking it off, and by "it" I mean a shit ton of breakfast, we decided for some reason that it would be a good idea to roll then - heck, the tarp was dry. Bob forgot his belt AGAIN, so I let him use my old white belt I brought for him just in case.
I have a list of excuses why the 8 minute long session of rolling Bob and I engaged in was not all that exciting, such as the standard yet legitimately applied hangovers and lack of warm up. Less often used, but still very appropriate here as well would be the "just eaten giant ass breakfasts" and the "neither of us want to look stupid in front of the forum so we both wind up not taking too many chances". Of course all one has to do is watch the following 3 videos though and see what impeded us most was that damn tarp that kept bunching up - I know my feet got snagged in it several times. Regardless, it was a good time and Bob is a better grappler than he gives himself credit for - he had very good instincts even when I was trying to set up different gi chokes. Anyway, here is our entire 1 8 minute round broken up for whenever we had to fix the tarp we were rolling on in the yard.
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After deciding that we did not want to waste our $12 and throw up our wonderful breakfasts, we switched from grappling, back to drinking for the next several hours. Before heading out to party for the night it was time to fire up the grill. Jeff provided the steaks last year, so I provided the baby back pork ribs this year:
The flavor was wonderful, but the texture was a little tougher than I would have liked. I had pre cooked them for 5 hours prior to my taking them to the cottage - next time I will smoke them for 6 hours.
After dinner we went back to Bemus Point across the lake to "The Casino" where they had a band and Jagermeister specials! (Too bad you missed it Squirrel). They even had the bus there - even if this "casino" had no gambling.
After a night of many beers and many shots, much loud music and snickering at guys in affliction shirts even up there, we all dragged ourselves out of bed Sunday morning for more breakfast at the Lenhart - I'd eat there every fucking morning if I could.
We then headed over to The Chautauqua Institute of New York which was just further down the lake and a 10 minute drive away. "The Institute" as they call it is basically a commune of scholars and artists which consists of eclectic houses, giant stately manors, open air stages, lakeside luxury hotels, small bed and breakfasts, concert halls, beautiful gardens, inspiring sculptures and artwork, libraries, club halls fashioned from amazing masonry, meticulous landscaping, and general quirkiness and examples of pursuits of the mind abound. A great place to visit, however I could not imagine living there with people like me regularly gawking about. Here are but a few of the many photos I took.
This is one of the many tree lined streets that ran down to the lake:
Dr. B and I in front of one of those "quirky" houses:
On this trip I found out that Jeff is a Doctor of botanicals. He recommends that the chewed up pulp of this plant be rubbed on the genitalia 2x daily for treatment of most common ailments.
One of the aforementioned "bed and breakfasts" - yes I chose this one because of it's silly name.
And this would of course be one of the lake front luxury hotels:
This was my favorite of the random open air performance areas - this one had some random dude in it playing some mellow jazz on an old upright. It looked like it would have been a perfect place to stage a fight scene. Instead, we chilled for a few minutes so I could take some pics and burn a few one hitters.
One of the more interesting works present was scale replica of biblical Palestine right off the shore of the lake. The lake to the left represented the Mediterranean Sea, and then the rest was built to the scale of every 1.75 feet being equal to a mile, with the dead sea in the foreground, Mount Hermon in the background. They had plaques all in the grass that you can barely see where all the major cities including Bethlehem and Jerusalem were geographically located. Pretty neat thing to see:
After spending about 4 hours wandering aimlessly about the damn place, we had our fill and headed back to the cottage to pack up and head our separate ways home.
Thanks Jeff for having Jessie and I as your guests again this year. We really do appreciate the hospitality and welcome you guys have extended to us and look forward to doing it again next year - you guys have to come to Pgh next.
Everybody else, make sure you check back on this thread, Dr. Bob has a bunch of pics and his side of the tale to tell and will probably be editing my post and adding from here on so that it is easier for you guys to find - make sure you rep him for that.