June 3, 2008

Summer in Valois: Let the renovations begin!

VALOIS, New York, USA - It wouldn't be summer if we weren't involved in some level of construction/reconstruction here at Seneca Lake.

So far, the biggest - and probably the best improvement in the last couple of years - is the addition of a breakfast bar (Breakfast bar? Who am I kidding?) that opens up the whole kitchen area and also gives us some much needed counter space for food preparation.

It will make a nice place to open up pizza boxes, too - my kind of food preparation.

Countertop one
Cousin Brett preps the area

The project wouldn't be possible without the talents of Cousin Brett, a Valois native who works as a carpenter, plays great music and tools around Valois (and most of America) in an ancient VW Microbus painted in psychedelic colors.

Brett also finished up the guest cabin bathroom restoration project just as we arrived last week, ensuring that the cabin will be completely ready for guests when they descend next week for the wedding.

Countertop 3
Nearing completion

The countertop project was only overshadowed yesterday by going on the hunt a car for the summer. After doing some quick math, the Admiral and I determined that we could buy an inexpensive car, drive it all summer and then sell it, at a total price cheaper than we could rent a car. And although I have a decided skepticism about Jeeps in general, we bought one Monday, a 1999 Laredo with a sun roof and plenty of miles on its odometer to prove its worth. Because of quirks in New York State law, it will take us a few days to take delivery. :-(

The fellow who sold it to us runs a small car lot in Montour Falls, part of a gas station, car repair, car inspection & car sales operation. He runs it by himself and the day before we went in, he had sold five cars - most of them Jeeps. He is so sold on Jeeps that he deals almost exclusively in them.

Jeep from the front
Out car shopping - for a Jeep

While the five days since we arrived have been a blur of painting, raking, mowing and moving, we did have a nice Sunday evening interlude with a party at our amigo Brad's house - the same Brad who painted the cabin last summer and who is still quite attached to the house my late mother-in-law Louise named Treetops.

Brad hosted about 15 people and in what has become a Valois tradition, musical instruments came out and as the level of wine in the wine jugs went down, the singing got more enthusiastic.

Brett and Sylvia do a duet
Brett and the Admiral entertain

No comments: