This morning was kind of mental. I haven’t exactly been overwhelmed by friendliness so far, although I think partly that’s due to central Manhattan not really being the place for kids. Unfortunately the epitome of unfriendliness presented this morning in the form of the man at the Avis car rental desk at JFK Airport. There appeared to be a problem with our booking via an agent and the way it had been set up for the 6 months. The man wanted us to return every month to JFK Airport to sign a piece of paper in person. Clearly that’s not really an option and apparently there is no way round it and nothing would break his stony, almost cruel, attitude towards us. The agent in the UK on the other hand was very helpful and although the problem isn’t exactly sorted, it will be and in the meantime we’ve hired a car from New York to Buffalo where we’ll pick up the long term one (hopefully!)
So we headed on out in the temporary car and took a number of wrong turns as we navigated the crazy road networks around the city and finally got on route 17 out to the mountains, sighing a big breath of relief… When child #2 had a major diarrhoea incident in his pants and it got everywhere, hands and all. So we pulled over in the snow, cleared it all up and set off again wondering at the incredible ability for our children’s toileting requirements to control our entire lives.
The snow was falling faster and heavier now and the roads were increasingly treacherous. As we passed more and more accidents Rob’s nerves started increasing as the driving got more challenging. So
our relief when we finally pulled up at our first stop in the beautiful little town of Livingston Manor was great. Although literally covered in snow, quite a few feet deep, you can still see what a charming small American town it is. We were there to visit Morgan Outdoors to buy kit for our onward journey. You’ll be relieved to know I now have suitable waterproof footwear! We also have kit for cooking our own food to keep our cost down, a snow shovel and gloves for Alf and Orla who have lost their original pairs already. Our welcome to Sullivan County, by the shop proprietor Lisa, couldn’t have been nicer and better timed so our morning stress seemed to melt away and the fresh mountain air was exactly what we needed.
By the time we headed out of town towards Lazy Pond B&B in the next town along called Liberty our moods had lifted and we were feeling positive and excited. And boy, was that quadrupled as we pulled up at Lazy Pond… Now this place is what we are about! The kids have never seen proper icicles or snow as deep and pristine and they finally got to start a snowman (to be finished tomorrow). Matt, the owner’s son, who welcomed us, had baked cookies for the kids and told us how they have been shovelling snow all day and night for days now.
We’re off to hopefully see some bald eagles tomorrow and find some slopes for the kids to sled down, we’ve got a snowman to finish and hot chocolate to drink. I’m super sleepy now and looking forward to a decent nights sleep now the kids have adjusted to the time zone and there’s no street traffic noise out here in the open country. To top it off the pillows here are perfect which my stiff shoulder and I are excessively excited about. Lots more pictures to follow tomorrow. Good night!