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A Vacation To Remember! PART 1

By Glenn Arnette, lll

I have just completed one of the best vacations I have ever experienced. It was superb and probably one of the most relaxing. Now that does not mean I was in slow motion, not at all! There is so much to do and so many things to see, until you really have to pace yourself to enjoy every minute of each day. I am talking about the 1000 Islands located above 

Syracuse, New York on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

From the very beginning, it was the perfect trip. I was in Central Florida and had the pleasure of flying Trans Meridian Airlines for the first time. It is a wonderful non- stop flight from the Sanford/Orlando Airport in Sanford, Florida. Normally you would fly from the Orlando International Airport but over the past few years, Sanford has come into its own. What an easy airport for parking and the prices are just right. On Trans Meridian Airlines the service was exceptional and the flight lasted just a little over two hours. The Flight Attendants were extremely personable and guess what, you had a real snack both ways and it was included in the flight. Don’t find that much anymore! The airlines serves many other cities including Las Vegas, San Juan, Oklahoma City and more. Special thanks to Steve Gehm, Diane Fitzgibbon, Terri Micho, and Deb Totora, the Attendants on the departing flight and the gang on the return flight, Stephanie Haines, Sophia Khambax, Meghan Toomey, Beatris Gonzalez, and I can’t leave out Jamie Herscha and Suzanne Martin. Fantastic Attendants and lots of fun. You kept me entertained and made the flight a breeze. When you have a chance be sure to fly TMAir (Trans Meridian Airlines) and whenever possible especially from the Central Florida region. Tracy Gulliford, Sales Manager, deserves the credit for making special arrangements for me to travel on Trans Meridian Airlines.

On arrival in Syracuse, you could feel a real change in the weather, as it was only 60 degrees and it was the fourth of July week. Upon rental of a car I headed North up Highway 81 right to the 1000 Islands area. After crossing the American span of the 1000 Island Bridge you head to Wellesley Island where you will find the most charming village at the top of the world before you jump to Canada.

I had the pleasure of staying with my good friends Brion Price, his sister Carol and his mother Sue Price in Fineview. They have five cottages perched on top of a hill with a complete view of the river and its many Islands. The cottages are dated from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. I stayed in the green cottage on the river with three bedrooms, bath and a magnificent porch. The weather each day had a high in the upper 70”s and the lows at night around 50-55 degrees, and it was JULY.

Each day started with a wonderful cup of coffee as you sat on the porch and watched the large ships pass right in front of you. I am telling you they were close enough that the house would shake from the engines plowing through the water. Now, there are many things to tell you about and hopefully I can get it all into one story. If not, guess what, next week I will finish, but don’t miss a single minute of what you are about to read. I have a feeling you might pack your bags and head North! I want to especially thank Deanna Denver for giving me a first class tour of the entire area aboard her nice Stingray Boat. What a great two days of touring with friends!

The 1000 Islands are like an Adult Camp. Remember when you went to camp for the Summer and had those wonderful times? This is it! The area known as TIP (Thousand Island Park) was a Methodist Camp at one time. It is a very quaint little village with adorable cottages and shops. Each day there is something for you to do and the park is always active. It is like a movie set and you are the star of the film. There were Indians, food stored in barrels, coal, lumber, and “Skiffs” to navigate the river. Now it is history, history, history and perfect for living and meeting tourists visiting from all over the world.

I would like to tell you about two areas in the 1000 Island region. The first is Clayton. Clayton is where you will find the nostalgic grandeur of life on the St. Lawrence River. Soon after it was settled in 1822, Clayton became a major shipbuilding and lumbering port. Dozens of charming buildings from this magnificent era remain. Clayton is the home of many museums, but the most famous is the Antique Boat Museum (315- 686-4104) housing a history of wooden boats throughout the years. Then there is the Thousand Islands Museum (315-686-5794)that houses special exhibits of world-class muskies and hunting decoys from the past and present. The Hand weaving Museum and Arts Center (315-686-4123) showcases a beautiful collection of hand weaving and offers art exhibitions and workshops for all ages. If you fish, welcome to paradise. Anglers can launch their pursuit of a trophy muskellunge or walleye from one of Clayton’s many river access points.

For the local flavor, try one of Clayton’s restaurants for some fine St. Lawrence cuisine. Relax at one of the many outdoor restaurants along the river and remember the temperature is very mild. For additional information and a visitors guide call (800) 252-9806 or go to their website . By-the-way, let me say hello to Albert Buker at Clayton Wine and Spirits. It is the best place to find champagne to toast the Islands.

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