Syracuse, Day 1

St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, the Sherwood Inn at Skaneateles Lake, and Beak & Skiff

On Monday we took Amtrak from Albany to Syracuse, New York. I was unhappy with Amtrak. There is no way to reserve seats on an Amtrak train. You can buy a ticket, which entitles you to travel, but you can’t reserve a seat to sit in. In New York, the trains are crowded, so there is little chance of sitting next to the person you want to sit with. Karen and I ended up in separate rows for most of the trip, which made the journey less than pleasant.

When we arrived in Syracuse, our day got a lot better, because we were met at the station by Craig and Judy. We had become friends with Judy back in 1979 at Walnut Creek Friends Church,¬†and we hadn’t seen her (except on Facebook) since the 1980s.

And we’d never met her husband Craig. So it was great to see her, and to meet him. Craig and Judy had offered their hospitality to us for a few days, and they became our tour guides for the areas around Syracuse.

Judy is the Business Manager at St. Paul’s cathedral in downtown Syracuse, and this was our first stop on the tour. It’s a beautiful church, and we got to explore it thoroughly, and to meet the rector. The building dates from 1885 and was a lot of fun to explore. We got to see the organ pipes, and peek down the stairs into the crypt, and the main sanctuary, chapel, offices, and classrooms. The building reminded me of the church I grew up in, which was of similar size and age.

This is a small chapel in the church building. It is used as a classroom as well as a worship center. On the right is a framed artwork from the church hallway that caught our attention – it features the four gospel writers.

Below you’ll see three of the stained glass windows that are in the church sanctuary. The one on the left was made by Tiffany, the famous glass designer. Click on the photos to see them in detail.

Our next stop was the Sherwood Inn, on the shore of Skaneateles Lake. (We had to receive special training in order to learn to say that name!) The Inn is a place to stay as well as a place to eat, and it is a classy spot. Karen enjoyed the shops, and bought some jewelry and scarves. The food was great, and it was a lot of fun to spend a relaxing hour catching up with Craig and Judy.

The October weather was foggy, but what we could see of the lake and surrounding area was exceptionally beautiful. There’s a lovely park on the shore, and we spent a little time walking around it before we left.

From there we went up to Beak & Skiff, which is an apple orchard. There you can purchase all sorts of apple-related products. It’s a picturesque spot, and has a down-home country feel, as you can see from the pictures.

The water closet sign (below) was in the gift shop – I thought it was worthy of a photo.

On Tuesday the sun came out, the fog went away, and we had a beautiful day. Craig and Judy took us up north. First we went to Pulaski, a little town on the Salmon River, to watch the salmon catch. Then further north to Alexandria Bay, on the St. Lawrence River, where we visited Boldt Castle.

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