Over coffee with Ellen: Lots to do if you’re planning a trip to the North | Columns

With summer just weeks away and warmer, sunnier days, many are planning their vacations.

I smiled this week hearing countless segments on television news programs telling viewers where they could find the best summer travel deals or the best deals for your vacation.

There were suggestions on how to beat traffic and save money on gas.

A journalist described a destination in Mexico where you could get 20% off your cost, which was literally in the thousands.

Another shared a place you could stay for just $200 a night in Lake Tahoe, CA.

Listening to this bargain, I wondered how much the trip to the budget destination would cost.

This reporter said vacationers should “fall in love with the outdoors,” suggesting areas such as Lake Tahoe.

There were countless vacation destinations with our sons when they were much younger.

There were visits with grandparents as we spent time at Disney World, Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts, Upper Canada Village, museums and art galleries.

But this week, as reporters explained our need to save gas and avoid traffic jams, I looked out our living room window and saw the beauty of the north country.

With a Courier Observer in hand, I read the list of concert series at Springs Park in Massena and Norwood Village Green.

There are the most extraordinary musicians from Masséna and the north of the country that you can listen to and enjoy, even on Sunday mornings.

Consult the lists of these concerts.

The Springs Park concert series starts tomorrow.

Those of us who live in the north of the country have the perfect place to vacation.

We can attend local concerts.

Or we can drive to the St. Lawrence Seaway. And for absolutely no admission fee, we can watch ships from all over the world pass through the lock system.

What a beautiful drive through Barnhardt Island along the seaway and what a joy to stop at the Nicandri Nature Center.

There is also joy for any time spent at Sweet Treats and how relaxing it is to stop in Springs Park.

There are also local museums to visit – the Akwesasne Museum and Cultural Center is wonderful, as is the Remington Museum.

We also stopped at the Masséna Museum, which we really enjoyed.

This year we plan to visit Laura Ingalls Wilder Farm in Malone.

In my travels, there is rarely a time when I have to worry about heavy traffic.

(This seemed to be a problem with reporters’ recommendations for vacation destinations.)

One morning as I was heading down St. Regis Road, I had to stop momentarily as parent geese crossed the road with their three baby birds.

What a joy it was — yes, a traffic jam on Route 37, but that made me smile.

Yesterday morning news shows reported flight delays as travelers began their summer travel season.

None of our local destinations would involve time spent waiting for delayed air flights.

It’s always wonderful to visit other parts of the country and see the sights around the world.

This year, with travel issues and escalating prices, I think we can relax and enjoy our vacation here at home in the north of the country.

A few years ago, our neighbor Carole Smallman shared the words of her mother, who lived in Bombay.

Carole said her mother used to tell her, “You don’t have to travel to see beauty, it’s here.

Pack a lunch or drop by the drive-thru at your favorite restaurant and stop at a local park or on the Seaway and take a day off and enjoy the beauty of the North Country – with no heavy traffic to deal with, no delayed flight and no high overnight costs for accommodation!

Pat Edwards will celebrate his birthday on Friday.

What great neighbors Pat and her husband, Keith, are!

Time spent visiting Pat, whether on the phone or now in person, is always such a pleasure.

She is extremely talented — playing piano, organ or singing!

Have a wonderful day Pat.

My warmest wishes for the best as you celebrate your birthday this year.

The 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation will be celebrated this week, we are told.

The film clips of a very young Queen Elizabeth and the videos of her reign in full color are magnificent.

It’s been interesting for me at least this past week to see the announcement of his incredible platinum jubilee all over social media.

The Queen’s favorite canine friends are corgis.

Our family knows the Welsh Corgi – it’s the pet our parents had for years.

Although I don’t send messages on Twitter or Instagram, I was fascinated when I learned that on Twitter a corgi emoji had been created for the occasion, and there was also information about its celebration on Instagram.

I can’t believe this is a 70th birthday celebration – a party I saw on TV 70 years ago.

I hate to admit it, but I was old enough to remember the event!

Our family didn’t have a TV back then, but a neighbor did.

I was invited next to sit in front of a small 10 inch screen and watch the Queen’s investiture in black and white.

This year, I’ll be watching the celebration on our much bigger TV – in color, and maybe looking for a corgi emoji on my iPad or phone.

Times have changed !

“You haven’t lived today until you’ve done something for someone who can never repay you.”

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About Joan Dow

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