A few years back, a friend told me about the ice cave over at Sam's Point. They had told me that they were like Howe's Cavern, so I really had no interest in going to see them. Well, I changed my mind during our first hike up in Sam's Point. We got to the part in the trail where we had to chose where to go. The children voted on the Ice Caves so off we went. I was pleasantly surprised when we finally got there at how beautiful they really were and how unique. These caves are nothing like Howe's Caverns and they are no where near commercialized. In fact they were very enjoyable. The entrance to the caves in a series of steep step downs. It can get slippery here so I would advise people to be careful. Once you get to the bottom, take your time wandering around the various pathways both, in, around and through the caves. There is a variety of plant life to check out as well as little critters. We came across a gross centipede while we were there. When you get to the lowest and most inward part of the cave, watch your step. You are most likely going to have to walk across blocks of ice, hence where the name Ice Caves came from. Bring your camera, a flashlight, and a sweatshirt. It does get rather chilly in the caves. The Ice Caves trail is just one of the 7 trails you can take at the Sam's Point Conservatory.
Richie and I absolutely love to hike, so when his Uncle George suggest we give Sam's Point a try, we hopped on the opportunity. The first time we came here, Richie and I brought, Gryphon, Sebastian and Thaddeus, little P was at his dad's. We hiked a total of about 3 miles. Along the way we discovered that there are wild berry bushes lining the various trails. Uncle George had told us about these bushes ahead of time so we had packed some containers for picking. The boys and I had a blast picking and eating berries. I am not sure if we ate more or brought more home. There are several points of interest along these trails, unless you are a hiking pro, you won't be able to hit all of them on one trip. Our first trip we visited the ice caves and on our second trip we hiked over to the water fall. Other things to see here include the stark quartz cliffs, Lake Maratanza and Indian Point. These trails range in difficulty from easy to difficult. Consult the trail guide prior to setting out to make sure any little ones with you can handle the walk.
Rich first took me to this beautiful, old church the day of his Grandpa's funeral. It wasn't until a couple of months later that it clicked with me as to why. When Rich was a young boy who would attend church services with his grandparents at this historic point. Construction began and the church in 1895 and finished in 1897. A 900 pound bell has been hanging in the bell tower and is rung at the beginning and end of every service. This is the same bell that was hung on June 19, 1897 the day construction ended on the church. The majority of the stained glass windows are nothing to rave about, but if you stand at the front of the church and look up at the back, you will see a beautiful stained glass window known as "The Rose Window". If you visit the church at the right time of day, the sun shines through this window sending beams of color all over the church. There are several interesting monuments outside of the church including some old graves, but one of the prettiest is the archway that leads out to a sitting area with a view to die for. Services are still held in the church mostly during the Summer months on Sundays at 11 AM. During the cooler seasons services are held on the first Sunday of the month at 11 AM. The truly romantic may want to hold their wedding here. It isn't free, but at least the money charged is used for the upkeep and restoration of the church.
more to come
I have been to Luigi's on several occasions for family functions as well as to grab a wonderful home cooked meal. The first two times I came here were due to deaths in the family. The owner was really great to everybody and made sure that we were promptly served. Uncle George made arrangements ahead of time so salads loaded with cheese, grape tomatoes, olives, peppers and almost anything else you could want were waiting for us when we arrived. We also had some really tasty muscles with tomato sauce, warm baskets of bread and butter, bottomless pitchers of soda pop and really tasty garlic knots. This is a really small restaurant, probably can sit about 30. The atmosphere is casual. A draw back is the location and the parking. There is about 6 real parking spaces here, it's located on a busy road and it's right next to this little pond that has all sorts of nastiness floating and sunk in it.
Favorite Dish: I absolutely love the Fettuccine Alfredo with broccoli.
Before we left on our first hike to Sam's Point, Uncle George told us to watch out for snakes. I was like, yeah yeah Uncle G. Well I learned first hand exactly what Uncle George was talking about. I went to pick some of those really yummy huckleberries and just missed a timber rattler. Lucky for me I heard it and jumped away and lucky for me it was in as much of a hurry to get away from me. So here it is folks, there are rattle snakes up this way along with a few other species of snakes including Garter snakes and Copperheads. Don't take any chance, prior to picking berries or heading off a path use a stick to poke around.