Saturday June 21st (Steves Wedding)
Steve (Middle) at Wedding in Utica, NY
Steve (One of my co-workers) got married on June 21st in Utica, NY. Gwen and I went there for the wedding ceremony. We got there early so we walked around the neighborhood some. We got back and only one other person was there so we walked around some more. When we got back the 2nd time Steve had just arrived in the limo. Gwen and I went over and said hello and Steve introduced us to his parents. Then we went inside and enjoyed the Catholic wedding ceremony.
The reception for the wedding was being held later in the evening so we had around 4 hours to kill before going to that. Gwen and I had decided earlier that we would go to the Herkimer Diamond mines to fill that time slot. We got back on the thruway and got off at the exit the directions that Gwen found on the Internet indicated. However we seemed to be out in the middle of nowhere and the Diamond mines where now where in site. There were definitely more cows then people in this area.
Gwen and I got back on the thruway and stopped at a service center to ask for directions. By this time it was pouring rain. We found out there were two diamond mines and the directions we had were for one that was very small, and not the main one. So we found out where to go to get to the main one. We finally got there and looked around the gift shop some. About ten minutes after we got there they announced they would be closing soon and to make our final selections.
It was still pouring rain but I wanted to look around and see what the mines looked like. Even though they were closed and we could not dig we were still able to walk over and check it out. After getting back to the car looking like we had just been for a swim with our cloths on we decided to take the back roads back to Utica.
We stopped at the dolor store and a drug store on the way back to kill a little more time. It turns out the back rout we were on took us straight to where we needed to be. A lucky guess on our part since we had no detailed maps with us.
We made it to the reception on time. We sat at a table in the back. Shane (One of my co-workers) was also there at the table with us. After chatting for a while the food was ready. Shortly after eating Gwen and I decided to head out because we wanted to get back to Ballston Spa before it was too late since we had a long drive ahead of us. We found Steve on our way out and talked to him for a bit and then headed back home.
The rain from the day before cleared up and it was a nice day. It was still a little overcast but not to bad. Gwen and I drove up to Great Escape. It is around 30 miles north of here on the Northway. Since it looked like it might rain at any minute the lines where not to bad. We even got a few sprinkles but nothing to bad and it was well worth it for the shorter lines. For several rides we just walked right up and were the first people to get on and we got first pick of where to sit on the ride. We went on several roller coasters including the Boomerang and a wooden roller coaster. We also went on other rides as well.
Thursday June 26th to Tuesday July 1st (Trip to Portland, Oregon)
My sister Diana, Niece Laura, Lilly & John (Laura's friends)
Around 5:00 am Gwen drove me to the Airport. I arrived in Portland, Oregon around 11:30 am. My sister and youngest niece and two of my nieces friends met me at the Airport. On the way back to my sisters place we stopped and picked up some pizza. Once we got back to my sisters place we went swimming in the pool for a little while and then had some pizza. My sister had just gotten an ice cream maker so we made some ice cream. It turned out great
My sister Diana with her cute four legged friend
After swimming some more I played with Laura and her friends some and then my sister and I chatted some in the living room while the kids played up stairs. My sister and I went for a short walk and then I checked out a computer she was thinking about buying from a neighbor to see if it was a good deal or not.
My niece Laura by the pool in Protland, Oregon
Laura went over to her friends house and my sister drove me over to Agas place. Aga and I are no longer together as a couple but we still keep in touch and are close friends.
Niel Donald Walsh (Talking to volunteers) in Portland, Oregon
Aga and I were going to be attending a conference that weekend. This conference was led by Neil Donald Walsh (the author of the Conversation with God books). The conference was free to anyone that wanted to attend and people from all over the country attended. There were even people there that came in from different countries. About 1000 people attended.
Aga had volunteered to help find volunteers and sign them up for this event. That way all her volunteer work would be done before the event and during the event she would be free to full participate in it. They had a dinner that Thursday evening for all the volunteers and Aga brought me along to that. The conference was held in a very nice place only about 20 minutes from Agas apartment.
Outside of the convention center in Portland, Oregon
We got there early so we sat down on the grass by the pond. After chatting for a while we got up to go back inside. On the way back inside we walked past a man and woman sitting at a picnic table. Aga and I said hi and they said hi back. Then as we continued inside Aga said, You said you wanted to meet Neil that was him and his wife we just said hello to.
Once inside we helped out some people by getting nametags ready for the event. Then we went inside a room where Neil came in and talked for a bit. He thanked everyone for volunteering for this event and talked a little about what would be happening over the next few days.
The event lasted from Friday to Sunday. Aga and I both had a great time attending. It was very interesting and a lot of kewl things happened there.
Japanese Garden looking out at Downtown Portland, Oregon
On Monday Aga and I went to the Rose Gardens and the Japanese Gardens as well. There was a great view of downtown Portland from the Japanese Gardens. It was a very enjoyable and relaxing day.
On Tuesday July 1st Aga drove me back to the Airport and I headed back to Ballston Spa, NY. The flight back went well and Gwen picked me up and brought me back home. The next day was back to work as usual.
Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon
Friday July 4th (Convocation at Ananda Ashram)
Blue Sky Center at Ananda Ashram in Monroe, New York
I drove to Ananda Ashram located in Monroe, NY (About 50 miles north of NYC).
My dad was up there the whole week. When I got there they were doing a fire
ceremony with Sanskrit chanting in the Blue Sky Center. I had an enjoyable time
while I was there. I went swimming some, hung out in the Internet café
where it was air conditioned, and went to morning and evening meditation programs.
I also took a Hatha Yoga class while I was there. I headed back to Ballston
Spa on Saturday evening after the evening program. My dad stopped by on Sunday
on his way back to Raquette Lake and we went out for lunch and saw Terminator
3 at the Wilton Mall theaters while he was here.
What I have been up to in 2004