Travel
Lights on the Road: DeRuyter Lake, NY

When most people hear the word travel more than likely images of epic adventures in faraway places come to mind. Aw, how dreamy. Well, when I hear the word travel, not so dreamy images start swirling around in my head. That’s right, I said it… the thought of traveling can make my stomach sink. And unless you have multiple children, dogs, and chickens, you probably think I’m a real pessimist… and in this case, I suppose maybe I am.

I haven’t always been this way. Back when I was a packing for one I took several trips to the west coast, a couple to Mexico, Canada, and even England. I was lucky enough to have a chance to live out those whimsical traveler’s dreams, and will advise my children to do the same while they are still young.

Of course we do go on some very lovely vacations, all of which I am very grateful. Plus, Matt’s career with the Patriots led us to multiple Super Bowl host cities and many trips to Hawaii for Pro Bowls and NFLPA meetings.

However, this was all back in a simpler time… a time of a smaller, more transportable family. Somewhere along the road the idea of vacation has turned into work, and I became a bit burned out. How can this be, you ask? Allow me to illustrate it for you:

  1. Preparation. Days, not hours, of preparation go into moving my family from one place to another. I start laying clothes out for all four kids 2 to 3 days before departure, then for myself the day before. Matt is in charge of himself when it comes to packing due to the amount and oddness of items he insist must accompany him on his travels. Plans also must be made for missed school and activities, care for the animals, and any deliveries made to the house while away.
  2. Same day, different location. As I’ve stated before, I truly enjoy taking care of my people, but being on vacation (such a misnomer) can feel like just taking care of them in another, less convenient place. And you can just disregard that cliché pro athlete fantasy (thank you Bravo and E! Network) of the Lights lounging poolside, banana daiquiris in hand, while the nanny lathers the children in Supergoop before leading them to the beach so Matt and I can kiss and cuddle under the setting sun. Ok, maybe that’s just my fantasy, but this simply isn’t how we roll. Yes, I do have a banana daiquiri in one hand, but the other is very, very busy “gooping” the children, chasing after flyaway styrofoam lunch containers, picking food out of Matt’s beard before the seagulls zero in on it, and making sure the baby doesn’t walk off the edge of the pool.
  3. The aftermath. The only thing I despise more than packing is unpacking… especially when coming home to the tornado left behind a week earlier. In general, unpacking, washing vacation laundry, catching up on a weeks worth of mail, and retrieving all the animals, all while jumping back into our daily routine, takes about 4 to 5 days. When its all said and done, I need a vacation from my “vacation”.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let me say that I am not a total travel scrooge. I actually love and look forward to road trips (to laid back destinations that I can pack for in 1 day… I’m a real adventure seeker, I know). There are a few places we travel to as a family every year that I wholeheartedly enjoy, and I’m so excited to share one of them with you…

DeRuyter Lake, New York

 

This is DeRuyter Lake, NY. It’s near Syracuse, about 5 hours west of Boston (perfect road trip distance). And, as much as I dread ever having to cross county lines, this place is truly special and exempt from all my adverse feelings related to traveling. It just feels easy. There are no fancy restaurants to dress for, no one to impress, and nothing more to expect than truly relaxing and enjoying ourselves.

We stay in little waterfront cottages owned by Jerry Rice (no, not that one) and his adorable wife Nickie. They live right behind the cottages and run the General Store and boat launch for the lake. These two, along with their two amazing and beautiful daughters, who we’ve watched grow up over the years, are among the most wonderful people Matt and I know in this world. I could seriously go on and on about how much these folks mean to our family. They are the kind of people you pray your children will be like one day, and have become the reason we go back year after year.

Here is a little peek at this special place:

DeRuyter Lake, New York, Cottages

DeRuyter Lake, NY

 

Seriously?? How cute are these cottages? Details are everything with this family, and it shows! That sweet ride however, is all mine (now I’m really crushing those pro athlete clichés).

 

DeRuyter Lake, New York, General Store

DeRuyter Lake, New York, General Store

Here’s Nickie training Grace on the register so she could help work off some of our tab. KIDDING! While clearly not a bad idea, our kids actually love helping out the Rices, especially this past  trip while their two daughters, Jordan and Joely, were off in California. Our boys would actually wake up with the sun to hang out with Jerry and help him out around camp.

DeRuyter Lake, New York, Shirts

DeRuyter Lake, New York, General Store

We never leave without our DeRuyter Lake shirts!

DeRuyter Lake, New York, Cottages

This picture says it all!!

DeRuyter Lake, New York, Cottages

DeRuyter Lake, New York

DeRuyter Lake, New York

DeRuyter Lake, New York

DeRuyter Lake, New York, Evening

One of my favorite shots. Can’t wait to get back!

I should mention that the Rices did not ask me to market their little slice of heaven, nor do they need me to do so. In fact, if you ever wish to visit the “official vacation destination of the Light Family” I would suggest planning ahead, as this is not an easy place to get into. Happy travels!

Susie Light Signature, Keeping The Light House

 

21 Comments

  • Christina

    June 20, 2016

    Susie you are such an entertaining writer! This does look like a great vacation spot. I cant help but notice the cottage looks like the cottage in the Movie The Great Outdoors with John Candy.
    Keep writing they are fun to read.

    • slight72

      June 20, 2016

      Christina, I think this is a place Tim would be willing to travel to too! Thx for reading! Miss you! Xoxo

  • Karen

    June 20, 2016

    It looks very inviting and relaxing!

    • slight72

      June 20, 2016

      Karen, most relaxing trip we take every year by far!

  • Linda

    June 20, 2016

    Love the general store!! Family fun looks sooooo relaxing. Thanks for sharing! Lin

    • slight72

      June 20, 2016

      It is so fun! Perfect vacation!!

  • Melinda W

    June 21, 2016

    Susie, I am SO with you about peaceful vacations instead of the ones you need a rest after! I really enjoy your blog. It is fun and sweet, just like you! Melinda

    • slight72

      June 21, 2016

      Thanks Melinda!!
      See you this summer!
      XOXO

      • Melinda

        July 1, 2016

        😊

  • Nicole

    June 21, 2016

    When your customers become your family, life is good!

    It was our first year with the new cottages, not those old ones where it rained inside and our renters had to get the drip pans out, and we were all excited and thinking how do NFL players end up at our unknown place in the boondocks. Well TURKEY. Yea, the fields are full of them around us and lineman love to hunt, so we met. Come to find out there was this amazing woman behind the 6’ 4” hunter. Right away you have a connection with Susie, that feeling you have with someone you grew up with and they share your moments and don’t tell. Being a mom of two girls and seeing this mom of a family of three growing to four over the years, just hanging out and having fun with the small stuff like cooking S’Mores and jumping of the dock, made us just want to be around them and hang out too. So we did and did and did and that’s family. Nicole

    • slight72

      June 21, 2016

      Awe!! Love you guys!! Thanks for all the support and encouragement on my little blog!! Xoxoxo

  • Herman Schlimmer

    June 21, 2016

    What a great story. My parents purchased land overlooking DeRuyter Lake nearly 50 years ago from my grandparents. They retired and made it their home until dad and mom passed (mom last year). My wife and I now have the A-Frame cabin in the woods (looking west) that look over the south end of the lake. Last visit a few weeks back we made a stop at the general store to pick up our DeRuyter Lake T-shirts. Jerry always enjoyed to visit with dad, waved as he ran by their home and let him drop off his canoe at the launch for a paddle around the lake. Retiring soon and looking forward to the view overlooking the lake and Jerry’s store and camps. Thank you for a quick reminder of why we love DeRuyter Lake and look forward to visits and future summers there.

    • slight72

      June 21, 2016

      That’s so awesome! It really is a special place!!

      Best,
      Susie

  • Kelly Wood Kirkeby

    June 21, 2016

    It is a lovely little spot, and I am proud to say it’s in the town where I grew up. There is nothing quite like small town life in the country, especially when it is in as beautiful a setting as DeRuyter. Now my kids are able to enjoy the area as well; actually more than I was able to do growing up there!

    • slight72

      June 21, 2016

      How lucky to have grown up in such a beautiful spot!

  • Town of DeRuyter

    June 24, 2016

    We are so happy to share our slice of paradise with you and are thrilled that you and many others visit our town every summer.

    • slight72

      June 28, 2016

      It’s perfect! Wish we lived closer! Thanks so nuch for reading!!

  • Trina

    June 24, 2016

    Hi Susie! I loved your post! It was fresh, light (no pun intended) and fun! A sweet little escape!
    Good luck with it and Happy Summer!

    Trina

    • slight72

      June 28, 2016

      Thanks so much Trina! Happy summer!!

      Xoxo

  • Cheryl

    July 2, 2016

    We missed you this year, while you were here we were in Cape Cod fishing!! We were fishing Deruyter last week!! I love it there too!! Looking forward to seeing you guys at the Shoot out!!

    • slight72

      July 5, 2016

      Is the it the best! Miss the Rice’so so much! See you in at the Shoot Out!

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