Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sweet Chalk, Lake Effect & The Lockport Locks

It's a beautiful, sunny day in Lockport, NY! & today I had the chance to enjoy a little "festival" that combines all my favorite things in one, fun compact area -- Art, music, shopping, history & ICE CREAM!

I was able to drag my husband out of bed at a decent time, meet up with my sister, Lisa & my nieces Morgan & Kennedy. We started the afternoon with pizza at Papa Leo's on Main Street. When the day starts with pizza, you know it's going to be fantastic! We then walked from Main Street, over the bridge to the otherwise of the canal where the Lockport Community Market was in full swing! Lots of arts & crafts, produce & various other venders (including a fortune teller/psychic) line the street. There's a few shops in the area, all of which are local business with beautiful store fronts (including my FAVORITE ice cream shop, Lake Effect!)

Today was the Sweet Chalk Festival along the street/sidewalks near the market. Artists turned out to create beautiful masterpieces out of, you guessed it, chalk! One of those artists is a good friend of mine, Jess Adams Tomaino. She drew this gorgeous lion with vibrant color & beautiful detail! Pretty amazing, isn't it? It was great to see here there doing what she loves! But she wasn't the only one! There were so many lovely creations being made including a giant, chalk Mona Lisa! I've never seen anything like that! I'm lucky I can write my name in chalk, let alone make anything even slightly resembling art! It was really "sweet" to walk along admiring the artwork & watching it come together. There was also an area with a grid with squares specifically for kids to try their hand at their own chalk art. My nieces LOVED this & spent some time drawing rainbows, flowers & sunshine in their own boxed art area. This was such a great idea for a festival! I've never seen anything like this, although I've heard such "events" exist in other parts of the country. Nothing like this has ever been anywhere near my hometown though. To have an event like this in my own backyard is pretty cool! I hope to see a repeat next year!

Of course we had to make a stop at Lake Effect Ice Cream right across the street from all the festivities! This ice cream shop has literally every flavor imaginable.... & then at least 100 more than your wildest imagination. Rice Krisipie Treat Ice Cream? CHECK. Sponge Candy Ice Cream? Also, CHECK. Anytime we're in the city of Lockport, we just have to swing by.  I have a ridiculous obsession  with the place. It's quaint, but innovative. Not to mention, the place is ALWAYS packed full of people I know. Nobdoy can resist this adorable, frosty gem in the heart of Lockport. Did I mention it's locally owned? Because yeah. Nothing beats supporting local business.

Today I had sponge candy on a waffle cone. I had it in shake form the last time we went, but I have to say I enjoyed the chunky bits of sponge candy in the basic ice cream. Not that the shake was bad. Heaven's, no. Nothing at Lake Effect can be bad. But, lord. It was FANTASTIC today! I make a point to try a new flavor every time I go. & that's a lot. I'm not even 1/2 way through their menu though. Oh, but there's SO much summer left! :-) My nieces both enjoyed their ice cream in dishes to avoid a mess. My hubby got his "usual" Peanut Butter Epiphany which he swears is something the god's created & placed delicately in a waffle cone to reward him for being a good boy. Possible. But, I think Lake Effect might just be THAT good. If you're local & you haven't tried it yet... Well, besides my regret that you've missed so much time, I do encourage you to get on it. It's also on sale at Tops & Wegman's now. Uh, yeah. Because I can't spend every single night in the shop. C'mon.

Moving on.... I don't believe I've discussed where I live much. It's not like there's a TON to discuss. Lockport is a relatively small-ish town. It's a suburb of Buffalo. We're known mostly for the "Lockport Locks" which were pretty sweet concept during the industrial revolution & helped stimulate business throughout New York State. I refuse to get TOO into the details since I'm not exactly an expert myself, but if you're interested, here's some info on Lockport the city & the locks:,_New_York
While we were hanging out by the canal, we got to see a boat pass through the locks. It's super cool to watch. The boat goes in, the doors close on either side. The water filters out. The front door opens, the boat goes into the next barge. My nieces were actually pretty entertained by the whole thing! & I'll admit, it's still entertains me though I've seen it a bunch of times. When I was little, in fact, my elementary school teacher walked us (probably 2 miles) from our school to the library & the locks to watch the boats pass through. I used to think it was the greatest field trip ever. Now as an adult, I'm amazed that the teacher managed to get 20-some sets of parents to agree to that field trip. Oh, the 90's....

But in conclusion, it was nice to be able to teach my nieces a bit of "hometown history" today on our little adventure. I'm kind of a history nerd myself & seeing those girls interested in this contraption built in 1819 in a world filled with iPads & cellphones warms my heart a bit!

All & all, it was a super fun time! Now I'm going to make some meatloaf & potatoes for the Mister & enjoy a quiet, relaxing night in with some wine & a movie! A day out in the sun is enough to make a person appreciate their couch & I've been doing just that for the past hour or so. It's time to get up & get moving!

Until next time,

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