Poke-O-Moonshine, Beers, Pear Pizza, Beers

DAY 72 -- "Let's climb a mountain," she said.

"I did it on a fourth grade field trip," she said.

"We'll be back in time for lunch," she said.

More on that in a minute.

. . .

Our last day in the Plattsburgh area started with a lazy morning around the house while Amy and Anna went back to the cemetery with a scrub brush to clean her brother's grave stone. The stone had become a bit weathered and they did a terrific job of revitalizing the marker remembering Tommy.

. . .

Our plan was to visit Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain -- a climb Amy claims she completed as part of a fourth grade field trip. Arriving around 11am, we were led to believe we'd be back to the house for a "late lunch."

We met a family from Burlington, VT that was starting the hike at the same time we were. Based on the gear they were packing, one of two things were clear -- either they were way over prepared for the climb, or we weren't getting back in time for lunch.

Ninety minutes, 1.2 miles, 1,280 feet of elevation later (at an average incline of about 35%) and a humidity/sweat-soaked sweatshirt later, we reached the summit.

Here's what I'll say about Poke-O-Moonshine -- it was more than we were expecting, but I couldn't have been prouder of our kids. Between our two families, we have five kids ranging in age from almost four to nine and every one of them made it all the way to the top. Anna was a bit questionable after she declared herself finished half-way up but soon reconsidered and plowed through to the end.

She told me some great jokes while we tried to decide whether or not she wanted to continue.

Man, I love her laugh.

Anyway, this climb was simply beautiful.

. . .

Back at the house by around 2:30, we ate a REALLY late lunch of anything we could get our wet and muddy hands on. All of this while Amy cleaned herself up for a visit from one of her favorite teachers she had been in touch with. Coincidentally, her fourth grade teacher who supposedly climbed Poke-O-Moonshine with a bunch of 9-year-olds. :)

. . .

It was time to reward ourselves while tackling a few of the places we'd been putting off all week. The first stop was Oval Craft Brewing -- a brewery located in the old fire house on the former Plattsburgh military base.

This. Place. Was. Fantastic.

They had board games to occupy the kiddos while the mommies and daddies sampled the seven beers they had on tap.

No kidding. Every one of the beers on this board was fantastic. I left with a half-growler of Star Gazer.

. . .

Dinner time.

Livingood's Restaurant and Brewery in Peru.

Another flight to sample. This time with a pizza that was so good I wanted to smash it all over my face. The Champlain -- pear, pine nuts, spinach, and bacon.

Seriously, I would be open to the idea of wearing this pizza to church it was so perfect.

Amy went after a poutine variation that was enough to make me break out in a cold sweat -- sweet potato fries with jalapenos and BBQ pork. Holy jeez.

The beer was also amazing -- although I was a little disappointed with the IPA. Livingood's happened to be running a pizza-and-a-growler special tonight so who was I to question their weekly schedule. A full growler of their Maple Vanilla Porter is coming with me back to Illinois.

. . .

Having fully celebrated our last day in Plattsburgh, we put the kiddos to bed and scrambled to clean the house and pack. But not before an "art sale" hosted by said kiddos -- works they had compiled this week sold for various amount of Monopoly money.

. . .

Lots of traveling to do tomorrow...

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