Tag Archives: lodging

Pageant Rush

Pageant Rush

Pageant rush is upon us.  Elizabethe tells me a guy called in a frenzy asking if we had enough rooms for his group.  She says, he said, “I can’t believe practically every place is already booked.”

Yes, that’s what happens in Palmyra during Hill Cumorah Pageant season.  The Pageant rush hits and every one is frantically looking for lodging.


Because Palmyra is a tiny village near a very small city (Rochester).  That’s why I tell people to try to book 6 to 12 months in advance.  Expect to pay more.  It’s supply and demand.

Bond, James Bond

I’ve been learning how to do gobos (go betweens) in Poser and DAZ3d.  I created this James Bond inspired piece today as part of my studies.

copyright 2018 db walton

Bond, James Bond

I’ve finally got a handle on making and using gobos.  A gobo is a sheet that goes between your lighting and subject to create shadows.  In this case, a spiral pattern falls on the lady and the floor.

Taco Bell

We went for a cheap date today.  We drove to Victor and went to Taco Bell.  While I miss the good ol’ 5 item menu, their XXL grilled burrito is pretty good.  I gave it a try today and I’d give it a 5 out of 5.



When the kid at the shoe store doesn’t know what a shoehorn is, you’re old.  But, when the shoe store doesn’t carry shoehorns, something’s wrong.

That’s how it was today.  I have a hard time finding decent shoes.  My feet are sensitive and I would rather spend a lot of money on a shoe that feels good on my feet than I would any other article of clothing.

I found a nice pair of Perry Ellis shoes.   They are kind of like a desert boot, but with a smooth finish and a narrower toe.  In fact, these could be worn with a suit.

Because of the height around the ankle, it is difficult to get past the heal.  So, I went up to the clerk and asked, “Where can I find shoehorns?”

He looked at me as if to ask, “Why would you want a shoehorn?  What is a shoehorn anyway?”

“We don’t sell shoehorns,” was his response.

In my brain I was silently playing smartalec as I wanted to respond with, “Wait… didn’t the sign outside say shoe store?”

Those words didn’t leave my mount as I realized this kid is in the generation that walks around with the heal of their shoe smashed down as if the shoes were meant to be worn like flip-flops.  He’s probably never worn a Florsheim wingtip in his life, and has never had to deal with a very stiff leather shoe that requires that tool known as a shoehorn to preserve the integrity of the shoe.

It’s time to go on Amazon and see if I can find shoehorns.    In the meantime, I’ve got to nearly unlace these things to put them on.

Mexican Food

We found a place that serves authentic Mexican food!  It’s in Waterloo near the corner of the 5&20 and Route 96.  We’ll be back.

copyright 2016 db walton

Waterloo, New York

Canal Ride

I took my canal ride down to where they are building the bridge on Canandaigua Road and back.  It was the perfect day for it.  Along the bike trail it was quiet and peaceful and very bucolic.

copyright 2016 db walton -shoehorn

Canal Bridge Painting

I stopped to capture a picture, and came straight home and painted it.  I must admit, this is the first time I’ve painted while dripping in sweat wearing cycling clothes.  I’m not 100% pleased with it and might work on it some more, but for 3 hours of work… you can at least tell what it is.



Imagine sitting in a restaurant while demolition is going on… on the restaurant itself.  Yeah, it was actually kind of comical.  They are remodeling the Burger King in Williamson.  There I saw with my friend Tom while just outside a guy was breaking the outer wall of the building with a sledge hammer.

Tom and I got quite a laugh out of it.  I commented that I was glad they were using a sledge hammer and not a wrecking ball.  I was also impressed that the guy never once hit the window, yet he was striking just inches below the bottom of the window.

It’s not often lunch at Burger King comes with entertainment…. even if it is demolition of the building you’re sitting in.

The first day of June, 2016.  Time is flying too quickly.  To think the year is approaching that 1/2 way point.

Early this morning I got a heads-up call that they were raising the lighting towers on Hill Cumorah.  I shot out there to get a picture of the big crane holding a tower.

copyright 2016 db walton - demolition

Hill Cumorah Lighting Going UP

Palmyra New York Lodging

And, if you are looking for lodging during Hill Cumorah Pageant, try the Beckwith Mansion and Estate here in Palmyra.  It’s an 1830’s Federalist Greek Revival Colonial located right on Main Street, Palmyra.  It is walking distance from the Grandin Press building, Alvin Smith’s grave, several bookstores (including an LDS book store), and a few restaurants.

Palmyra New York lodging is scarce during Hill Cumorah Pageant.  Call us soon to get your reservation.  If you go to our web site you can see the rooms and prices.


Exciting Morning

Exciting Morning

I had an exciting morning.  I was asked to go take some photos for two of my favorite people – Don Enders and Bob Parrot.  Don is a retired historian who has done a lot of research and work for the church.  Bob is a forester who cares for the Sacred Grove and knows a lot about lumber and 19th century home construction in this region.

We met at the Welcome Center and walked together to the Smith Frame Home where Don and Bob pointed out the various details that needed photographic documentation.  In addition to taking the photos, I was like a sponge soaking up all this knowledge from these two men.

Now, just a little about the Smith Frame Home…

This house was built in the 1820s, or started, I should say, by Alvin Smith.  After the Smiths lost the farm, other owners made significant changes.  One changed turned the house in to a Victorian style home.  Then in 1997 the church brought it back to its original form.

In August, 2001, the church received an award for the restoration.  The Preservation League of New York State gave the 2001 Excellence in Historic Preservation Award to the Church for the restoration of the Joseph Smith Sr. frame home here in Manchester.  (I know, it is easy to call it Palmyra, but it is actually in the Township of Manchester, NY.)

What Did I Photograph?

Stuff like this notch in a beam…

copyright 2016 db walton

Notch in Beam in Smith Frame House

And, these saw blade marks in one of the planks…

copyright 2016 db walton

Sawblade Marks

I am very anxious to read what Brother Enders will be writing.  These pictures tell a story, but he will put them in historical perspective.


Phone calls are coming in about Hill Cumorah Pageant room rentals.  We’re slowly filling up.  BUT, we do have rooms available Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th!!!  These usually fill first, but for some reason, we have rooms!  Call us at (315) 359-5280 to reserve a room.  We’re more affordable lodging  than the hotels, inns and B&Bs.

Later Than Usual

Later Than Usual

Reservations are rolling in later than usual.  I think part of the reason was a malfunction at a linking website to our site.  However, they got it fixed and now we’re receiving traffic and phone calls.

I say this every year…

If you are planning to come to Hill Cumorah Pageant, make your reservations early.  The earlier, the better.  We start for the next year as soon as pageant is over.  Others may start taking reservations 6 months in advance.  Whatever the case may be, start early making your reservations for lodging.

Tip 2

Plan to spend ample time here.  Trying to see the church sites in this area is best done over a few days.  Also, keep in mind that this is a culture-rich area, as well as the geographic features of the area.  Within short drives from Palmyra we have waterfalls (lots of them), museums and art galleries, amusement parks and waterslides, and more.  There’s no need to rush through town.  Make your vacation all about Palmyra!

Tip 3

Eat and shop in the village (and when you go to Pageant, at the Pageant itself).  These business largely exist for your pleasure.  When visitors to pageant don’t eat and shop here, those businesses may not be able to stay open.   Since I’ve been here, I’ve see a few LDS tourist oriented businesses close because of a lack of patronage.

Tip 4

Be prepared.  Bring an umbrella (because it rains a lot), and insect repellant (the result of all the rain we get).  Getting caught in a flash shower, or being eaten alive by mosquitos, can make your vacation unpleasant.  Plan accordingly.

copyright 2015 db walton

Hill Cumorah Pageant Performance

Tip 5

Westerners, bring your GPS.  We don’t have tall mountains by which you can get your bearings.  We’re surrounded by tall trees and sometimes you can’t even tell where the sun is because you’re in a deep canyon of trees.   If the car you are driving has a compass, trust it even if your instincts are telling you different.  We’d hate for you to get lost.

Thinking of Pageant

Thinking of Pageant

I’m thinking of Hill Cumorah Pageant and how soon it will be here.  It appears the website is missing the accommodations listings.  So, hopefully, this will show up in a Google Search and people can click here to find lodging.

That’s right, if you are looking for a place to stay during Hill Cumorah Pageant in 2016, you can visit http://www.beckwithmansion.com.  If we don’t have any rooms available, we will direct you to business that might still have rooms available.  Whether it be hotels, bed and breakfasts, guest homes or other forms of lodging, we can help you out.

Lodging at Beckwith Mansion

Lodging at Beckwith Mansion is still available.  We currently have about 1/2 the rooms booked, but, that won’t last long.  Give us a call at (315) 359-5280 to reserve your room during Hill Cumorah Pageant.

copyright 2015 db walton

Newly Mowed Lawn

If you visit http://beckwithmansion.com/online-booking/ and view our rates.

Please note that we have 4 rates.  Two refundable and two non-refundable.  In each there is a discount for paying by check.  Hence, if you want the best possible rates,  pay by check and get a non-refundable rate.


We’ve been having unusual weather for this time of year.  It seems like it rains, and then gets cold, warms up, and rains again.  As a result, we’re having cold weather, but not combined with precipitation.  This is making the grass green, but we’re having some really cold dry days in between.


So You Know

So You Know

This falls under the category of So You Know.  If you are planning a trip to Palmyra during Hill Cumorah Pageant, this are things you should know.

The Hill Cumorah Pageant runs for 7 days.  This year those days are Friday, 7/10, Saturday, 7/11, Tuesday, 7/14, Wednesday, 7/15, Thursday, 7/16, Friday, 7/17, and Saturday, 7/18.   However, the tech crew is already here, and cast begins to show up this weekend.


Lodging is scarce.  There is one hotel, the Palmyra Inn, and rooms run about $160 to $220 per night.  There are a couple of Bed and Breakfast Inns – The Liberty House and Canaltown B&B.  They run about $100/night (plus or minus) depending on the room.  And then there is us, The Beckwith Mansion.  We run about the same as the B&Bs.

The difference between us and a B&B is this… A B&B feeds you breakfast.  We do not.  However, you may use the kitchen for preparing food, AND you may use our laundry facilities (you must provide your own soap).  While some find breakfast is a nice addition, many of our guest appreciate the included laundry facility use – especially if you have driven some distance or have small children.

New York State Laws limit how many people can stay in a room.  Always inquire as to the legal limit when reserving a room, or tell your host how many people are in your group.  Again, lodging is scarce.


Plan, plan, plan in advance.  This is especially so when it comes to lodging.  We’ve had tourist call begging to sleep on our floor or sofa.  We legally can’t allow that.  While there are campgrounds in the area, you will want to do your research well in advance.

This is NOT a region where you can drive through and find a room always.  This is especially true during Hill Cumorah Pageant.

Also, if you want a family portrait while you are here, that’s my specialty.  (See www.dbwalton.com)  Many families contact me for an outdoor family portrait to remember their trip to Palmyra.  We can go on-location or take the portrait in my studio (located on Main Street in Palmyra, New York.)


copyright 2015 db walton

Family Portrait (Sacred Grove in Background)


When attending pageant, I recommend on the day you attend that you eat at the Rotary/Lions tent.  Those proceeds go to local services.   They usually have BBQ chicken, sausage with onions and peppers, burgers and a few other things.  They also have a regional favorite called “salt potatoes” (they aren’t real salty, it is how they are cooked.)

The other meals I encourage you to visit our Palmyra restaurants.  We don’t have a lot, but the ones near the Book of Mormon Publication site are:  Happiness Garden (Chinese), Mark’s Pizzeria and Nima’s Pizza.  A little further down the road you will find Chill-n-Grill (ice cream, burgers and hot dogs), Acropolis (diner with some Greek dishes), Athena’s (diner – burgers and sandwiches).  Going the other direction you will find Yellow Mills Diner.

Time Commitment & Sightseeing

If you have never been here, and you are coming during pageant, I would budget at least 3 days:

1 day for the pageant and Hill Cumorah and the E.B. Grandin (Book of Mormon Publication site) Building
1 day for the Sacred Grove and to attend the Palmyra Temple (very close to each other)
1 day to see the Peter Whitmer farm and while you’re out that way, visit Sauder’s (a Mennonite store) and drop down and see Watkins Glen (it’s non-church related, but you’ll be glad you saw it.)

copyright 2015 db walton

Watkins Glen State Park

I could give you a list that would keep you busy for TWO WEEKS while staying in Palmyra, but I realize most people don’t want to budget that sort of time to one place.  (Sad, but true.  This place is rich in family adventure stuff.)


I spent the day cleaning my studio and office.  When Elizabethe got home from work it was a trip to the bank to do the deposits, and then dinner at Chili’s.  It has been a busy day.

Garden Weather

Garden Weather

If ever you could call something garden weather, this is it.  It has been tropical rain forest weather this this summer.

The down side to this damp warm weather are mosquitos.  I went out to pick some peas and was attacked by the little vampires.  They are quite thick this year.

That gives me an idea… a hula-hoop with holes that you pass over your body while it sprays you at 360-degrees with DEET.  I know my wife would appreciate that.

The kitchen is undergoing a deep cleaning in anticipation for our Pageant guests.  The place smells like pine sol right now.  But, that smell goes away quickly.

After Elizabethe got home we went to the Joseph Smith Farm where the sister missionaries are teaching one of our friends.  It was a great discussion followed by some blueberry bread I had made as a treat for after the meeting.  Time flew quickly, before I knew it one of the sisters announced that the site closes at 9pm and we need to leave.

We’re only a little over a week away from Hill Cumorah Pageant.  People are already descending on Palmyra to help with the setup of the stage and technical aspects.  The first Pageant performance will be July 10th.

copyright 2014 db walton

Hill Cumorah Pageant

If you plan to visit Palmyra for pageant, make your room reservations!   Lodging is scarce.   We actually have a couple of openings, but don’t think you’re going to find something once you get here.  Call now!  (315) 359-5280.

Smoke is Salty

Smoke is Salty

Did you know that smoke is salty?  I learned that the hard way many years ago making jerky.  I added salt to the marinade and the resultant jerky was too salty to enjoy.  The next time, I did not add any salt, and what came from the smoke created enough saltiness.  (This is because the white ash is sodium hydroxide, and it adds enough sodium to the meat during smoking to make it taste more salty.)

For dinner tonight I smoked an entire package of Italian sweet sausage with chunks of maple from the tree that was cut down last year.  Not only did it bring out the saltiness in the sausage, but it added a nice sweetness from the maple wood.  Mmmm….mmm… good.

Sisters Jones and Stafford came to dinner and we had smoked sausages on these home made hot dog buns from the Pittsford Dairy.  Those buns were DELICIOUS too.  The two together were amazing when you added some of our home made relishes.

Church today was fast Sunday.  We nearly filled the entire building there were so many visitors.  I’m guessing there was close to 1,000 people attending today.  Yes, it is tourist season.

When Visiting Palmyra

When visiting Palmyra, come stay at the Beckwith Mansion.  (www.beckwithmansion.com).  We are located on Main Street, Palmyra, and we offer off-street parking.  We are also walking distance from restaurants, parks, the E. B. Grandin Building (Book of Mormon Publication Site), Alvin Smith’s Grave and many museums in the Village of Palmyra.

Attending the temple too?  Let us know when you call.  We are only 2 miles from the temple.

We offer affordable lodging.  We’re not a hotel, motel, inn or B&B (Bed and Breakfast), we are a tourist home.  We can’t always guarantee a room with a private bathroom, but we never have issues with guests sharing the big bathroom upstairs.  So, if that doesn’t bother you, come, save a few dollars and stay with us.

copyright 2015 db walton

The Beckwith Mansion

Elizabethe is Home Again

Elizabethe is Home Again

Elizabethe is home again. I picked her up from the airport this morning.  She was tired and went straight to taking a nap while I went straight to a meeting, and after that, we both headed to the temple for the evening.

I didn’t get a lot done today.  I had to head out early this morning to get Elizabethe, came home with about 1 hour to spare before my meeting, and had an afternoon of client meetings.

Looking at my calendar for tomorrow and it doesn’t look like I will have much time tomorrow either.  I have a 9am doctor appointment an 11am business meeting, and then off to Geneva for photography meetings all afternoon in to the early evening.

We went to the temple and had a nice evening there.  I met a man from Ripon, California, but he didn’t know any of the people I knew around that area.  But, he was impressed that I knew where Ripon is.  Not many people have been to Ripon, California.

We still have a couple of openings for Hill Cumorah Pageant.  If you are looking for lodging, there are not many hotels, motels or bed & breakfast inns in this area.  We are like a B&B except we don’t serve breakfast.  Contact us to find out if we have rooms.  We’re not as expensive, and we have a lot of history.