Okay! I'm cozily ensconced back at the Ranch and back to work. Today is the first snow of the season, and it's been flurrying all morning. It's beautiful! Right now I have a pot of Potato and Leek soup bubbling away on the stove for lunch (I grew all the potatoes AND the leeks in the soup, by the way!), and after lunch it's back to work!
While I'm waiting for my soup, I thought I'd get to work recapping the second half of our road trip!
Sunday, Oct 2
Our First Anniversary! We woke up late in our hotel room in Toledo, Ohio (a VERY nice, really clean Super 8) and started the 350 mile drive to Niagara Falls. This would be both of our first trip to the Falls, and we were really looking forward to it. We booked a room at the Super 8 there in advance and were ready to roll. You should know that every time I have ever entered the state of New York (or left the state of New York) something crazy has happened to me. I've been attacked by a foot fetishist, beat up by a deaf man on the subway, screamed at by cabbies, the list goes on and on... So, upon entering the state of New York, a native decided that we were taking to long at the toll plaza, started honking at us like a maniac, then chased us down on the road, flipped us off and then cut us off. Welcome to New York! (I should mention that we were only at the toll plaza for less than a minute). Awesome. We proceeded into the state, and were WAAAAY less than impressed with Buffalo. I'm sorry if you're a fan of that city, but it is FILTHY. From there, it was a short drive to Niagara. We know the history of Niagara Falls, how it was totally developed and ruined in the late 1800's, everything but the falls themselves. It is not our generation's fault that the falls were built around and that there is no "wild nature" left there. It IS our generations fault that the City of Niagara, butting up to the falls is a TOTAL HELLHOLE. There seems to be a mentality of "People will always come here to see the falls, why should we put money and energy into keeping it up?" If we had brought our passports, we would have stayed on the Canadian side which is much cleaner, I guess. Anyhow, we decided to make the most of it, and went to the Seneca Niagara Casino for a nice dinner. The casino is nice - only a few years old, and the restaurant had good food. It's an Italian place, and you can sub regular pasta for rice pasta - delish! We got there early and both decided to put a few bucks into the cheapo slot machines (I wanted to play craps, but the minimums were $10 and $15 - too much for me!), and both of us doubled our money within the first minute. We're not big gamblers, so we just cashed out and walked away $30 up on the Casino. We had a great dinner - Champagne, apps, main course, dessert. Mmm. It saved our time in Niagara, definitely. :)
Monday, Oct 3
We couldn't wait to get out of that crazy Super 8, so we were on the road early, headed for Syracuse. We got in early, grabbed some popcorn and saw the film MONEYBALL at the mall. We both loved it, by the way. After the movie, we were off to the Apple Store to buy the new computer, totally souped up, that the boss needed us to get. We were in the Apple Store for two hours, having every upgrade imaginable done to this computer, and spent a lot of time talking with the guy who was helping us. Turns out, he was working in the animation industry in LA for quite a while, until the project that was supposed to get his foot in the door with Universal fell apart thanks to the Writer's Strike. A lot of businesses failed during that strike, many people lost their jobs, and you can argue that Los Angeles STILL hasn't recovered. Anyhow, this guy with a Master's degree in his field is now working at an Apple Store in Syracuse, NY. Sign of the times? He was a really nice guy, though, and managed to send us in the direction of an AWESOME little restaurant near the University call Alto Cinco. For those of you who are Spanish Impaired, Alto Cinco translates literally to "High Five". Cute. The food was outstanding. They cater to these diets: Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free and still manage to have great Chicken dishes on the menu for a dedicated carnivore like my husband. I got a burrito (my first actual burrito since I gave up gluten - I stick to tacos and bowls) - shrimp, fajita veg, rice and a to-die-for chipotle crema. Mmm. And if I had noticed before I ordered a glass of wine I would have ordered one - they serve a gluten free beer as well. I haven't had a beer in more than two years! After the stellar hotel stay in Niagara, we just decided to go for a nice room at the Ramada instead. Plus it had a hot tub so we could soak our travel weary bodies. Syracuse was a great town - and the people were great and helpful as well. Definitely my favorite city in New York. :)
Tuesday, Oct 4
We slept really late, because we COULD. There's not much to tell about this day but the fact that we spent as much quality time as we could, since I'd be flying the next day and we'll be apart for at least two weeks. We drove to Albany, did some shopping, spent some time at the laundromat so Jason could get his laundry cleaned up, and had some dinner.
We had a great time, and I am so grateful that we were able to spend that week together, and celebrate our anniversary together rather than apart! I returned to the ranch after a long day of flights (Thank you to the United Ticket Agent at Albany for cutting my flights from 4 to 3!), and am missing Jason so, so much. Indy's still half moping - looking for his dad. The days are long without him here. But my parents will be here a week from tomorrow, soon after than Jason will be back, and then we're off to Florida and then the Caribbean!