Monday, September 26, 2011

Upstate Adventures, Part I: The Drive, Wegmans, and Down Memory Lane with Friends

A couple of weeks ago The Fisherman and I took a little trip to Upstate New York. This all started out as a wedding invitation from my former supervisor and currently one of my closest friends and mentor, known here as Bosslady. It then turned into an epic adventure to an area I haven't been to since I left college five years ago. 

Not having a license made things difficult (The Fisherman has a license, I do not, but I am working on it again, perhaps the seventh time is the charm!) Adjusting to being so far away, in such a different place, and not really being able to drive to somewhere else also made it very hard. I mean, I referred to it as Hell With Snow, but I was a bit spiky and feisty back then. I think I've mellowed a bit and the emotional scarring has healed since then. The Fisherman, on the other hand loved college. He attended a school about an hour away from where I did and was thus very excited about the trip. 

Our adventure, for the purposes on Full Belly Alchemist, are detailed in three parts (because it is that epic). The first part is the trip up there (about six hours worth of driving), what I do love about Upstate, and taking a trip down memory lane with some buddies from college. The second part is dedicated to another close friend and college buddy. Adventures with her will be written in two posts because on adventure really deserves it's own post! So the second post is dedicated to a great smokehouse near Albany, and the final part is dedicated to this amazing chocolate shop near Albany that, if it were in New York City, I couldn't even afford to walk past, it's that amazing!

Anyway, onto the adventure! After a few days of rain, it continued on the day of our departure. However, as we made our way out of the Bronx to White Plains, a good omen appeared.

Taste the rainbow! Getting out of NYC is always a trip and a half, I think it took us easily an hour or more just to make it this far. And onward we drove...

Disclosure, being New Yorkers who lived upstate/outside of the city, we have a special place in our heart for restaurants/stores not yet found in New York City. One of those places is Denny's, so when the opportunity arose to dine at one, we had to.

So bad, but so good...

I'll spare you the many, many photos I took of the Great White North (which, at the moment, isn't white, but will be soon enough!). Much traveling through Jersey, Pennsylvania, then finally Binghamton, and the rest of Upstate New York. After about six hours we finally make it to the Finger Lakes region, huzzah!!

After hanging out in our hotel for a bit and relaxing, we meet up with some friends of mine from college. They meet us at this really cool gastropub in Geneva, NY called the Red Dove Tavern.

Sadly we didn't take pictures (sometimes this comes off as weird to people, and the lighting was very dim), but the food was quite nice.
This wasn't around when I went to school, but I'm glad I got to see old friends, return to my alma mater, and didn't burst into flames or break out into a really bad rash :)

While on campus, my friends' dog George ran around, having a great time, chatting up the ladies, and making friends.

Now, one of the few reasons why I do miss Upstate New York (yes, I do miss my friends, but that goes without saying) is this A-MAZING supermarket called Wegmans. If you haven't gone to Wegmans before, you don't know what you're missing.The closest one for us is in Woodbridge, NJ, where we have made special trips. 

This is not an unusual phenomenon. Those who are first acquainted with Wegmans are initially skeptical, but are soon schooled in the greatness that is Wegmans. For one, it's a nice supermarket. Two, it's not crazy expensive, even for college kids. And finally, the Wegmans family does great things for the community, and is one of the 100 Best Companies to work for in America.

Anyway, some photos to show the awesomeness that is Wegmans!

I saw the sign!! Yaaay, and it's walking distance from our hotel! w00t! And it's open 24 hours!!


The famed Wegman's sub. My fav, the Danny's favorite (Genoa salami, capicola, spicy ham). FTW!



 Our haul on one of our late night Weggies crawl.

So cute, beer named after my kitteh!! Sadly, I don't like the taste :(

And finally, I dedicate this post to the lovely lady who started this whole road trip, Bosslady. Congratulations to her marriage to Mr. Bosslady. Thanks to her getting hitched, I made my way back to where I spent four years of my life,and made many lifetime friendships! May the couple have many happy years together! Salud, and mangia!!
 Yay to the happy couple!!

The beautiful bride and me.

The Fisherman and I all sassy.

Up next, our trip to Albany and the famed Oscar's Smokehouse with another BFF, Mav! Get your smoke on!

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