Tuesday, April 29, 2014

You May Have Noticed ...

... that several pic links are broken.

We had turned on automatic photo upload to our Photobucket account on our phones, meaning that each time we took a pic it was automagically uploaded to our online account for backup. It's convenient as the dickens, but it uploads everything - including the dozens of paperwork pics Steve takes every week for the business, plus every picture I take (which is a lot - if something catches my eye, I can take two dozen pics of the same thing.

Suffice it to say that our Photobucket account was nearing the 10 gb max and desperately needed cleanup.

Sooo, I dived in and moved and organized and deleted.

The good news is, we're down to only 34% of our 10 gb.

The bad news is, I need to go back and correct the photo links throughout the blog.


I'll get right on it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Friends, Old Friends

We went out of service on April 4th and spent a long weekend in Buffalo with Silas and Caleb. Saturday was spent doing errands and shopping for groceries with Caleb in the back seat of the rental car, pointing out our turns while we caught up in between. That night, I made Pad Thai for he and Mike, as well as Si and Brett. It was a good time - I love to cook in a "real" kitchen when I can.

Sunday, we all met for brunch at Cracker Barrel. That evening, we were invited to dinner at Mike's mom's house - our first time meeting her. Caleb told me she liked Cabernet, so I bought a really nice bottle of Katherine Goldschmidt and a bottle of Ouzo to accompany the souvlaki on the menu. We were joined by two of Mike's and Caleb's friends. It was a night of great food and good fun - can't wait to do it again.

Monday, we spent the afternoon with Si and Goomba Lou, munching on snacks and freshly brewed tea, and discussing cats and life. It was wonderful. I wish I could do that much more often.

Since all of our time spent with Caleb up until then had been shared with either chores or other people, on Monday evening we took Caleb to dinner at Samurai Buffalo, one of his favorite restaurants. He and Hoss had delectable tidbits that involved copious amounts of raw fish, sticky rice, and seaweed. I had Gyoza (pan fried pork dumplings) and Beef Negimaki (scallions wrapped in thinly sliced beef and sauteed in teriyaki sauce).

I think it's highly likely I would starve in Japan.

The next day was Tuesday, April 8th. We drove to Syracuse and got our Explorer out of storage, then parked at the Hotel Walmart. Although much more relaxed and unhurried than our usual Christmastime visit, we were still quite busy during our spring vacation. Wednesday we revisited the local Colonial Laundromat:

Old Friend - Squeaky Clean Colonial Laundromat
This is always a huge highlight from our trips home. Although comparably expensive, the facilities are clean, the equipment is always in good repair, there is someone onsite if you need assistance, and, well, it's clean. Very clean. Until you've tried to do laundry in a facility that allows stray dogs to wander underfoot and functions as a casa de cambio, or one with equipment manufactured prior to the moon landing and every other machine is out of order, you have no idea how absolutely lovely and inviting Colonial Laundromats can be.

Wednesday, we hit Panera for breakfast - YUM:

Old Friend - Panera's Mediterranean Egg White on Ciabatta

New Friend - Panera's Bear Claw
We then scooted over to Soule Road for our twice-annual medical checkup with our buddy Mark. These visits are always a mix of medical topics, road stories, and politics. Lots of politics. Watching those two while deep in a boisterous discussion about Obamacare is better than a movie. Bring your own popcorn.

Old Friend - Dr. Mark Van Husen
Wednesday afternoon, we met at Jess's and Marty's for a grilled sausage, onion, and pepper dinner. Again, local fare was a delight.

Thursday morning, we meandered up to Phoenix for breakfast at our favorite local cafe: Maryanne's. The food is consistently great, and served with homemade bread and lots of butter. The staff recognize us every time, even though we're only able to dine there a few times a year.

Old Friend - Maryanne

Next was Lenscrafters for Hoss's new specs:

Then Adam's and Tracy's for an enjoyable visit, lots of laughs, sloppy-good pizza, and to meet the newest family member, Jack:

New Friend - Jack
Friday started at Dunkin Donuts. We saw an ad for a new sandwich and wanted to give it a try. Our order-taker informed us that they no longer offered it. She didn't apologize for that, nor did she suggest an alternative. She ... just ... waited. With bad posture, very loud hiccups (she didn't apologize for that, either, nor did she acknowledge them or even try to cover her mouth - classsseeee), and an attitude. I instantly wished a pox upon her.

Then we moved on to a hair salon on Longbranch, where I had a very badly needed color and cut. Unfortunately, I got a very bad color and cut. It turned out to be very heavily highlighted with platinum blond streaks, uneven lengths, and nearly non-existent eyebrows (I wanted them waxed, not eradicated!).

It convinced me to remove the pox from the Dunkin Donuts girl. Karma works.

That evening, we got together with with Adam and Tracy, Jeff and Miranda, and Mel, along with all four grandkids. A loud, happy time was had by all.

Saturday morning began with another visit to Panera, then Sam's for stock-up items, then a very pleasant visit with Dick and Irene. First, we chewed the fat with Dad while Irene competed in a bowling tournament, then we visited with everyone - including my favorite boy kitty - before heading to The Waterfront for dinner, drinks, and unsuccessful Quick Draw games. I had my first plate of Chicken Riggies, a local dish that I definitely need to eat more often:

New Friend - Chicken Riggies

Old Friends - and My Favorite "Old Boys"
Sunday morning, we hit Dunkin Donuts again. I'm happy to report that Hiccup Girl was cured of her diaphragm spasms, but was still disturbingly obtuse. Afterwards, we drove out to Jeff's and Miranda's to visit and have fun with the girls, enjoy some fabulous weather, and chow down on grilled hamburgers and dogs and Miranda's spectacular macaroni salad (I want the recipe).

Old Friend - "KeeKee" Who Lives with Jeff and Miranda

Monday we restocked the fridge (at Wegmans - by the way, no one is allowed to complain about living in New York again until you've had to live without a local Wegmans for 40+ weeks a year) and did a few minor repairs to the truck (new wipers, new water pump).

Tuesday, back in service and waiting for a load.

And sleeping in late. :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chesapeake Bay

We recently had a round trip over one of the most scenic bridge systems on the East coast: the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. This trip stands out, however, as we crossed at sunset Northbound, then in the afternoon Southbound on the following day. These pics aren't the greatest - you'll have to excuse the bugs and shaky night shots. Obviously, one can't just pull over on the shoulder and snap pics.

Northbound at sunset

Waves lapping at the shore of a man made island in the system

Southbound between tunnels

Cargo Ship Crossing Over a Tunnel as We Approach

Numerous Ships Await Their Turn

Imagine how nice that would be on your daily commute. :)