Archive for the ‘New York state’ category

I’m in Charleston, South Carolina!

March 14, 2011

My fiance and I arrived in Charleston, South Carolina yesterday evening! We are spending five or so days here for vacation. It’s so sunny and warm (high of 75). We left Boston on Saturday morning, and headed toward Connecticut. Connecticut traffic really slowed us down (as a result of this horrific accident), but we eventually made it over the border to Westchester County, New York.

We had lunch in charming Tarrytown, which sits right beside the Hudson River. We chose the Tarry Tavern, a Main Street locale prioritizing locally grown ingredients. I wasn’t that hungry, as I had enjoyed a calzone and yogurt in the car. So I just got some acorn squash soup, which was amazing.

My fiance had a “TT Wagyu” burger that he called “one of the best burgers” he’s ever had (the meal included bacon onion jam, white cheddar, and hand-cut fries).

Before out meals arrived, they served us rolls with butter.

Here are a few photos from Tarrytown:

This phone booth was in someone's front lawn.

The Hudson River is in the distance.

From Tarrytown we headed over the Tappan Zee Bridge.

We drove through some more of New York and New Jersey; then we crossed the Delaware Memorial Bridge to Delaware.

We went through Delaware, Maryland and part of Virginia, before stopping in Ashland, VA. After getting prices from several hotels off the rest stop (including a somewhat sketchy hotel with a glass barrier protecting the concierge), we settled on a Quality Inn. Ruby Tuesday was right across the street, so we went there for dinner.

My fiance had lobster macaroni; he said it was rich and very good.

I had one of their tilapia specials. It included a bruschetta sauce, grilled green beans, and white cheddar mashed potatoes. I must say, Ruby Tuesday has really improved their offerings since I was in high school.

The next morning we stepped outside and it was gorgeous out (about 60 degrees and sunny). We decided to take a picture so we’d remember this moment.

We got back on I-95 and drove until Wilson, North Carolina. There, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel for lunch. We had yet another fabulous meal! My fiance had meatloaf with mashed potatoes, green beans and macaroni and cheese.

I had grilled chicken pieces with green beans and steak fries.

Our meal came with corn muffins and biscuits.

While we were in the car, we played the state license plate game (where you write down the names of all the different state license plates you see).

I fell asleep somewhere in North Carolina. Before I knew it, we were in South Carolina. My fiance and I loved the lush greenery on the side of the road.

We stopped at a McDonald’s for coffee (by the way they reacted to our request you’d think no one drinks coffee in South Carolina), and then got back on the road. Around 7 p.m. we arrived in Charleston. We drove by an industrial part of the city that wasn’t so nice. However, things improved as we got closer to downtown.

I thought we were staying at the Days Inn but my fiance completely surprised me. He had booked a room at The Anchorage Inn, an adorable bed and breakfast on Vendue Range right by the Waterfront Park.

Just so you have an idea of how cool this place is, each day they have a continental breakfast, a 4 p.m. wine and cheese, and an 8 to 11 p.m. sherry. Not bad, huh?

Hi blog!

October 15, 2010

Just wanted to let you know I haven’t abandoned you. I’ve been pretty busy the last week with work, visiting my parents, etc. Anyway, I’m off to Vermont today but I’m sure I’ll have pictures/entries to post when I get back.

I do have a minute, however, so I will just a note¬† a few observations I’ve made over the last week:

  • The political ads being shown on Syracuse (NY) television are quite hostile.
  • Refrigerated chicken sandwiches from rest stop mini marts aren’t good.
  • Babies sleep through anything (I guess they don’t need rapid eye movement sleep like we do).
  • Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham is a great interviewee (heard him on the radio).
  • The Syracuse newspaper has become very locally focused.
  • You can get a great meal at the Little Falls (NY) Veterans of Foreign Wars post (the squash soup, salad, roast beef, mashed potatoes, carrots with cauliflower and broccoli, cherry cake, coffee and wine were to die for!).
  • Some people never age (what’s their secret??).
  • The Olive Garden’s bottomless salad doesn’t taste quite as good as it used to.
  • The Manlius Art Cinema (independent movie theater in Manlius, NY) may have uncomfortable seats but the hospitality is second-to-none.
  • Opening an old box of photos, letters and knickknacks can be quite an emotional experience.
  • One of the best places to shop for household items is the LaFayette Apple Festival (in LaFayette, NY).
  • Homemade apple donuts are fabulous.
  • Some people I saw at church 15 years ago still stand in the same pew.
  • You can rent a large four-bedroom house in East Rochester (NY) for $1,800 a month.
  • You can rent a charming two-bedroom apartment overlooking the beauteous Cazenovia (NY) landscape for $800 a month.
  • New York State is still talking a lot about government “consolidation.”
  • The Shoppingtown Mall (DeWitt, NY) still has a lot of jewelry stores.
  • Those Chilean miners looked awesome coming out of that mine (I’m sure many other people noticed this, too).

Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/mattcarman/218943199

Pictures from the LaFayette Apple Festival

October 10, 2010

Yesterday was a gorgeous day for the LaFayette Apple Festival (a huge annual apple festival taking place south of Syracuse, New York). Here are a few pics I took at the event:

That's some beautiful fall foliage, huh?


People looking at crafts inside one of the many tents.

Unusual clocks for sale

Children's author Richard Mickelson signing books

Another shot of foliage

I thought this was funny.

Cute slippers for babies

I love this.

For dog lovers

This kind of freaked me out lol.

The line for the apple fritters

Apple guy

Isn't this a cool shot?

This wine was really good

September 13, 2010

Swedish Hill Winery's 2008 Cayuga White

I got it during a wine tour of the Finger Lakes (in upstate New York) earlier this summer. It was perfectly crispy, semi-dry, and citrusy. The wine was actually developed by Cornell University at the the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y.¬† No wonder it’s so good– smart people made it!

The Finger Lakes are mostly known for their white wines, though I also really liked Swedish Hill’s red Marechal Foch (shoot, I forget what year). It was sooo smooth. Winery staff told me one reason was because it had aged in stainless steel tanks. I then started noticing that all my favorite reds had aged in stainless steel tanks. This doesn’t sound as impressive as oak barrels but oh well!

I look forward to soon trying a muscat I also picked up at the Swedish Hill Winery (I guess this was my favorite winery!). I’ll let you know how that goes!

Never thought I’d like war history so much

August 24, 2010

But a recent trip to Fort Ticonderoga (in northern New York state) proved me wrong. It was interesting learning about the strategic importance of the fort back in the day (it’s next to Lake Champlain, which connects Canada and the United States), and the various battles that took place there. I think a big reason I was so engaged was the beauty of Lake Champlain.

It’s a much prettier backdrop than the one at the last fort I visited, Fort Stanwix in Rome, N.Y.

I started off the visit learning about a battle at the fort during the French and Indian war in which 4,000 French defenders staved off an attack by 16,000 British soldiers. This is a memorial for the Marquis de Montcalm, the French army commander during that battle.

Here’s one of the trenches where the French and British fought (later the Americans and British used the same trenches).

Here is Garrison Cemetery, where several hundred American soldiers are buried (without individual grave markers).

Here’s a view of the fort from the outside:

Our tour guide (he was great!):

Some views of in and around the fort (much of the fort has been redone, as for many years people pillaged the original stone to build homes and other structures):

A year after the battle I mentioned above the British returned and captured the fort from the French. Later it was captured by the Americans during their first official victory of the Revolutionary War. The British later recaptured it, but then abandoned it.

Interesting stuff!


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