Here, there and everywhere: New York

In the past couple weeks Brett and I have been all over the state of New York.

We traveled to Rochester in the eastern part of the state to visit our Tuscaloosa friend Thad. Thad has always been a big star in our circle of friends, but now more and more people are being let in on this. Thad is finishing up a run of the play “I and You” at the Geva Theatre. He was absolutely fabulous in it. I cried twice. There’s a big twist at the end that I won’t give away in case any of you ever see the play elsewhere. Just know, it’s something.

We got to spend the whole afternoon walking around downtown Rochester visiting with Thad. While I’ve been happy and in marital bliss since we moved up here, there was a special happiness that energized me by being with a great friend. I can’t speak for Brett, but I do think he’d agree.

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Loved getting to see Thad, but leaving was sad for everyone.

On our way home we made a pitstop at Syracuse’s campus. It is absolutely beautiful. Of course, it’s probably covered in snow the majority of the school year. We when passed through Syracuse headed to Rochester we saw a sign saying Syracuse averages 112 inches of snow each year. Despite surviving a very rough partial winter in Glens Falls, Brett and I still managed to share an incredulous look. Maybe that’s a case of “You may leave the South, but the South never leaves you.”

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A Syracuse athletic department employee was nice enough to give us a small tour of the Carrier Dome. While it doesn’t compare to Bryant-Denny, it blows Coleman Coliseum away. Thirty-five thousand people in an enclosed arena for a basketball game, with 50,000-something for football.

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Not only is the stadium enclosed, but we learned a cool fact about the roof. It’s like a balloon. It’s held up by fans running throughout the building. When games are over, Syracuse has to open extra doors and turn on more fans to compensate for the mass exodus of people. If they don’t, the roof collapses. Our impromptu tour guide informed us when people exit the stadium they are basically pushed out from all the air.

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The stadium was prepping for a recruiting event, allowing potential students the opportunity to spend the night in the dome.

While at Syracuse we ate at Funk ‘N Waffles. The restaurant is located in a basement on Syracuse’s campus and is home to an eclectic feel. It’s been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives,” which is how we found out about it.

 

During the week live entertainment is available at night. But on the Sunday afternoon we were there it was packed with college kids enjoying a late lunch before what I can only imagine to be an evening filled with homework. I enjoyed a chocolate chip waffle with chocolate syrup while Brett enjoyed a waffle that had bacon included in the batter and eggs and cheese on top. We shared a brownie batter waffle as well and all items were ingested in a literal 10 minutes.

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We arrived back home exhausted Sunday night, but thankfully I had the week off (Spring Break, finally) and Brett got most of Monday to recoup.

After a calm, stress-free week, Brett and I began to toy with the idea of a trip to NYC. I really wanted to go on Easter weekend because my MLB-team, the Braves, were in town facing the Mets. Thanks to our wonderful cousin Marilyn, we were able to make a last minute trip to the city on Easter.

With no family to spend Easter with, getting to spend it in NYC was wonderful. It was my first time to be in NYC and I am ever-changed from just mere hours in the city.

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NYC had a city-wide Easter-theme. How could I pass up a picture with the M&M Easter bunny?

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I was taken by all the advertising and hustle and bustle of the city. Since it was Easter it was a little slower around town and we really got to enjoy the city. We made a quick trip through the theater district and checked out Times Square, Radio City and the Rockefeller Center before we made our way to Citi Field.

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The stadium was awesome. Very new with great food options. The only downside is a good many of their seats have tough views. From two different areas we weren’t able to see the corner of left field, but it still worked out.

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We left the game a little early to make sure we got back into the city and our bus stop to get home, which worked out since the Braves lost in extras. We took the subway from Grand Central, which might have been my favorite part.

I loved seeing the historic train station and my mind was taken back to it’s glory days. I don’t know what, but I was just very moved by the whole thought.

It was a whirlwind trip that left me and Brett more exhausted than the last trip. But after a good night’s sleep I’m ready to go back. I see what everyone means when they say the city gets in your blood.

We’ve already planned a trip back during the summer to see Brett’s MLB team, the A’s, play, and also to be a bit more touristy for my sake.

After arriving home Brett declared no more trips for a while. So here we are, back in Glens Falls. There’s no more snow on the ground, but we are ready for sunny and warm weather to return.

Until next time!

xx

Birthday Cards

I haven’t kept it quiet that this is my birthday week, but today is my actual birthday. I’m actually 23. Seems crazy. I’m a pretty nostalgic person, I like to think it’s because I had such a wonderful childhood.

One of the reasons my childhood was so wonderful was due to my great grandparents. Living in a small town and just a few minutes away meant frequent early pickups from preschool and lots of spur of the moment sleepovers.

I can still recite their address and phone number.

They were simply known as Mamaw and Papaw, and they meant the world to me. Despite being one of many grandchildren and great grandchildren, they were able to make me feel like I was their one and only.

When I was born in 1990, they were celebrating their 50th anniversary. They were as southern as southern gets, except about sweet tea. They never had that. But, make it in time for breakfast and you could get some of the best biscuits and fried eggs imaginable. And if you stayed til the 10 o’clock news, you’d be offered some coffee. (I drank it black, sharing the saucer with Papaw. Probably why I’m only 5’3.)

They left their doors unlocked, even when they went on trips. Always leaving a note to let us know where they had gone and when they would be back.

They got their water from a spring in northern Alabama.

They never had a microwave.

They taught me how to play Dominos. And Uno. And Trouble. And pool.

They let me sleep with them when I believed there was a monster in the guest bedroom. (I still think there was one.)

They told me about the Sand Man when I wouldn’t fall asleep.

They brought me presents on my siblings birthdays. (Two siblings in 16 months is rough on a former only child of five years.)

They stopped at the gas station every Sunday night after church to buy me a snack.

In short, they spoiled me.

While I have very distinct moments with each of them, individually and as a pair, Mamaw had one particular characteristic.

She sent cards. All kinds of cards, but especially birthday cards. And if you were a family member, a birthday phone call.

Many times I would be woken up to learn Mamaw and Papaw were on the line to tell me happy birthday. And when I would see them later in the day I would get my birthday card.

It was something I looked forward to, no matter how old I was.

But, I didn’t get that birthday card or phone call three years ago, just six days after Mamaw had passed away. It stung, but thanks to great friends and family, I made it through.

Mamaw and Papaw were such a big part of my life, and provided me with so many lessons and so much love. While I used to find my birthday memories with them very bittersweet, today I am thankful I have such memories to recall. All those memories make me light up inside. And today, I celebrate.

So here’s to 23!

Hope you all have a great weekend, I sure plan to.