Dear lord, I keep trying to sneak in here to blog away, and something is always sneaking up to keep me occupied.

Camping was amazing up in Wellesley Island State Park. I stopped in Rochester to pick up Cori, and grab some lunch with Greg and Kelly at The Distillery. After some delicious eats, we were off to northern New York state!

It may not suffice as a legit vacation1, but a 3-4 day weekend kicking back with an awesome young lady is a very good substitute. We setup camp Friday afternoon and just took it easy for the rest of the day. Once I figured out how to put the tent back up again, that is. It’s been a few years!

Cori rocked it on the food front. I had brought bacon, eggs, pork chops, chicken breasts (to marinate with sesame & ginger dressing), and some sausages and a couple chicken burgers of varying styles (cheddar/broccoli/bacon, polish, feta/spinach, respectively). I had asked Cori to take charge of bringing some marinated veggie concoctions, and boy did she. Gallon bags of eggplant and onion, mushrooms and peppers, green and yellow sliced squashes, and balsamic-marinated portabellas. And that wasn’t including snacks! Dear lord…apples, peanut butter and caramel dip for said apples, gallon bag of mixed berries (*drool*), ingredients for caprese (*drooling even worse*), and I’m sure I’m missing something else there. Regardless, I was thoroughly shocked at the additional smorgasbord that was coming along.

Saturday, we checked out the Autumn Festival that goes on in the park every fall apparently. It isn’t anywhere near the size of the Ellicottville Fall Festival that I’ve already been to, but it was a quaint little festival nonetheless. Not much to see (besides some alpacas and calves), but the $5 boat tour of the nearby islands was worth the fare!

Sunday ended up as a ~5-mile hike in the park and an afternoon trip for delicious alma mater foodies from Cori’s college years. And some lawn chairs. The wooden bench was wearing at our asses in the evening. Anyhoo, late lunch/early dinner ended up being at The Bagelry, which is essentially as the name implies: a bagel deli of sorts. Delicious, open-faced bagel sandwiches at an expectable price range. We dined on those while enjoying the riverfront nearby, followed by a short tour around the hotspots of her college years in the area. Half-dozing, we got back to the campsite well after sunset.

Monday we spent gobbling up the rest of the eggs, berries, and another helping of our daily bacon before closing camp. We hit up Alexandria Bay to take a boat shuttle out to Boldt Castle, in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. Wandering around for a few hours on a self-guided tour of the castle undergoing restoration was pretty amazing. Still awesome to see what kind of structures have been and are still being built in the last century!

Heading back out, we splurged on a lunch with apples & Nutella (not sure how Cori missed me mentioning that the first afternoon), caprese, and some salad with the leftover marinated chicken. We ate like royalty that weekend, I swear! And to top it all off, her parents’ invited me to stay over for dinner upon returning to Rochester: chicken parmigiana with homemade sauce, homemade spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, and baked marinated squash (that we didn’t even touch all weekend). Omilord was I spoiled! After trying to relax and digest all that food, it was indeed difficult to muster the willpower and energy to drive all the way back to Buffalo after that weekend.

I didn’t even stay in Buffalo that long. Cori procured us tickets to go see Andrew Bird over at Harro East in Rochester, so off I went immediately after work on Wednesday for that show! Following up a modestly long performance by Dosh and Bird, some food was necessary. An unexpected drop in at Jay’s Diner hit the spot! Some awesome clam chowder2 set the meal off right. I can’t even remember what else I got; the chowder was the best part!

A necessary crash at the Bed & Breakfast was necessary before hitting the road and driving right back to Buffalo. So much back and forth in just a week! Thankfully, it’s only an hour drive; anything over two hours would quickly become a bit miserable to deal with, uffda.

So here I am, finally trying to finish out this week. I’ve got a Chinese dinner night in planned for Friday3, followed by documentation of Rachel’s lopping off of her hair for Roswell Park on Saturday morning, some linguine alla carbonara with fixings for dinner, and then off to the Buffalo Philharmonic to see the ‘Dead Russians concert’, as Cori likes to describe it. Sunday is supposed to involve a trip out to the Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival over in Clarence with Nicole, Kate, and likely some other social media-ites, before finally sending Cori back off to Rochester. It’ll be a modestly busy but enjoyable weekend!

I’m not even going to bother with dumping my photos to my blog from the camping excursion. I’m still trying to play catchup with the pictures I took from Nicole’s birthday wine tour as well, so just go check my flickr stream if you really want to see what turned out.

In the interim, I think it’s very much time for some sleep…the clock just passed midnight…

1I still haven’t taken my two weeks off this year yet. It’s starting to wear on me…uffda.
2Not just a modest cup of it either, a whole bowl was necessary after the deluge we ran through after the concert!
3Presuming that it doesn’t get sidetracked or derailed by anything else immediately upon arrival…*raises a brow*

Last week was a mess of playing catchup so I could enjoy my crazy-assembled weekend, and now this week is playing the intermediary before another big weekend.

I’m pretty sure I wasted too much of Monday evening cranking out that enormous, relatively incomplete and/or rushed blog post, only to have to rush off for some birthday drinks. In reality, I should have been finishing writing my paper, which I ended up having to crank like crazy on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Between the fact that I was going to be out of town over the weekend, and I had dinner plans both Thursday and Friday evening, I really had no choice but to finish just about all the writing by Wednesday evening so I could stay a tisch distraction free. It’s been tricky lately to stay terribly focused; I’ve been trying to juggle a lot lately mentally. It may be time to start working on a written list of tasks again.

Thursday’s dinner at The Viking Lobster Company was delicious! Splitting out a Viking Seafood Feast for two resulted in a pair of lobsters, broiled haddock, enormous scallops, some jumbo shrimp, and some large crab leg slices. Mind you, this all followed a Portuguese clam chowder1 and a house salad with a clam & peppercorn creamy dressing2. Friggin’ delicious! Combine that with an amazing (and mildly amusing, despite bruising conveyed in a recent update) night in afterwards, I was very ready to decompress after all that writing from earlier in the week. Friday night supplemented that very nicely with a dinner at O’Connell’s American Bistro for Restaurant Week with most of the social media crew. A delicious four-course sampling with about a half bottle of some (rather mild and smooth) Malbec left me about drained of energy for the week. ‘Twas difficult to let Cori go for the evening after the past 28 hours, but she had a deadline to make back at home, and I had to start prepping for my trip to Cincinnati over the weekend.

Last year, myself, Doc Hohle, and Doc G all took a trip down to Cincinnati for the Bills/Bengals game, being that Hohle is a Bengals fan, and Gerrish is a Bills fan. I was offered an invite on the trip, it sounded fun, so off I went with! We also made an informal pact to attend the next Bills/Bengals game if we were all still in the general area of the country at that point. Little did we realize that both teams’ dismal standings put them into a matchup again the following season, this year. So off we drove, early Saturday morning, to another Bills at the Bengals game, down in Cincinnati. Adding to this trip, we picked up a friend of Doc G’s in Pittsburgh along the way, making the drive marginally longer.

Nearly ten hours on the road after leaving Buffalo, we finally made it into Cincinnati. A quick check-in to the Hotel Motel Holiday Inn, and we were off to get some dinner at Buckhead Mountain Grill. They have a pretty amazing chicken pot pie, that is complemented by a pair of a veritable slew of sides. I was terribly disappointed by the enormous Shiner Bock that I had ordered, so it was a doubly dumb decision to order such a large bock without having tasted it first.

Not much to say about the Bills/Bengals game. If you watched it, you saw the lovely attempt at control the Bills had, before the Bengals took over. If you didn’t? Well, Cincinnati lost, finally putting the Bills out of their undefeated streak to open the season with. I always get weird looks wearing my Packers jersey at non-Packers games, but I do enjoy me a little football, and I’m clean about enjoying it, regardless of where I’m watching it! Surprisingly at the gate, the guard that patted me down mentioned how she has often seen people wearing non-game jerseys (like mine own) just to cover offensive clothing, so she asked to see my clothing underneath. I was kind of shocked by this, but apparently it has happened before. It rather saddens me that fans have resorted to such a thing at a sporting event. I mean seriously people: it’s just a game! If you’re so upset that you take any criticism of a game personally, then you need to really re-evaluate your stance on the sport!

Leaving the game is only a step towards the weekend I’m craving. Nine hours of driving only left me daydreaming of camping all weekend long. Surveying the week, I’ve actually got a bunch of stuff to finish.

  • Tonight was my (weak-ass) attempt to catch up on all the TV season premieres that I follow. Yes. Premieres. I’m already two weeks behind on my television. I have a very valid excuse, no worries!
  • Tuesday night is dedicated to checking the tent gear and making sure everything is there. Also, any last minute shopping for gear in case I’m missing something. Pretty positive that I have everything, however. Oh, right, and comedy night down at Nietzsche’s to see Mr. Rizzo at work!
  • Wednesday night is jelly night. Time to crank through the rest of my hot and sweet peppers and get some jelly done!
  • Thursday is grocery shopping and prep night. Getting all the roaster veggies chopped up and marinating for campfire cooking! Also, packing my gear would be good to do, as well.

Then, once Friday gets here, it’s time to pack up the car and hit the road3!

Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I have an almond cake to dig into for the third time tonight…*Homer drool*

1Supposedly a brothy, sweet chowder, but I can’t seem to find any recipes online that are adequately describing it. Onions, potatoes, carrots, clam, and a little bit of lobster. It was quite tasty, despite the cooked carrot taste messing me up a little.
2The restaurant makes all of their own dressings for their salads, so this sounded terribly appetizing!
3I may have to make another check into the County Clerk’s office. The final processing on this divorce is taking foreeeeeeeeeever. Ugh!