Thursday, October 15, 2009

Who Can It Be Now?

My best friend since sixth grade (I'll call her M) came to visit for my fall break. I drove to Cooperstown, NY last Saturday to pick her up--she used to live there and she was able to show me all of the sights. So, I give you Cooperstown in fall:

The Fenimore Art Museum:

The drive between Ithaca and Cooperstown is pretty much like driving to Galesburg, KS for two hours, if you know what that is like. Basically, it is two hours on poorly maintained two lane highways through many small towns including New Berlin, NY, which smells like sausage. Not that that is a bad thing.

On our way to New Berlin, we drove by this sign, which we really loved:

Later, we drove right by the camp site:

We were both pretty tired on Saturday, so we kept things low key and just went to dinner and a movie--Fame, which is not worth your time, believe me.

On Sunday, I had to go to church in the morning, but I left M to sleep in and make friends with Kenna. After a delicious lunch, we put a brisket in the slow cooker for dinner and set off on our next adventure. Check out M's perfectly cut carrots--I thought they were so cute!

I took M on the grand tour, including looking at some of the pretty foliage:

By the way, credit for many of these photos goes to M. Along the way, we decided that it was necessary to take a photo of my neighbor's Halloween "decorations." I wouldn't want them to go crazy or anything:

And, yes, those are those plastic trick-or-treat pumpkins hanging all over their house. How very festive...

Cayuga lake--it was really windy and cold there on Sunday:

Ken looking out onto the water:

The water was very choppy and someone was out there trying to wind surf, but he kept falling over and making us laugh.

M looking at the water:

After we saw all of these sights, we made the fateful decision to go to Buttermilk Falls, which is just outside of town.

Not being outdoorswomen, we were prepared for some physical exertion and some climbing, but we did not know what we were getting into. It looks innocent from the bottom, right?

Then we started to climb so that we could see more of the falls.

We climbed and climbed and climbed and at one point, we threw ourselves against the fence, panting and exhausted:

Then we climbed some more:

At one point, some guy told us that we had to "go all the way up" and that we were only about halfway. At that point, we had climbed so far that we had to set up a tent for the night--just kidding.

Climbing, climbing, climbing:

About twelve hours into our climb, we turned a corner to see more stairs going straight up into the sky and decided that we had seen enough. As soon as we turned around to head down, we encountered the two older women in the picture below. They wanted to know if they were close to the top and we had to admit that we did not know and that we had finally given up and decided to go down. You know that these two ladies totally made it to the top and we whimped out only part of the way up.

Were were sure that one of us would fall going down, but thankfully that didn't happen. Here I am carefully descending the stairs:

The woods near Buttermilk Falls:

We finally made it safely to the bottom:

Buttermilk Falls is gorgeous, but a little more intense than we like.

When we got back to my house, we had brisket waiting and we ate like pigs. Then, M scrubbed my baking dish free of every single speck of dirt that she could find, which took about 34 minutes. She is hard core.

I made Ina Garten's Plum Cake Tatin for dessert--not good. Do not bother with this. The plum part is really good, but the cake is a strange texture and tastes like muffins.

The next morning, Kenna waited outside of M's door for her to get up:

On Monday, we were planning to tour Seneca Falls, but even though we checked the websites to find out if the places that we wanted to see were open on Monday/Columbus Day, that didn't pay off. Although there was no indication that anything would be closed, things were closed, so we decided to go outlet shopping instead.

When we got back to the house on Monday night, we ate the plums off of the tatin and got rid of the rest of it:

Then we ate Tastes Like Halloween:

Tuesday's plan was to go back to Seneca Falls in the hope of seeing the Queen Anne mansion that houses the Seneca Falls historical society, but when we arrived, we were told that they weren't doing any tours until 2:00, so we left and went shopping in Syracuse instead. To summarize the weekend: eat, eat, shop, watch movie, shop, eat, shop, eat, shop, shop, watch movie, eat, eat, eat...

As we prepared to head to the airport, we made one last stop at this store:

I don't know if any of you gentle readers has ever been to The Christmas Tree Shop, but that was certainly an interesting experience. It is, at once, completely fascinating and absolutely horrible. This place is basically a combination of the Dollar Tree, Kmart, Wal Mart, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. They sell everything from Halloween decorations to spaghetti. We could not wait to leave.

While we were shopping, I found a new bed for Kenna that is all cotton (she breaks out if her bed isn't all cotton) and she really likes it:

We had so much fun this weekend and M and Kenna even started to make friends (M is not a fan of dogs) and even though we ate our weight in food, we laughed enough to burn a lot of it off. What we didn't burn off by laughing, we burned off at Buttermilk Falls.


Leah said...

You say "eat, eat, shop, watch movie, shop, eat, shop, eat, shop, shop, watch movie, eat, eat, eat" like it's a bad thing...

And there's a Christmas Tree Shop in Hagerstown, I think. I keep meaing to go see it...people here speak of it with awe and a bit of fear in their voices.

M said...

DON'T GO, L! Trust me! It's not worth it - it's just not worth it! People were actually buying off-off-off brand pasta and other food items. I'm not a food snob but I do have standards. Did Ken tell you that she enjoyed her JCrew outlet experience? I was very proud of her.

Leah said...

She did! And she told me about the student discount you taught her - I am so trying that at my J Crew outlets :-)

And off brand pasta kind of frightens me. Kind of like the food they sell at TJ Maxx...I buy a lot of stuff at TJ Maxx, but that is pushing it.

M said...

I am all about discounts! I flashed my staff ID and they didn't seem to notice or were illiterate. Who cares? I still got a discount! Due to previous bad JCrew shopping experiences, Ken obviously had no idea what she was missing out on.

Off brand liquid items also scare me and there are lots of them at the CTS. Unless you just really need to feel better about your life, no need to visit one of those stores.

Leah said...

You think the CTS is bad, though - have you ever been to an Ollie's? It's kind of like what I imagine hell would be like. I am all about going to places that have cheap stuff, sales rock my world, but that place is one of the vilest things I've ever seen. If I ever have to go again (which will involve lots of kicking and screaming and likely biting), I'll be sure to take pictures and put them on my blog, because there are no words to describe the horror.

M said...

Hmm, I have never heard of this Ollie's before but am a little curious. Is this Ollie's worse than Walmart on a Sunday afternoon because if hell is personalize, I'm pretty sure that will be my hell.