The great thing about going on vacation is having plenty of things to blog about. The tough thing about being on the road is that there’s no time to write about it. Part of the problem is that the three of us are in one room, and I’m trying not to wake them up.
This first post will be about traveling, in broad strokes, from July 10-19. Vacation 2016 may be the first time I took off more than a week from work since 1998, save for my parents’ deaths. Later, I’ll be describing some of our various stops.
One of the rules of the road for our household is that we try to minimize announcing that we’ll be away, in this case, for over a week. Obviously, I had to take off from work. And one of my work folks engaged me to do a week’s worth of tunes on Facebook; I got ONE post done.
And we had our cat sitter. Given the quirkiness of our felines, it is a miracle we’ve found someone they would accept coming into our house without us. Maxine is also watering the plants, and bringing in the newspapers.
We canceled the milk delivery – yes, we get milk delivered – and the mail held, but keeping some semblance of the house appearing to be lived in is a big deal. I make no mention on social media, no “Hey, I’m in Cleveland!” I suppose this means that I’m old, but my (younger) wife insists on it, and I totally agree with her.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been involved with over 100 moves, including about 30 of my own, but I’m really good at packing the trunk of the car. This was a particularly tricky maneuver. Not only did we have clothing for five days, with the intention of washing them en route before we ran out of clean apparel, but we had the large bin with the accouterments for the Olin Family Reunion near Binghamton, NY.
For the last several years, the Olins, my mother-in-law’s people, who trace their roots to the 17th century or earlier had been meeting at Grippen Park in Endicott. But because of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, a PGA-sanctioned golf tournament which USED to be in August.
So, as the outgoing President of the NY-PA Olin reunion, I had to move the event to Roundtop Park. It’s a mere mile away as the crow flies, from Grippen, but you can’t get there by any direct route. Moreover, it’s hilly, and the demographics of reunion participants tend to be… grayer, let’s say. And the LAST time we had an event there, c. 2011, someone passed out from the heat and we had to call an ambulance. But it turned out fine, with me relinquishing my title as president.
After that we were on the road, W to Painted Post, NY near Corning (1 night), W to Salamanca, NY, on the way to Jamestown (1 night), W then south to Richfield, OH, between Canton and Cleveland (3 nights), NE to Austinburg, OH, near Ashtabula, OH (2 nights), NE to Geneseo, NY, near Letchworth State Park (1 night), E to Waterloo, NY, near Seneca Falls and Auburn (1 night) and WNW back to Albany. And except for 1300 miles over 10 days, 9 nights.
The Wife saw on some TV show that having breakfast included in the hotel package would be both a time and money-saving exercise, and all but the last place we stayed fit that model. The Salamanca Holiday Inn Express, which is near the casino, was the best breakfast. You can tell when the hostess, or whatever her title was, takes pride in her work. Some others were OK; one had a beleaguered woman one step behind the crowd, or maybe she was just overworked.
We came across some charming places to eat, such as The Jellybean: The Restaurant, in Painted Post, though the ice cream place around the corner was disappointing because of a peanut allergy warning for the whole menu.
On the other hand, avoid Burger King in Salamanca. It’s attached to a gas station but also a cigar shop, which the adjoining BK smells like.
THE most disappointing venue had to be the Ramada near Ashtabula. It is a very long two-story building with no elevator. The continental breakfast was sparse on day 1, and they hadn’t even replaced the butter for toast and bagels on day 2. The mold in the ice bucket was sufficiently icky.
I’m sure other details will creep in as I describe the various places we visited.