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Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Baseball is the quintessential American sports experience. Since its alleged inception 175 years ago by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, NY, the mythology surrounding the game still looms large over the players and fans who continue the baseball experience today. Bart and I were baseball fans as kids and have renewed our interest as adults; while we would never claim to be hardcore fans who know every stat and fact about the game, we still appreciate rooting for our home teams and learning more about the history of the game. Since we moved to the east coast, we’ve wanted to take a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and we finally had the opportunity to do that this weekend.

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Bart and I have had a lot of boring grown-up stuff on our minds lately and have not been enjoying life quite as much as we should this summer. Therefore, we abruptly cancelled our (total lack of) plans for the holiday weekend, leveraged a holiday, and got out of town for a much-needed break.

With five total days between the Fourth holiday, taking leave on Friday, the weekend, and my first furlough day on Monday, we decided to forego nearer destinations on our travel list (Philly, NYC, etc.) and go big with our large chunk of time–a driving tour of New England. We didn’t expect to thoroughly explore every nook and cranny, just see some highlights to get a flavor of the region and mark some more states off our US map.

Day one, July 4th: We dropped Murphy off at doggie daycare where he was going to have his own little vacay playing with his new friends, then headed north through Pennsylvania on our way to New York State. We took some back roads, making a side trip through Punxsutawney just to say we’d been there (no groundhog sighting, though). We ended up in Niagara Falls for the evening, taking in views from the American side at dusk and waiting until dark for fireworks over the falls. Unfortunately, the fireworks weren’t that impressive from our vantage point, so we left early to beat the crowds on the highway back into Buffalo where we were staying.

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Day two: We originally planned to head to the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown, NY, but we decided it probably deserved more of our time than we would be able to spend in an afternoon. So we saved that for another trip and opted to head back to Niagara with our passports for viewing the falls from the Canadian side (note: if you ever go to the falls, make sure to go to the Canadian side, as it has the best view of both falls).

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Afterward, we headed upstate to meet our friend Aaron near Oswego, NY. He used to live in Colorado but moved back to his hometown over a year ago; we saw him when he was in DC a few months ago, so we reciprocated the favor while we were in the area. After spending the afternoon together and taking in some local cuisine, Bart and I made it a few more miles up the road before overnighting in Schenectady, NY.

Day three: We were up early for a drive further upstate through the Adirondacks and into Vermont, where we proceeded to make a food crawl across this small, quaint state. The scenery was some of the best on our trip; from rugged, green lakes and rolling dairy farms.

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Vermont reminded us a whole lot of Boulder and Colorado: lots of crunchy, granola hippies and mountains (a bit shorter). We stopped at a farmer’s market for some maple cream soda, then drove to Waterbury for a tour of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory (free sample ftw!).

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We shopped for a local brew for my cohort at work, and headed up the road for a tour at the Cabot creamery, where we saw them make their cheddar cheeses and ate a ton of free samples.

We also stopped at a sugar house where we learned about making maple syrup. I desperately love maple syrup, and Bart and I seriously have “buy maple syrup in New England” on our travel bucket list, so this was a must-see. While we were there, some random guy started talking to us; before we knew it, he had grabbed a gallon sized jug of maple syrup and said, “I’m going to buy this for you two.” Turns out the guy is from Rockville, too, and he and his wife like to do random acts of kindness for young couples. We were absolutely stunned–a gallon of that stuff is not cheap! We were incredibly grateful and could hardly get over his generous gift.

After dinner at a local pizza place, we set our sights on New Hampshire that evening. This small state is mountainous and full of ski resorts and moose. We saw one standing in a stream by the road as we drove by but unfortunately didn’t get to stop and take her picture. Given our crunch for time, we only made a drive through the state on our way to Maine that evening, but it was beautiful.

Our final destination was Portland, ME, where we met up with our friends Nathan and Kenda who moved there not long after we moved to DC. You may recall that they stayed with us on their journey out. They were kind enough to let us crash their apartment for a couple of days.

Day four: After attending church with Kenda and Nathan, we did some scenic touring of the Maine coastline. We saw a Civil War-era fort on the Kennebunk river, a picturesque lighthouse in south Portland, and many quaint coastal Maine towns. Those of us inclined to seafood (everyone but me :p) enjoyed some fresh catch from a roadside stand. Most importantly, we got to catch up with our friends and share the ups and downs of relocation.

Day five: We got up early, bid farewell to our friends, and headed home. Nine states and over ten hours later, we made it in time to pick up the dog, but our time constraints required avoiding some more interesting and scenic roadways along the coast and through NYC. I must say that the New Jersey Turnpike is dull as dishwater, but at least we made it home in time. I also have conveniently not added up the amount of cash we spent on tolls this trip. The hemorrhaging of cash was just depressing.

All in all, we had a great trip. As always, it felt too short, but it was actually a nice length for getting away, having some fun, spending time with each other, and temporarily putting our cares behind us. Now it’s back to the grind, but hopefully more refresh and energetic with good stories to tell.

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