Monday, September 29, 2014

Pictures From the Weekend

Over the weekend, Jeff and I took a trip to my hometown, Jamestown, NY. I try to get up at least once a year, and being the big corny freak that I am, I planned this particular trip around a fall festival I used to attend every year as a child: The Busti Apple Festival (pronounced BUS-ty, you perv). I didn't want to inundate Facebook and Instagram with every single photo I took, so I thought I'd share some on the old blogeroonie.

Jeff and I both took an extra long weekend (Friday through Monday for him and Friday through Tuesday for myself) so we could get a nice visit in without most of our trip being driving. As we always do, we started our weekend with a visit to my mom in PA - the trip to Jamestown is about six hours long, which is doable, but we usually use the trip as an excuse to stop overnight at my mom's, which is about three quarters of the way there. We had a nice dinner outdoors at a local golf course with incredible views of the course as well as some playful dogs and kiddos running around, and that evening I had planned to meet up with some old friends. We went and got drinks with my friend (another) Jeff, and my old roommate, Brandon. It was great to catch up with them, as I hadn't seen either in several years and they're two of my favorite people.

The next morning, we headed off to Jamestown, and the first thing we did after we checked in to our hotel was pay a visit to my favorite place in the world, Southern Tier Brewery (and you know I NEVER exaggerate...ahem). I don't know if you're familiar with Southern Tier (and if you're not, get in the know), but they're one of the best craft breweries out there and they're based right in Lakewood, NY, which is Jamestown's next door neighbor. Not only do they have great beer (and what seems like pretty tasty food, though I haven't tried it), but the brewery itself is beautiful and rustic, and has a great outdoor space with a little amphitheater where they have live music in the summer. AND of course it's autumn, so they have Pumpking on tap which the only the best pumpkin beer ever ever EVER. They also do tours on Saturday afternoons, but they fill up fast and we tend to get there on the late side to make it in. Next time!

After our stop at Southern Tier, we had a nice dinner at a new Japanese Steakhouse in town with my dad and (big) little brother, followed by some ice cream. I'm terrible at remembering to take pictures, and didn't get any with them, unfortunately.

After a stop at Tim Horton's (I have to honor my practically Canadian roots) the next morning, we headed off to the old Fest. Not having been in YEARS, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I remember it usually being freezing cold and windy, and frequently raining (in Western New York it's literally snowing by Halloween a good half of the time), but this weekend the weather was PERFECT, if not almost a little TOO hot. Being that I'm stubborn and mildly idiotic, I had checked the weather, saw that it was going to be 75+ degrees all weekend, and STILL packed mostly sweaters and long pants, including a pair of riding boots. When we left the hotel, it was still a little brisk outside, and I figured I'd wear the boots since the Festival is held basically in a big field and I figured it might be muddy. Welp, what it was was HOT. Very hot. And sunny. So sunny. But we toughed it out, and I was just glad that it wasn't drastically the other way around. The Festival itself was pretty much just as I remembered it - SUPER crowded, but there was a lot of cool stuff to see. Tons of crafts, delicious food, live music, and demonstrations (the pictures are of - I think - flour being made?). I passed up the crafts as most of them - while beautiful - were a tad bit country for my taste, and I didn't bring home any apples because I didn't want to lug them around and I plan on visiting an apple orchard here in the next couple of weeks. I did treat myself to some delicious tiny donuts, and I brought home some local maple cream, which I'm pretty jazzed to swirl into my oatmeal.

We followed the Festival with some relaxation - a nap for me (shocker), and some reading for Jeffrey (SHOCKER!). We had planned to go out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in town, Forte, but I was surprised to learn that NOTHING is open in Jamestown on Sunday evenings. I don't remember this from when I lived there - I mean, it's been about eight years, but I lived there for 22 years of my life! When I say nothing is open, I mean NOTHING. The place is like a ghost town! After learning that Forte was closed (which wasn't THAT surprising, as it's right downtown and a lot of cities are kind of dead on Sundays), I started searching online for somewhere else to go, and almost literally every restaurant in town was either completely closed or closed by 7 pm. I thought I had hit the jackpot with an irish pub, but when we drove past all of their signs were off. Mind. Blown. Jamestown isn't an unusually religious town, nor is it a dry town; in fact, the liquor laws in New York are way looser than they are here in Delaware. And there's a pretty big sports following there (as with everywhere else), so I was dumbfounded that there weren't even any bars open for people to go watch football. Trying to avoid chain restaurants (though we were briefly tempted by endless shrimp at Red Lobster. I mean, c'mon. Endless shrimp!), we eventually settled on this really cool place that I used to go to all the time with my parents, Ashville General Store. It's an old timey store with penny candy and all sorts of neat little knicknacks and a really awesome, unique menu of subs and pizza. After dinner I had planned on meeting my high school best friend Sarah out for drinks, but again ran into the whole "NOTHING IS OPEN" dilemma. We ended up giving in an going to Applebees for drinks (I think they may have literally been the only place in town that was still open at that point), and Jeff was happy because he got to drink a Mucho Mudslide. So all in all, the weekend was a success.

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