Jack (qbear) wrote,

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I'm baaaaaaaaaaaak....

...from a month--a whole month---back East. Steve (rootbeer1) is creating a detailed chronicle of our extended vacation, which he will post on his journal and I will link to. But in the meantime, here are a few highlights of the trip:

Steve flew, while I took Amtrak. Next time, I'll fly, at least one way. The Rockies in Colorado from the train are phenomenal. Too bad we had to go through boring Wyoming on the way back.

Swam in the Victoria Pool in Saratoga Springs

Saw Andrea and her family. My, how those kids have grown!

Hung out with Tom and spent a morning packing our remaining books from his basement, then visited his new Mid-Century Modern furniture store/gallery in Troy.

Spent a day at my niece Tara's house, and got reacquainted with my very cool grand-nephew Kameron. Went to dinner with them and my big sister Judy and her husband John.

Dropped off boxes at Judy's house, then drove to Gurleyville, CT, to visit Vic and Dave. They have a fabulous MCM house in the woods near UConn.

Had dinner with the local bears. Food was so-so; service was abominable. Vic nearly melted down.

Drove to Boston and tooled around Harvard with Pete (quirkstreet). Then went to Quincy Market.

Drove up to Melrose to stay with Joe and Bill, the East-coast versions of ourselves.

Dinner in Boston (Fajitas and Ritas). Lots of local LJers.

Drove up to Ogunquit, ME for the day. Had hot dogs at the legendary Flo's on the way. Very nice resort town.

Picked up Pete, drove through the Big Dig (yay--road geek moment) and on to Provincetown. Stayed in a lovely house with Joe and Bill, and Dave, who is as sweet as pie.

Ptown--what can I say? It was like coming home. Walk walk walk. Shop shop shop. Dance dance dance. Eat eat eat. Lots of pool time. And so many bears!!! (Well, it was Bear Week. We highly recommend it.) And LJers, which Steve will enumerate. Vic and Dave too. Saw a drag comedy show. Saw Fahrenheit 9/11. Got sick on a bad clam belly.

One week later, drove back to Albany for brother-in-law John's surprise 60th birthday party. Saw nephew Rod, his wife Mary, and their daughter Amanda. Saw nephew Bill, his wife April, and their son Nicholas. Saw Tara again, her husband Joe, Kameron, and Emma, who is still inside Tara waiting to be born any day now. Highlight--softball game, Joe yelling "Slide, Tara, slide!!!!" Saw drunken brother Billy and his wife Elaine. Assorted cousins, friends, John's family members.

Left party and drove to Manhattan. Met up with Michael and picked up keys to Douglas' apartment, where we stayed. Douglas, alas, was in San Francisco at Lazy Bear.

Hot and muggy in the Big Apple. Hooked up with Dave and Seth. Went to Ground Zero. Ate real pizza for lunch (and numerous bagels). Sammy's Noodle Shop for dinner. Took lots of cabs (Subway is $2.00 a pop now!)

Next day went to Museum of Television and Radio. Saw old Time Tunnel episode. Went to Lidia Matticchio Bastianich's reastaurant Becco for dinner with Mark (beeftenderloin) and Eli. Fabulous food, and Lidia herself came around and saw how everyone was doing.

Saw musical Wonderful Town. Couldn't get tickets to Avenue Q *sob*.

Drove to some wee town north of Philadelphia to visit Pat and Jane and their genius children Jack and Liz (formerly known as Betsy). My, how they've grown!!

Drove to Stamford CT to visit Madeline and Greg and daughters Alexandra and Victoria. My, how they've grown!! The girls are practically adults now (18 and 14) and are both so cool. We expect Alex to visit us in SF sometime this year.

Drove back to Albany. I went into my old office while Steve transported boxes of books to the post office to mail home.

Drove down to Binghamton for the day to see brother Jim, his wife Lori, and nephews Jimmy, Mathew and Christopher. My, how they've grown!! And they have a trampoline!

Back to Albany. Final dinner at Grandma's pie shop (goodbye diets!).

Brought Steve to airport. Trolled around town. Visited alma maters RPI and UAlbany. Up to brother Billy's house to hook up with big brother Fred. Family reunion mission complete.

Farewell breakfast with Judy, Tara and Kameron. Drove around old neighborhoods. Back to Tara's to hang out until she brought me to train station. Tearful goodbyes.

Three days of fun on the train. This country sure has lots of cornfields. Four hour layover in Chicago, during which I left the station and explored. What a beautiful city! The Millenium Park is especially nice, with the new Frank Geary amphitheater (yay--architecture geek moment).

Home again last Thursday evening. Steve picked me up at Emeryville. Glad we got to go, glad to be home. There's no place like home--both of them. And the house--it's so clean!!!!!!
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