Vacation Weekends Are the Best Weekends

It’s time once again for my annual trip home — probably best known as the week I eat my way through upstate New York — and this year is (already) proving to be no exception. But I am getting ahead of myself…

The weekend got off to an early start, with the first of our August half-day Fridays at work. I grabbed my (absurdly heavy) bags, hopped on the Metro, and headed off to meet my brother for the long trip north. And was it ever long this year — between random traffic and road construction, we were on the road for almost seven hours, but at least there was Twitter and knitting to pass the time. The sun was setting as we left Pennsylvania and made it to New York at last.

Northern Pennsylvania through the windshield. Almost home.
Northern Pennsylvania through the windshield. Almost home.

Saturday got off to a bit of a crazy start: Someone abandoned a dog at the house next door, it escaped its carrier, and we — along with half the neighborhood — spent a good chunk of the morning (unsuccessfully) trying to catch it. (Worth noting there’s nothing quite like running around the neighborhood in your pajamas, chatting along the way with people you haven’t seen in years, while looking like an utter disaster.)

Once we gave up on the dog search, the nephews almost instantly started claiming boredom, so my brother and I took them upstairs to check out the attic, where we found no end of interesting treasures, including a drawerful of old newspapers Dad had saved…

Just a few of the old newspapers from the attic.
Just a few of the old newspapers from the attic.

And a box of books I thought had been lost in my sister’s house fire, which means my Beverley Clearly, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Judy Blume books are all safe. (This makes me extraordinarily happy.) I gave my oldest nephew my copy of “Harriet the Spy” to read, in the hopes he loves it as much as I did.

My old Beverly Cleary books were among the (many) books stashed in Mom's attic.
My old Beverly Cleary books were among the (many) books stashed in Mom’s attic.

The afternoon started with a couple of errands, including a quick stop at my favorite restaurant in Binghamton (and possibly anywhere) to pick up meatballs and sauce, so we could make “homemade” subs for lunch.

My favorite restaurant in Binghamton, the Little Venice.
My favorite restaurant in Binghamton, the Little Venice.

And then it was off to spend time with friends at their camp out on Longford Lake — and really, it was a reunion with several of the guys I grew up with, which was a ton of fun. One of the boys who grew up next door to me spent the afternoon teaching my nephew G to fish…

G caught a big fish! Lake day was officially a success!
G caught a big fish! Lake day was officially a success!

While some of us sat around catching up, while others played badminton, went swimming, and generally caused mayhem. (Did I mention my two nephews were but two of six kids running around?) We finished the day around the fire with s’mores and stories and laughter.

S'mores... the best part of a day at the lake!
S’mores… the best part of a day at the lake!

It was, overall, pretty lovely.

Moonrise over Longford Lake.
Moonrise over Longford Lake.

And while s’mores were the first foray into my eating my way across the state, I picked right back up with it today at the Spiedie Fest, where Mom and I hit the Lupo’s tent to get our favorite lamb spiedies.

Lamb spiedies are the best spiedies.
Lamb spiedies are the best spiedies.

We then had a bit of a stroll around, to check out the rest of the vendors. While we were wandering I had the great surprise of running into an old friend of mine from high school, Andrea, and her husband Mike. I haven’t seen her in years, so it was fun to bump into her and catch up a little. Once they headed back to the concert area, Mom and I made our way back to the food tents for a giant, giant fried dough.

The fried dough at Spiedie Fest was enormous... and delicious.
The fried dough at Spiedie Fest was enormous… and delicious.

We did leave the festival before the evening balloon launch, though, because the weather forecast made it pretty clear no balloons would be going up tonight. Which is unfortunate — it’s been years since I’ve seen all the balloons, and I’m not sure I’ve ever actually watched a launch.

Oh, and lest it seem like I haven’t eaten enough home-food this weekend, I finished up the evening by stealing a slice of Brian’s pizza from Cortese, another one of our favorite places.

So that was my weekend. Perhaps not as restful as a vacation weekend should be, but it was full of great people and delicious food, so no complaints here.

(Check out other posts about this weekend over at Pumpkin Sunrise.)

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3 thoughts on “Vacation Weekends Are the Best Weekends

  1. onomatopoeicbliss August 4, 2014 / 5:11 pm

    It’s funny how outside of Upstate, no one calls them Spiedies. Next time you are in town, there is a place on the Parkway that actually is . . . dare I say this . . . better than Lupo’s😲

    But it looks like you guys had a good time, and no one got arrested for running around in PJ’s, so it’s all good!

    Rock On!

  2. alm (@writealm) August 4, 2014 / 5:27 pm

    ohmigosh! i remember those books and while my girls have read them, the covers were different and it just wasn’t the same. thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  3. karen August 5, 2014 / 8:02 am

    my my that fried dough looks like a feast for a family! When the festivals are in town I always get some and love the eating then regret the eating all within three hours–that is what it’s all about! Loved seeing your trip and I especially love that you joined in with the weekend link up 🙂

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