Happy November everyone! Sorry for the delay in posting, but I have a good excuse. While everyone was whooping it up all weekend, and celebrating Halloween, I was away in Geneva, New York, enjoying a different kind of celebration, a celebration of the matrimonial bond between one Lacey Peck and one Scott Jackson. Lacey was one of the first friends I made at Syracuse University and also one of my seven female roommates from senior year. I hadn’t seen her in 2 years or so, though we had kept in touch but I had never met her fiancée, Scott. I received the invitation several months ago and Arby and I had been talking up this long weekend road trip ever since.
With the bride. Married chicks try to kiss me all the time.
Friday Morning at 11:30am Rich arrived at my apartment to begin the journey. We headed for the path train to Hoboken, New Jersey. From Hoboken we took New Jersey transit to Suffern, New York where we picked up my car, which my mom had left at the train station. From Suffern it was off to the highway. From the moment we hit route 17 it was all about the scenery. The drive could not have been easier and the scenic foliage made for a pleasant background to the winding mountainous terrain of Upstate New York. Rich and I were in disbelief that we were going to our friend Lacey’s wedding but were excited at the same time. There was a definite sense of relief about being out of the city in our natural surroundings.
Perhaps the thing Rich and I were most excited about on this trip was the potential for a stop in Syracuse. The trip directions called for us to basically drive straight up to Syracuse and make a left to get to Geneva, and depending on our schedule we were going to make a pit stop at our personal Mecca of Dinosaur Barbecue. Lucky for us, we made outstanding time and it took us 3 and a-half hours to make to Syracuse from Suffern. At 5:30 PM we rolled in to town and after taking a lap around the campus of our youth in the car, we navigated ourselves downtown. We got to our favorite Honky-tonk rib joint and there was only a half hour wait but we were in a race against time. Lacey and family were having a rehearsal dinner with soup and sandwiches between 7 and 9 and we were an hour away and we didn’t want risk being too late and completely missing it, but we also had been too long missing the sumptuous taste of Dinosaur BBQ mashed potatoes and therefore had our priorities in order. We would risk it all for the Dinosaur. Wouldn’t you know it, our gamble paid dividends. Rich and I sat down at our table, didn’t even glance at our menus and placed them at the edge of the table to alert our waitress of our immediate readiness to order. We both got a 1/4 rack of ribs and 2 sides. We were contemplating the half-rack but out of respect for the rehearsal dinner we figured we ought to leave some room in our stomachs. Also, I didn’t want to be in a food coma upon seeing some of my friends for the first time in years. That being said, our Dinosaur detour was like clock work. It was an easy in, easy out operation. Soon after, we hit the highway with the heavenly taste of the Dinosaur ribs and mashed potatoes fresh on our taste buds. Within, the hour, we were at Lacey’s parents’ house in North Rose, New York.
Upon entering their home I was greeted by Lacey, her sister Karley, and my former roommates, Lindsay, Jill, and Kim all of whom I hadn’t seen in at least 2 years. I was also introduced to Kim’s boyfriend Josh who she lives with in Vermont. I was extremely happy to see Lacey’s parents Lori and Gregory Peck; who are definitely high on the list for favorite friends’ parents ever. I also like saying, “I hung out with Gregory Peck this weekend”. Turns out our timing was perfect, Lacey had barely any time to talk to us as she was busy entertaining family and other friends, so about an hour after our arrival, Rich, Lindsay, Jill, Kim, Josh, and I took our respective cars towards Geneva and met up at the Ramada where most of us would be staying that evening.
After we were all checked in, we all met at the hotel bar, also joined by Amy Alsfeld, another senior year roommate of mine at the 211 Clarendon house. The 7 of us proceeded to drink lots of alcohol and catch up with one another. After a few beers it seemed as though no time had passed at all. We were all having a good time in each other’s company as we had 4 and half plus years prior. I can’t tell if the friendly bartenders Shawn and Alisha were annoyed or enamored with us. I would think they liked us, we were having a good time and we tipped well considering the fact that drinks were exponentially cheaper in Geneva than where we all live. One of the funniest parts of Friday evening was when Amy went up to her room to get some CD’s that had songs she wanted to hear. She made the bartender Shawn manually cycle through the CD’s until he got to the songs she liked. 8 beers or so later, I was pretty drunk and it was time to turn in.
I woke up the next morning with a decent hangover but the drive to gather the group together for some breakfast. At around Noon the 7 of us headed to the Waffle Works, after first getting some coffee and/or tea at the hotel, for Geneva’s finest breakfast. I had a Belgian waffle with some weird imitation strawberries but I think everyone else enjoyed their meal to the fullest. Then it was back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding.
Prior to leaving our group was joined by Janet Turley who came up from NYC on Saturday. We left the hotel at around 3:15pm in separate cars. Rich and I traveled together, and I think the majority of everyone else went in two cars. Halfway through our car ride to the church in North Rose, we got a message from Jill, Amy, Lindsay, and Janet saying that they were lost and they went the wrong way. I tried to give them directions but they just insisted on going a different way and said they’d meet us at the Church. Rich and I on the other hand were well on our way to the ceremony, though we were having trouble finding the church. I think we stopped at 3 churches within one block of each other in an absolutely minute sized town. Finally, we figured out where to go and made it two minutes before Lacey walked down the aisle. Kim and Josh arrived just as we did, and once inside we saw our friends Carrie and Monica. Jill, Amy, Lindsay, and Janet were nowhere in sight. Neither was our old roommate Heather, who was supposed to be coming in from Massachusetts (or Rhode Island?). The directionally challenged arrived 2 minutes into the vows and sat behind us for what was to be probably one of the quickest wedding ceremonies in history. I think it took 12 minutes. I think the actual piling out of the church took longer than the ceremony. I don’t know if I’ve ever been to a wedding where each row has to wait for the usher to dismiss it. Jews usually just get up in no organized manner after the couple and their immediate family have left the room and head straight for the cocktail hour. The gentiles run things differently as each row got to go through the receiving line and congratulate and then the next row would be dismissed when the line was short enough. I’m not criticizing, I just was used to getting up and heading to the cocktail hour and a longer ceremony in general. While in the receiving line, Lacey’s dad, told Rich and I that the ceremony and short and sweet just the way he likes it.
Having a dance with Amy Alsfeld.
After the ceremony it was back to the hotel for the reception, which meant more drunken fun with friends and my senior year roommate Heather and her fiancee Dennis showed up, nearly completing the 211 Clarendon cast from the 2000-2001 school year (one roommate Samantha couldn’t make it). The setup was a bit weird as there was an alternating open bar and cash bar. For an hour and a half there would be an open bar, then the next hour would be cash bar, and so on. When there was an open bar, nobody was in the ballroom, and when the cash bar was up, everyone was in the ballroom. That policy sort of backfired because all of the traditional wedding moments seemed to be during the open bar and I think a good majority of the guests missed them. I could be wrong, just us drunken lushes missed them. That being said, the party was a lot of fun, we were all dancing, drinking, and taking pictures with each other. Amy even went up to get her CD’s again so the DJ would play Kanye West’s Gold Digger. Apparently, Lindsay, a dental student was drunkenly lecturing everyone on the importance of flossing. After the party was over, a large portion of us went to the hotel bar to continue the evening. We all slowly dropped off one by one though until I was eventually left to foot the bill for the bottle of champagne we bought, which wasn’t a big deal anyway, as it was only an $18 bottle and if that’s all you’re spending on a weekend night, then you’ve had a relatively cheap night.
From left: Jill, Amy(hidden) Kim, Lacey, Lindsay, and Janet. 5 of these girls have seen me in pajamas.
After the bar, I had a beer with Janet in her room as her and Jill had gotten some beer for everyone to partake in after the wedding was over, but Janet and I were the only ones who partook. Janet promptly passed out after some good conversation and a beer and I was ready to fall down so I headed to my room.
The next morning we all woke up to get brunch in the hotel and ran across Lacey’s parents and thanked them for the weekend, as well as the happy couple. I have to say though, it’s weird when you don’t know the person that your friend is marrying. You don’t really know what to say to them. I must have repeatedly had the same awkward moment with Scott, Lacey’s husband. I kept saying, “Congratulations. It’s really nice meeting you. Good luck.” I wish there was a more natural situation in which we could’ve met so I can develop and honest liking towards him, though I have nothing against him from what I could tell he seemed like a nice guy. Maybe they’ll come down to the city soon.
Anyway, during breakfast Rich and I were formulating our escape from Geneva. The big plan was to high tail it out of the Ramada and make it to Syracuse in time to watch the Giants vs. Redskins at 1pm at a bar on campus. We nearly achieved this goal to complete satisfaction save for the fact that we spent 20 minutes looking for parking. Campus was pretty crowded due to it being parents weekend. Actually it wasn’t that bad. We only missed the first 11 minutes of the first quarter of play. I didn’t mind though, I got to see the majority of the Giants 36-0 thrashing of the Washington Redskins. I’m beginning to think that my favorite team has a fighting chance to be one of the better teams in the National Football League this year.
When the game ended Rich and I were at a loss for things to do on a Sunday in Syracuse so we resorted to our original Plan A…Dinosuar BBQ. After all, what’s better than one trip to heaven? How about 2 trips to Heaven? This time we had all the time in the world so we could get what we wanted. Our friends Paul and Lydia met us at Dinosaur for dinner. It was really great to see them. It had been a few years, and to be honest I haven’t thought of them that much but I was really glad that Rich called them. We had a spunky waitress named Annie who gave us extra chili and wanted to Jager shots with us at the end of our meal but alas we had settled into a food coma after a half rack of ribs and various sides. We parted with Paul and Lydia after the meal and went to rest a bit at hour hotel room before completing our tour of favorite Syracuse spots.
I fell asleep in my unbelievably soft hotel bed at the Sheraton during the 3rd quarter of the Eagles-Broncos game and when I woke up it was over. At about 8pm Rich and I ventured out to the Marshall street area to get an early start on Senior Sunday at Faegan’s. Unfortunately, when we arrived there it was an hour until it opened. So we went back to the Regatta bar in the Sheraton which had been renamed Rachel’s or something. We watched the beginning of the Pats-Bills game there and when 9pm struck we headed towards Faegan’s. There were about 4 people in the bar that were actual patrons and there were seemingly 10 people working there. There was one familiar face in Ted the bartender who had been my trivial pursuit partner during a party at Terra Harper’s house senior year. I think we may have won that game. I had 3 or 4 drinks in 3 and a- half hours give or take as all of the good food I had eaten over the weekend left precious little room in my stomach for beer. I was fighting the urge to just go to the hotel and go to bed for most of those three and a half hours. Rich kept me afloat by saying that we were at Faegan’s and when was the next time we would be at Faegan’s. Touche, Rich. Touche. That being said, Ted had told us that the crowd’s at Faegan’s weren’t as good as they used to be. Especially, for senior Sundays, which was really sad seeing as we frequented that bar on all nights except for maybe Monday. Oh how the times have changed.
This morning we woke up with three things to do before leaving. The first thing we had to do was get Syracuse bottle openers at Manny’s. The second must on our list was to take a quick stroll to the quad and Newhouse, and third and certainly the most important to see if longtime supermarket employee and former floor mate Mark Cohen still worked at the local supermarket Peter’s (is for people). The first two were taken care of with ease but when we pulled up to the site of Peter’s (is for people). We were amazed to see a change. Peter’s(is for people) was no longer Peter’s(is for people) but now a P&C Foods (not for people). This cast doubt on my prediction of Cohen’s lifetime fate of Supermarket worker and my doubt was proven when I did not see him behind the fabled glass counter, for there was no glass counter to stand behind. My trip to Syracuse was complete and it was time to come home.
The drive home was relatively painless. Though we must’ve driven by eight cops and my caution level was increased causing a slight decline in my driving speed. That being said, save for the stop at Wendy’s in Deposit, New York we still made pretty good time. We hopped on the 4:18 train from Suffern to Hoboken and I was back in my apartment by 5:30pm where I found out that my hot water isn’t working. It’s good to be home.