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Posts Tagged ‘road trip’

Travelin’ Man

Posted by evankessler on February 29, 2008

At the beginning of next week, the proprietor of this here blog will be a travelin’ man. EvanKessler.com is literally hitting the road! On Monday, March 3rd, I will embark on a 450 plus mile trek to Canton, Ohio to visit The Pro Football Hall of Fame. If you have to ask why, then you’re obviously not in the know, but I will say that my travel fever has been spurred on by the though of pursuing my dreams with stars in my eyes and the prospect of sleeping on an uncomfortable bed at a cheap motel and Spectravision.

It’ll be a brief trip to the heart of the Buckeye State in the middle of a Presidential Primary brouhaha, but my hope is that it’ll be a fruitful one. The only downside to making the trek 450 miles west of my hometown is that I’ll be driving…by myself. Oh and the other bad part is that I’ll be all alone in a strange town for two days. Other than that I plan to make the most of it. I’m sure I’ll be spending plenty of time tethered to a desk writing to my heart’s content, but I also intend to take a gander at Downtown Canton, grab a beer, and check to see if they have a Chinatown.

Upon my return to New York City late on Wedenesday evening or early Thursday morning, I will have precious little time to gather my thoughts and do my laundry, because just like that, sometime on saturday I”ll be magically whisked off to Miami to partake an event as a representative of JoshSpear.com. Hopefully I’ll have a moment to myself to check out the World Chess Hall of Fame. This just in, now begins my life as a jetsetter. I think I need new clothes if I’m going to fit in.

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D.C. Follies

Posted by evankessler on October 9, 2007

It was another eventful weekend in the annals of evankessler.com history and probably the final installment in our Wedded Bliss 2007 series. Prior to that occurrence we said a hearty welcome back to one of our good friends who made his long awaited return to the city of New York. Friday night saw the return of one Andy S, who spent the past several months on a boat in New England doing his manly duty at sea. There was probably lots of business with masts and sails and rigs and whatnot. I’m not well versed in that fishy ocean business. I’m a man of the land who stays anchored to the sand so I won’t pretend to have that knowledge at hand and I’ll say nothing of the supposed mysteries of “shore leave” if you know what I mean. All I know is that a few of us met up at Lorelay on the Lower East side for our share of Bier and German fare. Joining in on the occasion were Ken S, Jason S, Kayvalyn, Ahmad, Dmitry, Lauren, Miller and myself. I know I’m probably leaving someone out or adding an extra person but my memory doesn’t always serve me perfectly…though sometimes that works in favor of the story, like if I were to tell you a giant dragon suddenly showed up and breathed fire on an unsuspecting crowd before I slew the beast with my erection because I have a hard on for violence and heroism. However, that did not happen. We just had a genuinely pleasant get together with huge German biers in honor of Oktoberfest and smiled and laughed much to the chagrin of some of the surrounding crowd, whom beckoned us to quiet down.

After receiving a surprisingly large bill we settled up and I made for the Lighthouse Tavern with both Andy and Jason in tow. Kayvalyn and Ahmad had left earlier in favor of hanging out with some of their high school friends from back in Thailand. We got a nice seat in the outdoor space as the inside was packed with Red Sox fans cheering on their team who was in the process of defeating the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles (which is an absolutely retarded team name). Ken joined us after biking over from Manhattan for a drink and some wings. Heather was at the bar and Thea joined us in back but Andy, Jason, and Ken left soon after and it pretty much ended up being Me, Thea, and Heather for a bit. However, I could not stay out too late but I had a few more drinks before heading home as I had to wake up the next morning to meet Suli in Williamsburg so we could drive down to D.C. I think I went to sleep a little bit after 1:30am.

My alarm rang on Saturday morning at 8:30am and as tempted as I was to snooze it, I sprang out of bed and hit the shower. I had to pack my bags and be in the ‘Burg by 11am. While that sounds like a reasonable amount of time, I had to take into account the unreasonable length of the intraborough commute which included three separate subway lines, the stubbornly inconsistent F, G, and L trains. Toting my suit housed in it’s dry cleaning uniform, with a smaller travel bag in my other hand I plodded towards the F train station at 7th Avenue and 9th Street stopping for a bagel and my beloved Ito En Jasmine Green Tea (the more I mention it the closer I am to getting endorsements). It took about 7 minutes for the F train to come and the transfer to the G was simple enough in that I didn’t have to walk anywhere seeing as it stops at the same platform I exited onto at the Smith and 9th Street station. From there it was another couple of minutes until I reached the Metropolitan -Lorimer stop and transfered to the L train. This required a slight underground trek but I wouldn’t exactly describe it as lengthy. Perhaps the most comforting thing about the L train is the fact that there are signs on the platform that tell you when the next train is coming. As I looked up I saw it read 3 minutes and I was sufficiently pleased with this knowledge. Much to my surprise it arrived in 2 minutes completely shattering my faith in the timing system but getting me to the Graham stop a full minute earlier than expected.

I walked out to a familiar scene as I had exited at that stop many a time though admittedly not in the morning. I used to frequently take the L to Graham when Rich, Dmitry, Ahmad, Miller, Victor, and whoever the crap used to live at 709 Grand lived there. Now Suli had taken up residence a mere block away in the familiar neighborhood which houses a store that sells diving gear, though I don’t suspect they sell a great deal of diving gear. Suli welcomed to me to his relatively new abode with the unfortunate news that Lina would not be joining us on our jaunt to D.C. for our friend Matt’s wedding as she had badly injured her ankle the day before and would probably be very uncomfortable couped up in a car or dancing the hora.

With heavy hearts Suli and I jumped in his vehicle and headed for the nation’s capital. Our last such road trip was way back in 2003 when we, along with Joe D made for The Big Easy after thanksgiving. This trip would be about one fifth as short since the drive to D.C. was only going to take us upwards of around 4 hours…give or take. We did hit a bit of a snag getting to the Holland tunnell but our route was marked by mostly smooth sailing. Although we encountered little highway resistance there were some things worth noting. While driving through New Jersey, we passed tour bus that was for none other than James Taylor Curtis and the Silver Eagle Band. At first we thought that it might be “Fire and Rain” and “Sweet Baby James” Taylor but it took us about a second to realize that that guy didn’t need to add Curtis onto his last name. Not being familiar with any of their work, I decided that James Taylor Curtis and the Silver Eagle Band had only one song that they played over and over again and they changed lyrics in accordance with whatever they were doing at the time. At this particular moment the song lyrics went:

“James Taylor Curtis and The Silver Eagle Band…Driving through New Jersey with a guitar in our hand”.

Had they been at a diner at that moment the lyric “driving through New Jersey” would be replaced with “eating at a diner“…and so on and so forth. By then end of our drive this melody was bouncing around our heads all weekend and still hasn’t excaped due to its catchiness. The roads were also packed with horible drivers. At one point we could not escape a red minivan with three bicycles on the back. I decided that this vehicle would made an ideal getaway car because one could not clearly view the license plate. Sure it had three bicycles on the back but you could either drive away and sink the car in the river and ride off on the bicycles or ditch the bicycles in the woods and use the vehicle as Detroit intended with no one having seen your license plate as you sped away from the robbery.

Behold…The Perfect Getaway Vehicle

Suli and I eventually stopped at the Clara Barton rest area, the last one in New Jersey. We needed to eat but we more or less stopped out of curiosity over who Clara Barton exactly was and why she warranted her own rest stop, which is precisely why we didn’t stop at the Thomas Alva Edison and Vince Lombardi rest stops. I was pretty sure ‘ol CB had something to do with Nursing but I didn’t think she founded the Red Cross because I thought that was Florence
Nightingale. I hope there would be a plaque trumpeting her achievements but instead just found a TCBY, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Travel Mart, and Cinnabon. I’d have to wait to the actual wedding when my friend Dana R cleared up that she did indeed found the Red Cross. That certainly warrants having your own rest stop though I don’t necessarily Ms. Barton would be proud of the greasy, sugar-saturated goings on inside. I didn’t stop at any of the fast food shops. Suli had gotten a coffee from Cinnabon and I had a particularly strange encounter at the travel mart. When I presented my water to the clerk, she asked if I wanted anything to eat with that as if she was about to produce a suitable meal from a non-existent grill under the gum racks. Really, if I had wanted something to eat, wouldn’t she be under the impression that I would’ve brought it to the counter to pay for. I guess it must be a rare occurrence in this country that people just buy a bottle of water without getting something to make them fatter to go with it.

The rest of the ride down was pretty uneventful. We drove through Delaware and Maryland before being greeted by the Washington Monument towering above some generic office buildings. Our directions called for a minor detour through the Capital city on our way to our hotel in Arlington, Va.

We arrived at around 3:30pm, an hour and twenty minutes before we were to catch the shuttle bus to the Ronald Reagan Center for International Trade. This gave us enough time to head up to our room and cycle through the TV channels while getting dressed. Turns out we would use most of that time fixing our ties as we both moronically struggled with attaining the perfect knot. Our epic battle with our neck-cessories ended at around 4:30 pm when we decided to hang out in the lobby waiting for our friend Eric L. and his girlfriend Gina to make the scene and join us on the bus. However, the shuttle soon came and feeling bored in the lobby we decided to sit on the bus and wait. At around 4:45 our friends joined us and the bus was all but ready to go though we waited 15 more minutes for no one else to show just to be safe and so we could sweat more in the sauna like shuttle bus.

We arrived at the Capt. Ron Reagan Center after a brief drive. I was disappointed that there were no giant memorial statues to pose in front of. I wanted a 60 foot wax statue or a slew of movie posters highlighted by 1951’s Bedtime for Bonzo.
Despite my disappointment over the lack of Reagan paraphernalia, I was delighted to know that Homeland Security would be watching over this wedding as I stepped through a metal detector en route to the elevator. Once upstairs I saw that very few folks were hanging out. We were amongst the first to arrive and we quickly formed our own little clique area. Soon we were joined by Eve and Jess D, as well as their parents and Joe D’s girlfriend Jaysarah. We talked for a bit before making our way into the room where the ceremony was to be held.
Suli and I sat in the 4th or 5th row next to Eric and Gina.

We sat quietly but there was no sign of anything so I inexplicably started chanting “dudes…dudes…dudes” to myself as I’m wont to do when I’m surrounded by a bunch of dudes. Suli mistook it as me saying “untz…untz…untz” like a house beat and mimicked it. At that moment the dude in front of use turned around and asked if we liked house music. He then went to tell us he’s a house DJ in Miami and that he’s best friends with one of the best DJ’s in the world as if we would care. We didn’t really feign interest but he kept going on and on about house music and some party his friend was throwing. He then asked where we were from and started talking about how he’s from Massapequa and was with some band we should be familiar with and how he got his start in DJing….none of which was information we solicited.

Finally the wedding started and Housedouche turned around. The ceremony itself was very nice. It was funny to see Rich, Joe, and Mike S as groomsmen. I sort of felt left out but not really. It was weird to see our friend Matt get married. I’m really happy for him though. When you meet people in Junior High you never think about knowing them til the day they get married and then when it happens you sort of realize how much your life is in shambles and how much other people have their shit together. Ah well, I suppose I can continue on…the evening certainly did.

After the ceremony the newly crowned King and Queen of weddingdom walked out to an orchestral version of Coldplay’s “Clocks” at which point housedouche turned around to notify us and ask if we had heard a certain remix version of said song. Ugh.

The cocktail hour was a good time. I hadn’t seen some of the people there before the ceremony and in some time. Dana R was in from Arizona where I believe she is working on her doctorate. She is always fun to hang out with. Her sister Jodi was supposed to be there but was sick after picking up something in the Ukraine. Mike S made the rounds but mostly Dana, Joe, Suli, Rich, Jaysarah, Eve D, Jessica D, Mona, Jay, Jaysarah, Eric, Gina and I made conversation while sampling the alcoholic offerings along with the tasty array of finger foods.

The Last First Dance of Wedded Bliss ’07

Soon it was time for the party to begin and how does a wedding usually begin…with the first dance. This moment was a little awkward because I don’t think either Matt or Lindsay are the people in this world most fond of dancing. It sort of seemed like it too though I didn’t really expect Matt to get down so much as he’s usually one of the more laid back people I know. Besides weddings with Jews usually get going when it’s time for THE HORA!!! However, once the DJ signaled it’s beginning by playing of appropriate song, no one really did anything. People stood in a circle, and seeing as half of them weren’t Jewish, they weren’t exactly sure what to do. I tried to goad Joe’s parents into starting the dancing and they were trying but no one was going along with it, not even the bride and groom who stood unmoved at the side of the center of the circle. At this moment I looked at Joe and said that we should do something. I think Mike felt the same way too and a group consisting mainly of Matt’s friends got in the middle and started dancing in our attempt to breathe some life into the gathering. We pulled out two chairs and put the newlyweds on the chairs and hoisted them in the air as is tradition (sort of ironic that our efforts to uphold Jewish tradition needed the aid of a Paksitani and a chinese friend) but we didn’t have enough people participating and the situation was unstable to say the least. After a brief stint being hoisted skyward the duo was soon let down. None of the siblings or parents followed. I could understand their trepidation though.

Soon after the strange sustenance of a traditional showing of wedded bliss we were all beckoned to our seats. The meal courses were served in rapid succession with barely any dancing in between. Though that left plenty of time for conversation which is actually my favorite part of attending weddings. I usually wish there wasn’t some obnoxiously loud band playing “Hey Ya!” in the background while I’m trying to catch up with friends. I had more quality conversations with folks at tables 12 and 14. In between two of the courses we were also witness to do heartfelt, albeit brief best man and maid of honor speeches made by the couple’s respective siblings.

Probably one of the oddest parts about the wedding was the fact that there was no wedding cake. I don’t mention it to take issue with it…I’ve just never heard of that before. Instead there was a candy ceremony, which I liked because it was very different and sometimes different is good. Plus, it doesn’t involve knives and knives can be involved in accidents whereas candy can be delicious. Also, candy has lots of sugar so when dancing actually happens you have plenty of energy before crashing.


Dancin’ with the Bride

Eric and Gina Do Their White People Dance Thing

I Suppose This is What Me Having A Good Time Looks Like

It seemed like a majority of the guests left after the candy ceremony leaving the Reaganomics Arena to friends of the bride and groom. That was fine with us as we continued to drink and dance until the last shuttle bus left for our hotel at 11:30pm.

Once back at the hotel, we changed clothes and gathered together at Joe’s room. Not everyone was present as it was just Suli, Joe D, Jaysarah, Eve D, Rich, and I. We spent the rest of the evening looking through pictures and exploring the wonders of abbreviated language, overusing the phrases, “totes” (ofish) , “ofish” (official), and “natch” (naturally), amongst others. We even rewatched a youtube-worthy video of one of our friends dancing about 35 times. While I don’t have it and don’t think I’d be able to post it without tremendous fallout or getting sued It was indescribably funny, though if I were to describe the video in 2 words I would call it “male tittyshake”. You’re probably not getting the right mental picture but perhaps one day I’ll be able to show you.

That basically put an end to our weekend. The next morning we woke up at about 9:30am. Suli and I hung out in the hotel room for a bit before leaving to meet Rich in the lobby since we were taking him home to Rockland. We said our goodbyes to Eric L, Gina, and Eve D in the lobby before hitting the road a little after noon. I was somewhat distressed that I was missing the Giants-Jets game but got regular updates from Arby via text message. The trip back took us longer than we expected since we missed a couple of steps on the directions back. However, as long as we got on I-95 north we were headed in the right direction. The trip back was certainly less eventful but with seemingly more traffic. There was no James Taylor Curtis and The Silver Eagle Band driving back through New Jersey with a guitar in their hand. It was just Suli, Rich and I high tailing it back to the Empire State.

We did make one stop at the John Fenwick service area. Upon pulling in we once again tried to figure out who John Fenwick might be but to no avail. Suli confused him with James Fenimore Cooper, the author of “The Last of The Mohicans” but according to wikipedia he was an English Jacobite conspirator in the 1600’s which doesn’t at all seem relevant to the part of Souther New Jersey we were in. Coincidentally, the next rest stop ended up being the James Fenimore Cooper service area. We didn’t stop there though, because we knew who he was and we had more important tasks at hand, namely finally getting the hell home.

I finally arrived back at my apartment in Brooklyn at 7:20 PM, ready to break free from a lengthy day couped up in a Toyota Rav 4. Upon my arrival I sat down with my roommates who had just cooked a homemade dinner and recounted the weekend, before heading into Bassett’s room to watch the Rock of Love reunion special. I subsequently made a trip down to the Lighthouse and drank with Arby, Heather, and Thea until the wee hours because I’m an alcoholic. A weekend well spent if you ask me.

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Next Stop Vermont

Posted by evankessler on February 9, 2007

Hey there ladies and gentlemen! Sorry to leave you having an extra day sans EvanKessler.com postings but sometimes there’s just that little going on. However, in my previous two days I have rediscovered the joy of cooking. Maybe one day I’ll rediscover the joy of sex but lets take our lives one joy at a time shall we. The last two nights I have made a lovely dish consisting of chicken with broccoli in garlic and olive oil, mixed with a wheat pasta. I have to say I did quite the wonderful job of preparation and my taste buds were delighted. Aside from my culinary adventures the days have been rather uneventful. I’ve spent the last two monitoring my Costner progress running errands to prepare for my impending trip to Vermont, for which I depart at 8:30am this morning.

That being said I’ve managed to run through a bit on my iPodyssey and I don’t feel like telling a story about it since I have to wake up in but a few hours for a road trip in a van full of people. It might be fun or it might be a really long time spent in a van. However, when we arrive we’ll have our own house equipped with a hot tub, pool table, and entertainment center with which to have our way with for the entire weekend. Who is the we in question? Well, I’m not sure how many of us there are at this point but they include Stephen H, Katie O, Maureen H, Pete F, Laura R, Dan F, Myself, Laura B, Andrew Morton, Mike H, and other folks who I just can’t think of at the moment. I think it’s basically going to be an entire weekend in the hot tub drinking beer. Sounds alright by me.

Alright, so in any case, we’ve finally broken into the 14th letter on the iPodyssey surpassing the halfway marker. Although I think we did that a couple of weeks agoo when we passed the 2300th song. That being said, 65 songs elapsed in the past 2 days as we went from Outkast’s “My Favorite Things” to Liz Phair’s “Never Said”, the latter being played inexplicably twice. I hope to dig deeper into my musical chasm this weekend, but I’m almost resigned to the fact that we’re going to a lot of mixes on the way up and have some sing alongs. However, I can’t say for sure but be ready for plenty of pictures in Sunday night’s weekend recap. I hope everyone has an excellent weekend. Vermont, here I come.

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The Geneva Convention

Posted by evankessler on November 1, 2005

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.

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