Lorin and I met up with the rest of her family in New York State. Along the way we met up with Terri and David, Joe and Cara, and Jessie and Jerry. We hiked, we drove, we ate, we napped, we played badminton, and somehow, Imanaged to get zero photos of Terri/David and Jessie/Jerry, so you'll all have to imagine how that evening looked.

We had a very early flight out of Austin. Here is a good representation of Lorin's mood.

In Dallas we saw a bunch of Boy Scouts headed home from a campout of jamboree or something.

This guy, a non-gay troop leader, was working on his Booger Picking Badge.

We flew in to Syracuse (City Motto: We are the asshole of New York State, and you're just passing through!) and headed out to Rochester to see Joe and Cara and Ella and Leo.

Here is Joe with Leo.

This is Ella.

Not wanting to disturb Ella, we hung out in their giant backyard for a bit, then headed out for some dinner...

To where else, but Nick Tahou's. I was in the mood for a nice big garbage plate.

Normally all the employees look like ex-cons, but they had a blonde chick working the cash register.

Joe and I put our game faces on. Or maybe we scowled because the darn flash didn't go off.

Joe only eats food he would be willing to kill/prepare himself. This limits him severely. Meat is off his list, but he would gather and eat eggs. So he got an egg plate. He also got a soda. "I would totally hunt Pepsi and kill it, in order to have some," he said. "Ketchup too."

Having fewer compunctions and a different brand of moral relativism than Joe, I got a normal garbage plate. You are looking at half a plate of macaroni salad, half a plate of home fries, two cheeseburger patties, all of it covered with mustard and Nick's special ground beef sauce. It is aptly named based on how it looks, but believe me, it tastes heavenly.

Side view.

Look how happy everyone is to have had a plate!

We went back to the house and sat out back on the patio and got nice and drunk. Nuuj came over, and as always it was a pleasure to see him. He put a cherry on top of the evening by drink 1/2 a bottle of gin, and giving us a treatise on some handheld nintendo game he is addicted to. He had to be home around 2am in order to get some fireworks, and then be up in the morning in order to sell some turnips. In the game. I don't think any of that happened, he walked home and just went to sleep.

No pictures of any of this - a travesty.

The next day we got up and went out for breakfast. Ella colored. Cara tended to Leo. He is able to produce mouthfuls of white liquid at any moment, so they keep a close eye on him to limit where it all goes.

I had fried eggs and corned beef hash. Joe was dazed, as he slowly talked himself into eating his pancakes. "I'd definitely hunt pancakes," he was heard muttering to himself. "I bet they hang out in the same forest as the maple syrup trees."

We then drove to Hillsdale, and had a family barbecue. I managed to take no photos of that either. David took a bunch, so hopefully he'll send me his to put up here.

Monday we drove up to Lake Placid, and along the way stopped in Albany for lunch. We had pizza at some random place, and it was amazing. I think it was called "JG's Pizza," and they were Iron Maiden themed. Here is a link. The pizza rocked, so the theme was consistent. We then walked around the Capital Plaza.

The buildings were amazing. I think this was the state education building, and we loved how grand it all was.

This is pretty pathetic. Most places do the whole "George Washington slept here" routine for tourism. Whoever put this up was really stretching. I'm sure old George traveled on an awful lot of roads in his day...

The maple trees all around the plaza were cut into block shapes. Weird.

Here Lorin surveys the plaza. It's an interesting place, it feels very Soviet.

The Egg. I think they have concerts and plays inside it.

The Capitol.

Giant sculptures, reflecting pools, fountains, and architecture that is kinda weird. Ahhhh, government.

There were several buildings that looked the same, only one was huge, and the others were smaller. Like a mothership building and four smaller ones.

See? And see the blocky trees in the distance? Lenin would've loved this place.

We got out of there and headed up to Lake Placid. It was really nice up there. This is the view from our room.

This is an Ugly Doll. I got Lorin a shirt with this fellow on it when i was in SF earlier this year. Here he is full size. His name is Ox, and he does magic. His best trick is making your stuff his stuff.

We sat out on the sidewalk and had a glass of really good wine. It was from Swedish Hill, a NYS winery. We stopped later at one of their retail stores and sampled a bunch of their wines. The 2004 Dry Riesling was the one we liked, and all the rest were god-awful. I think they stole this wine from someone else. Regardless of how they got it, it was great. We got some extra and took it to Phyllis and Paul.

Since we were in the Adirondacks, which means "Bark eater," we decided to take a nice little hike. It would up being about 10 miles, and had some up and down to it.

We hiked along the Ausable river, on the West River Trail.

We found this weird looking tree.

And these neat mushrooms.

And there was water in the river. It was really, really nice.

Lower Ausable Lake.

Time to head up to Rainbow Falls.


We saw some otters right here. They were swimming around. Then they were gone. Lorin located their warren, or den, or whatever they live in. We were standing right above it.

This is it. They sort of carve out a section of river bank. This seemed somewhat open, and i guess they had an escape route. We could hear them right below our feet splashing around and snorting. It was cool. (Joe does not eat Otter.)

That's it for Lake Placid. We had another good dinner, etc. Then we headed out to return to Phyllis and Paul's place. Along the way we stopped to see Ausable Chasm, which was billed as one of the three natural wonders of eastern New York State. I guess when you are competing with Niagara Falls, you have to be very specific.

There it is. It was pretty neat.

From there we went and got the ferry over to Burlington, Vermont.

Here the GPS has no problem showing us floating along.

There's Burlington.

This guy had his pants pulled up rather far...

The Story Corps recording trailer was in town. Story Corps is compiling an oral history of America which is primarily about, and told by, ordinary people.

On the pedestrian mall.

We stopped for lunch.

More pizza!

From there we rolled in to Hillsdale and fell asleep. We had an incredible Indian dinner in Pittsfield, MA on the way. It was at House of India, and if you're nearby, be sure to check it out.

The next morning we woke up and had pancakes. Paul fired up the double griddle, and they were delish!

Fresh local blueberries.

Local maple syrup. Mmmmmm!

Final assembly.

Phyllis patiently waits.

Paul's oranges. There are six there, and you better believe that he knows it! He is pretty easy to get along with, but god help you if you take any of his oranges.

Later that day we started getting ready for dinner. Kathy, and he mom (Connie) shucked corn. (You can see Granny's hands over to the right, she was helping too.)

By now you probably think that all we do is eat. In an effort to work off some of the calories, we set up a badminton set and had some fun.

David spent half his time watching the birdie, and also watching his sister to make sure she didn't clip him.

He's a smart kid.

Bert is focused.

We rested. Then we ate all that corn. I didn't take any pictures of dinner, but should have. There were around 11 of us there, and we also ate the flounder that David and Jim caught when they went deep sea fishing the week before. Paul smoked it, and it was really good.

The next day we decided to exercise and eat some more. We rode bikes.

There is this group called The Rails to Trails Conservancy, and they take old unused railroad tracks and convert them into hike and bike trails. It's freakin brilliant. This is one charity that i am pleased to have donated to, and directly benefitted from. If you've got some spare money, give it to them, they use it well. i don't know if they did this on, or NYS did it on its own.

They still have the old railroad markers up. We were 101 miles from NYC.

It felt a lot further than that.

Another great "historical" marker.

Wikipedia has some pretty disagreeable information about this fight as compared to the sign. Interesting.

This root beer is A M A Z I N G.

I also got some potato sticks, errr, i mean stix.

Ain't she classy?

Fully rejuvenated, we decided to do the hike to Bash Bish Falls and see how it looked.

it looked like this.

And with that, we were done.

Thanks for looking.