Rochester, NY

I just got back to the lake after a three hour drive from Jamestown. I took the long way. A way that I had not gone before. It was a sunny morning and the scenery going east on 86 was incredible. Rolling hills, small towns, and the Allegheny River all were in view. I was accompanied by the Foo Fighters, Norah Jones, The Beatles and Linkin Park. I didn’t realize how expansive the river was. I wondered if this was one that you could canoe. I bet you could. I almost stopped to see if I could find an Indian to talk to, but we had stayed up late and I was ready to get home.

I should rephrase just got back. I just got back and woke up from an Andrew. People say it must great to be on vacation for this long and it sounds so fun. It’s a ton of fun, but day after day without a home base wears you down. My roommate said that when they traveled Europe, it was the best month of his life. He also said he couldn’t wait to get home. I’ve been gone for 2 ½ months and fatigue has set in. I want to do nothing for a while. But, I have places to go and people to see. I’ll be home for a while, but will keep at the interviews and places.

At 5:30 my parents share group (friends who have been getting together at least once/month for 20 plus years) will be coming over. It will be fun to see all of them. I hope that if and when I marry, my wife and I can find a group of friends with the same values and ideas and hold onto them. Before my friends write me about being sappy, just think about it. How many people do you still talk to from 20 years ago?

Jamestown was a blast. Donna’s place is away form everything and I told you about my room, I slept like a baby and needed it to recover from Vegas. Anthony and I picked up as we always do. No matter how long it’s been, we act like we were hanging out yesterday. I can be me around him. And now Donna too. He is lucky to have found her.

I originally was going to leave yesterday. But I decided it was a rare chance to hang with them, so I had to back out on my sister yesterday and my mom and her friend for breakfast this morning. I hated to do it, but distance took priority.

I said yesterday I was going to see Lucille Ball’s house. I didn’t make it. I’m sure you’re crushed. We ended up seeing Bemis Point, which is right on Lake Chautauqua. We had a late lunch and walked down to a hotel which is on the water and has a bunch of rocking chairs. We ordered a cocktail and position our chairs in the sun. The four of us mellowed out. From there we headed down a block or tow to the Casino. No, not a gambling casino (I had enough of those over the weekend), but a restaurant, again on the water. We had another cocktail and vegged on the patio. We were active but not active enough to see all there was. Sun, water, comfortable chairs, and gin can do that to you.

We made it back to Donna’s parents place for dinner. Grandma Mullen and Donna’s Aunt and Uncle came over. We feasted again. BBQ chicken, salad with a lot of veggies, homemade scalloped potatoes, and broccoli. We had an almond bar for desert. I’m not a big almond fan, but I took it and ate it. After two bites I was relieved that there were not actual almonds, just almond extract. I made note of that and everyone laughed. It was a good group.

From there we decided to head to a movie. We were not going to see just any movie in any place. We were going to see Dodgeball, at the drive in. I hadn’t been to the drive in forever (maybe once in my life) and Anthony had never been. It was a double dip, Garfield and then Dodgeball. We went to Tops (grocery store) to stock up. You would’ve thought we were on the downward spiral of a munchie binge. We had Twizzlers, pretzels, 2 bags of popped microwave popcorn, Jolly Ranchers, Sprite, lime juice, ice and some gin. We did the drive in up right. Oh and I forgot, some almond bars.

Garfield was OK. The only thing that kept me into it was the idea that Jennifer Love Hewitt would be on screen from time to time. Other than that, Bill Murray and Odie didn’t do much for me. We didn’t come to see a cat eat lasagna, we came to see people throwing balls at each other. It was as advertised. It was foolish, but hilarious. If we had been on the downward spiral of a munchie binge, this would be the movie to see. I will let you know that the underdogs do make it to the championship, but will leave up to you to see if they win. The suspense…

It’s time for me to take a shower. I have not shaved since Vegas and showered since after my jog. I feel gross. I am also hoping to slow down on all of my food talk. I obviously like to eat. Thus far in my life, my metabolism has held up pretty good. I thought that I would lose weight on this trip. I never realized how accommodating people would be. I’ve gained a few pounds and can no longer button the shorts from high school I still use as my base curve for waistline measuring. Time to slim down the belly.

If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball. Dodgeball!