I rented a car today and drove up from Newark, NJ to Syracuse, NY. What a shithole Newark is. The last time I rented a car there (which is much cheaper than Manhattan), I was driving home for Christmas, and I got terribly lost getting to the highway. Finding my way went much more smoothly and quickly today, and soon I was careening down Route 80 in the rain, through the Poconos and the Del Water Gap, past the area where I went skydiving last year for my birthday.
I smartly planned my trip upstate with Maria in two sections: two hours to Scranton, pit stop, and then two hours to Syracuse. We made a detour outside of Scranton to Clarks Summit, a cute mountain town that houses all the chain restaurants you could ever want, including the only open Bennigan's I've seen in months and Waffle House. They also have a crazy restaurant right next to Waffle House called Vince the Pizza Prince, whose structure is an actual castle. I'll have to eat there one day but today I was hell-bent on introducing Maria to the famous waffles and coffee.
I think on my way back to NYC on Monday I'll drive the same way and stop to eat at one of the several fully operational Perkins restaurants in the Scranton area. I thought they were all long gone (the Syracuse locations having been replaced by Denny's), but lo and behold, they're all over the place (including three on Staten Island!).
Weather is crap and I'll probably skip the State Fair this year. Hope the visibility on the ride back is better than on the way up here.