February 25, 2007

Gotta Get Away

I was away for the second weekend in a row, and I really needed the respite. Mike's house upstate has become sort of our home-away-from-home, especially now that we've been there a few times.

On our way to Barrytown we made a pitstop in Eric's hometown of Cohoes, which is a town in transition and kind of a curiosity. The "Spindle City" has all these old mills that are being converted into housing and it seemed like all the other buildings had burned down in some horrible fire or another. I'm always curious about Upstate towns given my own Central New York upbringing in Syracuse, but I didn't find a lot of similarities between this Albany suburb and the Syracuse suburbs I'm used to. The houses kind of looked the same - lots of old Victorians and two-family homes - but part of Cohoes is actually an island which seemed totally foreign to me.

I'd like to go back in better weather and check out the view of Cohoes Falls, even though you can only view the waterfall from an observation deck because the banks are so high and dangerous. Plus I like Erie Canal-related history, and this is a good spot for it.

Mike's fiery stoveSaturday night we went grocery shopping at Hannaford, which is no Wegman's but it's a damn good supermarket, and Edith and Eric cooked dinner at Mike's house. Now that I'm older, I like that I can appreciate a good night in with friends, drinking wine and eating cheese by a fiery stove, petting the dog and listening to an old Victrola. What could have made it better? Maybe a dip in the hot tub surrounded by snow. But I felt like I was getting sick so better not take my chances.

The winter weather has made me seek out coziness - I think it's why I've been going to Marshall Stack so much - so I've been craving antique Edison bulbs, room temperature beer, and hot bubbling foods. On Sunday morning we caught brunch at Rhinebeck's A Spot of Tea, a lovely restaurant built into a historic home from the late 18th century. Even though we didn't sit by the roaring fire, we did get a warm reception from the waitstaff, and a hot pot of Irish Breakfast tea to boot. I had the chance to try some real English food, which is something I actually missed out on when I lived in England. Back then I was too poor to ever eat out, so I ate meals consisting of very un-English peanut butter, and tomato sandwiches on toast. For every meal. I'm not kidding.

So Sunday I had buck rarebit and a golden raisin scone, so much better than the dry crumbly scones you can get around here.

Taking so much comfort in food has placed me in the very dreaded position of needing to detox again, so as a last hurrah we stopped by Red Robin on the way home. Might as well go out in style with a tower of onion rings.

On my first night of detox, tonight I bought Edy's limited American Idol edition ice cream "Take the Cake," so I can enjoy some yellow cake-flavored treats when detox is over. It's the cheese at the end of the maze for me. I won't break detox to break the seal on the packaging, and when I finally crack it open, I know I won't eat the whole thing, but just having it in the freezer waiting for me gives me something to look forward to. Even though it's too cold out to eat ice cream.

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