Thursday, August 30, 2007

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. Yes, that's a complete grammatically correct sentence, and a fitting start to my Upstate New York trip blog.

It was the best of flights, it was the worst of flights. It all began with a red-eye flight out of Seattle on Tuesday night. My $200 roundtrip flight to Buffalo, NY makes up for the fact that it was a) a red-eye, b) Seattle - Buffalo, with a 3-hour early-morning layover in Atlanta, and c) AirTran Airlines. All things considered, it worked out pretty well. My flight left on time, if not a bit early at 9:45pm on Tuesday night, and it was a pretty peaceful flight, on which I sat in the exit row next to the window. This has its advantages, and its disadvantages. I had plenty of leg room, so could easily stretch out and not feel squished in like sardines. However... being next to the window exit, way up in the sky it was surprisingly cold. Which was fine until you leaned against the side of the airplane, and nearly froze your leg off. Either way, after arriving in Atlanta a full 30+ minutes early (not exactly an advantage when you already have a scheduled 3-hour layover), I wandered around the surprisingly busy airport at 5:30am, found myself some early morning Chick-Fil-A breakfast, and pretended I wasn't really still awake at 3am Pacific Time.

Truth be told... I was really still awake at 3am Pacific Time... and 4am... and 5am, when finally my flight from Atlanta to Buffalo left. As I boarded the plane and made my way back to my seat in 18A, a little boy was sitting in my seat next to his mom. She asked if she could trade seats with me so she could sit next to her son. I was happy to help, and she gave me her seat in 1C, at the very front of the plane in "Business Class". Honestly, I would have probably traded seats with her regardless of where her seat was, but this was just icing on the cake.

Now, AirTran's "Business Class" is nothing to be too excited about. The seats are larger and have a bit more leg room (though probably no more leg room than my exit row seat did on the previous flight), and you get free booze. Well, that's great, but at 8am EDT, or 5am PDT, I was not really there to take advantage of the free alcohol. I did, however, sleep almost the entire 1.5 hour flight to Buffalo.

All in, I probably slept about 3.5 hours over the course of the night. I made it to Buffalo, and Andrew, who had coordinated his flight from Birmingham to arrive nearly the same time as mine, arrived shortly after, and his mom had come to pick us up from the airport.

We drove back to Rochester, though I saw no winged buffalo along the way, and then spent the day exploring around Rochester, and going grocery shopping. Normally grocery shopping isn't too noteworthy, but we went to Wegman's. Now, Wegman's is a chain of grocery stores that started in Rochester, but now has stores as far south as Virginia, and is often ranked the best supermarket chain in the US. We went to the Cadillac of Wegman's, their flagship store. This place is like a Costco-sized Whole Foods, only not quite as creepy as either. I took a handful of pictures, before they threw me out of the store for taking pictures. OK, I didn't quite get thrown out, but they man at the Cheeses of the World counter told me I couldn't take pictures in the store. I still never understand why some stores have those silly policies, but I guess whatever makes them happy.

Back to the house we came. Now, the best way I can describe this house is if you've ever seen a classic brick rowhouse somewhere in New England, with all its old-world charm and style, like you'd see on an episode of This Old House, but before it gets renovated. :) This specific 3-story house has been turned over the years into a 3-unit building, with Andrew's parents currently residing on the first floor. It's actually a pretty nice place, though Norm Abram and Bob Vila could turn this place into a palace, if they really wanted to.

After dinner, my lack of sleep from my travels caught up with me, and off to bed I went. More days of vacation to come.

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