Keeping with my practice of documenting all travels and adventures, Sam and I headed by car from Charlotte, NC to Rochester, NY to visit friends and relatives. The weather was great and we caught up on all of our favorite radio news programs on the way. Only two stops for emptying our tanks and filling the cars’. We made it to Rochester in pretty good time.
Sam and I had our first lunch date years ago at the TGIF Fridays near our hotel. First night, we had a drink there and decided it would be fun to spend the next day exploring historical landmarks of our relationship. We went to the venue where we first met, a disco in the City. We visited the park where we had many conversations and the German House where we had lunch dates. We visited City Hall and the County Office Building where I used to work. A bonus was that Rochester, which is not famous for its beautiful weather, was in fact, beautiful.
Meeting up with our family the next day, we headed to a planned a trip to Niagara Falls. Since we grew up an hour away we never really thought of going back until I realized my grandson had never been. Added to that I found out that Sam had never been on the Maid of the Mist the old standby where a ferry filled with people in rain gear go as close to the falls as is safely possible. We dripped and giggled as we floated perilously close to the falls.
We saw friends and relatives. I ate my favorite foods. Specifically, real authentic pizza, Red Fedeles, amazing calamari capri, the famous Rochester garbage plate and Abbotts frozen custard. The food pinnacle of course was frequent visits to Wegmans, the greatest grocery store in the world. I kid you not, look it up. I visited it 3 times in one day. I very nearly get teary eyed in the fresh foods section. We watched my nephew Jackson play ball and spent a nice evening watching my niece Natalie’s dance recital.
Sam was able to go to Spencer Speedway with his cousins and had a great time sharing memories of the many times he raced his modified there. He was even interviewed by the announcer who remembered him and called him out of the audience to share some memories with the fans.
Then Sam drove back to Charlotte and I spent a perfect week taking care of my Grandson Aidan. This kid is super self-sufficient. He can amuse himself for hours without a peep. He will be writing stories, drawing amazing pictures, imagining movie scripts. We went to the movies, went on hikes, made cupcakes, read books, went swimming. I asked him once if I could stop and get him something. He told me “no, all I need is you”. That moment came very near grandma nirvana.
So now I find myself people watching at JFK in NYC. Fun stuff. At the next table is a woman with an interesting quart jar container of something edible, I wonder how she got it through security? An older (than me) gentleman trying unsuccessfully to put a cover on his cell phone. A child pushing a rolling bag up and down, up and down countless times shrieking. There are lots of vacationers looking dazed yet excited as they navigate their way through the airport hot and sweaty and clearly traveling for the first time. I make up stories to go with the people. I give fashion advice in my head, while sipping my Jamba Juice. There are Captains of industry talking loudly on their cell phones clearly trying to impress the people around them. Of course, everybody is on their cell phone, including me.
I find people fascinating. This doesnt mean I want them around all the time. It will be good to get home to my husband, my own bed and my own story.