For the turkey day holiday, lj user="callicrates"> and I visited upstate NY, where my mom, sister, and aunt and uncle live. Fortunately neither Andy nor I were selected for enhanced screening of either type, though we saw some people go through the x-ray/scanners and one woman being escorted to a private room for a pat-down. The flights to NY were ordinary save for one significant surprise -- both of them arrived appreciably early. It was so nice having an extra forty minutes of layover in which to eat, and the airport pub fish and chips were quite good. My sister didn't have dinner ready yet due to the earliness of the flight (we had gotten the rental car and arrived at her house before the plane was even scheduled to arrive), but this was not a problem.
On Turkey Day itself we went to my aunt and uncle's newly-built (actually, still-in-progress) house. I had been a bit worried because they tend to like things way spicier than I can handle, and my aunt mentioned she had gotten the turkey idea from Emeril, whose recipes I know to be on the hot side. It was really nice, though -- the brine was made up of the juice from citrus fruit, and was overall light rather than overpowering. My cousin, who is some thirty years younger than I am, give or take, was playing a game, possibly Pokemon or something similar, and Andy enjoyed asking questions about it. After we left, my cousin said Andy was his new best friend.
On Thursday evening we went to see Lights on the Lake, a local stretch of Christmas lights in all sorts of shapes and vignettes. Thursday was the second night of the exhibit and it wasn't too crowded, which was nice. It was a very pretty way to spend the evening.
Mom and my sister went shopping at 3am while Andy and I slept in on Friday morning. Mom got a new laptop to replace her desktop, which died almost as hard as my computer did at about the same time. We exchanged Christmas and birthday gifts since Andy and I are staying home this year. I think it's safe to say that our gifts were a success.
Afterward we went to her house and vegged until the evening, when my high school drama club held a reunion. It was very nice; I knew all but three or four people there, although I was the token person from my year. I was wearing a shirt which translated to "To be or not to be, that is the question" in C, and my drama teacher's husband immediately recognized it. He and Andy geeked out quite a bit while the rest of us reminisced. I hope this becomes a regular event. The only sad part was acknowledging two recent deaths; my friend Ray whom I posted about earlier this year, and another alumnus who died a week before the reunion.
On Saturday Andy mostly helped mom set up her computer. We were supposed to visit friends in the area, but there was an unexpected snowstorm which started in Rome (where we were) and proceeded to Utica and Ilion, where we had intended to go. Sniffle. On Sunday we went back to Syracuse after stopping to finally see our friends Steve and Hawk at their house in NY. It was odd to be the ones rushing through for a change.
On Monday we went back to Oswego to visit folk there. I saw professors both from the first and second time around, including one whom I had not expected to see since his classes and office hours were all on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Luckily he had some conferences scheduled, so he came in. I also ran into several former classmates and had a mini-reunion with them, since we all had been in the same class. One of the professors we hoped to see we missed by about ten minutes, but that was ok because we went out to dinner with her that evening. She is about my age and we have a lot in common, so it was fun to get together. Andy gave her a tessellation he had made based on her favorite pattern when he showed her samples when I was still a student. Now that I'm not and we don't have to worry about, in his words, "pesky conflicts of interest", he made her one in her favorite color.
We had to get up at O'Dark-thirty for our flights home, but that was ok since it meant we got home at around noon and had the rest of the day to relax before Andy had to go into work on Wednesday. The kitties were fine, if happy to see us, and my replacement computer had arrived the night before we got home, so with some help from Andy I got it set up. Oh, and the Kindle was wonderful. I now have enough material on it to keep me reading for a lifetime, and a list a mile long of more books I want on it. It was really nice between rounds at the forensics tournament as well. I'm really happy I got it. And that's how I spent my vacation ;).