I spent the 22nd and 23rd with my sister in Syracuse. We played mini-golf and she tried to get me cultured by showing me three movies: Red, Megamind, and Despicable Me. The first one was amusing, the second one was an interesting take, and the third one was ok, despite tapping in on one of my least-favorite tropes. Maybe I'm getting oversensitive, but it really stood out how the nerds were the bad guys in the latter two movies. That's a topic for another post, I think. We also, along with her significant other, watched a bunch of the "Have someone come in and make over a room in your house"-type shows. Also, because I love Cake Wrecks so much, she had two shows about cake-making; one a contest and the other just following some cake-makers around. I watched more tv in those two days than I have in the past two years, I think.
On the 24th I grabbed a rental car and headed to Rome. Weird Al was doing a concert at the Turning Stone Casino in Vernon, and my mom and I went to see it. She was unfamiliar with Weird Al going into the concert. She enjoyed it, although we got seats very close to stage and it was very loud. She also has the same problems I do with blinking lights but, like me, she learned to close her eyes when they started. I don't want to spoil the concert for anyone else planning to see the Alpocalypse tour, especially since I'm still holding out hope that one of the stops will be nearby. I will, however, note that the local 501st was there, and had an R2D2 with them.
The 25th was bittersweet, a going-away party for a friend from high-school, attended by a small group still in the area, along with me. She's heading to Canada, where her husband is based, and helping out at a resort area there. Talking to old friends, catching up on other classmates, and reminiscing was nice. It's also not all too bad; the person leaving will be a four-hour drive away, but still, it'll make it that much harder to see her when I do visit home.
Despite the best efforts of the NY Thruway toll people and my direction sense (or lack thereof), I met up with one of my professors from Oswego my second time around. It was a lot of fun, even if I'm still getting used to being a friend rather than a student. At least I'm to the point where I almost always use her first name rather than her title and last name. Actually, she was ok with people calling her by pretty much anything, including "Hey you", in class, but I guess I'm old-fashioned when it comes to things like that. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond her control, I wasn't able to meet up with the professor's wife, but we're hoping they'll be able to visit Albuquerque someday.
After parting with the professor I popped over to my sister's place briefly and got to meet her Little Sister (from the Big Brother/Big Sister organization). They've been paired for years, but I always missed her in my past trips. My sister tried to show me The Kid, but I had to get back to Rome before it got dark, especially due to toll booth drama.
On Friday Mom and I went to Boonville to visit my Grandpa's widow (his first wife was my Grandmother, and I never really got comfortable using the same appellation for his second wife, though I really like her). She's 93 and still as much of a firecracker as ever, despite being nearly deaf. After visiting with her we went to see a few different areas of Pixley Falls, an oddly-set-up state park. The park itself is off of a major road, and contains the main fall. There are small drive-off areas on the main road both before and after the park which have smaller falls. We didn't spend as much time as we could have due to impending thunderstorms and the fact that I was a bit tired.
The original plan for Saturday was to go to the Rochester Museum and Science Center Planetarium with my mom and my 8 year-old cousin. On Friday we found out that my Aunt, Uncle, and college-aged cousin from Rhode Island were coming to visit. The local Aunt and Uncle recently moved to a new house and had been wanting people to come and see it, so the Rhode Island set decided to surprise them and let us in on it. Mom made up an excuse not to go but didn't tell the local A&U the real reason, and when the RI A,U,&C arrived we went up to their house, distracted them, and pulled off the surprise.
On Saturday we hung out with both sets of Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins, my sister and her SO, and had a barbecue while mostly just relaxing. They played a game called Chicken Dominoes which sounded confusing and amusing. Mom later found out that the RI cousin would rather have played cards, and since Mom loves playing cards as well they decided to do so on Sunday. The original plan on Sunday had been for the RI crew to go up to Boonville and visit my step-grandmother, but someone hit upon the notion of having her daughter drive her to Rome so she could visit all of us. I heckled while they played cards. The RI crew had to leave for home on Sunday late afternoon/early evening, and Mom, my sister, and I left when they did.
We had found out that although they usually don't have shows on Monday, the planetarium made an exception for Memorial Day, so in the morning my Mom, cousin, and I set off to Rochester. It's a good thing we left early, because the street which leads to the museum and planetarium was along a parade route and was closed down in several places. Fortunately some locals helped us come up with an alternate route and we got there well in time for the first show. It was called "A Trip to Saturn" and was interesting, though I wish there had been more stars, given that this was a planetarium.
In between the first and the second show we headed over to the museum and science center. Have I ever mentioned that hanging out with an 8-year-old cousin can be exhausting? Consider it said. He had a lot of fun with the hands-on stuff, though, and eventually it was time for the second show, one on dolphins with no stars whatsoever, though it was shown in the planetarium. Although it was aimed at families, I learned some stuff, and of course, dolphins! After the show we went back to the M&SC until they closed, then took off for home.
Tuesday was my sister's birthday, so we went back up to Syracuse to celebrate with her. We watched the movie she'd tried to show me on Thursday (The Kid), and although it looked like it was going to be fairly predictable, there was a twist near the end which made it not so much so. Then we went out to dinner, came home, and watched more home-makeover shows whilst eating ice cream cake and the cake Mom had made. Since Mom had to get back to Rome before dark and my sister and I had to be up early the next morning, it was an early night.
I got up at 5am local time, packed up all the stuff I hadn't the night before, and got to the airport with a lot of time to spare. My sister usually goes into work at 6ish and my plane was scheduled to leave at 8ish, so I had plenty of time to get through security, have breakfast, and log on via their lovely free wi-fi.
The flights back were also happily uneventful, and I had flowers left over even after liberally distributing them to flight crews and gate folks alike. Andy met me at the airport in the air-conditioned car and drove me to the air-conditioned house, which I really missed, and not just due to the AC. Upstate NY is muggy but usually fairly cool in May, and it generally does not get enough hot days in the summer to warrant AC. So, of course, while I was visiting they broke or tied some heat records. I got in at 6pm local time, which is 8pm NY time, and I was wiped out. I slept up until about time for Andy to go to sleep, and then slept some more.
Yesterday I mostly tried to get over jet-lag and re-acquainted myself with the kitties while Andy was at work. Tonight we're doing our usual Friday anime get-together with friends. Tomorrow Andy and I will hopefully have time to be obscenely cute and cuddly.