That sucking noise you just heard is our families saying to themselves, “Oh shit, who is he writing about now.” Let me just say that they can all calm down and stop being so selfish to think that I’m writing about them in my blog. Of course, this is all about me, me, ME. Actually, Earl and I went to see “Monster-In-Law” tonight, of course starring Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda. This is the first time I’ve seen Jennifer Lopez in a movie (contrary to popular belief, I am not one of the five people that went to see “Gigli”) and I must say that she was quite enjoyable. I enjoyed her character very much. I also enjoyed Ms. Fonda as well. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen her on the big screen and while the movie does wear a little thin in places, all in all it was an enjoyable experience. Tonight’s movie was the nightcap to an enjoyable day up in my hometown, spending time with my Dad and his girlfriend Karen and her sister and her family. Earl and I expanded the family circle (not in a “Fockers” sort of way though) a little bit. Dad and I took a long walk together to walk my grandfather’s dog that’s visiting. It’s been a long time since we’ve walked that route, down to the crossroad, across the corn field and back up the railroad tracks, to come up through the woods behind his house. I’ve walked that route over a hundred times over the years, and I still enjoy it very much. My father did grab my face and said “I thought you were going to shave this”, referring to my beard in a mock-angry parental sort of way. I don’t think he’s ever done that before. He seemed o.k. when I told him I’d think about trimming it around my birthday (which is in mid July). We kicked back, drank some beer, ate some great food and basically just shot the bull. The way a Memorial Day weekend afternoon should go.
Kicking off the unofficial start to summer in style, Earl and I took one of our long, traditional road trips. We’ve just arrived home after driving for about 13 1/2 hours. Initially I wanted to drive to Tennessee and back, but Earl said no. So we kept it in state. This was the maiden voyage for the new Malibu, as we wanted to see how comfortable she would be on the road for long drives, as we intend on taking it to Florida and such when we vacation next winter. I’m happy to say that it is very comfortable to ride in and is a wonderful “family” car. Our drive took us to the edge of New York State and back, as we basically toured around the Southern Tier and then came back across the Thruway. Our first stop was the Village of Owego, which is along the Susquehanna River near the Pennsylvania border. I wanted to get out and walk around, just to see what the downtown type area had to offer, but it was rainy and such so we decided just to drive around a bit. We also drove around the little village of Angelica and then headed out into the countryside, looking for the gay campground “Jones Pond” just so we knew where it was for future reference. It’s really out there in the middle of nowhere. It’s been a long while since I’ve seen so many dirt roads, but it was kind of fun driving around and exploring. Admittedly it would have been more fun in the Jeep, but the Malibu made a fine substitute. Good thing we didn’t have the Acura, I would not have been happy on dirt roads in the Acura! We ended up eating dinner at a family restaurant I knew about but had never eaten at. It’s called Davidson’s, and it’s in the suburban village of Lakewood outside of Jamestown. You seat yourself, the server just handles the basics and the food is all good. Perfect for what we were looking for. I was quite proud of myself for not adding gravy to the fries this time! I lived in Jamestown for a couple of years (1986-88 and again in 1990) and I was quite amazed at how much the area has grown. Jamestown seems to have pulled itself up by the bootstraps and from what I could tell, is recovering somewhat from the economic downturn that has plagued Upstate N.Y. Good for them. We then plowed along the Thruway from Fredonia to home, with the trip totally just shy of 700 miles. Very cool. Now it’s time to get some sleep!