Saratoga Springs.

Olde Bryan Inn.

Originally uploaded by DJSuperCub.

Earl and I decided to the bulk of our Christmas shopping yesterday in the upper Hudson Valley. I am not a fan of Christmas shopping by any means and for the past several years I have thanked the Universe for the popularity of the internet, where one can sit in the comfort of their own home and point and click their way to happiness.

I’ve had the “New York Counties” project going for a couple of years, where Earl takes a picture of me standing next to a county sign for all 62 counties in New York State. We have less than five counties left in the project, so we drove up to Warren County to take a photo along Interstate 87. Warren County is home to Glens Falls at the foothills of the Adirondacks, so we made their one mall, Aviation Mall, a Christmas destination.

Aviation Mall is your typical mall in that it has a Target and a JC Penney and a smattering of stores in between. Since it’s not in a terribly congested area of the state, the experience was not as irritating as I feared it would be. We picked up a bunch of gifts, knocking off half the entries in the list when we decided to continue our little journey.

We headed to Saratoga Springs where Earl took me to this wonderful restaurant called The Old Bryan Inn. If you’re in Saratoga Springs, you must stop here as it’s in it’s original building from 1773 and has a wonderful “George Washington Slept Here” feeling to it. The food was delicious and the beer flowed well, though I kept myself in check.

After Saratoga Springs we decided to go see “Shortbus” in Albany. It was a last minute decision but I’m really glad we went to see it. I really enjoyed the movie and I told Earl that we must see more independent movies in 2007 instead of heading to the megaplex to see what the latest blockbuster is going to be. The beautiful thing about the entire experience is that the audience was there because they really wanted to see the movie instead of using the venue just to kill time and talk on their cell phone. In addition, I really liked cinematography, the story and of course the unbashed approach to sexuality in the film. I actually shed a tear or two during the movie and I don’t think I’ve done that in a movie theatre before.

We then stopped for a drink on the way home, though that was really a waste of time, as the bar we stopped at in Albany made us feel rather obsolete. As usual, Earl and I were the only full bearded males in the bar. A couple of twinks seemed rather intimidated and quite frankly I was ready to head home after one drink.

Today it’s been all about the laundry, relaxation and my college paperwork. I’m on call again starting tomorrow, it should be interesting.