Saturday, September 3, 2016

A Weekend Upstate

Since we were already going to be attending my wife’s family reunion in New York on Sunday, it only made sense to tack on a few days and make a long weekend out of the trip. With this rough plan in mind we headed out yesterday morning and slowly meandered through Pennsylvania and into ‘Upstate’ New York (yes, completely avoiding New Jersey). We had already made plans for dinner on Friday shortly after arriving and lunch today, but there has been plenty of room in the schedule to add a few more things to the list.

It was a rather interesting experience when we first pulled up to our hotel as we had to show our ID’s in order to proceed past the first gate at West Point. Yes, you read that correctly, we stayed at The Thayer Hotel which is located at West Point (just beyond the first gate of course). The really interesting thing is that shortly before our scheduled travel north, my wife discovered that her mother had stayed at that exact hotel many times in the past when she was a student at NYU. I guess some things are just meant to be.

In addition to being very secure, the hotel was actually very nice both inside and out as the rooms were spacious and comfortable and the view of the Hudson River flowing behind the hotel was a beautiful sight. In fact, it was a pleasant backdrop to our buffet breakfast in the morning. Of course, being so close to the West Point campus, we had to take a tour while we were there and it was well worth it as we were not only able to enjoy some spectacular views but also explore some of the memorials erected on the property while being reminded of important role that the Military Academy has played in the history of this country.  

Shortly after we arrived on Friday afternoon we dropped out bags off in the room and headed down to Yorktown Heights to meet up with some extended family. Following a hearty meal and sharing stories, we drove around the neighborhood so that my wife could see all of the houses that she grew up visiting when her grandparents and other family members filled the neighborhood. It was great seeing her face light up when we passed those familiar structures.

The following morning we had a little extra time which allowed us to make a slight detour on our way to Connecticut. The detour in the opposite direction brought us to Orange County Choppers where there were surprisingly few cars in the parking lot. It was interesting seeing all the bikes that were built on American Chopper over the course of the show’s run and our son seemed to really enjoy seeing the bikes and exploring all the other new things around the showroom. If you watched the show you may remember some of these projects being built…

Today we were also able to spend time with some family members who will not be attending the reunion tomorrow which is what brought us over to Connecticut. It really was a great time and more great memories and stories were shared with us. And after another long day there is just enough time to rest and recuperated before the big gathering tomorrow and the drive home afterward. So, that is all for now, more about the reunion tomorrow!