Sunday, December 07, 2008

Thanksgiving - NY, PA & Canada

I hope you've all done your prerequisite reading - if not then please have a look at Denny's Beer Barrel Pub. You don't have to stay there long, but I recommend you check it out, and perhaps have a look at the FAQs as well.

***********************************************


My workmate Geoff and I flew up to Buffalo (New York state) for Thanksgiving and drove down to the border between NY and Pennsylvania (PA). There we stayed with a friend of mine and travelled south to Clearfield on Friday, and north to Niagara Falls on Saturday.

Hopefully clicking on the map for the larger picture will make it easy to see our travel path - Dallas to Chicago and on to Buffalo on the way there, Clearfield down in the middle of PA, and our flight home took us through Cincinnati.

******************************************************

When I can, I like to take a notebook with me and write down observations and thoughts which are inspired by the places I visit. I haven't used any of these notes to write posts because I feel that if I didn't remember it well enough to post then it wasn't worth it. But in the spirit of the holidays I thought I'd use my notes to write this post - raw and unedited, with whichever photos I can find to illustrate. So this post will be a little more scattered but hopefully just as fun to read. Anything in [square braces] is an aide, and not directly from my notebook.

***************************************************************

[Dallas-Fort Worth Airport]

Not as busy as I expected, I suppose everyone has already travelled.

...

The Lady in Pink should sit with her legs together when wearing a skirt. She's dressed her daughter in pink.
8 years old and already resigned.

...

I should have pulled my tripod from the bag in the hanger. I could have returned it on Monday before the Boeing arrived & no one need know.

...

[Flying out]

The Canterbury Plains always stretched away like a patchwork quilt drawn up to keep the mountains' feet warm. The other end would be teased at by the sea.
Dallas never stops. From the window seat the display of middle age spread roves out across the land until blue haze hides it from sight.
On the right there is more - trees and roads, subdivisions and strip malls and man made waterways. Dallas grows out not up.

...

The lady ahead of us had Valet carry-on. She put it in a shelf just before stepping on to the aircraft. I'm not sure if it was too big and had to be checked or if she was special.

...



...

street street street street street street street street street street
house house s house house s house house s house house s house
house house t house house t house house t house house t house
house house r house house r house house r house house r house
house house e house house e house house e house house e house
house house e house house e house house e house house e house
house house t house house t house house t house house t house
street street street street street street street street street street
house house s house house s house house s house house s house
house house t house house t house house t house house t house
house house r house house r house house r house house r house
house house e house house e house house e house house e house
house house e house house e house house e house house e house
house house t house house t house house t house house t house
street street street street street street street street street street

We flew over Chicago.

...

Travelling south through New York we can see how the country grew up. Every two or three miles is a new settlement just as the last nestled in the woods and snow. There is no room for franchise here - barely even for a gas station.
Houses meet the road with a snow hidden footpath and little else from front door to curb. The snow ploughs scatter brown grit behind them.

...



...

White flakes of teasing weather swirl in the air in front of us. At first I thought them to have blown off the trees but we could see the snow was real.
All around the country side is brown and white.

...

...

Denny's is great. Wooden building and cosy inside. The quiet murmur of well fed people ebbs and flows all around.

...



...

Behind us two burgers the size of small chickens are presented to the Challengers. Geoff's eyes light up. "They're pretty big for six pound pattys!"

We learn they are only three pounds. Geoff's nerves grow.

...

[Geoff's burger]
...

There is more to Denny's than the burger challenges, the menu is disproportionate to the size of the pub. They range from pasta, through tacos to any kind of burger you can think of. And they let you create their own. I order the Pennsylvania Beer Barrel Burger.

...

It has meat, meat, onions and cheese. No salad. It is delicious.

...

...

It is difficult to tell from my side of the table how well Geoff is going, it has only been 20 minutes. He plucks away at the food on his plate as though he is full.
I - in contrast - am full but not stuffed. I have time and inclination to wait for him.

...

[Geoff throws in the towel]

[Geoff and Denny]
...



...

As though it has run from a glacier the wind bites deep into my chest. My jacket is futile. No one to hug me warm. Erie is in front of us flat and cool. I can't hear the falls.

...

They're not as loud as I imagined they should be. No deep rumbling bass to warn of impending trouble. The falls are matter of fact - neither humble nor ostentatious. They just are.

...


[Cold!]


[JLS and Josh]

[Geoff winds me up]



7 comments:

kiwi mother said...

Yah I am the first to comment! As usual JLS I feel very humble when I see the work of your pen (or keyboard in this case!!). It looks as though you had a very interesting weekend. Sorry - I haven't looked up the Denny's website yet - the lure of another post from you was too great. However, I will look it up. Help - how would anybody ever be able to knaw through one of those giant burgers? LOve you forever xxxMxxx

Raelha said...

Wow, certainly something to take your mind off countring the days left.

I like the photo of you and Josh with the Falls in the background. Not so keen on the burger photos though, but what d'you expect from a veggie :p

Ju's little sister said...

Mum, I couldn't possibly use the licorice allsorts line - it was already taken ;-)

Fair enough Raehla! There were plenty of smiles on the weekend and I came away feeling very refreshed.

Ju's little sister said...

whoops! lysdexic typos!

Raelha said...

A shame you didn't have Plumpy wiht you, he would've polished off the rest burger I'm sure.

Not too long before you can see him now.

lorenzothellama said...

So many photos! Did you take a picture of the lady in pink who sat with her legs open?!
You look frozen solid!
Horrible, HORRIBLE, burgers. Urghhh.
Glad you are getting about a bit. Isn't Buffalo a sh..hole?

simon said...

great posting for sure and great photos. The Hamburger looks A bit big! ahahah

Merry Christmas to you and yours!