Yesterday we checked out a beautiful neighboring town Niagara-on-the-Lake where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario. It is located across the Niagara river from Youngstown, New York. We went primarily to eat at Oban Inn Restaurant which had excellent reviews. It did not disappoint. From there we walked over to Lake Ontario, and then drove to the main shopping area on Queens Street.
Lake Ontario with a view of Old Fort Niagara in the Youngstown, NY
We went to Niagara Falls because I had wanted to go there for years. Niagara Falls are the most powerful falls in North America and the two waterfalls that make up Niagara, the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls, are also incredibly beautiful. The Canadian side is much better than the American side. The view of the falls is better and all of the tourist attractions (though still very cheesy) are less cheesy. Surprisingly fun: taking the Maid of the Mist boat closer to the falls. Totally worth it must-do. You get soaked in the Watershoe Falls.
We had a romantic dinner, and my super sweet husband gave me a wonderful card and Tiffany hoop earrings.
In front of the American Falls (standing on the Canadian side)
The misty Horseshoe Falls with rainbow
On the Maid of the Mist! (In front of the Horseshoe Falls.)
Kevin and I traveled to St. Louis for the wedding of our friends Jane and Rob. One of the best things about St. Louis is the Gateway Arch, which is not to undersell St. Louis- the arch is totally awesome.
We also got the chance to go to The Good Pie, a nice little Neapolitan pizzeria. Good pizza and good company with Kevin's friends from grad school, Ian and Brooke.
Kevin and me near the Arch
With buddies at the Arch: me, Kevin, Brian, Sarah, Katy (taking picture), Donald (at hotel)
Kevin and I even went to the top of the Arch in this crazy claustrophobia-inducing egg-like tram-vehicle pictured below.
I do not advise this at all!
Inside the Arch there is a free Westward Expansion Museum
This weekend we went to the wedding of my friend Jane to her significant other of ten and a half years, Rob. Congratulations!
The bride and groom looked great, and everyone was so incredibly happy for them. It was in St. Louis, a wonderful, friendly, and beautiful city. Kevin and I also got to spend time with my friends from law school. All in all, a fantastic weekend.
My long-lost second cousin and I recently got in touch thanks to the internet. She was in town so my mother and I met up with her and her partner Millie. I don't have any biological aunts or uncles or cousins so I was excited to meet with her and we seem to have lots in common. I sort of automatically starting thinking of her as an aunt rather than a cousin. My mother's mother and her mother were sisters.
We went to dinner at my favorite Cuban restaurant in the city, Guantanamera (though it gets really loud once the band starts). My mother was mortified at my choice, "They live in Miami!" Well, it was the correct theme for the evening, and my "rabo encendido" was perfection.
We went to the Daily Show! Thanks so much to our patrons Jon Stern and Becky Smith who decided they had better things to do than enjoy hilariousness. Kevin lined up two hours before show time, and Brian, Akua, and I rolled up at the last minute because the tickets say you can do that. Kevin also played the part of Stern in getting us into the event because theoretically you should have the person named on the ticket with you. We were a little nervous about that one.
The blurry long line at the Daily Show
We went to the May 12th episode. Jon Stewart is pretty funny even off camera which is nice to know. During the writers strike of 2007-08, I was starting to suspect that he really depends on his writing staff. One of his funniest jokes had to be cut out of the broadcast because it depended on an off-camera set up. During the off-camera warm-up, someone in the audience commented that they were traumatized when John Oliver came to their college and spent most of his comedy routine discussing his father's penis. Stewart responded that it's all Oliver ever talks about. Then during Stewart's back and forth with Oliver about David Cameron being elected Prime Minister, out of nowhere, Stewart zings him with crack about his dad's penis. The audience erupted with exuberant laughter, and the video editors had to figure out how to slice it all out.
Michael Patrick King, Director of Sex in the City 2
The interview with Stewart's the director of the horrible Sex in the City sequel was a bust. But Lewis Black, who I rarely find to be funny, stole the episode with his attack of Glenn Beck and the Arizona's new immigration law. Please watch it, aside from being hilarious, it details in just under 6 minutes what a horrifyingly scary and dangerous network Fox News is-- ironically dangerous to democracy. Good times though!
For all the things my wife complains about, you would think she would object to my attending three bachelor parties in fifty days, but she doesn't complain about this. To her everlasting credit, she understands how important it is for me and my Brown College friends to gather every few weeks to eat steaks and ride inflatable water slides.
Cory's bachelor party was in Vegas during the first weekend of March Madness. As a result of unspeakable hours of gambling preparation, I won 9 of 11 basketball games. As a result of unspeakable numbers of Manhattans, I went on a remarkable blackjack and craps run with Brady, who lost every other time he touched a card. The hot tub was just right. Lucky Robin!
Cory's bachelor party in Vegas
Lukas's bachelor party was in Cooperstown in mid-April. This did not prevent it from snowing. Fortunately, we stayed in a warm cabin where we played cards and cooked hamburgers in the oven and drank beers. There were several bear sightings, as well as statues of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and James Fenimore Cooper. Lucky Sarah!
Lukas's bachelor party in Cooperstown, NY
Jeff's bachelor party was in Palm Springs last weekend. Mostly, we stayed in a palatial estate hurting each other and ourselves with water balloons and kegs and bacon explosions. Everyday it was cloudless and sunny. Several people fell asleep in the pool. Only once did we venture into town, where we scared everybody. Lucky Inga!
Jeff's bachelor party in Palm Springs
Fun with numbers!
Personal round-trip bachelor miles logged: 10,962
Average day-time temperature in Palm Springs: 95
Average day-time temperature in Cooperstown: 30
Total pounds of steak cooked Friday night: 18
Total bachelor party attendees: 17
Total dune buggies rented: 13
Personal wins betting on teams named "Bears" in 4 games: 4
Somehow, despite working 100 hours in just over a week, I have still made time for friends. I hope you understand how much I love you all.
I had dinner with some of my closest friends from law school:
I went out with Michele to watch and celebrate her movie for New York Film Race:
Kevin and I had brunch with Christina and her husband Dan (Brooklyn Festival):
Then things got really crazy at work... Kevin's friend Jeff M and Brady visited but I couldn't go out with them. Trey stayed with us for the second time where I was not able to spend any time with him. Though I had a breakfast bagels with all of them before their departures. And the entire weekend that I spent at Ash's place, I spent doing work. But at least we got to hang out and watch at least one Lifetime movie, which we watched in a completely un-ironic way.
What have you done lately to make time for friends or family?
As you know, there was a car bomb plot last Saturday in Times Square. That's not super close to where I work, and lately I work from home on weekends. But there has been a lot of spillover this week. Monday my subway trains were all rerouted and upon arrival my exit was being manned by New York Fireman (these guys are bigger than huge).
And today, Times Square was closed again because of a suspicious package that turned out to be a cooler of water bottles. Which brings to mind an interesting question. Can't we be as "terrorized" by coolers of water as bombs if the intent is to make large numbers of people feel fear (as opposed to killing a smaller number).
In any case, this is the sort of thing that's taking place where I work, and I spend many more hours at work than at home. In fact, in January, there was another bomb scare that took place right next to my office building during working hours that I wrote about here.
Excellent news! My friend Allison and her long-time boyfriend Dan got engaged last week. I remember when Allison first started dating Dan in Boston. She was telling me all about the new guy she had met while we were vacationing in Miami together in 2005. Even at the beginning they sensed they were somehow fated, though they expressed it as a cautious double-negative; they both felt that it was their first relationship that wasn't doomed from the start. Indeed, not doomed at all! They are fated for great success. Congratulations!