Monday, October 10, 2005

Anniversary weekend

Our anniversary getaway was terrific. We had a very nice stay at the Point Au Roche Lodge in Plattsburgh while the kids spent the night at my mom’s house.

We arrived in Plattsburgh around lunchtime yesterday. We had packed some sandwiches because initially we thought we’d do our hike in the Point Au Roche State Park first and would eat there. But the weather was cold, gloomy and damp. So we went to the campus first.

The campus was pretty deserted. Granted it was noon on a Sunday, which is still pretty early by college student standards. Not to mention it was a holiday weekend, so a lot of students were probably out of town.

We went to the Angell College Center and ate our sandwiches in what we used to know as “the blue room.” It is now called the Flynt Commons. The big comfy blue chairs are gone. In their place are tables and chairs, as well as dorm lounge-style loveseats and coffee tables. Also the “hidden” corner space where you could watch TV has been turned into a coffee shop called Java Joe’s.

Perhaps most disappointing to see was the old Point. The good news was that they’ve added some hanging TVs that looked to be playing ESPN and HBO as well as some video games. The bad news is that the room has been painted a sickening yellow color. The snack bar now has some stupid name like the Wingery or something like that. The old bar is of course long gone – it was closed shortly after I graduated. It was briefly turned into a Taco Bell, but now it’s just more regular eating space. The back room where the dart board and pool table used to be has been walled off so that all that’s left is the area where the bar itself was.

After leaving the Angell Center, we tried to get into Yokum Hall to see the TV studio. Being a Sunday, the building was locked up. I’m sure there was someone in there working – we always were. We could have ringed the doorbell and had a student let us in, but we didn’t bother. Instead we walked over to the Myers Fine Arts building to check out some of the student artwork.

After Myers we tried to get into the bookstore, which was of course closed. So we made our way down to our old dorm, Macdonough Hall – the place where Kris and I met. Macdonough is the oldest dorm on campus and it recently reopened after being closed for extensive renovations. We were anxious to see it – and boy is it different. The doors are now locked all day long, but a student saw us trying to get in and opened the door for us (she actually mistook us for students at first – we were flattered!). Everything is new inside. They’ve crammed a ton more dorm rooms into the building, mainly on the first floor and in the basement, which is also now home to a computer lab. Parts of the dorm also used to have kind of a kooky layout. But that’s all been streamlined. And there are elevators now!

After leaving the campus we made our way to the park and did our hike. We spent about an hour walking through the woods and along the shores of Lake Champlain. We weren’t dressed quite warm enough for the day, but we were moving fast enough that we kept ourselves warm. The weather was lousy, but we still enjoyed being outdoors and the lake is always impressive to see.

By the time we were done hiking it was finally time to check-in at the lodge. After getting settled we headed back out. We had some gifts we needed to buy, so we drove around looking for places to shop and eat. The old Tijuana Jail is now an English pub called Geoffrey’s. The Mexican restaurant the former mayor of Plattsburgh owned looks like it’s been closed for a long time. We ultimately wound up at the mall and then ate at a new Mexican place on upper Broad Street called Desert Moon (who would guess a city so close to Canada would have so many Mexican restaurants).

Then it was back to the lodge where we popped open a bottle of champagne we received as an anniversary gift (thanks Ray & Marlene!) and sipped some bubbly while sitting in the great room playing Scrabble (remarkably, I won 257-247). We eventually retired to our room where we each cracked into a book. Alas, there was no TV, so I had to listen to Angels-Yankees Game 4 on WIRY-AM.

This morning our innkeepers prepared for us a big helping of blueberry pancakes, fresh fruit and some of the best bacon I’ve ever had. Then we were on our way home.

I can’t say enough about the lodge. Our room was very comfortable, the great room was…well…great and the owners were very friendly. I highly recommend it to anyone. It’s right across the street from the park entrance. So we hope to go back in the winter sometime and take in some cross country skiing.

It should also be noted that the kids had a great time at Gaba’s house. It was the first time we’ve ever left Thomas overnight, but he did super.

It was a great way to celebrate our anniversary. Back to reality tomorrow.


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