Victoria O'Neill Photograph


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Emergency Family Visit!

April 22, 2007   

    Sorry I disappeared off the face of the earth for a whole week, but I had a horrible virus that left me quarantined in my room. I lost my voice, was tired the whole time, had constant headaches, my workload was building up, and the dreary weather didn’t do much to cheer me up either. So by last Friday night, I had been sick for over a week, and I complained to any friend/family member who would listen. Then my dad had the spontaneous, yet awesome, idea to take a trip up to the hill. If you haven’t inferred from my previous posts that I am an extremely family/home person, I’ll tell you right now: I AM. During my tours, I can’t stress enough that when choosing a school you really need to know your comfort zone. Even though I like to think that Hamilton is far enough away from home that I can experience new things and other “coming of age” kind of stuff, I really appreciate the opportunity to go home or have my family visit quite easily. And I’ve never needed an emergency family visit like I needed this one. So that Saturday morning, my dad, stepmother, and dog were on campus. Unfortunately, because it was such short notice, they were unable to find dog-friendly lodging nearby. However, they were able to find some in Syracuse, and I was excited to spend some time away from my room, which had turned into a sort of sick-ward with my cold medications spilling all over my desk, dresser, windowsill…and floor. Syracuse is only 45 minutes away, and my friends and I sometimes schedule trips to the Carousel Mall. I like the portions of Syracuse that I have been in, and it’s a good city to be near.
    After dropping off Hudson, the Australian Shepherd, my dad and stepmother, Andrea, took me to the famous Dinosaur Barbeque, “a genuine honky tonk rib joint.” The place was already mobbed by 6:00, but I’m told that’s “part of the experience.” We fortunately were able to secure the last three stools at the bar and ordered the appetizer sampler, which consisted of fried catfish strips, fried green tomatoes with shrimp and cheese, buffalo/bbq wings and deviled eggs. I have a “thing” against eggs, but everything else was heavenly. I had never had a fried green tomato before, and they were so crunchy and flavorful that I didn’t believe they were actual tomatoes. The catfish strips were equally good, but don’t dip them in the marinara sauce that they give you. No, you have to use the ranch sauce that’s meant for the tomatoes in order to really experience the catfish for what it's worth. Don’t ask for my reasoning. Just do it. After the hour and a half wait was up, we were ushered into another seating room, and the food came out within minutes of ordering. They have a very busy take-out service, and the food must be mass-produced. I decided to get the combo meal with pulled pork, ¼ rack of ribs, macaroni and cheese, French fries (they’re fried in canola oil, so they’re trans fat free!), and a generous chunk of cornbread. It tasted just like summer. Signs stating, “If you leave here hungry it’s your fault!” rang true, as I unfortunately hit my limit while tearing into my third rib when a mix of rib juice and their famous barbeque sauce squirted into the back of my throat. I just couldn’t keep going after that. The good part was that I was able to bring the leftovers home. I tried reheating them over the next few days in attempts to eat the memories, but, alas, ribs just don’t taste the same in the microwave. Go figure.
    Then my dad decided to take me on a tour of downtown Syracuse (very pretty old buildings), and, afterwards, I collapsed on the hotel bed and fell into a deep food-induced coma. I was in good spirits the next day and found myself back on the Hill by noon. During the next week my cold cleared up, the sun came out to completely melt the million inches of snow that was dumped here on Accepted Students Day, my orgo test was over, and by the end of the week I was in shorts. The weather has been so nice lately that people have been bringing sofas and chairs out onto the quads to listen to music and watch others place frisbee and catch. How college. But I think the winter is officially over, and I have no complaints. So long story short: never underestimate the emotional and physical healing powers of an emergency family visit.