April 11, 2011 The past few days have been absolutely gorgeous, and I'm taking every opportunity I can to enjoy them. On Thursday, I realized that I had accidently finished my homework (don't ask) and was left with nothing to do in the early evening. So I started thinking... What can a nerd do with half a tank of gas, some really nice weather and $10 in his wallet. I know! Visit a Revolutionary War battlefield! (Did I mention I was a nerd?)
Oriskany Battlefield is about 15 minutes away and has a really cool obelisk monument. That's pretty much all I can tell you. The park isn't due to open up for another week or so. Of course, I didn't know this because I just got the urge to go and did it. The drive was really nice though! Big red barns, fields of corn -- the whole nine yards. (Interestingly enough, if you make one wrong turn, you're at a park with a fighter jet. Originally, I thought this was the park and was just a wee bit confused!)
So, in a way, Thursday was a fail. Friday afternoon would be much more successful. My friends Alvin and Nick and I decided to take a trip to Syracuse -- also not very far away. Alvin was having some computer issues and needed to go to the Apple Store, so Nick and I offered to join him. When we got there, we had some time to kill so we just wandered aimlessly around the Carousel Center. For those of you who don't know, the Carousel Center is an enormous mall in the city of Syracuse. And it's appropriately named -- right next to the food court is a giant carousel. (I mean, why not, right?)
I have to admit, I've never been so excited to go to a mall. When I was really young, my family lived up here and one of my few, and fondest, memories of our time here is of that carousel. I guess I was just under the influence of life's weird nostalgic moments, but I was giddy throughout the entire trip. I honestly felt like a little kid again. Stopping for Coldstone and Auntie Anne's certainly didn't hurt the experience, either.
A weekend like that really makes me want to get out and explore this region. I'm a big fan of experiencing the world around me. After almost two years, I think I've got a good idea of what Clinton has to offer. But Hamilton is situated in an amazing area of the country. There's a tendency to dismiss Upstate New York as nothing more than Arctic Tundra-South, but that's a mistake. There's a lot of really cool cultural things to do up here, some really great food (Utica-style greens, riggies and half-moon cookies to name a few), and some really nice people. Why not go out and see what this place has to offer?