New York State & Home…

Day Fifty-six:

After grabbing my last “double-double” from Tim Horton’s, I traveled east on the NY State Thruway. Within a few hours, I arrived at the Great New York State Fair. I have fond memories of the fair from high school and college. During my two hour visit, I saw plenty of farm animals, wolves, Kelly Pickler perform two songs, a butter sculpture, a calf that was two hours old, plenty of fried foods, a Dr. Seuss sand sculpture, and lots of people.
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Not long after departing the fair, the skies opened up. For about forty miles, I drove through torrential rain. It was white knuckle driving, as I could barely see ten feet in front of me. Thankfully, most other drivers knew to slow down.

After arriving in Albany, I spent the evening hanging out with David and Katie. We had many laughs, as usual. It was wonderful to see them and their home. Although the visit was short, it was sweet. I look forward to the next time I get to spend time with them.

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Day Fifty-seven:

I left the house with David and Katie, as they were both heading off to work. After a quick stop at a local food co-op, I drove the hour and a half to Poughkeepsie. The fun began as I entered Kristen and Vince’s home. The kids showed me their toys, and I got the tour of the home.

For the past seven years, my good friends have lived outside of St. Louis and in western Oklahoma. Although I’ve managed to make brief visits to both locations several times, it is comforting to know that they are now just a few hours away.

Kristen made sticky rice for lunch. After inviting myself for a visit, I dared not ask for sticky rice. I think Kristen knew from our days living in the Brunswick house, that sticky rice would be greatly appreciated.

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After an unsuccessful nap time, we headed to the Children’s Museum. It was so much fun to see the kids enjoying the experience. “Uncle Greg” was sweating bullets by the end trying to keep up with them.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent watching Frozen. It was a good movie and deserved the hype it got. Someone wanted to watch the movie with me.

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It was nice catching up with Vince when he got home. It’s a good thing the home was move in ready and he didn’t have any stories to share about prepping the home.

Day Fifty-eight:

Kristen’s parents arrived around 7:30. We went to breakfast and were joined by one of Vince’s best friends. Before heading out, I managed to pull off the running to the “bathroom” to really pay the bill trick. (Sorry, Frank!)

The whole gang traveled to the Dutchess County Fair. Q wanted to go to the carnival end of things right away. We all took turns going on the rides. Uncle Greg was chosen first!

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After running out of tickets, we grabbed lunch, then went to see the animals.

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When we returned to their house, I said my farewells and hit the road. I stopped along the way at IKEA to get some ideas for my new place. My parents and Leslie were awaiting my arrival. It felt good to be back.

Final Thoughts:

After spending the last few weeks traveling back across the continent on my own, it felt great to spend a few days with friends. Throughout this trip, I’ve been able to share and make memories with family, friends, and people I’ve met along the way. The scenery and destinations were breathtaking, but the interactions with others were the really special part of this trip.

I will create one more blog entry for this journey in a few days with trip numbers and my overall reaction.

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