Saturday, May 29, 2010

Andy's Adventures in Albany

The nice thing about living someplace interesting...people will come visit you!
In NY barely a month and our first Arkansas visitor stopped by to play with us! Our good Jonesboro friend Andy Whitaker was already in the Eastern Time Zone doing some work in Washington, DC...and he was brave enough to take a train to the City and then on to hang out with us. Heather's not so great with directions, so she accidentally told Andy to book his train ticket to Poughkeepsie, which turned out to be 1.5 hours from Albany...whoops!

Unfortunately, Andy had to sleep on a leaking air mattress because we bought a car earlier in the week and Brett wasn't real fired up about dropping more cash on another bed this soon. Andy was a trooper though! We did our best to make up for his pitiful sleeping arrangements by feeding him...a lot. And giving him a cool birthday present (Lost Dharma pint glasses).

We hit our favorite cannoli place, took him for some classic NY pizza and then Heather and Andy took a little road trip to Watervliet in search of NY hot dogs. There we found Gus's Hot Dogs, literally a hole in the wall with some of the highest reviewed dogs in the Capital District! In business since 1954, this Greek owned hot dog stand is one that folks go crazy for. At only $.65 each, visitors to Gus's are getting a bargain with these chili, onion and mustard covered mini-hot dogs! But if you're a long way from local, it doesn't mean you have to miss out on Gus's...the stand sells 'hot dog kits' and ship anywhere in the US. The D-I-Y kits include the dogs, buns, meat sauce and all the trimmings packed fresh for each order. And for true Gus's fans, money is no object: 25-packs run $105 and 50-packs are $122!

After we had fattened Andy up, we had to show him our favorite sites! Our little party parked itself front row at the harness races in Saratoga, where again, Heather and Brett couldn't win a race to save their lives. Andy was a whole other story. He could bet on the grey horse and win. He could be on his favorite number and win. He could bet on a horse, with his decision based solely on the animal's name and win. We're chalking his winning streak up to beginner's luck...and are still trying to figure out a strategy to winning!

And like we've said earlier, one of the must visits when in Upstate NY is the two-story Wal-Mart in Albany. Of course, we couldn't let Andy out of the time zone without taking a ride on the escalator there! The part that the shopping cart rides on was out of commission for a bit when someone got their cart stuck halfway up the middle, groceries and all. The Country Mouse still thinks it's exciting to shop there!

Before we dropped Andy off for his flight back home, we stopped at Cohoes Falls. The second largest falls in NY (behind Niagara's American Falls) are only about 10 minutes from our apartment. Cohoes Falls is roughly 1000 feet wide and about 90 feet high. The Mohawk River feeds the falls and water flows over at 90,000 cubic feet per second! The area is really beautiful and really different from the South!

We hope Andy had a good time visiting us and if we can get him to ever come back, we promise to get him a proper bed!

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