Good Eats, A Black Gadget And Blue Pumpkins

Saturday night we were invited to the Irwins’ dessert party. Along with our contribution of cookies, there were vanilla cupcakes from Claudia and Snickerdoodle Ice Cream cake from Michele. We had a wonderful time and I even learned a few tricks from Zoe. She’s set up a Glog through Glogster (of which I’ve never heard of) and was showing me her page so far. She was having some trouble trying to recall her page whenever she signed out and we both managed to figure out how to get her log-in page bookmarked, along with where to edit all of her Glogs, so she could continue on with her very creative work. She’s set up three of these Glogs with various themes and at the age of 8, I was in awe of her quick wit, creative ideas and computer skills. Both Zach and Zoe have become quite adept on the computer and I, for one, think it’s great. It was also nice seeing Claudia, Michele and the Irwins, which we don’t get to do very often, and get caught up on all of their activities and adventures. Nat and I both had a good time but had to leave the festivities a little early. We were off to Corning, New York in the morning.

Setting off Sunday just after 9:00 AM, we reached Walden Galleria Mall in time for my big purchase, a look around, and then across the road for lunch at the Olive Garden. I’d been saving for quite some time for a new iPad and this was my moment. We headed straight to the Apple Store, made a bee-line to the iPads and began to give it a test drive. Once help arrived I was able to ask my questions, get things organized in my head (not always an easy task!!) and make my purchase. Through the wonders of the internet, I was able to make my purchase, get the iPad and Mobile Me (at a discount!) activated and registered and then the receipt sent to my email account. No fuss, no muss and especially no paper!!!! The young man that assisted me was kind of surprised at how much I was into “all things Apple”, as he could obviously tell I wasn’t a young woman anymore – even though my heart would have told him otherwise! Purchase complete, email receipt on its way, he handed me that little white bag and my heart started pumping!! I couldn’t wait to get to Corning to open the box and turn it on. I even had my list of Apps to download and/or buy, along with some items I wanted to check out. Even though we could have used the money for other things around the house, Nat insisted this was going to be my “big” purchase. He had his golf clubs and I’d have my iPad. He knew in his heart of hearts how much this meant to me, and I love him for that!!

We wondered around the Mall for another half hour or so, looking into shops we don’t have around us at home, and then headed across the road for lunch at the Olive Garden, another restaurant we don’t have near us, but love to eat at. Nat enjoyed his soup and me my salad, along with those fabulous bread sticks, while we both plotted out the rest of our mini-holiday. And with that we were back on the road to Corning as a drizzly rain began half way there. We arrived at the Hampton Inn in Painted Post, NY (ten minutes down the road from the Corning Glass Museum) around 2:30 PM, got checked in, unpacked and then discussed what we’d do for our supper. After a quick drive into Corning to get our bearings for Monday, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at a chain restaurant on our way home, and then retired early.

The Glass Museum opened at 9:00 AM and we were first in the door. Being a Monday morning, it was quiet and we’d have lots of time to wonder around and enjoy the hand-blown glass demonstration when the time arrived. Nat and I were both in awe of the fabulous pieces of hand-blown glass on display dating back as far as mankind itself. The intricacies, the designs, the colours and size of some pieces made you stand at certain displays wishing you had been there to see how that piece was made. I was at least able to take pictures of some of the different pieces (using the ‘museum’ mode on my camera), but I could have been there all day and had to make quick decisions as to which ones to choose. Neither of us were disappointed in our walk-about. So when the time came we headed down to the glass-blowing demonstration and again, were in awe. At the end of the demonstration the glass-blower throws his piece out – for future recycling and use – but Nat and I both would have put our hands up to buy the piece, if so asked. It was fun, but it was also by now time to eat!

After the demonstration, we had a quick walk-about the Market Shop ooohing and awing at all things shiny and colourful. As Fall would soon be upon us the shop was full of glass pumpkins of all sizes and colours, including blue, along with other Hallowe’en and Thanksgiving pieces. We could have taken a shopping cart full of items to purchase, but restraint was the word for the day! Our glass purchase was being worn by our Van in the form of four new tires, so we would have to opt for something more reasonable and practical. We then headed over to the cafeteria where we began to enjoy a nice Caesar salad and Pizza (Nat) and a burger and onion rings (moi) but three-quarters of the way through the fire alarm began to ring. Every staff member came around and made sure each and every patron was up and out the door and, along with the staff, headed across to the courtyard to stand and wait for the ‘all clear’. It took about 15 to 20 minutes before we were allowed to return, and once back in our seats, a staff member came around to see if we wanted our unfinished hot meal replaced!! As we had both pretty much eaten what we could we had to insist that we were fine. Our waitress was quite adamant that we have our meal replaced, but we both knew it would be wasted and thus declined. We were, however, impressed at the service.

After our meal we walked over to the Market Shop to purchase the hummingbird feeder Nad had admired earlier (a practical and useful purchase). We had watched a Nature special on PBS the night before on hummingbirds and stared at the screen in fascination while being educated on the various kinds and their feeding habits. Naturally, once Nat spotted the feeders in the shop we both knew it was a done deal. We have a small hummingbird visiting our backyard at various times throughout the summer and now wanted to make sure we could attract him back, along with some of  his buddies. I managed to find a cute little teapot Christmas ornament to add to my collection of teapots and with purchases in hand we decided to take a walk around downtown to the Gaffer District in Corning and check out their little shops. Our supper the night before had been disappointing to say the least and we wanted to look at some of the eateries in downtown core. We were successful in finding a great candidate which would be easy to get to and with that, we walked back down the street to a little coffee and ice cream shop where we ordered a couple of fabulous tasting swirly ice cream cones, had a seat at a small table in front of the shop and watched the rest of the world go by. God, that ice cream was really good!!!!

We were back at our motel by mid-afternoon and after a short rest took a drive back to Cafe London which we discovered earlier. We arrived just after 4:30 and were the first customers in the door. This little cafe was quaint, charming and had a menu to match. Our waiter was friendly and helpful and the fish and chips were ordered were delicious. The fish was thick and nicely battered, the chips were crunchy and fresh and the baby peas were buttery and sweet. We’d re-visit this little cafe in a heart beat to check out the rest of the dishes.

Having topped off our stay with a great meal the night before, we were back on the road Tuesday morning by 9:00 AM. We had decided to head back to the Olive Garden again for our main meal that day and Nat could also top up the gas tank while he still had some American money left and the prices were better. We arrived back at the restaurant just in time for lunch and enjoyed Lasagna (me) and Spaghetti and meatballs (Nat). I was tempted to ask for a goodie bag of those fabulous breadsticks but I restrained myself. We then gassed up the van and headed for the border where we were greeted fairly quickly and able to pass back into Canada without any hassles!! By the time we arrived home and got unpacked and organized again, we were somehow exhausted despite the fact that it was only a 2-1/2 hour drive from Corning itself. We decided to sit back the rest of the afternoon, grab a small snack for our supper and settle in for the night.  It was only a three day get-away but we both felt like we had had a change of scenery, had some fun, learned something new and ate a lot!! Now it was time for another kind of holiday – a bit of fasting before that next meal.

Hand Blown Glass

GM Truck Load of Glass Pumpkins
Hand-blown Glass


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