(Okay. So, we’re not actually cool enough to just randomly pack a bag, and drive to a different country for the day.)
When we renovate our kitchen, we want to replace the hideous vinyl in the kitchen with the same laminate flooring that is in the living room and dining room. No big deal, right?
This flooring was apparently discontinued several years ago. So, we had a few options”
- Move the flooring from the dining room to the kitchen. There is a threshold that separates the dining room from the entry way, so if we got something that looked similar, hopefully it wouldn’t be very noticeable.
- Put down new flooring throughout the entire lower level of the house.
- Hope to find some on craigslist.
After a few weeks of looking and discussing our options, we found nearly the EXACT square footage we needed on craigslist. The problem: it was in upstate New York. We looked at having it shipped, and it was going to be around $300. So, we decided to drive to New York and get the flooring, and make a weekend of it. Ever since reading Team of Rivals last year, I’ve been almost as obsessed with William Henry Seward as I am with Lincoln. The Seward House Museum is super close to the city our flooring is in. And, G’s never been to Niagara Falls. So we packed a bag, dropped Hermione off at a friend’s place, doubled back to the house to get our passports and Graham’s wallet, and then headed out!
We decided to first stop & spend the night in the DC area. For our December anniversary, we had booked a night at the Ritz-Carlton in Tyson’s Corner. We had a HORRIBLE experience, and ended up leaving and going to a cheaper Marriott. The manager was amazing, and very eager to fix things, so they offered us a free night whenever we wanted it. So, we cashed in our free night. They put us in a very comfortable junior suite. The bed was sinfully comfortable, and made that 4:30am wake up call even more painful.
So, the next day we got up at 4:30 to head to New York. The Seward House Museum was closed on Sundays, and closes at 5:00 during the rest of the week. So, I wanted to make sure that we got there with enough time to tour the house.
The house was AMAZING. Unlike most other historic homes I’ve been in, this one was impeccably preserved, and filled with actual artifacts from the family (which is SO rare). I love that the family recognized the importance of their home, and their belongings and saved it for generations. Right before the assassinations, Seward was nearly killed in a carriage accident. The injuries from that accident saved his life when Lewis Powell tried to kill him on April 14, 1865. They still have the carriage on display. Along with enough ancient books to make me salivate. Our tour guide was wonderful, and SO informative. If you’re ever in Auburn, NY, I highly recommend stopping by. I knew nearly everything she talked about on the tour, but it really was wonderful. Seward, his family, and extended family are all buried in a nearby cemetery, so of course we had to stop and pay a visit to his grave. We left Auburn around 2:00, and made the drive to Niagara Falls. I had been to the falls once before, in 2004. We only went to the NY side, and I remember looking across the falls at the Canadian side, and wanting to go to that side SO badly. So, I booked us a room on the Canadian side, took our passports, and headed to Canada.
I was right about the Canadian side being better than the NY side. It was 1,000 times better, and there was so much more to do other than see the falls. We spent a while at the falls, admiring the beauty, and taking pictures, before going to find our hotel.
Our goal for this trip was to spend as little as possible, so we used some of our Marriott points for a free room. We go to check in, and find they’ve upgraded us to a nicer room. So, for two nights in hotels, we paid $11 in parking, and that’s it!
Sunday morning, we got up at a much more reasonable hour, and started making the ride home. We waited till we got to Buffalo to have lunch, so I could take Graham to have a beef on weck (roast beef on a kummelweck roll. The meat on the sandwich is traditionally served rare, thin cut, with the top bun getting a dip au jus and topped with horseradish) at Charlie the Butcher‘s. The sandwich was delicious, and the gravy fries… why are gravy fries not a bigger thing in the south??
After lunch, we continued the drive home… Stopping in Owasco, NY for 9 boxes of flooring. We still ended up spending about $200 between food and gas, but it was totally worth it, and was a wonderful weekend.