Drive to Ithaca

So we left the Rodeway Inn around 9+ in the morning of 2nd March to drive to the Red Lobster in Henrietta. We wanted to get there by 11:00, when the Red Lobster opened, and then continue driving south, aiming to reach Ithaca by about 1:30pm for the second service at Tab.

We got about 4 inches of snow the night before (right up the door!), so out came our waterproof shoes:

and the car brush!

The guys at Enterprise must have really hated us, because they gave us a sunshine state car:

with no snow tires, no heated seats, no nothing. Still, it survived pretty well! Lz is a really cautious driver as anyone who rides shotgun will know.

The roads did NOT look good at all, but we got to Ithaca unscathed in the end :)

We reached Henrietta about 10 mins early, so we headed to the Wegmans to pick up a bunch of roses for Chris, my Ithaca mum.

At Red Lobster we shared the lobster lover’s special

and when the server came to ask if we would like more cheddar biscuits with our meal I thought she was asking if I liked the cheddar biscuits so I exclaimed “Of course!” and then I realized that she was asking if I wanted more so I immediately said “maybe…” And she actually laughed at me and repeated “Maybe?” with one eyebrow drawn. Ha.

(crazy cheap lobsters)

She also asked us what we were doing in Henrietta and we told her we were driving down to Ithaca. She brought us a new batch of cheddar biscuits which I brought down to Chris and Rich and we had them for supper.

So Chris’ kitchen is super well stocked but the one thing she doesn’t have is one of those mini toasters you find in practically every house in Singapore to toast random small items like chicken nuggets and things. It’s kind of a waste to heat her oven, which has the capacity to fit a large turkey, in order to reheat 4 cheddar biscuits, so I had to settle for sort of frying them on a griddle and they weren’t nearly warm enough.

I was so happy to see the chimes tower on our drive down the Ithaca. It has been almost 2 years since I was last in Ithaca, and the silhouette of Cornell is so distinctive, you feel such unspeakable joy just at seeing it. At church, the second service had just started and Kyle was doing the honors but he saw me and beckoned me in, and then Chris saw me and got up and hugged me and started crying. The second service is basically where you break into small groups and discuss questions about the sermon in the morning, which Ze and I didn’t attend so we just sat in and listened. I held her hands throughout the service, it was so wonderful to be back in Tab’s basement.

Rich left right after the service, leaving Chris behind since we could drive her back to Brooktondale. I thought he was being his typical reclusive self but it turned out he went home early to shovel his driveway for us to park our car, since at that point only the path up to the garage had been shovelled. That’s just his way, covertly doing sweet little things for the people he loves. He is such an incredibly sweet person despite his gruff demeanour, and his birthday was yesterday! I sent him Ursus Wehrli’s book on tidying stuff up since Rich’s got a little bit of OCD.

Back to church – I got great big hugs from Sue (Pastor’s wife), Sue (Bell choir), Sandy, Jim, Doug, everyone, and guess what, I actually liked it! Asians I think in general are quite averse to physical contact but it was lovely being enveloped by these people and to be welcomed back like no time has passed at all. And to be remembered by everyone despite the changing sea of Asian faces that sit in the first few pews every sunday is amazing.

We stuck around a little bit to take a few shots of the church building and to tinker on the piano.

(beautifully done up flower arrangements every two sundays or so. There’s actually a flower committee!)

The coat rack in the lobby with lots of pea coats.

When Chris was done with her Olympians meeting, we drove out to the AT&T on South Meadow St to get a temporary phone line set up, only to find it closed (we missed the opening hours by 5 minutes zz). So we went to Walmart instead, where you can get a temporary SIM card to use in international mobiles. Thank God for megastores that sell everything!

After all this running around we finally headed home to Brooktondale. On Route 79 (Slaterville Road) we passed Valentine Place and all the renovations that were being done in 2012 have been somewhat completed and the swanky new housing complexes are now up! Everything looked really modern and nice, those who used to stay in Valentine Pl. should really pay a visit there although probably your old houses will have been demolished.

For supper we had scrambled egg stuffed prata (typical. I travel halfway around the globe only to have this for dinner) I can’t wait for her to come here and try real egg prata. Ze drove out to Lansing (past the mall) to Dave’s house to surprise him – Dave had a stent put in last year so there would be no risk of a second heart attack :P I got the guest room, which is really nicely done up and super comfy.

There were a zillion pillows on the bed and many many layers of blankets, I wouldn’t have minded staying in bed the entire day, it’s wonder Grandma ever got out of bed when she stayed there. They gave her a little bell to ring whenever she needed help doing anything (on account of her increasing disability and dementia) but she never used it (!). If I were given a little bell and a comfy bed I think my life would be complete.



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