Day 2 in Ithaca (Monday, 3 March 2014)

Fresh coat of snow on everything – there was a snowstorm in the early morning that continued even as we got out the shovels to clear the driveways!

The main roads were clear but definitely not the little road leading to their garage or to where our car was. Chris got out 3 shovels and we made quick work of it


(with some fooling around of course)


before heading indoors for some hot cocoa. I never knew that the way to make cocoa from cocoa mix was to nuke mugs of milk in the microwave then adding about 1/4 of cocoa powder to the mug.

We were running way late for lunch at the Statler at 11:30am because I had made some garlic toast with sunny side up eggs for breakfast. Rich didn’t have any on account of not feeling very well.

When we finally got into the Cornell Parking Garage, we forgot that the entrance (which is ground level) was not in fact the lowest level (there was a sign outside saying that non-permit parking could be found on the lowest level of the parking garage), so Chris parked in a permit parking spot (we didn’t know) while LZ went off to hunt for metered parking on the lowest level. He didn’t re-emerge for the longest time so we cut across campus and headed to the Statler ourselves and found a nice cosy corner.

***

While walking through so many other school grounds and corridors on this trip, I realized that one’s alma mater is like a first love. Every single school we went to would be compared against her. Her gardens, her clock tower, her smells, her weather, her gorges, her food. Every little detail is remembered and filed away for future reference.

Every single library we stepped into would “smell like Olin”. Every dining hall would be sniffed at for their “smaller spread than RPCC”. At every intonation of the school bell we would wonder if they were REAL bells being played by REAL people or just a speaker piping out a pre-recorded chime. Architecture of buildings were never as nice/varied as those of our Arts Quad or our Gothics. Nothing can ever quite measure up to the perfection induced by nostalgia, it’s a pity we chose such a pretty school to spend our youth in! Almost everywhere else is ugly in comparison. Where are their plantations? You mean they don’t even have a dairy bar? Gosh. We, silly children, had no clue how lucky we were.

***

I brought Chris through Ives hall – my regular Statler-Malott route – it was biting cold outside! I wanted to stop by the Post Market to pick up some international stamps (for sending our reimbursement documents to Canada/sending Xy her birthday card) but was informed by a sign that it had shifted to the Cornell store. So under and over ground we went (all the while in buildings), until we popped out at the ILR exit next to Uris Hall and walked past the David statue to Mac’s Cafe and Terrace.

LZ finally arrived about 5 mins after we found a table and then informed Chris that she had probably parked illegally. We queued for our food – a salad with ginger sesame dressing (fried noodle bits, dried cranberries, bacon, peaches, lettuce, the works),

a caprese panini (they don’t have stewed chicken now so I couldn’t make it a chicken caprese, like I always did)

a box of sweet potato fries

and a fountain soda + bottle of sobe for Chris. All this for only $25! I got two paper bowls to dish the salad out for Chris and myself while LZ valiantly battled the cold for a second time to move her car to a legal spot.


The Statler was always full of the bustle and chatter of students, which was a little too loud for Chris but perfectly comforting to me. I also grabbed a copy of the Cornell Daily Sun, for old times’ sake, but didn’t get to do the crossword was we were talking the entire time.

We popped off to Malott after lunch to try to catch Ed between classes – he’s teaching engineering math this semester. When he finally showed up he told us his time right now was a lot different from his time way back when he was meeting with me cause of the addition of two one year olds to his family!!! It was shocking news to me. When I left I was pretty sure he was not married and maybe even single. For awhile I even contemplated the possibility of him meaning two one year old ferrets (he keeps a pair of ferrets). Ha! Anyway we agreed to set up a meeting via email and let him off to go teach his class. Chris told him “It’s a good thing you arrived when you did, I was about to fill in for you!” which gave him a big laugh. Ed is/was always so smiley and nice.

Then we headed back to the cars and did a grocery run at Wegmans <3

I was going to prepare satay, claypot rice, and a chiffon cake for them the next day, so we got a bunch of chicken thighs, wieners, the lightest flour available (which turns out to be some white lily brand), and a bunch of other things that I didn’t need to prepare dinner but just wanted to buy.

We spent a good 2 hours perusing the pastries,

cookies by weight, the baking aisle, looking for yeast (it’s near the cheese – Wegman’s has started selling cheese singles in bulk! You can now get a huge package of provolone/swiss slices), we bought a container of burrata and some campari tomatoes on the wine – only $5.99. Ze loves tomatoes.


Wegmans has the weirdest stuff. Check out this meditating frog.

After Wegmans (Chris drove the groceries home), we headed to Pyramid mall to do some clothes shopping. We already both got jeans in the Target at Conestoga Mall, but I was in desperate need of some sweaters. The shopping set me back by about $125 (I picked up 3 tops though, and a bag of jelly beans for Charlottido), and the cashier, who was trying to help me find ways to save money, asked me really weird questions like if I could wait 10 days before collecting my clothes, so she could use some sort of charity promotion where I’d save 25% on my clothes, and 10% of my purchase price would go to some charity organization. No deal though cause we’d be out of Ithaca by the time of their promotion. The clothes were already all marked down, so I was happy enough.

Then we headed to the parking lot at Morrill Hall (free after 5pm!) to look for Bryan to practice for the evening chimes concert. We did the Bach Double Violin Concerto! I didn’t have time to do Malaguena. Took a request for Swan Lake and we also did the Moldau duet! I am still awesome at the chimes. hahaha. Very happy to find that I haven’t really forgotten anything despite being away for nearly 2 years, and climbing the stairs wasn’t really a big problem either!

After the evening concert, we climbed up top and took 198794853 photos of Cayuga lake at dusk,

(Before the concert)


(After the concert)

the white halos down Ho Plaza,

the Arts Quad,

(the lens is dirty!)

West Campus, etc. etc.

and then headed to the Boatyard Grill with Bryan in tow! We wanted to give him a lift home but he lives way out by the airport so we made him come for dinner as well. We went there to celebrate my birthday (well, more accurately, to celebrate the nice $20 voucher they always email me on my birthday :P).

This was the first time we tried the seafood splash down tower and I must say I really like the calamari!

I spilled my coke midway through the meal (we did order a lot) and nearly ruined the camera but everyone handed their napkins over for me to mop things up. We probably shouldn’t have gotten two appetizers, considering we have 2 seniors in our party of 5, who were the weakest links. Tsk!

We packed one crab cake back for breakfast the next day, then split up to drive Bryan home to his apartment off Warren Road up by the airport. He’s got the cutest little cat, which is coal colored and faintly striped and very playful, called Soda.


Meet Soda.

LZ dangled a little stuffed mouse around on a stick had a great time annoying the hell out of Soda :P We got home really late (say.. 10pm? so Soda was ravenous by the time and practically inhaled his food :P)

Soda’s territory includes the entire living room, the toilet, the kitchen, and Bryan’s room.

Bryan’s territory is well, Bryan’s room.


They are super cute together! I really wish I got a pet while at Cornell but I think most of my housing contracts didn’t allow pets. Then again, travelling would be wildly inconvenient since you’d have to get a sitter or a periodic food dispenser.

We left Bryan’s place at 10-11pm and headed back to Brooktondale through a pretty long and windy road through Snyder Hill and I still have my doubts as to whether that’s the shortest path home. No more energy to marinate the chicken thighs for the satay, so I left it for the next morning! Never do today anything that can be procrastinated till tomorrow, is my mantra.

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