Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Year, New Adventures

It may seem like Liz has been keeping us shut up in the sock drawer for the last two months but the truth is that we just haven't been finding anything that we consider to be blog-worthy. Sure, Liz has a new job, which we'll report on eventually, and we have been accompanying her to work and such on an almost weekly basis, but nothing was compelling enough for us to share...until now.

Today we all set off on an adventure nine and a half years in the making - don't get too excited - a trip to the famous Maple Tree Inn. Nine and a half years before we could experience the ooey gooey goodness of fresh buckwheat pancakes smothered in real maple syrup? Yes. Every year until now, Liz has been holed up at "that other place" doing maple sugaring programs and listening to people talk about their annual pilgrimages to the Maple Tree Inn. The one day that Liz ever had off during the sugaring season - Monday - is the one day of the week that the Inn is closed.

After an hour and a half in the car - it would have been less if they had remembered that this sign goes OUTSIDE - we arrived to throngs of senior citizens and the smells of syrup, pancakes, and great coffee. The menu boasted more maple delights than any mere mortal could partake of in just one afternoon, too bad. Had we not stuffed ourselves with buckwheat pancakes and maybe the best sausage we've ever had, we might have found some room left over for a bite of Coconut Maple Crunch Pie, a Maple Milkshake, or the homemade Maple Walnut Ice Cream Sandwiches. Mmmmmmmm...

Here we are in the basement of the Inn stealing a quick shot in front of the giant evaporator.

Stuffed to the gills we decided not to go home and to instead continue our travels towards Amish country. The Amish have quite a settlement in the Southern Tier and many of their homes have small shops attached where they sell their handiwork. We only stopped at one, a quilt shop, but were very impressed by the sheer volume of work. Liz said if she spent the rest of her life quilting she could never produce half as much as what we saw today. One bed in the shop was literally covered more than a foot deep in quilts. Whoa.

Sorry, no pictures. We did pass several horse and buggies and even saw more than a dozen men busy building a barn as we traveled.

We continued on and as the hours passed our tummies began to rumble again so we headed for a locally famous restaurant called Earl's. Along the way we saw the most amazing things pop up from behind a hill - Giant whirlygigs! We wanted to get out and get a better look but somebody refused to stop the car.

After getting turned around a bit we made it to Earl's.

People think we are sometimes a little weird but you should see the tables at Earl's! Notice anything strange? All of the table have legs - with pants and cowboy boots on them!

Once we got some food in us and warmed up a little, Right started getting fresh with the table. I guess we need some more socializing.

Aside from the great food (rootbeer, grilled cheese, homemade curly fries) and unique decor, Earl's also boasts a Country Music Museum. (It's over there, in the corner). A modest museum - more modest than the Jell-o museum, yes) - it consists of several glass-fronted display cases containing country music memoribilia. Our favorites were the sparkly ones like this outfit that belonged to Little Jimmy Dickens, and the dress that was once worn by Tammy Wynette. (The Jimmy Dickens link takes you to a lovely little tune...)

So, our trip to get pancakes, with many diversions, took us nine hours in all. We barely made it to class but at least we have something to show for it! :)

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