We left NJ on Monday and drove to Cooperstown.  On the way, my mother couldn’t figure out where the restaurant was that she wanted to go to, so we ended up going to a really unusual (for us) diner in Pennsylvania. I guess people like these types of places, but we NEVER (and I mean NEVER) go to places that are on the side of the freeway (unless it’s In N Out burger).  My mom saw the sign that said “Homemade Pie” and she said that we should check it out.  Let’s just say that my brother said later that he felt like he had landed in another family.  Exactly.  The pie was okay, but really the whole thing was very weird.  (I forgot to say in my last post that we got lost at every step of our trip in New Jersey and apparently our bad transportation karma was continuing.)

We checked into a bed and breakfast (my first) in Cooperstown.  Very cute and different from a hotel.  We didn’t have time to go to the Hall of Fame before dinner, so we did a little shopping and checked out the town. I got a t-shirt for the minor league team the Montgomery Biscuits.  It’s kind of funny looking, but I guess that’s the idea.  We found a cute place to eat, but it was actually completely booked.  We ended up eating our second mediocre meal of the day in a sports bar (ugh), but it didn’t really matter.  Our bad lunch at the diner was really late, so we weren’t all that hungry.

We had a great breakfast at the B&B and headed over to the Hall.  It was my first time there, and I thought it was interesting.  My mom took a picture of me in front of Jim Rice’s picture.  (He’s being inducted this month.)  She and her old friend Kim have a long-standing joke about Kim dropping Jim Rice’s name (she claimed he was her cousin because he was the only Red Sox player she had ever heard of at the time) to get into a game (way back in the 70s or something).  Anyway, Jim Rice is black, and Kim…well, she isn’t.  Obviously, the usher didn’t buy her story, but it was the first thing both of them thought of when Jim Rice’s election to the hall was announced.  Some day I’ll have 30-year-old memories, too, I guess.  Wow.

Anyway, we went back to Alex and Ika for lunch before we headed out of Cooperstown.  I had a delicious BLT and my mom had roast chicken.  Can’t remember what my dad and brother had, but we all really enjoyed our lunch. I can imagine that this place is great for people who like something more interesting than a sports bar.  We sure did!

So, we left Cooperstown and headed to Amherst, Mass. to visit UMASS.  My brother is going to be a senior in high school in the fall, so it’s time to look at colleges.  We got lost some more, but finally found our way to the B&B.  It was a little different from the first one (bigger place and it had a TV in the room!), so that was cool.  We went to an Italian place in downtown Amherst for dinner, and it’s a cute town.    Not as much charm as Chapel Hill, NC (which we visited a few years ago), but still nice.  We went to Ben & Jerry’s for ice cream after dinner and my parents chatted with the sales girl who had just graduated from high school.

We went to the information session and tour on Wednesday.  Yes, it was raining AGAIN!!!  It was pretty interesting, I guess.  I’m just along for the ride, and my parents talk about it all the time, but I’m sure it will be the same for me in 5 or 6 years.  Can’t wait (not).

That afternoon was the big US vs. Spain soccer game (which somehow the US won!), so my brother and dad stayed at (yet another) sports bar where we had lunch to watch it.  My mom and I went to check out this huge yarn store in Northampton called WEBS.  It was humungous and the bathrooms were weird.  Maybe the yarn my mom bought for me will actually be a sweater I can wear *this* year.  We’ll see…

We headed to visit my mom’s friend Kim (Jim Rice’s cousin) and her family on Thursday.  More “misadventures in navigation” but we made it there in pretty good time.  This was the day Michael Jackson died, so that became the center of the conversation and most of the TV watching.  My parents were trying to explain what huge stars Farrah Fawcett (who also died that day) and Michael Jackson had been. Kind of freaky that they died the same day.

Anyway, Kim bought lobster for our dinner,  and my mom made grilled corn and insalata caprese (my favorite summer salad).  I’m not that into lobster, but everyone else is, so I just went along with it.  It was nice to sit out on their deck and to hang out with them.  We only see them every few years but my mom has known Kim forever, so it’s easy to jump back into things.

We left for New York (or tried to) on Friday.  The weekend deserves it’s own  post…