Schenectady, Niagara Falls, and Pittsburgh

  

We managed to spend another couple of hours driving around taking pictures of the places which had been a little too rain-soaked on Sunday…

And we had breakfast at Mike’s, which reminded me very much of the Baker House in Greensboro, which my dad used to take me to on the occasional Saturday morning when I was very young. It’s your basic diner dive where the clientele is almost exclusively male, the food is cheap, the seating is stools at a counter, and the predominant aroma used to be cigar smoke. I think my dad exposed me to places like this at an early age hoping I would learn how to be a little more of a “guy”…

  

By early afternoon, we were on the Thruway headed for Niagara Falls, our only major stop being for lunch and gas at a service plaza with a Sbarro. I think we arrived around 6:00, and pretty quickly crossed over to the Canadian side. Granted, Niagara is only moderately Canadian, but we did get to see Esso stations and Tim Hortons in their native habitat, and Mark added another country to his list…

It was extra fun when we got the “potential terrorist” treatment on the way back into the US, all because I’d forgotten to turn off the video camera. We have officially now informed an agent of the US government that we are domestic partners. And we were eventually cleared of being terrorists, although the border guard made us erase some of the video we’d accidentally shot. I knew somehow that this would come back to haunt us at the airport, but it didn’t…

After Niagara Falls, there was a very long drive to Pittsburgh, with a detour by a service plaza denny’s and the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Meadville or Grove City or some other godforsaken town full of very young white trash…

We arrived in Pittsburgh at our now-customary 1:00 in the morning…

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