Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Bad weather = soooo boring

Saturday 22 September

For those who know me, know that I simply hate rain.  It's even worse when you combine it with cold weather and yes, it was to be expected when you travel in the northern hemisphere in autumn...  I just wanted to have a whinge.  That's all. :-)

However, it means that I haven't got a lot of exciting news for you, because there isn't much excitement to be had on a cold and rainy day.  On Saturday the weather was becoming increasingly cold and the sun had gone into hiding for most of the day.  We spent the day looking through maps and information on the internet, and did some shopping.  This time we went to have a look at the (in)famous Walmart department store.

This is not the one in Hamburg, but looks exactly the same
Walmart seems to be the biggest private employer in the world and is also the biggest retailer.  Needless to say that it has caused a lot of friction in areas where the smaller retailers are being chased away....  Admittedly, we weren't very impressed.  For groceries and the deli section I would prefer Wegmans and for the rest we feel that the store would be on par with Kmart in Australia.  The bakery section didn't look very appealing, so we made a quick trip to Wegmans again to stock up on fresh bread and bagels.  We also took home a lovely piece of salmon for dinner.

Since I'd spent best part of the day on sudoku and wordfeud besides shopping, I settled in front of the TV for the night and Frank and I watched Lost in Translation on the movie channel.  I don't quite know what exactly was lost in translation, but obviously more than the title suggested, because I know that I'd lost the clue.  Bedtime....

Sunday 23 September

On Sunday we had a late breakfast, this time scrambled eggs on toasted bagels.  Yes, I love'm, but I like them better with cream cheese!  After a shower during the night the sky had cleared up a little, so we planned to go out for the day again.  The initial plan was to go to an autumn festival in Clarence (to the NE), but a wrong turn-off onto the highway took us southwards and we didn't feel like turning back at that stage.  There was this Ellicottville, a little village in Cattaraugus County, that we had been told was worth a visit.  We really don't know what they had in mind when the told us that, because we could have saved ourselves a long trip or could have combined it with another visit to the Amish country.  The Amish go to church on Sunday and it is their day of rest, so that was out.  Instead we just took to the country roads on our way back to Hamburg.  In Ellicottville we walked through the, most empty, streets in the rain and glanced into the shop windows.  Doing that it became quite clear that it will probably be more populated in winter, because it was all the shops had to offer: ski gear.  Wanting a decent but simple lunch we popped into a Subway, where it was nice and warm and the food, we knew, was good.


Autumn colours
As I mentioned before, the way back was via country roads.  Not advisable for a long trip.  Did we think the roads in Australia were bad after the floods??? Think again!  These were worse...  They looked more like patchwork than bitumen roads.  Bad roads and an upcoming headache don't go well together, so by the time we arrived in Hamburg my headache had spread to my jaws and I felt like I had toothache all over as well.  Still, I managed to take a few pictures of a colourful scene that you see almost everywhere along the road: pumpkins!  I mentioned them before.  Only the small ones are sold to be consumed and are generally used to make pumpkin pie.  The big ones are mainly for decoration and to be used for Halloween, which is BIG here in the States, as you may know.  As for pumpkin pie, if the weather stays like it is and I get really bored........ perhaps...... only perhaps....... I might sneak into the kitchen and turn the oven on!  But don't hold your breath.  Only restaurant kitchens are my favourite kitchens. :-)

Pie pumpkins

Decorative (Halloween) pumpkins

Every other house in autumn has some sort of autumn decorations near the front door or in the garden.  It may be pumpkins in the garden or decorations made from corn, or the most intricate wreaths hanging on the front door.  A colourful and inspiring sight indeed.  

After having taken the above pictures we were back home again and of course, the sun was out!  Time for Happy Hour in the corner of the back patio, in the sun and protected from the cold wind. It didn't last long, but it was great to warm up a bit before dinner.  

Back patio

The golf course as seen from the back patio

Well, it wasn't quite Happy Hour for me.  I took my medication and slept fitfully till dinner time, after which we again watched TV.  This time the movie The Deer Hunter with my favourite actor and actress Robert de Niro and Meryl Streep.   As I have never been one to watch TV a lot there are plenty of movies I haven't seen yet.  A bonus for cold autumn nights. :-)

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