Two sisters. A niece. Wegmans. Bagels. Genny Brewhouse. Good buddies. Polar Seltzer water. Garbage Plates. Jamaican Me Crazy coffee. Familiar running trails. Bill Gray’s. Hart’s breakfast sandwiches.
There is so much to love about Rochester, NY. We love Rochester, NY.
And also there is boring stuff like dentists, and veterinarians, and doctors, and dad’s doctors. But even the boring stuff is better in Rochester.
I’ve mentioned it before, and here I go again (on my own – Whitesnake rendition): medical/upkeep needs are one of the shitty parts of nomadic life. I’m not fond of my Rochester doctor/dentist prodding around my body. The discomfort is only amplified when you don’t know the doctor/tooth demon at all and you aren’t even certain they’re a decent doctor/evil-tooth-prodder because you are in bumbleheck Utah and you have to go by online reviews.
Anyway, we planned to spend about a month in Rochester to catch up with some folks and see some doctors and eat a lot of food and drink a lot of beer.
We ended up staying almost two months.
We found out earlier this summer that my dad (PopPop) needed his heart fixed. Then, toward the end of our month in Rochester we found out that Dr. Knight (all hail Dr. Knight!) at Strong Memorial in Rochester had time to fix PopPop’s heart in mid September. So, we kept our levelers down and stayed put while Dr. Knight and a bunch of really nice nurses prepped to, and then rebuilt PopPop.
Spoiler alert: they successfully rebuilt him stronger than before! PopPop is back in action.
Ok, from now on I’ll try to keep the Rochester report kind of sequential. Here goes:
We left Owego and pointed Dyna’s leather (?) bra clad nose towards Rochester.
About 10 miles into our venture Dyna decided to give us a big, fat, abrupt ‘NOPE’.
Your house-vehicle giving you a ‘NOPE’ is never cool.
Even less cool is when you just dropped your savings++ into an engine overhaul on your house-vehicle, and then your engine sticks its metaphorical middle finger up at you. I classify an engine’s metaphorical middle finger as being the giant puff of black smoke that I saw escape the tailpipe via our rear camera immediately before all throttle gave out – leaving us stranded half on and half off an exit road which was being used as a detour for the areas only major highway. Because what’s not cooler than being stranded half on/off a road? Being stranded half on/off a very busy road.
A couple of construction workers who witnessed Dyna’s act of defiance sauntered up to us pretty quickly, surrounded our rear end with road cones to try and divert traffic from pummeling into us, and got down to joining us in an engine gawking session.
After a quick inspection, Jake realized that he hadn’t tightened a cap enough after draining the fuel-water separator. After running the fuel lift pump for about 45 minutes to purge the air from the fuel system, Dyna decided she could go on – and we continued on towards Rochester.
But then, we had another emergency.
This time, it was in the form of grape pie.
This bus brakes for grape pie!
After we handled our emergencies, we started our stay ‘in’ Rochester at an RV park out Macedon. The park was fine, and right on the canal path, which is awesome for me because I like to run on the canal path. Because flat, mindless, traffic free running is my favorite running. Also, you can run/bike from the RV park to Fairport, where Moonlight Creamery is located. And Moonlight Creamery is very important. Because they make ToSowMyWildOats, which is the best ice cream East of Portland- #fact. (Portland has Salt & Straw, and to this point, we have had no better ice cream than Salt & Straw ice cream).
But, Macedon is not Rochester. It is actually a 25minute drive from Rochester. And we wanted to be in Rochester. Everyday.
Problem: there are no RV parks in Rochester. There aren’t even any RV parks that are closer to Rochester.
Solution: Jake. Jake created his own ‘RV park’ at a storage facility a few minutes from city center. He called around to various storage places until he found a very friendly family who said ‘yeah, sure, you can live in our storage facility – that’s fine.’ They also let us plug into 15A electric and run a water hose to the rig. And they had a spot to dump our dirty waters when that chore came about. It was pretty cool of them. Not glamorous. Or quiet. But definitely cool. Oh, and the place was also a short jog up the roadway in either direction landed me on some prime running trails. Score.
Future Solution: Rochester friends! Get city property with long level driveways! From now on, if you are home shopping, a long, level, in city driveway is part of your criteria. And if you’re renting, same thing goes, but with the addition of a lease stating you can use long, level driveway as a living pad for your RV friends.
So, we moved into Rochester. And that meant I had unrestricted access to Balsam bagels. Guess who ate breakfast at Balsam bagels at least 3x a week?
We also enjoyed other Rochester delicacies. It’s a wonder I can still fit into my pants.
I guess it’s good I know good Rochester running routes.
Other than knowing where the good food and good beer in Rochester is, we know where the good people are.
As per usual, we didn’t get to spend time with all of our ‘good people’, but we managed to fit in some quality time with many of them.
Good gosh I miss being able to text buddies to meet up for a beer while on the road. Or for a coffee. Or a hike. Or lunch. Or anything that I can cajole a familiar, trusted friend into joining me for.
Rochester was a whirlwind of doing stuff and things with siblings and friends. I could try and make a list of the stuff we did and the people we saw and the things we ate, but I would more than likely fail to include them all. And as seems to be typical of my visits to Rochester, I failed to take pictures of many of our interactions. Which sucks because that means I can’t show off all of our super awesome people to you. You’ll just have to trust me that they are awesome and most of them would burn your eyeballs with their radiance anyways.
Here is what I’ve got for you:
We also made a weekend trip out of Rochester to attend a very special friend’s wedding in Minnesota. Yes, that is right my friends. Brendan Epstein found himself a (really smart, beautiful, kind – and clearly very patient) woman. And he married her. Yay Brendan!
Also, Jake let me pick our rental car for the weekend in St. Paul. I clearly picked a hamster mobile. It was awesome. And I am still so happy about that hamster mobile. Fun fact: Brendan owns a hamster mobile! Another reason I adore Brendan.
(Thanks for watching Lucy for us that weekend, Kay. Sorry she turned into Lucifer – aka, bad cat).
A day after returning from Minnesota, Jake dropped me back off at the airport so I could fly out to spend my G’s birthday with her in Chicago. Because her travel PT life has plopped her in Chicago for awhile. And also, because the one and only Megan G-Unit Goetz is now level 30 (years). And that is an event worth a flight to Chicago. Although, let’s be honest – the fact that Meggy is living in Chicago is clearly worth the flight to Chicago.
We did top secret G stuff throughout Chicago. Aka, wined and dined and coffeed and giggled. (Apparently I’m not good at keeping ‘top secrets’)
Upon my return from Chicago to Rochester, Jake & I hopped into the car and drove a few hours to my mom’s family’s ‘camphouse’. Which Jake apparently thought was going to be a rustic cabin in the woods. Tricked you!
It’s an old farmhouse on a backroad in the middle of nowhere NY. Excitement abounds!
My mom & her husband, my brother & nephew, sister, and uncles, aunt & cousin joined us there for a weekend of front porch sitting, woods walking, creek creeping, front yard baseball, and mom birthday celebrating.
And then we waited in Rochester. We fit in a few more visits with friends, and a few more beers, and a few more bagels. But mostly we waited. We drove between Owego and Rochester to cart PopPop back and forth to pre-op appointments. Which is actually a really great opportunity for quality conversation with your father. Because you’re in a car. For 2.5hours each way.
Also, sometimes it means that your brother and nephew come up to Rochester (because it’s their turn to cart PopPop to an appointment). And any time we get Dexter and Eden in proximity of each other, we try to make that play date happen. Because we adore them both – and what’s better than one tiny human? TWO! TWO TINY HUMANS! Which is only made better when you drop them both off on Jake for a few hours. Jake seemed to be able to wrangle them both. When we met up with Jake and the tinys post doctor appointment, they were all still alive and smiling.
And then the surgery happened. And many days were spent hanging out in the hospital, watching and waiting as my dad turned back into a human – a human with a stronger heart. And playing scrabble. And discussing politics. And football. And the combination of the two.
Oh, and my sister took me wedding dress shopping. Because without her I would never get such things done. She’s a good sister. And friend.
Also, our extended Rochester stay left us in the area while Jake’s BFF Scott happened to be popping into the area (also his home town area – but he lives in North Carolina now). We got to celebrate his father’s birthday, aka, eat lots of good brunch food with him and Nicky & family (yep, Scott & Nicky of the sailing trip).
Also, we got this super awesome photo depicting how much Scott loves kids! Look at this kid lover!
After what seemed like forever (but was only a week and a half) the hospital released the re-built PopPop from his IV chains and sent him home. Once we got him loaded up to head home to Owego, Jake and I ate one last Hart’s breakfast sandwich, pulled in Dyna’s slides and headed South.
We’ll be back though. We’ll always be back.