Cooperstown

I have a long day ahead of me because I’m a wuss and decided that I didn’t want to risk seeing the mouse while Dan was at work so I packed up and headed to campus super early. I have some work to do after my long weekend, but I figured I’d start out with something much more fun–recapping my trip to Cooperstown last weekend!

When we lived in Saratoga, we were really spoiled because we were near so much. We were about three hours away from New York, Boston, and Montreal, and even closer to Vermont and other cities in Massachusetts. Now that we’re in New Paltz, it seems like there are fewer places that we can get to in three hours or less. We had the hardest time coming up with a place to go when we decided that we wanted to take a trip for our birthdays. We wanted to go someplace relatively inexpensive so that we could do lots of things and not have to worry about going broke, so New York was out (plus we’re heading to NY this weekend to visit a friend!). Dan came up with the idea of going to Cooperstown, and I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical at first. It’s some big deal in regards to baseball (the National Baseball Hall of Fame is there), and I couldn’t care less about baseball. Upon further investigation, though, there are actually tons of things to do there so we decided to check it out!

When it got down to actually planning our itinerary for the trip after we had booked a hotel, we discovered that many of the things in Cooperstown are only open in the summer. D’oh! They have several museums that look really interesting that are seasonal. Thankfully there were plenty of things to do in the area so we were not bored. Here’s a rundown of the things we did:

Where we stayed:
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Cooperstown. I’ve always had luck with HEI (and the Hampton Inn as well) as a germaphobe. I always feel comfortable in the rooms and I don’t worry that I’m going to pick up any sort of diseases to bring home. This was no different. It was a little bit outside of town, but the drive in doesn’t take long. It was really reasonably priced, though I’m sure in the summer it’s expensive! We had a mini fridge and a microwave in our room which was really nice because we were able to eat leftovers for lunch on Sunday and save some money!

Where we ate:
Our first stop on our trip was Oneonta, which is about 30 minutes away from Cooperstown.  SUNY Oneonta was my safety school, so I was curious to see where I could have ended up. Like most college towns, it had a decent restaurant selection despite being tiny. We ate lunch at the Autumn Cafe, and it was excellent.
 They had mostly sandwiches and burgers on their lunch menu, not sure if they have more for dinner. The first thing I spotted on the menu when we sat down was the selection of sides including grilled veggies, grilled tofu, and rice, and I really wanted that. It seemed so wrong to order something so healthy on a vacation, but nothing else sounded as good so I went with it. I’m glad I did–it was really good! The tofu was perfectly seasoned and the vegetables were delicious and tender. It was tons of food so I brought half of it back to the hotel.
Dan had a cheeseburger, which was also very good.

We had planned to go to a Mexican restaurant that night in Oneonta after resting for awhile in our hotel, but it started snowing heavily while we were at our hotel, and since the road to Oneonta is a narrow, windy country road, we decided not to risk it. There wasn’t much selection for dinner in Cooperstown (again, most places were closed for the season), so we ended up ordering a pizza from the Pizza Hut next to the hotel. Not very exciting, but it did the trick. At least we had some local beer!
 We made it to Fiesta Mexican on Sunday night, and I’m glad we went because the food was delicious! We shared an order of chicken enchiladas with guacamole, and they were really good. I had a classic margarita, and that was, of course, very tasty. I’m glad we shared because there was more than enough food, and since we were leaving before lunch on Monday we wouldn’t have been able to eat the leftovers!

What we did: 
After lunch on Saturday we wandered around Oneonta, checking out the shops. We found this bench made of ice which I found hilarious:

After exploring the town, we went to a butterfly conservatory in Oneonta. It was really cool! It is one big room that is kept at tropical conditions (hot & humid), and besides butterflies and tropical birds flying around the room, there are all kinds of other critter, like this guy:
 plus lizards, a hedgehog, a tarantula (which was, luckily, in a tank!), and the best thing–a three toed sloth! He was hanging upside down, eating some summer squash.
 On Sunday, we went to the Ommegang Brewery which is located in Cooperstown.
 Tours of the brewery are free, and they do a tasting of their 6 year-long beers which only costs $3.
 We’ve got to find some local breweries for cheap, fun dates! It was interesting to see what goes into each beer. We liked the Abby Ale the best, so we picked up a big bottle to bring home.

We also spent some time on Sunday exploring Cooperstown, which is a cute little town. We plan to go back in the summer to visit the museums and the other brewery in town.

With that, I’d better get to work. I have a paper due today that I haven’t even started writing. Thankfully it’s short and only the first draft!

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