Monday, March 9, 2009

A Syracuse Day Trip

I feel rather discombobulated today. I think it's a combination of the time change (clocks went 1 hour ahead Sunday morning) and our long, long day Saturday, when we (Mr.W and I), along with my brother and his wife, took a day trip to Syracuse.

The main objective was to attend CNY Blooms 2009 Garden & Flower Show. We try to go every year, if only to smell the promise of spring to come. It's held at the Syracuse OnCenter, a giant convention center connected to a parking garage.

Tiny rant here: every year the admission fee is $10 per person, and they publish a printable $2 off coupon at their website; in years past you printed one coupon and it covered as many tickets as you wanted to purchase. There was no language on the coupon or website to suggest this year would be any different--but when we arrived at the ticket booth there were signs taped up saying one coupon per ticket only. I know it was only a loss of $2, but dang if that didn't tick me off something fierce! Isn't that akin to bait & switch?

But the flowery fragrance brought a better mood along quickly and we entered to see this gorgeous scene:

I won't bore you with all of the photos that I took, but here are some of the more interesting things:

After all of that beauty, our tummies were rumbling, so we headed out in search of food. After a very short discussion, we all decided on Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. It's a well-known joint established in Syracuse in 1988 by three bikers. It retains the biker-bar feel, too. Very tight quarters, loud waitresses and a 45-minute wait on the weekends are well worth it. For you BBQ enthusiasts out there, a few hints for eating at Dinosaur:

  • Order sauce on the side. There are such a wide array of tastes as far as 'que goes that I must insist getting your meat naked. Dress it yourself to avoid disappointment.

  • If you have any dietary issues, talk to your waitperson. I told our waittress that I needed to avoid sugar and she let me know that the tomato-and-cucumber salad had sugar in the dressing. (Why, I don't know, but... whatever.) She made other suggestions that were useful.

  • Bring a flashlight or use illumination from your cell phone screen. It was almost impossible to see our menus in the light available. It was impossible to take a decent photograph of the food we enjoyed.

  • The menu sides are carb-heavy, but there is a salad and yum-tastic beans & rice.

  • Do ask questions. The specials board included dirty rice, but I didn't know I could get it as a side option until I heard the waittress at the next table say so. I'll know next time, though!

  • Do check the menu for cocktail prices--over $8 per drink made me stick to Diet Coke!
A hearty lunch of sandwich platters (sandwich, pickles & two sides) plus sodas all around was about $60 with tax and tip... a little on the pricey side, but the food was outstanding.

After our very late lunch, our little group headed to Carousel Mall for a little shopping. Carousel is better than any mall around here, and while it does have all the shops you'd expect at a mall, there's a ton of construction that's been ongoing for at least a year now. And what was once a mall surrounded by large banks of windows and lots of natural light is now a mall surrounded by solid brick more reminiscent of a state penitentiary.

We made our normal stops there: my brother likes a particular comic shop, my husband likes a music store, and we all like an import shop and the boo
kstore. Then there's Lindt--my sister-in-law and I never fail to stop in there! Lindt is my most favorite chocolate and their little sample sizes are enough for me to enjoy a tiny taste of the real thing without overindulging. I tried the Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt--I can't say that I liked it all that much. I didn't dislike it, either--it was unusual. Let's just leave it at that.

As we left the mall it began to pour down rain--it's better than snow, but still makes for treacherous driving. So we said good-bye to Syracuse for a while and made our way home with minds full of flowers and hopes for an early spring.


Sara said...

What beautiful pictures, I just love all those flowers. Looks like a fun day.

Amanda said...

Thanks, Sara.

It was a fun (albeit exhausting) day! We really get an energy boost from that flower show every year--our winters tend to be so very long and cold! Fortunately we're having a big thaw right now (with lots of rain but temps over freezing most days) so we may be in for some spring-ish weather sooner rather than later!

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs