Day 17: Rochester, New York
On the second of our Rochester days of repose, we did not do much. On a short morning trip to the grocery, Magoon educated Molhy and me on the importance of and local loyalty to Wegman's grocery store, known for its outstanding customer service and quality goods. She stocked up on Vitamin C powder to add to her water all day, in order to recover more rapidly. The Captain spent a few hours researching what might be the problem with our running lights, and tidying up the Tour Loaf. Claire left a vehicle for us at the house, enabling Magoon and the Captain to meet up with her for lunch and sample the regionally renowned Garbage Plate. I broke off from them to meet an esteemed former coworker, Ben, his wife Christine, and his two adorable young girls for lunch at Zemeta's Ethiopian restaurant. Luckily, we were the only people in the restaurant to start off the lunch buffet. This allowed the girls to comfortably and exuberantly introduce me to a stuffed panda and a dance they had learned recently. The food was delicious and the company was wonderful. Prior to the rendezvous with Magoon and the Captain, I made my way to Highland Park, an idyllic city park set amongst hills and valleys created by old glacial deposits. Once inside the park's boundaries, it was easy to forget that a city surrounded it, so well-planned and planted was the arboretum of trees and shrubs. Flowers were not in bloom, but this did not dampen the experience of walking from a residential area into a manicured forest. Magoon and the Captain met me at the edge of one of the valleys with Claire's vehicle. We took a short drive to onto the cobblestone paths of Mt. Hope Cemetery to honor the grave of Susan B. Anthony. The cemetery is a sight to behold. Many of the headstones seem paper-thin compared to the thick blocks I am accustomed to viewing. Moss and vines have climbed a the majority of the old grave markers and crypts, which date back 18th century, and the chapels and mausoleums, obelisks, sculptures and fountains demonstrate the progression of architectural styles through time.
While it would have been easy to wander the cemetery grounds for hours, we pulled ourselves away to purchase new shoes for the Captain, and return to the house to prepare for the evening's event: McRage's birthday celebration.
Molhy, meanwhile, had enjoyed a long session of exercise at the local Planet Fitness, and dined at a pizzeria nearby. We met with her and Claire at the house and traveled together to the residence of McRage's grandfather for the gathering. We were introduced to his doting family members and had good conversation as we supped on delicatessen sandwiches, fresh fruits, and several varieties of potato chips. McRage's mother Betsy was particularly thoughtful: remembering Molhy has a notorious liking for carrots, she had bought several bags for us. The crowning moment of the evening was the presentation of a blueberry molasses cake prepared by Betsy, topped with cream cheese frosting. The house itself reminded me of my father's father, who used to take us out in his sailboat on the San Francisco Bay: intricate ship replicas shared the walls and wooden cabinet tops with other memorabilia. I did not inquire, but would not be surprised if some of the sturdy wooden furniture was constructed by our host.
We said our goodbyes for the evening to McRage and his family around 2100 hours. Molhy, Magoon and I joined Claire in her evening ritual of yoga to calm the mind before sleep. This would have been sufficiently relaxing, except that we then chose to view a disturbing yet fascinating animated film, Coraline, in which a manipulative spidery monster seamstress attempts to steal the soul of unsuspecting sad children. This unsurprisingly produced turbulent dreams. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Day 18: Rochester, New York The final day resting in Rochester was characterized by much lounging and preparations for our departure. Magoon, not feverish but clearly under the influence of some cold, slept and watched episodes of Orville for the majority of the day, with breaks to fill up on vitamin C and other sustenance. Molhy returned to Planet Fitness. The Captain cleaned the Tour Loaf thoroughly in the morning, and continued to investigate the running lights, with eventual success! Though he claimed to have caused the headlights to stop working in the process, he was confident he had discovered the issue and that we could remedy it with a purchase from Auto Zone. Molhy, the Captain, and Magoon visited Auto Zone in the evening, to find that the part needed to be ordered, but would arrive by 0900 the following morning (to our great relief). Magoon and the Captain at last found the resource to accurately measure the Tour Loaf's clearance (a large ladder of Claire's): we measure eleven feet and six inches tall.
I spent the day binge-watching the remainder of Season 3 of Wynonna Earp, as the suspense of the early episodes left me no other course. Satisfied by the ending, I set myself to various outlying tasks: advising on the arrangement and mix of a song for a friend, engaging in an Emotional Freedom Technique tapping session to overcome my often low self-worth, calculating budget projections for the remainder of the tour, and sitting in the backyard awaiting composing inspiration for a few hours in the evening. Financially, I have found us miraculously in the black, thanks to the donations from our Chicago audience, friends and family following the Tour Loaf breakdown, plus our plentiful merchandise sales and tips at our two Rochester shows. This allowed me to begin planning logistically for our next destination, Philadelphia, where I expect our Tour Loaf will not be able to traverse the narrow streets and low bridges. Once Claire and Zach returned from their daily occupations, we met McRage and Magoon's brother at Jeremiah's at 1930 hours. Jeremiah's is a dining establishment specializing in the regionally invented delicacy called Buffalo chicken wings. Though we found ourselves approximately seventy-five miles from the birthplace of the dish, Magoon, Claire and McRage assured us that Jeremiah's would give us an authentic experience. Local legend has several tales of the origin of the Buffalo wing, but the one we heard from our hosts at Jeremiah's was that Buffalo wings were conceived in a rainstorm, in which a Buffalo restaurant had nothing left to serve save the inexpensive and undesirable chicken wings normally only used for stock. We filled our bellies full of these wings, ordering platters of many flavors, including but not limited to the original Buffalo style sauce. Then, we returned to Claire and Zach's for a final night in their home before heading south toward Philadelphia, the Birthplace of Democracy. Next Captain's Log