Tag Archives: Rad

Smash ‘Em Up Derby

Wayne County Fair (NY) Demolition Derby, 2014

As Radicchio calls its. Or called it. Yesterday he informed me that you could “actually, call it Demolition Derby, Mama, it has two names.”

We took him last year and he’s been talking about it ever since, a full year of smash ’em up questions and comments from a nearly three-year old! He won a car from the duck pond game that is defying its cheap construction and going strong after multiple demonstrations of how cars smash into things. (This car should be used to demonstrate how translating some things to English doesn’t really work:

Champion Noble Charisma Preeminent Car

Champion Noble Charisma Preeminent Car

Those are all words for awesome and powerful but in the context of race car stickers, not quite right either. In any case, one little boy was very excited to go the Demolition Derby. When he heard there would also be carnival rides I think his little head exploded. We’ve been to several carnivals this year, and contrary to popular stereotypes, both the rides and employees have been outstanding. Sure, they’re a little beat up, but the kids rides have been attended to by some very nice people who clearly like, or at least don’t mind, children. We’ve hit up the Williamson Apple Blossom Carnival, Fairville Firemen’s Carnival, Webster Fireman’s Carnival and now, the Wayne County Fair. Each time we’ve bought the all you can ride pass ($15) and Adam has ridden the Alligator train countless times.

At 5:45 PM we bought our ticket, rode four rides and then the deluge began. We waited, at a hotdog and popcorn (this is a food and travel blog, right?), then it stopped and we rode three more rides before it started again. This time we took shelter in the beer tent where Rad discovered a spinning neon sign that left him mesmerized and filled up the 30 minutes we waited for the rain to stop. So, we got seven rides out of our $15, still better than buying tickets (21-28 tickets would have come to just a bit more than $15) and went to get a good seat in for the Derby. Also, more popcorn. And a water. And Jake had bacon-wrapped-deep-fried-meatballs. And pierogies. He said the meatballs weren’t very good. I’m not sure how that’s possible.

8PM is mighty late for our little guy, and the drawn out lining up process for the first round put the start at 8:15. Rad watched intently, got to see one car flip over and another on fire (pro tip: RX7s and similarly shaped cars are bad for this sport; their hoods are like ramps for the other cars and you will likely be driven over and possibly smooshed, the driver was so shaken up by the car that launched itself up his hood that he actually left the derby).  There were firemen flipping cars, spraying hoses and generally being everything a three-year old would hope a fireman would be. That round was over by 8:35, Raddy thought the whole thing was over, declared it both fun and too loud and asked to go home. Who am I to argue?

All the way home: Why did that car flip over? Why did that car catch on fire? Why was there steam? and smoke? Why is it night? Why is it dark? Where is the moon? Where is the sun? Why do we not have the sun? Where does the sun go? Why did that car lose its wheel? Why was it loud? and so on. Then at home he recreated the demolition derby on his road rug on his bedroom floor, complete with fire truck, John Deer Gator, ambulance and tow trucks. And finally at 9:45, he went to sleep.

It’s not a cheap night. $5 admission for each adult to the fair, $15 for the rides, another $8 for each of us to the derby–$49 just in admission plus food and drink. But the happy little boy (and the epic people watching; I need to go back just to watch the people…) was totally worth it!


Welcome Home!

I’m not sure if we’ve lost our marbles or found them; we finally bought into Disney Vacation Club. After umpteen trips to the World, most of them on rented points from DVC members or from dvc-rental.com we bought a resale membership in Animal Kingdom Villas from Resales DVC. We now have 200 points to use every year until 2057! Depending on when we go, that number of points allows us to take at least two week long trips per year for the three of us in a studio villa or we can get a two bedroom villa, bring some friends or family and stay for over a week.


So today I made our first booking to go “home.” The contract we purchased is a resale and the previous owners did not use all the 2012 points when they sold it to us, so Jake and I are going a grown ups only trip for two night to (what else?) the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!  That uses up the remaining points for 2012. I also learned today that Airtran takes Paypal; we have one customer who pays us via Paypal and I generally forget that we have a balance to use and then end up with a good chunk of money when I should have been using it to pay for tons of other online crap, so almost like free plane tickets. Plus we have Rewards Dollars on our Disney Visa ($400ish) and one day left on our old 10 day passes. Really, its practically free. Except for the whole buying a 45 year time share part.


Feeling pretty good about things I also booked a trip for the three of us and my parents. A two bedroom villa for four nights in May. We took my parents last May and it was awesome! Built in baby sitter and extra love for Raddy G. He was only 15 months old that time, I think 26 months will be even more fun for him.


I’ll have to look into that first haircut thing at the Harmony Barbershop in the Magic Kingdom, but first, FOOD and WINE (and more WINE!).



By popular demand…

The Narcissist

Summer in a Glass

Way back when I was pregnant and living in Michigan (oh, that wasn’t way back? It was only 6 months ago? Are you sure? Cause it feels like a lifetime ago…) I contacted an awesome photographer to take some maternity and eventually newborn photos for us. God bless Google, cause it’s how I find everything and I ended up with an outstanding set of pictures. What does this have to do with tea in China or our blog? Well, it turns out that Morgan of Morgan Dawson Photography is also Morgan, wife of Evan Dawson, local journalist for WHAM 13, editor of the New York Cork Report, and author of Summer in a Glass. It’s not like she shows up and announces her husband is this guy everyone knows; she mentioned in conversation that he was interested in news…Anyway, when we went to pick up our pictures in March we also bought a copy of Evan’s book. Seeing that I was about eleven months pregnant and unable to sleep I read it in two days, loved it, learned about some Finger Lakes wineries we hadn’t been to and decided to plan some visits.

And then we have a baby. And two months later I desperately want to wash my hair, get dressed and spend some time without said colicky baby. So we decided to head off to Morgan’s husband’s book signing and a visit to Fox Run Vineyards, Red Tail Ridge and Billsboro. If we’re lucky we may even stop at Ports for dinner!! The GPs are watching the Rad One and we are off in the convertible, sadly with the top up as its a bit cool and rain looks eminent.

First stop, Fox Run for lunch and the book signing. Fox Run used to run its own café and often held wine pairing dinners with their chef, but recently the business has changed. The café is now called Opus and is a separate business (although inside the winery) run by the former chef. The menu hasn’t changed, a variety of salads and panini, but the wine selections are offered at a separate check out. I assume this is simply for business purposes. In talking with Scott, the owner, we also learned that the wine pairing dinners are no longer being held and understandably so; we loved them and so did the 20 other regular couples who attended. The goal of those dinners was to build new business; all it really did was attract the same devoted folks over and over. I’m sad they’re gone, but I totally understand why. Anyway, lunch was two panini (mine without cheese but full of pulled pork, not very traditional!) and a bottle of Fox Run Dry Riesling. It was even nice enough to sit outside and enjoy the view of Seneca Lake. This was the same lunch Jake and I shared on our second date—I was super late because I won an age group award at the Keuka Tri (scroll to 35-39 if interested)  and had to clean up a bit but still showed up with sweaty braided hair and race numbers marked on my arms and legs; I’m amazed that Jake went out with me again!

We also chatted with Morgan, Evan, and Fox Run’s winemaker Peter Bell; got  two books signed; bought a mixed case of wine (riesling and pinot noir, both reserve), and tasted a few others.

The day’s weather was improving and we took the convertible, top down this time, to Red Tail Ridge. There are two great reasons to go here, both unexpected. One, it’s a LEED certified winery. In other words, super green. Two, rosé. Really. We bought two bottles.

Most of the wineries close their tastings rooms at 5PM so we had about 30 minutes to stop at Billsboro once we’d finished at Red Tail Ridge. The Billsboro tasting room is not actually on the same property as the vineyards that produce their grapes-the grapes are grown much further south on the eastern side of the lake, while the tasting room is on the north west side (Evan’s book does a much better job than I in explaining terroir—basically, the dirt/geography/climate is better for grapes/wine over there…). It’s a restored 18th century barn nestled in some trees. What it lacks in lake view it makes up for with hand hewed beams and chocolate and wine pairings! We bought wine here too…a syrah.

Our plan was to head home, but when we called the GPs they said go to dinner. So we did. We’d been meaning forever to go to Ports Café but never seem to find it open. Tonight we were in luck! Although we had dinner at a wholly unnatural time for us (5PM) and did not take pictures or write down what we ate or our instant impressions, I can assure you I ate the best veal chop I’ve ever had for dinner, then for lunch and again for dinner, and that wasn’t just Mom’s Night Out Freedom talking. MMMM.

When we got back it was like the boy hadn’t even missed us.