, , , , , ,

We all woke up at around 8 am.  Vincent and I were playing a little New Super Mario Brothers on the Wii, while Eric and Ann slowly got out of bed.  I guess Vincent was feeling a little better!  Vincent loves to get the power ups in Mario brothers, so I let him continue playing while I finished editing the photographs from Salem.  Salem was such a waste of time.  I should have just went back to Boston to check out the Cambridge area.

Eric and Ann got all there things ready, mine was pretty simple so I quickly packed while Vincent continue to play the Wii.

We were all set to go.  Our itinerary was to go to Troy for this vegan bakery then to Howe Caverns and finally to Albany to check into our hotel room.  So we were ready for our three hour drive to Albany.  But Vincent can’t forget Hammy or his penguin stuffed animal!

I cranked the stereo with the ipod and lowered the windows as this was going to be a long drive.  I really need to get an EZ PASS tag.  Eric kept on going through the tolls and then had to wait for me. haha!

We left the apartment at around 10 am and got to Troy at around 1 pm.  Our first stop was this vegan bakery.  I saw signs that said Home of Uncle Sam.  Great.  This place sure looks beat up and run down.  It had its hey day but now all the industry has left and Troy would be the precipice for Albany.  Parked across the street we walked in.  It sure didn’t look all that great of a place.  Though the only other vegan bakery that I can compare it to is Vegan Treats, which is amazing!  But it isn’t the appearance of the bakery that matters here, it is the desserts!!

Ann ordered some brownies and two cinnamon buns.  I thought the cinnamon bun looked good so I ordered two of those, two peanut butter brownies, and a blondie chocolate chip cookie.

The cinnamon bun, as with the other desserts, were pretty dry.  It cannot compare to Vegan Treats. Vegan Treats’ desserts are so moist and … droooooool!

Ann also got some recommendations for a vegan eatery around the area, which was around two blocks away!  Leaving the bakery, this creepy old lady started to gawk at Eric photographing Ann and Vincent and followed them as they left.  huh?

We got to the Jamaican restaurant buffet place.  In the background was Bob Marley and Reggae infused tunes!  The food was actually quite good!  I really liked this coconut dish they had.  Being that they offered both meat and vegetarian food we were limited to three dishes.  After we finished our meals, we left straight for Howe Caverns.  This was an hour and twenty minute drive.  Uhh.. how much more driving do I need to do??

We stopped for some gas, a good twenty miles away from the caverns.  Which was good cause Eric was running close to empty.  Apparently my right lights are dead!  AHHH!!  Impreza lights are a royal pain in the ass to replace!!  Eric’s tank takes around 20 gallons of gas and he fills up using middle range! Whoa!

After filling up, it was another thirty minutes before we arrived at Howe Caverns.  The drive was pretty scenic, a lot of greenery and trees and farm land.  Out in the boonies.

We parked and were warned that our camera bags would be too big to fit into the caverns.  I didn’t, gasp, want to photograph much in the caverns so I left my camera and bag in my trunk along with my laptop.  Well mainly cause I didn’t want my camera to get wet.  Eric went gung ho and took his with him.

We were number 37, referring to our tour group.  We went down this long elevator down with natural AC.  The cave’s natural temperature was a decent 52 degrees fahrenheit.  Since I only brought shorts with me, I was in for a nice chill.

When we started to explore, the one thing that puzzled us was… why couldn’t we bring our bags down here?  the width of the passages were pretty sizable with bags and people!  Oh well.  The tour guide sounded like he just got out of high school.  Someone curb their enthusiasm?  There was some really nice formations here as we trekked to the end of the trail to the boats where we took a short boat ride to some falls that were blocked off.

The only really cool part of this tour was the Winding ways.  Which was the only section of this cave trail open for regulars that was tight and windy.  Something I expected from cave explorations.  Of course if we paid a good $100 we could do the more adventure tours which was blocked off for those who reserved it.

We left the caves and went back into the warm temperature.  Vincent got a bag of rocks with dirt so he could sift through it using their outdoor water reservoir.  When Vincent finished, we went back to our cars to drive to Albany to check into the hotel.   When we got into the city, it was pretty lifeless.  There was hardly any traffic and pedestrians!  What the…

This city is going to be boring.  It was a good thing we were just staying at the hotel and going mining tomorrow.  I sure would hate to explore Albany.

Eric checked in and we parked on the streets since it was the weekend, where meter parking is free.  After setting our stuff down and doing some relaxing, we took my car to this pizzeria that also offered vegan cheese options!  But I like my cheese real.  🙂

I ordered a calzone with eggplants, eric had a Texan vegan cheesesteak, ann and vincent had a vegan pizza.  You could see Vincent eyeballing my yummy mozzarella.  The calzone was alright, certainly not the best I had, but I was hungry.  It was good for sustenance.

When we left the place, Eric, goofily left his camera bag under the table and didn’t realize it till we got to my car.  A real good thing he remembered before we drove off!  What a loon!  We had to go to Target to pick up some swim shorts for the little dude.  They forgot to pack his swim shorts from home and I wanted to get a breathable tee shirt since most of my shirts were drenched in sweat.

We took a looping path towards Target.  We passed by a Starbucks and I got the craving for some coffee.  Ann and Eric thought I been away from coffee for an entire week but Boston had a ton of Starbucks for me to visit! bwah hahahah!  They said they would try to see what would happen if they locked me up without coffee and internet ….

We finished shopping and went back to our hotel to swim and relax for Sunday’s mining.