Verona, New York

Thursday, January 28, 2009 - Friday, January 29, 2009

A speaking engagement in Herkimer gave Jill and I the perfect opportunity to 'get away' for an overnight! Not that we usually need an 'opportunity' to get away, as this travelogue would attest to, but since we were in that part of the state it seemed like a good segway.

The day started out with Jill speaking to health care providers at Bassett Healthcare in Herkimer. Afterwards, we headed towards Verona, New York (better known for Turning Stone Casino!). Being a bit hungry, we stopped at Babe's Macaroni Grill in Utica for some lunch. We had eaten here previously, during one of Mike's tournaments in the Utica area, and although the food was okay the service was terrible. This time around, they redeemed themselves though, as both food and service were top notch.

Being that Turning Stone is a 'dry' casino, we found a liquor store in Utica before continuing onto the casino and lodge.

Jill actually found a room for us in 'The Lodge'. What an absolutely beautiful resort! Our room was well furnished and big, and even had an oversized tub and separate shower! One other bonus that 'The Lodge' offered was a 'getaway' from the casino itself. The two buildings were connected by a foot bridge, and security had a booth on the lodge side, so unless you were a guest, you weren't getting it. This way, you could go over to the casino and when you were tired of the sweatpant brigade you could escape back to your room!

We went over to the casino side and lost some money for a bit, then stopped at the bakery for some yummy treats - I had a HUGE half moon cookie, Jill had a chocolate covered macaroon, and we bought a small white cake with white frosting for later. At this point, we 'escaped' back to the lodge and changed into our bathing suits to check out the pool and hot tub. It was empty! We had the place to ourselves! A very nice pool and large hot tub was all ours!

For dinner, we made reservations at Rodizio, a Brazilian steak house of sorts. We had eaten here once before, and the food (and selection) was very good, so we decided to go back. We took along our bottle of wine which they provided us with a chiller and wine glasses for. The first course was the salad/cold bar which had a wide assortment of different kinds of salads and some sushi as well. For the main course, they brought us creamy mashed potatoes and peas with mushrooms and pearl onions as our sides, and then the meats began! I had four different types of steaks, a linguica, and some prime rib. Jill and I both had some pork loin (yep, both of us!!), rotisserie chicken, and salmon. The only thing that neither of us liked was the salmon since it was more 'fishy' tasting than we are even used to. Since we had the white cake in the room, we decided to have dessert there instead of stuffing ourselves in the restaurant (a mistake we made the last time we were there!).

The next morning, we actually slept in a bit, and then went over to the buffet to have breakfast. It was close to the time where they switched over from breakfast to lunch, so we had to eat quick and what we had wasn't all that great. After breakfast, we packed up the car and went to the Carousel Mall in Syracuse before continuing on home.

Total Mileage: 250 Miles

Total Miles Travelled:
150,380 Miles!

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