We have been married for 5 years as of yesterday and it feels like not more than 30 seconds has gone by since the day we said “I do” in Manhattan. Time is going way too quickly! But time waits for no man, and this is why Dustin and I try our best to enjoy the time that we are fortunate enough to have with each other. We had plans to go to the city, but with the President in town, traffic in Manhattan would have been a nightmare. That’s definitely not how we wanted to spend our anniversary and the little time that Dustin allots himself off from work. So: Change of plans! Instead of heading south to NYC, we headed north to the state capital.
We don’t have a Chipotle or Qdoba in our area, our closest locations are 75 miles in just about any direction. So, whenever we travel, I always check for a location in our path. Albany has two of them, one only a few miles from the museum. Perfect!
I was starving when I got there but didn’t want to overstuff myself (read: burrito). I opted for two carnitas:
I made two mistakes with this order: Ordering guacamole, cheese, and sour cream on tacos. I asked for a LITTLE bit of each but apparently that means a HUGE scoop of each. I love guac, but it really dominated the taco, so I had to take most of it off. Plus, the salsa + sour cream combo made a pool of excess liquid that made them soggy. On top of that, the meat was SUPER salty. Waaaaaay too much salt. Kind of yucky. So they were good, but definitely not my favorite Chipotle or Qdoba experience. Next time: No guac or sour cream on tacos and I might ask for the salsa on the side. The soft shell chicken tacos I made the other night were much, MUCH better than these. I’m still glad we had lunch there, though. Chipotle is one of my favorite restaurants, even when it’s subpar.
Dustin had no complaints. He ordered his the right way, lol!
Then, we headed to the museum to explore.
Our first stop: The Adirondack Wilderness. Dustin LOVES moose, so he was overcome with joy to stand by a life-size one.
This was his favorite exhibit.
My favorite exhibits were in Metropolis Hall. I love early 20th century NYC.
And I thought I had extravagant meals on occasion!
Adjusted for inflation, that meal would cost around $300,000 today. Although, million-dollar parties are not uncommon of anymore. Super Sweet 16 parties make that seem like a shindig at Chucky Cheese. My how times have changed.
Clearly this model had to have been one of my ancestors; Her shopping basket is overflowing with BREAD AND CHEESE!
We spent about 3 hours walking around the museum before we headed to Ulster county for dinner, about an hour away.
Dinner destination: Mariner’s Harbor, Kingston NY
We had a lovely window seat with a view of the water. The slim window panes were difficult to capture a picture through, so my range was limited being I was using my 35mm lens. Such a lovely day. A little chilly, but better than rain and mud!
Maybe in warmer weather we’ll be able to sit outside on the patio.
Dustin typically has a smallish appetite, but not when it comes to seafood!
He is crazy about it even though he didn’t start eating much of it until he met me. Now, it’s probably his favorite food. He loves shellfish, but as he was eating dinner declared that he wanted to start eating more regular fish, too. Good for him, right? His diet has seen many improvements in the past few years and he keeps trying to improve upon it. And I really didn’t have to pull teeth for it to happen. Perhaps I nudged him a bit by introducing him to foods that I like, and maybe my preferences rubbed off on him a bit. It always pleases me when he takes the initiative. He’s on a quest to improve all aspects of himself—as am I—and diet is definitely a big part of overall lifestyle, so it can’t go unacknowledged for long without it affecting other parts of your life.
I was feeling a bit adventurous, too. We decided to try a raw half-shell sampler for the first time. I adore shellfish, but have never had raw oysters or clams!
I have to admit, the idea of eating it raw kind of grossed me out. But I was brave and tried one of each with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Not bad! It actually doesn’t taste much different than cooked, it’s just colder and very fresh. I don’t think it’s something I will necessarily crave, but I’m open to trying more variations. I hear people love raw oysters with hot sauce, so maybe I would love it that way. Dustin had the same reaction as me: Not bad and not too much different than the cooked version.
Our server brought out a typical house salad with balsamic vinaigrette. It was unremarkable but they get a few extra points for the chickpeas.
Warm, fresh bread
basket of doooooooooooom!
I tried to pace myself, but after oysters, salad, and a slice of bread with butter, I was already feeling satisfied, but the pièce de résistance had yet to arrive. For my entrée, I ordered the lobster bake. It came with a steamed lobster, corn on the cob, steamed mussels, shrimp, and clams, and a baked potato.
Dustin ordered the special: Soft shell crab! He shared a bite with me, it was SO delicious.
Obviously I couldn’t finish my feast, even though I wanted to. I brought my potato home for my mom, and shared most of my lobster with Dustin. A bite of corn (out of season, meh), and a few pieces from the steamed net. Our server asked if we were celebrating any special occasions that evening and we were delighted to tell her that we were celebrating our 5-year anniversary. Complimentary champagne was offered in honor of our anniversary, but we graciously declined. And we also declined dessert. No room left!
Everything tasted fresh and amazing. I cannot believe I lived in Ulster county for most of my life and this was the first time I went to Mariner’s Harbor! Funny story: During the summer at the stand, long before the days of GPS, people would stop and ask for directions to Mariner’s Harbor almost every single day! Perhaps I was so used to hearing about it that it didn’t seem that interesting anymore, lol. I’m glad that I finally had the opportunity to eat there. We’ll definitely return. Do yourself a favor, skip overpriced chains like Red Lobster and find a real seafood restaurant in your area. And if you’re in the Hudson Valley, don’t miss Mariner’s Harbor. I regret that I did for… 30 years?! haha Geez. Makes me wonder what other gems I have missed out on.
I had plans to stop at Mother Earth’s on the way home being we were only a few minutes away, but I was too full and tired by that point and we had an hour and a half ride home, so we went straight home. We didn’t exchange gifts yet because Dustin’s gift is not going to be delivered until next week, so I wanted to wait until his arrived.
We had a great day with many delicious foods. But most importantly we were just as happy to be together yesterday as we were 5 years ago on that day and all the days before that. The world changes and we make self-improvements and go through phases, ups and downs, but thankfully we do it together. Dustin is my best friend and there’s never a day that goes by that I don’t enjoy his company. We haven’t been apart more than a few hours at a time since the day he moved to NY almost 6 years ago. The secret to our success: We’re realistic people. That means realistic expectations and dealing with issues rationally. This means getting over disagreements quickly and maintaining a high level of respect and admiration for one another. It also means embracing our differences and loving ourselves as much as we love each other. Sometimes easier said than done, but practice makes perfect.
Love you, Dustin!!