Pit Stop for Pie

I've been meaning to write about pie for a few weeks now. On our way back to NYC from the Syracuse area over New Year's (which took 4 days because we got stranded here) - we stopped for some killer pie, thanks to an insider tip from a long-time web friend (I love you Internet!). 

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This plays to my love of discovery all over the world, and I mean everywhere. Who knew there is adventure, great pie and a fun story to be found on I-81 in the middle of Pennsylvania?! 

From Binghamton (or Syracuse/Finger Lakes region), head down I-81 towards NYC. Bingham's Family Restaurant is just off Exit 211 on I-81. If presidential endorsements cause your heart to go aflutter, it has the stamp of approval from President Obama. It's diner-style so you can get a full meal. But you can also just pop in for pie at the counter - rows and rows of pies waiting for you to buy them. You can get slices or whole pies - and you can't go wrong with the caramel apple, with a "Crumb Topping of Brown Sugar & Pecans drizzled with Gooey Caramel." And let's be honest, if you're having pie at 1 p.m., it'd best be called lunch.

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If you're a fan of The Office, you'll have to stop in Scranton after your pie pilgrimage - the famous "SCRANTON welcomes you" sign is now on display in the Mall at Steamtown. Scranton has a reputation for being exceedingly boring (much of it thanks to The Office!) but I was pleasantly surprised - it is is very old-timey, nostalgic Americana, with a cute downtown and the remnants of a early 1900's industrial powerhouse. A fun stop!

Stranded in a Snowstorm

We didn't leave this lake house for three days. I don't think that sort of hibernation has ever happened to me.

We spent New Year's in upstate NY - near beautiful Skaneateles - and were on our way back to NYC when snow storm Hercules started dumping snow on NYC and closing roads. Luckily, my dad grew up in Vestal (near Binghamton) and my aunt and uncle have a lake house nearby. They decamped to Florida for the winter and let us crash. First, we stocked up at Wegman's (the best suburban grocery store). Then we got cozy.

My aunt has the ability to create the most comforting, warm, home-y environment and their house is so beautiful. There was no one else around and temperatures were in the negatives. It was more "Little House on the Prairie" rather than "Night of the Living Dead." Best of all? We didn't turn on the TV once. I read long-neglected books, worked on organizing photos, and cooked.

I kind of wish we were still there.

Sunset at around 4 p.m.