My first week back in the newsroom felt like culture shock. At 2 AM, I discovered our station was at the heart of two major news stories – Jaycee Dugard and the Auburn Wildfires. I did my best to get up to speed. And as one producer likes to tell me: “Write your ass off.”
So, I think I’m caught up with work and all the death and destruction in the world. I’m also adjusting to my new role as the keeper of the calendar. In addition to producing our morning show, I’m now booking guest segments. Chefs, authors, movie stars, snakes and more. Bring them on, I’ll put them on TV. Just check with me on when and where.
I never had a two-week vacation. I thought it was time well spent. We caught up with our family – swapping stories about life on the West Coast and life in Western NY.
Oh yes, and the rain sucked. So we took advantage of the sunny days with day trips to Niagara Falls and along the Niagara Wine Trail.
This is the vineyard at Eveningside Winery in Cambria.
Mark’s best friend/man, Kaine, and his family drove up from Pennsylvania to hang out with us. Mark’s mom, Terri, played the role of tour guide on the Niagara Wine Trail.
We zipped around country roads to hit the different wineries. We passed by green lawns and lush farmland. I watched fruit trees, cornfields and aging barns melt into the landscape. Hour by hour, time started slowing down for me. As I sniffed the iced wines and savored the sweet bouquet, I realized I didn’t have to wake up before the crack of dawn. That helped me settle into this vacation.
The $3 wine tastings also helped. A lot.
So, I was wondering how Kaine’s girls would handle driving around and waiting for us as we did our wine tasting. I offered all three of them sniffs of my flights and I got their feedback on wines’ bouquets. Some of their observations synced up with my own. Impressive.
They also decided to help me document our wine tasting experience with my cameras. Some shots were a little shaky, but they also came up with some interesting compositions. I noted who took what in my Flickr notes.
We ended the day with dinner at Pizza Junction in North Tonawanda. I couldn’t stop munching on the honey garlic Buffalo wings. The Pulled Pork pizza hit the spot after a day of wine tasting. Sweet and savory BBQ sauce paired with succulent meat and baked into a cheesy pie. Heaven. No wonder I gained 5 pounds after this vacation!
A few days later, Guy Fieri followed in our footsteps and shot this local favorite for an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.