Today, Barb and I went on an all-day date to Ithaca & Cornell University for our anniversary. The drive there was lovely… in our air-conditioned car. It was due to hit 97 degrees today. We sure felt it when we got out at the art museum on campus. The building was modern; the art collection was small but impressive. There was a realistic (acrylic) life-sized nude sitting in the middle of the room on the American Art floor. When I went around the corner, I thought a real person was sitting in the chair. She was gorgeous. Both Barb and I especially liked the visible veins beneath her skin at her breasts. The only thing that didn’t look real was all her hair. It was obviously acrylic and not real human hair. The European Art floor had two absolutely stunning Bogerau paintings. I have always liked his treatment of women’s faces – always so tender and lovely. The guy can paint!
While we still had time on the meter, we took a quick walk down to the nearby gorge. The suspension bridge was sort of funky looking (utilitarian, no panache), but the views of the cascading waterfalls (by the power plant) were nice. When we got back up the hill, we still had 13 minutes on the meter. We guessed that this might not be enough time to walk to our lunch destination, so we decided to drive there. It was a bad decision. There is no parking anywhere on this campus except at the art museum (and if you park there, you must register inside at the desk or your car will get towed – even with money in the meter!). We could not get near our destination (Temple of Zeus eating establishment), so we decided to go to the base of the big hill upon which this campus sits to the Charter House Pub, our possible evening restaurant. It was closed until 4PM (and yes, Cornell U sits on top of a massive hill. Anyone who attends this university had better be in great shape. The parking is at the bottom of the 500’ steep gradient). It was getting to be around 1PM and I needed food – I was getting cranky. We moved on to our possible dinner destination in Lansing. Same story, it was closed until 4PM. There was another brew pub a few miles away so we went there. It was closed until 4PM. I was now very, very hungry. We finally opted to dine at a Japanese Tepanyaki House. Wouldn’t you know it, today was their 10th anniversary as an establishment, so we got 25% off! The food was excellent, and the hibachi chef was the best I had ever seen. He could really flip and spin his cooking utensils. At one point, I was able to catch a flying piece of broccoli in my mouth that he had launched. Barbara missed her piece.
After lunch, we found the Ithaca Falls and quickly took a picture (we were illegally parked in a teacher’s parking lot at the district office). We then found some pretty decent parking half way up the cliff face leading to the campus. It was in the shopping district just outside. We hiked up a bit and made it to the campus. The handy campus map pointed the way… except it was the wrong way. We hiked up to Summit Road and then discovered that we were going parallel with the gorge we were to cross. We headed back, crossed over the bridge and into the Engineering campus. Beyond Engineering, we found the really old buildings of the campus. They were interesting. No A/C inside though, or water fountains. We needed water bad. We got to the information booth just inside the campus and the gal there was very helpful. We got a map she had highlighted. We would now go to the campus information wing which would have more info on some things Barbara wanted to find out (AVID program and “Cornell Notes,” which originated here in the School of Law). The two guys who helped us did not know about either thing, but they looked it up on Wikipedia, then discovered that the professor who invented Cornell Notes was still alive and living in the area (he had taught here in 1940s). They gave us his home address and phone number, but we opted not to call or see him. Barbara left the info office with many brochures. Next up was the campus store. Barb bought a “Cornell” bag and a “Cornell School of Law” shirt. I bought a Gatorade and a water near the one water fountain on campus, which was unfortunately not working (a sign apologized for it’s brokenness, but really, with a store selling water nearby, they weren’t fooling anybody). I was convinced that this was the only water fountain on campus. We peeked into the chapel, then moved on to the massive art quad. I didn’t see much art, so my assumption was that this was the School of Arts. I was correct. We went inside one of the large buildings to see if we could get a water at our potential lunch spot, the Temple of Zeus. It had closed at 2PM. We then went across the quad to the statue of Ezra Cornell, took a few pictures, then headed down the main walkway off campus. I wanted to see the large cathedral-looking structure by the campus tower, but it had been closed at 2PM due to excessive heat. It was now 100 degrees outside. I bought a shirt just off campus, and then we took the car down to the Frats and Sororities so Barb could take some pictures there. We got a text from my mom – power was out at home, so we should go to dinner in Ithaca. We went downhill to the Charter House. It was now open, but there was no parking to be found anywhere within two blocks. There was another Pub a mile away near the Ithaca College, so we went there and found a large parking garage. The Ithaca Ale House was rated 4.5 start on Yelp, so it was bound to be a winner. It was excellent. The beer was good, the appetizer (Buffalo Wing Spring Rolls) was excellent, the burgers and onion rings were excellent. By the time we got home (after another lovely drive), the power was back on. We took a dip in the lake, watched a little TV, then went to bed. The house was not cool. The low for tonight was supposed to be 77 degrees.