Party in the Harbor


Since Jess started a new job right before the wedding, we had to cancel our honeymoon.  It was a complete bummer.  Even though we planned a few mini vacations for later in the year, we still wanted to celebrate. So…we decided to visit Jess’s college town of Oswego during its busiest weekend – Harborfest!

Harborfest is a four day festival with several locations throughout the city, all within walking distance.

We arrived Friday afternoon.  After checking into the most expensive Quality Inn I’ve ever stayed at, we ventured to Greene’s Ale House, a staple of Jess’s drunken past.  (Yes, I will be touring you around all of the college hotspots.  Some, we were sad to discover, no longer exist).

After Greene’s Ale House, we continued to Breitbeck Park on foot.  Breitbeck is the heart of the festival.

We went to the park initially to see the Night Ranger concert, but when we got there, we were surprised that the nearby baseball field was hosting helicopter rides for only $20.  I mean…YES!  Jess and I had to get in on the action!  We figured Night Ranger would play their least popular songs first, so we headed for the line.  After a 45 minute wait, we boarded the helicopter.  The helicopter looked quick and fierce from the ground, but it was smooth and relaxing in the air.  My stomach was tense from the build up of anticipation.  I was mentally preparing myself for motion sickness, but as soon as we took off, all of that anxiety fell away.

Taking a nighttime ride was so exciting because you could see the sparkling lights shimmering off of Lake Ontario. It was amazing, and much too short-lived.  I would love to go on a longer ride someday soon!

We finished in time to catch “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and “Sister Christian”.  It was a perfect evening!

Saturday morning, we woke up, had our continental breakfast and ventured out for the day!  We walked around Riverwalk West and East, checking out the various vendors.

We discovered a really cool trail that followed the Oswego River.  The cement wall lining the trail had a stream of murals from years past.  We not only enjoyed the breeze from the river, but the artwork was a plus too.

After our walk, we were starved.  A friend of mine had recommended Dino’s House of Burgers, a new Oswego staple.  It was one of the best recommendations I had ever received.  First of all, the wide variety of burgers came with interesting toppings including mozzarella sticks, onion rings, fries, grilled cheese sandwiches (yes-on the burger!), BBQ wings, chili and macaroni and cheese.

The Train Wreck

Not only did they have amazing burgers, but I am excited to tell you cheese lovers out there, that they had a variety of Mac n’ Cheeses.  I had the Lobster Mac, and it was literally the best thing I had eaten in 10 years!

Yum…now I want to go back.

After lunch, we headed over to Water Street to visit Old City.  This was a place frequented by Jess in his college days.  Of course, he was dismayed by the removal of the pool tables. But he was easily consoled with a nice, cold brewski.  The former city hall was transformed into an eclectic bar in the 80s.  It was a pretty awesome place to relax and have a drink.

In a continued effort to not lose the nostalgic feel of college days past, we headed to the sub shop for the subs I have heard so much about.

The place didn’t look like much, but the food was amazing!  One of the best subs I have ever had.  (I feel like I have said that about all the food from this weekend, but the food was delicious.)

After dinner, we headed to Breitbeck park for fireworks.  These aren’t just your ordinary fireworks.  The fireworks were coordinated to music-a splendid grand finale of colors and designs over Lake Ontario.  While waiting for the fireworks, Jess and I watched the sunset.  Beautiful!

Sunday we woke up, not quite ready to leave Oswego.  There was one more thing we needed to do!  You guessed it!  Visit the campus.

A very, very excited Jess took me on a tour of his old stomping grounds, starting with Funnelle Hall, his old dorm.  We then continued to tour the rest of campus.  This tour included many, many personal anecdotes filled with fond memories.

The campus sits right on the shore of Lake Ontario, which adds to its charm.  However, nothing beats Potsdam, my alma mater! 🙂

After a descriptive tour, Jess and I decided to end our mini, mini, mini honeymoon with Rudy’s.  Jess raved about this place for weeks, preparing me for our Oswego adventure.  And I have to say…it lived up to its expectations.

Rudy’s is a fried seafood restaurant with a significant menu.  I got clam strips and poutine, and the food was amazing.  What was even better were the picnic tables lining the coast of Lake Ontario.  So…we ate and enjoyed the view.

All in all, it was a fabulous weekend of festivals, fireworks and food.  I would recommend Harborfest to anyone wanting to get away for a weekend.