During just over three weeks in the US, I’ve spent a grand total of three days away from camp – arguably, one of those days was actually spent at camp, given that it’s the day I arrived. Having landed in New York late on my first evening, I travelled into the city and stayed at a hostel, where I spent part of day one (the remainder was spent on a bus and then at camp). So perhaps that doesn’t even count.
We’d been on-site for a further three days when we were freed for the first time, and turned loose into the aisles of Walmart. I have serious opinions on supermarkets in the first place, and Walmart managed to anger me even more than the local branch of Sainsbury’s back in the UK: the aisles don’t match up! A cunning trick designed to confuse the shopper and entice them into piling their cart higher in a bid for freedom during their search for the checkout, but nonetheless a panic-buy-inducing experience.
Sanity just about still intact, we continued across the retail park we’d been abandoned in – on foot, because we are tourists – and found ourselves in an incredibly well-appointed cinema. For a mere $6, we were able to luxuriate in leather recliner chairs the size of first class aeroplane seats, large enough to curl up in, and comfortable enough to take a nap when we tired of gazing at Leonardo di Caprio’s patented scowl. If anything can put Binghamton on the map, it’s the movie theatre.
My final excursion away from camp grounds to date has been to the college town of Ithaca. Unfortunately, the British weather joined us, and my dream of wearing something other than my riding boots and a jacket covered in horse slobber is still yet to be fulfilled. The weather spoiled not only my outfit, but also our enjoyment of the town – the renovation works in the town centre also failed to help matters. Fortunately, although the local waterfalls looked less than stunning through the drizzle, we had loftier ambitions.
Our requirements for the day were simple: consume caffeinated beverages (although the coffee at camp is supposedly caffeinated, we all know the truth); eat a meal from a non-disposable plate using re-useable cutlery; enjoy an adult beverage.
I checked all three items off the list in an impressively quick time – the definition of enjoying simple pleasures. I’m not currently planning on joining the next trip off-site on 2 July, as it’s to somewhere I may visit post-camp, but I doubt my list of requirements for my next trip out will change much from the previous trip!