I try to eat at locally owned restaurants and I try to shop at locally owned businesses. I accomplished both things this Saturday. A gold star for me, I suppose.
Wife L and I took advantage of the terrific weekend weather and drove south, first to Bowman Lake State Park, which is west and south of Norwich.
It was quite a find for us. A gorgeous lake that has a nice little beach for the summer months. We found a trail that brings you around the lake; a bit mucky at times, but a nice stroll. We were too late for the fall leaves, but the sun threw diamonds on the water, putting us in a warm frame of mind as we fought off the breeze that had just a bit of bite to it.
There is a boathouse, with kayaks, row boats, and paddle boats on standby for summer. The campsites seemed well-kept and varied, and it looked like a great place to hole up for a few days come warmer weather.
After our walk we wound our way back to Norwich and found ourselves, quite happily, at Nina’s Pizzeria and Restaurant, which sits on the west side of Route 12.
Colleague C had recommended Nina’s some time ago, and we finally had a chance to try it. We thought it was great. Good Italian food and good prices. We had a baked ziti and a rigatoni with meatballs. We both thought the sauce was terrific, which is huge when you’re talking Italian. The portions were huge, and we had plenty to bring back to Daughter B for her dinner.
A nice crisp salad had started things off nicely, and warm bread was a solid accompaniment. Our entrees were around $8. Quite a bargain considering the quality and quantity.
I found a couple of bargains across the street, too, at McLaughlin’s Department Store. This shop has been in Norwich since 1975 and it is still in the McLaughlin family.
I’m a horrible shopper. I’d almost rather be at the dentist. I hem and I haw, and I tug at clothes and ponder many deep thoughts before making a purchase. I admit it’s painful to watch and painful to experience. That’s why I make shopping excursions as often as the swallows return to Capistrano.
But McLaughlins came through for me, as a snazzy winter coat is in the closet waiting for the onset of another CNY winter, and a Columbia long sleeve shirt is poised in the closet, waiting for the first cross-country ski trip.
I had felt compelled to send a cell phone photo of the coat to Daughter B before making the decision to buy, to get an objective appraisal. A texted thumbs up sealed the deal.
Gold stars all around.