It had literally been years, maybe 8 at least, since I had been back to small town Herkimer, NY. Famous for it's "diamond" mines (quartz crystals). I have fond memories of visiting my Papa and our relatives there when I was growing up.
Herkimer county is part of Utica-Rome, NY, north of the Mohawk river. The valley really is a beautiful area with rolling hills and dense trees.
Here's an old photo of Papa and his two daughters, my Mom and my Aunt Marion. This is when there was a porch on the front of the house.
I just love this photo of my Nana and Papa. They look so young and happy. Such a different time. There used to be an ice cream shop across the street. I bet that was a treat!
Today, the building that used to be my great uncle's restaurant, the Top Hat, still stands across the street. I wish I could go back in time and see what it used to be like. My parents wedding reception was there and family dinners and parties.
The main reason for our visit was my Mom's 50th high school reunion. I still find it hard to believe it's been 50 years since my Mom graduated high school. We got to take a tour of Mohawk Central School and see all the changes that have taken place over the years.
After the tour, we headed to Yetty's for none other than their pizza. We always used to get pizza from Yetty's when we came to visit. The secret is their crisp crust and the fact that they put the toppings UNDER the cheese (gotta have sausage and mushrooms). It's so delicious - I wish I had a slice right now!
Yetty's is right around the corner from the church where my parent's got married. I could almost picture my Mom getting out of the car in her wedding gown and walking down the aisle with my Dad, just like the photos in their wedding album.
The next day was the big class reunion at the American Legion in Mohawk.
We got to visit with my Aunt Marion, Uncle Chuck and two of my cousins, Nicole and Danielle that weekend. Aunt Marion joined us at the reunion and they both got to catch up with classmates they hadn't seen in years.
They had a good turnout, with alumni traveling from across the U.S. Even some former faculty were there. It was special meeting everyone and hearing such kind things that people had to say about my Mom. It gave me a glimpse into her high school years and made me appreciate who she is even more and where she grew up.
We made a visit to see my Great Aunt Fanny (who's almost 95 and doesn't look her age!), cousin Theresa, Robbie and Lisa. It was nice catching up with family that we don't get to see - and now we're connected on Facebook so we can keep in touch more. We also stopped to visit Uncle John and Aunt Carol. They still live in their house, taking care of it and taking care of each other.
Before our trip came to a close, we had to make one last stop in Utica, to Florentine Bakery for some pasticciotti pastries. You can't drive to Herkimer and not stop at Florentine. It's just the rules.