As I am sure you know by now it has become one of my goals in life to run a race in each of the fifty states. This weekend brought Chris and I to Buffalo, New York.
We left Friday in the early morning hours (thanks ma for the ride!)
The Buffalo airport is tiny compared to Logan – it was super simple to collect our luggage and catch a small shuttle to the car rental location.
I am slightly neurotic when it comes to planning trips out – I had made a tentative itinerary before the trip and made a list of ‘must visits’ I found via fellow blogs and other travel articles.
We couldn’t check in to our hotel until 3 so we had planned to go out to breakfast before heading to the zoo.
Looking at reviews, Towne Restaurant kept coming up – we had breakfast here. Perhaps we didn’t have the dishes that people were talking about, now don’t get me wrong the omelet was for sure delicious for sure and the service was good, but we didn’t think that this was ‘out of this world’.
We also decided to stop by Mazurek’s Bakery for a little treat – I had this delicious Bear Claw – Chris loves Rye Bread so we were a little disappointed to see that the shelves had been wiped out already. The very sweet woman working said holiday weekends are wild for them. I would definitely add this little bakery to your list of stops!
Since we do all of these races for me we always try to do something that Chris enjoys as well – since there was no ballpark to visit on this trip we visited the Buffalo Zoo.
This is a small zoo and pretty inexpensive. Even with the numerous field trips visiting it was still an enjoyable experience. It also added to the fun – the small children were so exited and eager to learn about the animals and reptiles. It was also a gorgeous day to be walking around outside.
It was a short drive over to our hotel where we were able to check in a little early and thank goodness because that early morning flight was beginning to catch up to us!
Hyatt Regency – Buffalo staff was extremely friendly and everything was very clean. Checking in the woman was wearing a shirt that said “You Run. We Help” trying to make conversation I asked her about the expo and where that would be – she didn’t know and told me “we won’t know until tomorrow”. Having all my packets I knew where the expo was going to be held so I just carried with light conversation.
I LOVED our room it was a cute little room at the end of the hall on the edge of the building – I wish I took a picture because there is no way I can describe the shape. The room was actually overlooking the starting line for the 5k and gave a small glimpse of the half/full marathon start and finish.
After a quick nap and shower Chris and I had an absolutely amazing dinner at EB Greens Steakhouse. We don’t go out on these fancy dates so it was so much fun to get dressed up and have a delicious meal with each other. We laughed about our fancy dinner etiquette (or lack there of), we had a great time and our waitress was excellent. Towards the end of our dinner there were a few groups of people who came in dressed down and casual that kind of brought the fancy level down a few points, but we were finishing up so it ended up being fine.
After an exhausting day of travel and mini adventures we called it an early night and rented a movie.
We got an early start to the day heading to breakfast at the Atrium located inside the hotel. There was a delicious looking buffet that we both got – as we sat down we laughed about how our eyes are so much bigger than our stomachs, but it was also a proud moment and realization that we have definitely become healthier and we can not eat all the crap we used to anymore.
After the race expo – discussed here – we set off for Niagara Falls.
On our way the GPS tried to take us over the Canadian border which was such funny experience as Chris doesn’t have a current passport so there was a slight panic moment and swift u-turn made right before crossing.
It was the perfect day outside making our visit to Niagara that much more enjoyable – from what I understand they have done a lot of work to the United States side. I hadn’t visited it before so i cannot compare, but it was beautiful. The walkways, the visiting areas, the parks were all very nice.
We stopped at the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch which is always an enjoyable experience.
Later on, we walked to another ‘tourist attraction’ for dinner from our hotel. We walked a mile and a half through the theater district of Buffalo where not much was happening to The Anchor Bar, the home of the original Buffalo Chicken Wings. Personally, I am not a fan of Chicken Wings so I had Chris give me his review on the wings.
As many other reviews have said, the wings are good, but they are not the amazing, must have, holy grail of wings. In Chris’s words, “the were okay” “they were messy, I don’t like that” GOLD – a ground breaking review, I know. He did add that the sweet potato waffle fries with a side of honey were delicious.
I had my pre-race meal of Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo (thank you Carb-Ease, eek). The trip here was all about the experience and to say we did it.
The majority of Sunday was The Buffalo Half Marathon – having to check out at noon and a 7pm flight we had lots of time in between.
We stopped for lunch at the Cheesecake factory and wandered around the mall and stopping at Cabbalas for Chris.
After exploring buffalo a little more we made one more touristy stop before heading to the airport – Duffs. Buffalo redeemed itself in the Chicken Wing department for Chris. As many locals will tell you this is the place to go to over Anchor Bar and I would highly recommend adding it to your list if you are planning to go. Not only for the food, but the service is also top notch.
Waiting in the airport a woman noticed my medal hanging out of my bag and struck up a conversation with me. It turns out her husband(?) had the same goal as me to run in each of the fifty states – his goal also included running a race in his home country of Greece. I won’t put their names in here, but these two were extremely nice and pleasant to chat with. It turns out we ran in a couple of the same races, including my personal favorite last year, the Boston Run to Remember, and we will be running in the Virginia Beach Rock and Roll Half together in September. They also gave us a few ideas on where to go next!
They own a pizza place/restaurant and I cannot wait to visit. Googling it, Chris found out that Tom Brady visits their place often and loves it so obviously it must be good. If you are ever in the Foxboro, MA area check them out at Omega Pizza on Main Street!
Have you visited Buffalo? What are your ‘Must Visits’ there?