Welcome to Albany!

What a whirlwind of an adventure this weekend has been. Like any big change, it hasn’t quite set in yet, but I’m getting there.

All of a sudden, it was Friday, and a big chapter of my life was coming to a close. It didn’t feel like it was over, but it was. I had said goodbye to everyone, but it never felt like goodbye. It always felt temporary, like I would see my friends again, but I know the permanence of moving to Albany will settle in soon.

The movers arrived in the morning, and I was very anxious to get on the road on time. I was on a time crunch and expected the worst. They took less than an hour to pack up the truck and leave…woah. I was so impressed. I would credit it to my packing skills, but really, these guys are awesome.

I hit the road with my mom, while my dad stayed behind to finish up with the complex, because I would have been late waiting around. Yep, it’s against the rules, but life is life. I may be sued for not upholding a financial obligation, but that’s another blog post for another time.

The drive is nothing exciting, but went by fairly fast. I pulled into the leasing office, and it still didn’t feel real. All of it felt like a quick errand I needed to run. Cut the check, sign the paperwork, get the keys, and watch the movers put everything in my new and overwhelmingly big apartment.

IMG_2739Moving tip that is fairly obvious: labeling boxes as specifically as possible. The movers payed attention to the labels, and every box ended up in the right room. Prioritizing what boxes were opened was super simple, and between myself and my mother, we got it done fairly quickly.

Back to my apartment. Like the women on Say Yes to The Dress who buy a wedding dress, and then get anxious about seeing it six months later, I nearly forgot what my apartment looked like. I walked in to an empty apartment, and immediately noticed how much bigger it was than my old apartment, or that I even remembered. I chalked it up to not having furniture inside of it, but even after it was filled with everything, I couldn’t believe how much empty space there was.  It just means that I have to go shopping for more things to fill it!

The rest of the weekend was equally overwhelming. Being incredibly unfamiliar with this new city, it took a lot of driving around to understand it. I feel a little more comfortable, but certainly something that only comes with time. We drove to malls, Targets, grocery stores, Dollar stores…everywhere.

What my family and I were sure to do before my father left on Saturday was to stop by McGeary’s, known to be a Buffalo Bills Backers bar. What finally made me understand that I wasn’t in Rochester, that this was all for real, was the emptiness my heart felt without seeing Buffalo Bills gear inside of Targets, WalMarts, and Kohl’s stores. Here is Giants and Jets, Boston Red Sox and Syracuse. Tess, the apparent owner or manager of the place, was super welcoming, and very excited to hear that we were coming back to watch the game on Sunday. More on that later.

As I mentioned, this weekend was about figuring out Albany. Like any city, there’s great parts, good parts, parts you shouldn’t go to at night, and parts you shouldn’t go to at all. It’s a slow process to understand it all, but I’ve been so in awe of how quickly the area changes. Back in Buffalo and Rochester, there’s large areas that have the same “feel,” but in Albany, it seems to change every two blocks. Certainly something that takes some getting used to. My mom and I found some noteworthy places to eat, options for a gym, as well as grocery shop. All part of the process!

I went on my first ever run on Sunday morning, which I told myself I would never do again, but probably will anyway. I’ve taken much too much time off of training for my upcoming half (in just about a month, eek!), and I couldn’t make excuses anymore. I had mapped out a route for 3 miles, and focused hard on burning the map I created into my brain.
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The hills here are NO JOKE! Right as I made it to 3 miles, I thought to myself, “I can push to four, no problem! Let’s go Jackie.” That was at the bottom of a hill. I live on the very top of it, and would have to run past my apartment to squeeze another mile in. As I powered up the hill and made it to my apartment, my legs and my brain said “nope, not today.” At least now I’m ready for it the next time I try that route. I made a mental note to find a park to do my long runs in, but have yet to search for one.

Sunday was game day, and that meant McGeary’s. I have never walked into a bar filled with that much Buffalo Bills gear basically ever. It was packed with people, decked out from head to toe. I didn’t find one person wearing anything other than red, white, and blue. It felt awesome, and certainly where I’ll be every Sunday of the football season. I could only assume that everyone in the bar was from Buffalo, especially the loud, drunk fans.

The weekend wound down, and even as I said goodbye to my mom, all of this felt temporary. I’m sitting on my Rochester couch, watching my Rochester TV, and surrounded by my Rochester things, but it all feels strange. Oddly, I feel like I’m in a different state. Maybe it’s the proximity from home that’s making this feel so much more strange than my move to Rochester. Now, I can’t pop back to Geneseo to see my friends, or head home for the day to watch the Bills game. I start a new job on Wednesday, and even that doesn’t feel like it’s truly happening. I’ve found an awesome gym, a new grocery store to love, and a few places to eat…and the adventure is just beginning. I’m sure that a month from now I’ll feel at home, but for now, I’ll take it one day at a time.

3 Replies to “Welcome to Albany!”

  1. Do you live in walking distance of McGeary’s? Awesome place… and a real trip on St. Patrick’s Day. 😉

    Lots of great places around there. Check out the Albany Pump Station and Wolff’s Biergarten while you’re in the neighborhood.

    1. I’m not within walking distance, but I am a very very short drive away 🙂 And I’ve been to the pump station and Biergarten before – they’re awesome! I work right nextdoor to the Biergarten 🙂

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