Around Seneca Lake

After the annual family reunion, John and I took an extra day to explore the Finger Lakes region of New York State. We started Sunday morning at Watkins Glen, where a 3-mile round trip hike follows cascading waters through a narrow gorge. The paved trail even goes behind two waterfalls!

Watkins Glen

Driving north along Seneca Lake, we gazed at sloping hills covered with vineyards. We stopped at Rock Stream, where we tried wine produced with grape varietals unfamiliar to us, for example, dry Niagara (white) and DeChaunac (red), two delicious dry wines. The winery also makes grappa, brandy, and port. Next time!

A short drive took us to our lunch destination: the Wienery. Sausages galore and roasted carrot dogs for vegetarians.

At the Wienery

Inspired by a recent Food and Wine article, we spent the rest of our time in the small town of Geneva at the top of Seneca Lake. Here is the opera house:

Geneva Opera House

I got a scoop of gelato from a coffee shop and then we sidled up to Lake Drum Brewing for samples of their delicious beers and ciders: sour brett, sour red ale, ginger cider, and brown ale.

At 3pm, we checked into the bed and breakfast, which had originally been the home of William Smith, who founded the eponymous college in Geneva. Thunderstorms passed through and we had a chance to relax for a few hours before walking back to town for dinner.

William Smith House

Lake Drum was still the only thing open, so we went back for another round and listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival on their record player.

Up the street at Wicked Water, we sampled lovely wines produced by a Brazilian couple — well, the husband is an engineer who helps out his wife and we had a great time talking with him.

We ate dinner at Halsey’s, a place focused on well-prepared Italian food in a relaxed setting. We shared the house salad with goat cheese, nuts, and cranberries. Then, I had an awesome vegetable pizza covered in caramelized onions, cooked in Halsey’s wood-burning oven. John had the truffle burger with sweet potato fries and amazing crispy brussels sprouts petals. Stuffed and happy, we needed a walk.

Down by the lake, we sat to watch the lightning flash far off over the water. A view of the lake from earlier in the day:

Seneca Lake

Having explored most of the open establishments on that quiet Sunday night, we made one last stop before walking back to the B&B. At the Linden, karaoke night was just starting and though we considered each doing a number, the spirit didn’t move us.

The next morning after a tasty breakfast — eggs baked in bell pepper halves with cheese — in the high-ceiled dining room of the B&B, we drove to the Corning Museum of Glass, part art museum, part science center. We skipped the demos and hands-on sections to enjoy the historical glass and contemporary art collections. What an amazing place with so very much to see.

Corning Musuem of Glass

And then the long drive home! The new fan clutch in our 25-year-old car kept the old girl from overheating. Hurrah!

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