It’s Monday! And as promised, The Wife and I are back from our too-brief (aren’t they all?) weekend getaway. After the general shit-show that was Summer 2022 for us, we really needed a nice getaway. And that’s exactly what we had. The focus was the Ithaca Apple Festival, with a few stops here and there along the way.
I always plan on taking a lot more photos in Ithaca than I do! It’s weird, really. I just get caught up in people-watching and looking at all the wonderful stuff that I don’t get my phone or my camera out much.
Now, Taughannock Falls? That’s where I take a bunch of pictures. Here are a few from this year.
We stop at Taughannock Falls every year. It just doesn’t seem right to visit Ithaca without stopping here. There’s something about all the streams and water and waterfalls and rocky gorges and deep verdant forests in this region that add up to it being my spiritual home.
Starting now, of course, there’s also a bittersweet quality to this place. We brought Cane here several times, while on our winter winery trip. I’d like to think that he had some hand in making this year’s visit almost perfect, with the beginnings of the autumnal crisp in the air and the perfect golden light.
We also stopped at a winery that had a great view! The wines weren’t to our taste, but the view sure was. (Nothing wrong with their wine; they specialize in dry wines, and we generally prefer the other end of that spectrum, being more into fruity and vibrant and sometimes outright sweet.)
On Sunday we set out for home, with a couple stops along the way, including the Barnes&Noble in Pittsford. This is the most beautiful B&N that I have ever seen:
Of course, we ate very well on this little trip. We always plan our meals, partly because when we’re traveling we want to eat well, but also because The Wife is celiac which always requires some extra planning. Luckily we’ve found a bunch of places all throughout the region that have gluten-free offerings…though sadly, one of our favorites, is closing for good in a few weeks. Ithaca’s Waffle Frolic has been a beloved stop of ours for almost as long as we’ve been going to Ithaca at all, but the owners have decided to move on. We’ll find other options, but a special shout-out to all the times we stopped there for fried chicken and waffles! I remember when I first heard of that combo and thought it was the weirdest thing ever, until we tried it at Waffle Frolic and…suddenly, we got it.
I think this winter I’m going to have to figure out my own version of it.
I won’t subject you to pictures of all the food we had, but just a couple things:
That’s a Cuban sandwich from the Broadway Deli right here in Lancaster, NY. We love to start our road-trips east with a stop here for lunch, before we exit the 716. They have a wonderful sandwich menu, and yet somehow they’re never mentioned in local “Best Sandwich in Buffalo” rankings! They’ve got my vote, though.
We also love getting breakfast on Sunday morning at a place in Pittsford called Simply Crepes. (There are several locations around Greater Rochester, by the way.) They have a terrific menu, lots of GF options, and…well, if you’re looking for hearty-and-filling-and-not-exactly-healthy in your breakfast (and you absolutely should look for those things in a breakfast, maybe not all the time, but once in a while), you should look no farther. Here is my “Crepe Madame”, a crepe loaded with cheese and ham and smothered with white sauce and topped with a fried egg and served with two pools of bacon jam:
I really love places like Simply Crepes. There’s something about local breakfast joints (they’re not just a breakfast joint, to be fair), the kind of place where you go on a cold fall morning to cup your hands around the coffee mug before the food comes. It’s the kind of place that fills up first with kind-of bleary-eyed people mostly clad in soft flannels and their hair in messy buns, the kind of crowd that you can watch wake up as they drink their coffee and eat their breakfasts. The mood shifts later on, once the post-church “Sunday Best” people start showing up. The new mood then isn’t bad, per se, but it’s more formal and less patient.
Simply Crepes is located in Schoen Place in Pittsford, which is an old industry and trade center right on the Erie Canal. I imagine barges laden with goods used to arrive here, or empty barges arrived to be laden with goods; there’s a grain elevator down the street that has been converted to office space. The area has a terrific vibe that I think Buffalo is trying to capture with its inner harbor area.
I think that my favorite New York region, after the Finger Lakes and Buffalo Niagara, is the Erie Canal corridor and the old rail corridor that runs sometimes alongside the Canal and at other times ten to twenty miles south of it. All those old towns along the Canal and the once great railroads have such wonderful age and character to them, with a sense of weathered history connecting all of it. You can see plainly that in a lot of these towns the boom-times are long over, but you can also see that the people still there are working hard to keep their towns stubbornly alive. Yes, there are a lot of empty buildings in states of decay, but there are also lots of said old buildings with obvious work going on and “Coming Soon!” signs in the windows, announcing new businesses. There are a lot of people who are unwilling to give up on New York, and I salute them, each and every one.
Let’s see, what else? I got a little writing done this weekend, in the hotel room. Not much, but a little. As long as the words keep trickling, it’s fine.
Also, it was a great weekend for my new fashion concept of the last year or two, the “Renfest Cottagecore” thing I’ve been working on.
There were a lot of people in Ithaca wearing overalls, so I can honestly say that they’re finally back! Their banishment during the 2000s and quite a bit of the 10s made for a “lonely soldier assigned to a solitary remote outpost” feel for me during a lot of that period. I hope they stick around now that they’ve recovered from their banishment during that mostly-ugly era of form-fitting, show-every-curve period of fashion that was really pretty unpleasant.
The Universe actually gave me some direct confirmation of my fashion concept yesterday: an employee at Trader Joe’s complimented my shirt, and then, half an hour later, an employee at Barnes&Noble said, “I love your overalls!”
It’s the little things, isn’t it?
Anyway, we’re home now. I’m not back to work for a few days–I always make my autumn vacation a good long one–but we’re home. Back to a bit of normal life, some of which we actually missed. Which things would those be? Well….
“Well, I’m back,” indeed!