More on the Finger Lakes Trip

When I posted about Mark’s and my little adventure last night,  I was so tired, it was hard to keep my poor eyes from crossing!  So…lucky you….I will give a bit of a more in-depth look at our little travels.

After dropping the kids off in Penn Yan, we headed out of the village and stopped at my favorite Mennonite store.  I was happy to see they are adding on and was elated to hear they are adding  a bakery and cafe, as well as expanding the bulk foods section.  I picked up a few things there and then we were off to Ithaca.

The drive there took some time, but the scenery was rather nice….lots of rolling hills and stunning views of Seneca Lake below us.  We wound up at the south end of Seneca Lake at Watkins Glen. Watkins Glen is the home of a Nascar racetrack,  and the place explodes with visitors during the summer months.

Here is a view of the outlet of the lake…

south end of Seneca Lake.small

The south end includes a hotel, a large business with guided tours of the lake, a Cargill manufacturing plant,  WalMart, a campground, marina,  a state park,  and Watkins Glen “proper”!  Of course, the race track is located very nearby as well.  The town itself hails more bed and breakfasts than I have ever seen in any village, town, city in such close proximity.  There are beautiful homes, decorated in flowers and the whole place just seems to scream out “tourism”!  I might add that when we have traveled through in other seasons, Watkins Glen is *so* isolated!

On this map of the Finger Lakes , you can see how we began our trip from the south tip of Seneca Lake over to Ithaca, situated on the southern tip of Cayuga Lake.  We drove slightly north and to the east.  When we arrived in Ithaca,  I told Mark I would like to see the two colleges located there.   The two colleges are Ithaca College and the ivy-league school,  Cornell University.

Mark  and I followed the signs up what seemed endless hills until we finally landed at Ithaca College.  The school was beautiful and the views were breathtaking.  Mark and I wondered how anyone could sit in a lecture and not stare out the windows and daydream about the world they were overlooking below! Awesome!

We discovered (ah, the wonders of GPS!) that Cornell University was located not too far from the college.  We drove up hills that seemed fit only for mountain goats!  The houses are literally built into the sides of all the hills.  The streets are so steep that they make our own hill we live on look like a walk in the park!

We reached Cornell University, and the place just was awesome.  The university was founded in 1865 and offers seemingly endless areas of study, much involving research.  There are some schools of repute, such as the law school and veterinary school, to name two.  The architecture on the grounds is nearly as diverse as the areas of study and it was awesome observing the campus.  On the website for the university, it states there are students from all fifty states as well as 120 countries in the fabric that is Cornell University.  We saw so many foreign young people walking about with their parents.  Amazing!

Our visit to “Academia”  ended and as Mark left the area, his knuckles turned white as he headed down streets that seemed to go straight below us!  My own hometown has some wild streets, but Ithaca “takes the cake”!  We decided students must have the most powerful legs living in such an environment! 

As we drove into the city, it seemed that the city was built “upon” the schools located there.  There is everything a person might want right within a short drive.  The restaurants offered all varieties of fare and “downtown” was just awesome!  We made a note that this little town was so “saturated” in activity and school has not even really yet begun! Wow!

We began making our way towards Horseheads, where we stopped at Sam’s Club and did a little shopping.  The weather wasn’t very nice, with rain falling and drizzling much of the time,  but it was perfect, as by the time we had pulled into Sam’s,  a cold front had approached, causing the warm temperatures to fall.  This made it nice for us, as the Scottie boys had accompanied us on our journey.  They were quite content, passed out on the seats as we drove merrily along.  It is edearing to know that our little companions are so comfortable just being in our presence.

After shopping at Sam’s, we looped back around, making our way to our destination to pick up Michelle and her friend, Kelsei.  We drove once again past beautiful scenery and were in awe of the fact that the Finger Lakes region is just a very lovely place to call home!

We passed by the Black Rock Speedway, mentioned in my previous post, where many cars and people had stopped along the road to watch the cars speeding by.  I smiled as I saw what looked like a Mennonite family, including little children, standing  along the road, eyes glued to the high-speed action on the track.  It made me think that we humans all enjoy action!

We arrived back at Jonathan’s house shortly after 10 and picked the girls up.  Ben had been asked to spend the night, along with a few other boys.  They did this last year and they had a ball.  Ben told us he would call early this morning to wake us up and he certanly did.  The phone rang shortly after 6 am!  Jonathan’s family had a wedding to attend at 11 am. so we picked Ben up at about 9. 

I told Mark that since we were already in Penn Yan, we might as well drive on down to  The Windmill . I love this place and I so enjoy walking around in the fresh air! The kids were both tired, so Mark and I went alone and meandered through all of the offerings. We picked up some baked goods from an Amish bakery,  some fresh produce from some lovely young Mennonite girls, and a birthday present. 

When we got back to the truck, we found two passed-out kids and Scotties.  Before finally leaving the area,  we drove over to the far end of the market where Mark and I had spotted a business called Charlie’s Chicken. One need not be around me long to discover my weakness for barbequed chicken meals.  I wish I would have photographed the meal, but I was so hungry, I could barely wait to ge into the vehicle to begin devouring my goods!  It had 1/2 a chicken, a huge roll with butter, salt potatoes, and a heaping helping of macaroni salad.  I shamefully ate all but the thigh and leg of the chicken, which family members were happy to consume for me!  I plan to grow hungry on Saturdays for BBQ chicken from now on!

Here are some photos I took today…

young man driving market offerings.small

off to market amid the traffic.small

mural on the side of building.small

farm fresh produce and bakery goods from windmill.small

And I shall leave you with a slice of virtual Walnut Layer Cake.  Oh my GOODNESS! I bought this from an Amish fellow by the last name of Stoltzfus.   When I enquired how he managed to stay so slim, he advised it takes a “lot of work” to bake all the goodies offered! He also told me that both he and his brother own bakeries.  The only problem is, if *you* want some of them, you must travel either to the Windmill, or the bakeries in Romulus!

instant addiction.small

instant addiction uner the guise of Walnut Layer Cake!