Last year was the first time I had visited Ithaca, and I immediately fell in love with it.
Nestled in the beautiful Finger Lake region of upstate New York, Ithaca’s natural beauty is unmatched, highlighted by its rolling hills, Cayuga Lake, breathtaking gorges, and cascading waterfalls. (Ithaca, NY – Visitors)
Home to three universities, education is a major industry. However, for those of us beyond our college years, I am more impressed with the area’s landscape and vineyards. Here, you are sure to find something to please your palette and satisfy your intellect in learning all about the process and history at any particular establishment. Visiting vineyards is a field trip for adults! (Although kids seem to enjoy it, too.)
Overall, if you love the outdoors within close proximity to food, folks, and fun…ITHACA is the place for you!
Last week, Scott and I took our second trip to Ithaca, to celebrate the Fourth of July with our dear friends from Nyack and Rochester, New York. Katie and Carrie are two of my closest friends that I’ve known since college. (I attended Nyack, College in New York.) Carrie and I were Katie’s nannies when she was a mommy of 3 young children. The three of us have kept in touch, all these years. We try to get together once a year.
This year, we planned a special trip in Ithaca, New York. We stayed in a beautiful and charming Bed & Breakfast in the neighboring town of Trumansburg. Here are some of the highlights of our trip. If you ever visit Ithaca, I highly recommend these activities & places!
Lunch at Gorgers. (This was our first stop.) Wow, this place serves the best sandwiches! We talked to Matt, one of the cooks, who was super friendly and helpful! Scott ordered the Bahn Mi, and I ordered the Caribbean Fire with juicy, tender shredded chicken and a sweet & spicy mustard sauce. We were very happy patrons!
After visiting a few local shops, we met Katie and Ed at our Bed & Breakfast in Trumansburg, NY (Just 15 minutes from Ithaca) called The Halsey House. This place is so lovely; just all around extraordinary hospitality, service, and comfort!
After we checked in, the four of us caught up over a delicious dinner at Mahogany Grill in Ithaca, New York. The food and service was outstanding!
After a good night’s sleep, breakfast was a perfect start to the day. The hosts prepared special meals for me so I can adhere to my clean eating (most of the time) diet. It made me feel less guilty since I had dessert every day we were there!
Next, we met Carrie and her daughter, Katie, at Taughannock Falls State Park for a chartered boat ride and wine tour on Lake Cayuga. We booked this excursion with School’s Out Charters (They were awesome!)
**The boat dropped us off at our first vineyard, King Ferry Winery/Treleaven Wines. We sampled several wonderful wines while Katie (Jr.) had some delicious apple juice. Scott and I really enjoyed semi-dry Riesling the best.
By the time we got back to the boat, our captain suggested that we grab our lunches as a storm was coming! We took shelter in a boat house, ate our lunches and lots of snacks, watched the hail storm…and YouTube videos! Scott found a crayfish which entertained us for about seven minutes. The storm cut our trip short, but at least we were refunded the difference in time. Thanks, Captain Rick!
Fortunately, the weather cleared in time for a delicious dinner at The Boatyard Grill, back in town. It was a perfect spot, on the water, to watch the fireworks after dinner.
The next morning was perfect for a walk along the river! We met Carrie’s husband, Greg, and her two sons Andrew and Michael. We got some awesome pictures by the beautiful Taughannock Falls.
Our walk worked up a great appetite for PIZZA & ICE CREAM at two unforgettable spots – Ciao Wood-Fired Pizza (they make gluten-free and vegan pizza) and Purity Ice-Cream which offers ice-cream made with Soy milk. Sorry, I was too busy shoving my face with pizza and ice-cream to take pictures!
The day ended with a picnic at Buttermilk Falls. We played games, took walks, and of course, more pictures. We finished the evening enjoying our picnic dinner watching the falls.
Overall, this was the perfect way to celebrate The Fourth of July. I am truly grateful for opportunities such as these. And, I thank God for the privilege in marveling at His creation and giving thanks with friends whom I adore!