Ithaca, New York - With Friends

Fashion & Lifestyle, Travel & Leisure

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!

Caribbean Fire Sandwich at Gorgers – Ithaca, NY

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!

The Halsey House, Trumansburg NY

The Halsey House - Trumansburg, New York
The Halsey House – Trumansburg, New York

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!

Mahogany Grill

Grilled Rainbow Trout Special at Mahogany Grill~ Ithaca, NY

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!

Breakfast at The Halsey House ~ Trumansburg, NY
Breakfast at The Halsey House ~ Trumansburg, NY

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!)  

Schools Out Charters - Finger Lakes, NY
On Lake Cayuga with Katie & Carrie
Schools Out Charters - Finger Lakes, NY
On Lake Cayuga with Katie (Carrie’s Daughter). I love this girl!! She is super EXTRAordinary!!

**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.

Trealeven Winery - Tasting Wine...and Apple Juice!
Trealeven Winery – Tasting Wine…and Apple Juice!

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!

Hanging out in the Boat House during out Wine Cruise.

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.

Time for silly face photos!
Cajun Seared Swordfish The BoatYard Grill – Ithaca, NY
Ithaca Fireworks

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.

Walking on rocks on the bank of the River.
Walking on rocks along the bank of the River.
Me and the Girls!
Me and the Girls!
The Gang at Taughannock Falls State Park!
The Gang at Taughannock Falls State Park!
Katie, Jr. making me always!
Katie, Jr. making me smile…as always!

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.

Scott and Andrew playing Ladder Ball.
Scott and Andrew playing Ladder Ball.
Hanging out at Buttermilk Falls!
Hanging out at Buttermilk Falls!
Scott and Michael – Building Rock towers!
Katie, Jr. braiding my hair!
Katie, Jr. braiding my hair!

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!

EXTRA Ordinarily Yours





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  • July 10

    So I recently came across your blog and couldn’t stop reading. I also just recently fell in love with my faith and God a few years ago and enjoyed reading about your love for Christ as well. Only one small detail I left out… I realized you were my second grade teacher…and fourth grade! This is super random, but I wanted to let you know how much I always admired you throughout school and were one of those teachers that you just don’t forget. I was the super quiet girl that no one knew, and you’d always invite me to have lunch with you and truly worked with me to help me come out of my shell. I hope you know the difference you’ve made in others, and by the looks of your blog, it looks like you are continuing to do so, in different ways :). I hope you are well! You may not remember me because I was a quiet little girl who didn’t say too much haha, but my name is Kaitlyn McCarthy and you made my elementary school years a little bit better, so thank you for that 🙂 Keep on loving God, you’re STILL awesome…16 YEARS LATER. Keep up the awesome work 🙂 God Bless!

    • July 10

      Hi Kate,
      I responded to your comment on my last post, “Keeping Priorities in Check”. Let me know if you don’t see it. It is so good to hear from you! I’m glad you are enjoying LE Woman. xo