Sarah and I have been super fortunate to be able to travel around a lot lately. Our most recent excursion took us up to the Finger Lakes in Ithaca, NY. Typically, as soon as we know where we'll be heading, we immediately get online and research the best stuff to do, take in as many friend recommendations as we can possibly get, and try to jam it all in to a whirlwind 24 hours. The results never disappoint!
Angry Mom Records
Angry Mom Records was a record store for which we received multiple recommendations. We weren't exactly in a position to be spending money on new records, so we didn't map it out before we left. However, we just happened to stumble past the storefront about 7 minutes after arriving to Ithaca. So naturally, we went in, we browsed, and we purchased (duh... you can't pass up Blonde on Blonde when you see it for $8 at an awesome record store!)
It doesn't take much exploring before Sarah and I feel the need to eat some cookies and drink a cup of coffee (or several). Sarah's Patisserie is the perfect spot right near the Ithaca city center for some really fine, delicious macarons. This was my first time ever having a macaron made with chilies, and it definitely won't be my last.
Hopshire Farm and Brewery
Anytime we visit a new place, our brewery radar is always on high alert. Obviously, we knew we'd be visiting Ithaca Brewing, but we wanted to sniff out another operation to visit as well. Upon a friend's recommendation, we headed 10 minutes out of town to Hopshire Farm and Brewery. For just $6 you can get a pretty generous pour of EVERY beer on tap. If you're up in Ithaca, do this for sure. It's a great deal, and the beers are pretty delicious!
Random Book Barn (Phoenix Books)
Stumbling upon random little finds is my favorite. This inexplicable "book barn" was just down the road from Hopshire Farm. Initially, we just stopped to take photos of the barn, but once we approached, we discovered that the porch was jam packed with books to browse, with a note that said "All books on the porch are free." Um.... yes.
Buttermilk Falls was one of two seriously beautiful state parks featuring waterfalls that we visited on this trip. The photos pretty much speak for themselves. Even though the nature up in Ithaca was beautiful, I would be lying if I didn't see a lot of it as just another excuse to play with my new camera.
Ithaca Beer Co.
By this point, all this waterfall scenery was making me thirsty, and it had already been over an HOUR since drinking beers at Hopshire Farm, so we needed to get to our next brewery STAT. Knowing we only had one shot at visiting Ithaca Beer Co, we had to make it count. So we called up an old friend of ours who has spent the last three years working for the brewery. We had a great time catching up, enjoying some brews, trying all the french fry dips, and we were even treated to a private tour of the facility. It's good to know people on the inside!
This super vegetarian-friendly restaurant was far and away the destination most recommended to us. Made famous for their cookbooks, Moosewood Restaurant offers an ever-changing, fresh menu that draws people in from all over. Our meals were certainly as delicious as we were expecting!
Much of our time in Ithaca was spent at our beautiful B&B, the Halsey House. You can read all about our stay here. Typically, I would want to check into our hotel, and get out of there as quickly as possible so we can have more time to roam, but it's hard to leave a place as unique as The Halsey House. I easily could have stayed there all weekend. It is beautiful, comfortable, relaxing and amazing. If you ever need a weekend away, stay at The Halsey House, you won't regret it.
Stunningly beautiful waterfall #2 did not disappoint. The image of this waterfall was in my mind from the moment we knew we were visiting the Finger Lakes, and I was extremely excited to finally see it in person. We didn't take the trail all the way back to stand at the base of the fall, but we did see it from the overlook point. Walking up to that overlook was a fantastic experience. Again, the photos speak for themselves (yet don't come close to doing the live scene justice).
Cornell University Campus
The last thing on our list we wanted to check off quickly before heading out of town was to track down the Nard-Dog. We swung by the Cornell University campus to make some quick jokes about Andy Bernard, snap some pictures, and be able to say "I went to Cornell." Mission accomplished.
Southern Tier Brewing
Of course, we had to take advantage of driving across southern New York and hit up my all time favorite brewery: Southern Tier Brewing in Lakewood, NY. Heading up to Southern Tier to stock up on some cheap bottles of some of the most delicious beers (think Pumking, Creme Brulee, Krampus, Choklat, 2XMass) is an annual tradition of ours, so it was super convenient to just stop by on our way home! It's also a perfect spot for some quick and delicious grub.
Here's to the next great adventure, whatever that may be!
Sarah & Nick