Gentle Reader, my apologies for taking such a long time to post again. All I can say is that sometimes living life gets in the way of sharing it. Betsy and I saw and did a lot before I left the area, and I finally have a few moments to share it with you. One of the first things we did after I got to her house was go to the Full Plate Farm Collectives to pick up her share of produce for the week.   Here’s a description of the benefits of CSAs from the website EcoLife:

These arrangements involve a consumer (you) purchasing shares (also called memberships or subscriptions) from a farmer. In exchange, you receive a weekly box (container, bag, basket) of local food grown seasonally on the farm. You may also be asked to spend time working on the farm to help out. This way, the benefits of a bumper crop are shared equally among the members, as are the challenges of a lean year.

We picked up mixed salad greens, arugula, basil, yummy whole grain bread and a few other things I can’t remember. The pickup site was located in a barn, and it had the feel of the Fayetteville farmer’s market in that everyone was friendly and chatting, and few seemed in a hurry.

After lunch we set out for more adventure. Our first stop was Ports of New York. Port wines are delicious, sweet sipping wines usually enjoyed after dinner–my definition. Read a more refined explanation here. When we arrived, we were met by our gracious host, knowledgeable wine maker and owner, Frédérick Bouché. Ports of NYThe winery’s informational brochure describes it this way:

Located in the city of Ithaca, Ports of New York is a small artisinal urban winery where Meleau™ Specialty Wines are produced. All Vinifera grapes are grown on the east shore of Seneca Lake.

Neither sweet nor dry and light in body, these wines belong to a unique category of fine Port vinification method wines. After fermentation is stopped with the addition of a 170 proof grape spirit, these wines are aged for a minimum of 4 years in a neutral oak Solera wine cellar before being bottled.

The name Meleau™ is pronounced, mellow. It is a Latin and French word which means nectar and spirit. Nectar because the yeast is grown in honey “mel” and spirit for “eau”-die-vie.



Wine maker Bouché spent a good deal of time with us, explaining the wine making process, sharing his family’s wine making history and explaining the uses of the antique wine making equipment he had on display. I do like port and so Betsy made this stop for me. After the touring came the best part–tasting. I tasted three wines including two red, one comparable to a tawny port and the other a similar to a ruby (but better), and a white port. They were each delicious in different ways. I remember commenting that the white reminded me of an ice wine. On the way out, Frédéric gave me two small bottles to take with, for which I was most appreciative. If you’re in Ithaca, stop by. I know he would be happy to visit with you too.

Ithaca Falls Street View

Ithaca Falls Street View

Our next stop was Ithaca Falls. Yep, Ithaca has a lovely waterfall right in the heart of the city. We stopped at an area off the parking lot, but then saw folks climbing a trail. Being that we were on an adventure, we decided to follow. Well, it was a good thing we did, because the view was lovely and quite different than the one from the street.

Ithaca Falls from the Path

Ithaca Falls from the Path


After seeing the falls, we realized we’d better get a move on it because we still had a lot to see before our evening engagement (more on that in a bit). We headed northeast to Auburn, New York, which is home to many historical sights. Of most interest to me however, was seeing the Harriet Tubman Home and “Old Folks Home.” On the way, Betsy told me more about the area. For example, I’d never heard of the Seward House. William Henry Seward, I later learned from the website I’ve linked to, was a New York State Senator, Governor of New York, a United States Senator, and served as Secretary of State in the Lincoln and Johnson administrations.  The website dedicated to the house, describes it this way:

“This beautiful estate is surrounded by two acres of lush garden and trees. The elegant interior has been restored to its original beauty and features an unmatched collection of political and travel souvenirs, decorative arts and photographs that spans William Seward’s nearly forty-year political career.”

We drove by, but missed the visiting hours. It’s on a “to do” list for the next trip.

When we arrived at the Tubman property, it was closing time.  I was in a panic, which the kind docent could clearly see. “I came all the way from Arkansas!” Graciously, she gave us a few minutes to look around. I was able to snap these photos, but didn’t get to linger over the exhibits. The site, run by the AME Church, sits on 26 acres of land. It contains four buildings, two of which Tubman was known to use, including her house and a home she established for the elderly.


Harriet Tubman is a sheroe. An escaped slave who made numerous trips back south to free others who were enslaved. Her courage, faith and sacrifice on behalf of others, is inspirational. She is quoted as saying, “I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves,” and “I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.” You can read much more about her in the links I’ve posted above and here.

There was much to see in Auburn, but we were running short on time. We managed to make a quick stop at another historical site that piqued my interest. However, given our short window of opportunity we had to make choices. I opted to see the Willard Memorial Chapel before we left Auburn because it is the only intact, unaltered chapel containing Tiffany glass, known to exist. Unfortunately, the chapel too was closed and I only have these pictures of the outside of the chapel.

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On our drive back to Ithaca we stopped in Moravia, New York. There we checked out a general store, Jennings, that has been in existence since 1860 and is on the historic registry. I wasn’t thinking when we went in, so I didn’t take my iPhone in for pictures (duh). It was really interesting though, and much of the history was posted on the walls, including a resolution by the state legislature acknowledging the store’s history and significance. The owner shared the stories about it’s history, and its transformations over time. There was an old cash register that could only accommodate prices up to $99.99. The current owner told us how, before the new one arrived, the former owners had to ring large orders up over several tickets. He showed us a safe that Superman couldn’t lift (at least I don’t think so), and let us poke around the store to our hearts’ content. When we were about to leave, he suggested we stop at the Methodist church in town, which is on the historic registry as well, because of the amazing wood carvings inside. It was locked, so we didn’t get to see them. We did however, find a terrific ice cream parlor right across from the church. Since the day was beastly hot, we felt justified with our decision to enjoy a treat.

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Back on the road again there was one final stop, at Fillmore Glen State Park. Why? Well, why else? Because it had a waterfall! As described in Wikipedia, “The primary attractions of the park are the hiking trails with views of a stream and several waterfalls, and the swimming pond, made by damming the stream. It also features a (replica) log cabin near the birthplace of President Millard Fillmore.” We of course hiked in to see a waterfall and took a few minutes to look inside the cabin. This waterfall wasn’t spectacular, but it was pretty and worth the short hike in.

Fillmore Glen State Park




Replica of Fillmore Cabin

Returning to Ithaca, we didn’t have very long to dress for our evening outing. We went to see Around the World in 80 Days at the Hangar Theatre. Surprisingly, we arrived early, so we sat outside and enjoyed refreshments from the Hangar Cafe. Although it had been described as hilarious, it really didn’t tickle either of our funny bones, nor did we observe anyone else in the audience in stitches. Perhaps it was just us though, because it received this good review on

Betsy at Hangar Theatre

Betsy at Hangar Theatre

The next day we set out to tackle the wine trail, but first Betsy went off and picked fresh strawberries while I played the role of the vacationer and read a novel. We headed north and stopped off in Watkins Glen, which is home to auto racing. If you are a racing enthusiast, check out the site. It mentions Ferrari and NASCAR races. Our reason for visiting was nothing as glamorous as racing. We were looking for a pair of Croc-like shoes for me. Sadly the store that once carried them was out of stock.

We did have a great lunch though at the Wildflower Cafe. The Cafe was connected to the Crooked Rooster Fish Brewpub, which featured local craft ales. Betsy enjoyed great fish tacos, and I had a yummy crab cake club with sweet potato fries. From there we went to see–wait for it-yep, another waterfall. I admit it, I couldn’t get enough of seeing them. So gracious the hostess that she is, Betsy accommodated my obsession. When we pulled up to the park, there were six bikes (Harleys) there, and I had a chance to visit with the bikers. They were great folks, of course, and I ended up taking a picture for them  on their bikes before they pulled off. Sadly, it was to be my last visit to a waterfall, but I certainly enjoyed seeing them all.

watkins glen Watkins Glen2


When we left Watkins Glen we headed north on the east Seneca Lake Wine trail. Betsy was the designated driver and it was my day to taste the wines of upstate New York. As daunting a task as that might be given all the wineries, we only stopped at two. The first was Damiani Wine Cellars. I enjoyed several of their wines and purchased a bottle of the Sauvignon Blanc to take to dinner with Betsy’s family. My favorite was the Bollicini described as off-dry– a blend of Cayuga, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir–a nod to Italy’s Prosecco. We learned a lot about the vineyard, and the various wines, and even where the vintners received their training. The tasting, surroundings and staff at Damiani were all quite pleasant.

The next winery we visited was a new one, Ryan William. It’s so new it’s difficult to find on the maps, but since Frédéric recommended them both, we were determined to check them out.


Ryan William was set back from the road and we almost missed it, but Betsy spotted the sign on the left just in time. The tasting room was small but attractive. To my surprise and delight, one of the guys there was jamming some old school R & B and funk. Just goes to show, you never know. Needless to say, the tunes were quite the ice breaker and we visited with them for a while, during which I played the role of official taster. My favorite wine was the Late Harvest Riesling.

Ryan WilliamOur destination as we headed north was Geneva to have dinner with Betsy’s family at the yacht club. However, we were distracted one more time by an interesting looking craft store.

Unexpected stop.jpg45 minutes and a few purchases later, we were back on the road again to Geneva. Once there,  we enjoyed the cool lake breezes and a fresh, light flavorful dinner in great company and beautiful surroundings.




Shese arrangements involve a consumer (you) purchasing shares (also called memberships or subscriptions) from a farmer. In exchange, you receive a weekly box (container, bag, basket) of local food grown seasonally on the farm. You may also be asked to spend time working on the farm to help out. This way, the benefits of a bumper crop are shared equally among the members, as are the challenges of a lean year. – See more at:
hese arrangements involve a consumer (you) purchasing shares (also called memberships or subscriptions) from a farmer. In exchange, you receive a weekly box (container, bag, basket) of local food grown seasonally on the farm. You may also be asked to spend time working on the farm to help out. This way, the benefits of a bumper crop are shared equally among the members, as are the challenges of a lean year. – See more at: