Sometimes one just needs to get away.
These past couple of months I have been home working and dealing with all the fun of getting the kids acclimated to school and schedules and routines. In between, my days have been consumed with work and emails and deadlines.
At the end of the day, when kids are in bed, my husband and I are left with very little to give each other other than warm cuddles on the couch in front of the television falling asleep to polar bears on the Discovering Channel. After a few weeks of this, one starts to feel a little older, a little less exciting, a shadow of who we used to be a few years before.
So this weekend, we decided to go away. Just us two. Work was taking me back up to the Finger Lakes region, and I decided it would be a great opportunity to enjoy some romantic time once all the work obligations were done.
I absolutely love the Finger Lakes. When I went with my girlfriend this past summer, I felt the trip was too short for all that there is to do and though this trip was going to be even shorter, it was also one of the best times to visit.
This is probably one of the last weekends where the Fall foliage will be at full display – we were so lucky to witness it. For this road trip, we drove a 2013 Camaro SS. Red. Convertible.
I did the mad rush around the house making sure the kids and my sister (who was caring for them) had everything they needed for the weekend, I stripped myself of the exhaustion wearing me down and stepped into the car, leaving it all behind.
The red leather seats, which were especially nice when heated, cradled my body nice and low. I looked over at my husband, with his Ray Bans on, looking super sexy as he drove us out into the sunset on Interstate 80.
We switched our XM radio selection to the 80s station and just like that we started feeling the life flowing through our veins again – two crazy kids singing Def Leppard and U2 songs at the top of our lungs. Nobody but us in the world.
As guests of the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, we had a chance to visit a local dairy farm and meet dairy farmers and discuss issues that concern us as consumers and as families, go on a hayride, as well as wine and dine with them. More on this soon. When done with my work responsibilities, my husband and I drove around captivated by the colors in the hillsides and valleys.
We met up with my Finger Lakes friend, AJ and took the Fall Sky Ride up Bristol Mountain, a 2,200 foot elevation at the mountain summit. Bristol Mountain doesn’t have a hotel for guests to stay in, but there are a lot of condos and apartments guests can rent either on or around the mountain. During the winter months, the mountains offers tons to do, from skiing to snowboarding and lessons. And though snow hasn’t touched the mountains yet, the views alone from this, the highest vertical between the Adirondack/Laurentian Mountains of the east and the Rocky Mountains of the west, makes it worth a visit a little early.
It rained on the way up the mountain. Cold, hard rain. But we didn’t care. Surrounded by the golden colors of the trees around us, the quiet of the same, and then greeted by the rainbow as we made our way down made the experience one I will be smiling about for a long, long time.
We stopped at some of our favorite places: Bristol Scenic Overlook, Monica’s Pies in Naples for grape pie, apple pie and some homemade jams. We ate at Simply Crepes, where I once again indulged in the Oatmeal Crème brûlée, and restocked our supply of olive oils and balsamic vinegars from F. Oliver’s (check out these and other favorite eateries in my foodie report on Finger Lakes).
The morning before we left, we traveled 30 minutes away from Canandaigua to Geneva, NY, along Seneca Lake. When you visit, stop into Opus Espresso and Food Bar (formerly known as Opus Espresso and Wine Bar) and order their breakfast burrito. One fed both of us pretty good – well, that and the Apple Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffin as well as their really, really good latte.
A walk along Seneca Lake while holding hands helped to end a short romantic escape that renewed our spirits and our energy. We couldn’t stop smiling at how perfect it had all been. The Finger Lakes has been magical for me like that.
We packed up the car with wine and food from the area (it’s so hard to not splurge on the food and wine here, it’s some of the best of both in the state) and made our way back home. We drove past pumpkin patches and farms, corn fields and cows, and beautiful Victorian homes all decked out for Halloween.
At one point, my husband took the top down on the Camaro and we laughed like excited children as the wind messed up our hair, with the music playing our favorite tunes. We felt renewed, reconnected, and refocused on life’s joys. The golden colors of Fall continued on the way home, with the sun getting warmer and warmer as we got closer to our children.
I leaned my head back on my seat and looked up at the sky. Hawks flew by distracting me from the never-ending blue above me, filling my heart with enough “happy” to last me for days and days.
Everyday life routines have a way of taking over and consuming our days and our spirits. Taking the time to get away, even if just for a weekend or a day, can make all the difference in getting you back on track and to your happy place.
Where We Stayed
During this trip we stayed at The Inn on The Lake. The views of Canandaigua Lake adjacent to the hotel are breathtaking, though the Inn itself needs some TLC. It’s a popular destination, especially for conferences and group gatherings. I would also imagine that for wedding parties it would be a great place to stay because of the lake access and views, but the rooms are small, and need renovation and the walls are very thin. The rooms were clean and the staff courteous. The in-house restaurant and lobby seem to be in better condition, and I won’t deny that having my morning coffee while overlooking the lake was a pretty spectacular way to start my day. I also enjoyed that the Inn was pretty central to a lot: a short drive from Main Street, which is the main strip to the downtown shops and restaurants in the area, and right near kayaking and other lakes activities, as well as the New York Culinary Center, where we took part in a cooking class last time I visited, and a cooking demo this time around, courtesy of the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, who was hosting us.