Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards — Best in the US!

Imagine an apple orchard with something interesting for everyone in the family — that would be Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards.

Continue Reading October 11, 2015 at 12:26 pm Leave a comment

Our Camping Trip At Sampson State Park

Camping at Sampson State Park – NYS – Romulus, NY

Source: Our Camping Trip At Sampson State Park

September 21, 2015 at 7:42 pm Leave a comment

Pittsford Farms Dairy: Old-Fashioned Flavor

PittsfordFarms Dairy4 Pittsford Farms Dairy products have been enjoyed for more than a century. Founded in 1880, the 200-acre working farm became an established dairy farm, and by 1888, began producing milk in glass bottles — something the farm still does today.

Pittsford Farms Dairy continues to be a owned and run by the Corby family. They produce milk, amazing chocolate milk, fresh butter, killer egg nog, and many creative flavors of ice cream — like Red Raspberry or Rugged Rower ice cream.

PittsfordFarms Dairy2They pasteurize the milk at a lower temperature. It’s a little less processed, it takes a little longer, but it has better body and is a little sweeter, and has a longer shelf life. Most large dairy farms pasteurize milk at 172 degrees Fahrenheit, while Pittsford Farms Dairy pasteurizes it at 145 degrees. This traditional method heats milk gently. The flavor makes the extra effort worthwhile.

The family opened a new building in 2013 which includes a retail store, ice cream parlor and bakery complete with with milk-bottle chandeliers, and vintage-jug seating at a common table. In the rear of the building there is a state of the art processing plant with viewing window which allows the visitors to see the milk being bottled in glass bottles and ice cream being made by hand in small batches, the old fashioned way.

PittsfordFarms Dairy3Located at 44 N. Main St., Pittsford, NY 14534

July 20, 2015 at 2:38 am Leave a comment

Museum of the Earth: Fossilized Finger Lakes

Located between Trumansburg and Ithaca

The museum is located between Trumansburg and Ithaca

Museum of the Earth, fossil wall

If you grew up in the Finger Lakes area, you have probably seen fossils  in cliff walls or on the bottom of a lake. The Finger Lakes area was once part of a much larger warm shallow sea. Visiting this area for the first time? Get your hands on some wonderful fossils at the Museum of the Earth, just outside of Ithaca, NY.

The museum has over 3 million fossils, making it one of the largest collections in the U.S.

There is a long mural (544 separate paintings), that stretches along a walkway between the main floor and the displays below. Each painting equals one million years with life-size fossils, displayed in order, representing 550 million years. The reign of man does not even make a single panel. ULP!

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 8.22.07 PMI discovered something new on my visit:  We have lovely round rocks on Skaneatleles Lake that can be found in cliff walls with sedimentary layers. Some of them have geodes inside, if split open.

Growing up, we thought they must be fossilized dinosaur eggs. Turns out they are more like pearls – concretions formed around pieces of crystalized calcite (sand). (See photo above)

The Paleontological Research Institution & Museum of the Earth

1259 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca, NY 14850

Ph: (607) 273-6623

Summer (Memorial Day – Labor Day):
Mon – Sat: 10am – 5pm; Sun: 11am – 5pm
Winter (Labor Day – Memorial Day):
Same as Summer, EXCEPT closed Tues & Wed

June 5, 2015 at 10:38 pm Leave a comment

Argos Inn: Ithaca

Argo Inn Bar

The downstairs has a big bar with room for a band and a wonderful selection of craft cocktails.

A night at the Argos Inn located in Ithaca, NY reminded me of some of the spots we stayed at in Italy and Spain. Historic structures refurbished with modern finishings to provide elegant and comfortable lodging.

Ou room had the high ceilings of an nineteenth century home but  also heated slate floors in the bathroom, Nest for managing room temp and Apple TV, which we could not get to work.

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 9.11.00 PMMy favorite amenity was the floor to ceiling window in the bath facing the street. Natural light floods this home making it seem airy and modern.

The room H/V system cycled on and off noisily all night waking me up each time. The beds are super comfortable, allowing me to fall back asleep quickly and there was no detectable street noise until after 7am.

Best part for me: a giant picture window in my bathroom looking out on downtown Ithaca. Lovely.

A long table in the breakfast sun room.

There is a wonderful bar on the main floor that often has live music. The sun porch is windowed and well heated making for a splendid breakfast room.

This is not an inexpensive stay — but it is a worthy investment. If you love unique and tastefully restored homes, check this out.

April 8, 2015 at 1:23 am 1 comment

Le Cafe Cent Dix, French Cuisine in Ithaca New York

Chevre and Onion Tart ‚ order it at Le Cafe Cent Dix, eat it and die happy.

Continue Reading April 1, 2015 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

A Spring Visit to 1837 Cobblestone Cottage B&B, Canandaigua NY

Stay in one of the most beautiful Cobblestone homes in America.

Stay in one of the most beautiful Cobblestone homes in America.

Imagine having travelers arriving at your doorstep every day of the year. You have a sparkling clean house and you’re ready to prepare a delicious gourmet breakfast. When everyone else goes on vacation — you get to work!

If there is a “B&B gene,” Joe & Kathy LoVerde both possess it. They are the owners of the 178 year-old Cobblestone Cottage Bed & Breakfast in Canandaigua.

What possesses someone to own and operate a B&B? Many couples look forward to and breathe a sigh of tired relief as kids go to college. Their house is finally quiet. But the LoVerdes craved a new challenge: Joe is a remodeling expert and Kathy loves decorating and cherishes her time in the kitchen.

Cobblestone Cottage Living Room

Kathy loves the creative challenge of keeping things new and fresh. The Cottage’s interior is bright and sunny with large windows. She has artfully combined the charm of combining antiques with (modern) super-comfy king-sized beds and private baths in each room.

 Kathy observes that guests who stay at B&Bs are looking for a different experience: Unlike a hotel, you share social space with the owner and other guests, plus the unique experience of staying in a local landmark.

Isaac Parish Bedroom

Isaac Parish Suite

This lovely stone house was built for Isaac Parrish, builder and captain of the first steamboat on Canandaigua Lake. “Lady of the Lake”, was launched from his farm in 1827. Like many “lake” homes in the 19th century the 257 acres, including 1,900 ft of lake frontage, was used as a farm, with the home located up on the hill, near the main road.

Honeymoon Cottage Suite

Honeymoon Cottage Suite

Cobblestone Cottage provides you with a unique opportunity to stay in “one of only about 900 cobblestone buildings erected in western New York before the Civil War — three-fourths of America’s cobblestone buildings are within a 75-mile radius of Rochester.” More on the history of Cobblestone houses.

Antique Downspouts

If it rains you can see this downspout in action.

Many believe that the home was a “station” on one of the numerous routes of the Underground Railroad routes, leading fleeing slaves to freedom in Canada. Kathy shared colorful anecdotes with me on what they have learned from historians, psychics and ghost hunters, who have visited.

I visited the cottage in mid-March on a quiet Saturday afternoon. The 18” thick outer walls guarantee a quiet stay.

If you want to experience the peace and quiet which year-round Finger Lakes dwellers enjoy, I recommend you visit during the quieter months (late fall, winter, early spring) and arrange your stay for mid-week: Drive up to Bristol Harbor, buy a glass of wine and watch the sun set over the lake, or visit the Wine and Culinary Center on Thursday nights for “Pizza & Pint Night,” and rub elbows with the locals.

Or just ask Joe and Kathy, they are wonderful guides to all the local restaurants and fun hangouts.

For more information visit their Facebook page, or Kathy’s blog.

1837 Cobblestone Cottage Bed & Breakfast is located at 3402 West Lake Rd, Canandaigua, NY 14424

Telephone:  585.721.6765


March 25, 2015 at 10:06 am Leave a comment

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