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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1837 Cobblestone Cottage Bed & Breakfast is located at 3402 West Lake Rd, Canandaigua, NY 14424
My father grew up in Skaneateles during the depression. East Lake Road was a little remote in 1930, but winter meant he could skate to town to watch the double-feature for 25 cents.
Skanealteles is still warm and welcoming during the winter. Each year (usually the weekend between the playoffs and the Super Bowl) the Skaneateles Sunrise Rotary hosts Winterfest. They say “Freezin’ for a Reason,” as proceeds help support the Skaneateles Fire Department, SAVES, and the Skaneateles Education Foundation.
Visit the Creamery to find out about the history of Skaneateles in winter as they share the Story of Ice Cutting on Skaneateles Lake. (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday)
What happens at Winterfest?
Friday night: Lighting of the Ice Chimney, at Clift Park
Saturday: - Polar Bear Plunge The annual Skaneateles Polar Bear Plunge visit, www.skanpolarbear.com . The Skaneateles Fire Department cuts a hole through the thick ice and provides a lifesaving crew.
Taste of Skaneateles, restaurants and retail shops will feature tastes. Tickets are available that day in the Sherwood Inn Lobby or at one of our outside locations.
Scavenger Hunt: Pick up your game sheet from any ticket location or the Sherwood Inn lobby. Visit local shops to find letters to spell out a phrase then drop it off at a participating store to be entered into a drawing for fantastic prizes.
Sunday, January 25
SKANEATELES YMCA and Community Center host run, swim, skate, and snow shoe! 315-685-2266 or register online at www.auburnymca.org
For further information and details as the date draws near, visit “Skaneateles WinterFest” on Facebook, or contact a Sunrise Rotarian, Candy Searing (685-0552 or email@example.com ) or Tom Seeley (685-3416 or firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Hunting for the perfect Christmas Tree is a great way to spend time enjoying the Finger Lakes. There are great cut your own Tree Farms across Upstate New York.
Remember that cutting your own tree can involve a long outdoor exposure in snow and mud. Everyone has an opinion on which kind of tree is best: strong boughs hold the ornaments best but sharp needles are tough on the hands. Choosing the right height and shape is also a matter of opinion, often leaving sap on the ceiling when you realize its too tall.
We usually buy our tree at Wilberts — where its simple — hike out with a saw and wheel it back on a tree cart. However, if you have small children you might want to try Skokie Tree Farm which has tractors with wagons that can drop you off and pick you and your tree up after you cut it. They also have lots of fun activities and snacks for kids.
A sweet little 20 mile ride around Otisco Lake is not long enough to make my seat sore — but the vertical on the west side of the lake will destroy any quads you thought you had.
Park on the east side of the lake at the Lakeside Park (free but only about 6 spots!) and head clockwise so you can enjoy the winding, picturesque Otisco Valley Road that goes right up next to the water and rides pretty flat from North to South.
Make the turn at the southern end of the lake and enjoy rolling fields of grass. Ride along the lakeside (113) up to the point of the causeway and take a break and walk out onto the causeway and enjoy the view.
Once you hop back on your bike you have an enormous climb up Stanton Rd (246) straight up the side of what feels like a mountain. You continue to climb up all the way to Route 41. Once on 41, you get beautiful glimpse of Skaneateles Lake as you race downhill towards Borodino.
It was a very windy day. This was the first time I worried that the combination of gusts and downhill speed would blow me off my bike. I think I was traveling about 40+ mph and felt myself veering into the ditch.
There is a wonderful quick video of a bike race that goes around Otisco. It gives you a quick look challenging and charming this ride is.
Its nice to find a kayaking spot where you run out of energy (or daylight) before you run out of discoveries. The Honeoye Inlet Wildlife Management Area is a big paddle.
Paddle south and you can enter the inlet and enjoy!
There is no better way to share how much fun it is to kayak in the Finger lakes region than to share what you get to see when right on the water.
On a gray summer Sunday I followed the walking tour through town. Mount Morris is the birthplace of Francis Bellamy, the author of the “Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.”
Most known for its proximity to Letchworth State Park, the sleepy town has a colorful variety of architectural styles, and a LOT of antique stores.