"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

July 31, 2018

July 31 – What Happened to July

Allan H. Treman State Marine Park

"Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people - your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way." –Barbara Bush

Wow it’s almost August...this summer is flying by. We’ve been very busy, but we haven’t done any of the things we did last summer. We just haven’t found the time to do the beautiful hikes or visit some of our favorite places. Although, we're having a great time. Hopefully we'll make our way back to some of those gorgeous spots before we go home in the fall.  

The past few weeks have been all about family. The unexpected passing of my Daddy took us home to Texas for a week. It's unfortunate that it takes a funeral for families to find time to get together. It was a sad time, but also a celebration of my Daddy's life. He was 89 and lived a wonderful life, full of amazing travels to amazing places and in the end he left this world as he had wanted...he laid down for a nap and never woke up. He was able to take care of himself to the very end and that's the way he wanted it. So even through a few tears and the pain of missing him, we celebrated his life and the life he gave all of us.
Our greatest legacy are the ones we leave behind...here are just a few of my Daddy's legacies. 
Grand daughters...they're so much fun.
The rest of July was spent in Pennsylvania, playing Nanny to Graham and Cora and celebrating our oldest son's birthday. We love to cruise but we really enjoy spending time with our kids and their families...it's what makes our life complete. We feel blessed that we can spend so much time with all our grandwonders and their parents.

These kids are growing up way too fast...they are little people now. Not babies.
Happy birthday Kyle. We had a wonderful meal at The Blind Pig Kitchen.
According to Graham...jello slime is SUPER fun. Fun but a little messy.
We got to go to one of our favorite farmers markets while we were in Pennsylvania at Forks Farms
We also enjoyed the park by the East and West Paden Covered Bridges, which were built in 1850. They cross the Fork Creek.

July 30, 2018

July 29 - Newfield Covered Bridge

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” ― Alexander Pope
I love covered bridges, they are so picturesque. A reminder of a simpler time when life was a little slower. There's been a lot of rain in the area, so our usual route to Kyle's home in Pennsylvania had several closed roads, so we had to go a different way. The benefit...seeing something new. Only 7-8 miles from the boat we spotted a covered bridge right here in Tompkins County. The Newfield Covered Bridge is the lone survivor of the three covered bridges that Tompkins County once boasted and is 1 of 24 authentic covered bridges left in the state of New York. It's the oldest covered bridge still open to daily car traffic. 

The bridge was constructed between 1851 and 1853, but the actual date of the bridge's constructions is unknown due to a fire in June 1875 which destroyed all of the towns records. 

The original reason that the bridge was covered was because it was more economical to reroof a covered bridge every 20 years than to build a new unroofed bridge. The roof protected the flooring from the elements. The design of the bridge is called the Town Lattice Truss. Many of the covered bridges still standing today are of this type.

July 17, 2018

July 14 - Finger Lake International Dragon Boat Festival

Allan H. Treman State Marine Park

"The sensation of energy expands with increasing relaxation."―Ilchi Lee
Today we went to the Finger Lake International Dragon Boat Festival, held at Taughannock Falls Park. Dragon boat races are one of the most typical traditions of Chinese Dragon Boat Festival which was traditionally held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. They began in the Guangdong Province of China more than 2000 years ago. For more than 20 centuries the competition took place as a part of religious ceremonies and folk customs, but beginning in the 1970s dragon boat racing emerged as an international sport. But the history of dragon boats in competition reaches as far back as the same era as the original games of Olympia in ancient Greece.
A dragon boat has a long narrow shape. Traditional dragon boats were made of teak wood. Currently, boats made for competitive purposes use carbon fiber and other lightweight materials. Both the fore and aft of the boats are decorated with dragon’s head and tail and the body of the boat is carved or painted with traditional patterns like waves, clouds or beasts, using bright colors such as red, blue, green, black and gold. 
The crew of a dragon boat usually consists of a drummer, a sweep (steersman) and paddlers. The main force comes from paddlers who power the boat and the drummer who guides the frequency and synchronicity of all the paddlers' moves. The drumbeat is also a useful way to inspire the crew’s spirits in competition. The sweep controls the direction of the boat.

July 16, 2018

July 13 - Finger Lake Cider House

Allan H. Treman State Marine Park

“Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true” —Lyman Frank Baum
As we've said many times before...one of the things we like the best about being in Ithaca for the season is exploring all the great little places to sample locally made wine, cider, liquor and food. These small family owned places pride themselves in using fresh locally grown ingredients and the products they produce are wonderful.
Kyle and his family gave Stan a gift card to the Finger Lake Cider House for Father's Day. They're located just up the lake from us and we've seen their sign many times, but didn't think we'd like hard cider...we were wrong. Many of their dry ciders were very good, they were more like wine than we expected.

Finger Lakes Cider House at Good Life Farm is the hub of the hard cider renaissance in New York apple country. They feature their own Kite & String Cider as well as amazing ciders from rotating guest cideries each month. Here's the meaning of their name: 'Kite' means light, playful, balanced, and fun.  'String' means grounded to a place, their small farm. All their ciders are made from farm-based orchards. The tasting room and balcony overlook their crop fields, apple orchards, green houses and horse barn...with a view of Cayuga Lake in the distance.
Our favorite cider was called Funkhouse '17, it has herbal, buttery, earthy notes and is bone dry, with a bright front palate giving way to notes of toasted oak and ending with long chalky tannins.
Their eco-friendly farm has been producing certified organic fruit and fresh vegetables, meat and poultry since 2008. In 2012 they decided to add cider production to their list of endeavors and began planting 300 cider apple trees annually; they now have 38 varieties of American heirloom, English and European cider apples in their orchard. In 2014 they transformed a barn into their impressive Cider House and they now have a spacious tasting room and bar and a lower level equipped with a kitchen and cider-processing facilities. They have a small menu that features ingredients grown on their farm or bought from neighboring farmers in the Finger Lakes region.  
A flight of cider and sandwiches for dinner. Stan had the smoked pulled pork on a sourdough roll and I had toasted cheddar apple sandwich with pesto. Both were served with a salad made with greens from their garden. 
 Here are some of the ciders we tasted
The view from their balcony  
On Friday nights the cider house features local musicians. While we were there we listened to Whistlin’ Dyl. He's an original singer songwriter who cooks up ballads, hillbilly thumpers and alt-rock songs with a smidgin of crooning and a splash of soul. 

July 13, 2018

Mid July Update

Allan H. Treman State Marine Park

"Never say dreams are useless because useless is the life of those who can't dream." —Jim Morrison

Just a little update of some of the things we've been doing since we returned from the western Erie Canal. The weather has been pretty hot this month...hot for New York and hot if you live on a boat with no insulation. Some days have been almost as hot as Texas, but at least those days don't last long. So what do we do when it gets hot...we try to find a cool spot to spend the day. Some days that means going to a park on the lake and others it means going to a mall.
One particularly hot day we made a trip to a large, very large, mall in Syracuse (Destiny USA). The mall has over 250 stores, go karts, a rope course, mirror maze, miniature golf, I-Max movies and several escape rooms. A little something for everyone. We walked several miles, had a great lunch and bought a few things...it was a good way to stay cool. 
We have the best seat in town for the Ithaca fireworks...all we have to do is sit on the the deck and enjoy.
Our son and his family rented a little house on the lake during the July 4th week. We had a wonderful time playing with them.
There are so many cute and interesting places to eat around this area...the other day we found a place on Seneca Lake called The Elf in The Oak. A great lunch with a great view.
July 11th was our 37th wedding anniversary. We had lunch at the Thirsty Owl Bistro that over looks Cayuga Lake. We enjoyed a fantastic lunch with views of the lake...what's not to like. 

The Thirsty Owl Wine Company
Stan had the salmon with diamond-honey glaze, toasted hazelnuts & coconut roasted veggies and I had the scallops with a quinoa lentil cake served over sprouts. We chose their 2016 Chardonnay as a pairing. Its described as having aromas of tangy green apple, medium-bodied with mild oak. Fruity flavors are balanced by a light, buttery mouthfeel and a lively finish.
A little cool front had moved in, so it was cool enough to anchor out for the night...we spent our anniversary night enjoying the peace and quiet of the lake, the beautiful sunset and a few nibbles on the flybridge.
Looking towards Ithaca
Good night Cayuga Lake