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

September 30, 2019

Finger Lake Wineries (Part VI)

The Finger Lake region has wine trails, beer trails and cheese trails. All these places do tastings and many offer entertainment on weekends, so it's fun to explore different places. But after spending three seasons in the Finger Lakes we have our favorite wineries we like to visit to enjoy a picnic and a bottle of wine. It's getting hard to find time to check out new places. Here are a few we found this summer.

The Muranda Cheese Company is located in Waterloo, N.Y. They produce the finest cows milk raw and pasteurized cheeses. Their most sought after varieties include British Cheddar, Red Buddy, and Gouda, as well as 10 other varieties not commonly found in the Finger Lakes.

The tasting room is in a barn that was built in 1891. The Murray family used this barn to house animals, farm equipment and hay until its use became obsolete in its old age. It was then refurbished and 2016 reintroduced it to the public in 2017 as, The Dairy at Muranda. It was definitely a fun and tasting place to visit.  
Ravines Wine Cellars is a small, family-owned boutique winery that shows a strong French influence. They offer dry, European-styled Rieslings and other vinifera wines. They were established in 2002  and have been named among the world's top 100 wineries by Wine Spectator magazine four times in the last ten year. It's noted for its Alsatian-style Rieslings, but has also been heralded for their red and sparkling wines. Their tasting room, featuring a timeless barrel decor, in the little hamlet of Keuka Village with breathtaking views of Keuka Lake.
Varick Winery is a large operation that not only sells wines, but all kind of other things like salsas, spreads, fruit butters, preserves, salad dressings, honeys, picked items, BBQ sauces, olive oils and cheeses. It's not the kind of place we usual visit, but we stopped by to check them out during their Cherry Festival. The festival was small and we were not impressed, but it was a beautiful day and we had fun with our friends picking our own cherries.
Friends recommended Shepherdess Cellars, so this weekend we finally had a chance to check them out. They're located about half way up the west side of Cayuga Lake. It was a wonderful fall day...we enjoyed the wine, the view and a picnic lunch. The Cellar was launched in 2014 with the intention of making great wine, representative of the Finger Lakes area. At the moment they don't grow their own grapes, but they buy from local growers who share the passion of producing an exquisite product. We enjoyed there 2016 Chardonnay - Medium bodied and supple. This vintage carries notes of pineapple and Cortland apple. True to the varietal, a perfect pair with poultry and seafood dishes.
We like visiting small wineries...the ones that large buses and limos can't get into. On Saturday I think we found the smallest one on Cayuga Lake. Randolph O’Neill Vineyard is run by the husband and wife team of Angela (née Randolph) and Kelley O’Neill. It grew from their mutual love for great wine. They produce limited quantity wines using estate grown Riesling and Cabernet Franc grapes from a small vineyard a few hundred yards from Cayuga Lake. They don't have a fancy tasting room yet, but the wine was good and it was fun visiting with the owner.
You can read about other wineries we've visited in the Finger Lake area at the following links.

September 26, 2019

Fall's in the Air

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." —Albert Camus

What an amazing few weeks we've had in upstate New York. Fall has rolled in, but summer isn't gone. This is definitely the kind of weather we could enjoy for months. Lows in the upper 40s and highs in the mid 70s....and lots and lots of wonderful sunshine. The weather has been wonderful, but spending a lot of time with our family and friends the past two weeks has truly been the best part. Here are a few of the things we did while enjoying the weather and watching the colors change.

Visiting the Forks Farmers Market in Pennsylvania with our family is always fun and fall is always a great time to be there.
On Stan's birthday we took our little boat to the Boatyard Grill for dinner...what a beautiful evening.
We also enjoyed an afternoon on the lake fishing...well Stan fished and I enjoyed the sun.
We also had an amazing evening on The Pearl...drinks, dinner and good friends are a great way to welcome the arrival of fall.

The end of a great evening on the water.
Saturday we drove to Naples to enjoy the Grape Festival. I really enjoy the way fog sits in the valleys around here on a cool morning.
After wandering around the festival we hiked at Grime's Glen. A beautiful city park in Naples.
Sunday we drove back to Pennsylvania to spend more time with our kids. We enjoyed the Bloomsburg's Fair with the older grands and lots of snuggle time with Hattie.
Fall is arriving in Upstate New York.

September 18, 2019

Sept. 10 - Campobello Island, NB

"Surely, in the light of history, it is more intelligent to hope rather than to fear, to try rather than not to try. For one thing we know beyond all doubt: Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, ‘It can’t be done." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Today we decided to take a ferry to Deer Island and then to Campobello Island. Both islands are part of the Fundy Isles. They sit at the entrance to Passamaquoddy Bay and were first settled by colonists around 1770. Deer Island is the smallest inhabited island among the Fundy Isles, and is lined with many herring, lobster and salmon fishing villages. Popular activities on Deer Island include beachcombing, bird watching, fishing, nature walks and sea kayaking.

Boarding the ferry to Deer Island. Ferries are the only way to get to many of these small islands.
I think we could have spent hours visiting with the local fishermen on Deer Island...what a beautiful day for exploring and amazing people we met. 
After driving around Deer Island we took another ferry to Campobello Island. Here we spent time visiting a couple of lighthouses and the Roosevelt Campobello International Park. This park is the only international park in the world.

Head Harbour Lightstation is the second oldest lighthouse in New Brunswick, built in 1829. The tower has a white-shingled exterior, painted with a red cross. It is believed this distinctive day mark has been on the tower since at least 1850.
During low tide you can walk across this area and visit the lighthouse and light keeper buildings. 
Roosevelt Campobello International Park is jointly administered, staffed, and funded by the peoples of Canada and the United States. The focal point of the park is Franklin D. Roosevelt's summer cottage, but there are also over 8 miles of trails to explore and a visitor center with a small museum. As a boy FDR spent his summers on the island learning to sail, fish and hunt. As an adult he brought his family to his beloved Campobello Island for summer vacations. Although he visited less frequently after contracting polio in 1921, Campobello remained important to FDR. Today Roosevelt Campobello International Park serves as a memorial to FDR and a symbol of cooperation between the U.S. and Canada. The park is also used as a conference center and several remaining cottages from FDR's time are used as accommodations and meeting rooms.
We had lunch in the Prince Café, which is located in the Prince Cottage. We sat on the deck and had a wonderful view of Passamaquoddy Bay and Eastport, ME.
This is the Roosevelt's summer cottage. 
The view from the cottage porches.  
They give guided tours of the summer cottage. It was very interesting to learn about Roosevelt and his family. Pictures of the playroom and the children's classroom. 
Pictures of the living room with an amazing view of the water and Eastport, ME. 
 The study and dinning room
The kitchen 
The pantries
The Roosevelt's bedroom and a few of the guest bedrooms. There are 18 bedrooms in the cottage. 
Some of FDR's children's bedrooms. 
Some of the bathrooms in the cottage.
Visitors can also tour the Hubbard Cottage, built in 1892. It was home to fiends of the the Roosevelts. Today the cottage is used for Open Tea with Eleanor and the Conference Program. Unfortunately the home was closed when we were there.
In Roosevelt's time the only way to access the island was by boat. The Roosevelts would take a train or steamship from New York to Eastport, ME and then have someone pick them up and take them across the Passamaquoddy Bay to their home on Campobello. The Roosevelt Memorial Bridge opened in 1962, linking the province of New Brunswick to Lubec, Maine.
These rings are floating cages for raising Atlantic salmon. Young salmon are raised from eggs in a freshwater hatchery and moved to the pens to grow into adults (8-11 pounds), which takes about 18 months. Each pen can hold tens of thousands of fish. The harvested fish are processed locally and then shipped to markets around the world. 
Lubec, ME is the easternmost village on the U.S. Atlantic coast. The people here are the first to see the sunrise each day in the United States. The town was first settled about 1775 and was part of Eastport, until it was incorporated in 1811.
After visiting Campobello Island and Lubec we drove out to see West Quoddy Head Light. I've seen pictures of this beautiful lighthouse for years, but we've never been close enough to see it...it's a long way from anywhere. The original light was built in 1808, by order of President Thomas Jefferson, and replaced by the current tower in 1858. The red and white tower is the only "candy striped" tower in the United States. We visited quite a few other lighthouses today, but I'll do a separate blog post on all the lighthouses we've seen on this trip a little later. 
This is a video I took on the ferry to Deer Island

Our route through the islands today. To view our whole trip map click on this link.