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

June Updates

“You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

I've done quite a few blogs in June so I don't have a lot of new things to add to this post. Although we did make a few side trips around the area on nice days. Our favorite place to relax and enjoy a pretty day is at Sheldrake Point Winery, so on June 1 we took a picnic and celebrated the start to what looks to be a wonderful summer on the lake.
Since it was such a beautiful day we also went to dinner at The Boatyard Grill. It's our favorite because the food is good, the view is great and we can get there on our little boat. It's very relaxing.
Our transportation.
One weekend I rode my bike down to the Commons to check out the Ithaca Festival. The festival is Ithaca's celebration of summer with lots of music, crafts and food, but the best thing to do there is people watching.
On another pretty day we drove over to Watkins Glen. It's a cute little town that sits at the southern end of Seneca Lake. We've been there or through there many times, but we've never taken the time to wander the streets and poke around in the shops. So that's exactly what we did and then we enjoyed lunch overlooking the marina at Horseheads Brewing. While we were on Seneca Lake we visited a few new wineries before heading back to Ithaca. I will share more info about them in a future blog about the wineries we visit this season. But I will tell you we visited Hillick & Hobbs Estate and Silver Springs Winery. 

Pier House Seneca Lake Watkins Glen
Some of the cute little shops and buildings in Watkins Glen.
What a great place to eat on such a beautiful day.

June 24-28 Sheldrake House Vacation

“The lake and the mountains have become my landscape, my real world.”  -Georges Simenon

Our second family vacation of the summer was at a beautiful home in my favorite part of Cayuga Lake...Sheldrake. It's a spectacular area with pretty homes, a great winery and no hills you have to climb down to get to the lake.

Check in time to Airbnbs is always late in the afternoon so the kids come to the boat first. We have a picnic lunch and play at the marina until it's time to move in. This time we rode bikes, played soccer and roller skated.
The house - Sheldrake House was built in 1850 and has been owned by only a few families throughout its history. It also belonged to the New York Chiropractic College for a while during the 1970s. 
A picture of the house in the early 1900s.
The kitchen
The living room, dining room, game room and library
The Bedrooms
The Boathouse
The first evening after dinner we enjoyed playing in the boat house. There were lots of spotty rain showers in the area so we didn't have much of a sunset.
On Sunday we couldn't have asked for a better day to play on the lake. We spent hours riding and tubing on the boat, had a picnic lunch on the boathouse deck and spent the afternoon playing in the water on our beach.
Being on the boat is so much fun.
Everyone loved being pulled on the raft.
Graham got very brave after a little alone time on the raft.
Kyle enjoying the knee board.
Playing on the lake can wear you out.
A look at the house from the lake.
There were scattered rain showers in the area the whole time we were at the house, but that didn't stop us from truly enjoying our stay. We filled our time playing in the water, painting rocks, playing games, riding bikes, kicking the soccer ball around, reading, working on a puzzle and enjoying some great food.

This was our favorite place to paint and to eat...what a view.
We always eat well on our little get aways.
Even the kids like to help cook.
Just a few of the wonderful things we enjoyed eating at the Sheldrake House.
Enjoying a quiet moment on the porch.
Views from the porch were amazing.
We love closing out our vacations with a fire, s'mores and family fun.
No rain for us...just a rainbow and a wonderful view of the lake.
That's a wrap on this vacation. Lots of great memories.

June 21 - Hiking & Waterfalls

“Choice. Chance. Change. You must make the choice, to take a chance if you want anything in life to change.” -Author Unknown
It was such a beautiful day we decided to do a few hikes at some new places. I've heard wonderful things about Stony Brook State Park, so we headed west to Dansville to check it out. While we were in the area we also did a little hiking at The Gully Preserve. Both places were beautiful and almost empty...just the way we like it.

Our first stop was at Stony Brook. They were doing a little maintenance at the park so we had to enter the Gorge Trail from the south entrance. This park was a summer resort in the late 19th century, following the construction of a railroad in 1883. By the late 1920s the resort fell into decline and the state of New York acquired the land. The park was established in 1928 and with the help of the CCC in the 1930s it added trails and bridges making it what we see today. Like the other gorges in the Finger Lakes this beautiful area was created by receding glaciers.

From the parking lot at the southern end we had to come down these stairs...so on the way back we had to go up.
The upper falls are known as Shawmut Falls. We had to do a little scrambling down the side of the brook to get to this one. On the way back to the main trail we walked in the brook.
The trail along Stony Brook.
The top of the middle falls.
This is the middle falls are known as Pittsburg Falls.
This is the lower falls known as Northern Falls.
This bridge was as far as we could hike today. From here we had to return on the same trail.
Looking down stream from the bridge. Maybe next time we can hike the whole gorge.
We enjoyed a picnic lunch at the state park and then we made our way over to the Gully Preserve. I had read the trails here might be hard to find, but we found that to be the opposite. They were quite easy to follow and took us to some amazing sights in a fairly short distance.
On the south side of the road is a large wide falls that some call Pokey-Moonshine Falls. The falls cascade over the cliff into a deep and shadowy gorge. We decided to view the falls from the top since the hillside was wet and slippery. But on a hot day the pool below would be a great place to swim. 
The top of Pokey-Moonshine Falls.
Looking down the cliff at the falls and gorge.
We climbed down this far so we could get a better look at the falls.
The falls from part way down the cliff.
To get to the falls on the north side we followed the creek just off the road. It led up to a chute-like falls with water running through a large straight crack in the bedrock and down multiple tiers. This whole area is hidden from the upper trail.
The trail along the creek.
A look at the chute along the creek.
The falls at the of the public trail.
On the way back to Ithaca we stopped at this cute little shop in a town called North Cohocton.