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

Sept. 13-15 The Captain's Birthday Part I

“Travel often; Getting lost will help you find yourself.” — Holstee Manifesto

We celebrated Stan's birthday by taking a small trip to The Lake House in Canandaigua. It's a very nice resort hotel on Canandaigua Lake. Kyle and Brytanie gave us a gift card for this hotel after we kept the kids in May.

Our first stop on the way to Canandaigua was a picnic at the Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard. It's one of the top wineries on Seneca Lake.
This winery doesn't have a view of the lake, but the setting was beautiful, the wine was good and we had fun watching the geese.
Check in wasn't until 3 so we did a little exploring along the city pier and wandered through the old boat house. The pier was built in 1848, and the first boat houses were built during the 1850’s. The simple wooden boathouses contained small skiffs while larger ones housed sculling shells, sailing and steam yachts. By 1888, over 80 boathouses were along the pier and in the “steam” basin. In 1903, the pier was enlarged to accommodate train and trolley tracks to service the steamboats transporting farm produce and passengers along the lake. Boathouse Row is one of the most captivating and unique attractions in the Finger Lakes.

The boathouses are all unique and have their own personality. They serve as a place to dock and store the owner's boat for the season. Some only have space for the boat, while others have a second story for relaxing and taking in the sights of the lake. But the homeowners association prohibits people from living in these boathouses.
The Lake House on Canandaigua.
Our beautiful room with a view of the canal leading to the lake.
We had dinner at Nolan's. We started with the fried calamari topped with banana and roasted red peppers, green onions and fresh garlic in a white wine-Parmesan sauce. Stan had the chef's salmon special and I had the Asiago Scallops topped with spinach, bruschetta tomatoes and melted Asiago cheese with fresh basil corn.
The view from our room after sunset.
An aerial view of The Lake House.
On Thursday we wandered through the little shops on Main Street and then rode our bikes along the lake. We had a nice lunch sitting outside at the Twisted Rail Brewing Co.
After lunch we went to the Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion. Sonnenberg (Sunny Hill) is the former summer home and creation of Frederick Ferris and Mary Clark Thompson. He was a New York City banker, and she was the daughter of a New York State governor. As newlyweds in 1863, they purchased the 300-acre farmstead near Canandaigua Lake for their summer estate. By 1887, they replaced the previous farmstead residence with the current Sonnenberg Mansion. After Mr. Thompson's death Mrs. Thompson started renovating the house and building the gardens that are here today. After her death the home and grounds were used by the VA as a hospital for 40 years.

The house
Only a small section of the home is open to visitors at the moment, but work is continuously going on to renovate more of the mansion.  
The view of the south lawn and Italian Garden from the main bedroom of the home. The Roman Bath and Japanese Garden are past the pine trees. 
A map of the grounds. My favorite gardens were the Rock Garden and the Japanese Garden.
The Carriage and Ice House.
The Peacock House
The Rock Garden was the last garden designed by Mrs. Thompson in 1920. It has a winding path that traverses a limestone grotto with a waterfall, a river and several pools. I bet it was the favorite place to play for the children that visited.  
In 1906, Mrs. Thompson had the Japanese Garden built and is today recognized as the first residential Japanese Garden in America. This detailed miniature landscape was created on an orchard in just six months. The designer returned in 1908 to build the teahouse.  
The Greenhouse Conservatory Complex was built between 1903-1915, is one of the few remaining intact Lord and Burnham Greenhouses in the United States. They were year-round greenhouses that produced fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers for Mrs. Thompson at Sonnenberg as well as her New York City home.
Our last dinner in Canandaigua was at the New York Kitchen. This is a nonprofit organization with a passion and mission to create a gateway for people around the world to experience New York’s incredible agriculture and viticulture industries. They hold all kinds of classes and run a nice little restaurant. We sat on the deck with a view of the lake.
Stan had the sweet ginger orange glazed salmon with boo chow, red pepper, red onion and garlic served over rice noodles. I had the chicken and bacon white pizza with garlic oil, shredded mozzarella, spinach, caramelized onions, mushrooms. Very good.

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