2017 Round Up of Adventures

Happy Holidays everyone! I felt like doing An Adventure Roundup Post before I take a 3 day hiatus from blogging.

I’m using that time to be with friends and family during the holiday season but I will be back soon!

2017 might have been one of our best yet! I don’t normally like odd years but this one was pretty great. A first full year back in New York but we/I travelled so much it didn’t even feel like we were there the whole time.

Before I get into the adventures, I just want to talk about some random ones which were all the weddings we had. 5 in total! Not only were they fun but I got to see states (Hi Indiana and Illinois) that I hadn’t seen before!

Below is a highlight of 2017 adventures (don’t worry, a book roundup is coming) and some of my favorite pictures to go along with each.

Outside of New York Adventures

Well there were a ton of these! Here’s the big reveal for this year, I am afraid of flying but traveled to 4 locations that required it. I think I’m finally over my fear!

Those 4 locations were: 2 trips to Florida (Miami/Key West and Orlando/St. Pete) and twice to Chicago.

Chicago was such an awesome city too, it might be my favorite City that I’ve visited. At the same time Miami was a little bit of paradise.

Let’s not forget my two other trips that didn’t require travel. One is the usual trip, to Cape Cod. The little quaint area has more to do than you might think. But I have to admit, my trip to Maine might have passed the Cape. I hadn’t been to Maine in years so it was nice to go someplace different in the middle of June and really see what the area has to offer without a lot of people.

The New York Adventures

Man, that was a lot of adventures outside of my home state, but let’s not forget about all the cool things there are to do in New York!

My favorite trip of the year was probably Watkins Glen and Seneca Lake. Mainly because it was the first time in awhile that my boyfriend and I were able to just travel somewhere by ourselves. It’s also the most affordable weekend away that you can probably do which is also nice.

We also did a lot of local things, like our hikes (including some 46ers!), musicals, walking around gardens, museums, and even some chowder. All in All I would say it was a good time.

As mentioned before this year was pretty great but I am so excited for next year……….

We have officially booked our tickets to London and Cornwall England. It’s always been a dream of mine to go so I am anxiously waiting and I cannot wait to tell you all about it (any tips are appreciated).

Don’t worry, I have some other trips planned but nothing definite so more to come!

Happy Holidays everyone! Enjoy the time with your friends and family, it’s an adventure in its own right 😊

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Wine Tasting in Seneca Lake

Our trip out to the Watkins Glen area also included a day and a half of wine and beer tasting around Seneca Lake. I had never been to Seneca, only Cayuga — my boyfriend hadn’t been to either so I decided it was about time. We both enjoy wine and beer, so I thought why not? Let’s get away for a weekend and stock up our wine table. Here’s a quick 101 on where to go, where to eat and where to stay.

Where to Stay

We wanted to do an affordable weekend so we did Airbnb. It’s not the only option though, there are hotels in Watkins Glen (the South portion of the lake), around the lake and in Waterloo (the north portion of the lake). There are some breweries and wineries that also host their own lodging. We hadn’t researched a lot in cases of places to stay because we knew right off the bat that we wanted to rent a space.

Where to Eat:

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We went to two places for meals (then just did snack things later on). We had lunch at Ginny Lee Cafe and dinner at Scale House. Both were really good and really affordable. I really loved Scale House’s beer, they had so many varieties and the tasting was really cheap. We got dinner that gave us enough for leftovers the next night. If you get to Scale House please get their Peanut Butter Beer and then thank me for it. It was delicious!

The Vineyards:

We went to a lot of different vineyards while we were there. What I love about wine tasting in the Fingerlakes is that it’s really affordable. The most expensive tasting was $5 a person but almost every place you go will give you some type of coupon — whether it be $2 off a bottle or free tasting if you buy some wine, there’s always a way to stay on a budget. Tastings were at least 5 samples while some wineries gave you more than that. While I might have spent more than I meant to. It just means I won’t be needing to buy wine around home any time soon. I’ll take that as a win. Here are some places we went.

  • Boundary Breaks Vineyard:Β IMG_20171020_184144_198.jpgThe first winery we went to and the first where we found a bottle we both like (I like sweet, he likes dry). It had a picturesque scene but other than that it was only okay. The place wasn’t as friendly as some of the others but it was still a good first place. Also- can we appreciate the saying on top of their door? Love it.
  • Wagner Wine and Beer: The cool thing about Wagner is that you can get wine or beer and it’s next to Ginny Lee’s Cafe. The bad news? The beer tasting was expensive for what you got and the beer was not as good as Scale House.
  • Penguin Bay Winery: I had to go here just because of the name. I then found out that it’s the sister winery of Swedish Hill (Cayuga Lake and in Saratoga). This was one of those places where the wine was delicious and you got a coupon when you did a tasting.
  • Lakewood Vineyards: One of the best views of Seneca Lake. Here you got a tasting for $3 plus $2 off a bottle of wine. You cannot beat that. We were lucky enough to get the outdoor bar for the tasting too. 20171021_121303.jpg
  • Rock Stream Vineyards: $5 a tasting, no coupon — but a lot of variety and the bartender was so nice and funny. You could also do a beer tasting there too if you weren’t feeling wine.
  • Glenora: 20171021_141211.jpgThe oldest winery on Seneca Lake. You can tell they know what their doing. They have a restaurant, hotel and during tastings you also get some food tastings. Which is perfect when you’re drinking. The tasting was $5 a tasting plus $2 off a bottle of wine. They also had port. I bought some, and drank it thinking about being Demelza from Poldark…it was a good day.
  • Damiani: Mostly reds, but good reds, wait did I just say that?
  • Standing Stone: Cute setup inside (but hot). Wine was pretty good and the view is fantastic.
  • Caywood Vineyards: $2 samples, I repeat $2 samples. It was so good too. I got two bottles there, but they also had some liquor/cherry type stuff that was amazing. I felt so sophisticated!
  • Lamoreaux: This was all Francis, I unfortunately can’t tell you guys anything about this except he bought a bottle so he must have enjoyed the wine.

The Resources:

Honestly, the easier way to find these places is just by driving, they are everywhere. Francis couldn’t believe how close they were to each other but they really are neighbors. Everyone is so nice and always trying to help you to know where to go next best on your style. I would definitely recommend picking up a map though, it will give you some more information. Information not just on wine but beer, cider, food and distilleries. Need even more info? Click here and enjoy!

 

Watkins Glen

Near the end of October we went on a little adventure. An adventure that didn’t include friends or weddings (no offense guys)! Anyways, this is part 1 of our weekend away. It started on a Saturday at Watkins Glen State Park. Watkins Glen is about 3 1/2 hours west of Albany, N.Y.. a hidden gem in my opinion and one I think a everyone should try to go see. Neither of us had been there before so this was a first for us. We got there around 10am and stayed until 12ish. Honestly go the earliest you can. When we came out of the trail, there were so many cars it was crazy especially since it was during off season. It’s definitely a magical place and would feel even more magical the less people are there. While we had people there when we went it was still easy to get pictures of everything. I think if we had shown up later it would have been worse. During peak season, the park is $8 a car, it’s open until dark and not only has the gorge and waterfalls but a pool and park. There are other parks near Watkins Glen that have waterfalls too in Ithaca and the Fingerlakes National Forest so there is definitely a lot to do!

We did both the Gorge Trail and Indian Ladder trail. The whole thing was probably about 3 miles round trip and took us a little over an hour. This being because I took more pictures than was probably necessary. I loved it though and my boyfriend found it cool too. The rock formations were just as interesting and gorgeous as the waterfalls. The (middle picture) railroad had history to it too and there are markings to explain each, how they were formed etc. If you’re ever in the area, definitely try to get here. You could definitely get lost in the beauty of this park, if we ever go back, I’ll pack a lunch and we can spend more time there just relaxing with the beauty of nature.

Cascade Mountain

We finally did it! Since we moved to New York, all I’ve wanted to do is hike a high peak/46er but we just haven’t had the time. This past weekend, we had friends staying an hour from Lake Placid so we took the 1 hour and 45 minute drive to Cascade Mountain (about 10 miles from Lake Placid) to do our first (2- more on that later 46er!)

What is a 46er? wp-image-349553886

There are 46 mountains in the Adirondacks that are all above 4,000 feet, which is how they got their name the 46er challenge. There are groups related to these hikes, you can even fill out paper work for each mountain and get a patch and an official congratulations you hiked all 46 high peaks. If you wanted one of course. We decided to start by doing Cascade and then walking the ridge to Porter Mountain to get 2 out of the 46 done in one day.

Cascade and Porter

To get to the mountain is really easy. If you’re coming from I-87, you’re going to get off at the Lake Placid exit (I think exit 30) and then continue you on the same road until you hit the sign that says Cascade. There are a few parking lots but mostly you will park on the side of the street. Plenty of parking that way. You will also find a bunch of signs for other mountain trails, a great way to get accustomed to what mountains are up this way and to help plan your next adventure! Also– I have to admit, this park of the Adirondacks is no other just in the sense of driving, I felt like I was in a completely different state, not New York, it was really gorgeous with water and mountains on all sides of the road. I can’t wait to go back in the fall with all the leaves changing! In fact, they had already started to change!

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The hike it self was about 6.2 miles round trip, this being because we added Porter, if you don’t add Porter, it would been 4.8 miles round trip. Considered one of the easiest 46er because of accessibility, the views of the mountain ranges make you feel like you’re on top of the world. We all got to the top were speechless with the views and all the mountains. Fun fact, 30 of the 46 high peaks are in this area and you can see at least 10 of them from Cascade. We hiked all the way up Cascade first, we aren’t very experienced hikers but it took us 1 hour and 35 minutes, something we were really proud of. Yes there are some steep sections but I never felt like I truly had to climb (me being all of 5’2, that happens a lot). We stayed up there for awhile enjoying the view and the wind on our backs before we headed down about a half mile and then started the trek up to Porter Mountain.

Porter is another 0.7 miles one way, and while it’s good to check it off the list for hiking a 46er, the view is pretty pathetic to pictures I posted above. One cool thing though is that you can see Cascade’s ridge so essentially you can see where you just were when looking from this trail, and again, you get to cut another 46er off the list! Coming down seemed to take forever but actually only took us about another 20mins (I’m slow down hill hiker) so overall not too bad. We were up there almost the whole day but due to the fact that we lingered for a really long time up top. I would say this is definitely a half day kind of hike if you’re a moderate hiker!

I would love to see this view in the fall and honestly, I think we’ve got the itch, a lot more hiking will be happening in the future and I can’t wait to see what we do next!

A Visit To The Lower Half of Cape Cod

This is my last post about my Cape Cod 2017 trip and it ends with Provincetown and Truro — two of my favorite places on the Cape! Here’s a rundown of a few things you can do there to take up your time.

The Beaches

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There are so many beaches near the end of Cape Cod. Our favorites are Head of the Meadow and Ballston Beach (though Ballston Beach is “private”). I had never been to Marconi Beach before this vacation but let me tell you it was amazing! A little scary (some riptides) but so gorgeous (picture to the side). If you’re looking for beaches with some good waves, this end of the Cape will have it because they are on the open ocean side. Don’t forget though, there could be sharks (definitely some seals). Cost is roughly $15 – $20 a car load. One thing still on my bucket list here is to have a bonfire at night on the beach down here. Maybe next year? More beaches can be found here.

The Non Beach Activities

We’ve done a lot of things in Provincetown/Truro before including: whale watches, wine tasting and biking the trails in the sand dunes. Today though, I’m only going to talk about the two things we did this year. One was Truro Vineyards and Spirits, we’ve been going here every year for the past 4 years. It’s so fun, the wine tasting is pretty good but my favorite is the little outside bar they have where you can mix drinks and wine by the glass, sit out with all your friends and just relax. You can do both the wine tasting and the spirit tasting if you feel like :).

The other thing we did this year was Uncle Tim’s Bridge in Wellfleet (a little more inner Cape than Provincetown and Truro). Thanks to Pinterest, we found this little walkway through a marsh that even my cousins (who have a place in the Cape) didn’t know about. It was a nice leisurely walk with this cute bridge — worthwhile for the whole family!

Downtown

Everyone need to go to downtown Provincetown at least once in their life. Here you can catch some of the best sunsets of anywhere on the cape while you walk around the pier before you grab something to eat. There are a ton of restaurants for everyone’s style – seafood, BBQ, pizza, sandwiches, and sweets. Anything you’re looking for, Ptown will probably have. We went to the patio which I highly recommend. The food was good and it wasn’t too expensive in relation to seafood.

For snack food, I recommend the fudge factory (shown above) and Portuguese bakery (shown below). The fudge factory was delicious! We bought some bark and let me tell you, it’s not bark. We bought three bars and it was over 1lb of chocolate! So good but way more than we thought it would be.

Other activities to do at night would be karaoke or going to see a show. I personally have never seen a show but have heard it’s really fun. You can also go and get permission to have a bonfire on the beach.

Enjoy!!

10 Non Beach Activities To Do At The Cape

I already spoke briefly about shopping in the cape, which is perfect for a day when it’s super rainy. However there are other things you can do that range from all regions of Cape Cod. Here’s a list below of some of them (minus things to to do Provincetown area because that will be it’s own post):

  1. Cape Cod Chip FactoryΒ  in Hyannis
  2. Walk the many marsh trails that are easily found via Google
  3. Head over to First Crush Winery to taste some of their wine
  4. Go on a Rail ride this is on my list and one of the only things I haven’t done
  5. Try some beer at Cape Cod Beer and Co
  6. Try the Devils Purse Brewery while this beer is better than Cape Cod beer, a tasting is rather expensive.
  7. Take a walk, run or bike on the Cape Cod Trails (only downfall, not a lot of ocean views)
  8. Rent a kayak or paddle board – you can find this almost anywhere on the cape!
  9. Go shopping – every town has cute shops to go into!
  10. Go on a Whale Watch

A Visit To Chatham Mass

I thought about doing one large post about my time in Cape Cod this year, but honestly we did so many different things and in so many different places that I didn’t think it made sense to try and jam it all into one post. Instead, I’m breaking them apart. The first is Chatham, Massachusetts. Set on the elbow of Cape Cod, Chatham is known for it’s seals, sharks, quaint town and celebrity style houses. Here’s some things you can do if you’re staying for a few days. 20170729_121852

The Town

Even the town is in Cape style. I recommend trying to do this on a day when you need a break from the beach, if you like to shop I guarantee you could last the whole day up there (I’m not really a shopper). There are fun stores for children to go to as well! Obviously every beach town has a candy store, but Chatham also has some toy stores and a rubber duck store, yes you read that right, it’s super cute too. If it’s a rainy day, you can catch a movie at the theater and if you’re lucky to be there on a certain night, there is live music or catch the Chatham baseball team.

The Beaches

All of the beaches require you to pay to get into them, ranging from $15 to $20 a day. If you’re there for a week, I would recommend getting a week’s pass which is a lot cheaper. The pass is good for the town that you are in, not for beaches outside of the region. We went to two while we were in ChathamHardings (for a sunset) and Lighthouse beach. I really enjoyed Lighthouse beach because it didn’t have as many people as some of the others ones in Chatham (like Ridgevale), I’ve heard the same about Hardings. Other activities you can do near the beaches is rent Paddleboards or Kayaks and go out on Oyster Pond for the day or take a boat ride to see the seals.20170726_131256

Where to eat

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There is only one place on the entire Cape that I would recommend you eat at and that’s Chatham Fish and Lobster. Not only is the food delicious but it’s reasonably priced. It’s the first place we go when we get to Chatham and we go more than once. You can also stop for some ice cream on the way back from mini golf. Or try the Fish Pier for some chowder, that’s on our list next year. Not only because (mmmm) chowder but because of the view below.

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Have you been to Chatham? What have you done on a trip there before? Gone on the bike trail or a marsh trail? Comment below and tell me what you think of the area!