One of the things I’ve noticed about living in New York City is that you can use the term “upstate” for basically any place outside of the city, whether it’s in the country or on a lake or in the mountains or tucked along a river. New York is a surprisingly massive state, so the word certainly covers a lot of ground. Last weekend, we headed “upstate” for a friend’s wedding: this time, very truly in the sense of the word–we spent about six hours in the car heading toward the Canadian border.
Although the area was lovely once we arrived, we honestly spent the vast majority of the weekend in the car. We hit city traffic and light blizzards on Friday night and then took a scenic route and hit bridge traffic on Sunday afternoon: a supposed five-hour drive was more like seven hours each way (although I’m feeling quite lucky that Mother Nature held out until we were home to wallop the area with five feet of snow). The little bit of time we did spend in the small towns and gorgeous nature of the Finger Lakes region made me eager to return, albeit with better weather and more time to relax and explore.
I’m a HUGE fan of waterfalls, so I was instantly intrigued by all of the small towns that we passed with “falls” in their name. I was particularly taken with Honeoye Falls when we passed a sign for it, simply because I had no idea how to pronounce the first word and because I thought it was so wonderful to have a town built around a waterfall. So! I convinced my boyfriend that seeing a waterfall would be a lovely way to spend our Saturday morning: we drove 30 minutes through a combination of picturesque countryside and boxy strip malls to a teeny-tiny village with a teeny-tiny waterfall.Even though we got a little lost on the drive back to the hotel–we decided to see if we could figure out the way back without using our iPhones, and it turns out we couldn’t–it was still a gorgeous crisp morning with blue skies and sprawling open land and more adorable red barns than I could count. The reason for the visit: my boyfriend’s good friend from grad school was getting married! The groom was Irish, the bride was Italian: after a traditional Catholic ceremony, there was a reception at a country club with plenty of whiskey, cannolis and good times. I prefer to cover my shoulders whenever I’m in a church, so I wore a stylish but still conservative dress from Yumi Kim (although I did take off my tights for the dancing portion of the evening). We had such a fantastic time! We decided to take the scenic route back to the city, even though the day was a little gloomy. We drove along Cayuga Lake (one of the Finger Lakes) and stopped at Taughannock Falls for a stretch break. I’d love to go back and explore this region in the summertime–perhaps stop at one of the many wineries and go for a dip in the Taughannock swimming hole. What’s your favorite photo of the Finger Lakes region?