Vacation is a beautiful thing.
I may or may not be around this week. That is to be determined!
I’m trying to stay away from my computer, phone, Pinterest, etc this week, and truly enjoy some R&R!
Upstate New York is entirely underrated. In case you were wondering.
The region is associated with the three snowiest cities in the United States (Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, thank you very much), but very little is it associated with the summer months!
Let’s keep it that way, eh? I like driving on an empty highway.
It is beautiful – sunshine, blue skies, budding vineyards and lots of big yellow fields that reminded me of Scotland!
A month or so ago, we spent the weekend in the Finger Lakes and spent the morning in Naples, NY. It’s right next to Rome, NY and Italy, NY.
We had breakfast at the Middlesex Airport Diner – a small building on a small meadow that small planes fly in and out of.
While our waiter informed us we were a bit late for the usual plane sightseeing (what? 11am is too late for breakfast?) we still managed to see a few of them.
After breakfast we drove to Grimes Glen.
Grimes Glen is a hiking path in a glen. No surprise there.
It has a one mile creek walk up to some beautiful waterfalls.
Go ahead and swallow that vanity. Put on a pair of ugly nature sandals and walk all the way up the creek! (Some currents are a bit strong, but most places weren’t deeper than 12 inches of water. I was carrying my SLR around my neck).
We went on a Saturday morning and there was a fair amount of hiking traffic.
Next time I think I’ll leave my camera in the car and bring my swimsuit.
There were lots of kids playing in the water. We went over Memorial Day weekend, so the water was nippy, but enjoyable! We only hiked to the first waterfall, so we were only going for an hour or two.
We spent the rest of the beautiful Finger Lakes afternoon doing a little bit of fishing, dock sitting and boating.
And of course a little bit of this:
The lazy, hazy summer afternoon was made for me!
What’s your favorite lazy, summer activity?
While I was visiting my family in the Finger Lake last week I went hydroponic strawberry picking… Hydroponiwhat?
Hydroponic. As in hydra (water) and ponein (labor).
Still not making sense? Wikipedia defines hydroponics as “a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil.”
Still not making sense?
THIS is their strawberry patch looks like.
No muddy sneakers. No squished strawberry stain on your bum. No bugs. No kneeling/squatting and moving over with your little red flag every 18 inches.
My hands didn’t even get dirty! They make you cut the strawberries with a pair of scissors. And you have to use anti-bacterial soap before you can go in.
You are supposed to cut as long a stem as possible, because the longer the stem is the more energy the fruit has. Thus, lasting longer.
Why hydroponic farming? Well, we spoke to the owner for a little while. Basically, the method he uses requires a LOT less water and he can better protect the fruit from diseases and pesticides.
Oddly enough, I thought we were at the tail-end of their season’s pickings. But then the owners told us they just opened last week. While most strawberry patches are in-season in June, the hydroponic farm is in season from June through Halloween!!
They are smaller than normal strawberries, but delicious! A pop of sweet, fresh flavor.
(P.S. Jellies (as in shoes, not strawberry jam) are coming back. My friend Abs saw them and got them for me. Woot! Thanks Abs!)
My official review: It was lovely. While the slaving under the sun in the dust and accidentally sitting on old strawberries is nostalgic (and still a good time), this was quick, clean and easy! If old-school berry pickin’ is the Goodwill clearance rack, hydroponic berry picking is Macy’s.
Have you heard of hydroponic farming before? Have you ever picked hydroponic strawberries?
I love the 4th of July.
I know it’s over and this is a little anti-climatic. But you’ll overlook that fact, won’t you?
The 4th of July is the real kick-off of summer. School and spring cleaning often drip into June. And June is already overrun with graduations and parties and bridal showers that summer celebration gets lost in the mix. But no longer.
It’s JULY friends. It is summertime.
Random note – We spent the weekend at my family lakehouse in the Finger Lakes. I must have had patriotic clothing on my mind for the holiday, because I packed red and white striped clothing for every day. Hah-hah!
These are my Mom’s blingy table decorations for the 4th. She’s got pizazz
Our neighbors have a large farm area. They have a vineyard (Pinot Grigio to be exact, or so I learned) and also have lots of fruits and vegetables growing. We happened to be there at the peak of cherry picking season and they invited us up to pick a H-U-G-E bag of delicious cherries.
I had the best of intentions. Why, with these amazing cherries, surely I should make a cherry pie or tart or jam or something, right? But I can’t help just eating them all plain. They are so fresh and sweet they are like candy!
Random – our neighbors plant rosebushes at the end of each grapevine. Do you know why? Apparently the mildew properties are the same. So, if you see mildew on the roses you know how to take care of the vine. I wonder who figured that out and how.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
- John Lubbock
And nothing can beat a summer night. I insist on campfires and s’mores everytime we are at the lake. It’s the best way to end any day spent in the sun.
And of course we watched the fireworks.
We watched from the very spot we got married (collective “aw”), although it was more due to last minute boat engine funkiness than planning. But it was beautiful. And all the boats on the water was an unexpected beautiful sight.
I think that is why I enjoy the 4th of July so much. It’s a quintessential summer weekend of celebrating with friends and family. Eating good food, enjoying the world we live in and some old fashion fun.
What did you do for the 4th of July? Do you like cherries as much as I do right now?