Monday, March 31, 2008


Paul and I had a great weekend visiting Hannah. We drove up to Mansfield Friday evening, Han made us dippy eggs on Saturday morning, and then we drove up to NY to Lake Seneca! We originally wanted to visit Watkins Glen to hike around in the state park, but the Gorge Trail was closed for the winter, so we found a park on the lake and froze our arses off walking across a bridge and out on a little jut of rock to get down by the water. It was in the 50's here in South Centeral PA, but up in NY around Lake Seneca there was fresh snow on the ground, and the branches and rocks near the water that got splashed with each little wave were coated in a thick layer of ice. By the lake there was also a strong, extremely cold wind that took my breath away.

Luckily after that we warmed up in a little deli in Watkins Glen and had yummy sandwiches on fresh-baked bread.

After our little escapade in town, we drove up the West side of the lake to an organic winery slightly off the beaten path, and had a very nice wine tasting that we shared with two very friendly cats. I bought a bottle of one of the reds we tried: it was just one of the most delicious things I'd ever tasted! Han's going to come cook dinner some evening this summer and we'll drink it then. Yum!

Since the deli where we had lunch didn't have a bathroom, and the organic winery didn't either, I was getting a little desperate. Luckily, the other winery Han wanted to visit was on the other side of the lake, so we drove back down to Watkins Glen, failed to find a bathroom at Sunoco and Subway, and finally found success at Hardee's. What's the deal with public restrooms? Sheesh.

Then we headed back up the East side of the lake to a bigger, more commercial winery where, for $4 each, Han and I got to taste 12 wines and each got a free wineglass! As it turned out, they had the wine tasting sorted by color with the reds first, and by the time we were halfway thru the reds a bus had arrived carrying a rather obnoxious blonde 20-something who said "Can I skip right to the reisling?" when she looked at the wine list. So Han and I being the wine snobs that we are decided to skip the rest of the white wines and blushes, and leave with our sanity and our free wine glasses. Han bought a bottle of Roaring Red.

We went on a mini-hike down a big hill thru the grape vine fields behind the second winery, which had a stunning panoramic view of the lake - gorgeous.

After we got back to the car, we decided to keep heading North, and to Paul's delight saw a sign for a winery that was also a brewery. So we stopped there and did a beer tasting, which Paul enjoyed a lot. Surprisingly, probably because I was very slightly buzzed from all the wine, I really enjoyed the beer as well! We all liked their seasonal Sugarhouse Maple, made only once each Spring just after the Maple trees are tapped, so it somehow incorporates maple syrup into the brewing process. It was really quite good. Paul bought a mixed 6-pack for us, and we got a 6-pack of the Maple for my Dad.

On the way back South, we stopped for some fun pictures at a waterfall tumbling down the on the West side of the road: it flowed over some huge, flat rocks under the road, and then continued down on the other side. It was nice to have Hannah along, because for once I could get some pictures of Paul and me without either handing my expensive digital camera over to a stranger or taking it myself at an arm's length (not good for those panoramic views).

We took a lap around the gift shop at the Corning Glass Museum since it was about to close and also it's free to get in to the gift shop, and even got to see a big Chiuly glass sculpture that resides in the museum's lobby. Then we had dinner at a brewery restaurant in Corning, where the food was mediocre, but we had fun anyway.

When we got back to Han's apartment we were all so pooped that we spent the rest of the evening watching the next three episodes of Battlestar Galactica that Paul hadn't seen yet, and then went to bed. The next morning, we slept in a bit, and had breakfast at Mansfield's coffee shop before Paul and I headed home. Paul and I stopped at two "scenic views" on the way home, then had a normal Sunday afternoon culminating in a yummy meatloaf dinner while watching an episode of The Wire.

And now it's Monday, and I have to go to work. Boo. I've got my backpack full of swim gear, though, so I will be heading to the Y to swim at 6:00. Still gotta lose this gut before the end of May...

Pictures coming soon!