“Wow, that’s a change of scenery!”
The comment popped up on my Instagram within moments of me posting my first snap from back in the USA. Looking up from my iPhone, I surveyed my surroundings. A calm lake broken only by a few slow kayaks, a crisp glass of local white wine, an American flag stirring in the breeze. A change of scenery indeed. Less than forty-eight hours prior, I’d been dangling my feet in the pool at the Hamilton Princess, my last stop on a Caribbean island hop that had brought me from Roatán to Grand Cayman to Bermuda. Landing back in my home state of New York, I swapped my passport for a set of car keys and hit the road again after just one night in my childhood bed.
Normally, I like to give myself a little more turnaround time between trips. But when the opportunity to explore three new corners of my home state came up, I just couldn’t say no. Which is what brought me to my current backdrop, a particularly scenic stretch of the Finger Lakes. My companions were more than half the fun — I started the trip with my sister Margaret and halfway through we headed to Rochester, where we were met by Bearded Bartender. After a weekend of family fun I swapped travel buddies and Bearded Bartender and I traveled on.
My week-long road trip would bring me to Hammondsport on Keuka Lake, Corning on Seneca Lake, Ithaca on Cayuga Lake, and my older sister Margaret’s home city of Rochester. With the exception of Rochester they were all new destinations for me, and I marveled at how long it took me to uncover these hidden gems (hidden from me, anyway) in my own backyard. I swelled with pride at each of them, excited they were all part of the state I call home. It was quite a week! I went kayaking, I took a glass blowing class, I vineyard hopped, I hiked to waterfalls, I browsed museums, I sampled fantastic restaurants and one kick-ass spa, and I glamped in one of the most beautiful tents I’ve ever seen.
I can’t seem to get this video to autoplay in best quality! Click through to Vimeo to see in all its HD glory, Song is New York by Cat Power.
I have many a post coming up from this trip — prepare for some Empire State overload, guys! — so I thought we’d kick things off with a little trailer. Hope it gets you in a New York state of mind.
Have you been to New York beyond the five boroughs? Where? If not, I hope I’ll have convinced you to soon! Tell me what you’re most excited to hear about first…