On Finger Lakes

Smooth as glass

Seneca Lake smooth as glass at Watkins Glen

Last fall we spent some time in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Given May was Finger Lakes Wine Month, thus I missed the perfect chance to look back. Oh well, better late than never

The Finger Lakes region is in central New York, far from the hustle and bustle of New York City. On the map, there are a series of long, narrow, parallel lakes looking like fingers, which are actually very deep.


For many years I’ve heard of people vacationing to the Finger Lakes region – but the urge to go never overwhelmed us enough to act on a trip. Given last year’s change of address, 2014 turned out to be a good time for a driving vacation.

As people who enjoy the fruit of the vine, wine was our primary focus. Although known for many years for its sweet, low-cost wines, todays Finger Lakes winemakers produce very respectable wines.

View from Dr. Frank's

View from Dr. Frank’s

Anyone expecting hardy reds will be (for the most part) disappointed. Reds as Cabernet Franc and some blends are good, but far from the deep, rich reds from California or Washington.

Riesling is king of grape in the region. Although I prefer a wide variety of red wines, Rieslings have captured my attention for a long time. Similar to their Germans and the French Alsatian counterparts, Finger Lake winemakers produce Riesling in a variety of styles, which range in sweetness and dryness.

Most tasting rooms have a small fee ($3-5) for a series of wines. To me, the following wineries were exceptional (lake name in parentheses)
Domaine LeSeurre (Keuka)
Dr. Frank Konstantin (Keuka)
Herman Wiemer (Seneca)
Lamoreaux Landing (Seneca)
Ravines (Seneca)
Thirsty Owl (Cayuga)

Towns as Watkins Glen, Hammondsport, Seneca Falls, and others are small, but large enough to have restaurants, small hotels, and bed & breakfast inns. Besides wineries, the region also includes state parks, hiking trails, local artisans, and museums.


Taughannock falls


Ithaca is one the region’s largest cities (30,000+), and is home to Cornell University. Because one of my Bucket List oddities is to visit all the Ivy League universities, we enjoyed the campus, the botanical gardens, and arboretum.

3 daily bell concerts at the famed Cornell tower

3 daily bell concerts at the famed Cornell tower


Visitors Center at the Cornell Botanical Gardens

Visitors Center at the Cornell Botanical Gardens


Corning (population 11,000+) is less than an hour away, and home to the Corning Museum of Glass. Our original itinerary didn’t include a stop, but to me, this was the biggest surprise of our trip. Simply fabulous!

Corning Museum of Glass

Corning Museum of Glass

A masterpiece by Tiffany at the Corning Museum of Glass

A masterpiece by Tiffany at the Corning Museum of Glass

For readers in the northeastern US and eastern Canada, the Finger Lakes region is a worthwhile destination – so, consider it.

Useful References
Finger Lakes Wine
Cayuga Wine Trail
Seneca Wine Trail
Keuka Wine Trail
Cornell University Botanical Gardens
Corning Museum of Glass

On the First Monday Back

Embed from Getty Images

Greetings! This is the 223rd edition of Monday Morning Entertainment, yet the 222nd edition was for the first Monday in August. Whew … it’s been a while!!!

Being away for some time means there is much to share, but I’ll start with a traditional question – How was your weekend?

We returned from our road-trip vacation last Sunday, but this past week was filled with dance lessons, the final weeks of golf league, and a baseball game (the Reds won, but it has been a horrible season), which propelled us into a weekend roadtrip. After attending a college football game Friday night in downtown Cincinnati, we started our 200-mile (320-km) drive northward to attend another college football game (and about 14 hours separating the end of one game and the beginning of the next) … and then the 3-hour drive home after the game. We saw a lot of offense and two wins (58-34 and 45-42) … and it was good to be back on the campus where my wife and I meet. Both singing the alma mater and a win in the final seconds choked me up a bit. Sunday morning was a bit different as I watched, listened, and enjoyed to the handbell choir from the audience, but I don’t think anyone noticed I wasn’t playing (which is fine with me).

Although I probably won’t post everyday this week, Life: The Musical returns with Act 9 featuring a significant part of everyone’s life – Work … so song titles must include Work, Working, Worker, Worked, or any occupation – the latter widens the opportunities. However, an occupation can only be used once.  Get your songs ready because curtain goes up Wednesday, 9:30 pm (Eastern USA).

The previous post had a few pics from our vacation of undisclosed destination. Cheers to those picking out some of the locations. The stops on our trip were Kentuck Knob (a Frank Lloyd Write gem), Gettysburg PA (Civil War batttlefield), Cooperstown NY (Baseball Hall of Fame), Cornell University, Taughannock Falls, Finger Lakes Region (especially for wine & cheese), Grand Prix Festival (Watkins Glen NY), the Corning (NY) Museum of Glass, and Fallingwater (the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece). Note: The links are to sites or Google Images.

Celebrations for the week

  • (Week) Dog Week, Flower Week, Deaf Awareness Week, Childcare Week, Farm Safety Week, School Internet Safety Week, Women in Construction Week, Farm Animals Awareness Week, Constitution Week, Child Passenger Safety Week, Dating and Life Coach Recognition Week, Farm Animals Awareness Week, Truck Drive Appreciation Week, Pollution Prevention Week, Balance Awareness Week, Health Information and Technology week, Love Your Files Week, Postdoc Appreciation Week
  • (Mon) Felt Hat Day, Dot Day, Thank-You Day, Care Givers Day, Sing-Out Day, POW/MIA Recognition Day, International Day of Democracy, 8-Track Tape Day, LGBT Center Awareness Day, Creme de Menthe Day
  • (Tues) Guacamole Day, Play Doh Day, Collect Rocks Day, Wrinkled Raincoat Day, Eat an Apple Day, Coastal Cleanup Day, Mayflower Day, Step-family Day, Trail of Tears Commemoration Day, Ozone Layer Preservation Day, Wife Appreciation Day, Working Parents Day
  • (Wed)Country Music Day, Citizenship Day, Rehabilitation Day, Time’s Up Day, School Backpack Awareness Day, Student Day, Responsible Dog Owners Day, Apple Dumpling Day
  • (Thurs) Hug a Greeting Card Writer Day, Cheeseburger Day, Respect Day, HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day, Water Monitoring Day, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Awareness Day

To send you into the week, here a good one courtesy of Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show. Enjoy … and have a good week!