We go to ‘Uncle’ Al’s (he’s the uncle of a friend of Andrew’s from work) one day each summer in August to enjoy boating and relaxing on Cranberry Pond, which is–literally–a stone’s throw from Lake Ontario. When we started, there were no kids, and some of the couples weren’t even married yet. We were carefree and only worried about how many times we’d gotten to tube or water ski. Now, the littles outnumber the adults easily and it’s all arms, legs and lifejackets all over the place.Continue reading “boating at Uncle Al’s”
…and getting my head above water!
I took two tests this morning, and miraculously did quite well for having been out of town over the weekend, at least I think so. Rocked the Bio one with a 95% (highest grade of the class!) although I’m irritated because the professor’s questions are unnecessarily tricky. AND I swear he NEVER said that Lysosomes are “suicide bags….”
I have a busy week ahead–article writing, grocery shopping, lots of cooking and baking, Andrew’s birthday, finishing up the house, prepping for Emily and Dan’s arrival, and another test and quiz–WHEW! After my interview for said article this afternoon, I’ve been experiencing a brain-dump of sorts and just surfing online. Once I post all this, I think I’ll be mentally ready to take on the week!
First things first: our b&b. It was called the Oliver Phelps and I realized I’d never taken a picture of the outside. It was amazing.
After breakfast Saturday morning, we headed out to walk around the little “downtown” area and do some shopping. Sara recommended this store to me when she saw we were headed to Canandaigua. It was very neat, although I have to add a little disclaimer here: we’re UBER-lucky to have not one, but TWO specialty olive oil and vinegar stores here on Main Street in East Aurora. One is a chain, Primo Olivo, and the other is a local place called Tuscany on Main. We’re fans and have been into Tuscany multiple times. I did, however, leave F. Oliver’s with a bottle of Honeyed Ginger balsamic vinegar and a bottle of Tuscan Garden olive oil. Can’t wait to use them!
After candle stores, gift stores, a chocolate shop and, believe it or not, a bazillion antique/thrift-type stores (Andrew wanted to go in!), we decided it was time for lunch.
It’s a chain but it got high reviews on TripAdvisor, so we popped in. What in the world made Andrew think he needed 16 inches of Philly Steak, I’m not sure, but whatever. The smallest I could order was 8 inches, and since cheese is a MAIN ingredient of Philly CHEESE Steaks, there was no way were splitting one.
I ended up leaving 75% of my bread behind. I didn’t need it, anyway. Andrew polished BOTH of his right off. The verdict on the steaks from a somewhat-native Philadelphian? Very good.
We drove around a bit, willing our lunches to digest, before walking around the tip of the lake. It was a bit breezy, but we couldn’t have asked for better weather.
We stopped into the Christkindl Market. A big disappointment, there. There were some neat vendors with quality, unique items, but for the most part, it was those “dipping oils” and “scented soaps” kind of stuff. No thank you.
By that time it was late afternoon, and since our dinner reservation wasn’t until 8 p.m. we were looking for something to do. That’s what happens to us “high-speed” vacationers; we get bored. Give us an itinerary, no matter how loudly we complain!
Because it’s the off-season now, lots of places were closing around that time, so we had to sell out and take a study break at Starbucks. Oh well. The free WiFi kept Andrew occupied while I studied, which apparently paid off!
We knew we wanted to go to this authentic German place for dinner, but when I called for reservations, all they had left was 8 p.m. I grumbled but took it. The place is owned by two native Germans, so I figured it was worth it.
We started with a beer for him and a Jager for me, which was half beer and half hard cider. AWESOME. Don’t I look weird when I have dark lipstick on??
We also started with snails in a red wine sauce baked in a puff pastry that looked like a football. Andrew may not like cheese, but who else do you know who picks snails off the menu for an appetizer?
He got the sausage platter and I chose something a bit more unique–a piece of beef round rolled around bacon and pickled and cooked. We both got spaetzle, too.
And of course, I forgot to photograph the apple streudel we split. Oops. Photographic proof we ate it all.
The next morning, after breakfast and checking out, we went on a drive over to the other lake to see what was there. On the way we stopped at Red Jacket Orchard store, which was a fantastic find! I hauled out jars of specialty mustards, honey, dressings and cider like no one’s business! I’m thinking a “Holly’s goodies from Canandaigua” post is in order…
After being thoroughly disappointed with Geneva (not that it was bad, but Sunday morning isn’t exactly the best time to go, either), we headed back and ended up at Simple Crepes, somewhere I’d been salivating about since researching the trip.
I’m a “variety” kind of girl when it comes to food, so I went with the brunch buffet, which includes a ‘made-to-order’ crepe station as well as oatmeal creme brulee. OMG. Must make oatmeal creme brulee at home ASAP. It was amazing.
Andrew got the caramel apple crepe, along with a regular one, too. I was surprised he didn’t go with his favorite, Nutella.
My tasting plate, filled with brunch yumminess!
After filling our bellies, which was kind of my plan, we headed to the New York Wine and Culinary Center for our wine pairing class!
Neither of us had ever done anything like that before, and it was so fun! It really deserves a post on its own, but I’m pressed for time now (in general and currently–Andrew is on his way home NOW), so this will have to suffice. Basically, we got to taste 6 different wines with 6 different flavors, for a total of 36 tastes! And that was after we learned how to properly sniff/swirl/taste wine, which was probably my favorite part.
Basically, Andrew and I favored either a Chardonnay or a Riesling with almost every flavor, and opposite of each other every time! So, as long as we have either or both on the table, we should be fine… It was neat to see how the flavor of the food changes the wine. In fact, for awhile now I’d thought I didn’t like buttery Chardonnays, but in fact, it was what I chose most often with food! And both of us love Reislings anyway; we just have to make sure to get a semi-dry so that it won’t be too sweet.
So, we learned a lot! It was a lot of fun and I would highly recommend it!
On the way home, we stopped to get me some ice cream. What a nice end to the trip!
Now, back to REAL life and REAL eating!