Tuesday, November 12, 2013

October Travels

Our October was filled with travel.  The fall colors have been particularly intriguing to us and we're doing our best to see them before they're gone.  Beyond the changing leaves, the weather has proved very interesting as well.  The month couldn't decide if it was summer or fall, which caused much confusion for the locals.  It'd be 70 degrees (F) and you'd have people commuting to work in their winter coat, boots and scarves because the day before was in the 40s.  Poor confused locals. Mike & I, for our part, are doing just the opposite.  Holding tightly to summer, we're the ones wearing short sleeves and sandals when it's 40 degrees out.  We're awesome.

Bear Mountain Oktoberfest
Our first trip of the month was up to Bear Mountain for their Oktoberfest celebration.  We took the bus up early one Saturday morning, hiked to the top and then celebrated upon our return to the base with some delicious beer and brats.  Bear Mountain is gorgeous and it was such a fun day out.  Definitely a highlight and something I'd definitely like to do again.  If we were staying, this would be an annual trip.

Watkins Glen State Park
Our next trip was up to the Finger Lakes region for Columbus Day weekend.  We were particularly interested in Watkins Glen state park.  We had seen a picture of this park on the subway, as part of the NY tourism campaign, and were so enamored we immediately began making plans to check it out.  It was as amazing in person as advertised.

Ithaca Falls
We stayed in Bath, just south of Keuka Lake. Though we didn't have a chance to explore Keuka Lake at all, we did enjoy roadtripping around Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. We also had a chance to explore Ithaca and the beautiful Cornell University campus.

The Finger Lakes region is well known for its wineries but we didn't have the opportunity to check any of them out. Since we were driving, and the wineries were charging for tastings, we opted against investigating this aspect of the region.  Hot tip: not one of the many wineries we visited in the Sonoma region of California charged tasting fees.  They're samples, folks. One shouldn't charge for samples.  Nor, for that matter, should one be willing to pay for samples.  Greedy vintners.

1999 (left) and 2013
On our return drive from the Finger Lakes we noticed we would be traveling very near where we had honeymooned back in June 1999. Thus, we made a slight detour.  It was fun returning to the area and discovering that our memories were surprisingly accurate.

Oyster Bay, Long Island
Our final trip of the month was out to Oyster Bay on Long Island for the Oyster Festival. Oyster Bay is beautiful and, although it was a relatively short distance from Manhattan, felt like a world away.  It was such a great way to spend one of the last summer like days of the year.
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