Archive for February, 2009

Ice Boating ON the Finger Lakes

February 27, 2009
Ice Boat gliding on Canandaigua Lake

Ice Boat gliding on Canandaigua Lake

What a beautiful sight!  Yesterday I was heading to meet a friend for lunch in Canandaigua and as I drove along the lake, what a surprise–there was an ice boat gliding along on the ice on Canandaigua Lake at Kershaw Park.  I had to stop and watch. Luckily I had both my camera and my Flip Video with me and was able to capture these shots.  Ice Boat on Canandaigua Lake in the Finger Lakes

Ice Boat on Canandaigua Lake

Ice Boat on Canandaigua Lake

The day had a hint of spring with temperatures at around 50 degrees, the sound of the blades whisking around on the ice and the warm breeze made it a wonderful winter experience to watch.  As I stood there taking photos, everyone passing by stopped to marvel at this ice boat gliding and turning, gliding and turning,  and seemingly just floating on top of the ice. I think what struck me most was the solitude and peacefulness on the lake–the whispering wind, the sun breaking through the clouds, the scratchy sound of the blades on the ice and this lucky person with the lake all to himself.   How lucky we are to have these incredible Finger Lakes to enjoy–no matter the season.

Great Music at The Smith this Weekend

February 24, 2009
Jay Unger and Molly Mason at the Smith Opera House

Jay Unger and Molly Mason at the Smith Opera House

There’s more great music coming to the Finger Lakes this weekend in Geneva at the Smith Opera House. Jay Unger and Molly Mason bring a repertoire of music from 19th century classics, Appalachin, Cajun and Celtic fiddle tunes, and favorites of country and swing.  Jay and Molly are  best known for their performance of Ashokan Farewell the music hallmark of Ken Burns’  The Civil War on PBS which won them international fame.  Musicians of enormous talent.  It’s this Saturday night, February 28, at 8 pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased on line at  The Smith Opera House.  Plan ahead and have dinner at a nearby restaurant in Geneva, too.  I’d recommend Parker’s Grille, Halsey’s Restaurant or the Pier House at the Ramada, all located close by.

Orchid Show at Sonnenberg in the Finger Lakes

February 24, 2009
The Orchid Show at Sonnenberg, March 6-8 2009

The Orchid Show at Sonnenberg, March 6-8 2009

Spring is just around the corner and I can’t wait!  Are you ready to get rid of the winter blues and get out for some sunshine and flowers?  The Annual Orchid Show is being held at Sonnenberg Gardens  & Mansion State Historic Park in Canandaigua, on March 6-8, 2009.  As you enter the historic Lord & Burnham greenhouse, you’ll be surrounded by exotic blooms, beautiful fragrances, warm air and bright colors.  On display there will be colorful Cattleyas & Cymbidiums, delicate Dendrobiums, pretty Phalaenopsis &  Paphiopedilums.  (I would never be able to pronounce these so don’t ask.)  They are all just so uniquely beautiful! 

My favorite Orchid

My favorite Orchid

Throughout the weekend you will enjoy lectures on orchid care and the varieties of orchids that make good house plants. Orchid growers Kunisch, Salzman and Fran Murphy of Rochester will be available to consult with guests and you’ll even be able to buy your favorite exotic bloom to take home.

The Finger Lakes Wine Center, located on the grounds of Sonnenberg, will also be open for Finger Lakes Wine Tastings, as will the gift shop. General admission is $5.   Complete information and times of the programs  are available on-line: Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park.   The Garden Season begins this year on Saturday, May 2nd, when the gardens and mansion  open officially for the season.

Finger Lakes nICE Festival

February 23, 2009

Here’s a great idea for something to do this weekend in the Finger Lakes. The New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua is hosting the Finger Lakes nICE Wine Festival featuring local wines, food pairings, tastings and more. Complete information at http://www.NYWCC.com.

nICE Festival in the Finger Lakes

nICE Festival in the Finger Lakes

Finger Lakes Food Find~Grape Pie

February 23, 2009
Scrumptious grape pie

Scrumptious grape pie

Yep, grape pie!  Ever had one?  The Finger Lakes is well-known for this great food find and delectable dessert.  Not only are our wines making headlines, but this unique food is too.  So just what is grape pie?  The history of grape pies begins with an excess of concord grapes as white wines became more popular in the Finger Lakes and some very creative culinary minds in Naples.

Today, perhaps the most notable piemaker in the Finger Lakes is Monica Schenk of Monica’s Pies in Naples, NY, featured many times on TV’s Food Network Food Finds.  Monica’s now offers over 25 different kinds of fruit pies (depending on what’s in season), quiches and even more…her chicken pot pies are the best!  What a great winter comfort food.

Grape Pies, tarts and Healthy Purple

Grape Pies, tarts and Healthy Purple

But there are many other local  piemakers proud of their grape pies too. Up on the hill on scenic road County Rd. 12, Jane Gentner of Gentner’s Valley View made grape pies that were served in the White House.  Close by is Arbor Hill Grapery, a unique little winery, which in addition to grape pies and tarts also makes pie fillings, Healthy Purple, gourmet wine sauces, jellies, jams, vinagrettes and more. 

 

Everything Grape in Naples
Everything Grape in Naples

For a true taste of everything “grape” in the Finger Lakes be sure to come to the Naples Grape Festival held every year in late September.  There are grapes everywhere, from pies, to tarts, to ice cream (yes, grape ice cream), local wines, grape stomping, everything purple you can imagine (the fire hydrants are even painted purple).

Come visit the Finger Lakes and be sure to put “eating grape pie” as a must do on your Finger Lakes itinerary today!

Perfect Gifts from the Finger Lakes

February 20, 2009
Artizann's Gifts from the Finger Lakes

Artizann's Gifts from the Finger Lakes

 If you’re looking for a special gift and one that is a one-of a kind you have to shop at Artizann’s in Naples.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself  looking for that last minute gift for a wedding, a special birthday or anniversary and I’ve never been disappointed when I shop here.   Just look at all the types of art there is in Artizanns.  Suzanne Farley is the owner and has done an incredible job representing over 180 local artists creations in her store.  She’ll help you with ideas for your gifts and meet your price range to make your purchase that unique treasure you’ve been looking for.

 I always love to drive to Naples, its a great little town, with lots of unique and fun things to do–art, theater, shopping.  There are three Finger Lakes wineries close by (Arbor Hill Grapery, Widmer Wine Cellars, Imagine Moore), great places to eat (Brown Hound Bistro, Bristol Harbour, Poor Richard’s) and spectacular scenery everywhere.  So remember, the next time you’re visiting us here in the Finger Lakes or if you live here, Artizanns is the perfect place to shop for a gift to take home or a gift for a friend.  Enjoy!

P.S.  Check the ending of the video–Buttercups Bakery is right next door…all kinds of homemade sweets for the sweet tooth!  mmm good.

Finger Lakes Natural Health~Great Massage

February 20, 2009

Finger Lakes Natural Health in Naples

Finger Lakes Natural Health in Naples

About a month ago, I had a massage at Finger Lakes Natural Health in Naples with Greta Selin-Love–my first visit. WOW is all I can say. What a great way to get rid of some stress; I was hooked. Today I was there for my second appointment. FLNH is a little office located on the second floor of a building Main St in Naples, very quaint cozy and Greta immediately made me feel comfortable. You can engage in light conversation or no conversation at all, whatever you prefer. For almost an hour I enjoyed soft music, warm blankets and a wonderful massage that relaxed me literally from head to toe. I asked Greta if anyone ever refuses to leave…because I came close! 🙂 I’ve booked my next appointment and for future reference to all my family–you’ll never have to ask me what I want for my birthday or holidays…here’s your answer…another massage! Appointments can be made at 585-374-8830. Need a special gift for someone? Gift certificates are available too (hint).

Bristol Mountain Winter Fun Down Cold

February 18, 2009

skier-purple-hat-closestwinter-activities-128Woo Hoo ~ a great website with new videos posted on winter fun. It’s Travel Buzz at www.VisitFingerLakes.com.  Here’s the latest on some snow fun at Bristol Mountain–another treasure of the Finger Lakes!   Watch the video.  Bristol Mountain   What fun. If only I liked falling in the snow.  Bristol also has cross country skiing –that’s more my speed-even with lighted trails for night skiing.  So snowboarders, skiiers alike, this is a great place for winter fun.

One of the most scenic in the Finger Lakes

February 18, 2009

Greetings from the Finger Lakes and welcome to Great Finger Lakes Finds.  Over the next several weeks I’m going to share with you some of the most unique and fun things to see and do here in the Finger Lakes.  I’ll introduce you to some of the people who make it so special and also share some hidden secrets and great favorite foods of the region. 

Canandaigua Lake in winter

Canandaigua Lake in winter

It’s winter in here in Finger Lakes right now and there’s nothing prettier than the freshly fallen snow, the frosty crystal covered trees and, of course, the frozen lakes.  What a view!

Great place to take a family picture
Great place to take a family picture

The first treasure I’d like to share with you is what I think is one of the most beautiful views in the region, the view of Canandaigua Lake from the Overlook on County Rd. #12 near Naples, NY.  It is breathtaking no matter what season and one not to miss.  It’s becoming a family tradition that when our children and their families come home we go each time and take a picture at the Overlook to add to our favorite places and family photos to share.  After we took our family photos we went down along the lake in Woodville and had a great breakfast at Poor Richard’s–a  little diner near the boat launch with GREAT food!  I think that too, will become a family tradition. 

To find the County Rd #12 Overlook, just take Route 21 South out of Canandaigua and head to Naples. Just before entering the Village of Naples (and just a little past Monica’s Pies) is the right turn onto County Rd. #12.  It’s a sharp hairpin turn up the hill so watch for the signs carefully.  About 1/12 miles up the hill you’ll come to the overlook .  Absolutely awesome!  Enjoy!