Biking the Erie Canal is a wonderful way to see quaint towns in upstate New York. As an innkeeper, I don’t often get the chance to venture too far away from the Inn during the peak season. But, yesterday evening I got the chance to bike Erie Canal from Schoen Place in Pittsford to Fairport and back. Each year I try to have new experiences so that I can assist guests with things to do in this stunningly beautiful part of the country. I don’t think I will ever run out of things to do in the Finger Lakes.
Much of the time though I am hindered by guests arriving after our check in hours, so it’s hard to plan. But, yesterday worked out just right. I often get nervous about going more than 10 minutes away from the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast with a house full of guests. If a guest needs me, say they lock themselves out of their room, it could take me a while to get back. But it seemed like everyone was well settled yesterday afternoon so off I went.
Biking the Erie Canal
There are several places you can hop on the Erie Canal. Several located about 30 minutes from Canandaigua. We rode about 15 miles, which could be taxing for some including myself, but with plenty to see and do along the way, there’s opportunity to rest. And, of course, you don’t have to ride that far. We rode most of the way in the cool shade, though the outside temperature gauge read 85 when I parked the car. We chatted as we peddled and enjoyed each others’ company. The canal wasn’t crowded at all, though it can be at times, but we timed it perfectly. Occasionally a boat would go by, sailboat, motor boat, kayak, and there was the solo paddle boarder, but it was peaceful place to be. We even saw two fawns on the way back.
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Just wanted to say… Go California Chrome! I hope this horse wins the Triple Crown. I love the fact that this horse came from a humble background. The horse and those associated with him have such an interesting story. Though I don’t much care for horse racing, being the animal lover that I am, I am excited to see the Belmont Stakes. Guess we will all know in a few minutes. Good luck California!
On Feb. 8 come experience “Vintage Vines & Valentines”, an old-world celebration of love and friendship in the historic Finger Lakes Valley of Naples, NY. The event features several local businesses that are offering everything from free tastings to meal discounts! For more details and directions visit www.facebook.com/VintageVinesValentines
More than 200 artisans showcase their work at Artizanns in Naples. Stop by and pick out that special gift so you’ll always remember your visit to the Finger Lakes. Artizanns, 118 North Main Street, Naples. 585-374-6740.
Looking to find your next favorite beer? Stop by Ontario County’s newest nano-brewery. The Victor Brewery is now open and serving up some of the finest beverages around! For all you beer lovers out there, the Victor Brewery is located at 6606 State Route 96 in Victor, NY. For more info visit www.thevbbrewery.com or call at 585-902-8166. Cheers!
Shop for one-of-a-kind items at the Canandaigua Classic Antique Show and Sale where more than 40 quality antique dealers will be showing their wares. Feb. 9 from 9am – 4pm. Admission is $6. Finger Lakes Gaming and Race Track, 5857 Route 96, Farmington. 585-394-1472.
Celebrate wonderful Finger Lakes ice wines this winter. The New York Ice Wine Festival on Feb. 15 from 11am-6pm at Casa Larga Vineyards will be full of Finger Lakes wine, food and fun! Come enjoy, tastings, live entertainment and seminars! For more details visit www.casalarga.com.
Get out for a day of winter fun…and while you’re at it, learn about our area’s history! The Native American Winter Games features a snowsnake game, dogsled run demos, snowshoeing, Native American stories & refreshments. Saturday, Feb. 22, 10am – 4pm.Victor Municipal Park, 1278 Brace Rd, Victor. 585-924-5848. www.ganondagan.org
Step inside from the cold this winter at Finger Lakes Gifts and Lounge, offering the finest locally sourced gifts, edible treats and beverages from the area. Stop in on your next trip to historic downtown Geneva and check it out! 60 Seneca Street, Geneva, NY 14456 315-759-5247
Bring the whole family to cross-country ski on 15 miles of groomed trails, or snowshoe on a 3-mile loop at Cumming Nature Center. Nordic Hot Dog Days starts on Feb. 22 and 23 from 11:30am – 2:30pm. Visitors can also enjoy hot dogs, chili, cookies, brownies and hot cider! Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road, Naples. 585-374-6160.
Sometimes it truly is the little things that make me happy…
For the nearly nine years that I have been the Innkeeper at the 1795 Acorn Inn, guests have gotten two keys upon arrival; one for the front door and the Dining Room door and one for their respective rooms. Since the Inn is locked at all times, these keys made it possible for guests to come and go as they please. Always in the back of my mind though was the thought that although these keys say do not duplicate, they (name not to be mentioned) duplicate them for me as needed. So, why couldn’t guests get them duplicated and come back at any time? I’m not thinking of the kind, respectful, wonderful guests that I usually have the pleasure of meeting…
So, years ago I decided to make the investment and purchase Schlage locks with keypads. This year, when my fabulous brother Roger was visiting, he installed them for me. And, now that I have gotten adept at programming and deprogramming, my vision is complete.
Upon arrival, guests are asked to provide a four-digit code that would be easy for them to remember. Their code is programmed into the locks and voila… they can come and go as they please. Upon their departure, their code is removed from the system. Simple.
For those guests that cannot make our regular check in hours of 3:00 to 5:00 pm and have made arrangements in advance of their stay for a late check in, we can input their code of choice on the day of their arrival. Once inside the Inn, they are able to follow our simple self-check process and use their personal code for their entire stay..
So far, so good. And, I am happy to say, another improvement completed.
Step into local tradition with our annual Ring of Fire! The event starts with the tradition of lighting a fire at dusk on Bare Hill by the Seneca. Residents then light flares around the lake celebrating the harvest season. Sept. 1, 9pm. Canandaigua, Honeoye Lakes, Contact the Visitors Connection for more info. 585-394-3915.
Don’t miss these Geneva wineries along Route 14 S! Belhurst Winery, Billsboro Winery, White Springs Winery and Lacey Magruder Vineyard and Winery – enjoy tastings, shop for unique gifts and the spec- tacular views overlooking Seneca Lake. Billsboro Winery 315-789-9538, White Springs 315-781-9463. Belhurst 315-781-0201. Lacey Macgruder 585-260-1850. Also visit our friendly neighbors at Fox Run Vineyards and Anthony Road Wine Company. Fox Run 315-536-4616. Anthony Road 315-536-2182.
Bring the whole family for a fun day in downtown Victor at Hang Around Victor Day on Sept. 8, 9 am to 5 pm. Enjoy live music and plenty of food and craft vendors. There will be a bounce house, clowns and games for kids and a dunking booth. www.victorchamber.com, Route 96, Village of Victor. 585-742-1476.
Join the fun for the Beer, Brats and Winetizers tour from 2 pm to 6 pm on Sept. 8. You’ll start at Mill Creek Café and head to Naples to tour and taste at Hazlitt, Inspire Moore, Roots Café, Brown Hound Bistro and Arbor Hill. Call 585-721-5169 for reservations and more details. Mill Creek Café, 8705 Main Street, Honeoye.
Get on your bicycle for two great cycling events this September. The Highlander Cycle Tour (Sept. 7 and 8) and the women’s-only Wine Country Ramble (Sept. 15 and 16) will take you through some of the best cycling terrain in the Finger Lakes. For more information, go to www.highlandercycletour.com and www.winecountryramble.com.
Celebrate the harvest season at the Purple Foot Festival on Sept. 16 from 11 am to 6 pm with grape stomping, vineyard hayrides, wine tasting, seminars, Italian dance classes, food,live entertainment and more. Casa Larga Vineyards, 2287 Turk Hill Rd, Fairport. (585) 223-4210.
Enjoy an evening of history as you are guided from house to house on Gibson Street and encounter six personalities from pre-Civil War Canandaigua. Tours are Sept. 21 and 22 start at 7 pm at the Ontario County Historical Museum. Refreshments will be served at the end of the tour. Call the Historical Society or visit www.ochs.org for more information, 55 N. Main St, Canandaigua. 585-394-4975. 25 Gorham Street Canandaigua, NY. 585-394-3915
Check out the Finger Lakes’ newest wine bar, Microclimate in Geneva. Microclimate takes Finger Lakes wines and puts them in flights with similar wines from around the world. 38 Linden Street, Geneva. 315-787-0077
Highlighted on the Food Network’s “All American Festivals”, the Naples Grape Festival features a grape pie contest, grape products, wine tasting, arts & crafts, live music and local foods. September 29-30, 10am-5pm. Naples Memorial Town Park, Route 21S, Naples. 585-374-2240.
For years I’ve been looking for new chairs for the Angell Room. Not too big. Just the right color. Comfy. Matching. And the list goes on… But, I’ve never been able to find the ones I want. I have two chairs and beautiful, expensive fabric that I purchased a while back sitting in my office. The plan has always been to have new slip covers made. But, I can’t find anyone to sew them. So, I thought I would take on the task myself. How hard could it be, right? I plow the driveway in the winter, clean out the gutters, re-screen windows, do minor repairs, sew curtains and draperies for the canopy beds… I can surely sew slipcovers. Then, just when I’m not looking, I find the perfect chairs. Yeah, I’ve heard that one before.
A HUGE thanks to Amanda for helping me paint the outside of the Inn by the Hotchkiss Room! When the house was painted last fall there was a climbing hydrangea on a trellis that covered the wall. This spring my landscaper took the trellis down and removed the plant. Painting that last bit of the Inn has been on my list of things to do for what seems like forever. Today, I get to check it off.
I feel so very fortunate to have the staff working with me that I do. I couldn’t do this without them… Amanda, Kristen, Juli, Judy, Donna and Carson. And even though technically she doesn’t work with us anymore… Audrey. Thanks Ladies!
No doubt this moon created a stunning sight throughout Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes. Recently taken from the parking lot of the 1795 Acorn Inn, the full moon lit up the sky and illuminated the rolling hills of Bristol.
In order to share the ever changing landscape of the Finger Lakes, I will periodically post photos that I’ve taken while exploring the area. I absolutely love taking a road less traveled with camera close by and documenting the ever changing seasons.
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