Wine tasting and boat rides…must be the Finger Lakes!

We were fortunate enough to park in a car park next to the local bakery. So that morning we treated ourselves to freshly made bread and cooked a spinach, egg and ricotta breakfast. With our bellies full, we walked down the street to check out the town’s local waterfall, before setting off 10 minutes down the road for a walk down a gorge walk which was recommended to us by a member of the yacht club.It was a scorcher of a day, so it was no surprise that both car parks were rammed. You could tell that it was clearly going to be a popular walk.The start of the walk felt like a scene from Lord of the Rings. An old stone bridge built into the gorge leading you into Mordor.We followed the crowds of people deep into the gorge, around intriguing spiral stair cases, underneath a gorgeous waterfall and along narrow paths leading through cascading water running down from the top of the summit.The gorge then started to open up to a section where the layed walls formed millions of years ago under sea level, were now covered in green overgrowth, transforming the entire feel of the path.The surroundings transformed and became more befitting of a Jurrasic Park movie, with prehistoric looking overgrowth taking over the walkway.We continued along the path, admiring the marvels of the rock which had been carved in half by the river.About a mile into the gorge, the path worked it’s way back down to the entrance. We followed a different trail that brought us back along the top of the ridge. Stepped out from the gorge’s shadow back at the entrance, the cool air was immediately replaced by a sicky humid heat. We took shelter in the gift shop, taking advantage of the free air con whilst searching for a fridge magnet to start our state collection.We left Watkins Glen, heading north to wine county, both looking forward to tasting what the region had to offer. Once again our phones were out and we identified a winery named Three Brothers, supposedly one of the more popular winerys in the area.Pulling up, you could definitely tell this was a popular place to be on a hot Saturday afternoon. Desperate to try some fancy wine, we parked up, unsure how the wine tasting worked, so we headed to the main reception desk, where we were informed that there were four tasting areas. We ended buying a tasting passport which would enable us to sample drinks in each zone.The first zone we visited was actually a beer brewery named War Horse.The dĂ©cor was stylishly decorated and seemed to be very popular with the locals. The barman informed us that we could pick 4 tasters and also have 2 half pints.After a thorough read of the beer menu, we settled on sampling – Tarty Mcfly, Lieutenant Dan, Royal Kilt inspector and Breakfast with Churchill. Credit to whoever came up with those names!For half pints, Willow settled for more Tarty Mcfly, whereas I had a special IPA that they currently on tap. Our passports ticked off, we headed outside, not before stopping off to admire the brewing room.We polished off our half pints surrounded by glorious sunshine and clear blue skies.We decided to head to their ‘sweet wine’ zone. Neither of us particularly fans of sweet wine, we thought it best to get these out of the way so that we could enjoy the dry wines after.The barmaid was very polite and informative about the drinks, however that was not enough for either of us to find any of them remotely enjoyable. But hey, we’re troopers. We don’t like to waste any wine opportunities!From the sweet zone, we headed to their sparkling wine section. The barmaid in this section informed us that we could pick from either sweet or dry selections. Not surprisingly, we opted for the dry. As it turned out, their definition of ‘dry wine’ compared to France’s was very different. We did find one of the wines very enjoyable, and savoured our glass whilst the barmaid cleared up the glass she enthusiastically threw onto the floor. This was apparently her first day…We headed to the forth and final zone, optimistic that we had saved the best section till last. Whilst browsing the options we got speaking to 2 girls at the bar. Turns out they were both teachers who were in need of a wine weekend pick me up. Not long after, we also got speaking to the barman who also turned out to be a teacher. Seems to be a strong link to teachers and wine drinking. If there is anybody reading this interested in completing a study into these links, then please send me a message!As we found in the previous zone, their dry wines are a lot sweeter than we are used to. We did however get to taste a wine made in a bourbon barrel which was nice, but a bit pricey a $60 a bottle.Our passport complete, we headed off, hoping to find a decent place to pull over and spend the night.We ended up passing a yacht club just as the sun was setting, and so we grabbed a can of beer and walked into their picnic garden. As it had been a nice day, the garden was still buy with members. Not wanting to be rude, I asked a group if it would be ok for us to sit and watch the sun set. We were in luck, and so we perched at a bench and soaked up the view.We ended up spending the rest of the evening chatting to a small group who were very fascinated by our travels. And as luck would have it, we were actually speaking to a guy named Chris who was the Commador of the club. He kindly offered for us to stay in the car park and left the outside toilet and shower room open for us.Their seemed to be no end to the kind hospitality we were receiving, whilst enquiring about boat rentals for the lake with a chap named Ken, we were both taken back when he offered us a boat ride the following day on his small yacht. Shocked an excited, we humbly accepted.The following morning we met Ken and he introduced us to his friend Anita who would be joining us on the trip.Anita had come prepred with crackers and cheese. I could tell immediately that we were going to get along.It didn’t take long for Ken and Anita to have the boat ready for launch.Luck seemed to be smiling upon us recently, as we relaxed on the boat and let the wind drive us down the Seneca lake. As it was a free boat ride, I think we were both expecting to be out with Ken and Anita for about an hour, so we were both surprised to find that we would end up spending almost the entire day on the water.We couldn’t have picked a better day for it. The sun was shining and for most parts, wind was filling the sails to zig zag us around. All we really had to do was sit back, relax and have a nice natter. We heard all back Ken’s career, which had seemed to take him all across America. We listened to Anita talk about her life and tried to make mental notes of all of her recommendations of places to visit.We ended up sailing all the way down to ‘the barge’, which was a military vessel installed during the world war, over the deepest section of the lake. Apparently, it was used to treat submarines.The seemed to stretch forever into the horizon. I could have sat there all weekend watching the sun dance on the shimmering waves. We had sadly made our way back to the yacht club just into time for sun set.Once back on dry land, we said our goodbyes to Anita.We have so far been very fortunate with the people we have met and after swapping information, I hope to keep in touch with both Ken and Anita.Chris was at the yacht club again that evening and once again our this his amazing hospitality, offering us access to the club’s beer tap, shower room and car park.When it was finally time for Ken to leave, we thanked him for the fantastic experience. We both will look back fondly on our unexpected stop off at Seneca Yacht Club.

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