Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Travel Notes - Finger Lakes stylee

* In hindsight it makes sense, but how was I to know the culverts are so deep on the sides of the roads? Yes, it is the logical place to stack up all that snow accumulation. But if you/I try to do an illegal u-turn on a country road, even 4 wheel drive isn't going to help you/me. Thankfully, a local redneck came by with a tow chain. "I won't accept anything more than a 20," is the phrase that pays. I felt like such a city-slicker.

* It's a shame they can't ship outside NY state, because Finger Lakes wineries are getting their act together. I stopped by Lucas Vineyards on a cold afternoon. I was the only visitor, so I had the place - and the owner's son-in-law - to myself. Jeff Hawk gave me a great overview of what they're up to. And most of it is very good. Their Gewurtz and Rieslings go perfectly with a big bowl of snow. The dry Riesling was exceptional - nice acid, peaches, a hint of lychee and a wonderful long finish. Located on the western shore of Cayuga Lake, Lucas is one of at least 15 lakeside wineries. I will return.

*Ithaca. A classic college town. I waxed nostalgic for the days of academia. So much so, I looked up an old college buddy, who lives in Webster NY. Webster is right on Lake Ontario, a suburb of Rochester. Hey Scott, you rock! I still wasn't avoiding the snow, no way, no how...

* ...Speaking of, Chittenango, due east of Syracuse, is the birthplace of L. Frank Braum. The sidewalks are made of yellow bricks. Will have to wait a few months, for the thaw, to confirm. Every June, the remaining living munchins come to represent the Lollypop Guild in The Oz Fest Parade.

* And of course, my sister, bro-in law, nieces and nephew were all looking good, in the Lansing snow drifts.


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