I haven’t taken a trip in years!
Let’s Catch Up
Hello to all my followers! It’s been quite some time. Lots of things have happened.
I haven’t been on a trip since my best friend Etta got engaged in 2020 on her family vacation in North Carolina.
Since then I’ve become a homeowner, started a new job, adopted a puppy and got engaged to my soulmate. So I haven’t had a lot of time or money to devote to my love of travel. And let’s not forget, we’re still in a global pandemic.
Now we’re all caught up. Which brings us to May 2022. Our wedding is next month! We initially wanted to have a micro-wedding/elopement. 10-15 guests present to witness our ceremony in NYC or Las Vegas. And then a lavish honeymoon somewhere tropical. Our parents were supportive of the micro-wedding idea, but offered to help with a more traditional wedding. We reluctantly accepted their generosity and started planning something bigger and traditional. We went from a no wedding party, no reception, non-traditional ceremony to hosting 60 guests at a fine art museum with a small wedding party (2 bridesmaids and 2 groomsmen) and a traditional ceremony and reception.
I skipped a bridal shower since our guest list is small. And and a majority of the women attending the wedding live out of state. I didn’t think it would be fair on such short notice to have them come out here twice. Which, did I mention I’ve planned and executed all of this is just 4 months? By God’s grace this has all come together rather smoothly.
I didn’t want to skip a bachelorette trip! So my Matron of Honor Eliza and my Maid of Honor Etta put their heads and funds together to plan me a weekend trip I’d love.
I didn’t know many details about this weekend other than the location and that we’d be going to the Corning Museum of Glass. Which if you remember my post from Quebec City, Canada, I have a low key obsession with glass blowing/glass art.
Etta having just moved to a new state, starting a new job AND getting married in 4 months herself wasn’t able to make it here for the trip. But in true Maid of Honor fashion sent her love and her coins!
Friday morning I picked up Eliza, we ran some errands and started our 5 hour drive to western New York state. The first half of the drive was pretty familiar to me. It was just like driving home to Saratoga Springs. But then we kept heading west. It was around the time we needed to fill up on gas that my tire pressure sensor went off. When we stopped, I inspected the tires and didn’t notice any softness or flatness. So I figured the sensor was faulty or the change in altitude was throwing it off.
A couple hours later we arrived in Horseheads, NY and checked into our hotel. We were conveniently located across the street from a mall with the biggest Burlington Coat Factory we’d ever seen. We decided to stop in there and then head to dinner. About an hour and $100 later, we loaded up the car with our spoils and put a local hibachi place in the gps. As soon as I put the car in drive, I knew I had a flat tire. We hopped out and I could see a nail embedded into the front driver’s side tire. And then I remembered the several construction zones we drove through and realized that’s where this happened. So good to know my tire pressure sensor works.
Eliza asked if I had a spare in the back. Which I knew I did. But then came the tricky part. I’d only ever changed a tire once. 10 years ago with my dad coaching me through each step. And Eliza had never changed one before. But in true Eliza G. strong willed fashion, she was determined to change it. And worse case scenario she had AAA and my insurance had roadside assistance. She FaceTimed her dad to tell us what to do. Which, step one we couldn’t even get the bolts off. Eliza was in flip flops and I was in a dress and we were CLEARLY struggling.
It was just starting to get dark and we were about to call a professional. Just then a random young man approached us and asked if we needed help. We said, “YES please”. Eliza’s dad (I call him Pa Willie) stayed on the phone while the man was helping us. The young man could tell from Pa Willie’s accent that he was from Puerto Rico and asked which part. Apparently the young man, who’s name we never got, lived out there for a time and was familiar with Pa Willie’s home city. He however had just moved to western NY from Tennessee. He definitely had that southern hospitality, drawl and accent. He was done within 20 minutes and would not accept the $20 we offered him as a thanks. He said God put him there to help us. Eliza had already made an appointment online at the Firestone located in the same shopping center for the following morning. Next thing we know we were heading to dinner on my spare tire.
Saturday morning we got ready first thing and headed to get some breakfast before dropping the car off at Firestone.
This was where we ran into the next snag of the trip.
We dropped the car off no problem, explaining to the nice tech behind the counter the whole story. How we were here for my bachelorette weekend and we got a flat last night. He was very sympathetic and actually ended up giving me a sizable discount on the 2 new tires I had to purchase. Turns out the tire had the nail and additional shrapnel, so it couldn’t be patched. And my vehicle is all wheel drive so my dad advised me to buy 2 new tires instead of 1. And he paid for them. So thanks dad!
Eliza and I planned to take an Uber to the Corning Museum of Glass where we had a 09:20 glass making experience scheduled. But we were actually in the middle of nowhere, and after 20 minutes could not find a single Uber or Lyft available in the area. The Firestone tech suggested we try a local taxi cab company. Which thankfully we were able to get through to right away. The only thing is they couldn’t get anyone to us for another 20 minutes. Which would make us miss our glass making appointment.
By God’s grace the cab, which was actually a 2004 Chrysler Town & Country, came in just 10 minutes. So we made it to our appointment at the museum with just minutes to spare! But the ride was $50.
While this glass making experience wasn’t as hands on as the one in Quebec, I was still so excited. With covid protocols, we were only able to step on a pedal rigged to an air supply to “blow” air into the sculpture. But I very much enjoyed every minute of it. It was so cool to me to watch glass being made in person, again.
After our sculptures were added to the annealer for cooling, we began touring the museum.
This museum was everything I imagined and more. We were able to observe glass that was centuries old from every part of the world. We were also able to see some of the most amazing contemporary sculptures made within the last few years.
I think my favorite exhibit was the pieces from the Netflix show Blown Away. Which was filmed in part at the museum! I loved the show and absolutely binged the first season in one sitting. I got to see one of my favorite pieces from the show in person. And it was just as amazing as I expected.
We spent about 3 hours in the museum. And took another $50 “cab” back to Firestone. Because yet again there were no Uber or Lyft in the area, even by mid day.
I felt much better once we got the car back. I was just about due for some new tires anyway, so it wasn’t an unnecessary purchase.
Eliza told me the latter half of our day would consist of a lake cruise (an absolute staple for all of our trips) and wine tastings.
We took an hour cruise around Seneca Lake. Thank God for the climate controlled cabin off the lower deck, because I was absolutely ROASTING on the top deck. I will admit I was so comfy that I dozed off for a little and missed some of the fun facts.
But I did remember that Seneca Lake is the largest Finger Lake by volume. And though it sits on top of a very large salt deposit, that is still mined and harvested to this day, it’s a freshwater lake.
After the cruise Eliza told me I had two options. We could either visit vineyards along the north side of the lake or the south side. I chose north.
Our first stop was Lakewood Vineyards. We paid $5 for a 5 wine tasting flight. We could choose between their dry flight or sweet flight. We both chose sweet. The tasting consisted of about 2-3 sips of each of the wines. While sipping, the employee explained things like what grapes and materials were used for that particular wine and the aging process. As well as the flavor profiles. We really enjoyed this tasting and each purchased a couple bottles.
We went to a couple other vineyards and did a couple more tastings. None of which stood out like Lakewood.
To end the evening we went to dinner and called it a night early. It was an eventful day.
We got a later start on Sunday. We had our leftovers for breakfast and checked out of the hotel.
Our first stop of the day was the Corning Museum to pick up our cooled sculptures. It was nice not having to pay $50 to get there this time.
Our next stop was The Rockwell Museum. This was just a 5 minute drive from the glass museum.
This museum was much more low key. We started on the third floor and worked our way down to the first. This was a much more conventional museum as compared the the glass museum. But what I enjoyed most is that they featured many Native American artists. My favorite exhibit was the one by Michael Naranjo. It was all bronze sculptures that we were encouraged to touch! But that’s not what I loved about it. I loved that the artist made the sculptures after being blinded while serving in the Vietnam War. In fact that’s one of the reasons I love Claude Monet (my favorite artist). He continued painting even when his vision began to fail him.
By touching the bronze, we got to experience the medium as the artist did. And for that reason, I don’t think I’ll ever forget this exhibit.
Our last stop of the day was Corning’s downtown. It’s a 5 block strip of shops and restaurants. I am very critical of downtowns being that I’m originally from Saratoga Springs, NY. The bar is set very high. So I found myself a bit underwhelmed by Corning. I guess my biggest complaint was that most of the businesses were closed. So many beautiful storefronts, and most were not open. It could’ve been because it was a Sunday. Or maybe due to the worker shortage. Either way we were disappointed. We stopped at a coffee shop and the only glass shop that was open and then headed back home.
All in all this was not your typical Miami or Cancun bachelorette weekend trip. There was no matching outfits, stripper or getting blackout drunk. It was very tailored to me and my interests. Eliza and Etta really made sure I’d enjoy myself and I am so grateful for their friendship and generosity. Especially considering I sprung this wedding on them with just a few months notice. They made it happen for me, and that’s love.
I don’t plan for this to be my only post this year. My future husband and I won’t be immediately honeymooning after our nuptials next month. But we are considering a “mini-moon” directly after the wedding. And definitely a traditional honeymoon sometime later this year, we hope.
Until after my wedding, cheers 🥂.