Tuesday, June 18, 2013
weekending (the falls, the lake, the vineyards, the treasures)
We spent the day in Niagara Falls this past Friday. It had been 13 years since we'd been there (the last time was on our honeymoon) so it was nice to take the kids and spend the day. That place always amazes me. Well, the falls amaze me. Their power and beauty. We had an awesome day, did a ton of walking, and finished up our time dining al fresco before heading south again to stay the night.
Our hotel was located in Findlay Lake, NY. I had never heard of it prior to this stay, but it's a little lake town. After Sergei caught his train early Saturday morning, we headed out to do a little exploring. It's a tiny town, and it doesn't look like much just driving through. We, however, drove the perimeter of the lake, admiring all of the cute, little lake cottages, dreaming about owning one of them for weekend getaways, and the such. And then we parked and walked through this tiny town, and this was the fun part. Cute little shops, lots of antiques, a candle company that made and sold its candles right there. Coffee, yummy treats, and a charming little inn where we enjoyed a very scrumptious lunch. The shops were adorable, and I really had to hold back on pulling my camera out and snapping away. I'm always timid about taking pics in shops.
I found that little red stool in a cute little shop (Wonderments Wine and Gifts). Upon speaking to the owner, I found out that her and her husband had owned the shop for twenty years. She carried one-of-a-kind stationary, French soaps, some of her artist daughter's pottery, jewelry, and some other handmade items that she had made. The back rooms of her shop were filled with antiques and vintage finds. Oh, was I in my zone there! We bought some wind chimes and the stool from her as well as a quart-sized mason jar of real maple syrup made by a friend of hers. And then we went and visited her husband in his little wine shop right next door. He let the kids pet his English Springer dog (who was incredibly adorable), and we chatted a bit with him. They were such a nice couple. I love when we have the opportunity to visit privately-owned shops that have been built by the sweat and blood and love and care of people who love what they do. And I really love my new stool. It's heavy and sturdy and holds quite a bit of history, I'm sure. I'm not sure how old it is, but it is extremely well made, with a big chip out of the one side of the seat (and I've wondered many times what the story is behind that.) That's what I like about old pieces, antiques. They all have a story. That little red stool has already been put to good use in our kitchen. It's perfect for Lily to use to reach things in the cupboards.
When we left Findlay Lake, we did a little more exploring and found a big craft venue that is open each Saturday. We stopped in, and much to my delight, there was a vendor there that sold alpaca yarn. She was a wonderfully kind woman; she owns an alpaca farm. She was so encouraging as to raising alpacas, and she got me thinking that maybe I can raise alpacas after all (which has been a dream of mine for the last two years.) I bought an amazingly soft and scrumptious hank of suri/silk yarn from her as well as some roving wool/alpaca blend (to try my hand at the drop spindle.) And she invited us to her farm in August when we go back to pick Sergei up in Erie. We're definitely going to try to take her up on the invitation. (Oh, and here is a link to her etsy shop where she sells her alpaca yarn.)
I will say that I really enjoyed the scenery in New York. There are vineyards EVERYWHERE! It's so different from what one sees here. Around here, we see fields upon fields of grasses, wheat and corn. Up there, there were vineyards, vineyards, and more vineyards. It was a beautiful change of scenery.
We had a wonderful time, and are already planning our second trip in August, when we return to pick Sergei up.