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Finger Lakes, NY by car

Author: Marjorie B.
Date of Trip: July 2010

FINGER LAKES TRIP 7/12 -- 7/15/2010

We are a couple in our 60's who love to travel. We had been hearing a lot of great comments on the Finger Lakes and we wanted a quick get away from Ohio so New York seemed to be the answer. We always book our travels at least one year to six months in advance. This trip was being planned just one week in advance.

finger lakes new york glen motor inn viewNeedless to say, the lodging choices were a bit skimpy but I did a lot of research and was able to find a motel with availability the following week. I booked the Glen Motor Inn based on past traveler's opinions and their web sight info. They were listed as the motel with the #1 view. I also requested info on the internet from the Finger Lakes web sight. I really didn't expect it to arrive before we left but it did. It included a map and a very informative travel guide book.

Monday: 7/12/10 We left Canton, Ohio at 8:20and stopped at the first rest stop in PA on Rt 90 at 10:05 -- 10:19. Back on the road on 90E. We got on Rt 86 at 10:49 -- cloudy but no rain.

After stopping for lunch in Salamanca, NY and checking out their casino, we arrived at exit 40 which was Rt 226 in NY at 3:26pm. The weather was cloudy and looked like rain.

We took Rt226 heading north to 14A toward Watkins Glen. It was about 19 miles. Along the way we noticed a sign to Watkins Glen on SR 23. We considered taking it but thought we better stick to the map. So we finally found 14A which took us to 14 then we made a "U" turn right in front of the motel. The hotel/motel looked a little "rinky dink" but it was ours for the next three nights.

We checked in and drove around to our room #39 and entered at 4:35pm. John was tired and we were both ready for a drink and relaxation. The room was very quaint. Nothing fancy but serviceable. We went out onto our balcony which had three plastic chairs that had once been green. After I wiped them off a little we sat down and looked out at the lake and both agreed, "This was a great view of Seneca Lake!"

This hotel did not provide beach towels, hair dryers, iron or ironing board but it did have a TV and a pool. You don't need anything fancy in this area. We found out Watkins Glen is noted for NASCAR racing. Who knew?!

Then we decided to drive into town to see what was there. We parked on the street then walked toward the main street and found out everything closed at 5:00pm. There was one General Store open which had very nice apparel but we didn't buy anything. The town is very small and you could walk the whole thing in no time. There was nothing much else to do so we walked to an ice cream shop we saw earlier and got a sundae

Back at our hotel -I was happy to see a bath tub because I do not like showers. I turned on the water and as I did I looked up to the shower head and said to John," I sure hope the shower is not turned on." As I said it, water came out of the shower head onto my hair. I was not happy. I immediately turned it off and flipped the switch to make the water go into the tub the intended way -- to fill the tub with water for a bath.

Tuesday: Around 8:00am we went to the complimentary continental breakfast at the restaurant area. Their offerings were quite nice -- everything we normally eat: raisin bran cereal, skim milk, yogurt, raisin toast. They also had fruit cups, bagels, assorted cold cereal, orange juice and coffee. The girl that tended the breakfast area brought out a plate of homemade oatmeal/chocolate chip non-bake cookies for the guests. We really enjoyed those! Now that we were satiated we could begin our first full day at the Finger Lakes on Seneca Lake. -- Yeah!!

Our plan was to drive to Penn Yan at the tip of Keuka Lake (the smallest of the Finger Lakes) and then down the west side of the lake checking out wineries. [best laid plans!!"] I had heard Penn Yan was a neat little town.

We took 14A to Penn Yan thus avoiding the wineries on RT14 along Seneca Lake. As we arrived in Penn Yan I noticed the Best Western Hotel that I had been trying to book for our trip. It was in the heart of the little town, on the corner of the square with no view of any lake. Not a choice spot to stay. We decided not to stop in town. Just move on to the wineries of Keuka Lake. I had a map and a plan -- sorta. I had read somewhere in our many brochures and magazines that it is suggested you limit your winery stops to six a day plus have a designated driver. This is just a suggestion!!

I saw a sign that said Stever Hill Vineyards. Well, that looked interesting. So we followed signs that led us along a long road to no where.

Along the way, not sure which way we were going, we saw another interesting sign for an "Amish Country Store". I said, "Let's go there!" Since I also saw it on the map, John was very accommodating and turned up this road that seemed to lead to a multitude of farms. We kept driving without seeing any more signs. He was just about to make a "U" turn when I said just go another block. You know what they say, "if you would just have gone a little further you would have found what you were looking for." Well, he did as instructed and lo and behold, 500ft down the road was the turn off for the little store on the right. Off Rt 54 on Voak Rd -- 1427 Voak Rd, Penn Yan, NY -- Edgewood Country Store. It was a typical Amish store. Of course I have never been to an original Amish store but I felt this one was just that.

We looked around for a while, amazed at all the varieties of "stuff" they had for sale. We made our purchase now we needed to find some "wine"!!!

When we turned back onto Rt 54 we saw the sign again for Stever Hill Vineyards. So we turned off of the well traveled Rt 54 onto a side country road. We were determined to find it. Then all of a sudden, there was a sign along the right side of the road, sort of obscured by shrubs that read, Stever Hill Vineyards. Well, we found our first winery. I was a little hesitant, first of all because it was a little early -- 11:15am and second, the building identified as a winery looked like an old barn in need of a major paint job.

Regardless, we parked the car in the field and walked up to the barn and indeed there was a wine tasting room located inside. We went in and a very nice lady greeted us. We were her first customers of the day. There was no charge for tasting which instantly made you want to buy the wine. John commented on the fine cherry wood counter. She explained how the Amish built it for them. We did five tasting and enjoyed most of them. I bought a bottle of white and John bought a bottle of red. She placed them in a box that holds a case of wine for us to fill as we traveled the other wineries.

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