Our American Road Trip: Part 1 – Ithaca, New York

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Last week we took ourselves away on a little road trip up North to Ithaca in New York and then onto Niagara Falls.  This was our first little holiday since moving to America and we were definitely looking forward to getting away.  I personally was looking forward to escaping the city for a few days, being away from our usual routine, not having to do day to day chores and just relaxing…you know, basically all the things I complained about during our first month in Delaware.  Girl is hard to please.   Since I have stopped working I sometimes feel a little constricted, without a car and not yet having tackled the public transport system (I know, I know) I have started to forget there is life beyond the three mile radius I have restricted myself to and was looking forward to seeing some different places.

Ian was driving the whole journey, his only requests being I passed him water and chocolate covered pretzels on demand.  Oh, and promise not to sing but this request wasn’t really that realistic, I mean the first drive was four hours, that’s a long time for me not to express myself through song – more specifically Taylor Swift and maybe a little bit of air guitar.  I had a great time.

Our first stop was Ithaca, where we planned on spending our days walking up and down hills experiencing the fantastic landscape and viewing the spectacular waterfalls and gorges.   We stayed in a really cute bed and breakfast in Downtown Ithaca called the William Henry Miller Inn. The Inn was perfect for a chilled few nights away, we stayed in the ‘Sanctuary room‘ which had the softest velvety sheets known to man and a big corner jacuzzi bath in the bathroom.  If I am going to become one with nature I am going to do it knowing there’s a jacuzzi waiting for me at the end of it – I know, I’m such a diva. Oh, AND there was a complimentary dessert table each night filled with home-made treats, the lemon bars were the best thing either of us had ever tasted, so much so I chose them over the chocolate brownies.  It was a big deal.

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Soon after arriving we hit our first hiking trail at Buttermilk Falls State Park, the full trail ran for for about four and a half miles spanning by waterfalls, around Lake Treman and through woodland giving us a nice shade from the 28+ degree C heat.  There was hardly anyone around, it was so quiet and relaxing just walking and chatting as we spotted the local wildlife rustling around in the leaves and Ian taking lots of photos on his fancy camera.  The walk took three hours and five litres of back sweat and it was totally worth it.

Buttermilk Falls State Park

Buttermilk Falls State Park
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The following morning we drove to Watkins Glen State Park, the two mile trail wound down into the gorge between the steep jaguared walls allowing us to walk over and under the waterfalls flowing from the stream.  I really enjoyed the views along this gorge, they are definitely something to see.  This park is also a really short drive from Seneca Lake which is  a really beautiful and serene place to visit.  Afterwards we went to The Wildflower Cafe in Watkins Glen for lunch where we had a salmon salad, fish tacos and a side of sweet potato fries.  I say side, I mean a portion enough for five people – I am not exaggerating.  This is where we realised we have developed an unhealthy pattern in our relationship: Ian panic orders too much food and I eat it.  Every single time.

Watkins Glen State Park

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After lunch I may have taken a nap (please refer to the sweet potato fries) in the car on the way to Robert H. Treman State Park.  I wish we had had more time (and energy) to explore this park a little further but we only walked the trail for 45 minutes before turning back as we were both pretty tired by this point and I was tripping up every three steps as my legs started to give in.  Afterwards Ian had a swim in the natural swimming pool at the bottom of the waterfall and I opted to watch as the water was frickin’ freezing but I hear it was nice and refreshing.

Robert H. Treman State Park

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Both nights we shared tapas downtown, the first night we had spanish tapas at Just a Taste, the food was really good especially the sweet potato wedges and dip (we have a lot of love for the sweet potato).  The second night we had Pan-Asian tapas at Mia Restaurant, again the food was really good and we ordered far too much but this time Ian ate it all, not me.

Overall I really liked Ithaca and I would definitely return, I loved the walking and sightseeing, I was so relaxed and had one of the best nights sleep I had had in ages, we shared good food and good wine, throw a jacuzzi into this mix and I was loving life.  It was quiet, there were no car horns blowing and most importantly I was talking to other people rather than myself for most of the day.  Ian had a well deserved break from work and even though I’m pretty sure he was sick of me talking I know he enjoyed it as much as me.

Next stop, Niagara Falls!

All photography courtesy of Ian Hobday.

Seneca Lake
Seneca Lake
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