For all the travelling I’ve done in my life and all the places I’ve visited, there are only few that I felt I could make my home. These places seemed to fit as comfortably as a cozy sweater. They gave me an immediate sense of belonging and an understanding that I could melt into the fabric of the area as seamlessly as if I’d been there forever. One such place, the one I return to time and again, is upstate New York. And when I say “upstate,” I mean pretty much everything beyond the Hudson Valley – the Adirondacks, the Capital region, the Finger Lakes, the windwhipped plateaus of the north…I claim them all. I have an attachment to all of those areas for one reason or another. I’ve vacationed there, attended college there. Most of my friends live there, and one day I will too. But for now, I content myself with visiting as often as I can.
This year my best friend and I decided that the lakeside town of Watkins Glen would be a fantastic place for our girls’ weekend away. Ang grew up not far from there, but I’d never been, so she was the perfect tour guide.
We got a bit of a late start in looking at places to stay and were alarmed to realize that almost every hotel and inn was fully booked for the weekend we wanted to visit. But what could have been a disaster ended up being a stroke of luck – in our desperation, we looked into the Harbor Hotel, the new, gorgeously appointed hotel right on the water…and managed to snag the last available room. We were too relieved about finding a place to stay to care that it was a bit more expensive than we’d planned. And once we got there and saw that we’d somehow landed a luxurious suite with a balcony overlooking the harbor, the cost suddenly became a non-issue.
We managed to squeeze in a lot during the forty-eight hours we were there:
Wine tasting at various vineyards on the lake…
Sampling local beer everywhere we stopped…
…and just relaxing on the balcony and at the pool. At dusk on our last evening there we hiked the Gorge, an unforgettable experience in one of the most magical, awe-inspiring places I’ve ever seen. Two weeks removed from it, I already know that it’s going to become a favorite and treasured memory.
Looking at my photos, I’m longing to go back. And one day I will. When it comes to New York, I always do.