Friday, July 27, 2007

Day 6 ~ Auburn NY ~ Finger Lakes Region

Today is our day to explore the Finger Lakes. Auburn is a pretty historic town. It looks pretty run down though. Our first stop of the day was a Willard Chapel. It’s the only existing religious building designed entirely by Louis Comfort Tiffany. They were setting up for a concert so we couldn’t do the tour and movie. The chandeliers were astounding. The docent here was well meaning but overly attentive as well. We made our escape when she latched on to some unsuspecting couple from Indiana.

The Seward House was next on the list. There was some filming going on there as well as a meeting of some sort so the gift shop and visitor’s center was inaccessible. This huge home is almost entirely intact. Seward’s (of Seward’s Folly fame) grandson gave the building and contents over to the Park service. There is a painting of a daughter-in-law wearing a lavender dress from the 1860’s. They have the painting AND the dress! I didn’t realize that Seward worked with the Underground Railroad nor that there was an attempted assassination on him the same night as Lincoln (though I think I knew that at one time).

For lunch we decided to drive over to Skaneateles (skinny-atlas). It’s a beautiful town on one of the Finger Lakes. It was crowded with very chi-chi New York women. Very casual yet expensively dressed ladies. Lots of the men had tassels on their shoes. This is a money kind of area. The town is old old. Very federal and Victorian at the same time. We ate right on the water at the Bluewater Grill. I had a fantastic bowl of lobster bisque followed by something else that was yummy. Kurt had baked scrod. It was delicious, too. We stopped at a candy store on our way back to the car. WE bought fudge, truffles, and taffy. I was disappointed in the candy. It wasn’t that good for as nice as the shoppe looked.

We went back to Auburn and checked into our new and much improved hotel. The towels were better, the beds were better, and the internet worked. Heaven! After a brief rest we drove the 20 miles back west to Seneca Falls to go to the Women’s Rights National Historic Park It is on the site of the first women’s national convention that was held in 1848. Only the walls and part of the roof remain of the Wesleyan (go Methodists!) Chapel where the gather was held. The museum next door is interesting, interactive and I thought poorly organized. It seemed crammed full of information about women, their struggles, and what’s happened since 1848 but there was no flow or cohesion to the information and exhibits. The gift shop was great though!

Seneca Falls also has the Erie Canal running through it as well as Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s home. We looked briefly at each of them and did our usual miss the turn around and do it again routine. Many of the miles we are putting on the car is when we are trying to get turned around from having gotten turned around!

I consulted the map and saw that Aurora, NY was nearby. Now I’m an Aurora, IA girl! We had to go. The founder of Aurora, IA was from Aurora, NY. The NY version is a picturesque village on the lake. We stopped at the post office and took my picture. I shot some other pictures of the town too thinking someone at home might be interested. We found a soda fountain/coffee shoppe. I went in hoping to get a postcard of something. The girls behind the counter asked why we were in town. When I told them the one exclaimed, "Well there’s nothing here". I told her she was wrong; she should see my Aurora and compare! We had a scrumptious piece of banana caramel cheesecake and were on our way.

I hate to go the same way twice so we took off on county roads on our way back to the hotel. It was very scenic. NY state is very small farm and orchard orientated. I think the Finger lake region is considered the Catskills. There are lots of trees, lots of fields, and lots of bucolic countryside. People around here say "bucolic" a lot. Weird.

We got back to our hotel in time for tipple time. We quaffed some wine and got advice on where to eat from the all blonde and boobs girl handing out the drinks. We went to Curley’s for dinner. It’s an Italian place. It was right on the river and also across from the prison. We sat on the patio which overlooked a wooded area. As we were dining I noticed some people in blue uniforms with radios and side arms poking around in the trees and pointing at the river. Keep in mind this river is shallow and looks more like creek. They’ve been 6 or 8 weeks without rain here though. Pretty soon another guy in uniform shows up. This one is wearing a white dress shirt. He must be higher up. By the time we get done with dinner there are police cars, fire trucks, and 8-10 personnel milling around. I’m thinking Prison Break! Kurt wouldn’t let me get my picture in front of the prison but I did persuaded him to drive by it 2x so I could take pictures out the window! As a side note for book club a few months back we read the good wife. The main characters’ husband was convicted of murder and spent time in Auburn. We also passed a road sign pointing to Attica at some point.

We spent the remainder of the evening at a laundry mat. As we waited we played two games of scrabble. We sat on the bench out front. The weather was nice. We are pretty, wild party people!

1 comment:

Todd HellsKitchen said...

Sounds like a fun road trip!