We spent Labor Day weekend visiting my younger daughter, now in her 4th year of Veterinary School at Cornell, in Ithaca, NY. The weather was gorgeous the entire weekend. Like the rest of the Northeast, they have had a moderate drought this summer, so we didn't do any real hiking this visit. We did visit several of the many wineries/vineyards around Cayuga Lake, as well as the lake itself.
Sheldrake Point Winery is located right on the lake. Like almost all of the wineries, it is dog friendly, so Rory, Annie, and Annie accompanied my wife, my daughter and me on our visits. After enjoying tasting a variety of wines (and buying a few bottles to take home with us), we headed to the lake with the dogs. Despite visits to this winery in the past, we hadn't thought to ask about a place for the dogs to swim. Duh! Turns out a walk of about 30 yards is all that is needed.
Our Synchronized Swimming Team; I understand that they are going for a Golden medal!
The dock in the background belongs to the winery, and boat borne wine tours dock at it and discharge their passengers there for a visit. That eliminates the need for any designated drivers!
The path behind us leads directly to the winery.
A dog walks into a bar...
uh, make that TWO dogs walk into a bar.
No, no make that THREE dogs walk into a bar!
They realize they are the only dogs wearing collars.
One dog says to the others, "My gosh, I think we are in a Stray Bar!"
With thanks to our friends at Swedish Hill Winery. We had a great visit, and came back with a generous supply of their fine wines! I especially like Riesling, dry or semi-dry, which is the standout wine grape of the Finger Lakes region, and all of their three varieties of same were excellent.
Zoe, Rory, and Annie pose at Thirsty Owl Winery, with part of their vineyards and Cayuga Lake in the background. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and we came away with a selection of their wines as well.
About 1/2 mile walk from The Thirsty Owl is another spot on the lake where the dogs could swim. As soon as they saw the lake front, they eagerly did so. Indeed, they wound up swimming in the lake twice each day!
The owl atop this dock is probably both a reference to the Thirsty Owl, and an attempt to dissuade gulls from sitting (etc) upon it!
The Crystal Lake Cafe at Americana Vineyards. Americana is easily the most dog friendly place that we've ever been. The staff there all seem to love dogs, and give them treats. The owner regularly greets us and makes sure the dogs have fresh water to drink, and then schmoozes with the dogs and us. He's taken pictures of them that have appeared on the winery's website several times. Their own mascots were a pair of Chocolate Labs, Max and Ruby. Sadly, both died of old age in the past year or two, and while he plans to get another dog(s), he isn't quite ready to so so yet. We know that feeling!
The Cafe serves excellent, freshly prepared food - we wound up having an early dinner there both days. On different days we had 2 different Flat bread Pizzas, Vegetable Quesadillas, Corn Fritters, Spinach and Cheese dip, and an over the top gourmet "grilled cheese sandwich", fresh salads, and hand cut fries. Of course to go with that we had to have some of their wines, including a Dry Riesling for me, Cabernet Franc for Jan, and a Cayuga White wine slushie for Kristie.
Best of all, the dogs can be with us while we eat outside. They were happy to soak up even more attention from the staff and clients! As Wine Club members there, we also get free wine tastings year round, and a 15% discount on meals at the Cafe. Definitely a good deal!
Although they have great deserts at the Cafe at Americana, after dinner we drove a few miles along the lake to Cayuga Lake Creamery. This place is always busy, even in the winter. Their ice cream is great (I had peach and Jan had salted caramel). In addition to all the treats available for humans, they also have a "Doggie Bowl" for $1.50 - soft serve vanilla in a cup with a dog biscuit on top. All three dogs love ice cream, but seldom get it. What the heck, it was their vacation too, so they shared one!
The last weekend in August we attended a dinner/birthday party for our friend Chad, given by his husband, Bob, at their beautiful house in Sherman, CT (named for Roger Sherman of New Milford, CT. He was a signatory to the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and co-author of the Connecticut Compromise). Bob, who was previously a vice president for marketing for Seiko in the USA, is also the breeder whose dogs have enriched our lives - Cricket, Piper, Rory, and Zoe - only our first and last Goldens came from elsewhere, and the first was before we had met Bob, and the last was during a time when Bob had no dogs available and Rory sorely needed canine company! Above are some of the 6 week old puppies from 2 recent litters of Overlook Golden Retrievers. They were on hand for all of us to hold, cuddle and play with, all of the guests being dog lovers and most of them owners of at least one of Bob's dogs. Supposedly we we were helping "socialize" the puppies. I think it was rather the other way around, myself, assisted by Bob's delectable but potent Margaritas!