That’s my way of being clever since this is a last post before school starts and also this post is about our trip to Watkins Glen, NY, which is known for having a NASCAR track and being a historic place in the world of auto racing (first road race after WWII.) Racing flags adorn the quaint Main Street and cool paintings adorn the buildings. But that was not the attraction for us. For us it was beautiful Watkins Glen State Park, where we had briefly visited a couple years ago.
We stayed at the “historic” Seneca Lodge in an A frame cabin, which I enjoyed very much. Overall the lodge has probably seen better days, but it suited our needs just fine. Especially its location-directly across from the park entrance. So when we arrived we just walked into the park and used the Olympic sized swimming pool there, which was wonderful. After swimming we went into the town and picked out a restaurant, which turned out to be awesome. I highly recommend Nickel’s Pit BBQ if you are ever in the area. While the others had brisket and pulled pork, I opted for the tater tots piled with the housemade pork chili and jalapeno peppadew cheese sauce. Everyone loved their stuff so much that we a. bought a couple pint glasses b. bought a bottle of the house bbq sauce and c. went back for dinner two nights later (where I had as a side the jalapeno peppadew macaroni & cheese.)
The state park features a gorge that is absolutely breathtaking. There are waterfalls everywhere and over the course of 12,000 years the water carved out the gorge, leaving amazing shapes, curves, and beauty. Our first visit was notable because it rained the entire time we hiked the gorge. This time, though, the weather was beautiful.
The hike is 1 1/2 miles basically uphill (stairs) and then there is a restroom and park area, then you turn around and go back. It was a wonderful way to spend our first morning. The afternoon saw us swimming again.
On our second full day we went to Corning to go the Corning Museum of Glass. I had always been curious about going here and it turned out to be an unexpected highlight of the trip. There is a fairly new wing that is for contemporary art and to my surprise this was something that all four of us really enjoyed. So many amazing and thoughtful, striking or beautiful, works of art. All made of glass!
There was another special exhibit going on that was also were totally wowed by-a collection of marine specimens all made out of glass—from the 1800s! This exhibit was really terrific and special. The museum also offers many extra glassmaking classes or activities that you can sign up for. Clark signed up for the flame throwing (is that what it was called?) to make a sea slug. Tabby signed up to do the sandblasting. For Clark he got to use glass rods and a hand held flame thing. Tabby used stickers on a glass and then sandblasted it to make the glass frosted. Both of them had a good time doing it and loved their cool finished products. Which are pretty incredible souvenirs.
Speaking of souvenirs, I was sure we’d get an amazing glass Christmas tree ornament and despite the museum having the best shop there was just nothing we wanted.
The next day we went back into the park to find a geocache, then waded in Lake Seneca and headed home. It was a splendid getaway, very peaceful.