New York Wine On Ice

Casey surprised me last weekend with a trip to Elmira, NY and tickets to the 2011 Wine On Ice Festival.  I had heard of this even, but never thought I would be attending it.  Essentially wineries and vendors from the fingerlakes region setup booths inside the Elmira First Arena ice hockey arena.  The ice rink is covered and the entire event goes down on top the rink.  ”Wine on ice” get it?

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Anniversary at Cayuga Lake

Casey surprised me this year with a trip to the finger lakes in NY for our 8th anniversary. This time she found a lovely B & B located in Senaca Falls, NY.

The B & B was VanCleef Homestead owned and operated by Carol and Brent Gibbs.  The B & B was very clean, relaxing and inviting.  Carol served up an unbelievable spread of delicious breakfast foods, including several items there were gluten-free.

Before hitting the trail and sampling wines, we ate lunch at the Ginny Lee located next to Wagner Vineyards.  This is a great place to catch a bite to eat, the food is great and the price is right!  Its also a great place to pair a Wagner wine or beer with some food.

Casey wanted us to visit some different wineries on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail.  We visited the following wineries on this trip:

For dinner on our first night in the NY finger lakes region, we ate at Suzanne’s.  This place is great; beautiful view of the sunset, excellent food, and great service (including staff that knows what gluten-free means).


Virginia Beach

One benefit of my job is that I often travel to Virginia and stay within 20min of Virginia Beach, VA.  So this year, while I was on business travel, Casey and Hailey came to visit me!

This was Hailey’s first trip to a ocean beach!  She had the greatest time playing in the sand, waves, and looking for sand crabs that you can dig up when the ocean waves go out.

Casey loved the fact that we go to go out and eat at one of her favorite (and gluten-free) restaurants, P.F. Chang’s.  Hailey was less impressed with their food, even though their chicken nuggets for kiddos were delicious!

Below are a few photos from VA Beach.


Baltimore Aquarium

Casey and I took Hailey and Tyler to the Baltimore Aquarium in the inner harbor.  It was Hailey and Tyler’s first visit to the aquarium.  Casey and I were shore that they the kiddos were going to have a great time seeing all the sea and wild life!  Well that last statement was about 65% true.

Hailey had a great time and wanted to see everything, but Tyler didn’t want to walk, didn’t want to be held, and didn’t want anyone telling him what to do.  He was running into people, telling people to move, and generally not a happy camper.  I guess it is to be expected when you coupe up a 2 1/2 year hold for a 3 hour drive.

Anyhow, once we got away from the crowded areas, Tyler seemed to do better.  He liked seeing the fishies swimming around and around in the huge circular fish tank, and liked the turtles in the rain forest displays.  Below are a few photos from our trip.


Hands-on House Children’s Museum

Casey and I took Hailey and Tyler to the Hands-on House Children’s Museum in Lancaster, PA.  We had a lot of fun visiting this time, it was a weekday and we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  As you can see below, Hailey enjoyed face painting.  Tyler enjoyed make believe land and the factory.


Virginia’s Spring Wine Festival

Casey attended the Virginia Spring Wine Festival with her cousin, Makenzie.  They had a great time.  Casey purchased an assortment of wine during the festival, seen below.

Hopefully Casey will invite me along next time she goes. ;)


Pittsburgh Visit

Tyler, Hailey, Casey, and I all went to Pittsburgh early in the summer to visit our good friends Andi and Rob.  Andi was having her wedding shower, Casey and Hailey attended.

While we were in Pittsburgh, we decided to check out some of the sites.  First was the Pittsburgh Zoo, it was a very nice zoo, but it was pretty hot that day, so hot that most of the animals were just lounging around. Tyler and Hailey loved the Elephants (there were some baby ones too)!

Secondly, we visited the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum.  This place was awesome!  They had a huge exhibit associated with the Mr. Roger’s show.  They also had several industrial exhibits; which I think were the favorites of the kids.  We spent about  an hour at the museum before heading to Andi’s shower.

We finished our trip to Pittsburgh with dinner at the P.F. Chang’s, yum!


Visit to Curiosity Connection

Being winter time here, there isn’t really a lot to do in the winter for the kids (unless it snows).  So over the weekend we took a road trip down to Harrisburg to check out the State Museum’s Curiosity Connection for kids.  Curiosity Connection is a hands on play environment for kids ages 1-5 and their families.  Time slots of 1 hour throughout the day have been created to provide an equal play opportunity, so we planned on attending the 2:30-3:30pm one.

We arrived at downtown Harrisburg around 2pm and found street parking (is free on the weekends).  Walked to the museum, and got our tickets for the play session ($5/person), and didn’t have to wait to long until it was our turn to go in. Continue reading


Summer time in the city

Its funny how summer time keeps people busy and outside… I guess that is why I haven’t been posting any new entries.  My sister told me I was being lazy.  lol

Anyhow, Casey and I have been enjoying the summer.  We went to Alexandria, VA this weekend for a bachelor and bachelorette party.  It was fun.  The party/gathering was at Dave and Busters.  We had never been to a Dave and Busters, but it is basically a Chucky Cheese for adults.  We had a good time.  

Casey and I did dinner at P.F. Changs which was right around the corner from Dave and Busters.  Casey loves P.F. Changs because it is the only Chinese food that Casey can eat that is gluten free (normal soy sauce is bad news).  We shared a bottle of riesling wine, some chicken lettuce wraps, and both of us had Ginger Chicken Broccoli entrees.  

After Dave and Busters, the group decided it was time to venture into the city for some fun.  We all headed to a little bar called the Madhatter.  It was a small bar, but a favorite of the bachelor and bachelorette.  Casey and I left the bar at around 1:30am and caught a ride on the Metro back to our hotel.  The Metro ride was interesting since neither of us had ever ridden the Metro by ourselves.  We managed to figure the ticket machine, hopped on the train, and made one switch to a different line, and finally got back to our hotel. woohoo.

I will try to post more frequently, or maybe not since it is summertime.


Finger Lakes Trip

Casey and I had the opportunity to escape to the finger lake region (Seneca Lake) on Friday for an overnight.  The trip was a last minute one, because we realized if we didn’t go now we might not get up there until late fall.

Casey and I have stayed at different places in the past; hotels and B&Bs.  This time we did something different, thanks to one of Casey’s co-workers for letting us know about a wonderful place.  We stayed at Finger Lakes Cabins at Mill Creek near Valois, NY (East Side of Seneca Lake).  This place had two cabins that were fully loaded with everything we could possibly need (soap, shampoo, stove, fridge, microwave, tv, games, coffee, creamer, charcoal for the grill, wood for the fire pit… you get the idea).   Continue reading