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!


Mother’s Day Weekend

I know, I am late posting, but that’s how it goes with kiddos.  Do I think Casey had a nice mother’s day weekend.  It all started off with cleaning the house for her on Saturday, which obviously the heavens above were please with my cleaning as they blessed us with a beautiful rainbow that afternoon. ;)

Happy Heavens Rainbow

Happy Heavens Rainbow

Casey and I enjoyed a movie later that evening, Blind side.  We both enjoyed it, check it out next time you are looking for something good.

Sunday, the kids got out their mother’s day card they made Casey, it was huge, like 1.5ft x 2 ft.  Funny how the kids area already realizing how different aspect of gifts get more reactions.  We then hurried and got everyone ready and went out for breakfast at the waffle shop on Atherton.  We knew there was going to be a line and we were prepared, snacks, toys, games, etc just to keep them entertained till we got to the table.  It was definitely the least pleasant trip to the waffle shop ever.  I know it was mother’s day, but taking like 25mins to get our food seemed a bit ridiculous.

We then went over to my grandmother’s house to visit.  We also took some flowers and a vase.  She enjoyed the flowers and got a kick out of watching Hailey and Tyler play.

Later that evening, I cooked Casey her dinner request for gluten-free Mac n Cheese with grilled rosemary balsamic vinegar chicken. And to finish off dinner I made a Cranberry Mint Martini (her new fav).

Cranberry Mint Martini

Cranberry Mint Martini

Happy Mother’s Day!


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