Cortland, NY 10/17/2002 - 10/20/2002

Thursday 10/17/02 - Arrival

We came home from work and got packed up. We left home at 7:45 p.m. The ride was nice; the full moon was shining on us, and there were fortunately spaced Dunkin Donuts along the way. Just past Syracuse, at around midnight, a car full of teenagers came up on us quickly. They threw something out the window (it appeared to be a beer bottle) which hit our driver's door. It just missed the driver's window, so we were quite lucky. It was a very surreal experience, as that was the only other car within view for quite a while. We arrived at Tom's house in Cortland at 1:30 a.m. We stayed up talking for a little while. When we told Tom about our incident on the road, he said that he and Leslee Ann call that area the Twilight Zone, as weird things always seem to happen there. Tom kindly gave up his room for us, and he slept on the couch.

Friday 10/18/02 - Highland Forest, Skaneateles

We slept in a bit since we had all gotten to bed so late. At around noon, Tom, Craig, and I headed to the Country Diner for breakfast. I had chocolate chip hotcakes with sausage and home fires. Craig got a cheese and mushroom omelette with sausage, toast, and home fries. It was very good, and we would prove to be regulars during our stay in Cortland. Tom drove us on a quick tour of town (Who knew that Ronnie James Dio came from Cortland, and his cousin runs the Hollywood restaurant there?) and then we headed out through rolling farmland and beautiful foliage to Highland Forest. We took a low-key hike here from 2-3 p.m. On the drive back, we stopped at Anderson's Farm Stand and Tom introduced us to XXX cheese. There's nothing like it, and we bought a pound to take home with us. At 4 p.m. we arrived back at Tom's and freshened up. When Leslee Ann got out of work, we picked her up and the four of us drove to Skaneateles for dinner. It is a resort town on Skaneatleles Lake (one of the Finger Lakes). We ate dinner at the Blue Water Grill. We sat in a three season porch which was heated by propane heat lamps. We had chicken nachos as an appetizer. I got scallops stuffed with parmesan cheese, crab meat, and spinach. It was delicious. Craig had a steak covered in peppers and feta. For dessert we got a piece of chocolate mousse pie. After dinner, we walked out onto the dock. It gave us a gorgeous view of the lake at night, but it was very chilly so we quickly headed back to the car, after a quick stop at the gazebo. We went back to Leslee Ann's house, and hung out chatting and playing Mille Bornes. It was great to get to catch up with Tom and Leslee, because we see them far too seldom these days. We headed back to Tom's house (just down the street) and went to bed around 1 a.m. Tom and Craig hiking at Highland Forest

Saturday 10/19/02 - Buttermilk Falls, Lucifer Falls

Buttermilk Falls Buttermilk Falls
Bridge at Lucifer Falls We woke up at 9:30, picked up Leslee Ann, and all headed to the Country Diner for breakfast. Craig and I had the same thing we had had the previous day. Then Tom drove us to Ithaca. We hiked at Buttermilk Falls. The foliage was beautiful, and even though the weather was a bit rainy, it was still a gorgeous place to hike. The air seemed so much fresher than we are used to. It was really invigorating to get back to nature. We arrived at Treman State Park, and visited the Old Mill. We got to wander through four floors of the old mill building, and it was fascinating. There were placards which explained the mill's history and how all of the equipment was used. After finishing in the mill, we hiked at Lucifer Falls. It was absolutely gorgeous. We felt like we were in Rivendell in Lord of the Rings. Beautifully colored leaves were falling, and the trail, bridges, and benches were all hewn out of the stone. We ate in Ithaca at Thai Cuisine. I had a yellow curry and a Thai iced tea, and Craig had a green curry. We had deep fried bananas with honey, cream, and confectioner's sugar for dessert. Delicious! We headed back to Cortland, picking up Leslee's oldest son Kelley on the way. We hung out at Leslee's for a few hours, and Tom, Leslee, Kelley, and I played Boggle. Craig was the spectator.
Tom and Leslee at Lucifer Falls Lucifer Falls
Dinner at Thai Cuisine- Tom, Craig, Steph, Leslee

Sunday 10/20/02 - Departure

We got up at 8:00, and left for breakfast with Tom at 8:30. Craig got his usual at the Country Diner. I got biscuits and gravy and homefries. We stopped at Leslee's to say goodbye, and then went to Tom's to pack our stuff into the car. We left Cortland at 10:40 and arrived home at 4:00.

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