Finger Lakes Day 2 : Incredible Ithaca
Our first full day in Finger Lakes started with a delicious breakfast. Our hosts source food locally, it was yummy bacon and sweet fruit. A great start to the day. We ventured to Ithaca to walk around the market. It was an impressive assortment of artisans, farmers and local businesses. We are drawn to art and yesterday we found a photographer who’s work we really liked. Her name is Susan Verberg. She had several stunning photos. We were particularly drawn to her abstract pieces. We left with three framed photos, could have been more. I still like the two blue rocks with the yellow shimmering water. Maybe next time. Bdot took advantage of the Bellwether Hard Cider booth and sampled several ciders, several also came home with us. We kept noticing a line of people waiting for food. They were waiting for Cambodian food. I’ve never tried Cambodian, so we decided to give it a try. I can’t recall the names of the dishes, but they worth the wait, as they were both delicious. The restaurant is named Khmer Ankor. The market runs along Cayuga Lake in a nice area of Ithaca. (With the exception of the stink from the Water Treatment Plant)
After the market we drove a few minutes down the road to Robert Treman State Park. The park has many waterfall, hiking and swimming. We hiked the long 4m hike to Lucifer Falls. It was stupid hot, and the path was mostly uphill… it would have been smart to wear our bathing suits, so we could cool off anytime in the stream that ran beside the trail. Lots of people did. There were curious little tub sized pools cut into the rock that are perfect for dunking. The Gorge trail is full of massive trees and lush vegetation. Once you near the Falls at the end of the trail, there is a insane staircase that climbs into the heavens. Frankly, the vista at the top of the stairs is the only thing worth climbing the stairs… and in summer, all the trees are green, I would only climb the stairs in Fall for the view. The view of the Falls from the top was hardly worth climbing up. It is much more impressive to simply walk up under the Falls, as most people did. We followed the Rim trail back, it seemed to be a smoother walk back. To cool off after all that hiking we went for a swim in the stream-fed pool. That was invigorating after hours of walking in the heat. The swimming area was full of people. The lifeguards seemed to have their hands full and whistles were correcting behaviour every few minutes. Since we were close to Buttermilk Falls we decided to drive over and take a look. Well it was certainly Price is Right Fail sound here. I guess once the spring water flows ends Buttermilk Falls turns into Buttermilk Trickle. The park was empty and the Falls were nothing but a slope of rocks. I can see the potential the Falls had but for our visit it was disappointing. The info plaques were interesting however. The water flows from an upstream lake all the way into Lake Ontario.
It felt like a very long day and were hot, tired and starving by the early evening, so food became priority number one. After what felt like an eternity of browsing through options, we settled upon Maxie’s Supper Club. I’m not sure why it is called a supper club, it was just a typical restaurant as far as I could tell. Maxie’s focuses on flavours from New Orleans, so there is lots of fish and spice. I was duped by the funny named Smuttynose IPA. The name is funny, the beer is very tart and bitter, and I didn’t enjoy it one bit. The food however was amazing. We started with BBQ shrimp appetizer… wow! the sauce on those shrimp was incredible. A delicious balance of sweet and heat. I could have dunked bread in that sauce all night. Yum! My entree was pulled pork tacos and they were amazing. Bdot ordered the gumbo and enjoyed it, but she wasn’t as impressed as I was. The service was good and restaurant has a cozy feel to it. I’d certainly return. We ate late and pretty much went home and crashed after dinner.