Posted by: Kristie | September 1, 2009

A Girls’ Day in Canandaigua

As many of you know, I am about to turn 30. For the most part, I am ok with this and feel its just a good excuse to celebrate extra for my birthday. You would think a 2-month trip to Europe would be enough. But since only my hubby will be with me on my actual b-day, I was all about doing some celebrating here in Buffalo.

My best friend Marisa, who’s birthday is a week after mine, and I decided to celebrate our birthdays together by spending 12 hours together of good quality girl time. Marisa and I have been friends since we were 10, but between living in different states, having families (she has 2 kids) and our busy schedules, we don’t get a lot of time for just the two of us.

Marisa actually came up with the idea of this day — she called it the Road to Nowhere. Basically, I just had to block out my day and she would do the rest. This was actually pretty amazing, because she is not exactly noted for her planning skills (no offense Maris, you know I love you).

Our day began around 8 a.m. I picked her up, she kissed her boys goodbye (who weren’t too happy to see her leave) and we headed off. We started the day at Charlie’s Diner in East Aurora, roughly 20 minutes from Hamburg. Located on the main drag, the diner served up big breakfasts, including this incredible thick, chewy, sweet cinnamon toast. Fueled up, we headed to our main destination – Canandaigua. Canandaigua is situated on Canandaigua Lake, part of the Finger Lakes region of New York. We took the back roads, taking in the views of lush, rolling hills and passing by quaint roadside stands piled high with summer produce.

Our big plan was to do some water sports. We were going to start out by water biking, which neither of us have ever done, and then move on to kayaking. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate too well. We arrived at the water rental shop and it looked like it was on the verge of storming. But we braved the weather and hopped onto our bikes. Water biking was actually a ton of fun. It was literally just like riding a bike, not too strenuous but if you wanted to go fast, you could get a work out. Because the weather wasn’t so great, the lake was calm and unpopulated, altogether very peaceful. Sadly, we have no photos from when we were on the lake, just after.

The Water Bike

The Water Bike

 

Marisa and I. No, that's not what we wore on the bikes, we just didn't think to take a photo before we changed.

Marisa and I. No, that's not what we wore on the bikes, we just didn't think to take a photo before we changed.

When we came in from water biking, it was starting to rain and generally looked pretty nasty. So instead of kayaking we headed down the street to the New York Wine & Culinary Center. This place was awesome. It was smaller than I expected, but it was packed with much more goodness. The center features a wine/beer tasting room where you can try samples from around the state, a Taste of NY restaurant, cooking demonstation area, hands-on cooking classroom, gift shop and an exhibit area.

The back of the center highlights a garden area with all types of seasonal produce.

The back of the center highlights a garden area with all types of seasonal produce.

Garden outside the center. Check out those clouds in background. When's the last time you saw clouds like that in Texas?!

Corn, lettuce and other sorts of delishiousness. Check out those clouds in background. When's the last time you saw clouds like that in Texas?!

We started out at the tasting room. I had a flight of “Exceptional Reds,” which made me realize that I tend to like cheaper red wine than the expensive stuff. I guess that’s a good thing. Marisa had “Summer Picnic,” which was nice because it included reds and whites.

I don't know exactly what that look on my face is all about.

I don't know exactly what that look on my face is all about.

The tasting menu. It was nice that you could also sample NY beers.

The tasting menu. It was nice that you could also sample NY beers.

After the wine, we checked out the gift shop and exhibit area. The exhibits were very well done. Designed nicely, not too much text and interactive in simple ways (Shoshanna taught me well!).

The exhibit area highlighted the agricultural products produced in New York.

The exhibit area highlighted the agricultural products produced in New York.

And then we ate. And it was delicious. The restaurant, Taste of NY, was open, bright and comfortable. The waiter informed us that everything on the menu was local, which I thought was pretty impressive and one more reason to visit in the summer. 

Marisa looking very seriously at the menu because we are very serious people who eat serious things.

Marisa looking very seriously at the menu because we are very serious people who eat serious things.

And now my turn to be serious

And now my turn to be serious

We started out with a cheese sampler that included cheddar, goat cheese and either a gorganzola/blue cheese. And then we both had a bacon sandwich. This is when I wish I remembered to take notes on exactly what was included in the sandwich. The bacon was local and homemade, it was laid on delicious focacia bread with an amazing whole-grain mustard sauce and some warm wilted spinach. I think there might have been something else, but the memory eludes me.

Delcious bacon sandwich with warm potato and chive saad

Delicious bacon sandwich with warm potato and chive salad

And of course, as we were heading home, the sun came out. But that’s ok. It was an excellent day of good times, good food and good company.

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