Quality Time

My mum was in town last weekend, jet-lagged but a trooper about it. We suggested we skip the site seeing in Philadelphia and visit her family at their lake house in upstate New York instead. It was an easy sell, and the drive north confirmed it: autumn leaves in their full colorful glory.

The highlights included playing card games late into the night (sometimes past 9pm!), snuggling with the dogs after wearing them out on long walks, and telling the same old stories we always tell.


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Wine Country


Keuka Lake is in wine country. There’s even a Keuka Lake Wine Trail.


The region is mostly known for its sweeter wines, whites and rosés and the like.


I’m not much of a sweet wine fan these days, so my family recommended we try the McGregor Vineyard and Winery if I was in the mood for some dryer varieties.


McGregor didn’t disappoint. My mum was in town, and she joined me and my aunt for a wine tasting on Sunday evening. Mum could not have been less interested in the wine tasting, although she did like the earring selection in the gift shop. My aunt and I took the tasting seriously, though, and decided that our favorite was a 2012 Chardonnay.


I also tried a couple of their dryer reds, which were better and tastier than I had anticipated.


Of course, the real draw was the scenery and the company. It was a lovely way to spend an evening, especially since DH was waiting with a home-cooked meal when we got back to the lake house. He is such a keeper.


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Abandon Brewery


We had planned for our weekend at Keuka Lake to be of the lazy variety: knitting in front of the fireplace, reading on the deck overlooking the lake, late night card games around the dining room table. All of those things happened in good measure. But the weather was so lovely, we tried to venture out a little, too, so on Saturday we took a field trip to Abandon Brewing Co.


The brewery is a new one – their one year anniversary is in November – and it seems to be thriving. It helps that the beer is very good (in terms of favorites, it was a toss-up between the Session Saison and the Farmhouse IPA), they have locally grown hops, and the location is just beautiful.


Also, of course, we love any dog-friendly establishment.

We ordered a sampler and then bought a Growler of our favorite. It was time and money very well spent.


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Finger Lakes

We spent the weekend in upstate New York, where the leaves were turning and the air was just a little bit brisk. Why do we live in the city again? Oh, yeah, that’s where the jobs are.

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Lucille 3 Wants a Dead Squirrel for Her Birthday

Our documents from the shelter say that Lucille 3 was born on October 3, 2006, the year DH and I got married.


There’s no way of verifying that date, but we’re taking it as the truth.


We adopted her six years later, on October 14, 2012.


She was pretty sprightly and happy from the beginning, set on the death of all the squirrels and birds in our neighborhood.


Like last night, on our evening walk, she saw a squirrel up in a tree and just waited and waited down below, scratching the ground impatiently, with some pathetic whimpering thrown in, because she just wanted to kill him so bad.


She is such a ridiculous weirdo and so much fun.

IMG_1518Is it bad that I just want to let her off-leash on a squirrel rampage just one time?

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Penn Football

So we’ve tried NFL football in-person and it is all spectacle and very difficult for a non-football person to understand – especially from the cheap seats. This weekend we tried college ball at the University of Pennsylvania, and it was a totally different experience, starting with the price, which was free for us.

We watched the first half of Saturday’s Penn v. Villanova game at Penn’s lovely Franklin Field. Attendance was fairly low, but it was a supportive crowd, and we got great seats.

I do sincerely hope that Penn’s football players are good at academics, because, well, it was a tough game for them. They barely ever had possession of the ball, and even I could see that. But the Penn fans were very supportive, and really, the whole atmosphere was super charming and relaxed – much more positive than NFL games, with their abundant alcohol and tribalism.

However, I do take issue with Penn’s mascot, the Quaker. He has some very tame dance moves and his face is forced into a permanent creepy smile. Is there no middle ground between the Phillies Phanatic, with his lewd belly-grabbing and tush-shaking, and the Quaker just basically doing the robot all the time and trying his darndest not to offend anyone? These are the questions that haunt me.

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Early to Bed, Early to Rise

We made some changes to our schedule this fall based on work and commuting and the gist is that we are now officially early-risers. Getting up at 5am every day means feeling morally superior between the hours of 5am and 5pm (we’re so productive! In the morning we have the city to ourselves!) and then feeling weak and lethargic by 7 or 8 in the evening.

The Phillies played the last of their home games this past weekend, and we were determined to go to a game wearing our gear and being all loyal. So on Friday we made our way to the ballpark, where we watched the Phillies scramble and fumble around, giving up four runs in the first four innings.

Then we got super sleepy and decided to leave early so that we could get make it home for our new early bedtime. After we left, the Phillies made a comeback, eventually beating the Braves 5-4. We missed all the excitement, but you can bet that we read about it on the internet early next Saturday morning, as we sipped our coffees and once again felt superior to the rest of the late-rising world.

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