Wine Country, FALL 2014

    While we up in New York State, as son Dan continued to recuperate, and whenever our daughter-in-law, Jen, was off work and home with the kids, Peg and I had quality time together and took several drives in the countryside enjoying the  beautiful Autumn weather.
     One weekend, just as the leaves began turning to their Fall colors, we rode down into the Finger Lake Region to spend the day just looking around and sampling the local fare.


 I'd never actually been in upstate New York before when the leaves were in 'full bloom' to see their Fall colors, so it was almost jaw-dropping to see such amazing vistas wherever we looked. It seemed as though almost every tree was trying to outdo the others, almost shouting, "See how gorgeous I am! Tah dah!"
   Initially, Peg kept mentioning a "Fall feeling", almost like what she called, "an electricity in the air"; invigorating, but at first I didn't 'get it'. After a month of seeing the changes in the landscapes and everything, I began to understand what she meant about the harvest season up north. With a chill in the air, people were bustling around outside in their yards, at roadside stands,  fields were being harvested. Pumpkins were everywhere; in the fields, on peoples porches, at festivals, or the afore mentioned roadside stands by the hundreds. 
It seemed everywhere we looked was worthy of a photo or too many to show here.
The farms and fields were all being prepared for winter. 
   We drove down the western side of Seneca Lake almost to the town of Naples to get my 'fix' of Monica's grape pie, to which I've been addicted to, since my first unsuspecting trip to grape/wine country years ago.  It was their Grape Festival weekend, so we had to brave the crowds to get to Monica's pies.  They make such a wonderful Concord grape pie that they've had to expand the business to an outside tent, and still, as you can tell from the traffic jam, it was a nightmare getting into the parking lot and out, as well. And this takes place on a very rural, twisty, turny, hilly, two-lane road.
Since Peggy couldn't have any of the grape delicacy because of her wheat/gluten problem, I didn't want to get a whole pie, so I got a few small grape tarts. As you also see, I didn't even wait till we finally got out of that jammed parking lot before I started in on 'em.
These lil pies are amazing and if you ever find yourself in the area ya gotta try them! If you have a mind to, there are also, on the same road, grape pie stands that are also wonderful. Sadly, we left before I got to try three different types; I guess I left Granny's Grape Pies for next visit. I hope she don't mind.
Seneca Lake was beautiful and made for a wonderful drive.
The leaves were just beginning to take on their Fall color the first drive down early in our stay, but every once in a while you could see some 'early bird' tree that seemed to be shouting,   "Me, Look At Me!!
From Seneca lake we moved over to
Canandaigua Lake a couple of weeks later.  I hafta confess, I loaded the picture first to see how to spell it. It's pronounced, "canon day gwah". 
The drive to the lake was  beautiful and the fields of grapes were every where. 
When we got to the lake we stopped to watch the local tour paddle-wheel boat pass by.
The lake was so beautiful I told Peg I should see if they wanted to hire a Cajun Cappy to drive the thing, but she brought me back to earth reminding me that in a couple short months it would be Winter.
We couldn't come to the Finger Lakes Region with out stopping at one of our favorite local wineries. Actually, it is very refined and upscale, but they also cater to folks with a whimsical sense of humor. Folks like us.
 Maybe a lil too much like us.
We picked up a couple cases of our favorite "Red Neck" wines for ourselves to enjoy and to also give as gifts.
The friendly gals behind the counter were only too happy to let me sample to my heart's content before I selected 3 wines to bring home. We were surprised to learn that two of the three beautiful young ladies were "local" to our 'red' neck of the woods. Chloe, to the left, is from Slidell, Louisiana, and Taylor, on the right, is from Lafayette, Louisiana. The gal in the middle is Gabby, whose family is from Mexico, and always had raw sugar cane as part of their Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays until recently we think. Since we live in a neighborhood that is literally surrounded by sugar cane fields, we said we'd see what we could do to send her a "Cajun sugar cane care package".
   Since, in our part of the world, sugar cane stalks are harvested green, Peg had to explain to me that the corn stalks pictured here are harvested almost dry, to be ground up and stored in barns to feed the farm animals in the winter. I think she called it, silage.
Those drives through rural western New York State were truly breathtaking.
   A lot of times when ya mention ya been to New York, this is not the New York they think about, but it's the one I remember.
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