WATKINS GLEN, New York — Ice cream and wine for breakfast? This trip was off to a good start.
A dozen years ago – the last time I traveled with my daughter to the Finger Lakes – I’m sure I was more responsible, at least in terms of meal planning. Then again, she was 9.
This time, she was a legal adult, and fully capable of making her own food choices, which is how we ended up doing an early-morning ice cream sampling at Shtayburne Farm, followed by wine tasting at Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard.
While there are plenty of family-friendly activities in the Finger Lakes for younger children, there are some definite advantages to traveling here with adult kids.
My daughter, who graduated last month from Ohio State University, now enters the working world more knowledgeable about the differences between Riesling and rose, acidity and minerality.
We also toured the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, where we learned about the groundbreaking women who played pivotal roles in the arts, sciences, government and humanities.
It seemed an appropriate spot to inspire my daughter as she heads out on her own.
With a few weeks between graduation and a new job, Rachel proposed a quick mother-daughter getaway for early June.
How could I resist? She is one of my favorite traveling partners, easygoing, full of energy and always up for an adventure.
But she didn’t give me much time to plan – just two weeks to pick a destination, organize and implement.
I considered several possibilities – Chicago, Indianapolis, the Maine coast, but settled on the Finger Lakes, the vast region in western New York known for its natural beauty and prolific wine production.
The region also played a key role in American history, hosting the very first women’s rights convention in 1848.
I had intended to visit Seneca Falls in 2020, the centennial anniversary of the women’s right to vote, but was stymied by the pandemic.
New York essentially banned all Ohioans (and many others) from visiting for much of last year in an effort to limit the spread of the virus. (I really hope someone studies the effectiveness of these interstate travel bans when this is all over; I’d love to know if they accomplished anything.)
In hindsight, maybe the delay was an opportunity in disguise, as I got to share the experience with my daughter. We spent an entire day delving into the movement and its key players, a topic that deserves a story all its own, which I’ll write for next week.
The wine, too, deserves a story all its own, but for the…