spinning in the finger lakes

not spinning wool, silly. spinning wheels. in a good way. complete with multiple finger lakes winery stops and minimal whinery. (despite more than our fair share of uphill climbs.)

we began our three-day cycling tour in ithaca, new york, one of the crunchiest places this side of the nestle factory. from there, it was a 30-mile spin out of a steep gorge along cayuga lake. along the way, we spotted a beautiful victorian B&B and decided to check it out.

turns out it was the former home of victoria and richard mackenzie-childs. the mackenzie-childs' daughter and son-in-law now live in the carriage house and operate the B&B.

the cafe is still under construction, but the incredibly hospitable, parisian son-in-law offered to make us an espresso. mais oui! who were we to argue? meanwhile, his charming and very eloise-like seven-going-on-27-year-old daughter gave us a tour.

and that's when we fell down the rabbit hole.

forget the mackenzie-childs factory tour. if you really want to know where they got their inspiration, just take a stroll through this place.

an armoire that opens to reveal not a rack of clothes, but a secret hallway. a walk-in closet with a magical ceiling covered in a mosaic of tiny vintage trinkets and antique embellishments. an entire wall covered with broken shards of mackenzie-childs pottery. a footstool with the ceramic feet of victoria mackenzie-childs.

after a night at the newly restored aurora inn, we began the next leg of our journey, a 52-mile trek around owasco lake, ending in skaneatelas.

leaving aurora, we made a quick stop at the mackenzie-childs museum. the highlight was an enormous handmade dollhouse with the most incredible details...including this teeny basket of wool. we pulled into the sherwood inn in skaneatelas several wineries and vegetable stands later.

day 3 of our trip was a 65-mile route back to ithaca. along routes 5 & 20, my cycling buddy michele (who is a world-class adventure racer AND obsessive knitter) pointed out this spiky plant called teasel. apparently, early settlers used it to card wool.


knitnzu said...

Oh, I miss that place so much! Lived in Syr but played down Ithaca way and what great winery tours!

AnaMarie said...

That sounds like a lot of fun! Any maps/winery suggestions? I go to college in Rochester, and would love to do something like that in the spring. My boyfriend and I love cycling together, so something like this would be perfect for a weekend!

Rose said...

Sounds like a ton of fun! I did something very similar last summer on vaca in Europe. Yay for wine and bikes. Can you please email me a copy of the Fake-a-gamo instructions? I tried the email link but it wouldn't go through. Thanks!

Rose said...

im dumb. sorry.

Susanne said...

I really love your blog. Your cycling trip made me crave a stay in a B&B and reminded me of my winery tours in South Africa. Awesome stockings, by the way. Cheers!

michelle said...

Kate you were great company for this trip, thanks entering my life :)

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