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Our First Anniversary on Lake Keuka

Tom and I celebrated one year of marriage by spending the weekend somewhere neither of us had been. Some friends of ours really enjoyed their time in upstate New York, so we packed our bags and off we went!


Actually, before we hit the road, we got to spend the morning flipping pancakes for Grace Christian Academy's pancake fundraiser. It was just pretty special to spend the morning serving with my husband.


Anyway, back to our trip!


Our goal was to go with the flow; find something active to do, pretty views, cool local spots to eat... oh and coffee shops. One of the things I love most about our relationship is that we always have the best time when we don't plan anything. Whether we're hiking to find waterfalls or falling asleep on the couch to a documentary about our microbiomes (I'll explain later), we enjoy each other's company. Genuinely.


This weekend was no exception...


Where We Stayed: A cute Air BnB in Lake Keuka in Dundee, NY


Where We Ate:

  • Burgers & Beer in Hammondsport, NY: I can't vouch for the beer, but I can tell you they make great customized burgers and have wonderful customer service.

  • Nickel's Pit BBQ in Watkins Glen, NY: All I can say is if you ever find yourself there...order the wings! You won't be disappointed.

  • Oak Leaf Cafe & Bakery in Penn Yan, NY: It was such a pleasant surprise inside! It was a cute diner-like cafe operated by an Amish family. We had their sausage gravy over biscuits with black coffee roasted on-site.


What We Did: A lot of walking and a little bit of nothing...


The first night, we did a little grocery shopping, grabbed takeout for dinner, and watched a great movie. Well… half a great movie because one of us (ok, it was me) fell asleep by 10pm.


Sunday, against TLC’s advice, we were chasing waterfalls.


  • Chequaga Falls: Our first stop for the day.

  • Aunt Sarah’s Falls: Simple, roadside, and pretty.

  • Eagle Cliff Falls: Aside from Watkins Glen, this was my favorite! We attempted to walk out under the waterfall we hiked to but decided the ER visit that would likely follow thanks to how slippery the rocks were probably wasn’t worth it.

  • Deckertown Falls: We got to hike a bit here, but in flip-flops because our feet were still wet from our attempted waterfall adventure at Eagle Cliff Falls.

  • The Main Event… Watkins Glen: Every step we walked was worth it for how gorgeous it is inside. Plus, who wouldn’t want to kiss their husband standing underneath a waterfall?




Remember how I said we ate at Nickel’s Pit BBQ? Funny story about that. We originally thought we might go to a nice place for dinner on Sunday night and (supposedly) packed accordingly. Well, Tom packed accordingly. I, however, put my “nice” outfit on a hanger in the closet so it didn’t get wrinkled inside my bag.


And then left it in said closet for the weekend… For the record, it didn’t get wrinkled ;)


So instead, we ate at a BBQ spot in the same clothes we spent all day hiking in. And yet, wouldn’t change a thing.



When we got back to our Air BnB, we literally (voluntarily) put on a documentary about microbiomes on Netflix. Thankfully, I fell asleep before it got weird according to my husband.


Monday, which was our actual anniversary, we had breakfast at Oak Leaf Cafe (mentioned above) then headed home.


I have to tell you…the drive home was as much fun as the whole weekend away for me. It was beautiful outside, the sun was shining, it was warm and I was in Heaven driving home with the windows down and music loud.


And when we got home, we did what we always do and DoorDashed Panda Express for dinner after we changed into our sweats. Tradition is tradition.


And of course... Where We Had Coffee:

  • First of all, like any true coffee snob, we drank the Ocean City Coffee Co. coffee we brought with us for the house we rented.

  • Babes and Buds in Watkins Glen, NY: This spot was not my scene, but their coffee was good, especially as it started to rain after a long afternoon of hiking.

  • Oak Leaf Cafe in Penn Yan, NY: They actually served Canopy Coffee Roaster’s coffee. We enjoyed it - just good, simple coffee. We bought a sample bag of their Peanut Butter Cup coffee that I’m realizing as I type this, we haven’t made yet.

  • Unwind Cafe & Market in Tunkhannock, NY: By far, the best coffee spot of the weekend! The shop was cool inside, the staff was friendly and the latte was good enough to get us all the way home. I’d go out of my way to stop here again.


There was something about this weekend, too. Since we came home, I feel like I’ve fallen deeper in love with who my husband is. Our life, while filled with wonderful things, has had stress tag along with it, but we are in a new, different place together lately.


There are times I’m sure I drive him nuts, and there are things he does that make me scratch my head, but at the end of the day I look at this man and feel gratitude I can’t quite articulate with words.


I just know it is a pretty remarkable thing to be married to someone whose company I enjoy whether we’re having a picture-perfect moment underneath a waterfall on a sunny day, or we’re nodding off watching a Netflix documentary about gut health; someone who loves me when I have all my (our) ducks in a row…and seems to love me even more on the days I can’t even remember how many ducks I’m supposed to have. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


What a beautiful thing we got to celebrate.

Now, does anyone feel like driving to Tunkhaannock, NY? I could go for a coconut latte…



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