August 27, 2013

Summer Travel: Cooperstown in August

Earlier this month we spent almost three weeks in Cooperstown and it was pure heaven. We stayed with my parents and spent as much time as possible enjoying their garden, all the wonderful restaurants, and, of course, swimming in Lake Otsego. I love lake living in the summer. It is so simple and refreshing. This year the water was a little cool due to the all cooler nights we had, but that didn’t deter us from being completely waterlogged by the end of the day. Here is a peak at some of the fun summer things we did, including an update on our favorite spots from a few years ago:

Art by the Lake

Art by the Lake: This was one of our newest favorite activities this year. For one day many of my favorite local artists like Mary Nolan and Tracey Helgeson were in a big tent on the Fenimore Art Museum lawn. I popped the baby in the baby backpack and we wandered from stall-to-stall while my daughter took part in the kids arts and craft activity in the center of the tent. There was even a local jazz trio and a food “truck” from Origins Cafe, the cafe started at our favorite nursery by the daughters of the owner.

I never, ever tire of the Cooperstown Farmer’s Market. It is truly one-in-a-million. This year I got all worked up about my Ball Automatic Jam Maker and my Dad and I went crazy! I bought pounds and pounds of apricots, plums, raspberries, and peaches and we turned ALL of the produce into jams. It is awesome…and a little tiring. I can’t wait to do it again next year. (More on the jams soon!)

My daughter is the perfect age for The Farmers’ Museum these days. Every Tuesday they had a little story time and arts and crafts activity for the younger set. One week they heard a story about sheep and learned about sheering and spinning wool. The next week they painted pictures using vegetables like carrots and beets instead of paint brushes. After story hour we fed the baby animals their lunch and took a ride on the carousel.

Westville Fly In Breakfast

The Fly-In Pancake Breakfast at the Westville Airport was awesome. My husband, a true aviation nut, walked around and gazed at the planes. Then we just sat back and watched them take-off and land. I

Every morning I hit Stagecoach Coffee for some unbelievable caffeinated treat. I’ve known Matt and Chris since we were babies so it is always enjoyable to walk in and chat with a familiar face. Matt’s son is the same age as mine so we often commiserated on tough nights and early mornings!

Cantina de Salsa is a newer restaurants in Cherry Valley. It serves amazing delicious Mexican food and was a great date night for us.

The Fire Pit at The Otesaga Hotel is a really cool new outdoor bar. When I heard about it I envision burning logs and black smoke, but then I saw that is actually a gas ring with small flames. One night I went out with childhood friends and we closed the place down (!) Other nights I went I wore a fleece and enjoyed how the heat from the flames kept us all cozy warm. Lake Otsego

Toscana has been open for about a year and is our new favorite family restaurant. My daughter has fallen deeply in love with their vodka sauce which means I’ll be making it more at home. I’m totally mad for their homemade salad dressing and hearty bolognese.


The rest of the time we usually spend paddling around Lake Otsego which is, in my mind, the absolute best place for cool summer swimming. We also spent a lot of time in my parent’s garden snapping pictures of what we hope to plant at the new house. My mother’s vegetables are nearing their end but we did manage to score a few last tomatoes from the vine.

Love All by Callie Wright

Since my husband had to put in time at the office I was handling the two kids on my own most of the time. My parents were a huge help, of course, but there are still things left to just mom to take care of. As a result I read one and a half books. By comparison last year, before baby, I read five books in two weeks. (Oh well, I will get to do more reading when the kids are in college.) My first read was Love All by my dear friend Callie Wright. It is set in Cooperstown so, naturally, I loved it! I am roughly halfway through The Office of Mercy which totally appeals to my sci-fi side. I love any kind of fantasy fiction and this involved story is just that. It is the best kind of escape reading!

Now we are back in Connecticut and are gearing up for school to start as well as the big move across town. My plate is full (no pun intended) and I am losing my mind just a tiny bit. Whenever I start to get frazzled I just look at these pictures and go back to my happy place!