Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lake Keuka, NY

Last evening, my sister and I drove from Ithaca to Keuka, NY, a quiet little town on the Finger Lakes, to have dinner and spend the night at our cousin's house.  Here's a little look at the completely beautiful scene we came upon when we got there...
From the front yard, overlooking Lake Keuka
Their dock in the backyard
...Which we watched with fresh mojitos in hand
Dinner on the patio at sundown

Our 'cousin,' who is actually only distantly related to my sister and I through marriage (her mother's brother married a relative of my grandmother's, but hey, we're Italian, so she counts as a cousin!) is an awesome woman who I wish I got to see more.  She and her partner live in San Fransisco, have their summer home in Keuka, and travel internationally often.  They're the kind of warm, genuine people with a fantastically refreshing perspective that makes me feel really connected to them- they are each very independent, different, and in many ways quirky- they live unique, impactful lives and surround themselves, we found out, with similarly interesting friends.

They had two other couples over for dinner as well: one lesbian (activists, journalists, and writers) and one straight (chefs, wine connoisseurs, and travel agency owners).  Interesting company made for an interesting evening: I can't remember the last time I drank such fabulous wine and had several rather in-depth conversations about Freida Kahlo, the election, Japanese culture, lesbianism, the Mafia, and journalism all in one night.  I'm so used to eating Italian and American food, but another thing I love about my cousin and her partner is their very global perspective and its integration into much of what they do, from cooking to living: we all helped cook a delicious meal of Japanese wheat noodle-stuffed tofu skin dumplings, peach-and-apple kimchi, and freshly caught and grilled salmon and trout.

We ended the evening (or at least I did) on a four-person lounge chair on the deck, drinking more wine and looking at the stars.  In the morning, while my cousin and the rest of the guests got up for a wine tour, my sister and I made a delicious egg-tomato-avocado scrambler breakfast, sunned on the dock, swam and kayaked (which I think has become my new favorite activity) in the lake.
Morning-after bonfire
Sunlight through the garden
Our 'thank you' gift- a thrifted glass jar with hand-picked wildflowers- on the kitchen counter where we made breakfast...
...Which we enjoyed on the dock

Our magnificent view

Lake Keuka- crystal clear
The shore line
After spending all day there today- eating ice cream, visiting, and touring their fabulous, antiqued, charming, Anthropologie-esque house (about which I will certainly be posting!)- I packed up to leave from Syracuse and am headed home now.  I'm so glad I went on this little mini-vacation, and hopefully, when my sister is done with her internship next month, I'll be headed back for more.


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