Return to Ithaca, pt. 1

June 6, 2017 § 2 Comments

3 view

After some shenanigans involving an expired passport, J and I canceled our planned trip to Iceland and instead took a very last-minute road trip to Ithaca, NY. Both destinations have plenty of waterfalls — no big difference, right? Haha ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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We stayed in our usual place, the Statler Hotel on the Cornell campus. It was hopping with graduation activities for Ithaca College.

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Dinner the first night was at Gola Osteria, which could be described as an Italian speakeasy restaurant as it’s located in the back of a random apartment building. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the big fish sculpture.

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From there, buzz in and go down the creepy hallway (why all the railing??) until you reach the nondescript entrance. The interior was quite nice and looked like a totally normal restaurant setting. We couldn’t figure out why the owners would occupy a random space like this other than really cheap rent, maybe?

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We ordered four appetizers and 2.5 entrees, and everything was delicious. I tried sweetbreads for the first time (bottom picture), and contrary to what I had assumed, sweetbreads are not just any old offal; they are specifically the thymus or pancreas.

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The sweetbreads were breaded and fried, which J said is the standard preparation. I liked the creaminess of the actual meat, but I couldn’t get past the oily-tasting breaded exterior (which I normally dislike on any food). At least I got to try it finally! J loved the dish and gobbled it all up.

The weather was erratic during our meal; storming one second and sunny the next, and I learned from J that people in Oklahoma refer to a sunshower (raining while sunny) as “the Devil is beating his wife.” How charming.

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For dessert, we had a bit of soft serve at Sweet Melissa’s Ice Cream Shop — I’d recommend the Two-Berry Twist, which was perfectly sweet and tart.

We started the next day with a walk across campus to the art museum, which had great views of the surrounding area. One of the more interesting exhibits was crowd-sourced, and apparently you could bring your own red objects to add to the installation.

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Dumb, eh? Interesting to see how language has evolved.

After a highly mediocre lunch (the guac was as watery as squeeze-packet wasabi), we drove over to Treman State Park for some hiking … only to find that the gorge trail wasn’t open for the season yet.

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The small waterfall we got to see was still pretty though!

We then went to Buttermilk Falls to get what we came for. (Photo spam below.) The steep uphill hike was somewhat strenuous at parts for me — I’m out of shape :( — and I kept having to watch for centipedes crawling around underfoot (not pictured because ew).

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The setting was beautiful, peaceful (except the sound of the roaring waters) and at times looked like something out of a woodland fantasy novel. The trail and steps were manmade, but the gorge itself — with all its straight edges and perfectly round pools — occurred naturally. It’s always a glorious sight to see.

Part 2 here!

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