My sister and I are close, bonded by our love of cute coffee shops, affinity for new adventures and the misery of both not understanding what your parents are talking about and simultaneously becoming them. Despite this, Paige and I haven’t lived under the same roof in years. Some of that time, we were both in Ithaca, meeting up for Saturday morning coffee dates when we were both free. Others, we were hours apart, one of us home and the other in Ithaca.
Cody and his siblings are incredibly close, and when Cody’s brother moved to Rochester last month, we knew that we’d be gathering often, thankfully only a few Thruway exits apart. This weekend we celebrated the first of many “Siblings’ Weekend,” full of family updates, breweries, boating and ice cream sundaes.
While Cody’s sister and his brother’s girlfriend aren’t my sisters, they do a pretty good job of filling in when Paige hasn’t been home in a while. This weekend, my heart was so full of love and laughter, fueled by a sunset boat ride, flatbread pizzas on the patio, trail mix and Impractical Jokers. Many thanks to Patrick and Shannon for making this weekend happen. Can’t wait for next time!
Last weekend our family was in Ithaca for Paige’s graduation from Ithaca College. We had a delicious meal at Madeline’s on The Commons and needed to walk off our dessert. Ithaca has a plethora of hiking options, but we were staying near Cornell’s campus so we chose The Plantations.
The Mundy Wildflower Garden and Herb Garden were beginning to bloom and looked downright magical in the golden hour light.
We spent a long time watching the dozens of turtles and goldfish in the Houston Pond from the bridge. There were some massive creatures living in there!
We were far from the only visitors, with students having picnics and local high schoolers taking prom pictures in various picturesque locations throughout the grounds. For anyone looking for an Ithaca hike that doesn’t involve hundreds of stairs or slippery slate, I highly recommend The Plantations!
Erin was kind enough to take a break from studying for finals to hike in Letchworth State Park with me this weekend. We ventured on the road less traveled and took in some gorgeous views above the gorge on a sunny spring day.
Our local Mexican restaurant, Mariachi de Oro in Medina, is delicious on any day, from the housemade salsa to the sizzling fajitas. But this year, I was lucky enough to join them for the traditional meal they host each fall for Día de los Muertos, along with Cody and his family. Let me tell you, I was blown away by the event.
From the marimba band and the marigold ofrenda, to the worms in our tequila shots, this event was as celebratory as my family’s Thanksgiving. I truly felt included in the special night, hosted by the Rosario family, who owns and operates the restaurant.
The family is from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, and between cheerful songs and more food than humanly possible to eat, they explained the tradition of the Day of the Dead. There was Pan de Muertos with Mexican hot chocolate, the most delicious tamales, endless chicken mole with homemade corn tortillas. To finish the meal, as if we weren’t already stuffed with the most incredible food, there was flan and shots of tequila – with worms (that I did not add to my drink), which is apparently something that began Oaxaca.
As the digital marketer I am, I also loved the Facebook Live Mariachi de Oro was rocking throughout the celebration.
If you’ve never been, I highly encourage you to check out Mariachi de Oro. And if you have, spending Día de los Muertos with them is a special experience you’ll definitely love.
My aunt launched an adorable line of travel slipper socks last fall and I’m working on creating a social media presence for the brand. Water2Wear is a perfect fit for so many Instagram communities as a product focused on travel and ethical fashion. I’m curating a feed of product shots, travel photography and content from awareness-raising humanitarian organization and it’s SO MUCH FUN. The best part is that 10 percent of every purchase goes to water.org to provide clean drinking water to those in need.
This weekend I visited my grandparents in the beautiful Finger Lakes, and what better place to photograph the drop sock from Water2Wear than on my dad’s family farm? My dad and I had a great time putting the socks in front of tractors and silos. Take a look at some of my favorite shots here and check out Water2Wear on Instagram too!
This weekend was full of family; we celebrated the approaching arrival of a new baby with my dad’s family, and then were on our way to my mom’s family’s annual gathering.
My mom’s parents grew up in northern New Jersey, a beautiful collection of lakes, mountains and green pasture. We filled the cozy grey day with delicious food, new calves, catching up and reminiscing. Just like every year, we spent hours flipping through photo albums full of my grandparents’ generation’s childhood memories and wedding photos.
It’s so important to me to know where I came from, to see the places that my Ownmom and Papa Joe spent their childhood and brought their own kids back to. I love the old photos, newspaper clippings and handwritten notes that were so important to past generations. I cherish the chance to celebrate these places, people and things with my family every year.