Weekend in Corning, NY

Last Fall we woke up one Saturday morning with an itch to go on a road trip. It was October and the leaves were changing, there was crispness in the air and for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to see what Autumn in New England is all about. We ended up taking a 3 day spontaneous roadtrip to Rhode Island that remains, to this day, one of my favorite trips we’ve ever had.

This year when an opportunity for an extended weekend presented itself, we jumped at the idea to head up North again. With the timing and knowing we didn’t want to spend too much time in a car with two kids, we decided to head to Corning, NY near the Finger Lakes. After I finished my half marathon last weekend, we headed back to our car and off on a “four” hour road trip to upstate NY. Granted, 4 hours is according to Google Maps and doesn’t account for two kids two and under. We stopped a few times on the way to stretch our legs and for diaper changes.

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The entire drive was absolutely breathtaking with endless changing trees and spectacular colors in every direction. The pictures really don’t do it justice.


We stopped at Chick fil A for lunch to refuel since I’d just run a half marathon. Both kids spent the first half of the trip sleeping. We managed to time it perfectly with naps. We finally pulled into our hotel around 5:30pm, sufficiently exhausted and ready for some food. We ended up checking in, then heading to Walmart to get some Tylenol for Andrew who was still sporting a fever and grabbed Subway for dinner. It was just as mediocre as we remembered but with two exhausted kids, it was worth it not to have to corral them in a restaurant. We were all in bed with the lights out by 8pm.


Sunday morning we woke up early and explored the hotel grounds for awhile. We ate breakfast at the hotel then headed out to Watkins Glen State Park.


The park is known for the Gorge which is absolutely insane!


There are over 800 steps to get down to the actual gorge and massive waterfalls.


We walked around the park for a bit, released some toddler energy and then headed North a bit further to the base of the Finger Lakes.

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We stopped on Castle Grisch which is a winery located on a hill overlooking the water. The views are incredible and the people are extremely friendly. Bryan and I did a wine tasting while Jackson chucked goldfish all over the floor and we took turns cleaning them up and feeding Andrew with one hand while tasting wine with the other. There were two exceptionally good wines, a white and a dry red. We bought a bottle of each, ordered some Reubens from the café next door and high tailed it out of there. We ended up eating out sandwiches in the car with the gorgeous views in front of us.

The sandwiches were delicious! When we finished we headed back to the hotel. We all changed into swimsuits and headed down to the hotel pool. Andrew had never been swimming before and absolutely loved it. He was splashing and kicking like crazy, cooing loudly the entire time. Jackson loves to swim and would jump off the side of the pool into daddy’s arms (with much prying–he has a healthy respect for the water, thankfully). He spent 10 more minutes floating around in an inflatable raft before both boys lips were chattering and we declared it time to head back.

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We showered and changed then headed out in search for some food. Jackson had protested naptime all day and the effects were one seriously exhausted toddler. We decided it was another night of carryout. We picked up some Chinese food at a local place and ate it back in our room. It was subpar but the soup was absolutely delicious. We had some wine and Reeses peanut butter cups for dessert. By 7:30 we were all fast asleep.

Monday morning we drove through downtown and saw all the trees lit up with Christmas lights. It was so beautiful and peaceful. We got back to the hotel in time for breakfast. After breakfast I took Drew back to our room for a nap while I cleaned up and got our bags packed and Bry took Jackson down to swim one last time. Jax loved it. He walked around the hotel room asking to go to the “wawa” while wearing the floatie. We packed the car and headed home, the four hour drive took us 7 hours with a stop at Skeeter’s BBQ for lunch with more incredible views overlooking the Susquehanna River. We got home and went for a family walk, ordered in pizza and stumbled to our beds for a deep night of sleep.


It was a great, albeit short, family getaway. Not as relaxing as getaways once were but even more appreciated since we get to share these new experiences and create memories with the two greatest kids on earth. I’m already wishing for the next one!


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