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Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Labor Day in the Finger Lakes

We broke down our three day weekend into three perfect parts. 

Day 1 -- Wine Tour

Escorted by Crush Wine Tours we went to 4 wineries. Given we are all from the west coast (and have had Washington and Napa wine tastings under our belts) these wineries didn't rock our worlds. We did get a couple of bottles. But not cases, nor memberships. We all had a wonderful time.

Lots of pretty views in the Finger Lakes

About time to harvest those puppies!

One of the wineries had pet donkeys

Winery #1, so we're still fresh!

Our driver took us to a secret location to see this amazing
waterfall. The white place in front is a venue to rent.

Looking across Seneca Lake 

Day 2 -- Brewery Tour

Tons of  brewers in the area. This time I volunteered to be the designated driver and put together a 4 brewery tour of some of the best rated venues I could find on Google. As a result it was a slower paced day, playing Hanabi at a number of the breweries while flights were consumed. One of the breweries (Naked Dove) was a show stopper -- much beer and tchotchke was purchased.

The hotel was in Seneca Falls, which is a big Christmas 
destination. Largely because of this. This bridge is THE bridge
from "It's a Wonderful Life."

On of the odder breweries we went to had a bunch of sours.
They looked more like smoothies than beer.

This just made me laugh.

Day 3 - Escape Room Tour

This started out as "Hey, let's do an escape room" and turned into a "Buy 4 and get a discount!" We did 5 escape rooms in total; 1 from 1 place and 4 smaller ones from a second.

We were given the task to "Build this room."
We ran around the 9000 sq ft of play space looking
for everything (window coverings, pillows, evenwainscoting).

Both places were unique. The first place had a 9000 sq foot space you had to explore to finish "your escape". It was divided up into various rooms, like "the museum", "the laboratory", and "the library." While we were doing OUR escape (we chose solving a train robbery) several other groups were in the same space working on their escapes. The company offered 10 or more escapes going on at the same time, all of them were different, requiring different things to be found and different goals to attain. Extremely interesting. We weren't thrilled with our own challenge (solving it was fun, but the solution wasn't awesome) but really want to explore others.

Meanwhile, the second place had 4 30-minute escapes. These were much more "high tech" and included things like video game play and many tasks to be done at the same time (we frequently had 2 groups of 2 people doing things simultaneously). My personal favorite was an Egyptians tomb experience, which had the ceiling slowly lowering while we frantically solved puzzles.

All escapes were successful, btw.

We dined at PF Changs. Clearly a fave of David's.
Also mentioning was that both escape rooms were in the same location which was a mall. This place seriously wowed us. The mall also had a trampoline park, a race car track, rope park, a bowling alley, a virtual ride experience, several breweries, and a number of big restaurants (PF Changs, TGI Fridays, and Margaritaville). Given the number of abandoned malls this seemed like an excellent idea; an "entertainment space" where you drop the kids off while having a dinner. All indoors, which is a big win if the weather isn't great all year around (like in upstate NY, where they get 120 inches of snow on average annually, or Florida when it's 95 degrees and 95% humidity). I hope to see this trend continue.

(We did get some group photos but I have to get them from the venue. Updates to follow.)

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