Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Importance of Being 50

Okay, the world didn't end when I turned 50. I noticed a new wrinkle, that's all. And as a gift to myself, I am having all the recommended medical screenings - cholesterol, TSH, PAP, mammogram, and (ugh) colonoscopy. The first four tests are okay. I saved the "best" for last. Today is my all-liquids day. Fun.

Anyway, I wanted to show progress on my version of Strawberries & Cream. Just need to sew on the thin inner border, attach the pieced section and add the outer border.

On a higher note, last weekend the hubby and I flew our airplane two hours north to Corning, NY. On the way there, we actually had to fly past Corning and land at Penn-Yan Airport to wait for the low clouds to dissipate from the Corning-Elmira valley first. It wasn't a long wait, just enough to look around and visit the facilities. Then we popped down to Corning and parked at the local general aviation fixed-base operator (called an FBO) - Atlantic Aviation. We picked up our rental car and started on our to-do list.

First stop was lunch in the Gaffer District of Corning, then a drive to Watkins Glen State Park, voted #3 most popular state park in a 2015 USA Today poll. Seems like everyone else in the area had the same idea; it was crowded!  We hiked about a million stairs across 2 miles of the Gorge Trail. At least the sights were quite pretty. If you visit this park, I recommend hiking up the main Gorge Trail and taking the Indian Trail back down to the south parking lot. You avoid the crowds and steps for a more gentle trip back.

That evening we saw "The Intern" at the movie theaters of Arnot Mall. The movie was funny and touching. I think it might even encourage companies to hire retirees back for at least part-time work.

The next day we drove to Hammondsport, the cradle of modern aviation, to visit the Glenn Curtiss Museum. And surprise - they had a small quilt exhibit by local quilters!  For those who fly, Glenn Curtiss ranks even higher than the Wright brothers. He was an amazing man who died way too young at 52.  He invented the motorcycle, too. The museum had airplanes, motorcycles, cars, quilts, dollhouses, toys, engines, and loads of memorabilia. Something for everyone! We spent 3 hours there and could have spent even more time. Hammondsport was a delightful little town with a great view of Keuka Lake, where Curtiss tested so many of his designs.

Here are some equipment Curtiss designed:

And here are few pictures of some of the quilts:

On the way back to Corning, we drove along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, visiting several wineries and buying some of their vintages.

The next day we visited Corning Museum of Glass. There was so much more to the museum than I ever imagined!  Of course we watched glass blowing and glass art demonstrations. The science section was very well done, with very interesting explanations about the history of glass manufacturing to hands-on activities. The modern art section was fun to walk through, to scoff at some of the more pretentious designs and to nod appreciatively over the beauty or uniqueness of other designs. We had to rush through the fascinating history section, so that's on my to-do list if we ever get back to Corning.

Our flight back home went well, in spite of a line of rainstorms threatening to divert our path. Originally we had planned to fly over Wellsboro, the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, but a cold front parked over its hills convinced us to just fly directly home.

I am so thankful we own an airplane which allows us to take trips like this weekend.  It was fun to explore a new area and have the flexibility to go almost anywhere and whenever we wanted.


  1. Happy (belated) Birthday!! I drove by a few of your destinations the week before you were there. It is SUCH a beautiful area. I only wish that I had had time to do some of the exploring that you were able to do.

    Oh! I'll let you in on a little secret... I hitting the BIG 5-0 next week!! YIKES!!!

    1. Happy birthday to you! What a coincidence! If you get back up to central New York, it's worthwhile to spend a couple days exploring the Corning area. Right now is a great time for fall foliage viewing. I'm thinking our next trip will have to be Wellsboro, PA.