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  • Frances Schwabenland

Three Day Get-A-Way to The Finger Lake Region of New York

Day 1- The First Leg of the Journey

I don't know how many people would use the word, "orgasmic" and "travel" in the same sentence but for me, it seems so appropriate. An explosion of joy and ecstasy with lots of sounds of awe thrown in was exactly the way this first trip away felt. Finally, my suitcases were no longer abandoned to the far reaches of the attic and I spread everything all over my dining room as I attempted to charge up a million things related to photography (a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point!).

From Philadelphia, we set out to the Corning Museum of Glass first. It is 249 miles and approximately a 3 1/2 hour drive which is the perfect amount to then be able to get out and stretch.

Kim Thompson (who is one of the nicest and most helpful people I have ever met!) is the Manager of Public Relations and Special Media Projects and she provided us with wonderful choices for lunch before our tour of the museum: The Old World Cafe, The Poppleton Bakery & Cafe, FLX Provisions and The Quincy Exchange. All are located in Corning's Gaffer District with shops and restaurants right across the river from the Museum. We chose The Old World Cafe and it did not disappoint. There was a nice variety from soup to ice cream and old fashioned candy to take away. (Can you tell I love sweets?!) Sandwiches were substantial and delicious. The buttered grilled bread with oozing cheese caused some of those orgasmic sounds! After being shut in for so long, it is the small things that take on new meaning! There is an outdoor space directly next to the restaurant that just invites people to sit and enjoy the scenery.

Directly across the street is the Corning Revere Factory store where if you love to cook, this would be your store. All things kitchen at inexpensive prices. When I travel, there seems to always be something I missed and need to return for and in this case, that would be the Chocolate Trail...give me decadence any day of the week! The Radisson Hotel also provides a special overnight package if you wish to stay and explore for more than just a few hours like we did.

Satiated, our legs recalled how to walk again and off we went to see where beauty and etherial meet. From children looking for new adventures to artists looking for inspiration, the Corning Museum of Glass offers something for every one. This is the world's largest glass museum and offers the opportunity to browse 3500 years of glass and glassmaking from antiquity through the present day. It is the most celebrated and comprehensive glass collection in the world. The galleries contain airy, celestial and exquisite works of art representing every country and historical period in which glassmaking was practiced. The light, the colors, the artistry embraced and uplifted us at every turn. The alchemy of sand, soda ash, limestone and heat was awe inspiring. One can spend a few hours to a few days exploring all the galleries. The Contemporary Glass Galleries which opened in 2015, houses the world's largest space dedicated to the display of contemporary art and design in glass. It features a sophisticated light filtering system using diffusing roof skylights, which provide most of the lighting required to view the thematically curated galleries highlighting objects that refer to nature, the body, history and material.

There are hot glass demos which literally and figuratively light up the faces of those in the audience. They are live and are offered all day, every day, year round. After being surrounded by the exquisite art, take your talents and inspiration into The Studio. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience deciding on the colors, textures and sizes of glass to create our own work of art. All different ages can try their hand at creating a frame, a clock or wind chimes. The artists in residence will guide you through the process. The completed piece will then go into the kiln for that flame of transformation to do its dance and solidify creative pursuit. The finished piece may be picked up later or it will be shipped to your home. My wind chime came in 2 days and is adding a bit of whimsical exuberance to my garden.

If one cannot visit the Museum in person, they offer many live streaming events on the techniques and artistry which can be seen on or their Facebook page. The Museum also has a "You Design It, We Make It" opportunity. Entirely virtual, anyone from around the world can draw a design and submit it. One submission is chosen every other week and it is then created in glass on line for all to see. How fun for a child to see this magical process from their own unique vision.

What a wonderful way to start the trip - fascinating learning and beautiful art.

Timed tickets are required and children under 17 are free. Parking and shuttles are provided.

Sand course fire flames

Alchemy colors bleed smooth

Beauty transparent

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