Ithaca is Gorges
Today I tried really hard to be a good dog owner, and took Daisy for a six mile walk. During this time she knocked the coffee out of my hands, got herself completely tangled in bushes, and ate a really old dead mouse that I unsuccessfully tried to get out of her mouth, and yet she successfully smeared on my pants.
Oh my god.
Here's to a better day, when I explored Ithaca with my pal Shannon. We stayed in an AirBnB (check them out on www.airbnb.com), which was a really cool experience, and one that I hope to have again soon.
The house we stayed in was in downtown Ithaca, and when we pulled up we were kind of sketched out. We'd looked at it online, and the rooms were really precious, but from the outside it was gheeeeeetto, As soon as we walked inside, though, we were reassured: we would in fact live to see another day.
For anyone that doesn't know what Airbnb is, people basically set up a room or part of their home and rent it out. You look through the website, can search by price, number of rooms, travel dates, and can read ratings other people have written about the host so you know they're probably not going to attack you.
It was something like $50 a night, so instead of staying in a crappy motel or sleeping in the car, you get to stay in a cute room and meet people who can give you the inside scoop on a new town.
We went to what I would describe as a "funky" coffee shop (which is definitely not my favorite style of almost anything, but it wasn't bad coffee), and then had a really delicious burger at the Brew Pub restaurant.
The burger was awesome; I wish I had another one right now. But! They stuck us behind this weird stone column, so when the waitress came she had to stand behind one of us or wedge herself between the table and the wall. I think maybe they were embarrassed? We'd driven for a while and kind of looked like cavemen so maybe they thought we'd like it there and then they wouldn't have to look at us.
I'd been craving adventure so bad. This was killing me. I like things to be perfect all the time and sometimes you are just stuck between a rock and a hard place, but if you have to be stuck there then it is not so bad to be stuck with a burger.
What I really wanted to see was some of the gorges, but as usual I was slightly over ambitious and you couldn't actually physically get into the gorges at that time of year. Or, I couldn't. I forgot to pack my professional ice climbing shoes. I commonly forget to do this, because contrary to popular belief I am not actually a professional ice climber. So instead we just chased waterfalls from a little bit more of a distance.
We also went to the Ithaca Beer Co., and I loved it there. Everyone was really friendly, the food was awesome, and the prices were reasonable. That was probably the highlight of the trip for me, but I was too busy stuffing their delicious fries in my mouth to take any pictures.
The thought that struck me most while we were in Ithaca was how much I actually love Utica. Ithaca has some good qualities, and I'm excited to go back and actually climb around in the gorges now that the parks are open and the ice has melted, but their bars don't cast a shadow on ours. Utica is really great at creating the perfect drinking environment - they bring you down just enough to bring you back up.
The grass is always greener somewhere else (the sun actually does shine more almost everywhere else) but I know I am supposed to be where I am right now, and it was reassuring to feel excited to drive back into Utica. You don't always need more, sometimes you just need to get out of your usual environment to be thankful for what you already have.