Monday, 29 September 2014

Wonderful Weekend Away

This weekend my husband and I enjoyed a Wonderful Weekend Away in Ellicottville, one of our favourite US destinations just a short 3 to 4 hours drive from London. 

We decided to drive the Z4 for our weekend away and the weather cooperated beautifully. We headed out early with the top up as it was damp and cool. By the time we were waiting in line at the border, it was sunny and warm, perfect for top down driving. 

I wasn't sure how I would like highway driving in a convertible but it wasn't bad. I will admit there is a lot of noise from all the various motors on the road. To me it sounds like a speedway, although not my favourite thing, definitely something my husband loves. I couldn't resist taking a photo of him enjoying speeding down the highway with the wind in his hair.
We arrived in town in time for lunch so headed to Katy's Cafe and Cake Creations for cappucinos and tasty panini sandwiches. I liked the messages on their mugs.
My husband was suffering with a nasty headache so he hoped the caffeine and/or food would help ease the pain. It did a bit but what he really needed was a nap.
So after lunch we headed to the ILEX INN. We stayed there last year and loved it. The owners are very hospitable and helpful plus the rooms are nicely decorated and comfortable. This chair was perfect for my needs.
We unpacked and I settled down to crochet while my husband had a much needed nap. When he awoke, we had coffee on the porch outside our room. I timed how long it takes to complete each row on this baby ripple blanket and was surprised to discover it takes about 15 minutes. I am working two rows for each colour; 30 mins per colour means only two colours completed per hour - meo my that's slow.
By the middle of the afternoon, we were ready to head to the hills for our much anticipated hike. Usually we bike these hills but couldn't manage to fit more than hiking shoes, crochet and luggage in the Z4.
On route to the hills, we stopped to admire baby alpacas at Sugartown Farms and check out their store. I think alpacas are adorable and oh so soft. I also love the yarn, sweaters and scarves sold at the store but I resisted. I will admit, I was totally tempted by one sweater in particular and some lace weight scarves made from baby alpaca yarn. They feel amazingly soft and warm. Oh well, maybe next time.
After Sugartown Farms we headed to the ski hills for our hike. We were surprised to discover a huge adventure park on the hillside at Holiday Valley Ski Resort
We carried on hiking to the top of the hill. It was a long steep climb involving lots of huffing and puffing and sweating. I wished I had worn lighter clothes as it was sunny and hot climbing uphill. We enjoyed a bit of a rest at the top where we admired the view.
I love the fall colours and the view was spectacular. We wound our way up the hill getting hot and out of breath and the walk straight down was equally challenging. Although we could breath easier, our legs got quite shaky and tired. Hiking ski hills is a great workout.
Back in town, we made two stops - our favourite cheese shop plus our favourite wine store where we gathered essentials for our after hike dinner and refreshments. Two bottles of rosé wine chilling on ice, prosciutto, two kinds of salami, two kinds of cheese, crackers and chocolate fudge made for a delicious dinner on the patio by the pool.
We brought everything we might need including my crochet which is always close at hand.
We cooled off in the pool before settling down to dinner. I changed into comfy clothes to relax over dinner with wine and crochet.
Lee relaxed in the hot tub with his tablet. He assured me it was very hot and very relaxing. I preferred to stay cool with my crochet, although my simple pattern involving three different four counts soon became too challenging for my wine addled brain. We thoroughly enjoyed our day in Ellicottville and turned in early for some well earned rest.
The next morning, we were the first to arrive for a delicious home-made breakfast.
After breakfast, I happily sat outside our room to crochet and enjoy the misty view. 
The morning mist hides the view of the hills across the road but it was still pretty and peaceful sitting on the porch.
As the sun burned off the mist, the hillside magically reappeared. I never get tired of this view.
Yesterday, we hiked to the top of this ski hill. Trust me it's even higher than it looks. 
Today we decide to take it easy and walk into town to check out the shops. Shopping done, we relax outside with cappuccinos at Coffee Culture. We love the fire pit running all year round on their patio but can't sit too close on such a warm day. We finish our cappucinos then head out early to drive the scenic route home. We've enjoyed our short stay in Ellicottville but we would like to be home in time to share birthday cake with our parents.
Our plan worked well. I picked up a cake while my husband called our parents and we all got together to celebrate his birthday.
It's just not a birthday without family and cake. Happy Birthday wishes to my dear husband who is away in Toronto for work most of this week. It was a Wonderful Weekend Away to celebrate. 
Would you like to see the progress I made on the baby ripple blanket this week? Fourteen stripes so far and many more to go. I also bought two more colours (light blue and antique white) at Walmart on the way home. I like to roll the yarn into balls to make them easier to use so I might spend time doing that before I crochet more stripes. 
I'm hoping to finish this before my daughter visits in two weeks for Thanksgiving. I'm not sure it's possible with everything else we must do before then. Wish me luck. 

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