Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ithaca Beer Weekend, Day Two

Ithaca Falls
This is Part 2, make sure to check out our First Day

We woke up slightly hazy from the night before, and decided to be active around Ithaca on the beautiful Saturday. We grabbed a bite to eat at the hotel restaurant, and hit the road. We walked up the Cascadilla Gorge, until we found that it was closed when we were almost to the end of it. So after turning around, and trekking back to the start, we decide to find Ithaca Falls. “Just a short mile trip over the hill,” someone said. The hill was steep, coming down the other side was steeper (happy we didn’t fall).

But when we got there, it was worth the walk. It may only be one water fall, but it is huge- 150 feet high, 175 feet wide. The walk back to the hotel was not as bad as it was to get to the falls. Even thought it was around 2 miles, it was flat. After putting our feet up for an hour, we headed over to PuddleDockers, to try out some canoes and kayaks. We had not been in a canoe in maybe 10-15 years, so we knew this would be an experience. Other friends grabbed kayaks, since that is what they are more comfortable in.

Mahogany Grill
Taking the boats up the canal to the lake was a fun, relaxing workout. A little over a mile up the canal, we were in Lake Cayuga. We could tell when we got there, as the water went from calm and flat, to choppy. So we hung out there for a little, and then headed back.  It was a great mid-afternoon exercise.

We made reservations at Mahogany Grille for dinner, and got there as our table (outside on the gorgeous day) was opening up. Steaks were served up around the table, as well as some brews- a Goose Island Honkers to start, then Ithaca Partly Sunny to finish. Food was perfect. We were ready to take a nap after filling our stomachs, but that was not going to happen.  We decided to look for an empty bar and keep the staff company, and we found it around the corner at Moonshadows. We did not know that an hour and a half later it would turn into a dance club. That was ok though. We had our beers, a couple shots, and talked to the great staff (we also saw a couple people order fish bowls- we did not, that would have been bad). The bartenders and manager were great. Appeasing us and our craziness, and starting the night off right.
Chapter House chalkboard tap list
When the crowd started to roll in, and the DJ started up, we settled our tab and headed off to find another bar. We heard good things of the Chapter House, but seeing that it was up the hill (we were not trekking that again), we decided to find another bar around the Commons. Then we spotted a cab- BINGO. Off to the Chapter House we go.

As we entered, we immediately saw why some people told us to go there. 48 of the 50 taps were pouring (mostly) craft beer. Only downside was the $5 cover for the live bands playing, but that wasn’t too bad- the first band was though. If you like to listed to slower, depressing sounding music while drinking a Bear Republic Racer 5, you can go right ahead, we did not.  Thankfully, that was the opening act. The band that came after them was country-rock (maybe Rock-a-billy) and brought the mood up a bit. Ithaca Flower Power, Lake Placid Ubu, Victory Yakima Glory, Middle Ages IPA, Lagunitas IPA, Stone Pale Ale, Original Sin Cider and others were poured into our glasses for the rest of the night. And to top it off, the wedding party that we met the day before at Kilpatrick’s showed up.  Great night. It was finished off by a walk down the hill, back to the pizza place with some hanging out at the outdoor tables, then back to the hotel to crash for the night and drive home the next day.

What a great weekend- great food, beer and friends. Ithaca is one place that I look forward to coming back to in the future, as my wife would love to hit up the wineries (which we didn’t even do), and then we could hit the town at night for beer.  Ithaca, it was a pleasure.
band at Chapter House
Chapter House taps

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