Several years ago I was lucky enough to make the acquaintance of a woman named Deirdre Cunningham, who was at the time the landscape curator at the George Eastman House here in Rochester. She's done a number of really interesting things since then, including marrying marinepaleomicrogeologist Bill Chaisson (ok, I know what's not what you call it, but it's all I can ever remember), and now the two of them run a funky B&B in Trumansburg, NY, called the McLallen House. Deirdre and Bill the best kind of very smart people: the kind who make you feel smarter, as opposed to dumb and drab by comparison. They're wonderful hosts. I love to visit them when I can, which is not often, but Wednesday night I got my chance: Kieley and I crashed there after a day of delivering magazines in Syracuse and before the Ithaca rounds.
It was the night before the Grassroots Festival opened, and the inn was full. Trumansburg was hopping (I think it's always hopping, actually). We first stopped at the Trumansburg Farmer's Market (I never know where to put the apostrophe in "Farmers Market" so I go with whatever the market itself uses), which Deirdre currently runs. There were violent storms passing through and around the area, so about half of the vendors had packed up, but there was still local comb honey, which I've been looking for for months, and sausages made that same afternoon by The Piggery, and delicious Cuban dinners. I could go on and on about all of this, but Deirdre actually wrote an article that mentions many of these people in the latest UGJ. I hope to post it on the site at some point, but it won't be in the next two weeks, I can say for sure. Please pick one up and read the story; if you can't find a copy, leave a comment here.
After we settled in, we headed down to the Pourhouse, where the entire town seemed to be hanging out. There was music, and a hundred kinds of beer, and they had falafel...paradise. Eventually we straggled off to bed. Our room had a brand new king-sized bed, which Kieley managed to take up entirely herself by sleeping diagonally. Clever! There's a gorgeous new tile shower too, and Kieley kept saying how she just wished she could move the whole unit to our house in Caledonia.
In the morning we evesdropped on the festival-goers while feasting on Deirdre's strawberry-almond French toast, pictured above.
If you're going to be visiting the Ithaca area and are in need of lodging, look no further. I should point out, though, that you don't really need a reason to go to Trumansburg. There's the Cayuga Wine Trail, and there are gorgeous waterfalls and awesome hills for biking. Best of all, maybe 15 miles away is Cornell Plantations, and as a gardener, if you haven't been there, you owe it to yourself.