Weekend Roundup 9/22

by: Sara Bozich
September 22, 2016
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We had a wonderful turnout for last night’s Pop-Up at Strawberry Square (uh, and ran out of beer!), which we followed with a delicious Restaurant Week dinner at note. A lovely evening in the city if I do say so.

weekend roundup

Ever Grain opens TODAY.

OPENING 9/22! Ever Grain Brewing Company

I’m looking forward to a weekend at home. I work Friday, will hit the gym and market on Saturday morning. Not sure what else, but I’m in the mood for some classic Oktoberfest-ing — and there are a bunch to choose from.

Sunday, I’ll whip out my venison chorizo nachos recipe for the Eagles v. Steelers game.

What are you doing this weekend?

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Fall Race Roundup 2016

by: Kelly Leighton
September 21, 2016
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race running

Even though it hasn’t felt like it outside yet, fall is officially here (tomorrow)!

Fall has always been my favorite season because my birthday falls in September (the 19th), I love the cooler weather, and I just love everything associated with fall (apple cider, pumpkin, Halloween, college football, the leaves changing, sweaters, etc.). And I’ve always preferred running in long-sleeve shirts and shorts.

But enough about me. Without further ado, here is the fall race roundup this year. Please note this is not all-inclusive (I am only one person), so feel free to comment and let us know what else is going on!

5K

5-Miler

10K

15K

Half Marathon

Marathon

Categories: Harrisburg, Running

Ultimate #Wineing Bus Trip to PSU

by: Sara Bozich
September 20, 2016
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Each year ,The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey packs up a couple of Premier Limousine buses and heads to a Penn State game for the Ultimate #Wineing Bus Trip to PSU, which includes an all-inclusive ticket for a full day of football, booze and food.

For this year, The Vineyard is heading up to one of the biggest games on the Nittany Lions schedule — Homecoming. This is the perfect excuse for any Penn Stater who hasn’t been to a homecoming in Happy Valley.

It’s not just a game, it’s an experience.

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»» BUY TIX

Depart: 6:30 a.m.

Enjoy the beautiful fall ride up 322 to Happy Valley in V.I.P-style while sipping on mimosas or a nice cold morning beer from the brewery. Or sleep, because you will have a full day of tailgating and football ahead of you.

Arrive in State College: 8:30ish

Step off the bus and breathe in the cool, crisp State College air. October football is the best time to tailgate, and The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey will set you up in style with plenty of beer, wine, food, games and MORE. As they say in Happy Valley “Tailgate with the best.”

As they say in Happy Valley, “Tailgate with the best.”

Game time: Noon

Take that last swig of booze and head up the Beaver Stadium squad-deep with the rest of the tailgate to see a new and budding rivalry between Penn State and the Maryland Terrapins. PLUS, experience everything that makes homecoming in Happy Valley so special, from the Blue Band to seeing Penn State legends return to the field.

Postgame

Head back out to the bus (hopefully) for a PSU victory tailgate. Grab your fill of more booze and food before heading back on the bus to depart for home.

Arrive back at The Vineyard: 10 p.m.

Tickets are $150 dollars and are ALL INCLUSIVE.

Just for perspective, a ticket for the game alone would cost $60-75. Add in the all of the food and booze you can dream of, plus take away the worry of having to deal with parking ($40) and traffic, and it’s a deal that can’t be beaten.

The Best Ways to Camp in the Finger Lakes

by: Sara Bozich
September 20, 2016
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Last weekend, we went camping in the Finger Lakes for the first time.

For many of my friends, this trip is a regular occurrence (see Kelly’s trips there), and I’ve long been saying it has the perfect ingredients for Andy and I both to enjoy a trip: wine and fishing.

Squad has a surprising interest in camping — our last trip we rolled in 15-deep to a private campground near the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon — and we’ve learned that due to our volume and penchant for beer, wine, and whiskey by a campfire that it’s sometimes best if we avoid more family friendly state parks. 

Campground Owners of New York have sites all over upstate New York, and we were able to score a location at Cheerful Valley Campgrounds. Our agenda was taking us to Central New York on Day 2 (you’ll read more about that next week), so we stayed a bit further north in Phelps, NY.

Another couple joined us for this weekend excursion, and we planned two stops thanks to recommendations from my friend who runs the Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association.

Hand + Foot – Corning, NY

We left Harrisburg around 4 p.m., and landed in the cute town of Corning, NY around 7 p.m. We reported to the oddly named Hand + Foot restaurant, where we pretty quickly scored seats at the bar and began pouring over its expansive drink menu.

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I was drawn to a page full of Boilermakers — yep, beer and a shot — but all purposefully matched. I opted for the boonville barbeque, which was Anderson Valley “Briney Melon Gose” (one of my summer favorites) paired with a blend of Del Maguey “Crema,” Mezcal, and agave syrup. The sweet smokey tequila/mezcal mixture was a complemented well by the refreshingly salty gose.

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Meanwhile, my friends sampled from the sours, Belgians and local IPAs from the beer menu (and I, too, eventually had a delicious local DIPA).

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We were hungry, and Hand + Foot had an interesting menu, a variety of items with unusual ingredients (cheeto powder on your BLT, anyone?), and we sampled their housemade pickle plate, Bahn Mi, Poke, Fried Buttermilk Chicken sandwich and Beer Brisket sandwich. The pickles were great, and favorite dishes included the Bahn Mi (done unconventionally) and Beer Brisket sandwich.

Our bartender (who initially told us Corning was boring, but we forgive him) hooked us up with some housemade Fireball shots after someone else purchased them and bailed!

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Then, the check came with Smarties! Total wins.

We still had a good bit of travel yet, so we hopped back into the car and headed to our next stop in Watkins Glen.

Graft Wine + Cider Bar – Watkins Glen, NY

graft wine and cider

My friend highly recommended Graft Wine + Cider Bar, the perfect place for a cider lover (Lissa) and wine lover (me!).  By this time it was near closing time, but we were able to have a couple glasses of wine and snacks.

graft wine and cider

I immediately ordered the rosé they were carrying — a local by Atwater Vineyards Rosé of Cabernet Franc. I loved it and took a bottle to go. Meanwhile, Lissa dove into their cider list and took home a few bottles herself.

Graft’s small food menu looked terrific, but since we’d just eaten in Corning, I ordered just a few snacks — warmed Marconi almonds and olives.

finger lakes graft wine and cider

The bonus to this adorable little wine hideaway was that it also was a bottle shop — so we could grab things on the menu, plus additional treats — to go.

finger lakes

Had it been earlier, I’m confident we would’ve spent even more time here — we’ll definitely be back.

However, it was time for the 50-min trek to our final destination.

Cheerful Valley Campgrounds

camping finger lakes

It had occurred to us while at Hand + Foot that a) we’d probably arrive after the camp store closed, and b) we needed firewood. So I called Cheerful Valley Campgrounds in advance and let them know that we’d arrive late — and asked if we could pre-purchase some firewood.

The staff — even via phone — was so friendly and accommodating. They not only agreed to drop three bundles of firewood at our site in advance (and put the key in the door of our cabin!), but they offered to let us simply settle up the next morning.

fire camping

So when we arrived at the campsite rather late — nearly 11:30 p.m. I believe — we were pretty well set.

I should mention that we all usually tent camp, but given our second-day itinerary, we wouldn’t be spending too much time on-site, and it seemed better to request the cabin. And boy, were we glad we did when it poured for hours on night two.

camping troegs

By morning, however, Steve cooked us breakfast on the grill (with wood, of course) — all Harrisburg local, mostly from Broad Street Market! North Mountain Pasture breakfast sausage, vegetables from Radish & Rye or their own garden, and grilled country bread. A great way to start the morning! (Next time we won’t forget coffee, though!)

Cheerful Valley Campground is largely equipped for RVs, but it does have tent sites and a handful of cabins. They’re basically just coverage and electricity. We slept on bunk beds in a one-room space but had the benefit of windows, a ceiling fan, a small fridge, a microwave and a porch.

»» Check out all of the camping options in the Finger Lakes

The next morning when I went to settle up at the camp store, I encountered possibly one of the friendliest people ever, who helped us with acquiring more firewood and some details about the campground. Other great points of this privately owned campground include clean restrooms and daily trash pickup. Little perks that can make your experience all that more pleasant.

While we visited in the off-season, there would be plenty to do in the summer here from the swimming pool and jump pad to fishing in the stream. Bonus, however, to the off-season (and you can still squeeze in a trip to New York state before the season ends in mid-October) — it was peaceful and quiet. Had we been with a bigger group, Andy insisted we would have taken over some of the fields for flag football.

Meanwhile, we were easy driving distance from countless wineries and water activities.

We’ll be returning to the Finger Lakes again soon, no doubt.

To learn more about Campgrounds of NY, including campground locations beyond the Finger Lakes, be sure to visit their website.

Categories: Craft Beer, Travel, Wine

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