Week 2: Ithaca is Gorges

After the numerous short stays we wrote about in our week 1 (ish) travelogue, we decided to try to spend a full week in one location in order to reduce the number of times we had to drive our RV.  We headed to Ithaca, New York, a place where we lived from 2005-2008 while Heather got her Masters in Architecture from Cornell (ever heard of it?).  We loved living in Ithaca, especially during the summers, and our wedding was at the Ithaca Farmers’ Market in Fall 2011.

A lot has changed in Ithaca – R.I.P., Chapter House and Ithaca Commons – but the Farmer’s Market is still there.  The last time we were there we were dressed a tad more formally, but aside from our clothing, it looked pretty much the same.

We spent the week staying at Taughannock Falls State Park, bookended by visits to a nearby commercial camping site.  State parks are cool and very cheap, but they usually have minimal hookups – Taughannock actually had an electric hookup, so we didn’t have to run off the batteries, but there was no permanent water or sewage access.  There are different ways to deal with this, but our approach so far has just been to stay at a commercial RV park from time to time to replenish some tanks and, umm, dump the others.  Traveling in an RV is glamorous!

Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls was very pretty, and we did both the gorge trail and rim trail.  According to Wikipedia (always a good start to a sentence), the Falls are “the tallest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains.”  The last time we were here we thought it was a little puny – too much length, not enough girth (nudge nudge) – but there has been a ton of rain in Ithaca lately so it was looking quite swollen.

We hiked for two days in this area and took a ton of pictures.  We also have a new gallery add-on on our website to show them off – let us know what you think!

Ithaca Falls

We also stopped by Ithaca Falls, a criminally underrated waterfall very near the Cornell campus.  As we said, there has been a lot of rain lately, so the Falls looked spectacular.  We took some wedding photos here four years ago, so we’ve got a comparison shot that illustrates it pretty well:

Some bonus photos below.  We included a short video so you can see the huge amount of water that goes over Ithaca Falls.  Despite being older than thirty, we managed to upload it to Vine!  But not before making a typo which now appears to be impossible to fix.

Cascadilla Gorge

Since we were on a tour of our previous wedding photos locations, we also stopped at the bottom of Cascadilla Gorge, which has a cool trail that runs from Cornell into town. Let’s compare with four years ago!

There were at least THREE differences between those two photos.  Did you spot them all??

A few more pics:

Buttermilk Falls

The final stop on our Ithaca picture tour (a.k.a. our “use up our mobile data from uploading tour”) was at Buttermilk Falls, a smaller state park just outside Ithaca proper.  The rain was a little less evident here, but the pools and rock formations were as cool as ever.

Being in Ithaca for the week was a lot of fun, and we loved seeing some old haunts and familiar faces.  Right now we’re in Watkins Glen State Park, which is a truly beautiful and unique place where we took SO MANY more pictures.  We hope you like waterfalls!


Week 1 (ish) Travelogue

Hey everyone!  We’re officially at the 1 week, 4 day mark of our journey (we left officially on Tuesday, June 30), and wanted to catch everyone up on “the haps.”

So far, it’s been busy, but exciting.  Most of our first week was spent staying only 1-2 nights in each location, which was too quick.  Turns out we brought way too much stuff with us, and it all needs to be stowed (semi) safely before we drive the RV around.  Plus, driving a thirty-one foot motorhome through small towns in upstate New York filled with crazy drivers and sharp turns has not been, umm, relaxing.

So, we’ve modified our approach.  We spent this whole week in one place:  Ithaca, New York, where we lived for three years (an increasingly-embarrassingly time ago) and also got married (same).  Of course, for variety’s sake and because we failed to plan ahead, we have had to change our campsite three times this week.  Here’s how we got here:

Day 1:  Frantically move everything into RV with help from Jake’s mother.  Sleep in a Wal-Mart parking lot and buy some sketchy Wal-Mart groceries – including an avocado which, 11 days later, has not apparently ripened in any way.  Horrifying, yet intriguing.

Day 2-3:  Stay at a resort-y type RV park which is painfully expensive but does have availability on extremely short notice.  Experience culture shock when RV park residents engage us in a way that would be completely inappropriate in Manhattan, for example by saying “Hi.”  Crazy!

Side note:  there were SO MANY people just sitting in chairs outside here.  Not talking.  Just sitting, and staring.  (And judging.)

Day 4:  Stay overnight at our friend Joanna’s parents’ house in Red Hook, New York.  They were wonderfully hospitable and Joanna and her brother, Andy, took us on a tour of the area that included some gardens at Bard College, a diner, and Cards Against Humanity – a five star evening.  Thanks Longcores!

Day 5 (July 4th):  Hang out with the Longcores a bit little longer, see Jurassic World (verdict:  “enh+”), stay overnight at another Wal-Mart, and get excited because we totally nailed the parking.  (Our RV juuuust fits in a pull-through parking spot with about a 1 inch margin on every side – see image above.)

Then, realize around 1 a.m. that the nearby fireworks stand in said parking lot is not actually planning to close that night.  Further realize that teenagers are apparently tailgating the fireworks stand, and that their version of tailgating involves only yelling and revving their engines as loudly / often as possible.

Day 6:  Drive to Ithaca, stay at a commercial RV park.  Along the way, stop to see an old friend in Binghamton, and his new friend.

Since then, we’ve been staying in Ithaca, mostly at Taughannock Falls, a state park near Ithaca with a beautiful waterfall and two nice hiking trails.  This post is too long already, but we’ll update again soon with some pictures from Week 2.

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Next Post: Week 2: Ithaca is Gorges


It’s Happening

We made it!

Despite inertia, scammy movers, and our strong tendency not to plan ahead, we’re currently sitting in a 2002 Itasca Spirit RV, parked in the back corner of a Wal-Mart parking lot in upstate New York, listening to rain drum on the roof.  It’s pretty blissful, as long as you ignore the numerous boxes, crates and garbage bags on the floor filled with everything we own that need to be unpacked.

Which we are doing quite successfully.

Thanks to Jake’s mom and family for help with the move.  We’ll post pictures soon, but for now, it is time to finally relax.


Jake and Heather Go Mobile

In just a few weeks, we are leaving our jobs, our apartment, and New York City altogether to travel around the country in an RV.  It’s a little bit crazy.

up lets go

It’s also a little bittersweet:  life in New York City has been pretty amazing.  We’ll miss our friends, family, and stable, paying jobs as lawyers and architects.  Plus, of course, Seamless.com, the truest friend of all.

On the other hand, we’re excited about seeing friends and family in other places; national parks; new cities; awkward conversations with locals; never having to check our email; and our personal fever dream, suburban grocery stores.  And as a bonus, if we ever wanted to, say, fake our own deaths for student loan purposes, the wilderness just seems like it would be a way easier place to pull it off.

Not saying we would, mind you.  Just, if we wanted to.

If you would like to follow along, since we will soon have basically nothing else to do, we’ll be posting updates on our website here, with the tag “roadtrip“, and we’ll also be posting to our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, at least theoretically.  Ever wonder what we’re having for breakfast from some terrible diner in the middle of nowhere?  Thankfully, now you won’t even have to ask.

Goodbye, New York!  It’s been fun, although we could have done without all the trash piles.  We’re leaving at the end of June.

Next Post: It’s Happening


Coffee coffee coffee

Mmm coffee.  Coffee is good.  We like coffee.  Coffee coffee coffee.

Speaking of coffee:  one of our only sisters or in-laws has a Ph.D. (for real) in coffee (ish).  She has a Kickstarter for a film she wants to make called Ground.  It basically follows the origin of how a plant becomes delicious go-go juice.



Our New Year’s Resolution

Happy New Year from Nothing Mundane!  Hope you celebrated in the finest style.  As New York City residents, we of course headed to Times Square to stand next to the tourists in the freezing cold for eleven hours.

Or, more accurately, we stayed at home and got drunk while interacting with as few other humans as possible.  Things got interesting.