The original article published by The New York Times on December 5, 1933 can still be read here! The first paragraph reads: “Washington, Dec. 5 — Legal liquor today was returned to the United States, with President Roosevelt calling on the people to see that ‘this return of individual freedom shall not be accompanied by the repugnant conditions that obtained prior to the adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment and those that have existed since its adoption.’”
The accompanying related headlines are definitely entertaining, too:
Celebration in Streets: Marked by Absence of Undue Hilarity and Only Normal Number of Arrests
Many Speakeasies Close
Machine Guns Guard Some Liquor Trucks — Supplies to Be Rushed Out Today
Thankfully, the 80th anniversary features markedly less machine guns, but instead of a celebration in the streets, we’ll pass for one at our Annual Prohibition Era Cocktail Party tomorrow night! See you there.]]>
In Bloom just completed its tenth (!) wildly successful wedding season and I could not have done it without The Bride Whisperer (AKA Heather Davidson). I truly love what I do—it’s so rewarding to watch an event evolve, from the initial consultation with the bride to painstakingly choosing each and every perfect bloom, to finalizing the details, to delivering and setting up the florals, and finally watching the bride head down the aisle. I have loved weddings since I was a little girl and the Inn is such an idyllic setting—I fell in love at first sight with the gorgeous tent, the intimate lakeside room, the serene ceremony site…perfection.
If you are dreaming of gorgeous wedding flowers, here are our top 5 tips for choosing flowers for your event:
The most important thing to remember when choosing your wedding flowers: hire someone you trust, and have fun with it. All flowers are stunning, your wedding will be beautiful, cheers!
We have lived in our home up on the ‘ridge,’ just 7 miles from Aurora, for the past 25 years. However, I grew up in Auburn where my family still lives and my daily travels have always taken us. Here and there my husband and I would come down to the gorgeous Aurora Inn for dinner or the more casual Fargo for a beer and a bite to eat. We knew no one when we came to Aurora. So close to our home for so many years, but never more than an very occasional stop.
Five years ago I decided to work outside of our home and much to my delight, found there was an opening at the Village Market in Aurora. I applied and was hired that day. A job that takes a full 7 minutes to get to, heading right down the hill towards the very picturesque Cayuga Lake every morning. Not too bad a deal!
I’I’ve now been working at the front desk of the Aurora Inn for almost four years and also started working a few days a week at the sweet Dorie’s Bakery on the south end of town.
There are not many faces I don’t know in this small, quaint village now. And I am thankful for each and every one of them and their friendly, small town ways. I’ve seen guests who needed emergency rides somewhere, offered and given rides by locals who didn’t know them from Adam. I’ve seen locals helping travelers to change a tire, clean snow laden cars off after a big snowstorm, catch loose dogs, feed stray cats and take amazing care of their neighbors when in need.
I am thankful for the decision I made 5 years ago to work in this sometimes quirky, often interesting and always delightful little village named Aurora.]]>
This past Thursday, our Wine Buyer and resident wine enthusiast Meryl, introduced us to the tradition of Beaujolais Noveau Day–complete with the first taste of the delicious and “gulpable” Kermit Lynch Beaujolais.
According to Meryl’s telling, Beaujolais Day is a yearly celebration of that year’s grape harvest. The Beaujolais is meant to be drunk ”young,” that is, not aged nearly as long as traditional grapes. Light-bodied and refreshing, the wine is infinitely drinkable. By tasting the Beaujolais, one can purportedly tell the quality and type of that year’s crop, and what kinds of wine will result. From all accounts, 2013 was not a bad year!
This quick article explains Beaujolais Day for the newly-inducted. New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov gets into slightly fuller detail. However, I doubt any of us will be forgetful about November 21st for years to come. À la vôtre!
To truly understand and appreciate my gratitude for all that I have here, I felt it was important to first share my story. Simply saying I’m thankful for this or that would not give you all a true understanding of why it all means so much to me. Please excuse my ramblings at times as I try to pass on to you what this town and company mean to me.
Four and a half years ago, I made the decision to move back home to Otisco Lake from the sunny beaches of Sarasota, Florida. It wasn’t a decision I came by easily, [leaving behind] beautiful weather, fishing on the ocean, more friends than I could count, and a job I loved. Yet New York had something that Florida could never compete with: my brother and his amazing wife’s newborn daughter, Alice. So I packed everything up and headed to New York.
After a month-long vacation in Alaska to clear my head, I started searching for a job. I can still vividly recall the Craigslist ad that captured my attention: “Seeking an experienced bartender in Aurora, NY. Good pay, benefits and 401k for full time employment.” My first thought was, “where is Aurora, NY?” I did a quick Google map search and discovered it was about 35 miles from where I currently was residing, so I emailed in my resume. A few hours and one phone call later I had an interview set up for 9 a.m. the next day.
I can honestly say that my “love affair” with Aurora and the Fargo began that day. Google said it was a 45 minute drive, but having never been to Aurora before I left 2 hours early and took a very scenic drive. My first glimpse of Aurora came as I rounded the bend of route 90 heading north at the softball field. This July morning there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the lake was like a mirror that Godzilla could use to check his appearance. As I passed Wells college and entered “downtown” Aurora, the scenes I passed were like a Norman Rockwell painting brought to life: a campus and town that was to me the ideal small town America. I was completely in its thrall.
After a 45 minute exploration around Aurora I entered what would become my home away from home (okay, it’s my home really) for these last four and a half years. I was greeted by Clare Mattingly, the Fargo manager, and asked to wait downstairs for my interview. The Fargo at first glance had the smallest bar I had ever seen for such a large place, but had everything a local bar needs. Pool table, dartboard, Foosball table and a jukebox. Clare and I talked for about half an hour as I filled out an application about my past experience and many other work and life subjects. Clare then introduced me to Sue Edinger, the general manager of The Inns of Aurora, a woman that at the time I had no idea would be such a factor in me being who I am today at the Fargo. Sue and I talked for a while, covering my past work experience. She then informed me that Clare was moving to Denver in three months, and inquired if I would be interested in taking over as the restaurant manager. After a pause of maybe 3 nanoseconds, I informed Sue that I really wasn’t interested in a management position as I really needed a break and would love to just bar tend for a while. The interview wrapped up, and I left to explore a bit more of Aurora before I headed home. Clare called me a few hours later and let me know I’d been hired and would be starting the following week.
As any bartender that’s worth his salt knows, the first step in starting behind a new bar is to meet the people and get to know your customers. In my fifteen years of bartending, I have never before met such a diverse group of people. Right off the bat I was greeted with more harassment than a political candidate showing up at his competitors rally. I quickly learned that this was their way of welcoming you to the family. Make no mistake, this group of people are definitely family and if I wanted to make it, I’d have to become family too. Today I can look back and see this but at the time I was honestly wondering what I was getting into. It wasn’t a quick process, but it wasn’t all that long either before I found my place in this group. Today I’m proud to call many of my patrons my friends, and love how tight of a community Aurora is. During the summer it’s an endless supply of veggies from their gardens, and many times they bring me home-cooked meals. If any of us or them has a problem there’s always a waiting hand to be given no matter what. Things don’t always get fixed, but we sure do figure out everything that could be the issue and how each would approach it.
Besides the amazing regulars at the Fargo I am also blessed to be surrounded by such an amazing group of coworkers. The Inns of Aurora staff has people working for it from all over that come together to form an amazing team. We each contribute a vital factor that when brought together, enable us to make each of our jobs easier. We help each other out constantly in our work as well as in our personal lives. There is always a person–nay a friend–around that is ready to support you as you may need. Two years ago, Sue gave us permission to start an annual Fargo Fun Day. Fargo Fun Day is a day in July, our busiest month, that we close so we can all get together and have a day of fun with each other. We play softball, swim, barbecue, and just sit around and talk.
So what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving?
I’m thankful for my family that motivated me to move back to New York. I’m so thankful that I have been around and will continue to be to watch my little niece Alice grow up, along with her brothers Sheldon, Hunter, and Lincoln.
I’m thankful for Sue, Greg, and Clare who didn’t stop motivating me to take this management position.
I’m thankful for the amazing people that come to the Fargo and share their stories, time, food, and friendship with me.
I’m thankful for the people I work with that continually give me a reason to laugh, smile, and enjoy my job.
I’m thankful for the cooks’ creativity and dedication. They have honestly feed me the best meals I’ve ever had.
I’m thankful for my friends, new and old, that have proven to me over and over again that not time or distance is a factor in friendship.
I’m thankful that I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Finally, I am thankful for my job.]]>
I’d like to start out explaining the timing of this post. Months ago, Emily asked me to give her a blog entry by October 26th. I instantly made a conscious decision to ignore that deadline (sorry, Em!). October marks the end of our outdoor wedding season here in Aurora, so I just couldn’t bear the thought of following yet another deadline. So I made my own deadline. I needed to grasp onto the excitement that I could actually flat out ignore a date and time without ruining a wedding or epic memory… Until she sent me a nice email taking the blame for my lack of a blog post. Now I just feel bad. Oh, well. On to the recap!
2013 Wedding Season. What a crazy, beautiful, overwhelming, fun, exhausting, rainy, successful, inspiring, and just generally insane whirlwind of a year. This was my 7th season here (!), and it was a record year on so many fronts. Here’s just a few:
Down and dirty numbers:
Total Weddings: 55
Total Ceremonies On-Site: 41
Largest: 211 guests (plus 20 kids down the road!)
Smallest: 2 guests
Total Guests: 4,879
Bottles of Sparkling wine I opened: 754
Number of blisters caused by above statistic: 47
Portions of beef tenderloin served: somewhere near 1,000
Portions of beef tenderloin I personally consumed: somewhere near 25
Wedding days with rain: 19
Wedding days with rain that were not ruined by rain: 19
Fruit, veggie, and ice carvings: 258
Table cloths washed: 1,200
Fire pits lit: 38
Kitchen staff: 14ish (best back of the house team in the world)
Amazing banquet servers (you all crushed it and make me look good!): 31
We had our first legal marriage of two men (two incredibly kind and handsome men, might I add – HEY Ryan and Jason!).
I was the sole photographer for two ceremonies (I can hear several of my photographer friends laughing, and they absolutely should be). This one with my iPhone from afar, because I know one day they will regret saying they didn’t want any pictures.
I was lucky enough to be the only legal witness to the most touching ceremony I’ve ever seen. 31 years together, and finally able to make it legal! Yay Joan and Leslie! I swear it was my signature, not a kindergartners.
This season was memorable on so many levels. Yes, we had insane weather and all kinds of strange occurrences I have chosen to forget, but it was probably my favorite overall. I met incredible people, made lifelong friends, was incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of the team I’m lucky enough to be a part of, worked with amazingly talented vendors, enjoyed the best food, and was just generally in awe of being so lucky to be a part of the best days of peoples’ lives.
I concluded the season with a late October, middle of the night swim in Cayuga Lake to really cap off the year. Stay tuned next time for more behind the scenes stories of life in the world of Inns of Aurora weddings (be afraid, team. Be very, very afraid).
Thanks so everyone who made it possible and the best yet! 2014 – Onward and upward!]]>
I have been drinking a lot of Southern France, mainly the Rhone region, but also Languedoc because our AMAZING wine dinner with
Chateau Maris on November 16, check out their video; it’s so cool: Chateau Maris Biodynamic Winery.
Blame it on the season, weather, day light savings, fall cuisine, or the start of hunting season. Personally, I think I just love that region. They blend white varietals in to red wines, and the wines are complex and yummy.
Recently, I gravitate toward Southern Rhone. The longest standing wine by the glass on our Wine Menu is Kermit Lynch’s Cotes du Rhone. It’s delicious, consistent, and inexpensive: my go-to wine by the glass. Perfect for everyday drinking.
Last winter I discovered Gigondas, I do not recall how or when but I did. It’s a small in the southern part of the Rhone Region. It’s name comes from the Latin iocunditas meaning “happy place.” I have never been but can only imagine. They are less expensive than Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but tantalize the palate just the same.
Happy drinking! Cheers]]>
While attending Wells College, I had the pleasure of attending class with Kayleen Wilkinson–a talented writer, and one of the few student writers to be published during her time as a student at Wells. One Master’s degree from Newhouse and several years later, Kayleen is still writing! We’re lucky to welcome her for the fourth installment of our partnership with the Wells College Visiting Writers Series, Literature on the Lake tomorrow evening! This time, however, there’s a bit of a twist: instead of gracing our cozy dining room, we’re moving the reading to Dorie’s Bakery. Perfect for that literary, coffeehouse-vibe, Dorie’s Bakery will present an ideal background for a casual gathering of classmates and local literati.
Kayleen will read from her first-published piece, “Disappearing Act,” but will also accompany that piece with readings from her newer work. Says Kayleen of her newest project: “I debuted this work at the Cape Cod Writer’s Conference in August. Narrowly, It is on the subject of eating disorders. But I have begun a broader exploration of the mentality of addiction, self-control, self-preservation and the details of my journey of faith. The material I will present is a sampling of what is growing to become my full-length memoir. I may also discuss how I am working on a stage adaptation which I envision as a one-woman abstract dance/performance show.” I’m definitely intrigued! Stop by for the evening, grab a coffee, and settle in for a great night of thoughtful talent. I’ll see you there!]]>
We’re exactly one month away from our all-time favorite celebration: The Prohibition Era Cocktail Party! Last year was a smash hit, and we’re so happy to partner once more with Finger Lakes Distilling for an evening that promises to be both the bees’ knees and the cats’ pajamas.
If, like us, you’re so excited you want to start getting ready now, here are some quick ways to prepare pre-party time.
The evening promises to be as hotsy-totsy as you could hope for–we’ll see you there!]]>
There’s so much to be thankful for, and there is no better month than November in which to express your gratitude for life’s smaller–and larger–favors. This month, we’ll be celebrating our gratitude on our blog, with a series of posts about what we’re thankful for in our work and lives. Emily starts us off.
When life gets rough, it can be difficult to turn off your emotions and focus on your work–especially in the hospitality industry! I’m lucky enough to work at a place which cares about their employees as much as they do their guests. More so than that, I am so grateful to work with a team that cares about each other so much. Whether it be a happy hour cocktail with my marketing teammates, or a hug from a friend in the kitchen, I know I’m lucky to work at the Inns because of the consideration and compassion we extend to each other out of genuine care and love–not just to be polite. Talk about hospitality!
Feel free to share with us–what are you grateful for this season? Whether it be friends, family, or even just simply a great bottle of wine, feel free to share with us in the comments section!]]>