This week I’ll be showcasing the zillion farewell activities I have planned to bid Rochester adieu. It’s been 6 years, after all…Rochester deserves a lengthy goodbye.

The parting process started off with a bang this weekend in the form of a scenic tour through the Finger Lakes. One of my favorite places in greater Rochester is Canandaigua, partially because I love the lake and the town, but mostly because my wonderful friend Karen lives there.

(That’s Karen. She’s wonderful.)

Karen and I met at Roberts. We were both education majors at the time (I was still delusional and trying to talk myself into being a teacher…which effectively ended the second semester of my junior year…which is a great time to change your major) and were taking an adolescent lit class together. We bonded over something I’ve not done before or since…

…passing notes in class.

I know. I’m ashamed.

But not too ashamed because out of note passing came an amazing friendship with one of the most incredible people I’ve ever known.

Karen, true to wonderful form, thought it would be fun for us to take a drive through the Finger Lakes since she knows that more often than not my camera is attached to my face and also knows that taking pictures of things like sunflowers and vineyards and water would thrill me to no end. Which, of course, it did. She picked out PERFECT places…

…like these sunflower fields…

(I just about died. Sunflowers are my absolute FAVORITE.)

…and this castle…

We may or may not have done a little wedding crashing…

and then a little trespassing down the road at the vineyard…

And we may or may not have wedding crashed again later that day…but really, who has a wedding at the foot of a waterfall where you can’t even see the bride and groom?

Oh wait, I would. That sounds exactly like my kind of wedding. And it really was beautiful!

It goes without saying that a day in the Finger Lakes isn’t complete without stopping by one of the actual lakes, which we did…

Are you ready these next pictures? Be prepared to turn 8 shades of green with envy, but try to bear it well.

Let’s talk about the food.

Oh! the food.

My first sit-down-and-order Chinese experience gets two thumbs way up, and two high-fives while we’re at it.

I wish you all could know how delicious this meal was. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, someone, anyone – please start working on creating computer screens that deliver food. I’d be eternally grateful.

Ending a summer day trip without ice cream would have been blasphemy, and we didn’t want that on our shoulders.

So we dutifully obeyed summer rules and stopped at Mr. Twistie’s to get soft twists with rainbow sprinkles. I would have taken a picture if I hadn’t eaten mine in 2.5 seconds because it was so delicious.

All in all, it was a classic windows-down-music-up-open-road summer day, which are pretty much the best kind. Buzz, thanks for such a great trip!!!