I'm at the Syracuse airport now. After getting the house stuff wrapped up on Friday, I worked on the proposal on Saturday and did touristy stuff yesterday. It was nice to have some time to go explore.
Sunday started off cold and rainy. It was about 40F. I had brunch at a motel nearby. The grad students had recommended it. I could understand why - all you can eat for $6.95. Then I drove up the east side of Cayuga Lake to Taughannock State Park. The park abuts Cayuga Lake, and there is a nice picnic area and boat launch at the main entrance. The main attraction is Taughanock Falls, however. It's one of the highest waterfalls east of the Rockies, and is actually higher than Niagara Falls, although a lot less water falls through. Eons and eons ago, the waterfalf was right by the lake, but over time the rock got eroded so that now it's about 3/4 mile inland.
The trail stays open all year, so that's sort of unusual. It's wide and flat. If you want a better workout you can do the upper rim trail, but it was cold and I hadn't packed enough warm clothes, so I stuck with the easy walk. The falls are pretty dramatic. The amount of water varies greatly throughout the year. After I finished my walk, I continued driving north towards the Cayuga Lakes Wine Trail. There is a cluster of wineries in the area, as well as a place that makes hard cider. I'll come back sometime and try it.
Cornell Botanical Gardens. It's free and is open all year round. I liked the herb garden. All the plants are marked and are divided by category, e.g. herbs that the indians used, herbs for cooking, herbs for tea, herbs for dying fabric, etc.. I liked that everything was labelled, because I'm always looking at plants and wondering what they are. Most of the plants were still dormant, but I'm sure it will be really nice in a month or two.
There were also other sorts of themed gardens and wooded areas, but there was construction going on and I didn't see everything. I couldn't find the poisonous plant garden, but I guess they would keep that sort of hidden away.
The plane is about to board, so I'll blog more from the next airport.