I've been holding on to every last ounce of summer I could grasp, but last night, I gave in. I adorned my apartment in the colors of autumn, and celebrated the redecorating with a slice of pumpkin roll and a glass of apple cider. You can just feel it in the air. The days are getting shorter; the leaves desperately want to start changing color. There's just no denying it anymore. Fall has arrived in Corning & the Finger Lakes.
While sipping my cider, I commented to my husband, "You know, I think every season is my favorite until the next one arrives." He told me that was a very good outlook to have. It's so true... I love summer here, and all the possibilities for adventure it brings with it, but fall in the Finger Lakes is one of the most spectacular things you can possibly experience. The hills simply dazzle in shades of red and orange, making the Finger Lakes seem still a deeper blue. The Jet Skis have left the lake, only to be replaced by lazy sailboats that dot the landscape. One of my very favorite ways to experience it all is from high above the ground.
In its 82nd year, Costa Flying Service is the oldest flying service in New York State. Taking a ride over the Finger Lakes in one of its four-seater planes is truly a remarkable experience. I've had the joy of doing just that on multiple occasions at all different times of the year, but I must say, fall is by far my favorite.
The first time I went up in one of Costa's planes, I was blown away by what I saw. I've lived in the Finger Lakes all my life. I had always thought it was a truly special place. But I never quite appreciated the immensity of its beauty until I saw it from the sky. Seeing that "Y" of Keuka Lake from the air is absolutely breathtaking. And I never realized how close the lakes lie to each other. While you're flying over Keuka, you can see the sunlight bouncing off Seneca, and even Cayuga Lake in the distance. It is a sight to behold - trust me. Now picture all that, draped in the colors of fall.
Although Costa's has multiple air tours, the Grand Lake: Keuka & Seneca tour is my very favorite. For just $90 p/p, you can gain a whole new perspective on Corning & the Finger Lakes. You take off at the airfield in Painted Post, fly high over the countryside and come upon the quiet village of Hammondsport, nestled at the head of Keuka Lake. You journey along the West side of the lake, passing over recognizable landmarks such as Bully Hill Vineyards with its blue roof. The pilot makes a turn to pass over the bluff and heads toward Seneca Lak
e. The boat-filled harbor in Watkins Glen comes into view, as does Watkins Glen International Race Track. The tour ends with a loop around Corning, the pilot pointing out such landmarks as The Corning Museum of Glass with its oddly-shaped building design which can only be truly appreciated from above, "Little Joe" tower, and the headquarters of Corning Incorporated. During this one-hour tour, you develop a great appreciation for the landscape of Corning & the Finger Lakes. And for first-timers to the area, it's the best possible introduction. Once you've seen its vast beauty from the sky, you can certainly appreciate its wonder from below.
Imagine experiencing harvest time in Finger Lakes Wine Country from the air. All those beautiful colors... all those lush vineyards. Who knows? You might even be able to spot the grape pickers out harvesting the grapes that will be turned into this year's vintage. You have nothing to lose, and one incredible perspective to gain. To book your fall foliage flight with Costa Flying Service, call 607.962.0053, or visit www.costaflying.com. Or even book a package with Black Sheep Inn, allowing you to have the experience and a weekend getaway!