We are just back from our weekend upstate where we helped install our girl in her off campus housing for the new school year. I am lining up all my ducks this morning and once they're back in a nice OCD row I'll be around to visit and catch up on everything I missed.
In the meantime, here are a few photos from the absolutely wonderful bed and breakfast where we stayed in Ithaca. It's the Argos Inn, a renovated historic mansion with beautiful artistic finishes. It's has a sort of minimalist old world decor—I know, that's a contradiction in terms, but somehow it works. The statement pieces, from the original art on the walls, to the blown glass chandelier in the entrance hall, to the reupholstered Louis XV chairs to the custom crafted zinc-top bar, are timeless. And the staff was just first-rate, especially the woman who checked us in, whose name was Dana. She made our anniversary drinks in the bar extra special just by the easy-going warmth of her manner. The bar is like some well-heeled but very hip person's elegant living room in the family mansion, and cocktail-sipping patrons spill into the sun room or onto the back terrace with its wrought iron railings as graceful as a master painter's brush strokes.
On our 28th anniversary on Saturday, after helping our girl get her things from storage and cleaning her room to my satisfaction, we did some preliminary shopping with her roommates, dressed for dinner with her bf's family, then came back to the Argos Inn and cozied up on a settee in the bar. We took in the scene as we sampled the signature drink, the famous Bagpipe Mariachi—a little too medicinal-tasting for my palate, but I was definitely feeling gently floaty after a few sips. I switched to almond-clove champagne for the second drink and, for my love, the age of sail aficionado, a glass of absinthe, once banned because it was thought to be a hallucinogenic. Don't laugh—we felt so cool and adventurous! Which is a wonderful way to feel when you've been married 28 years and you're ferrying your youngest back to college.
The experience was all about the details: My husband happily jingled the antique-looking keys in his hand as we walked up the impeccably restored stairs to our room at the end of the evening. He commented, "There's something so nice about the feel of a real key rather than a plastic card." Other details we loved: The heated bluestone slab floors in the bathroom with its tumbled-marble walls, the romantic rain shower, the blow dryer tucked in a tapestried pouch and hung next to the basin, the exposed 200-year-old red brick fireplace facing the bed, the black velvet curtains, the Venetian plaster, the abundant outlets perfectly situated for recharging phones and Kindles, the antique armoire, the simple brass bedside tables, none of it overdone, all of it just right.
I should mention that our friend in this little blog community, Susan T. Landry of Pie and Run to the Roundhouse Nellie, is the mother of the architect, Benjamin Rosenblum, responsible for the energy design and sustainability of the property. He and his partners did a fantastic job with everything, visible and not. I'm indebted to Susan for letting us know about this lovely new boutique hotel in Ithaca (they opened last November). We will definitely be staying there again.