Watkins Glen, walking under waterfalls and being a weekend warrior

Watkins Glen 5Journal entry: Today is going to be about being present and mindful in my experiences, with friends and others around me, to be and feel amazing. 

Earlier in the year, I had mentioned to one of my best friends, Jen, about taking a trip to Watkins Glen to see the amazing waterfalls. We decided we’d make a weekend out of it and created a plan for a wonderful weekend. Initially, we had thought about going in the spring, but postponed it for the fall for a few reasons, and one is that I’d hoped to capture the fall foliage while also capturing the grand cascades.

Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks. Within two miles, the glen’s stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. Rim trails overlook the gorge. Arriving in the evening, I headed right to the park, to get an idea for planning the weekend, to calculate the distance for hiking, and to take some photos before the sun went down.

Watkins Glen 24Waking up in New York on Saturday, with the brisk, chilly air of the morning, I made sure to continue practicing my morning routine of waking up early for journaling, yoga, and meditation. I brought some of my essential oils and used the Touch Breath, lightly putting some on my neck and rubbing some on my hands, then taking deep breaths to enjoy the scent. It’s fresh and helps me wake up. I headed downstairs (our room was on the second floor of the house) for coffee, our host had a nice set up for guests that included coffee, tea, and a snack bar stocked with apples, bananas, and protein bars. I steered clear of all of the candy as I just started a 22-day elimination challenge with my Location Indie friends.

Watkins Glen 22Saturday morning I headed out early to catch some amazing morning light, and hopefully beat the crowds of people to capture some photographs of the waterfalls. It’s an amazing feeling standing underneath an immense cascade of rushing water. The power of water as I stood there made me think of how water can be so calming. I took my time, walking slowly and stopping at each curve of the gorge to captures this amazing and beautiful park. I spent about two hours in this 2 mile-long park and then grabbed a coffee and some breakfast, and headed back to the house to meet up with Jen. Once she was settled in, we headed back to the park and walked around while we chatted and cached up on life.

Watkings Glen Deb and Jen 2We created this awesome photo with my tripod and patient crowds, who waited for three tries, for us to get this shot. As we walked through the maze of waterfalls, up and down steps, and navigated around the crowds, we talked about what inspires us, while I captured photographs with my camera. We had a wonderful walk and after returning back to the front of the park, we headed to find some lunch and decided what we’d do the rest of the day.

Watkins Glen 10We ate lunch at the Village Marina and enjoyed a burger and sweet-potato french fries with our coffee and water, and tea for Jen. As we chatted about how beautiful this town was and just how amazing it was to walk among the waterfalls. I was so thankful for that time we were able to spend together, connecting. I shared my essential oils with Jen, which I’ve been really excited about this year. I like to put Ginger into my water, and it tastes like ginger ale, even more, when you add it to sparkling water!

After lunch, we headed over back into town and found a cute consignment shop, and we checked out the clothing, shoes, books, and jewelry. I found a cute hat that was handmade, and some cute tops, so I decided to grab them up while I was there. Then we headed back to the house to drop off our findings and change. We wanted to try and catch another local waterfall before dark, and headed out to Montour Falls. We made it just in time to make some images and talked with a group that was also there from PA, one guy was from Scranton and they talked about how they enjoy the scenery and weather, and slow pace away on the weekend, commenting that the area is great for a weekend getaway.

Montour Falls Deb and Jen 2

After talking with our host, we found some good spots for live music and headed to Two Goats Brewing. The energy of this opening band was awesome! We hung out for a while and as people came and went, we stood in the middle. I danced a bit here and there and enjoyed the warm temperature, opting to put my coat in the car so I could freely dance and fully immerse myself in the beats of the fiddle. Since I was still raging strong without alcohol, I also didn’t spend any additional money and was fully present in the experience, which was fantastic. In this situation, I’d usually be more focused on which beer I want, and which one I’m trying next instead of the atmosphere itself. After a long day, it was time to call it a night, so we headed back for some R&R.

Sunday morning I woke up and went downstairs to make coffee, and do yoga and meditation practice in the living room so I wouldn’t disturb Jen while she was sleeping in our room. I loved trying some of my new oils I had just gotten before coming out, one was called Motivate, and it’s a roll-on that I applied to my arms and neck, and took deep breaths, rubbing it into my shoulders. It’s great to start the day with some essential oils! I also added lime into my water for a refreshing starter as well!

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After an invigorating practice, I got ready and made a cup of coffee to go, packed up and we headed for the Corning Glass Museum! I was blown away (pun intended!) by this amazing artwork. The time, effort, and talent of these artworks fascinated me, gliding from room-to-room, I was in awe of the detail and exquisite shapes, textures, and visual cascade of refractions of light. After our visit, I picked up a ring (not super expensive) so that I could take some glass home with me! Jen and I grabbed a late brunch and then we said our goodbyes. I decided to head into the town of Corning, to check out some shops before I drove home. After stopping into a few shops and finding some awesome olive oils, coffee and tea, I also headed on my way home. What an awesome getaway following a week full of busy work and stress. I’m so thankful that I was able to get this trip and create some awesome images, and I am so thankful to be able to connect with a friend. I was also returning home proud of myself that I didn’t overindulge in sugar and didn’t have one sip of wine or beer, and that means that I’m capable of controlling my actions, something I’ve really been working on this year with my coach. It is possible, and I CAN DO THIS! On my drive home I listened to my LI friends’ podcasts and was really excited to get back home and work on the photos I created, being able to share them with my friends, and continue to practice wellness and being in control while at home. I got this! If I can be a weekend warrior while away, I can practice this in my everyday life, in each moment, working to practice being present, where my feet are!


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Gem's Insights says:

    I ran across your post through Lication Indie when you did that interview with them and I find that you and I have a lot in common. I work in an office environment where every day is a celebration for some kind of food treat and I want to get out of the office space and be able to be independent and be a digital nomad and just travel and I find a lot of inspiration through what you said and how I can relate to you and I admire you for what you’re doing . Keep up the good work! I love the posts, love the pictures , you’re doing it and you should be very proud of that too. I’ve decided to start my own blog this year but I’m on the fence with procrastination and when I’m going to find a time to do it. I work full-time, I have two kids at the house, I’m doing online college, and I think to myself how and when am I going to start this , do you have any tips ? Any and all advice would be appreciated .

    1. Deb Schell says:

      Thanks for your comments and support! You are doing a lot and that’s inspiring! I say just do something small each day. I’m journaling and that helps me flesh out ideas for blog posts. You can write a bit a day, maybe one or two paragraphs, and when you put it together, you have a post. Take your time and do what feels right!

  2. Gem's Insights says:

    Thanks for getting back with me and for the words of encouragement.

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